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20 October 2016


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‘Make a wish list’: Russian ambassador says Moscow ready to provide assistance to Philippines



Babak Makkinejad

I agree; Lulu and Dilma extended government help to the 100 million or so poor people in Brazil.

It is rich when someone complains about corruption in their administrations; like the previous administrations were paragons of virtue.

Unlike Roosevelt, the rich people in Brazil are unwilling to give anything to the poor; "Let them eat black beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."


David, living here in US I believe the problem is more of an economic issue.

It seems to be, it no doubt essentially is, but you should also read David's comment more carefully.

One day, you may be regarded as in ‘good standing’ – the next, the whole force of the ‘human rights’ propaganda lobby may be unleashed upon you.

there is more then a grain of truth in this from my obviously highly limited perspective.

There are more serious human rights concerns and there is "human rights" used as propaganda weapon in what might be a larger no doubt--I am no expert on that--economical/political struggle at its core. More prominently post 9/11 but maybe in more limited ways even before.


The only thing that at the moment seems to help us, is the US and Russia coming to terms.

If you have the patience, I enjoyed this man's struggles initially on Greece, over what was called over here the "Greek crisis" on economical liberalization in Russia.


The Clinton Global initiative and thus the Clinton Foundation surfaced for me the first time, when they, if I recall correctly had one of their annual events at least partly on Greece. Tzipras had slight problems to dance on that glizty event. Others no doubt may be better prepared.


Thanks Secretary of State Kerry. Another case (remember Thailand) of Foggy Bottom concerns for abstract concepts of humanitarian ethics preempting real world military concerns over strategic lines of communications in the Pacific. Heads must be spinning at the Pentagon.

Kerry and the egg heads at State need to re-read Kissinger and his writings on real politic. Good intentions and high moral character are no substitute for power politics in international relations.

If Clinton at State was a case of the flu, Kerry is stage 4 cancer. He needs to go. The PI issue never should have risen to this level of concern. It was avoidable.



"There's nothing to negotiate. This is about freedom of the seas.”

Yes is about freedom of navigation and commerce at sea, but prerequsite for free and safe navigation is to have security at sea, and a prerequisite for security is to establish control. IMO that is what China is doing to the most important open water access she has for commerce around the world to indian ocean Europe ME where her oil comes from Africa, etc. Currently the control and security of S. China sea is with US, it seems to me geopolitically speaking, China no longer feels secure with that arrangement, and she looks to maintain control and provide security on her own. I think we will not be able to stop their design without a war no matter how much we blow in our propaganda pipes.


always complex matters, no doubt. Thanks for your responses.

Sorry another nitwit comment: At one point in the 9/11 universe someone's* list collections made me look into whatever caught my eyes. It initially drove me nuts, since he also didn't answer inquisitorial questions about his lists.

But I followed the list arbitrarily to whatever surfaced on his items to links on the academic layer/aspect he had added at one point. The Indian/Pakistan issue had among others in the WOT caught my attention in the academic aspect he added. Thus an interest in Hinduism on the American side more arbitrarily caught my attention. Maybe since I find the Mahabharata interesting, less then the diverse Indian gurus? ;)

* he was/seemed also highly rational in a larger crazies context and interested in IT. At one point he seems to have shifted mainly to that context, before he went silent online. ...

Balin Somkuti, PhD

Sorry to correct you but the only thing americans saved twice was their future. Which we call now the 'American century'. With the majority of the world's industrial capacity under the Kaiser's or the commies rule that would have been impossible.

Please save us from this falsely altruistic, exceptionalist Bravo Sierra.

Just as the real crusaders' leaders FDR and Eisenhowe had multiple motives. Freedom was a side effect -like many decisions confirm- not the primary goal. That is how real politicians make decisions.

England has no friends but interests.


The US elites get plenty of return on the money spent to maintain the Empire. They are your problem, not the colonials in Europe. Europe is paying a heavy economic price due to its corrupt and bought-off local elites following the Borg's orders to conduct economic warfare on Russia. And all Europe got in return is a lousy migrant tsunami that only destabilizes it and brings it closer to an all-out civil strife.


Not disagreeing with that view at all. We are talking about fundamental collapse of society through abuse of rules and institutions, all perfectly rational in the short run, but rests on the exploited people staying dumb and putting up with the abuse. They will not, and take down the whole corrupt structure with it if the problem continues unabated. People like Bismarck understood the problem of stability, as did great law-givers of all civilizations: unless everyone has something positive to look forward to in the workings of society, they will not contribute, and without their contribution, the society is dead.

Both Clinton and Trump thrive on fear mongering--how awful and rotten "the other guys" are. Much, if not most, of US gov't policy is about the "bad" people and how they must all be stopped. Well, as the saying might go, Assad didn't take away my job or call me deplorable, so to speak.


Yeah, couldn't agree more. Just pointing out the hostility of our neocons to Russia doesn't match the reality that Israel has good relations with the Russians. I've always found that particularly odd.



They play every side against the middle (them). Now the Turks and the Filipinos are doing the same. pl


With all due respect that is not fair to what Americans did during and after the wars in Europe for whatever thier reasons or end means were. In Iranian term this kind of mentality is called "one who wouldn't show appriciation for what one sees"


I fully agree, they are our problem, but I think you do understand that our problems become your problems, since you are subsideries, weather you like it or not.


The US is not paying one lousy cent in rent for its bases in Bulgaria. Who is the subsidiary in this relationship? The Maritsa power complex was sold to AES Corp and to Entergy for a pittance, these entities have realised billions in profits since. Who is the subsidiary in this neocolonial relationship? The economic costs of the sanctions against Russia fall on Europe. These sanctions benefit the US while Europe bears the costs. Who is the subsidiary in this instance? The US destabilizes countries on Europe's periphery in pursuit of the Borg's profits, while Europe deals with the consequences. Who is the subsidiary? The fact is that Europe is paying a heavy price for having its elites serve the US interests, and gets nothing in return. Americans are paying a heavy price for their acquiescence to the Borg, but keep blaming anybody else but themselves. It gets very tiresome, particularly when they do so in a parade of misspelt words.


Tidewater to Lemur,

I have some sense that you know a lot about China and the Pacific. Possibly also economics or business. Thank you for your patience and good-humor. I see a lot of very interesting things in what you have said. Nice, too, about Wikipedia, however I do wonder about what DavidKNZ, commented. "Political" Wiki." Nice, too. Thanks. By the way, I generally always start with Wiki. I also, from time to time, have checked the sources in the "footnotes."

It ought to be noted that Paul Revere only was responding to something he perceived as a real threat that he saw happening...Could that not be called "situational awareness?";)

I probably don't need to point out a Reuters report from 2:38 p.m. today, October 21, 2016: 'U.S. Warship challenges China's claims in South China Sea."

I have quickly chopped it up. Perhaps that was unnecessary. The entire article clarifies a great deal, in my opinion.

"The latest U.S. patrol, first reported by Reuters, is expected to anger Beijing and could further escalate tensions over the South China Sea. The destroyer sailed within waters claimed by China, close to, but not within the 12-nautical mile territorial limits of the islands, the officials said..."

"It was the fourth challenge that the United States has made to what it considers overreaching maritime claims by China in the South Sea in the past year, and the first since May.

"China, Washington's main strategic rival in Asia, claims almost the entire South China Sea through which about $5trillion worth of trade passes each year. The United States has expressed concerns they could be used to restrict free movement.

"China's Defense Ministry said it had declared its "baseline" for the Paracel Islands in 1996, something the United States knew. Despite that, the Chinese government said, the United States had sent a ship into Chinese "territorial waters."

"A statement from China's Foreign Ministry said the U.S. ship did not ask for permission to enter Chinese territorial waters, and had broken both Chinese and international law.

"The ministry accused the United States of deliberately creating tensions.

"China has a runway on Woody Island, the site of the largest Chinese presence on the Paracels, and has placed surface-to-air missiles there, according to U.S. officials. Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the Paracels..."

Further along: "Duterte's announcement on Thursday was a significent turnaround after a tribunal in the The Hague ruled that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea in a case brought by the previous Philippine administration and strongly backed by the United States."

Further: "The United States Navy will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, including the South China Sea, in order to protect the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all. This will not change," Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said during a trip to China in July."

Finally: "Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have rival claims in the South China Sea, but Beijing's is the largest. It argues it can do what it wants on the islands it claims as they have been Chinese since ancient times."

The USS Decatur is a sacrifice ship, in my opinion. If the Chinese go mad and attack or sink it--and it was shadowed by three Chinese warships-- I think we could see something like the Spanish American War.

Am I too sanguine? I am afraid my view of things is so dark that I dwell in a place in the mind where I would be regarded as demented and get what the British call an "ASBO" if what I think is going to happen in the near future were set forth in some detail. Certainly, I would be silenced.


Maybe this site isn't big on predictions, but I expect the Philippines will sign a deal for either Russia or China to build or rehabilitate a nuclear reactor there within the next year. The US built a plant in Bataan, but walked away leaving the Philippines in debt. The plant, essentially complete, was never operated, partly due to concerns after TMI and Chernobyl. Duterte has proposed reopening it.

The US needs to re-evaluate its position with regards to Asia's developing economies. There are lots of areas that fall in to the category of foreign policy: Energy, food, scientific and industrial partnership, and military and security, trade in goods in services, finance. The US seems to deal mainly in the military areas, and in trade. It has neglected so many other facets of foreign policy. There is a lack of strategic thinking.

Many of these problems may stem from conflict between Congress and the President. Obama spent a huge amount of capital getting congress to okay the idea of the executive signing trade deals with just a final yes/no from congress (Fast Track Trade Authority). Outside of trade agreements, areas of foreign policy that require cooperation between congress and the executive seem to have withered. Maybe Duterte's actions will serve to jolt the US out of its torpor.


Tidewater to Pundita,

Funny about that. You make the Chinese sound like a Mafia state. Or should the word "Triad" be worked in here, somehow.

But Duterte did not and does not face a Sophie's Choice. His actions against the drug cartels and the druggies remind me of the wars in El Salvador or Guatemala against feral street children. Very typical of Spanish legal system and authoritarian and criminal Spanish South American state-sanctioned actions (Los Desaparecidos); and also very Guardia Civil (as in the 60's) against the Spanish gypsies. Sophie faced almost immediate death if she did not sacrifice her child. She did so, and lived. Duterte did not, and does not, face the same immediate existential danger.

In my view, I think what we will see in the near future is the question raised in the Philippines whether or not any elected leader or his administration has the legal power to dismember his country. Surely that must be done by national referendum. Assuming it is ever allowed to get on a ballot. Which I doubt. I've heard of General Galtieri (by force, in the Falklands) trying to enlarge his nation; and Norway, by satellite photography and mapping, surprisingly doubling its size in the last decades. I have never heard of any country voluntarily diminishing itself in such a suspect, and pusillanimous fashion.

Duterte is a Quisling. Quisling was executed. Quisling, by the way, is a fascinating person. He was sent out to Ukraine where he worked with Nansen's desperate relief efforts to somehow staunch the suffering and starvation there caused by Jewish Bolsheviks, who traded Slavic lives (being unempathetic to their fellow countrymen) in order to build up Communist capital from grain sales. He had a young Ukrainian woman with him when he returned to Norway. His wife and family welcomed him back into his home. No doubt there was some emotion. They all wanted to know who she was. Quisling told them, "She is my wife." Very awkward situation. He had gotten married again while he was in Ukraine. Psychopath.

What about Duterte?


Tidewater, thank you for your reply. was using "Sophie's Choice" as a metaphor to quickly convey the idea of a choice that must be made betwen two options that are both awful. But while Duterte doesn't face immediate death, his country does in a manner of speaking. He was telling the truth when he said that the Philippines was in danger of becoming a narco state. If it's not there yet, it's teetering on the edge.

What's more, his life would indeed be in imminent danger if he tried to go after the most powerful drug syndicates operating in Philippines, which are controlled by Beijing. But that's not the biggest issue from the viewpoint of US defense policy.

As little as a decade ago, 'black' or deviant globalization referred to the globalization of crime by nonstate actors. What's been happening in the Philippines points to state use of globalized crime syndicates as a military tactic. In this case the Chinese state, in order to fight American influence in the Philippines. To whatever extent this tactic had been deployed by governments in earlier eras the convergence of highly interconnected globalized trade and advanced technologies in this era puts entire regions of the world under a very new threat.

Perhaps a better way to put it is that it's a new twist on an old threat.

In fact, the $64 question is the extent to which China's PLA is deploying this 'Phillipines tactic' in other nations that are US-friendly and in bad economic shape.

In any case from this viewpoint, it's moot whether China can be considered a Mafia state. They're using transnational crime networks that they control for strategic military purposes to hollow out an entire country.

So while the term 'weaponized' has gotten over-used in recent years, in the Philippines, Beiing has quite literally weaponized contraband.

And the worst of the situation for Duterte is that China's drug syndicates have gained influence at the highest levels of Filipino government and business sectors. This surely extends to the banking sector, although I haven't seen specific mention of this. (As to the military, I don't know.)

So to fight the drug war, he's been reduced to going after tadpoles -- while the sharks are out of his reach because the sharks sit in Beijing!

His popularity still remains high in the country but he knows that won't last, if the death tolls keeping mounting among the little guys while the drug lords keep getting off.

Now why don't you see discussion of this angle in the press? Because after years of being upstaged by SOCOM, the U.S. Navy has finally gotten hold of a military threat to the USA that requires lots of boats -- new boats, swifter boars, expensive boats. So they don't want to hear about Chinese dope syndicates beng the problem in the Philippines.

Of course there is actually a military threat from Beijing in the China seas. But from Duterte's point of view, joining with a grand coalition to defend sea lanes in the South and East China seas and Filipino territorial waters is not his top priority. His entire country is going to be under water if he can't get control of the drug syndicates.

(I don't call them Triads because I don't know whether all these syndicates are technically Triads.)

So Duterte is not a quisling. He is a shrewd, desperate man who got handed an opening by Obama shooting off his mouth. This was the perfect excuse to storm off in high umbrage to Xi, and hang Scarborough Shoal.

However, Duterte has not actually shut the door on the USA, and my understanding is that most of the country's military still supports maintaining a good relationship with the USA. The bad news is that it doesn't matter anymore who's in charge in the Philippines, until and unless the cord can be cut between Beijing and the drug trade there.

As what if anything the US military could do to help in that regard -- it's a little late in the day to ask that question.


With "We", you means "Mr./Mrs. Alves supported by a neocon segment of my country's government": https://www.rt.com/op-edge/343046-brazil-wikileaks-president-temer

By the way, it would certainly increases one's credibility if one realizes that what one sows, one will reap:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/19/eduardo-cunha-arrested-corruption-charges-brazil Certainly worth a smile.


>And Indians are openly neo-cons (If i may use the word). She meddles in every aspect of its neighbors governance going far as shaping the their constitutions (see Nepal and Sri Lanka) or soft power regime changes (2015 Sri Lanka, Maldives for some time, Nepal for sometime).

Of course she does;There's too much stuff happening on the borders of India to not interfere. with blowback sometimes. Some are brought to heel, others grit and buy time while others are actively at war. Right now, Sri Lanka is being politely told how to behave(over China basing rights) otherwise there's a repeat of the LTTE encouragement by India waiting to happen. And that was vindictiveness by India when SriLanka allowed Pakistani ships to refuel during the 1971 Bangladesh war.

The Indian state is slow and ponderous and slowly murderous when it decides to act. Follow the next action over the Indus water treaty needling with Pakistan

Babak Makkinejad

US diplomats fly around the world, flash their metaphorical eyelashes, and foreigners all over themselves trying to curry favor for her.

Europe is no exception; Europeans want to be vassals of US. If US discards Europe, it would be Europeans that would be running after US, begging her to return.

Bulgaria is basically making it profitable for US to stay engaged. She could have taken the high road and decided to be independent and stand on her two feet; like Cuba or Vietnam or Iran or North Korea.

I suppose it is the same dynamics in play at the national level as the individual level - wishing to belong to a group.


Thank you for your reply. From Wikipedia's article "Illegal drug trade in the Philippines"

"About nine Chinese drug cartels are involved [in] most illegal drug trade in the Philippines.[12] The U.S. Department of State found out that Chinese drug cartels are behind the trade of methamphetamine hydrochloride on the Philippines.[1][5]

[The] President divulged the names of the members of a large Chinese triad group in a interview with PTV-4 on July 7. The members of the triad group included Chinese drug lords, namely Wu Tuan, aka tatay Co, Peter Lim, aka tiger balm, and Herbert Colangco, with the three under the protection of Marcelo Garbo Jr, one of the Philippine National Police generals named by Duterte on July 5.[13] "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_drug_trade_in_the_Philippines#Chinese_cartel_involvement"Chinese Cartel Involvement

So with regard to your remarks it seems the CCP didn't do all that good a job of wiping them out -- or maybe the CCP resurrected them when they found them useful.

Also, Duterte himself explicitly named China as the chief culprit. Here I turn to AFP via the South China Morning Post, July 28, 2016:

"China the lair of major drug lords, says Philippines’ Duterte

China is harbouring major drug lords who smuggle narcotics into the Philippines, the president said on Thursday as he pressed on with his ruthless war on crime.

Rodrigo Duterte made the remarks even as the two countries continue to bicker over an international tribunal invalidating Beijing’s extensive claims to the South China Sea.

“Where is the big fish [in illegal drugs]? If you want them, go to China. Look for them there,” Duterte told soldiers and police during a visit to a military camp.

“I wanted to talk to the ambassador. That is how serious it is. Now, how do I fight this? We cannot just go there and just declare war,” he added.

He did not identify the alleged drug lords and a Chinese embassy spokesman could not be contacted for comment.

Duterte had previously asserted that most of the illegal drugs in the Philippines originated from China and that many Chinese had been arrested for smuggling drugs into the country.

But it was the first time he explicitly named China as the lair of those responsible for the trafficking.



Ah but he did identify "alleged drug lords" by name, and in public -- on July 7. (Could it be SCMP chose to run a news report that contained statements they knew were contradicted by key facts?)

Anyhow, from all that I got the impression there are plenty of actual Chinese nationals involved in the drug trade that is plaguing Filipinos.

However, my line of reasoning does not depend on the ethnicity or nationality of the gang members. I'm speculating that a number of these organizations, no matter who mans them or where they're based, were brought under the control of China's military. And that this was done for the express purpose of destabilizing the Philippines, an American ally.


Tidewater to Pundita and Pacifica Advocate,

First of all, thank you both for a fascinating exchange of ideas.

Now, I want to be provocative. But I am not an old China hand. ;

Pacifica Advocate writes: "...the actual case is one where a single party system exerts solid control over all white and grey areas of commerce and law, with very little room being allowed for "black" cultural spaces where the party exerts no control or authority. Long story short: where the party has power, there are no cases of drug dealing or drug manufacture."

Pacifica A., it seems to me you have a lot of faith in the "party" idea. You mean, as in Russia? Haven't we seen enough and learned enough about how Communism actually worked to understand Orwell's 'Some are more equal than others?'

Question. How is China actually ruled? Is there a state within a state in China?

I stumbled across a useful article recently, that seems to date back to 2013. The article is one of Global Post's two part series about China's Poly Group. Global Post stems from Public Radio International (PRI). The article is "China's Poly Group: the most important company you've never heard of."

Two points to start with. The reformer Deng's son-in-law He Ping was a president of Poly Group. Also, Poly Group is a front company for the People's Liberation Army(PLA). So right away two anomalies show up. The Chinese Army owns private corporations? And big ones? Poly Group is now a multibillion dollar conglomerate. And the Communist party leadership places its family members inside of Army owned corporations? In other words, the scions of communist party top leaders have a special place within a system that seems to me to be a system that has created one of the world's greatest conflicts of interest ever. What kind of army runs--and owns-- multibillion dollar businesses? The Egyptian army? What would Oliver Cromwell think about one of his Roundhead Captains slipping away from his troops at Kilkenny and dispatching a packet of instructions to New Model Army Global Investment Sector, with illegal connections to the City, to short some shipments of beeves and round shot, thereby picking up a few quid for the Retirement Fund? They fail the CG inspection, but Orinoco is up 28 pence per pound!

"A common, albeit mistaken, maxim of Western media is that China is a country controlled by 12 old guys in a smoky back room, where all princelings, the state and Party are connected and working together. But some China watchers say that while there are times of cooperation, divisions and competition also run deep."

And: "Derek Scissors, a senior research fellow for Asia economics at...the Heritage Foundation [and now at the American Enterprise Institute] says China's Foreign Ministry can't rein in most powerful state-owned enterprises (SOE's) because their connections to Communist Party and military royalty shield them from reproach."

Communist Party royalty? Chinese People's Liberation Army royalty? PRINCELINGS? Does this not sound like Saudi Arabia?

How did this situation come to pass? Here goes. I assume that it is accurate to say that there was an explosion of military run businesses in China in the last years of the decade of the 1980s. Further, that Mao's fears during the Vietnam years, which led him to create the Third Front, put the PLA into the heavy manufacturing industry and railroads, in a big way. Hundreds of billions of yuan were given by the government to the PLA in order for the Army to move an enormous amount of industry deep into the heart of China. Mao feared a nuclear attack from either America or Russia that would wipe out the great coastal cities.

This set off the first stage of the creation of a powerful Military Industrial Complex inside the Chinese government. When you say MIC about China, it seems to me that this phenomenon in China is very different from the Military Industrial Complex in the USA. In USA, one's entrance into the MIC comes when one retires from military service; in China, it begins when one joins up. It is service, but ownership comes with service. Am I not correct to suspect that a young officer in the PLA would not only receive a salary for his military duties, but might also receive shares in the industrial companies that his particular military organization might OWN and RUN?

It seems to me that the reforms of Deng Xiaoping betrayed the Chinese workers. They had thought that they were the owners of Chinese industry. Instead, ownership of the various factories and businesses were turned over to those who ran them at the time of the reforms.

This betrayal was forseen by Chairman Mao. That is one reason for the Great Cultural Revolution. And why Deng spent four years working in a factory. And his son was thrown out a four story window and ended up a paraplegic. Mao saw what was coming.

When Deng finally got into power, he realized he had an old-style Chinese problem. In order to institute the Four Modernizations he had to remove a vast amount of dead wood and nepotism from every area of government, so he could bring in the bright young engineers and technocrats. (Who, in turn, would create their own nepotism.) But the old revolutionary veterans and their scions had been snout-deep in the trough for decades and needed a quid pro quo. So Deng gave them a large part of the Third Front industrial base they had put into central China. This was Army built industry and Revolutionary veterans well-entrenched in the bureacracy now were forced to resign lucrative positions and sinecures and enter the capitalist system. As Mao saw, an unacceptable paradox. Deng helped the transition of a powerful group into corporations like China Poly Group (as it became) and he gave these new so-called SOE's tremendous freedom. He did not look over their shoulder. It is said that once he became curious about how much one of these SOE's was getting out of Saudi Arabia. He summoned them into his office. So how much were they making? "Two billion" was the reply. "Not bad," said Deng. Bows, I assume, and free to go.

Soon SOE's were on a roll. Military "third-line" factories moved back to the vital, vibrant coastal regions. They got into everything that can be imagined. And they kept themselves deeply hidden by front companies. You can see that if you look at the website of China Poly Group. Their past is of the "state' not the "Army."

By 1989, top Communist Party leaders began to have some doubts about the arrangement. Decrees were issued; for example, a decree that prohibited lower-ranking officers from becoming involved in the daily operations of militarily owned companies. (Their own companies? They had stocks in their portfolios of these companies? Can anyone explain to me how this would work for a young Chinese army or navy officer?)

The top Party cadres had thought that any problems created by the SOE's would be handled discreetly at the top, by meetings with a handful of senior Army brass. It didn't work out that way, at all. By 1989, it seems to me that civil authority in China must have had conflicts of interest in every sector at every level. For example, in law enforcement, it would be completely routine for the police chief of a city like Shanghai to own businesses such as bars, nightclubs, or brothels. Would the Chief have to turn his eyes away from drug business in his nightclubs? Of course he would. Suppose you had a nice downtown piece of property that a senior member of a police department badly needed? (To expand his nightclub, without which it might go under?) Would the policeman not have ways of getting it? (Paul Theroux has a novel with a plot along these lines.)

There is a conclusion among the American think-tanks that the attempts in 1989 to control the SOE's completely failed.

Then came Tiananmen Square. The PLA --with the involvement of Triads--did what the Party wanted done. Triads smashed democracy demonstrations. The PLA kept the lucrative status quo intact for the Party heirarchy, their scions, and their scions' increasingly interconnected and growing family financial, business,career and social interests. The democracy movement was brutally repressed.

It is not true to say that the Communist Party destroyed Triads after Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule. Triads are back! They have always been useful. (Shanghai, April, 1927.) Both in Hong Kong and on the Mainland. There are possibly more than a hundred thousand members of Triads both at Hong Kong and on the Mainland. (Or is it more than twice this number?)

Is there is now a synergistic relationship between the Triads and many SOE's?

During the first part of the 1990s, the government encouraged the SOE's to begin to rationalize their vast empire of businesses, turning them into 'group companies.' They became conglomerates; management and production became more centralized. Greater success followed.

By 2016, there is a state within a state. How to define or describe such a state? The Military Industrial Complex? Certainly the SOE's are strong enough to be an independent part of the MIC. ( What could be other sectors? Energy? Oil?) And it appears certain that SOE's can challenge the government. They can ignore any concerns some party leaders might have about promulgating narco-states. Though Pundita is pointing out that that could also be the policy of another sector of government, the intelligence sector and Party leadership. I agree with Pundita, but throw in a glitch. I think Communist Party heads might NOT have a choice. They have to be complicit, as it were, with themselves. They have to understand who and what they are, in order to continue with the problematic hybrid compromise and the corruption.

Derek Scissors says: that SOE's have a well-established record of doing just what they like. They are known for "going it alone." They refuse to answer to government officials. All are not under control and will not be under control in future. An example of serious Party weakness: "The Foreign Ministry is not the final arbiter anymore."

If the Party leadership's attempt to rein in the militarily-owned SOE's failed in the late 1980's, who is to say that any agreement the Chinese government made now with Duterte to stop the drug trade, particuarly the "precursor" trade, would work? Would any such attempt by the government to rein in the Triads and the SOE's simply be understood by these autonomous powers with their strong hold on their bosses as being subject to being interpreted as a plea? Gestures might be made to console the Party leaders. The flow of chemicals might then slow for a while. But it would all be phony. What can Duterte say, three months later, when it all starts up again.

I don't see how the Chinese Communist Party can lay down the law, threaten force, begin the extensive internal investigations needed to set up a juridical process which would have to go deep into financial matters of many powerful people, party colleagues, the families of colleagues, family relationships, the princelings. The nepotistic arrangements and agreements and conflicts of interest that exist all through the Party structure cannot be disturbed. There are too many cross-currents. If disturbed, so-and-so's family member is going to jail, is going to be shot, this kind of thing could destablilize the entire corrupt, hybrid Communist/Capitalist structure.

The idea that I am raising is this: that the current government of China will not rein or prevent a group of the SOE's /Triad syndicates from carrying out drug smuggling operations offshore, say against Mexico, where in fact there is also a serious problem, with consquences for el norte; it could not stop it even if it wanted to. For the Chinese, the internal price is simply too high.

The Twisted Genius

Tidewater, Pundita, Pacifica Advocate, Mariner and others,

I am fascinated by this discussion and your contributions. I'm learning a lot and I'm sure others are, too. Thank you all.

Tidewater, the system you describe with the example of Poly Group may be different from ours, but it is not inherently better or worse than ours. It sounds more like our MIC on steroids and extending to a wider slice of the economy. Sure the situation in complicated, but I doubt the Chinese Government is near as helpless as you propose.


In your first reply you told me the CCP wiped them out. In your second reply you told me they didn't. Make up your mind.

In your second reply you also told me I was wrong to claim that Duterte had explicitly named China as the chief culprit. I didn't make the claim; Duterte did, and I sourced his statements. Yet you attributed to me a statement I did not make -- when the evidence of who actually made the statement was staring you in the face.

But then I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

As I was saying, my speculation is that Duterte sharply pivoted toward China because he wanted Xi's help in shutting down Chinese drug gangs in the Philippines and believed Xi had the ability to do this. And I think he's so desperate for the help he's even willing to sacrifice Scarborough Shoal and dynamite his country's relationship with the USA.

Now we can keep this up for the rest of the year -- with you starting diversions and me coming back with the same point, or until Col. Lang 86's us both.

However, in light of recent events -- Duterte walking back a little on 'separation' from the USA (Oct 22) and the US walking back a little on criticism of Duterte's drug war (Oct 24) -- it's possible someone in the Obama administration suddenly put two and two together and asked Duterte, 'What do you really need by way of help from us?'


That's a lot to hope for at this late stage, but on the plus side I don't think any of this is personal with Duterte -- or rather I'd say he's much too desperate to put personal considerations above the drugs issue. He just wants those gangs shut down. If the USA can take a serious whack at it, fine. Ditto China. Or both; many hands make light work.

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