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Now what? President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is outraged. He wants an end to the U.S. military presence in his country. He wants to curb all cooperation with the U.S. armed forces. He hits hard, talks big. And his people seem to be behind him, no matter what – his popularity rating is high and rising, now around 87%, which is something unimaginable anywhere else in Southeast Asia, or in the world.

Under a colorful headline on February 7, 2020, ‘End that son of a b*tch’: Duterte confirms US-Philippines military collaboration agreement is toast’, RT reported:

“Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is “terminating” the Visiting Forces Agreement, which provides legal immunity to US military drills, in retaliation for the US canceling the visa of a political ally and fellow drug-warrior.

“The president said he is terminating the VFA,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told ABS-CBN News on Friday. “I asked for clarification and he said he is not changing his decision.” The agreement provides legal immunity for US soldiers conducting military exercises in the Philippines.

Enraged by the US decision to cancel the visa of former police chief and Senator Roland dela Rosa last month, Duterte had given Washington a month to fix its ‘mistake,’ refusing to back down even as other members of his government urged him to reconsider.

“I’m warning you… if you won’t do the correction on this, I will terminate the… Visiting Forces Agreement,” Duterte said last month, daring the US to call his bluff.”

Then few days later, on February 13, 2020, a letter was sent to his country’s tormentor and former colonialist master: ‘The Philippines has notified the United States that a major security pact is over.’“

Some say, all this is nothing new. The United States, the European Union, and even the United Nations keep attacking President Duterte. He hits back, insults his counter-parts, regularly threatening to kick out the U.S. and its military forces. He personally insults the leaders of Western countries, international organizations and even the Catholic Church which, in the Philippines, used to be untouchable.

Making Western leaders desperate, he calls China “the kindest nation on earth”, and he admires Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. In Manila, the Russian leader is now a masculine idol.

President Duterte is a self-proclaimed socialist. Critics say that many of his economic policies are still capitalist, even if his social policies are left-wing. But he has done precisely what most of his fellow citizens wanted him to do: he introduced free medical care and free education all the way to university level; something unthinkable in most of the Southeast Asian countries.

“Not enough has been done to improve the state of the nation,” says the academia, as well as the NGOs. But the poor love him, and so does the middle class. For them, what he has done is enough; much more than enough. Nobody did more for them in the past. 87% is an unprecedented level of support! The majority of Filipinos do not just support him – they love him, unconditionally.

Western mainstream media trashes Duterte left and right. Pro-Western NGOs are calling him a mass murderer, because of the war on drugs, which allegedly has taken thousands of lives.

His supporters reply:

“But before Duterte was sworn in, millions were rotting alive in desperate slums and enormous crime-infested cemeteries. Drug lords were murdering innocent people, and no Western NGOs were protesting.”

I listen to both sides of the story. For three years, I have been all ears.

The criticism and attacks from the West, all this seems to matter nothing to Duterte – he is moving forward like a tank. And his long-suffering country is improving, year after year. It is moving up, even according to the Human Development Index (HDI, compiled by the UNDP).

“I will kill you, you son of a bitch!”

Western media loves such statements, blasting them all over, as if they were some sort of proof that the President of the Philippines is a mafia-style murderous maniac.

But I am told by many in his restive home base in the south; in Davao City:

“No way; this is how we speak on Mindanao Island. President is Visaya – he says what comes to his mind. Tagalog people are polite, but their actions are often brutal. Talking dirty means nothing bad where Duterte comes from”.

*

But for the Southeast Asian region, the most important topic is how President Duterte is handling foreign policy.

All over Asia Pacific, the United States, desperate to keep its global hegemony, is antagonizing Beijing on all fronts. It is pushing China from all directions. The South China Sea is constantly in the spotlight, through the international courts (often controlled by the Western countries and interests) as well as through the Western mass media. The dispute over the Spratly Islands has been poisoning the relationship between Beijing and Manila for decades.

However, after Duterte became president, things changed, dramatically. The rhetoric significantly softened, and both China and the Philippines clearly stated that they are willing to talk, negotiate and compromise. To the great dismay of the West, any military conflict between two countries is now out of question.

This approach is having an enormous (although grossly under-reported) influence on the entire region’s policy towards China. The country that is watching particularly closely is China’s historic rival, and a fellow Communist state – Vietnam.

For quite some time, President Duterte expressed a desire to diversify his foreign policy, extending a hand towards both Moscow and Beijing.

In January 2020, in an exclusive interview for the RT, he stated, rebelliously:

“I want to open new fronts with Russia and China as US lived off the fat of our land… America is not the Philippines and the Philippines is not America. It ain’t that way anymore, and I refuse to dovetail under American foreign policy…”

But then again, his statements and actions do not seem to be adequate for everybody. Like in the West, many Marxist Filipino intellectuals are “purists”; they demand utopian Western-style Marxist, or even Anarcho-syndicalist methods of ‘governance’.

President Duterte is neither of the above. He is a spontaneous, emotional leader. He is pragmatic. He often acts on the spur of the moment; he makes good moves and he also makes blunders. Sometimes, after he makes mistakes, he corrects them; he steps back, and tries again.

He is not a simple man; he is tormented individual. Sexually molested by a priest when he was a child, he holds a grudge against Christianity. He grew up in a complex family. His mother and father came from different political spectrums: a socialist and an official, a civil servant.

To the horror of some, he has a soft spot for the former dictator Marcos. So were several members of his family.

*

The legendary left-wing academic, Roland Simbulan, a professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) and a good friend of mine, is even increasingly skeptical about the direction of the Duterte’s foreign policy. He wrote for this essay:

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Duterte, Philippines 
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Now it is becoming obvious who China’s friends are, and who her enemies are. In the West, many nations and individuals are celebrating the short-term difficulties that the Chinese nation is facing, pouring salt into the wound, while giving birth to anti-Chinese sentiments.

Even the WHO (World Health Organization) has been warning not to impose travel bans against the countries affected by coronavirus. And it is the WHO, which is praising Beijing repeatedly and loudly, for its performance during the fight against the new virus.

But no matter what doctors say, and what the objective data is, several Western countries have been maliciously smearing China’s determined and successful efforts to contain and combat the epidemy. They exaggerate the danger, spreading fear among the people all over the world. In a spiteful, manipulative and illogical way, they are connecting the epidemic to the entire Chinese system.

Whereas Russia, which is a close ally of China, but even Japan which is often politically antagonistic to Beijing, are keeping it relatively cool, feverishly working on developing an effective vaccine, the United States and many European countries are spreading fake news, issuing travel warnings, and effectively banning their citizens from travelling to Mainland China, even banning foreigners who have recently (within 14 days) visited China, from entering the United States.

Following bizarre logic, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar recently defended the actions of his government:

“The risk of infection for Americans remains low and with these and our previous actions we are working to keep the risk low.”

Anti-Chinese xenophobia in the United States is on the rise. Chinese people are banned from entering some restaurants, and racist punches are thrown everywhere.

Some statements are so racist, that they are actually illegal, even in the United States itself. One of the readers (with the handle name @melpol) of a large media site Unz.com, recently commented on my re-printed essay about the determined fight of China against the disease:

“The Chinese are DISGUSTING, souless frauds. I hope Coronavirus wipes out EVERY last one.”

Such declarations are shocking, but not really isolated.

Even the world-renowned Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who is not always on the side of Beijing, recently snapped angrily at the West and its racist attitude against China, in his essay writer for the RT:

“Coronavirus is all over the news, and I don’t pretend to be a medical specialist, but there is a question I’d like to raise: Where do facts end and where does ideology begin?

The first obvious enigma: There are far worse epidemics taking place, so why is there such an obsession with this one when thousands die daily from other infectious diseases?

Of course, an extreme case was the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic, known as Spanish flu, when the death toll is estimated to have been at least 50 million. Around this time, influenza has infected 15 million Americans: at least 140,000 people have been hospitalized and more than 8,200 people killed this season alone.

It seems racist paranoia is obviously at work here – remember all the fantasies about the Chinese women in Wuhan skinning live snakes and slurping bat soup. Whereas, in reality, a big Chinese city is probably one of the safest places in the world.”

But medical specialists are far from desperate about the outbreak. Coronavirus kills, but at much lower rates than many other diseases.

An analysis by the renowned British medical magazine, Lancet, was mentioned in the BBC report, and they basically revealed that fears of the coronavirus in the West are exaggerated:

“A report on the early stages of the outbreak by the Lancet medical journal said most patients who died from the virus had pre-existing conditions.

The report found that, of the first 99 patients treated at the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, 40 had a weak heart or damaged blood vessels. A further 12 had diabetes.

Most people infected are likely to fully recover – just as they would from a normal flu.

An expert at China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said that one week was sufficient for a recovery from mild coronavirus symptoms.”

Some medical experts, in Asia and all over the world, are obviously on the same page with Zizek and Lancet. According to the recent figures, around 17 thousand cases were reported. 361 patients lost their lives. That is 2% – comparatively lower than the mortality rate from many other diseases.

My doctor-friends in Hong Kong have commented, for this essay:

“Certainly, it is a very infectious virus. But the severity is much less than SARS. It is understandable that any country would not welcome such a virus. But as usual, the West would like to smear and weaken China. This virus usually kills old people with other morbidities. The one in Hong Kong who died was only 39, but had other diseases. The good news is that they have found 2 very effective anti-viral agents to treat this. The local people in the yellow camp try to exaggerate the viral attack to achieve political gains. Disgusting, especially with some medical staff on strike.”

 

Several airlines have cancelled flights to Mainland China, to all or at least some destinations, including Air France, United, American Airlines, Delta and British Airways. Obviously, when it was time to cash in on growing Chinese market, these airlines were ready to dispatch its biggest birds, including the Airbus 380-800. But during the crisis, instead of standing by its new clients, they stranded passengers, unceremoniously. One of my good friends in Beijing, for instance, has not been able to join her important work mission in Santiago de Chile, because her Air France ticket had been converted into nothing more than a useless piece of paper.

Once again, the better China’s performance is, the more it gets smeared, the more colorful the lies against her are.

Commenting for this essay, Mira Lubis, an Indonesian academic recalled how she was quarantined in Wuhan, even several years ago. She is still impressed by the Chinese health authorities:

“I think China treats all virus cases very carefully. And it doesn’t mean that this latest coronavirus is more harmful than other viruses. I was quarantined in Wuhan just for having a normal flu. Meaning they have very strict procedural standards, compared to other countries, even those in Europe or the United States. And they do it in order to defend people’s health.”

However, it is very difficult to expect objectivity from the countries which have been, for years and decades, been indoctrinated by anti-Chinese propaganda!

 

[First published by China Daily Hong Kong]

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, China, Coronavirus 
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Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist and Breitbart editor, was finally kicked out of an Italian monastery, which even Newsweek wittily described as a “far-right boot camp”.

This author, along with a few others, has been warning for some time that the former Trump’s top advisor had crossed all lines, and began directly interfering in the internal affairs of the European Union, by promoting and amalgamizing dangerous extreme right-wing alliances of all natures; political, philosophical and religious. The monastery was supposed to offer “classes”, which Bannon described as “the kind of underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West”.

Tactics? “A modern gladiator school”, according to Steve Bannon’s own assessment.

Journal NEO (New Easter Outlook) has already published one essay in 2019, analyzing Bannon’s activities in Italy and beyond: “Steve Bannon – a Profile of a US Apparatchik. From China to the Pope”. There, it was argued:

“Steve Bannon is a talented propagandist and promoter of Western supremacy and imperialist “culture”. He is extremely dangerous, mainly because he knows precisely what he is doing and what he wants to achieve: total control over the world.”

Last year, it was hard to imagine that Italy would dare to rock the boat, disturbing the activities of one of the most powerful and canny neo-cons in the world.

But the unimaginable suddenly took place.

Reported by Newsweek’s Rosie McCall:

“The Italian culture ministry has announced it evicted what has been described as a far-right political bootcamp from a thirteenth-century monastery, AFP reports. The bootcamp has ties to Steve Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, through its Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI), which Bannon funds.

According to AFP, the bootcamp—which had been established to train students to “defend the West”—had been given a 19 year lease on Trisulti Charterhouse in the Province of Frosinone, central Italy, in February 2018. However, the ministry said on Thursday that the group had falsely tendered for the lease, and thus they were evicted. This follows reports from May that the ministry was intending to revoke the lease due to “violations of various contractual obligations,” according to The Telegraph.

This will come as a blow to Benjamin Harnwell, a British conservative and the director of DHI, who had hoped to launch the first three-week course to a small group of students this year and was in the process of securing planning permission to revamp the venue. Harnwell is an associate of Bannon, who had reportedly promised to give $1 million to the project.”

Of course, the “boot camp” has been evicted on technicalities, not on ideological bases.

My contacts inside the ruling 5-Star-Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle) are hushed and cautious on the topic. Usually outspoken, they are reluctant to go on the record. I am only receiving bits and pieces of news. But what I get is telling. This are big, and extremely dangerous issues. Mr. Bannon has not been on Donald Trump’s team, for quite some time, but only few have any doubts that he is still working on behalf of the President’s neo-con crew.

What do I get from Rome? Barks of confused inside news, and requests not to use real names in my essays, when it comes to Bannon’s case:

“We have orders not to speak to the press, Andre… Until a decision is made by State Council… Here, inside the administration, it is a war; more than a war; a battle inside the government… and the Church. Pope Francis is against conservatives. The new Minister of Culture, Franceschini (PD) is linked to the Church… Things are uncertain until now. The Tar (Administrative Tribunal), threw its support behind Bannon and blocked the decision of the Minister of Culture. And now the State Council has to decide.”

Another source coming from Rome offered much more concrete analyses:

“There are parties in Italy, like the Northern League and “Fratelli d’Italia” [Italian Brothers] who are producing propaganda and take direct orders from Bannon, yielding to his hate towards China.”

Of course, this is big. The Northern League and “Fratelli d’Italia” are some of the most powerful political forces in Italy. The fact that they are under the boot of a U.S. right-wing extremist, is tremendous and scandalous news.

 

For a long time, Steve Bannon has been cheering right-wing forces in Italy and beyond.

According to La Presse (23 September, 2018), he praised Italian right-wing movements, claiming that “with them here in Italy the revolution works”:

“On the Roman stage of “Atreju”, the event of Fratelli d’Italia, Steve Bannon praises the parties of Salvini and Meloni: “In the elections the Italians spoke against the system, saying that it is time for a change. They are tired of the feeling of being told that they are racist and xenophobic, just because they want to defend their culture and their country,” said the former White House strategist. “Yours is the most important experiment, if the revolution works here, then it will spread,” added Bannon.””

Unsurprisingly, Steve Bannon evokes wrath in those on whose behalf he is claiming to be speaking for; the modern-day Catholic Church, and even Christianity in general.

Pope Francis, whom Bannon has personally insulted on several occasions, is clearly against his politics.

I also approached one of the most important living theologists/philosophers, my friend John Cobb Jr., who clearly stated his point for this essay:

“Steve Bannon makes it clear that one can today renew Charlemagne’s kind of Christianity without embarrassment and gain significant support from other “Christians.” He makes little if any pretense to follow Jesus or the Hebrew prophets. His heroes are the gladiators. He is preparing people to fight in all sorts of ways including, it seems, violent ones. The war is in support of the West rather than any one nation, what we once called “Christendom.” From the point of view of the Bible, devotion to a nation state or to the West is idolatry.”

John Cobb concluded:

“Christians of the first sort, those who seek to be followers of Jesus are called to love even those who spread hatred. But one aspect of that love must be to identify those who make the defense of the West their highest priority as idolaters. Christians should go on to show the consequences of this idolatry. It is destructive of society. It also damages the idolater. If we truly love Steve Bannon, we are called to try to reduce the damage that his idolatrous thought and action does both to others and to himself. If his understanding of Christianity gives any place at all to the teachings and ministry of Jesus, we can point out how radically his work opposes that of Jesus. If he has any interest in the Biblical God, we can point out that he is profoundly failing to serve those whom God calls him to serve. If he really cares about the future of the West we can show that he is blocking paths to a flourishing future. Perhaps, just perhaps, he can listen.”

 

It becomes clear that for Steve Bannon, it is not going to be easy to sail through the turbulent waters of European politics. True, Europe has been moving, consistently and alarmingly, towards the right. Some would even say, towards the extreme right.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alt Right, China, Steve Bannon 
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All objective reports coming out of China are praising the country for its determined and successful battle against the new and treacherous disease known as Coronavirus.

The government in Beijing takes no chances. It is studying the situation, allocating massive resources to medical research. It is setting up temporary hospitals and medical centers, informing citizens about the recent developments, while controlling the flow of people in all affected and high-risk areas.

All this is impressive. China is fighting for its own people, and it is trying to minimize the impact on foreign lands. And it is much more effective than what takes place in Western countries during the same or similar national emergencies.

But how is the Chinese government rewarded for its life-saving efforts?

The better prepared China is, the more successfully it gets in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, the louder the critical voices smearing it in the West become, and even in its own territory of Hong Kong.

On January 27, 2020, RT reported shocking occurrences which took place there:

“A small bomb prompted evacuation and temporarily disrupted work at a hospital in Hong Kong. Masked protesters had earlier firebombed a proposed quarantine area for possible coronavirus victims.

On Sunday, masked anti-government protesters threw a Molotov cocktail at an empty public building, where authorities planned to quarantine people who may have contracted the deadly coronavirus that is currently raging in mainland China.”

These cowardly and selfish acts will only further discredit the rioters, exposing their destructive and selfish spirit.

Instead of showing solidarity and supporting people in dire need of help (as the citizens in Mainland China are doing with great determination), these hooligans are reducing future medical facilities to ashes.

Committing such crimes, the rioters are not “fighting for Hong Kong”; far from it! Needless to say, both people from Mainland China, as well as Hong Kong residents, are travelling back and forth, for family visits, cultural exchanges, tourism and work. Do rioters want, for instance, a local mother and her child who just returned from Wuhan, to die on the streets of Kowloon in agony, with no help? Or even if not a local: would they want an unlucky man or a woman from Mainland China who earlier contracted the disease, to have no place to go and get help?

If this is what they really want, then one has to wonder if there is really any Chinese blood left circulating in their veins, or whether they got converted into compassionless and brutal subjects of Western colonialist masters.

One wants to shout: “Shame! This is Spring Festival time. And Hong Kong is part of one of the oldest, deepest and the most compassionate cultures on Earth! If you do not want to help, at least do not dare to spoil the efforts of those who do.”

 

A friend of mine who practices medicine in Hong Kong, wrote to me recently in what appeared to be despair:

“People in the West criticize China, no matter what it does. If it barricades a city they say it has hidden some important information. If it doesn’t do it, they say that Beijing is acting irresponsibly. They smear China either way.”

He lamented about the changes which are taking place in his city:

“I have been working the whole morning in a public hospital. The medical staff are working as usual. But some doctors and nurses threaten to strike, probably for political gains. Many of them take sick leaves. I am so ashamed of them. When we had SARS in 2003, we were not like this. We continued working and even some young doctors died…”

Another Hong Kong-based doctor wrote to me, bitterly, using WeChat:

“…In contrast, doctors in China volunteer to work in Wuhan!”

On 30 January 2020, Reuters reported:

“Trade unions in Hong Kong, including hospital and rail workers, are threatening to go on strike unless the government closes the border with mainland China to stop the spread of a new coronavirus that has sent jitters around the world.

While Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has ordered the suspension of the high-speed rail service between the city and mainland China from midnight on Thursday and all cross-border ferry services, the unions said it was not enough.”

These occurrences may not be as “spectacular” as the ones in which rioters are burning or beating their fellow citizens in broad daylight – citizens who simply disagree with them.

But what is taking place is enormously significant.

It appears that the rioters have managed to make solidarity totally collapse. Hong Kong has been infiltrated by savage individualism, or call it Western-style selfishness. The manual on how to behave and live one’s life is not printed in black and white, but it can always be guessed: “Let victims collapse in the middle of the street, and if they are ill, cross to the other side. Shelter yourself. Do not show compassion. You are all that really matters.”

This is most likely a result of too many Western flags waving, and of repeating endlessly, “Me-me-me”.

What is certain is that the People’s Republic of China will eventually defeat the coronavirus. It will happen sooner than later. In a few months, or perhaps even weeks, the people on the streets of Beijing and Wuhan will be celebrating yet another great victory. If it doesn’t come to its senses soon, Hong Kong will be left behind. It will feel far from being proud of itself, in fact it will be depressed; depressed and defeated by its own selfishness.

 

[First published by China Daily Hong Kong]

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Five of his latest books are “China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives”, China and Ecological Cavillation with John B. Cobb, Jr., Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. His Patreon

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, China, Coronavirus 
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China has been hit by coronavirus as if by a brick over the head; heavily and mercilessly. Instead of help, Beijing has received criticism, even verbal attacks.

In spite of doing tremendous job fighting the epidemy, China is getting almost no tributes for its performance.

Now Bangkok, Jakarta and other regional capital are in panic. After trying to sweep the crises under the carpet in order not to rock their tourist industries which are heavily dependent on annual arrival of the millions of Chinese package tourists, they are trying to introduce coherent health measures. A bit too late, complain their own citizens. However, the West has no appetite to criticize them. All criticism is reserved, as always, for China.

 

No one knows precisely where the present disease really comes from. Chinese doctors (as well as the Russian ones) are working days and nights, trying to find the answers, as well as the cure. But until now, people are still dying. The mortality rate of the infected patients is very high; some sources say at about 50%. As this article is being written, around 210 have already lost their lives, mainly in China.

In 2013, The Guardian wrote that there were similar cases in Saudi Arabia, where the research was brutally swept under the carpet:

“A doctor in a Saudi hospital was fired for reporting a new, deadly strain of the coronavirus. Now, with half of all confirmed cases ending in death, the World Health Organization has issued a global alert and scientists are preparing for the worst…”

This example exposes an approach so commonly adopted by different nations.

In many countries, similar emergencies are not confronted directly. The governments hope that they will, quietly, go away, until it is often too late to prevent disaster.

My doctor friends in Hong Kong commented on the above-mentioned case:

“That was MERS, and MERS is a corona virus, and so is a common cold. The present virus has not got a name yet, but belongs to the corona virus family, too.”

 

China has risen, with zeal and determination. It is confronting deadly disease frontally, as if it would be confronting enemy military battalions. It has been clearly a Communist approach, similar to that which already saved millions of lives in Cuba.

From Szechuan and elsewhere, I began receiving brief but powerful messages, penned by my friends and colleagues; messages reflecting heroic struggle of Chinese nation against the disease:

“China is now introducing the highest level of emergency. Treatment and prevention are the most important political missions.”

“Nobody can now neglect his or her duties… In my city’s education department, they issued an order to postpone school opening day.”

“A factory in Zhejiang province was told to produce 80 million masks in just a few days. In the same time, the government ordered factories and shops not to raise the price of the masks. It also allocated billions of RMBs for preventive measures and products, including paying for trucks and trains distributing the equipment.”

“Patients infected with this virus get free medical care.”

A young Chinese diplomat, a friend of mine whom I will only identify by her first name – Langqi – here, reported to me from her hometown in Northern China, near Beijing:

“Despite the ineffective response of the Wuhan government at the initial stage, all governments, from central to local, have been doing everything they can to contain the spread of the virus. It is not an easy task, considering the “biggest human migration” happening during the Chinese New Year. It is with immense commitment and voluntary contributions, from doctors, nurses, people working in service and delivery industry, as well as from Wuhan people themselves, that China is able to manage the spread of the virus to its current situation. The responsive measures are also largely backed up by experts, including those who contributed during the SARS epidemic. It can be said that the whole country now is working as a whole to face our common challenge: the coronavirus. The solidarity comes not only from the trust in the government, but also from the identity as part of the community.”

A doctor with whom I work in Hong Kong, re-confirmed, in summary:

“In Wuhan, some officials tried to hide the information at the beginning. But the higher authorities made everything clear and the world appreciates government’s work, afterwards.”

Not all do, of course; unfortunately, not all.

Attacking China (as well as Russia, Iran and other independent nations) is now a sport, or a well-paid profession, or both, for many individuals, particularly those living in the West.

 

But many people, particularly those with the first-hand experience, decided to line-up in their support for China:

An Indonesian student Yessy Liana, based in Wuhan, recently sent passionate plea to her native country, which has an on-going tendency to smear everything Chinese, on behalf of its Western masters:

“Today I am in Wuhan City and I want to share the situation where I am now. We all heard about the coronavirus and for those of you who are worried or curious, hopefully this video can give light on the situation.

This is my school canteen, usually closed during winter holidays. But because of the coronavirus, the school reopened the canteen although only on the 1st floor… Because the school wants students to stay in the school and reduce the interaction with the outside.

This is the street in front of the campus. Now in Wuhan, public transportation is not in operation for a while. But private vehicles can go around without a problem. You can see for yourself that… it quieter than usual.

Now we are at one of the Chaoshi (market) that is still open. You can see the stock of food and drinks in this chaoshi are plentiful, and usually those of us who stay in dormitory in Wuhan buy food and drinks here.

Now we are in campus area and in front of us is a campus hospital and it is still open.

The building in front of us is a dormitory for international students. There are basketball courts and also place to play table tennis…

Now we are at my dormitory. Next to the entrance, there is a security guard who is on duty, and he will check the temperature of all people entering and leaving the dormitory.

For parents and friends who are worried about friends or family in China, please don’t worry because the government here and the school are taking care of us…”

Similar stories are circulating all over social media, uploaded by foreign students and workers who are based in China. They speak about the determination and strength of the state, the Communist Party and the citizens.

Entire factories are ordered to produce protective gear, laboratories are working on developing vaccines and medicine, to fight this latest type of coronavirus. Hospitals are constructed literally overnight.

My friend, a doctor from Hong Kong, has no doubts why the West ignores this dedicated fight of China, against the deadly disease:

“People are accusing China, from everywhere. This means that China is really strong!”

He shared with me an image, with a comment:

“Look at this. A Danish newspaper insults China by using the coronavirus as the stars of the national flag. This has lots of feedback from the citizens of China. The Prime Minister refused to apologize because ‘there is freedom of expression in Denmark’.”

Things are getting wilder and wilder. Attacks are intensifying.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, China, Coronavirus 
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Hong Kong rioters would like to believe that they are unique, and that the West has handpicked them – them alone – for what it identifies as the “noble fight for democracy”, and for “Western values”.

The problem is that Hong Kong, which likes to promote itself as “Asia’s World City” (at least that is what the advertisements and billboards used to shout, till recently) is actually very far from being global, cosmopolitan, or internationalist.

Hong Kong is a Chinese, Cantonese city, but one which is still under the tremendous influence of Western/British propaganda, dispersed though mass media outlets, social media, as well as education.

Itself a former colony, Hong Kong has been conditioned not to sympathize with the plight of countries that are until now being colonized by the West and its allies. There are a great number of nations still being brutalized by Western neo-colonialism, in all parts of the world, but many in Hong Kong don’t seem to be noticing it.

Countless young Hong Kong inhabitants like to perceive themselves as members of the ‘elite’ club of the “rulers of the world”; as those who are close to potentates in London, Washington or Tokyo. And they ignore, often even despise those that form the great majority of people living on our planet – the wretched, humiliated and exploited.

I don’t say it only theoretically. I have spoken to the ‘rebellious’ Hong Kong people, for years. Their lack of knowledge regarding Western imperialism and the horrors it is spreading, world-wide, is remarkable. They do not even know much about British colonialism, or, concretely, about what the United Kingdom did in order to damage, humiliate and weaken China.

While the young people of Hong Kong know close to nothing about the genocides committed by the United Kingdom (and other Western countries), they repeat, again and again, all mass-produced propaganda fabrications about the PRC and its Communist Party. China, which is clearly the most peaceful large country on earth, China which has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, is demonized and smeared, by British and North American propaganda; by those countries that have been actually murdering millions, in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.

All that, while the young people of Hong Kong are playing North American and British national anthems, waving their flags, and inviting them to re-invade and “liberate” their city “from China” – meaning from themselves.

 

In Hong Kong, many young people see countries that are fighting against Western imperialism – Russia, PRC, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, to name just a few – as some sinister freaks, as dictatorships, and as ‘anti-democratic’ entities.

It is because they know very little about them, and even about their own country – China – which they have become accustomed to observe through the dark nihilist lenses, supplied by the West.

They were told that to support Communism, socialism, or even anti-imperialist forces, is “uncool” and unfashionable in the 21st Century. And they listen to such nonsense; they so desperately want to be “cool”. In fact, to many of them it is all that really matters. They have fully adopted Western selfishness, individualism, and “me-me” world view.

Now, they read about the murder of the great Iranian commander, General Qassem Soleimani. He was assassinated, in fact extra-judicially executed, against all international laws and norms, by the US military, on the direct orders of the U.S. Commander in Chief, Donald Trump.

General Soleimani fought against terrorism, helped to destroy ISIS. He was defending the Middle East against the NATO implants, be they terrorist cells, or ethnic groups that have been trained by those cells.

What are Hong Kong “pro-democracy” activists going to say now?

This is their game. By taking dictates from the West, they should be held responsible for the international actions of their handlers.

They should be asked, squarely: “Is it justifiable, to kill a man; in fact, the second most important man, in a country which (like China), has never attacked anybody, in the entire modern history? Could it be tolerated? Is this what you call ‘democracy’?”

In just the last month, the West has overthrown genuine democracy in Bolivia, enslaving, once again, millions of indigenous people. It has continued starving tens of millions, in places such as Venezuela and Iran. It keeps occupying (against the will of the great majority of people) countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Is this how the “pro-democracy” activists are perceiving democracy?

And what comes next? Would they support the assassinations of leaders in Russia, or even in China?

These are serious questions, and they have to be asked.

 

Hong Kong is just one piece of mosaic in a huge neo-imperialist game, which the West is now playing on the entire territory of our planet.

On the other hand, China is one of the countries that is defending our world; making sure that it will not be consumed, once again, by greed and the endless brutality of the West.

The young people who are smearing China relentlessly, are not only attacking Beijing. They have taken sides, against their own country, and against the entire oppressed world. They are committing treason, and they are also betraying their race, and all those billions of human beings who are suffering under the neo-colonialist whip. Are they really “cool”? Perhaps in Berlin and Chicago they are, but even there, only in certain circles.

There can be no greater contrast than that between the great patriot General Soleimani, and the rioters in Hong Kong.

People in countries such as China, Russia, Iran or Cuba know that the Motherland is never for sale. The West, with its ‘divide and rule’ strategy, is perfecting tactics on how to encourage people to sell their Motherlands, all over the world, either for money, or for several moments of selfish fame.

To realize how grotesque Western “foreign policy” is, just reverse the sides: Imagine that Beijing bombed Joshua Wong’s car, somewhere near the airport of Haneda in Tokyo, or Incheon, South Korea, killing him, and few others, just because the Chinese government does not like his face.

That is precisely what happened a few days ago outside Baghdad!

Unimaginable? Yes, I agree. This is not what China does. And so: who is playing by the rules? Who is more respectful of international law, Beijing or Washington?

The answer is obvious. What is missing is to ask: Who is more dangerous for Hong Kong? A restrained Beijing with its aims of a harmonious civilization, or the rioters who are spreading global, Western-style violence?

 

[First published by China Daily Hong Kong]

 
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There are obviously some serious linguistic issues and disagreements between the West and the rest of the world. Essential terms like “freedom”, “democracy”, “liberation”, even “terrorism”, are all mixed up and confused; they mean something absolutely different in New York, London, Berlin, and in the rest of the world.

Before we begin analyzing, let us recall that countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States, as well as other Western nations, have been spreading colonialist terror to basically all corners of the world. And in the process, they developed effective terminology and propaganda, which has been justifying, even glorifying acts such as looting, torture, rape and genocides. Basically, first Europe, and later North America literally “got away with everything, including mass murder”. The native people of Americas, Africa and Asia have been massacred, their voices silenced. Slaves were imported from Africa. Great Asian nations, such as China, what is now “India” and Indonesia, got occupied, divided and thoroughly plundered.

And all was done in the name of spreading religion, “liberating” people from themselves, as well as “civilizing them”.

Nothing has really changed.

To date, people of great nations with thousands of years of culture, are treated like infants; humiliated, and as if they were still in kindergarten, told how to behave, and how to think.

Sometimes if they “misbehave”, they get slapped. Periodically they get slapped so hard, that it takes them decades, even centuries, to get back to their feet. It took China decades to recover from the period of “humiliation”. India and Indonesia are presently trying to recuperate, from the colonial barbarity, and from, in the case of Indonesia, the 1965 U.S.-administered fascist coup.

But if you go back to the archives in London, Brussels or Berlin, all the monstrous acts of colonialism, are justified by lofty terms. Western powers are always “fighting for justice”; they are “enlightening” and “liberating”. No regrets, no shame and no second thoughts. They are always correct!

Like now; precisely as it is these days.

Presently, the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents. From Bolivia (the country has been already destroyed) to Venezuela, from Iraq to Iran, to China and Russia. The more successful these countries get, the better they serve their people, the more vicious the attacks from abroad are, the tougher the embargos and sanctions imposed on them are. The happier the citizens are, the more grotesque the propaganda disseminated from the West gets.

 

In Hong Kong, some young people, out of financial interest, or out of ignorance, keep shouting: “President Trump, Please Liberate Us!” Or similar, but equally treasonous slogans. They are waving U.S., U.K. and German flags. They beat up people who try to argue with them, including their own Police Force.

So, let us see, how the United States really “liberates” countries, in various pockets of the world.

Let us visit Iran, a country which (you’d never guess it if consuming only Western mass media) is, despite the vicious embargos and sanctions, on the verge of the “highest human development index bracket” (UNDP). How is it possible? Simple. Because Iran is a socialist country (socialism with the Iranian characteristics). It is also an internationalist nation which is fighting against Western imperialism. It helps many occupied and attacked states on our planet, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia (before), Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name just a few.

So, what is the West doing? It is trying to ruin it, by all means; ruin all good will and progress. It is starving Iran through sanctions, it finances and encourages its “opposition”, as it does in China, Russia and Latin America. It is trying to destroy it.

Then, it just bombs their convoy in neighboring Iraq, killing its brave commander, General Soleimani. And, as if it was not horrid enough, it turns the tables around, and starts threatening Teheran with more sanctions, more attacks, and even with the destruction of its cultural sites.

Iran, under attack, confused, shot down, by mistake, a Ukrainian passenger jet. It immediately apologized, in horror, offering compensation. The U.S. straightway began digging into the wound. It started to provoke (like in Hong Kong) young people. The British ambassador, too, got involved!

As if Iran and the rest of the world should suddenly forget that during its attack on Iraq, more than 3 decades ago, Washington actually shot down an Iranian wide-body passenger plane (Iran Air flight 655, an Airbus-300), on a routine flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. In an “accident”, 290 people, among them 66 children, lost their lives. That was considered “war collateral”.

Iranian leaders then did not demand “regime change” in Washington. They were not paying for riots in New York or Chicago.

As China is not doing anything of that nature, now.

The “Liberation” of Iraq (in fact, brutal sanctions, bombing, invasion and occupation) took more than a million Iraqi lives, most of them, those of women and children. Presently, Iraq has been plundered, broken into pieces, and on its knees.

Is this the kind of “liberation” that some of the Hong Kong youngsters really want?

No? But if not, is there any other performed by the West, in modern history?

 

Washington is getting more and more aggressive, in all parts of the world.

It also pays more and more for collaboration.

And it is not shy to inject terrorist tactics into allied troops, organizations and non-governmental organizations. Hong Kong is no exception.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, Venezuela, but also many other countries, should be carefully watching and analyzing each and every move made by the United States. The West is perfecting tactics on how to liquidate all opposition to its dictates.

It is not called a “war”, yet. But it is. People are dying. The lives of millions are being ruined.

 

[First published by China Daily – Hong Kong]

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, China 
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I am not sure when and how it happened, or even what precisely took place, but suddenly, nothing feels the same, and nothing feels right in Malaysia.

Several years ago, things used to be totally different here. One would land at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) – in the past one of the most modern and well-run mid-sized airports in the world, located some 70 kilometers from the city – and feel the omnipresent optimism and pride.

Malaysia was on the rise: a fast train was connecting the airport to the sprawling metropolis. It was passing near the famous Formula-1 circuit, the new capital city of Putrajaya, a modern city designed for science and technological research – Cyberjaya – and finally terminating at the modern KL Sentral train station and public transportation hub.

Futuristic Kuala Lumpur also counted with a super modern and elegant concert hall fully dedicated to classical music. It was right under the Petronas Towers, once the tallest building in the world. Modern monorail and driverless trains were transporting people in style to different corners of the city. Bookstores were well stocked (censorship was present, but everyone knew that Malaysian censors were too lazy to read). Extreme, Indonesian-style, misery hardly existed. Malaysia had ‘made it’ – it had landed itself on the list of the highest development index countries (Human Development Index, HDI, measured by UNDP) – together with countries such as Chile and Argentina, Russia and Qatar, as well as the nations of Europe and North America.

Malaysia was manufacturing its own car brand – Proton – and was teaming up with Japan, hoping to co-produce aircraft.

Nightclubs were packed, political humor thriving, and even religions were not immune to criticism, as long as the punches were being delivered in an ‘appropriate’ and secular environment, behind the curtains of bookstores and private events.

In those days, I loved visiting Malaysia. I loved living there, for weeks and months.

Next door, collapsed Indonesia felt like the de-composing carcass of a huge fish: covered by smog, intolerant, intellectually destroyed, racist and at war with itself and its colonies. I used to escape to Kuala Lumpur for weeks; in order to gain perspective, in order to eat well, to visit theaters, concerts, parks, to interact with my Malaysian friends – writers, filmmakers, and academics.

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur felt as if they were existing on two different planets. A 1 hour and 40 minutes’ flight, and everything would diametrically change. Suddenly it was possible to walk under the trees and on wide sidewalks, to attend great concerts, to read to excited audience from my books, and above all, to be understood.

 

And yet, yet even then, there was something rotten in the intellectual fabric of Kuala Lumpur. It was hard to detect, to explain, but it was constantly there, right under the surface.

Now I am looking back, and I am trying to comprehend. It is not easy, but not impossible.

I recall a Malaysian filmmaker who made a 2-minute long film, and attended dozens of international film festivals showing it – all expenses paid. It was just a tiny bark, nothing serious. But he was a Malaysian, and therefore worth being pampered and supported. Because Malaysia had very few filmmakers, and the West wanted to make sure that it owns them. It felt obnoxious, even perverse, as I knew several great, brilliant left-wing filmmakers in Chile, Brazil, France, U.K. who made ground-breaking films, but were not supported by anyone, living near-starvation existence.

I remember how, decisively, all Malaysian ‘intellectuals’ were refusing to criticize, or even to acknowledge, the horrors that were taking place in neighboring Indonesia. Why? Because Indonesia, after 1965, became a true Western neo-colony; plundered, brainwashed and looted by both local treasonous and corrupt ‘elites’ and by multi-national corporations and Western governments. Someone was, of course, paying for this silence.

I recall how Malaysian writers were falling over each other to attend a “Writers’ and Readers’ Festival” in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – an anti “LEKRA” (pre-1965 coup left-wing writer’s organization to which belonged such great novelists as Pramoedya Ananta Toer) event organized by pro-Western institutions and pseudo-intellectual Goenawan Mohamad. All expenses paid, of course (by whom, we could only guess).

Unlike in many Latin American countries, or in China or Russia, for Malaysian and Indonesian intellectuals, there is nothing like “dirty money”. Money is money – always halal.

Malaysian filmmakers, writers and other intellectuals never criticize the West, but diligently support Western propaganda, when it is targeting Russia, but even such far-away countries such as South Africa.

The United Kingdom has been omnipresent, through family ties, ‘education’, through the British Council which has been spreading funding and ideological dogmas, but also through its main propaganda outlets such as the BBC.

I met a writer who had her entire work sponsored by the Western outlets, and who was flown to places as diverse as the Caribbean Islands and Alaska, as a reward for her writing, which has been glorifying both transgender rights and big business construction of motorways. When I confronted her, she replied, simply and honestly: “I have two children to raise”.

Malaysian art festivals have been clearly propagating the Western line of thinking. By mistake, I was invited to one (in old city of Georgetown). But never again. There are certain unwritten rules, including: no open criticism of Western imperialism, and no direct support for countries like China, Russia, Cuba or Venezuela. Local artists and writers are paid to talk and write about sexual habits, such as homosexuality or trans-gender issues, instead of the horrors taking place next-door, like the genocide in West Papua, where Indonesia has managed to murder around 500,000 people on behalf of Western multi-national companies and governments.

Taboo is also touching what made Malaysia relatively wealthy – thorough plunder of its environment through palm oil plantations and mining, as well as mistreatment of indigenous people on the territory of two of its states located on Borneo Island.

 

Malaysia changed; became unrecognizable. And it happened unbelievably fast.

Kuala Lumpur (as well as Singapore) have been choking on smog from the burning Indonesian islands of Kalimantan (Indonesian part of Borneo, the third largest island in the world) and Sumatra, but no explosion of outrage has been detectable from the Malaysian “thinkers”.

No outrage over US and EU attacks against Afghanistan, Libya or Syria.

Even Malaysian leaders, at times, were more outspoken than the funding-hungry local intellectuals. Prime Minister of Malaysia, according to Reuters, reacted to assassination of Iranian General Soleimani:

Muslim countries should unite to protect themselves against external threats, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday after describing the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani as immoral.”

Malaysian ‘educated circles’ have been proving, again and again, that their country is a well-behaved colony. A cowardly, client state.

Suddenly, for people like me, those who were well known but at odds with Western imperialism, it has become near impossible to work (give speeches or to get interviewed) in Malaysia. All the doors have gotten shut. We cannot get any quotes from Malaysian academics, artists or politicians.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Indonesia, Malaysia, Neoliberalism 
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In the West, there is a new wave of political correctness at work: it is all about one’s sexual orientation; who has sex with whom, and how. Suddenly, the mass media in London, Paris and New York is greatly concerned about who has the right to change his or her sex, and who does not want to belong to any ‘traditional’ gender bracket.

Thinking about ‘it’, writing about it, doing it, is considered “progressive”; cutting edge. Entire novels are being commissioned and then subsidized, as far away as in the Asia Pacific. Western organizations and NGOs (so-called “non-government organizations”, but financed by Western régimes), are thriving on the matter.

These days it is not just LGBT that are in the spotlight, glorified and propagandized; there are all sorts of new types of combinations that many people never even heard about, or imagined could exist.

Even some Western airlines do not call their passengers “ladies, gentlemen and children”, anymore, in order “not to offend” those who do not want to be any of the above.

Accept any sexual habit, repeat loudly, many times, that you have done it; then preferably write about it, and you will be lauded as progressive, tolerant, and even “left-wing’.

This is a discussion which is clearly encouraged, even invented by the Western regime: a safe discussion which is aimed at diverting dialogue from topics such as the fact that even in the West, a great number of people are living in fear and misery, and that the majority of neo-colonies of North America and Europe are once again being totally, shamelessly exploited.

Talking about poverty and exploitation, about military coups triggered by Washington are rarely spoken about. Such discussions are even being portrayed as old-fashioned, if not regressive.

Hype is, these days, all about the interaction of penises, of vaginas, or about the lack of such interactions. It is about one’s “identity” and about the right to change one’s gender. What you do with your private parts is much more important than billions of people who are forced to live in filthy slums. Surgery that is aimed at changing one’s gender is more newsworthy than the “regime changes” and consequent destruction of millions of human lives.

Such focus is totally fragmenting Western societies. It leads to extreme individualism and dark nihilism. What should stay behind closed doors is being brought out to the center of attention.

Don’t think that it is all a coincidence. It is clearly designed this way. Like the enormous flood of free pornography did not come from out of the blue. The hidden message is clear: watch as much free porn as you can in your free time, watch football, enjoy booze, and put your sexual identity at the very center of your existence.

Then, define all those who disagree with these sorts of lifestyles as ‘intolerant’, ‘backward’, and even ‘oppressive’.

Why is all this happening? Why are Western countries so obsessed with “sexual identities”?

The answer is simple: because those who are obsessed with their own bodies, desires, identities and endless “rights”, have hardly any time left to think about the rest of the world.

And vice versa: those who are passionately fighting for a better world, building people-oriented societies, sacrificing their own comfort and personal benefits; those individuals often have no time, or very little time, to think about the nuances of their sexuality. For them, sexuality is simply part of their life; often powerful and important, but it is definitely not their center of gravity, not their very essence.

And precisely this kind of optimistic, unselfish mindset is extremely dangerous for the survival of Western regimes, and the Empire itself.

 

I am all for people to have their right to choose how they want to express themselves sexually. As long as it is done discreetly, and without forcing anyone into anything.

But I am strongly against the so-called sexual identity monopolizing political narrative of entire nations.

There are much more important issues that Western societies should be concerned with, and obviously are not.

And the Empire knows it, and precisely for that reason it does everything possible to elevate sex and sexuality into something tremendously important, glorified, as well as untouchable. Terms and definitions then get confused: centering people’s identity around their genitals, gets defined as “their identity”. Their struggle for sexual rights is now being defined as “progressive”, even, bizarrely as left-wing.

It is, of course, an absolute nonsense. The fight for sexual rights is the fight for sexual rights: it is not right, or left.

There is absolutely no guarantee that a man who undergoes gender-changing surgery, would gain a deep interest in the US-triggered coup in Bolivia, or in the tremendous torment, inflicted by the West, on the people of Syria or Afghanistan.

I have discussed this issue, in depth, with my friends and relatives who happen to be professional psychiatrists and psychologists: Jung, who attacked Western imperialism as a clinical disease (pathology), has been criticized and discredited by almost all Western schools. While the self-centered Freud, has been glorified to this very day. He became untouchable in Europe and North America. We are all encourage to see ourselves through his eyes.

We are supposed to think and analyze the world in a Freudian way. To say “penis” or “vagina”, or to show them, and especially change them, is supposed to send a shiver up our backs, to make us feel heroic, progressive.

While the Empire murders millions of people worldwide. While British and North American children are suffering from hunger, while NATO is bringing our planet closer and closer to the next huge war which our humanity may not survive, people inhabiting the Empire are encouraged to think, to write and to fight for totally different issues than those that could save our humanity.

 

I have to report that, after working in some 160 countries of the world, on all continents, the issues that I am addressing above, are prevalent only in the West. Well, also in countries and territories that have been deeply indoctrinated by the West, like Argentina and Hong Kong, to give just two examples. Which makes one wonder what is really going on?

I am not talking about people being born gay or lesbian and then getting discriminated against (such discrimination should be, of course, confronted), or forced by brutal family practices (like I witnessed in Samoa) to unwillingly change their sexual identity. I am fully, and determinedly supporting people to have their rights, to practice what they feel like, and to be fully protected by the law.

I am addressing here this totally wild obsession with the topic. I am talking about forcing people in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and some European countries, to accept as essential a dialogue, which is absolutely irrelevant to more than 99% of the population on our planet. It is not about LGBT anymore. This is now about something absolutely else; about color shades, about nuances, about details: while the entire world is burning; in flames.

Can we please talk, finally about Hong Kong, Iraq, Bolivia, North Korea?

And as a writer, as a novelist, I reserve my right to create, to write as I want to! If I want to say,” ladies, gentlemen and children”, you can all stop reading me, but I will write it precisely as I want. You can go and read the latest generation of politically correct scribes. Although you know as well as I do, that you will never find any great literature created by them.

 
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Now that your city has been in flames for more than six months, your families divided, and no end to the violence is in sight, I have decided to write this short essay, in the form of an open letter, to the young people of Hong Kong.

First of all, I want to ask: Why?

Why all this smoke and fire, wrath and violence? Were your lives, before the so-called “protests”, or “riots”, really so dismal?

You have been living in one of the richest cities on earth. Even according to Western evaluations, Hong Kong has one of the highest “freedom indexes”, higher than that of most of Western countries.

Water that comes from your taps is clean, the Internet is extremely fast, public transportation is cheap and one of the best in the world. You can enjoy an exciting cultural life, as well as great public spaces constructed along your impressive coasts.

Naturally, Hong Kong is not a perfect place, as there are no perfect places on this planet.

Your housing is some of the most expensive in the world. Job opportunities for college graduates are not really excellent. Some cities on Mainland China are now more exciting places to live, to create and to dream, than ‘good old’ Hong Kong. But still, it is a fascinating, solid city, with its own culture, mindset and complex history. And in many ways, it is a beautiful city; beautiful and unique.

So, why? What happened? Why suddenly such anger, and such frustration?

Should we talk? Please let’s.

 

I have worked in around 160 countries and territories, on all continents. I have written about, and I have filmed many wars and conflicts. I have been covering revolutions and rebellions, but also terrible riots ignited by Western countries. You probably have heard about the so-called “Color Revolutions”, or the “Arab Spring”.

I have witnessed, first hand, the fate of countries that have been occupied and then thoroughly destroyed by the United States and NATO: Afghanistan and Syria, Iraq and Colombia, to name just a few. I have seen millions of ruined lives in nations where the West overthrew left-wing governments, and then injected fascism: places like Indonesia (1965), and Chile (1973). Now there is nothing left of Indonesia; it’s nature is thoroughly ruined and the great majority lives in misery. In Chile, people have stood up, and are proudly fighting and dying for socialism which was stolen from them by Western governments and corporations.

I have lived and worked all over the African continent, the most devastated part of the world, colonized and terrorized first by Europe, and later by the United States, for many centuries.

In Hong Kong, I see you waving flags of the United States. You want that country to “save you from China” (from your own nation, in essence). I have read a translation of your school curriculum. It smears China, and it glorifies the West. Were you told, ever, that in the name of that flag, consisting of the stars and stripes, tens of millions of people, worldwide, were murdered, democracies were raped, and freedom of expression horrendously oppressed? Or are you only reading what is brought to you by Reuters and other Western press agencies?

When waving the U.K. flags, nostalgically recalling your British masters and their rule over Hong Kong, do you even think about some of the most monstrous crimes committed in the history of humankind? On all continents of the world, the British Empire murdered, humiliated, violated and plundered; hundreds of millions of people. Human beings were reduced to slaves. Their lives, identities were reduced to nothing.

Were you told this? Do you realize it? When you wave these flags, when your leaders are taking bribes from the U.S. and the E.U. establishment, do you ever think what kind of money you are touching? Do you ever consider that this money is soaked in blood?

I saw several of you demanding “independence from China”. I even witnessed some of you calling China a “terrorist” state.

Have you ever, seriously, compared the Chinese political system to that, so-called, “democracy” of the West?

Let me give you a simple quiz: In the last decades, how many countries have been attacked by China, and how many by the West? Just do a simple calculation, please. It is so simple; so clear. How many countries have been bombed to the ground, and thoroughly ruined by China, and how many by the West?

And democracy? In China, the government listens to its people. In reality, democracy means nothing more than the direct translation from Greek – rule of the people. In PRC, the government is working to improve the lives of its citizens, while building a global infrastructure for all (BRC). Now, look at the West: most of the citizens in North America and Europe hate their system, but cannot get rid of it. Some of you regularly travel to the West: don’t you hear what the people are saying there?

In the last two decades, China has lifted up hundreds of millions out of poverty. In the West, the governments have buried billions of people in misery in all their colonies. Despite of the terrible plunder of the world, tens of millions are destitute at home, in both North America and Europe.

Despite of the not too high GDP per capita, China has almost no misery, while tens of millions of the U.S. citizens are living in poverty. There are many more prisoners (per capita) in the U.S. prisons, than in the Chinese ones.

Many U.S. prisons are now privatized: it is a big business. The more that are held behind bars, the bigger the profit!

Is this a system in which you’d want to live? Is it, really?

I know the West very well. And I know China. These days, in Hong Kong, some of you are waving Western flags, while insulting Beijing.

The West has the most powerful propaganda on earth. It has the ability to twist everything; to call black – white, and vice versa.

But frankly, it is Beijing, which has the ability and desire to help solve the problems of Hong Kong.

Do you really think that Washington, London or Berlin are genuinely interested in helping your city? I am convinced that they only want to break China, and to continue ruling over the world.

To conclude this letter, let me say what has to be said: After speaking to people that are now angrily waving black banners, as well as U.S. and U.K. flags, I realized that they know very little about the state of the world. And, they do not want to listen to different points of view. When confronted intellectually, they become violent.

That is not a democratic approach; not at all.

I suggest we talk. Publicly. Let us debate the very definitions of democracy. Let us discuss who has done more harm to the world: China or the West? I am ready, anytime.

If the leaders of Hong Kong riots, or “protests” are confident that they are correct, let us face each other, in front of microphones and cameras.

I love your city. I love Hong Kong. I love China. And I strongly believe that China and Hong Kong are one beautiful, inseparable entity.

I am ready to give my best, proving that point.

 

[First published by China Daily Hong Kong]

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, China, Hong Kong