Mythbusting China Cold War 2.0: Debt Traps and Bird Flu

This week was Xi Jinping’s big Africa moment, the Forum on China Africa Cooperation or FOCAC.   Maybe you didn’t hear about it a lot because the PRC was counterprogramming against the West’s debt trap diplomacy talking point with some success.

And maybe you did hear about China’s plot to kill us all with bird flu.

China’s trying to get traction as the anti-Trump: a responsible, capable force in the world order promoting win-win cooperation, prosperity, and a better, healthier tomorrow.

It isn’t easy with Western government and media continually on the prowl to identify and package anti-PRC talking points.

This week China Watch looks at two stories making the rounds: Zambia falls into China’s debt trap…and…China’s going to destroy the world with bird flu.

To me, both stories don’t quite pass the smell test…but they were winners in the China-bashing sweepstakes.

The Zambia story dissipated the feel good vibes surrounding China’s Africa project, the PRC’s most significant claim to global good citizenship.

The bird flu story fed a “China’s the evil empire/existential threat” narrative.

I argue it is no coincidence that these stories fed into two emerging anti-China strategies: using the IMF as a club against China and China’s allies, and advancing the US strategy to legitimize Taiwan on the global stage via the World Health Organization.

This week: how the China threat sausage is made and marketed.  A China Watch exclusive.  Because you sure aren’t going to find it anywhere else in the Western media.

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Show notes

China to take over ZESCO—Africa Confidential

Zambia refutes report of Chinese firms taking over public assets due to debt

Zambia: Staff Report on the 2017 Article IV Consultation—Debt Sustainability Analysis

US Warns Against IMF Bailing Out Pakistan’s Loans from China

US Senators seek to block IMF bailouts for China’s allies

IMF’s Lagarde warns China on ‘Belt and Road’ debt

Is Zambia hiding debt?

China Favours Zambia’s Honey

China Has Withheld Samples of a Dangerous Flu Virus

China Has Been Withholding Bird Flu Samples for a Year.  Here’s Why Thousands Could Die.

China refuses to share bird flu virus samples, placing thousands of lives in danger

Deadly bird flu ‘could kill millions across the world’ because China refuses to share samples of virus

Deadly bird flu H7N9 spreads worldwide due to China refusal to help with production of vaccine

China sharing flu viruses, WHO says

China of compromising global health over WHO ban

China withholding avian flu samples

Special China Watch reports on Korea

Perhaps no foreign affairs issue in recent history has been so thoroughly misunderstood as the backstory of U.S. engagement with North Korea.  That’s because U.S. machinations relating to North Korea are about as dirty, unsuccessful, and embarrassing as can be imagined.

Here’s your chance to understand the context of U.S.—North Korea relations: a trio of special reports I have prepared on the untold story of U.S. duplicity and failure on North Korea.  Unknown, that is, to Western observers who rely on the selective historical memories of American policy makers and pundits; but deeply known and felt reality to North Korean and Chinese policymakers for whom U.S. bad faith and betrayal is the default setting in Korean affairs.

The Deep State Plan to Sabotage Korean Peace (full episode available on Youtube)

John Bolton’s presence on the White House staff is a red flag to Chinese and North Korean policymakers.  That’s because John Bolton’s core competency is sabotaging the stated and perhaps genuine intentions of the President of the United States to pursue peace on the Korean Peninsula, and substitute “active measures” to promote regime change. 

One of the most consequential failures in modern U.S. diplomacy (or anti-diplomacy) if you prefer, was a disastrous foray into financial secondary sanctions targeting North Korea during the George W. Bush years when John Bolton ruled the North Korea regime-change roost.  The sanctions gambit—targeting a tiny, China affiliated bank in Macau—backfired and literally birthed North Korea’s first atomic bomb.

It’s history that the Chinese and North Koreans know deep in their bones, even as the U.S. government tried to deny and ignore the reality of the fiasco.  To understand the deep distrust and reflexive caution of Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping in dealing with the United States, you need to know about the Banco Delta Asia gambit of 2005.

This is a non-paywalled China Watch offering posted on the Newsbud youtube channel per the link.  Please circulate it among your friends and encourage them to subscribe to Newsbud and get the full story of America’s North Korea boondoggle.

Shame in San Francisco: At the Olympics, South Korea Says “Enough” to a Century of Japanese and U.S. Betrayal

My Asia Brief audio report on the history Americans don’t know… but drives current events on the Korean peninsula.  Resentment at the sacrifice of Korea to U.S. Cold War ambitions and the Japanese alliance runs deep…and Koreans in the North and South are finally able to do something about it.

General MacArthur’s Conspiracy to Start a War with China! New Documentary Release & Interview! For purchase at Newsbud Store or for Purchase or View via Amazon or Vimeo

The Korean War was a desperate and dubious battle in which the US was ready to try anything and everything to overcome its strategic and tactical disadvantages.  Biological weapons, nuclear weapons…and Douglas MacArthur’s plans for a strategic breakout via escalation of the Korean conflict to a regional war.  Everything was on the table.

Douglas MacArthur made the first US attempt to parlay a Korean crisis into an existential confrontation with the People’s Republic of China.  With the US milsec establishment, his ideas are more popular—and dangerous—than ever.  My documentary uses first hand testimony and declassified archives to finally reveal the truth behind this long-suppressed event.

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  1. Steven Hobbs says:

    Props to you Peter. Wry wit lubricates the swallow.

  2. Amber Sayman says:

    Great episode! I love your content. I watch each one. It feels really great to be informed on these issues–and a consolidated briefing like this is just what the doctor ordered for my busy schedule. 🙂 I always look forward to your work. You rock. I’d love to hear what Pye Ian has to say about all of this currency stuff you spoke on towards the end of the show! Maybe you two should collab.

    • Amber Sayman says:

      Actually, I have been listening to Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. Third-world debt peonage is kind of OUR thing, I can see why the US is getting testy. I don’t know if characterizing China as a balm to US imperialism is necessarily fair, though (not that you did–but I can see how someone would think that). It seems more that they’ve adopted the tactics of their “enemy” in order to project their own ambitions and re-scramble for Africa. At surface value, China has the moral high ground… but that could just be because they haven’t had a chance to flex. I guess we’ll see what happens once the hearts and minds of the new frontier have been colonized and we start to see the bubbles run together?

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