US Encirclement of China: A Progress Report

May 9, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - Tensions between Washington and Beijing are not merely the recent results of former US President Donald Trump's time in office - but rather just the latest chapter in US efforts to contain China that stretch back decades. 

Indeed, US foreign policy has for decades admittedly aimed at encircling and containing China's rise and maintaining primacy over the Indo-Pacific region. 

The "Pentagon Papers" leaked in 1969 would admit in regards to the ongoing US war against Vietnam that: 

…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.
The papers also admitted that China, "looms as a major power threatening to undercut [American] importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against [America].

The papers also made it clear that there were (and still are), "three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China: (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front." 

Since then, it is clear that from the continued US military presence in both Japan and South Korea, the now two decades-long US occupation of Afghanistan on both Pakistan's and China's borders, and the emergence of the so-called "Milk Tea Alliance" aimed at overthrowing Southeast Asian governments friendly with China and replacing them with US-backed client regimes - this policy to contain China endures up to today. 

Assessing US activity along these three fronts reveals the progress and setbacks Washington faces - and various dangers to global peace and stability Washington's continued belligerence pose. 

The Japan-Korea Front in their article, "Here's What It Costs to Keep US Troops in Japan and South Korea," reports: 
In all, more than 80,000 U.S. troops are deployed to Japan and South Korea. In Japan alone, the U.S. maintains more than 55,000 deployed troops -- the largest forward-deployed U.S. force anywhere in the world. 
The article notes that according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the US spent "$34 billion to maintain military presences in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019." 

Exposing Myanmar's US-Backed Opposition

May 7, 2021 (Brian Berletic - LD) - The Western media claims Myanmar’s opposition represents the pro-democracy aspirations of the people, contrasting from what they claim is a violent military-led regime. 

In reality, the government Myanmar's military ousted from power in February was entirely the product of foreign interference - and in no way represented a "democratically elected" government. 

In addition to that, the Western media has covered up for years the racist, genocidal nature of Aung San Suu Kyi and her support base - in yet another example of the US backing extremists in an attempt to divide and destroy yet another country - and in Myanmar’s case - to spite China, Myanmar’s largest trade pattern and infrastructure partner.

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name "Tony Cartalucci" is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

Russia and China Have Big Plans in Space

April 30, 2021 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - The trend of shifting away from the Washington-led unipolar "international order" toward multipolarism is not just unfolding here on Earth but far above it in orbit and even beyond. 

Washington's continued campaign of belligerence toward Moscow has even complicated one of the few fields of constructive cooperation between the two nations, cooperation in space. 

This includes the 22 year old International Space Station (ISS) which is a combination of Russian, American, European and Japanese modules and host astronauts from nations around the world. 

However, even this impressive achievement, both technical and in the realm of cooperation, is tainted by politics. The ISS excludes several nations from cooperation including China, an increasingly important ally of Russia (and many other nations around the globe). 

The US more recently targeted its cooperation with Russia in particular by attempting to ban the sale of Russian rocket engines to US-based aerospace company, United Launch Alliance. While "security" concerns were cited, the ban was motivated in reality by the crisis in Ukraine and Washington's frustration over the rejoining of Crimea with the Russian Federation in 2014. 

While the ban was partially lifted due to ULA's dependence on Russian rocket technology, efforts have continued to sever cooperation between the US and Russia. 

The Lunar Gateway project was deemed "too US-centric" for major participation by Russia, SpaceNews would report in their article, "Russia skeptical about participating in lunar Gateway." The minimizing of Russia's role in projects up in space appears to be a continuation of Washington's policies to minimize and isolate Russia's influence back on Earth. 

And just as on Earth where Russia finds itself turning toward other partners to continue moving forward, it is seeking out partners up in space to continue advancing there as well. 

Sleepwalking into Washington's Next Regime Change Crisis: Myanmar

April 27, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - The crisis in Southeast Asia's Myanmar continues to grow following the February 2021 military-led ousting of US-backed Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. 

Violence between US-backed opposition groups joined with US-armed and trained ethnic rebels and the central government has become the focus of the Western media as well as Western government themselves. 

Just as was the case in Libya in 2011, the US government, the Western media, and a global network of US-funded fronts posing as rights groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are attempting to make the case for intervening in Myanmar - first through sanctions and then eventually through the recognition of and providing direct support to a US-backed parallel government and the armed groups fighting on its behalf.  

The goal of destabilizing Myanmar mirrors similar campaigns of propaganda, violence, and instability in China's Xinjiang region, Balochistan in Pakistan, and virtually everywhere else China's One Belt, One Road development project is active - to encircle China with chaos and contain China's rise upon the international stage. 

To sell yet another episode of US-engineered regime change around the world, the Western media is using 3 key talking points to pressure nations around the world and particularly in Southeast Asia - to aid in advancing US foreign policy objectives versus Myanmar. 

1. "The Violence Must End" 

Of course the violence should end. But the US government, Western media, and Western-backed fronts are referring only to violence carried out by Myanmar's military and police. 

No mention at all is made of opposition violence. 

Just as the US and the Western media did during the "Arab Spring" in 2011, the 2014 US-backed overthrow of the Ukrainian government, or the more recent US-backed riots in Hong Kong - no mention at all is made of opposition violence. 

Even as outlets like CNN admit in articles like, "Myanmar's military is waging war on its citizens. Some say it's time to fight back," that the opposition is coming into possession of war weapons - the violence is still being depicted as "one-sided." 

This talking point is being repeated even by media, politicians, and diplomats across ASEAN. 

However, if a problem is to be fully solved, it must be fully understood. 

Condemning and stopping only half the violence amid an ongoing armed conflict is the same recipe for disaster used to destroy Libya, nearly destroy Syria, destabilize Ukraine, and leave nations like Yemen festering as massive and ongoing humanitarian crises for years to come. 

2. "Democracy Must Return to Myanmar" 

While Myanmar did indeed have elections which resulted in Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD taking power - these are not elections that could - by any stretch of the imagination - be deemed "fair and free." 

The US and British governments have for decades poured money and political support into Aung San Suu Kyi's political machine - both by directly backing the NLD as well as creating a massive nationwide network of fronts posing as NGOs to support the NLD before, during, and after elections. 

The US government's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) alone lists over 80 programs (that are admitted to) that form the core organizations making up Aung San Suu Kyi's political base, interfering in areas ranging from media and lawmaking, to education and infrastructure, to political campaigning and polling, to economic affairs and resource management. 

Aung San Suu Kyi herself has travelled to Washington DC specifically to meet with the US NED

US Seeks South China Sea Conflict

April 21, 2021 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Despite hopes by some that with a new incoming US president, new US foreign policy will follow - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reaffirmed Washington's committment to seeking conflict in the South China Sea under the guise of "standing with Southeast Asian claimants." 

Reuters in their article, "U.S. stands with SE Asian countries against China pressure, Blinken says,"  would claim: 

“Secretary Blinken pledged to stand with Southeast Asian claimants in the face of PRC pressure,” it said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

China claims almost all of the energy-rich South China Sea, which is also a major trade route. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

The United States has accused China of taking advantage of the distraction of the coronavirus pandemic to advance its presence in the South China Sea.

The US announcement confirms that a confrontational posture toward China will continue regardless of who occupies the White House - as US tensions with China are rooted in unelected  Western special interests and their desire to remove China as a competitor and potential usurper in what US policy papers themselves call "US primacy in Asia." 

US Primacy in Asia

One such paper titled, "Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China," published by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2015 not only spelled out the US desire to maintain that primacy in Asia vis-a-vis China, but also how it would use overlapping claims in the South China Sea as a pretext to justify a continued - or even expanded military presence in the region and as a common cause to pressure China's neighbors into a united front against Beijing. 

The paper would note specific US goals of militarizing Southeast Asia and integrating the region into a common US-led defense architecture against China. 

It is a policy built upon the US "pivot to Asia" unveiled as early as 2011 and a policy that has been built upon in turn during the last four years under the Trump administration - demonstrating the continuity of agenda that permeates US foreign policy. 

Turning Disputes into Conflict 

Maritime disputes are common throughout the world - even in the West.