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Zepp-LaRouche on Afghanistan: ‘The New Name for Peace Is Development’

Dramatic developments are taking place over the past days which make clear that the world is sitting at a crossroads. Two clearly distinct ideas about the nature of man are contending for the future of human civilization. One, which could well lead to the destruction of civilization itself in a nuclear holocaust, sides with the Aristotelian outlook of the British Empire, that some people are born to rule and others to serve, that human beings are as defined by Thomas Hobbes, as “all against all,” with nations following the same logic, locked into geopolitical laws of zero-sum “survival of the fittest.” The other view believes that: “Development holds the key to the people’s well-being, [and] no country should be left behind. All nations are equally entitled to development opportunities and rights to development.” While it would be understandable that one may think this statement came from Franklin D. Roosevelt as he planned his postwar vision for the role of a United Nations, it is in fact the words of Xi Jinping, speaking on July 6 to delegates of 500 parties and institutions from around the world, representing 160 countries, fully three-fourths of the human race, joining in support of the principle of “Peace Through Development,” as intended by China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Today, the Schiller Institute’s founder and president Helga Zepp-LaRouche released a statement titled: “Afghanistan at a Crossroads: Graveyard for Empires or Start of a New Era?” She posits that the policies taken by the world’s nations today on the future of Afghanistan not only affects every citizen of every country, in the sense that the danger of terrorism and drug proliferation affect us all, but also because it could well determine the fate of mankind itself. The only solution to the Afghanistan quagmire, she writes, is for the great nations of the world, and all the nations of the region, to join forces in a “Great Project” to develop Afghanistan as the hub for the New Silk Road, both East-West development corridors connecting East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe, and North-South development corridors linking Russia, China, Iran, India and Pakistan.

Is it possible? Or is it, as seen by the geopoliticians of the British Empire, contrary to their warped sense of “human nature,” which will always seek out an advantage against “the other”? Will Americans follow this British prescription for imperial “divide and rule,” or will they recall the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Was this intended only for those who follow so-called “Western values,” and who follow the so-called “rules-based order,” or is it indeed intended for all mankind?


Helga Zepp-LaRouche – AFGHANISTAN AT A CROSSROADS: Graveyard for Empires or Start of a New Era?

PDF of this statement

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

July 10—After the hasty withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan—U.S. troops, except for a few security forces, were flown out in the dark of night without informing Afghan allies—this country has become, for the moment but likely not for long, the theater of world history. The news keeps pouring in: On the ground, the Taliban forces are making rapid territorial gains in the north and northeast of the country, which has already caused considerable tension and concern in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and they have captured the western border town Islam Qala, which handles significant trade flows with Iran. At the same time, intense diplomatic activity is ongoing among all those countries whose security interests are affected by the events in Afghanistan: Iran, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, to name only the most important.

Can an intra-Afghan solution be found? Can a civil war between the Afghan government and the Taliban be prevented? Can terrorist groups, such as ISIS, which is beginning to regain a hold in the north, and Al-Qaeda, be disbanded? Or will the war between Afghan factions continue, and with it the expansion of opium growing and export, and the global threat of Islamic terrorism? Will Afghanistan once again sink into violence and chaos, and become a threat not only to Russia and China, but even to the United States and Europe?

If these questions are to be answered in a positive sense, it is crucial that the United States and Europe first answer the question, with brutal honesty, of how the war in Afghanistan became such a catastrophic failure, a war waged for a total of 20 years by the United States, the strongest military power in the world, together with military forces from 50 other nations. More than 3,000 soldiers of NATO and allied forces, including 59 German soldiers, and a total of 180,000 people, including 43,000 civilians, lost their lives. This was at a financial cost for the U.S. of more than $2 trillion, and of €47 billion for Germany. Twenty years of horror in which, as is customary in war, all sides were involved in atrocities with destructive effects on their own lives, including the many soldiers who came home with post-traumatic stress disorders and have not been able to cope with life since. The Afghan civilian population, after ten years of war with the Soviets in the 1980s followed by a small break, then had to suffer another 20 years of war with an almost unimaginable series of torments.

It was clear from the start that this war could not be won. Implementation of NATO’s mutual defense clause under Article 5 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks was based on the assumption that Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime were behind those attacks, which would thus justify the war in Afghanistan.

But as U.S. Senator Bob Graham, the Chairman of the Congressional “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,” repeatedly pointed out in 2014, the then-last two U.S. presidents, Bush and Obama, suppressed the truth about who had commissioned 9/11. And it was only because of that suppression that the threat to the world from ISIS then became possible. Graham said at a November 11, 2014 interview in Florida:

“There continue to be some untold stories, some unanswered questions about 9/11. Maybe the most fundamental question is: Was 9/11 carried out by 19 individuals, operating in isolation, who, over a period of 20 months, were able to take the rough outlines of a plan that had been developed by Osama bin Laden, and convert it into a detailed working plan; to then practice that plan; and finally, to execute an extremely complex set of assignments? Let’s think about those 19 people. Very few of them could speak English. Very few of them had even been in the United States before. The two chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, have said that they think it is highly improbable that those 19 people could have done what they did, without some external support during the period that they were living in the United States. I strongly concur…. Where did they get their support?”

This question has still not been answered in satisfactory manner. The passing of the JASTA Act (Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism) in the U.S., the disclosure of the 28 previously classified pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry report into 9/11 that were kept secret for so long, and the lawsuit that the families of the 9/11 victims filed against the Saudi government delivered sufficient evidence of the actual financial support for the attacks. But the investigation of all these leads was delayed with bureaucratic means.

The only reason the inconsistencies around 9/11 are mentioned here, is to point to the fact that the entire definition of the enemy in this war was, in fact, wrong from the start. In a white paper on Afghanistan published by the BüSo (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity in Germany) in 2010, we pointed out that a war in which the goal has not been correctly defined, can hardly be won, and we demanded, at the time, the immediate withdrawal of the German Army.

Once the Washington Post published the 2,000-page “Afghanistan Papers” in 2019 under the title “At War with the Truth,” at the latest, this war should have ended. They revealed that this war had been an absolute disaster from the start, and that all the statements made by the U.S. military about the alleged progress made were deliberate lies. The investigative journalist Craig Whitlock, who published the results of his three years of research, including the use of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and statements from 400 insiders demonstrated the absolute incompetence with which this war was waged.

Then, there were the stunning statements of Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Afghanistan czar under the Bush and Obama administrations, who in an internal hearing before the “Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction” in 2014 had said: “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing. … What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking…. If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction … who would say that it was all in vain?”

After these documents were published, nothing happened. The war continued. President Trump attempted to bring the troops home, but his attempt was essentially undermined by the U.S. military. It’s only now, that the priority has shifted to the Indo-Pacific and to the containment of China and the encirclement of Russia that this absolutely pointless war was ended, at least as far as the participation of foreign forces is concerned.

September 11th brought the world not only the Afghanistan War but also the Patriot Act a few weeks later, and with it the pretext for the surveillance state that Edward Snowden shed light on. It revoked a significant part of the civil rights that were among the most outstanding achievements of the American Revolution, and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and it undermined the nature of the United States as a republic.

At the same time, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which are the essence of international law and of the UN Charter, were replaced by an increasing emphasis on the “rule-based order,” which reflects the interests and the defense of the privileges of the trans-Atlantic establishment. Tony Blair had already set the tone for such a rejection of the principles of the Peace of Westphalia and international law two years earlier in his infamous speech in Chicago, which provided the theoretical justification for the “endless wars”—i.e., the interventionist wars carried out under the pretext of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P), a new kind of crusades, in which “Western values,” “democracy” and “human rights” are supposed to be transferred—with swords or with drones and bombs—to cultures and nations that come from completely different civilizational traditions.

Therefore, the disastrous failure of the Afghanistan war—after the failure of the previous ones, the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the Libya war, the Syria war, the Yemen war—must urgently become the turning point for a complete shift in direction from the past 20 years.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the very latest, an outbreak that was absolutely foreseeable and that Lyndon LaRouche had forecast in principle as early as 1973, a fundamental debate should have been launched on the flawed axiomatics of the Western liberal model. The privatization of all aspects of healthcare systems has certainly brought lucrative profits to investors, but the economic damage inflicted, and the number of deaths and long-term health problems have brutally exposed the weak points of these systems.

The strategic turbulence caused by the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, offers an excellent opportunity for a reassessment of the situation, for a correction of political direction and a new solution-oriented policy. The long tradition of geopolitical manipulation of this region, in which Afghanistan represents in a certain sense the interface, from the 19th Century “Great Game” of the British Empire to the “arc of crisis” of Bernard Lewis and Zbigniew Brzezinski, must be buried once and for all, never to be revived. Instead, all the neighbors in the region—Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Turkey—must be integrated into an economic development strategy that represents a common interest among these countries, one that is defined by a higher order, and is more attractive than the continuation of the respective supposed national interests. This higher level represents the development of a trans-national infrastructure, large-scale industrialization and modern agriculture for the whole of Southwest Asia, as it was presented in 1997 by EIR and the Schiller Institute in special reports and then in the study “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” There is also a comprehensive Russian study from 2014, which Russia intended to present at a summit as a member of the G8, before it was excluded from that group.

In February of this year, the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan agreed on the construction of a railway line from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, via Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul, Afghanistan, to Peshawar in Pakistan. An application for funding from the World Bank was submitted in April. At the same time, the construction of a highway, the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor, between Peshawar, Kabul and Dushanbe was agreed to by Pakistan and Afghanistan. It will serve as a continuation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a showcase project of the Chinese BRI.

These transportation lines must be developed into effective development corridors and an east-west connection between China, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe as well as a north-south infrastructure network from Russia, Kazakhstan and China to Gwadar, Pakistan on the Arabian Sea, all need to be implemented.

All these projects pose considerable engineering challenges—just consider the totally rugged landscape of large parts of Afghanistan—but the shared vision of overcoming poverty and underdevelopment combined with the expertise and cooperation of the best engineers in China, Russia, the U.S.A., and Europe really can “move mountains” in a figurative sense. The combination of the World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) New Development Bank, New Silk Road Fund, and national lenders could provide the necessary lines of credit.

Such a development perspective, including for agriculture, would also provide an alternative to the massive drug production plaguing this region. At this point, over 80% of global opium production comes from Afghanistan, and about 10% of the local population is currently addicted, while Russia not so long ago defined its biggest national security problem as drug exports from Afghanistan, which as of 2014 was killing 40,000 people per year in Russia. The realization of an alternative to drug cultivation is in the fundamental interest of the entire world.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the risk of further pandemics have dramatically underscored the need to build modern health systems in every single country on Earth, if we are to prevent the most neglected countries from becoming breeding grounds for new mutations, and which would defeat all the efforts made so far. The construction of modern hospitals, the training of doctors and nursing staff, and the necessary infrastructural prerequisites are therefore just as much in the interests of all political groups in Afghanistan and of all countries in the region, as of the so-called developed countries.

For all these reasons, the future development of Afghanistan represents a fork in the road for all mankind. At the same time, it is a perfect demonstration of the opportunity that lies in the application of the Cusan principle of the Coincidentia Oppositorum, the coincidence of opposites. Remaining on the level of the contradictions in the supposed interests of all the nations concerned— India-Pakistan, China-U.S.A., Iran-Saudi Arabia, Turkey-Russia—there are no solutions.

If, on the other hand, one considers the common interests of all—overcoming terrorism and the drug plague, lasting victory over the dangers of pandemics, ending the refugee crises—then the solution is obvious. The most important aspect, however, is the question of the path we as humanity choose—whether we want to plunge further into a dark age, and potentially even risk our existence as a species, or whether we want to shape a truly human century together. In Afghanistan, it holds true more than anywhere else in the world: The new name for peace is development!


Russia Denounces Sanctions on Syria as “Collective Punishment”

Russia Denounces Sanctions on Syria as “Collective Punishment” 

July 9 (EIRNS)–In a press conference following the Astana format meeting on Syria yesterday, held in Kazakhstan,  Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev denounced what he called the “collective punishment” of the Syrian people through Western sanctions. “We believe the consultations that we have held here in Nur-Sultan give hope that our call on the international community [will make it possible] to move the focus from efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria in military terms to humanitarian issues and activities aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people,” he pointed out. “And definitely, the deplorable practice of collective punishment for the Syrian people has to end,” Lavrentyev added.

Humanitarian aid needs to be delivered through the country’s legitimate authorities, and in this regard, Russia calls for the establishment of a mechanism to deliver humanitarian aid to all parts of Syria via Damascus, he said.

About 24 hours after Lavrentyev’s remarks, the UN Security Council passed a compromise resolution, today, on extending the UN mandate for cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid supplies from Turkey to Syria’s Idlib province. The new resolution extends the mandate for six months until Jan. 10, 2022, with an automatic extension for another six months until July 10, 2022, subject to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issuing a report on the “transparency” of the aid operation and progress on delivering aid across conflict lines within Syria as Russia wanted. The resolution also welcomes “all efforts and initiatives to broaden the humanitarian activities in Syria, including water, sanitation, health, education, and shelter” as well as early recovery projects.


China to US: Our Security Laws Contrasted with Yours

China to US: Our Security Laws Contrasted with Yours

June 19 (EIRNS)–Chinese authorities in Hongkong arrested five executives of the Apple Daily newspaper under the new security law. This is the paper of Jimmy Lai, the pal of the core neocons in the US and the darling of the regime change institutions. Lai financed and publicized much of the anarchist terror that swept Hongkong in 2019, as well as the earlier “umbrella revolution.” Lai has been convicted and is now in jail. 

The Global Times editorial today quotes the responses from the US and UK foreign affairs officials: “On Twitter, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab inaccurately accused that the search and arrest `demonstrate Beijing is using the National Security Law to target dissenting voices, not tackle public security.’ The US State Department `condemned’ the arrests and asked for their immediate release. `We are deeply concerned by Hong Kong authorities’ selective use of the national security law to arbitrarily target independent media organizations,’ Ned Price, US State Department spokesperson, said.”

GT responded: “The US and the UK must accept the reality that they can no longer influence the situation in Hong Kong. The city has returned to its motherland, and is now governed by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law.” They noted that Hongkong is now peaceful, allowing the population the freedom to go about their lives, which was massively disrupted during the riots. 

Most interesting, they show the restraint shown in Hongkong compared to the police actions in the US: “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has been focusing on rebuilding the people’s consensus while exercising restraint in taking legal enforcement action. At least 521 people have been arrested and charged with crimes in the US’ few-hour long Capitol Hill riots; yet since the turmoil in Hong Kong, much more severe social damage has been made in Hong Kong, and only 62 people were prosecuted after the national security law came into effect.”


Putin Tells Ambassadors, the Pathway to Peace Lies Through ‘Love for Humanity’

May 19 (EIRNS)—Welcoming new ambassadors from 23 countries yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the unstable international situation, which as he observed, “is even becoming more complicated.” He named the crises facing the world’s nations: the coronavirus pandemic, the deterioration of the system of strategic stability and arms control, terrorism “rearing its ugly head once again,” growing problems in the sphere of international information security, the risks of drug trafficking and organized crime, decades-old regional conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya becoming aggravated, and now the dramatic escalation in the Middle East.

Putin then, in his own way, invoked the principle of agapē without which Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche has recently insisted humanity may not survive as a species, as the way out for all nations. Putin told the Ambassadors:

“The epidemic has proved a real test for such universal human values as solidarity, mutual assistance, and love for humanity….

“I repeat once again: It is possible to ensure peace, stability and sustainable global development only through the efforts of the entire international community. We are calling for well-coordinated work by states, permanent members of the UN Security Council and all concerned countries. As you know, Russia has recently celebrated the anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War that started 80 years ago, on June 22, 1941, when the Nazis treacherously attacked our Motherland….

“We are convinced that everything must be done to prevent the tragedy of World War II from repeating itself, so that its lessons will not be forgotten. All of us must cherish the priceless experience and spirit of allied relations during the struggle against common challenges and threats. We must remember the consequences of policies pandering to nationalism and xenophobia, and we must jointly elaborate a positive and unifying agenda to forge a more equitable and democratic multipolar world order. We must ensure the well-being and prosperity of all human beings.”


China Labels U.S. Foreign Policy on Xinjiang “Weasel Diplomacy”

May 12 (EIRNS)—China very appropriately has labeled as “weasel policy” U.S. policy toward Xinjiang. Today at the United Nations, the permanent missions of the U.S., the U.K, Germany and an array of NGOs are holding an event on Xinjiang and “the repression of Uighur Muslims.” The spokesman for China’s UN mission issued a hard-hitting statement in response to this insult, while the semi-official Global Times titled its article on the subject: “U.S. `weasel diplomacy’ will not function in Xinjiang.” During the May 10 Foreign Ministry briefing, spokeswoman Hua Chunying also asserted that U.S. behavior on Xinjiang was “just like the weasel paying respect to the hen, without the best of intentions.” Global Times quotes professor Li Haidong, from the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, who warned that the purpose of this “weasel diplomacy” is to turn Xinjiang into another Afghanistan. The proverb quoted by Hua, he said, is that a weasel may put on a friendly face, but will always find the opportunity to catch the hen and eat it.

Global Times adds that this weasel diplomacy has brought war to many countries, pointing to how the U.S. “ruthlessly and barbarically inflamed turmoil in Afghanistan for its own interests,” yet now pretends to care about Xinjiang’s Muslims. It won’t work in Xinjiang, GT admonishes, because Xinjiang “is neither Ukraine nor Afghanistan–China has strong national power, rich resources and powerful strategies.” Li pointedly warns, “If the U.S. tends to believe it could stir up internal chaos in China, it must have overestimated its own strength and underestimated China’s ability to resist external pressures.”

The Chinese UN mission’s statement points to the “sheer lies and political bias” of today’s UN event, and particularly attacks the fact that in the middle of a global pandemic, and when nations should be acting in solidarity to face the challenge of defeating the pandemic, the co-sponsors of this event are obsessed with undermining the unity and collaboration of Member States–violating the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The spokesman slams the U.S.’s sanctimonious claims of defending Uighur Muslims, when its perpetual wars have slaughtered Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria–killing civilians and displacing tens of millions. The U.S. doesn’t care about the deaths of almost one million Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria but is “very keen” on Uighur Muslims in China, he says. Today’s event, he intones, is “outright political farce.” The full Global Times article is here.


Syria Times Reports Dr. Shaaban Attacking British at Schiller Event

May 10 (EIRNS) – Schiller Institute Southwest Asia representative Hussein Askary reported to EIR that Syrian media is publishing a news item today in which it is made obvious that Syrian government spokesperson Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban used the Schiller Institute conference as a platform to single out the British as instrumental in the propaganda and psychological war against Syria. Dr. Shaaban usually directs her criticism for the military and economy devastation visited upon Syria, at the United States and Saudi Arabia; seldom at Britain. This link is for the English version of the circulating story in Syria Times. The Arabic version was published in several Arabic newspapers and websites, Askary reports.


Syria Times Publishes Interview With Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Syria Times Publishes Interview With Helga Zepp-LaRouche

May 7 (EIRNS)–The Syria Times on May 7th published an interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche with a very nice picture of a smiling Helga.  In replies to three main questions, she was able to explain her reasons for founding the Schiller Institute and the role it had been playing to develop programs for a just, new world economic order and to promote a worldwide renaissance of classical culture based on a dialogue of civilizations. In that context, the Institute has developed policies for various parts of the world, including Southwest Asia. She underlined her husband’s original “Oasis Plan” and the more recent “Phoenix Plan” for rebuilding Syria. She also attacked U.S. Middle East policy since the Bush Administration. She highlighted the upcoming conference on Saturday which would also have a presentation by Dr.. Bouthaini Shaaban from Syria, an adviser to President Assad. The full coverage is here.


Zakharova Warns of Pitfalls of Western ‘Sanctions War’

May 4, 2021 (EIRNS)–“Diplomacy is being replaced by sanctions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned in an interview with RT Television yesterday, and this is “undermining mutual trust and darkening the prospects for normalizing relations” between Russia and the collective West.

“The vicious practice of imposing unilateral political and economic restrictions, especially the extraterritorial application of such measures, is an infringement on the sovereignty of states and interference in their internal affairs aimed at keeping, at any cost, their [imposers’–ed.] dominant position in the global economy and international politics, which they are gradually losing,” she charged.

She discussed various measures which Russia is taking to defend itself: consolidating its national financial system, searching for new international partners, diversifying foreign economic ties while developing advanced, competitive domestic industries which lay the basis for substituting domestic products for what was previously imported. New legal mechanisms are being worked on, and legislation “providing for measures to counter new potential unilateral steps by the United States and other countries” is being drafted.

RT asked several questions about ways Russia might protect itself from restrictions on its access to Western financial systems. Zakharova noted that cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system for international settlement of payments “is so far considered a hypothetical scenario.” That said, work is underway on reducing Russia’s dependence on the dollar, a discussion that has been underway for at least a decade, she noted. She referenced that the 2007-2008 crisis “called into doubt the sustainability of the world currency system based on the supremacy of one national monetary unit.”

 Zakharova made clear that such discussions are not taking place just in Russia, as finding ways to secure “the independence and sustainability of the financial system to external threat is increasingly becoming a priority for any state.” Russia will not be driven by the “hostile foreign policy” of others to shut out the outside world; it is discussing measures that can be taken with regional neighbors, the BRICS, and others.

Once again, Zakharova, as other high-ranking Russian officials have consistently been doing, proposed that Western nations change course, and come to the table to reach agreements which defend everyone’s interests: “We have repeatedly made it clear that we did not start this sanctions war, but we are ready, at any point, to do our part in order to end this pointless confrontation, in which there will not be and cannot be any winners…. We strongly support a broad international discussion of ways to counteract the illegitimate unilateral measures. We are confident that a systematic dialogue should help reduce the business community’s concerns regarding the uncertainty and instability in global affairs, which are provoked by the West’s one-sided and inconsistent policy.” The RT coverage can be found here.

The Foreign Ministry carries the transcript of the interview on its website.


Economist Writes ‘the Most Dangerous Place on Earth’: Taiwan

May 4, 2021 (EIRNS)--In its May 1 cover article, the Economist wrote with satisfaction about the dangerous strategic condition created with respect to Taiwan. The outgoing head of the Pacific Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, had told Congress in March that he worried about China attacking Taiwan as soon as 2027. The {Economist} notes the unique position of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which leads the world in the production of advanced semiconductor chips, with technologies and production processes years ahead of those of either the U.S. or China. The British rag also exults in recent changes from what had been the status quo of the ambiguous state of U.S. support for a one-China policy while in effect guaranteeing Taiwanese independence. With a growing independence movement in Taiwan, strengthened by reporting on Hong Kong, will China remain at bay?

            “Nobody in America can really know what Mr. Xi intends today, let alone what he or his successor may want in the future…. Mr. Xi’s appetite for risk may sharpen, especially if he wants unification with Taiwan to crown his legacy.” To prevent this, the Economist calls for action: “America requires weapons to deter China from launching an amphibious invasion…. China must be discouraged from trying to change Taiwan’s status by force even as it is reassured that America will not support a dash for formal independence by Taiwan.” Rather than achieving an actual resolution of the dispute, through a true detente and discussion, the British magazine suggests an effort to “sustain ambiguity,” maintaining the state of conflict while acknowledging that “The risk of a superpower arms race is high.” The full article is here.


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