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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat May 02, 2020 2:10 pm

Merits, flaws in trials of drug for COVID-19
By ZHANG ZHIHAO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-05-02 06:48

A sign is posted in front of the Gilead Sciences headquarters on April 29, 2020 in Foster City, California. [Photo/Agencies]

Scientists have recently reported mixed clinical results for the closely watched experimental COVID-19 drug remdesivir, with the Chinese trial finding no significant benefits while the preliminary data from the United States claimed patients receiving the drug had seen improvements.

Experts around the world said both studies have their merits and flaws. Nevertheless, current clinical evidence suggests remdesivir may not be the magic bullet it was assumed to be by some media outlets. More research into the drug's efficacy and side effects are necessary.

Due to the Chinese trial not reaching its target enrollment, and the US study not being peer-reviewed or published, their findings should be taken with a grain of salt, they said, adding the public should not rush to dismiss or endorse the drug.

On Thursday, the journal Lancet published peer-reviewed results of the drug's clinical trial in China, led by Cao Bin, vice-president of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital.

The study was based on 237 patients, far less than the intended sample size of 453 cases, and this deficiency was due to the steep decline in the total number of COVID-19 cases in China, the authors said.

The Chinese study was a double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial-the golden standard for clinical research. The study found that the median number of days to show clinical improvement in the remdesivir group was 21 days, not significantly different from that in the control group, which was 23.

The drug also did not significantly lower the mortality rate of patients. The test group had a morality rate of 14 percent, while that of the control group was 13 percent.

Meanwhile, both groups shared a similar ratio of patients who experienced adverse effects, with 66 percent and 64 percent in the testing and control groups respectively.

The most common adverse events in both groups were constipation, a low level of albumin in the blood, and a deficiency of red blood cells.

However, 18 patients in the test group dropped out of the study due to serious side effects such as respiratory failure, compared to four dropouts in the control group.

On Thursday, Cao said in his article on Breath-Circles, a Chinese media platform for respiratory medical professionals, that remdesivir did not reach the expected therapeutic results in his study, but at least the drug is proven to be generally safe.

But due to the study being underpowered, the Chinese authors cautioned against too much being read into their results. They suggested further research, especially with regard to exploring the drug's potency in early treatment or in conjunction with other antiviral treatments.

As for the US study, which is being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, preliminary results said patients who received remdesivir had a 31 percent faster recovery time than the control group, according to information released by the National Institutes of Health on Thursday.

The median recovery time was 11 days for treated patients compared with 15 days for those in the control group. The results also suggested a slight decrease in the mortality rate of 8 percent for the group receiving the drug versus 11.6 percent for the control group.

The US study, which began on Feb 21, was a double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial involving 1,063 patients. The NIH did not release information about the adverse effects or the dosage used in the experiment, but promised to release comprehensive and peer-reviewed data in a later report.

Cao told Chinese media that objectively speaking, the Chinese trial was more rigorously designed, but he admitted it was difficult to compare the two studies due to different experiment designs and endpoint criteria.

In the Chinese study, a patient could only be enrolled within 12 days of the onset of symptoms, so to avoid interference from other treatments and to ensure more accurate results. The US study did not have this requirement, according to the NIH.

In addition, the criteria for recovery were more lenient in the US study, Cao said. The US study defines the day of recovery as the first day on which the subject satisfies one of the following three categories: being hospitalized but not requiring supplemental oxygen, not being hospitalized but with limited activities, or not being hospitalized and with no limitations on activities.

The Chinese study had a six-point scale to describe a range of clinical status from discharged to hospitalized with ventilators to intensive care patients needing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a life support machine that pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood from outside the body.

Clinical improvement is documented if a patient's condition improves by two levels or more on the scale. "If remdesivir is really a wonder cure, then it should have shown an obvious therapeutic advantage compared with the control group," Cao told news outlet Caixin.

In a comment published in the Lancet, John Norrie, a professor of medical statistics and trial methodology at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, said that while the Chinese clinical trials were well designed, the results were inconclusive due to insufficient statistical power.

"However, a trial is not just its primary clinical outcome-there are important data on safety, viral load, and secondary outcomes," he said.

Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the US study featured some encouraging results, but full assessment cannot be made without seeing the full publication of its outcomes.

"This is the first substantial evidence that remdesivir has genuine benefits, but they are certainly not dramatic," he said. ... 53263.html

Here's an opinion piece you will not see in the US propaganda onslaught:
COVID-19 crisis: Older persons are the pillars of our society – we cannot leave them behind
By Kaveh Zahedi and Eduardo Klien | | Updated: 2020-05-01 13:47

A man wearing a protective mask walks past a closed restaurant, during the lockdown amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Madrid, April 4, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

COVID-19 is turning our world upside down, especially for those at the end of the age spectrum. The virus and its rapid spread are challenging science, economy and society—as well as how we care for older persons.

We know that the risk of dying from COVID-19 increases significantly with age. Evidence from Asia and the Pacific shows that case fatality rates rise markedly by decade for persons between the ages of 50 to 80. Due to public health measures, many older persons will die alone, without family and friends. COVID-19 has stripped them of their fundamental human rights – including the right to live and die with dignity.

In Asia and the Pacific, there are 630 million older persons aged 60 years or over. However, it is not only age that poses a higher risk. Older persons tend to be more affected by chronic and non-communicable diseases, making them more vulnerable to succumbing to COVID-19. Those with disabilities are at a particularly high risk since they are often poor, in vulnerable employment without adequate social protection and dependent on others.

Personal distancing has also had a heavy impact on older persons. Those living alone, particularly older women, may become lonelier and more vulnerable to abuse. Persons with disabilities will be unable to receive assistance. Gatherings of older persons' associations – an effective tool for their empowerment - are no longer possible. Those confined in care homes remain without the safeguards afforded by regular contact with the outside world. These factors can undermine an older person's mental and physical health and exacerbate social exclusion.

Weak social protection and limited access to affordable health care in the region make it less likely for older persons to seek care when showing symptoms of COVID-19. Informal workers without social protection –which includes most working older persons- cannot afford to self-isolate as it threatens their sources of income. ESCAP and HelpAge International have promoted social protection through universal schemes, including social pensions, as well as access to Universal Health Care.

Early detection and testing of COVID-19 has led to effective and timely policy interventions. We must ensure immediately that all older persons with symptoms get tested and treated. For those who cannot afford testing, we must provide adequate health care and social protection.

Although many cases require us to avoid personal contact with older persons, we must reach out to our parents, grandparents, older neighbors and friends to ensure that their basic needs are met. We must engage with them socially, show our respect and assure them how much they matter to all of us, especially in times of crisis. In our interactions with older persons we must be more risk-averse, but not discriminatory.

The post-COVID-19 world will not be the same as before. We know that times ahead will be difficult, unemployment will be high and poverty widespread. While governments in many countries, including in Asia and the Pacific, have announced cash transfers and support to small and medium enterprises (SME) to mitigate the impacts of the crisis, it is imperative that they reach everyone.

We must also reduce the digital divide. Access to information and communications technology (ICT) can play a crucial mitigating role during crises, and it must be made available to older persons. ICT can help them manage aspects of their chronic diseases independently, which saves costs and reduces exposure to diseases from visiting hospitals and clinics. Using ICT to diagnose diseases can also help with early detection of disease and in turn early treatment and warning of developing disease hotspots. ESCAP is implementing a project exploring the feasibility of using ICT to support older persons in coping with chronic diseases. HelpAge is also integrating ICT in home and community care projects in the region.

Timely, reliable and age-disaggregated data are crucial to supporting targeted interventions among older persons. As they face unique challenges, tailored data can help devise more effective responses and longer-term solutions.

Older persons are crucial pillars of our societies, and their voice must be heard. They are the pioneers who have made the region prosper. It is our responsibility to reduce their vulnerabilities and ensure that older persons live without discrimination.

COVID-19 is challenging our commitment and capacity to leave no one behind. ESCAP and HelpAge work together and stand ready to support member States in responding to challenges, while aiming at policies for ageing societies based on the fundamentals of human rights: equality and dignity for all.

The author Kaveh Zahedi is Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Eduardo Klien is Regional Director, Asia, HelpAge International. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website. ... 531ad.html
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Tue May 05, 2020 4:27 pm

The general characteristics of Chinese market socialism

We propose the translation of an extract from the book “ LA CHINE EST-ELLE CAPITALISTE? “, By Rémy Herrera (French Marxist economist, researcher at CNRS and Sorbonne, Paris) and Zhiming Long (Chinese Marxist economist of the School of Marxism at Tsinghua University, Beijing), a volume that we had already had the opportunity to present . Image

With this text we intend to provide an in-depth analysis of Chinese socialism, its main characteristics and its functioning.

For Marx, capitalism implies a very clear separation between labor and ownership of the main means of production, with the holders of capital tending to become collectives, who no longer perform any type of work directly in the productions. This is fully realized in the current oligopolistic financialized capitalism, dominant in the United States and in the large capitalist countries of the center of the world system, where managementit is delegated to directors, and where the corporate profit takes the singular form of the value of the shares. According to this fundamental criterion for defining the capitalist system, it is clear that most of the small Chinese enterprises - which are extremely numerous on the whole national territory - move more from family or artisanal production than from the capitalist mode of production in the strict sense. Furthermore, the logic of capitalism is that of maximizing the individual profit perceived by the owners of the means of production. Well, this is not exactly what we can observe in most of the large Chinese public companies, as shown by the small amount, and even the non-existence, of dividends paid to the State, which rather resemble a "tax" on capital.

The separation of capital and labor is often very relative in China: it is reduced in public companies - which would even prevent us from strictly considering them as a form of "state capitalism" - and even more so in the economy called "collective ", Where the workers participate in the ownership of the capital of the production units, or they also own it directly, as in the case of cooperatives (whether they are joint-stock or not) and the remaining" popular municipalities ". Of course, even in these collective entities, workers frequently remain, to a certain extent, "separated" from management, but all this collective, non-state economy, which is not a trivial matter, certainly cannot be enlisted under the banner. of "capitalism".

As we have already had the opportunity to exhibit in a series of previous works, made four-handed with Tony Andréani , we give a reading of the Chinese political-economic system as a market socialism, or with a market. In fact, such a socialism would be based on the following ten pillars, which are largely foreign to capitalism:

I) the persistence of powerful and modern planning - general framework of application of the development strategy followed - which is no longer the rigid and hyper-centralized system of the early days of the revolution, but which now takes different modes and mobilizes differentiated tools depending on the sectors concerned

II) a form of political democracy, certainly perfectible, but which makes the collective choices that underlie planning possible

III) the existence of widespread public services which determine the conditions of political, social and economic citizenship and which, as such, remain outside the logic of the market, or scarcely commercial;

IV) ownership of land and natural resources that remains in the public domain, both state-owned at national level and collective at local level, thus guaranteeing farmers access to land;

V) diversified forms of property, suitable for the socialization of the productive forces: public companies (which differ clearly from capitalist transnationals, especially as regards worker participation in management), small individual private property or socialized property - capitalist property, during a long socialist transition is maintained, even encouraged, in order to boost overall economic activity and encourage other forms of ownership to be effective;

VI) a general policy aimed at relatively higher increases in wages compared to other sources of income;

VII) the declared will of social justice promoted by public authorities, according to an egalitarian perspective (in the face of a ten-year trend of aggravation of social inequalities, which involve clear risks of political destabilization);

VIII) the priority given, explicitly and credibly, to the preservation of the environment, the protection of nature is now considered by the country's public authorities as inseparable (and not antagonistic) to social progress, as a development objective that maximizes wealth effective;

IX) a conception of economic relations between states based on a win-win principle

X) political relations between states that are based on the systematic search for peace and more balanced relations between peoples.

The analysis of each of these points is obviously not obvious, and is the subject of bitter debates in China as well as abroad - debates which are far from being concluded but which exist and must be deepened without preconceptions or commonplaces. Although many limits can be seen, and many criticisms addressed (especially that of being impregnated with numerous market mechanisms, evidently capitalist ), we will see that "Chinese" or "with Chinese characteristics" socialism, when compare with the reading grid established on these ten points, do not deviate much from it.

As proof, we will examine below the fundamental role of large public companies in the Chinese economy and society […]


In China, various arguments are put forward to justify the importance of the role played by large public enterprises: the latter can first of all distribute to a greater extent to their employees; then, the State is free to define the most appropriate management methods (especially regarding remuneration); and finally, the public authority can more easily put them at the service of its collective projects. In addition, through the various tools available to the investment management body, the State allocates the profits received to a special support fund for public entities that may need it. On the other hand, the latter also enjoy certain advantages, especially with regard to credit lines and interest rates allowed by state banks. So all this fits if anything,

One of the reasons for the strength of Chinese public companies is that they are not managed like western transnational companies. The latter, listed on the stock exchange and entirely oriented towards the logic of the value of the shares, require the maximization of the distribution of dividends to their private owners, the valorisation of the shares and the rapid return on investments (short-term returns); they work by squeezing a whole chain of subcontractors, domestic or outsourced. If the Chinese public groups behaved in the same way, in such a rapacious way, they would act to the detriment of local small and medium-sized enterprises and, more generally, of the entire national industrial fabric, which does not seem clearly to occur. We would then have to deal with a wild form of "state capitalism" - as we often hear about China - and it is not clear how this could produce such dynamic economic growth. Most of these large Chinese public enterprises are (or have returned to be) profitable because the compass that guides them is not the enrichment of private shareholders, but the priorities given to productive investment and the service rendered to their customers. In the end, it does not matter that their profits are lower than those of their western competitors if they serve, at least in part, to stimulate the rest of the domestic economy and to overcome an approach of immediate profitability since they direct long-term strategic interests term and nationwide. and it is not clear how this could produce such dynamic economic growth. Most of these large Chinese public enterprises are (or have returned to be) profitable because the compass that guides them is not the enrichment of private shareholders, but the priorities given to productive investment and the service rendered to their customers. In the end, it does not matter that their profits are lower than those of their western competitors if they serve, at least in part, to stimulate the rest of the domestic economy and to overcome an approach of immediate profitability since they direct long-term strategic interests term and nationwide. and it is not clear how this could produce such dynamic economic growth. Most of these large Chinese public enterprises are (or have returned to be) profitable because the compass that guides them is not the enrichment of private shareholders, but the priorities given to productive investment and the service rendered to their customers. In the end, it does not matter that their profits are lower than those of their western competitors if they serve, at least in part, to stimulate the rest of the domestic economy and to overcome an approach of immediate profitability since they direct long-term strategic interests term and nationwide. Most of these large Chinese public enterprises are (or have returned to be) profitable because the compass that guides them is not the enrichment of private shareholders, but the priorities given to productive investment and the service rendered to their customers. In the end, it does not matter that their profits are lower than those of their western competitors if they serve, at least in part, to stimulate the rest of the domestic economy and to overcome an approach of immediate profitability since they direct long-term strategic interests term and nationwide. Most of these large Chinese public enterprises are (or have returned to be) profitable because the compass that guides them is not the enrichment of private shareholders, but the priorities given to productive investment and the service rendered to their customers. In the end, it does not matter that their profits are lower than those of their western competitors if they serve, at least in part, to stimulate the rest of the domestic economy and to overcome an approach of immediate profitability since they direct long-term strategic interests term and nationwide.

One of the specificities of large Chinese public companies is thus to pay a few dividends to the shareholder state (about 10% of profits). Today, many international experts recommend increasing these dividends, and it happens that even in China, the Stock Exchange Adjustment Commission seems to sometimes tend to do so. However, such an orientation, inspired by the practices of the northern capitalist transnationals, does not seem to us to be the right formula, since these public enterprises would then find themselves deprived of some of their major strengths and, while remaining controlled by the state, would have a tendency to distribute more and more dividends in order to compete for the favors of private shareholders, as Western companies are led to do - which depend on the portfolio management of the world's dominant banking and financial oligopolies. In this regard, it would certainly be better for the state to introduce an official capital tax, in the form of a "fee" for the making available of its assets, and that profitable public companies can retain a large part of their profits for productive investment purposes and Research and Development.

In our view, Chinese public companies, including those operating in the industrial sector, should not be managed as private groups. Indeed, "Chinese market socialism" is based on maintaining a powerful public sector whose role is absolutely strategic for the economy. Everything leads us to think that one of the fundamental reasons for good performance lies hereof the Chinese economy, with all due respect to the neoliberal ideologues who advocate the generalization of private property and the maximization of individual profit. This is undoubtedly also linked to the size of Chinese companies, authentic giants whose activities generate economies of scale that reduce costs at all levels and provide a myriad of local small and medium-sized enterprises with cheap production factors, thus guaranteeing conditions competitive manufacturing on the markets.

Another "superiority" of Chinese public companies lies in the fact of authorizing a participation (certainly limited - compared to the communist ideal of effective control by producers over all decisions regarding the organization of production units), but very real ) of their management staff, especially via their representatives to the Supervisory Board and the Workers' Congress. On the other hand, the introduction of the principles of equity logic would result in such worker participation, which, on the contrary, must be strengthened to the maximum.

A further advantage, large public enterprises can easily respond to planning objectives which, in the socialist economy, seek primarily to guarantee the maximum possible fulfillment of the needs of the whole population and promote economic and social development. Certainly political tasks should not be imposed on these companies which would jeopardize their autonomy and weigh on their results. However, under the supervision of the appointments and the management of the highest managers, the public authorities, on which many production units in the country depend, have a concrete tool to ensure that they will act as is appropriate in public services - but also in the commercial sectors, that the plan can help guide (through grants, taxation ...).

Translation and presentation by Alberto Ferretti


Google Translator
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Fri May 08, 2020 1:47 pm

Latest on the novel coronavirus outbreak | Updated: 2020-05-08 20:08
The novel coronavirus has spread across China and beyond.

May 8

Outside China


The latest figures reported by each government's health authority as of May 8, 2020.
- UN launches updated response plan to help fragile countries fight COVID-19 (Read more)

- US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence test negative after White House valet contracts coronavirus (Read more)

- France to start 'very gradual' easing of lockdown from May 11 (Read more)

- COVID-19 cases surpass 50,000 in Africa as action needed to stem spread (Read more)

- Japan approved Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 (Read more)



Data released by National Health Commission by midnight, May 7, 2020.
- Chinese mainland reports 1 new COVID-19 infection on Thursday (Read more)

- Shanghai to lower emergency response to COVID-19 from second to third level from tomorrow (Read more)

May 7

Outside China

- Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 260,000 -- Johns Hopkins University

- Lockdown easing must be managed carefully, warns WHO (Read more)

- India's total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases crossed the 50,000 mark (Read more)

- US President Donald Trump said his coronavirus task force would shift its primary focus to reviving US business and social life (Read more)

- The European Commission said the EU economy will experience a recession of historic proportions this year due to the coronavirus pandemic (Read more)


People wearing face masks wait for a table at a restaurant in Beijing, on May 7, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

- Chinese mainland reports 2 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, both imported cases

- All regions in China have seen their risk level downgraded to the lowest level starting today ... 15085.html

Bolding added.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Mon May 11, 2020 1:06 pm

How anti-China stories are concocted: On bio-chemical weapons
10 MAY, 2020 ~ 2 COMMENTS
A couple of earlier posts dealt with the way anti-China stories are concocted (see here and here). This post deals with yet another example, now in terms of bio-chemical weapons.

As it becomes increasingly obvious that the state systems of Western liberalism (bourgeois states) are unable to cope with a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, and as they are clearly unable to accept their inadequacy and failings, they have been flailing about trying to blame others. The conspiracy theory of choice in some delusional quarters of the world is the ‘Wuhan Laboratory’ theory: a biological weapon ‘accidentally’ escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology – or so the story goes. This conspiracy theory hung about for a while on the fringes, until it began to be pumped by some propaganda outfits and even some political ‘leaders’.


The whole ‘Wuhan Lab’ story is falling apart more and more every day: medical researchers have routinely debunked it, and cases of COVID-19 have now been found in France and the USA in November 2019, with no connections to China.

But let us look at one piece of supposed ‘evidence’. A comrade from Italy tells me that NATO bodies have been promoting 4-5 articles a day in the Western European media, all of them trying to blame Russia, China and so on, especially since public opinion in places like Italy is shifting more and more favourably to China.

In one such article, a book by Guo Jiwei was mentioned. The book’s title is Bio-Technological Warfare (Zhishengquan zhanzheng), and it was published in 2010 (see here).


According to the anti-China propaganda, this book provides a theoretical background for China to develop biological weapons, in light of the changing conditions of war.

There is one problem: the book says nothing of the sort. Instead, its concern is with how China can defend itself against bio-technological weapons, which are being developed energetically by the United States. The book frames the analysis in light of three developments.

First, there is widespread suspicion that regular outbreaks of H1N1 (swine flu) in China are the result of US experiments with biological weapons. I might add that after the book was published (2010), two outbreaks of H1N1 took place in China in 2019, in the context of the early stages of the ‘trade war’ that the US launched against China, among other countries. Suspicions were raised once again about US biological weapons development.

Second, since the 1980s US researchers have collected – illegally – hundreds of thousands of blood samples from Chinese participants. These blood samples were acquired by ‘collaborative’ researchers and then taken illegally out of China, for the sake of genomic research.

Third, since 2003 the USA has established numerous centres for research on biological weapons, especially in the former republics of the Soviet Union. Russia has been keeping a close eye on these centres, as has China.

In light of these developments, the book – and it is only one among many – urges China to develop comprehensive defence mechanisms to deal with this ramping up of bio-technological weapons by the USA.

I am not sure whether the article in Italy was a result of deliberate distortion of the book’s argument, or whether it was based on inadequate knowledge of Chinese language. Either way, the book’s whole purpose has been twisted to say the opposite of what it actually says. Yet another example of efforts to concoct completely bogus anti-China stories.

A few excerpts from the book (sent by a comrade in China and translated by me):

In regard to H1N1: ‘Once again, it has raised serious questions about the ongoing genetic modification of the virus by US military agencies … the United States and others used Indonesian bird flu samples sent to the World Health Organisation to conduct genetic operations for military purposes in the Los Alamos National Laboratory. US military laboratories have been using bird flu, Asian flu and other viruses that are not recognised by the immune system to enhance their bio-lethal research and have been testing it in some parts of the world, monitored by the US military … Documents reveal that the US military has obtained the complete genome of the Spanish flu virus, which is the same strain as the bird flu and influenza A virus’ (pp. 77-78).

On the US’s illegal collection of Chinese blood samples: ‘Since 1995, the School of Public Health at Harvard University in the United States has collected blood samples from more than 4,000 families and 16,000 people in Anhui Province for genetic research. In the 1990s, this kind of removal of gene sampling to foreign countries took place many times, involving tens of thousands of people, with a total coverage of almost 200 million Chinese people. The sample screening in Anhui alone was designed for 6 million people … . The purpose was to design special diseases, identify genetic characteristics, developmental sciences, ethnic susceptibility and other aspects. The “Human Research Protection Office” under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified in its findings on March 28, 2002, that the 15 human genetic research projects conducted by these US institutions in China had “widespread and serious” violations in the areas of bioethics, supervision and management, and ensuring the safety of participants’ (p. 122).

China’s response: ‘Attach as much importance to building up the capability of biological micro-development as to national defence. To form a defence concept integrating research, application and industrialisation, to make breakthroughs in biosafety and countering bio-terrorism technologies, and to establish a number of high-level biological laboratories (P3 and P4 laboratories), which will become a research and development base for the prevention and treatment of major infectious diseases and bio-terrorism, develop vaccines, therapeutic drugs and detection technologies for major bio-terrorism, and establish and improve a technical network for the monitoring, early warning and defence against invasive alien organisms … [We should also work] to develop international rules and self-protection policies for life science research and its application and development’ (p. 126).

In sum, as has been China’s way for thousands of years of history, its concern has been and remains suitable protection against foreign intervention and invasion. ... l-weapons/
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Tue May 12, 2020 11:48 am

Latest on the novel coronavirus outbreak | Updated: 2020-05-12 16:20
The novel coronavirus has spread across China and beyond.

May 12

Outside China

The latest figures reported by each government's health authority as of May 12, 2020.

- COVID-19 deaths in the US top 80,000, according to Johns Hopkins University tally.

- WHO says slow easing of lockdowns paramount (Read more)

- Pence tests negative for coronavirus; White House directs West Wing staff to wear masks at all times (Read more)

- UK death toll tops 32,000, Germany to earmark 750 million euros for vaccine (Read more)

- Italy lets local authorities decide reopening dates (Read more)

- UN chief extends telecommuting arrangements to June 30 (Read more)

- Passenger train service to resume partially in India after 51 days (Read more)

Data released by National Health Commission by midnight, May 11, 2020.


- More than 100 million students, nearly 40% of the total, have returned to school in China: Ministry of Education (Read more)

- Chinese mainland reports one new COVID-19 infection, an imported case, on Monday (Read more) ... 15085.html
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Fri May 15, 2020 10:54 am

Latest on the novel coronavirus outbreak | Updated: 2020-05-15 16:30
The novel coronavirus has spread across China and beyond.

May 15

Outside China

The latest figures reported by each government's health authority as of May 15, 2020.

- Global COVID-19 deaths surpassed 300,000, reaching 300,074: Johns Hopkins University (Read more)

- Whistleblower warns US to endure "darkest winter in modern history" without better planning against COVID-19 (Read more)

- India's total COVID-19 cases surpass 80,000 mark, deaths rise to 2,649

- US health organization starts clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin to treat COVID-19 (Read more)

- UK COVID-19 deaths rise to 33,614 as another 428 patients die

- Germany to start border reopening (Read more)

- IMF experts warn Asia and Europe of risks behind rapid resumption (Read more)

- Italy's death toll from coronavirus rises by 262 to 31,368


Data released by National Health Commission by midnight, May 14, 2020.

- Chinese mainland reports 4 new COVID-19 cases, all from Northeast China's Jilin province (Read more)

- Mass testing for COVID-19 on all Wuhan residents will help protect people's health, fully resume social and economic order (Read more) ... 15085.html


Mass testing in Wuhan carried out to prevent further infection
By ZOU SHUO | | Updated: 2020-05-15 15:28

A medical worker collects a swab sample from an elderly woman for nucleic acid test at Hongshan district in Wuhan, Hubei province, May 14, 2020. The authorities in Wuhan have rolled out a new round of mass testing covering the city's entire population after a recent cluster of novel coronavirus infections. [Photo by Xue Zi/For China Daily]

Mass nucleic acid testing on all residents in Wuhan for COVID-19 will help protect people's health and fully resume social and economic order in the city, a senior official with the National Health Commission said on Friday.

Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the commission, said the mass testing is conducive to learning more about the scope of the epidemic in the city and carrying out targeted epidemic control and prevention measures.

Conducting nucleic acid tests on all Wuhan residents is no easy task in terms of mobilization and organization, he said at a news conference.

"We need to make sure people who have been tested earlier do not have close contact with those who will be tested later, and the accuracy of the test shall not be undermined by the large number of tests," he said.

Zeng said other local governments can also adjust epidemic prevention and control measures according to their real situation and testing capability.

Authorities in Wuhan launched a campaign to test all residents for novel coronavirus to quickly identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, after some new cases raised fears of a possible rebound of infections.

The city has reported several to a dozen asymptomatic cases every day recently and although these cases have been put under quarantine for treatment, they still have aroused concerns, according to a notice issued by the Wuhan government on Thursday.

The city has conducted nucleic acid tests on more than 3 million residents and will carry out the test on all residents that have not been tested before, it said.

Residents living in old communities, populous communities and communities with previous confirmed cases will be tested first, the notice said.

The city and district government will shoulder the costs for the tests, it added. ... 5601b.html
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat May 16, 2020 1:32 pm

What does a responsible country do in response to an epidemic? Improve its healthcare system

Any responsible country, when faced with an epidemic and its aftermath, would consider what it did well and what needs improving in terms of healthcare. This is precisely what China is doing now, as the country gets ready for the annual meetings of the ‘Two Sessions’, the parliamentary bodies of its socialist system.

Before I copy an article on this process, let me pick up an earlier observation on China’s self-correcting socialist system. It comes from an article written for the Guangming Daily, which was published in Chinese on 12 May, 2020 (see here and here). In that article I wrote, in light of China stepping onto the centre of the global stage, the following:

I have begun to note an increasing confidence in China of talking about problems that need to be addressed. This discussion takes place in a global context. For example, some of the early local mistakes in Wuhan have been openly discussed, with a view to improving the system for responding to such crises in the future. In other words, China’s socialist system is a self-correcting system, always learning from problems and mistakes and seeking to improve – criticism and self-criticism is a crucial feature of the socialist system. In some parts of the world, this seems like a very different approach, for in those parts the standard approach is to blame someone else. This is a politicised response. By contrast, in China’s socialist system the problem in question is internal to the socialist system itself and thus needs to be corrected.

This is precisely what is happening with considerations as to how China can improve its already impressive healthcare system. Here is the article from the People’s Daily (click here):

As this year’s sessions of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference prepare to open next week, China Daily will publish a series of stories focusing on the achievements that have been made and major issues expected to be discussed at the two sessions.

Consistent efforts are needed to empower small-scale medical facilities like community health centers to better prevent future outbreaks of major infectious diseases, said a top political adviser and senior expert.

The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed some weaknesses in the public health system within communities, said Wu Hao, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body.

As the largest city in Central China, Wuhan has a number of major hospitals, but the Hubei provincial capital was overwhelmed by large numbers of coronavirus patients at the early stage of the outbreak.

“It exposed the weaker capacity of local community health centers to provide medical services, which resulted in many patients unwilling to go to small-scale medical facilities for diagnosis and treatment even if they were nearby,” said Wu, who is also head of an expert team focused on community epidemic control under the central leading group for COVID-19 epidemic control, and director of the Fangzhuang community health service center in Beijing.

“This resulted in mass cross-infections at major hospitals that were overwhelmed with fever patients,” he said.

Wu said many community-level hospitals and clinics in China, including those in Wuhan, did not have fever clinics for reasons such as a lack of qualified personnel, forcing those with high temperatures-including some suspected infectious patients-to go to big hospitals for treatment.

China has been promoting reforms of its healthcare system in recent years, including narrowing the gap between smaller healthcare facilities and well-equipped larger public hospitals. But Wu said smaller medical institutions such as healthcare facilities in communities and rural areas are still the weak links in the overall healthcare chain.

Wu said that at the upcoming plenary session of the CPPCC National Committee-which kicks off next week in Beijing-he plans to make suggestions and proposals to improve the tiered healthcare system that gives smaller medical institutions a more important role in disease prevention, control and treatment.

“We need to empower smaller medical facilities in communities and rural areas so that they become scouts and detect signs of disease outbreak at early stages. More integration between smaller medical facilities and local disease control and prevention centers is needed so they work better together for epidemic control in cases of major public health emergencies,” he said.

In addition, the latest information technology such as big data should be adopted at small-scale medical facilities to aid future epidemic control.

“With big data technology, epidemiologists can conduct investigations much more quickly to find close contacts of patients and place them in isolation, rather than having to find them via personal visits. This will prevent the spread of diseases more effectively. On the other hand, legislation is needed to protect the privacy of those having data accessed,” Wu added.

Ao Hushan-another member of the CPPCC National Committee and an anesthesiologist at Fuwai Hospital in Beijing-said that the internet has played a very important role in helping fight COVID-19 in China, and helped many patients with non-COVID-19 diseases or health problems who were unwilling or unable to visit hospitals at the height of the outbreak have access to medical services.

“Integrating internet and information technology with the medical care sector brings benefits to patients and contributes to more balanced distribution of medical resources,” Ao said. “I will suggest intensified efforts be made in this area, including research and development into more medical equipment that can be used for online medical care, and promoting development of private internet hospitals.”

In addition, consistent efforts are needed to promote domestic R&D of high-end medical equipment, Ao said, adding that the lack of such equipment has hindered COVID-19 control in some places in China.

“For example, many domestic producers of mechanical ventilators, which are used to assist with severe COVID-19 cases, had to suspend production due to lack of supply of core parts from overseas,” he said. “We need to make more efforts, including placing more importance on basic research to improve safety and reliability of domestically made medical equipment, so it can be more extensively used in hospitals and clinics.” ... re-system/
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Tue May 19, 2020 11:53 am

At the centre of the global stage: Xi Jinping’s speech at the opening of the World Health Assembly
19 MAY, 2020 ~

We are living in extraordinary times. As the last Western colonising power removes itself from any realistic global leadership (apart from dummy-spitting petulance), for the first time in centuries an Eastern power has taken centre stage. To be sure, the gaggle of former colonisers known as the ‘West’ are still in a state of stunned disbelief. But they will need to get used to it. Their time has gone, in what may well turn out to be an anomaly in human history. From the time of the first capitalist empire of the Dutch in the 16th century to the afterthought of the US empire in the 20th century – all of this is an anomaly. We are in the time of the sunset of the West.

It is not only an Eastern power that has taken on the mantle, but the strongest socialist country in human history.

An example of global responsibility is this speech by Xi Jinping at the opening of the World Health Assembly on 18 May, 2020. Full text in Chinese here, in English here.

Fighting COVID-19 Through Solidarity and Cooperation
Building a Global Community of Health for All

Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At Virtual Event of Opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly

Beijing, 18 May 2020

President of the World Health Assembly,
Director General of the World Health Organization,
Dear Delegates,To begin with, I wish to say that it is of significant importance for this World Health Assembly to be held at such a critical moment as the human race battles this novel coronavirus.
What we are facing is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. Catching the world by surprise, COVID-19 has hit over 210 countries and regions, affected more than seven billion people around the world and claimed over 300,000 precious lives. I mourn for every life lost and express condolences to the bereaved families.

The history of human civilization is one of fighting diseases and tiding over disasters. The virus does not respect borders. Nor is race or nationality relevant in the face of the disease. Confronted by the ravages of COVID-19, the international community has not flinched. The people of all countries have tackled the virus head on. Around the world, people have looked out for each other and pulled together as one. With love and compassion, we have forged extraordinary synergy in the fight against COVID-19.

In China, after making painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifice, we have turned the tide on the virus and protected the life and health of our people. All along, we have acted with openness, transparency and responsibility. We have provided information to WHO and relevant countries in a most timely fashion. We have released the genome sequence at the earliest possible time. We have shared control and treatment experience with the world without reservation. We have done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need.

Mr. President,

Even as we meet, the virus is still raging, and more must be done to bring it under control. To this end, I want to make the following proposals:

First, we must do everything we can for COVID-19 control and treatment. This is a most urgent task. We must always put the people first, for nothing in the world is more precious than people’s lives. We need to deploy medical expertise and critical supplies to places where they are needed the most. We need to take strong steps in such key areas as prevention, quarantine, detection, treatment and tracing. We need to move as fast as we can to curb the global spread of the virus and do our best to stem cross-border transmission. We need to step up information sharing, exchange experience and best practice, and pursue international cooperation on testing methods, clinical treatment, and vaccine and medicine research and development. We also need to continue supporting global research by scientists on the source and transmission routes of the virus.

Second, the World Health Organization should lead the global response. Under the leadership of Dr. Tedros, WHO has made a major contribution in leading and advancing the global response to COVID-19. Its good work is applauded by the international community. At this crucial juncture, to support WHO is to support international cooperation and the battle for saving lives as well. China calls on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.

Third, we must provide greater support for Africa. Developing countries, African countries in particular, have weaker public health systems. Helping them build capacity must be our top priority in COVID-19 response. The world needs to provide more material, technological and personnel support for African countries. China has sent a tremendous amount of medical supplies and assistance to over 50 African countries and the African Union. Five Chinese medical expert teams have also been sent to the African continent. In total, in the past seven decades, over 200 million people in Africa have received care and treatment from Chinese medical teams. At present, 46 resident Chinese medical teams are in Africa helping with COVID-19 containment efforts locally.

Fourth, we must strengthen global governance in the area of public health. We human beings will eventually prevail over the coronavirus. Yet this may not be the last time a major health emergency comes knocking at our door. In view of the weaknesses and deficiencies exposed by COVID-19, we need to improve the governance system for public health security. We need to respond more quickly to public health emergencies and establish global and regional reserve centers of anti-epidemic supplies. China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies. This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.

Fifth, we must restore economic and social development. While working on an ongoing basis to contain the virus, countries where conditions permit may reopen businesses and schools in an orderly fashion in observance of WHO’s professional recommendations. In the meantime, international macroeconomic policy coordination should be stepped up and the global industrial and supply chains be kept stable and unclogged if we are to restore growth to the world economy.

Sixth, we must strengthen international cooperation. Mankind is a community with a shared future. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon for defeating the virus. This is the key lesson the world has learned from fighting HIV/AIDS, Ebola, avian influenza, influenza A (H1N1) and other major epidemics. And solidarity and cooperation is a sure way through which we, the people of the world, can defeat this novel coronavirus.

Mr. President,

China stands for the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. China takes it as its responsibility to ensure not just the life and health of its own citizens, but also global public health. For the sake of boosting international cooperation against COVID-19, I would like to announce the following:

— China will provide US$2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.

— China will work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster “green corridors” for fast-track transportation and customs clearance.

— China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity.

— COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

— China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries. China is also ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service, so that they could tide over the current difficulties.

To conclude, I call on all of us to come together and work as one. Let’s make concerted efforts to protect the life and health of people in all countries. Let’s work together to safeguard planet Earth, our common home. Let’s work together to build a global community of health for all!

I thank you. ... -assembly/

Yes, indeed.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Wed May 20, 2020 5:34 pm

1990. China’s economy has come to a halt. The Economist
1996. China’s economy will face a hard landing. The Economist
1998. China’s economy’s dangerous period of sluggish growth. The Economist
1999. Likelihood of a hard landing for the Chinese economy. Bank of Canada
2000. China currency move nails hard landing risk coffin. Chicago Tribune
2001. A hard landing in China. Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas
2002. China Seeks a Soft Economic Landing. Westchester University
2003. Banking crisis imperils China. New York Times
2004. The great fall of China? The Economist
2005. The Risk of a Hard Landing in China. Nouriel Roubini
2006. Can China Achieve a Soft Landing? International Economy
2007. Can China avoid a hard landing? TIME
2008. Hard Landing In China? Forbes
2009. China’s hard landing. China must find a way to recover. Fortune
2010: Hard landing coming in China. Nouriel Roubini
2011: Chinese Hard Landing Closer Than You Think. Business Insider
2012: Economic News from China: Hard Landing. American Interest
2013: A Hard Landing In China. Zero Hedge
2014. A hard landing in China. CNBC
2015. Congratulations, You Got Yourself A Chinese Hard Landing. Forbes
2016. Hard landing looms for China. The Economist
2017. Is China’s Economy Going To Crash? National Interest
2018. China’s Coming Financial Meltdown. The Daily Reckoning.
2019 China’s Economic Slowdown: How worried should we be? BBC
2020. Coronavirus Could End China’s Decades-Long Economic Growth Streak. NY Times

List courtesy d dan in comments at MoA. If this ain't a hoot then I just don't know....the capitalists only see what they wanna see. When your enemy believes their own propaganda yer half way home.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat May 23, 2020 2:25 pm

China's Move In Hong Kong Illustrates The End Of U.S. Superiority
Blaming China for the Covid-19 pandemic is false. But the U.S. will continue to do so as a part of its larger anti-China strategy.

As the U.S. is busy countering the epidemic at home China has already defeated it within its borders. It now uses the moment to remove an issue the U.S. has long used to harass it. Hong Kong will finally be liberated from its U.S. supported racists disguised as liberals.

In late 1984 Britain and China signed a formal agreement which approved the 1997 release of Britain's colony Hong Kong to China. Britain had to agree to the pact because it had lost the capability to defend the colony. The Sino British Joint Declaration stipulated that China would create a formal law that would allow Hong Kong to largely govern itself.

The 'Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China' is the de facto constitution of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. But it is a national law of China adopted by the Chinese National People's Congress in 1990 and introduced in Hong Kong in 1997 after the British rule ran out. If necessary the law can be changed.

Chapter II of the Basic Law regulates the relationship between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulated that Hong Kong will have to implement certain measures for internal security:

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.
Hong Kong has failed to create any of the laws demanded by Article 23. Each time its government tried to even partially implement such laws, in 2003, 2014 and 2019, protests and large scale riots in the streets of Hong Kong prevented it.

China was always concerned about the foreign directed unrest in Hong Kong but it did not press the issue while it was still depending on Hong Kong for access to money and markets.

In the year 2000 Hong Kong's GDP stood at $171 billion while China's was just 7 times larger at $1.200 billion. Last year Hong Kong's GDP had nearly doubled to $365 billion. But China's GDP had grown more than tenfold to $14,200 billion, nearly 40 times larger than Hong Kong's. Expressed in purchase power parity the divergence is even bigger. As an economic outlet for China Hong Kong has lost its importance.

Another factor that held China back from deeper meddling in Hong Kong was its concern about negative consequences from the U.S. and Britain. But under the Trump administration the U.S. has introduced more and more measures to shackle China's development. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed last year by the U.S. Congress demands that the U.S. government reports on Hong Kong and punishes those who it deems to be human right violators. The sanctions against Chinese companies and especially Huawei, recently expanded to a total economic blockade of 5G chip deliveries to that company, demonstrate that the U.S. will do anything it can to hinder China's economic success.

The Obama administration's 'pivot to Asia' was already a somewhat disguised move against China. The Trump administration's National Defense Strategy openly declared China a "strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea".

The U.S. Marine Corps is being reconfigured into specialized units designed to blockade China's access to the sea:

Thus, small Marine forces would deploy around the islands of the first island chain and the South China Sea, each element having the ability to contest the surrounding air and naval space using anti-air and antiship missiles. Collectively, these forces would attrite Chinese forces, inhibit them from moving outward, and ultimately, as part of a joint campaign, squeeze them back to the Chinese homeland.


The 'Cold War 2.0' the U.S. launched against China will now see significant counter moves.

Last year's violent riots in Hong Kong, cheered on by the borg in Washington DC, have demonstrated that the development in Hong Kong is on a bad trajectory that may endanger China.

There is no longer a reason for China to hold back on countering the nonsense. Hong Kong's economy is no longer relevant. U.S. sanctions are coming independent of what China does or does not do in Hong Kong. The U.S. military designs are now an obvious threat.

As the laws that Hong Kong was supposed to implement are not forthcoming, China will now create and implement them itself:

The central government is to table a resolution on Friday to enable the apex of its top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), to craft and pass a new national security law tailor-made for Hong Kong, it announced late on Thursday.
Sources earlier told the Post the new law would proscribe secessionist and subversive activity as well as foreign interference and terrorism in the city – all developments that had been troubling Beijing for some time, but most pressingly over the past year of increasingly violent anti-government protests.
According to a mainland source familiar with Hong Kong affairs, Beijing had come to the conclusion that it was impossible for the city’s Legislative Council to pass a national security law to enact Article 23 of the city’s Basic Law given the political climate. This was why it was turning to the NPC to take on the responsibility.

On May 28 the NPC will vote on a resolution asking its Standing Committee to write the relevant law for Hong Kong. It is likely to be enacted by promulgation at the end of June. The law will become part of Annex III of the Basic Law which lists "National Laws to be Applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".

Under the new law the U.S. will have to stop its financing of student organization, anti-government unions and media in Hong Kong. The opposition parties will no longer be allowed to have relations with U.S. influence operations.

The U.S. State Department promptly condemned the step:

Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of liberty. The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties, which are key to preserving its special status under U.S. law. Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory.
We stand with the people of Hong Kong.

It is not (yet?) The Coming War On China (video) but some hapless huffing and puffing that is strong on rhetoric but has little effect. No U.S. action can prevent China's government from securing its realm. Hong Kong is a Chinese city where China's laws, not U.S. dollars, are supreme.

The U.S. seems to believe it can win a cold war with China. But that understanding is wrong.

On the economic front it is not the U.S. that is winning by decoupling from China but Asia that is decoupling from the U.S.:

Since the US-China tech war began in April 2018 with Washington’s ban on chip exports to China’s ZTE Corporation, “de-Americanization of supply chains” has been the buzzword in the semiconductor industry.
Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia purchased about 50% more Chinese products in April 2020 than they did in the year-earlier month. Japan and Korea showed 20% gains. Exports to the US rose year-on-year, but from a very low 2019 base.

China’s imports from Asia also rose sharply.

When the U.S. prohibits companies, which use U.S. software or machines to design and make chips, from selling them to China then those companies will seek to buy such software and machines elsewhere. When the U.S. tries to hinder China's access to computer chips, China will build its own chip industry. Ten years from now it will be the U.S. which will have lost access to the then most modern ones as all of those will come from China. Already today it is China that dominates global trade.

The chaotic way in which the U.S. handles its Covid crisis is widely observed abroad. Those who see clearly recognized that it is now China, not the U.S., that is the responsible superpower. The U.S. is overwhelmed and will continue to be so for a long time:

This is why I don’t see the talk about a possible “Cold War 2.0” as meaningful or relevant. If there were to be any sort of “cold war” between the United States and China, then U.S. policymakers would still be able credibly to start planning how to manage this complex relationship with China. But in reality, the options for “managing” the core of this relationship are pitifully few, since the central task of whatever U.S. leadership emerges from this Covid nightmare will be to manage the precipitous collapse of the globe-circling empire the United States has sat atop of since 1945.
So here in Washington in Spring of 2020, I say, Let ’em huff and puff with their new flatulations of childish Sinophobia. Let them threaten this or that version of a new “Cold War”. Let them compete in elections– if these are to be held– on versions of “Who can be tougher on China.” But the cold reality shows that, as Banquo said, “It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
In his 2003 book After the Empire Emmanuel Todd described why the U.S. was moving towards the loss of its superpower status:

Todd calmly and straightforwardly takes stock of many negative trends, including America's weakened commitment to the socio-economic integration of African Americans, a bulimic economy that increasingly relies on smoke and mirrors and the goodwill of foreign investors, and a foreign policy that squanders the country's reserves of "soft power" while its militaristic arsonist-fireman behavior is met with increasing resistance.
The Covid-19 crisis has laid all this bare for everyone to see.

Will the U.S., as Todd predicted, now have to give up its superpower status? Or will it start a big war against China to divert the attention elsewhere and to prove its presumed superiority?

Posted by b on May 22, 2020 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink ... .html#more

As noted in b's comments that marine "strategy" is some of the most pathetically stupid wishful thinking I ever seen. They can't deal with Iran or Venezuela without fearing to expose their clay feet and they are going to contain China with light troops? That racist arrogance will leave a bunch more jarheads dead on wretched little islands but that's what they're good for...
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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