UPDATE 09. October 2021: China's Xi Jinping vows 'peaceful reunification' with Taiwan

UPDATE 02. October 2021: Taiwan rebukes China over largest ever air incursion

UPDATE 24. September 2021: China's top regulators ban crypto trading and mining, sending bitcoin tumbling

UPDATE 17. September 2021: After the GENOCIDE: Will there be enough VACCINE SURVIVORS to rebuild civilization?

UPDATE 09. July 2021: Currency and control: why China wants to undermine bitcoin

UPDATE 05. April 2021: ‘Without fear of death’: Xi Jinping orders Chinese army to be ready to fight ‘at any second’

UPDATE 31. March 2021: China's Threat to Free Speech in Europe

China Calling for Civilizational War Against America and the West

There was a "strong smell of gunpowder" when American and Chinese diplomats met in Anchorage beginning March 18, according to Zhao Lijian of China's foreign ministry. "Gunpowder" is one of those words Beijing uses when it wants others to know war is on its mind. Pictured: American and Chinese diplomats meet at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

By Gordon G. Chang - 22. March 2021 - DEUTSCHE VERSION

Translations of this item:

  • "Gunpowder" is one of those words Beijing uses when it wants others to know war is on its mind. The term is, more worryingly, also especially emotion-packed, a word Chinese propagandists use when they want to rile mainland Chinese audiences.... China's Communist Party, therefore, is now trying to whip up nationalist sentiment, rallying the Chinese people, perhaps readying them for war.

  • More fundamentally, Beijing is... trying to divide the world along racial lines and form a global anti-white coalition....

  • Deng Xiaoping, Mao's mostly pragmatic successor, counseled China to "hide capabilities, bide time." Xi, however, believes China's time has come in part because, he feels, America is in terminal decline.

  • Xi is serious. In January, he told his fast-expanding military it must be ready to fight "at any second." That month, the Party's Central Military Commission took from the civilian State Council the power to mobilize all of society for war. Militant states rarely prepare for conflict and then back down.

There was a "strong smell of gunpowder" when American and Chinese diplomats met in Anchorage beginning March 18. That's according to Zhao Lijian of China's foreign ministry, speaking just hours after the first day of U.S.-China talks concluded.

"Gunpowder" is one of those words Beijing uses when it wants others to know war is on its mind.

The term is, more worryingly, also especially emotion-packed, a word Chinese propagandists use when they want to rile mainland Chinese audiences by reminding them of foreign — British and white — exploitation of China in the Opium War period of the 19th century. China's Communist Party, therefore, is now trying to whip up nationalist sentiment, rallying the Chinese people, perhaps readying them for war.

More fundamentally, Beijing is, with the gunpowder reference and others, trying to divide the world along racial lines and form a global anti-white coalition.

There was more than just a whiff of gunpowder in Alaska. The foreign ministry's Zhao blamed the U.S. side for exceeding the agreed time limit for opening remarks from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Blinken and Sullivan overran their allotted four minutes by... 44 seconds.

The Party's Global Times called the two presentations "seriously overtime." The foreign ministry's Zhao said the overrun prompted the Chinese side to launch into its two presentations, which lasted 20 minutes and 23 seconds, well over their allotted four minutes.

Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, and his subordinate, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, were mostly reading from prepared texts, suggesting that much of their remarks — in reality a tirade — was planned well in advance.

There were, in addition to the diplomats' obviously rehearsed expressions of outrage and Zhao's incendiary comments, a third element to the campaign: a propaganda blast against policies Beijing said were racist. The primary target is America.

"Everything Washington talks about is centered on the U.S., and on white supremacy," the Global Times, controlled by the Party, stated in an editorial on March 19, referring to the darker skin tones of America's "few allies" in the region.

Furthermore, the race-based narrative appears in a series of recent Communist Party propaganda pieces indirectly portraying China as the protector of Asians in the U.S. For instance, the Global Times on March 18 ran a piece titled "Elite U.S. Groups Accomplices of Crimes Against Asian Americans."

Beijing has played the race card in North America for some years. China, for example has tried to divide Canada along racial lines. Lu Shaye, when he was Beijing's ambassador to Canada, railed against "Western egotism and white supremacy" in an unsuccessful attempt in early 2019 to win the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, detained by Canadian authorities pending extradition proceedings instituted by the Trump Justice Department.

Significantly, Yang Jiechi in Anchorage pointedly mentioned Black Lives Matter protests in his opening remarks on Thursday, continuing China's race-based attack on America.

China's regime continues to talk about China's rise, but now Beijing's propaganda line is shifting in ominous ways. Ruler Xi Jinping's new narrative is that China is leading the "East." In a landmark speech he gave at the end of last year, he stated "the East is rising and the West is declining."

This theme evokes what Imperial Japan tried to do with its notorious Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, beginning in the 1930s, an attempt to unite Asians against whites.

Racial divisions bring us to Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. "In the post-Cold War world, the most important distinctions among peoples are not ideological, political, or economic," the late Harvard political scientist wrote. "They are cultural."

Analysts and academics have severely criticized Huntington's seminal 1996 book, yet whether or not this work is fundamentally flawed, Xi Jinping is in fact trying to remake the world order by leading "the East" in a civilizational struggle with "the West."

Mao Zedong, Xi's hero, saw China leading Africa and the peoples of Asia against the West, so Xi's notion of global division is nothing new, but Mao's successors for the most part dropped such racially charged talk as they sought to strengthen their communist state with Western cash and technology.

Deng Xiaoping, Mao's mostly pragmatic successor, counseled China to "hide capabilities, bide time." Xi, however, believes China's time has come in part because, he feels, America is in terminal decline.

Xi's conception of the world is abhorrent and wrong, but Americans do not have the luxury of ignoring him. They and others must recognize that in Xi's mind, race defines civilization and civilization is the world's new dividing line.

Xi is serious. In January, he told his fast-expanding military it must be ready to fight "at any second." That month, the Party's Central Military Commission took from the civilian State Council the power to mobilize all of society for war.

Militant states rarely prepare for conflict and then back down. For China's Communist Party, there is a smell of gunpowder around the world, as Xi is triggering a clash of civilizations — and races.

 

Author:

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China, a Gatestone Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow, and a member of its Advisory Board.

  • Follow Gordon G. Chang on Twitter

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UPDATES:

 

China's Xi Jinping vows 'peaceful reunification' with Taiwan

By DW - 09. October 2021

"The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled," Xi Jinping promised amid growing tensions between Beijing and Taipei.

Xi Jinping wears a balck suit and blue tie as he sits at a brown wooden long table. There are some tea cups near his right hand and a speech in front of him.

Xi JInping vowed to reunited mainland China with Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for peaceful reunification with self-governed Taiwan.

Xi made the comments in Beijing just days after mainland China carried out record military incursions into Taiwan's air defense zone.

Taiwan split from mainland China in 1949 and views itself as an independent state, while Beijing claims it is a breakaway province.

What did Xi say?

China has a "glorious tradition" of opposing separatism, Xi said at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

He was attending an official celebration to mark the anniversary of the revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty in 1911.

"Taiwan independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland, and the most serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation," Xi added.

'Beijing's harassment has become a new normal' for Taiwanese: DW's Joyce Lee

He said that peaceful "reunification" best meets the overall interests of the Taiwanese people. He also stressed that China will protect its sovereignty and unity.

"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Xi said. "The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled."

How has Taiwan reacted?

Taiwan's presidential office said on Saturday that the future of the island rests in the hands of its people and that mainstream public opinion is very clear in rejecting China's "one country, two systems" model.

This model permits two systems of governance to be practiced within the sovereign state of the People's Republic of China.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, in a separate statement, called on China to abandon its "provocative steps of intrusion, harassment and destruction."

How usual is China's call for reunification?

Xi's last major mention of Taiwan was in July when he vowed to "smash" any attempts at formal independence.

In 2019, he directly threatened to use force to bring the island under Beijing's control.

China has not stopped at verbal threats of violence. Beginning October 1, over the course of four days, the People's Liberation Army flew fighter jets, bombers and airborne early warning aircraft 149 times toward Taiwan.

The largest maneuver involved a record 56 jets at once. This was the largest number since Taiwan's Defense Ministry began releasing such reports in September last year.

Xi did not mention the incursions in his speech.

kmm/fb (Reuters, AP)

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Taiwan rebukes China over largest ever air incursion

By DW - 02. October 2021

Defense officials have accused Beijing of "damaging regional peace" after China flew an unprecedented 38 military aircraft into the Taiwanese air defense zone, including nuclear-capable bombers.

China increases military activity around Taiwan

The Chinese Shenyang J-16 fighter jet

The People's Liberation Army flew 18 J-16 fighter jets into Taiwan's air defense zone Friday

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang said Saturday that China's military aircraft maneuvers within its air defense zone were an act of "bullying."

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry on Friday said China flew 25 military aircraft into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), in what amounted to a large display of force on China's national day, which celebrates the founding of the People's Republic of China. 

A second group of jets flew into the ADIZ later on Friday night, bringing the total number of warplanes entering the Taiwanese air defense zone to an unprecedented 38.

"China has been bellicose and damaging regional peace while engaging in many bullying acts," Su told reporters.

"It's evident that the world, the international community, rejects such behavior by China more and more."

Taiwan's defense ministry said later in the day that yet another group of 20 Chinese planes entered the ADIZ on Saturday.

What happened during the Chinese incursion?

Taiwanese defense officials said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) flew 18 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers — which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads — and other planes into the ADIZ, which extends beyond Taiwan's territorial airspace and is monitored for purposes of national security.

Taiwan responded on Friday by deploying planes and tracking the Chinese war planes using air defense systems, the ministry said in a statement.

The map released by the ministry showed the planes flew near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands, with the two bombers flying close to the adjacent atoll.

Ongoing tension between China and Taiwan

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province that one day will be reunited with mainland China. Under President Xi Jinping, China has steadily increased pressure on Taiwan, which is self-governing and considers itself to be an independent country. 

China has routinely sent fighter jets toward Taiwan in recent years, as Taipei's increasing assertion of independence sparks tensions with Beijing. 

Last week, in response to Taiwan's efforts to join a regional trade group, the PLA flew 24 fighter jets toward Taiwan. 

In 2020, China made a record 380 incursions into the ADIZ, and so far this year, China has already done so more than 500 times.

China has increased the pressure since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who said she views Taiwan as "already independent," was elected in 2016.

Earlier this week, the UK sent a warship to the Taiwan Strait for the first time since 2008. Beijing said the UK was showing "evil intentions to sabotage peace and stability."

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Future of Money

China's top regulators ban crypto trading and mining, sending bitcoin tumbling

By  and 

  • Summary
  • China intensifies crypto crackdown
  • Vows to root out "illegal" trading activity, bans mining
  • Bitcoin, smaller coins slump

SHANGHAI/LONDON (Reuters) - China's most powerful regulators on Friday intensified a crackdown on cryptocurrencies with a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Ten agencies, including the central bank, financial, securities and foreign exchange regulators, vowed to work together to root out "illegal" cryptocurrency activity, the first time the Beijing-based regulators have joined forces to explicitly ban all cryptocurrency-related activity.

A Chinese flag is seen among representations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in this illustration picture taken June 2, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

A Chinese flag is seen among representations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in this illustration picture taken June 2, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

Explainer: What's new in China's crackdown on crypto?

China in May banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions, and issued similar bans in 2013 and 2017.

The repeated prohibitions highlight the challenge of closing loopholes and identifying bitcoin-related transactions, though banks and payment firms saythey support the effort.

Friday's statement is the most detailed and expansive yet from the country's main regulators, underscoring Beijing's commitment to suffocating the Chinese crypto market.

"In the history of crypto market regulation in China, this is the most direct, most comprehensive regulatory framework involving the largest number of ministries," said Winston Ma, NYU Law School adjunct professor.

The move comes amid a global cryptocurrency crackdown as governments from Asia to the United States fret that privately operated highly volatile digital currencies could undermine their control of the financial and monetary systems, increase systemic risk, promote financial crime and hurt investors.

They also worry that "mining," the energy-intensive computing process through which bitcoin and other tokens are created, is hurting global environmental goals.

Chinese government agencies have repeatedly raised concerns that cryptocurrency speculation could disrupt the country's economic and financial order, one of Beijing's top priorities.

Analysts say China also sees cryptocurrencies as a threat to its sovereign digital-yuan, which is at an advanced pilot stage.

"Beijing is so hostile to economic freedom they cannot even tolerate their people participating in what is arguably the most exciting innovation in finance in decades," top U.S. Republican Senator Pat Toomey tweeted.

While U.S. regulators are closely scrutinizing digital asset risks, they have said they also offer opportunities, including to promote financial inclusion.

'SOCIAL ORDER'

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said cryptocurrencies must not circulate and that overseas exchanges are barred from providing services to China-based investors. It also barred financial institutions, payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading nationally.

The government will "resolutely clamp down on virtual currency speculation ... to safeguard people's properties and maintain economic, financial and social order", the PBOC said.

China's National Development and Reform Commission said it will work to cut off financial support and electricity supply for mining, which it said spawns risks and hampers carbon neutrality goals.

Bitcoin , the world's largest cryptocurrency, dropped more than 9% before paring those losses. It was down 6.6% at $41,937 around 12:00ET. Smaller coins, which typically mimic bitcoin, also tumbled.

China's cabinet vowed in May to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading as it sought to mitigate financial risks, without going into details, sending bitcoin tumbling 30% in a day. Friday's news dashed hopes among crypto-enthusiasts that the cabinet would fail to follow through on its threat.

"This is the manifestation of the crypto mining and trading crackdown announcement ... back in May," said NYU's Ma.

BOUNCE BACK?

The move also hit cryptocurrency and blockchain-related shares, although they clawed back some of those declines in morning U.S. trading.

U.S.-listed miners Riot Blockchain (RIOT.O), Marathon Digital (MARA.O) and Bit Digital (BTBT.O) slipped between 2.5% and 5%, while San Francisco crypto exchange Coinbase Global (COIN.O) fell just over 1%.

Despite the initial shock, analysts said they did not expect the crackdown to dent global crypto-asset prices long term as companies continue to adopt crypto products and services.

The exposure of major crypto exchanges and payment companies was not immediately clear, however. Binance, the world's biggest, has been blocked in China since 2017, a spokesperson said. A spokesperson for Coinbase declined to comment. Global payment company PayPal(PYPL.O) does not offer crypto services in China, a spokesperson said.

Crypto exchanges OKEx and Huobi, which originated in China but are now based overseas, are likely to be the worst affected since they still have some China users, analysts said. Tokens associated with the two exchanges plunged over 20%. The exchanges did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

However, the Chinese government has struggled in the past to stop internet users from evading its controls.

"China's actions haven't held back crypto's rise too much in the past so I wouldn't be surprised to see it bounce back once more," wrote Craig Erlam, an analyst at currency broker OANDA.

Virtual currency mining had been big business in China before May, accounting for more than half the world's crypto supply, but miners have been moving overseas.

"The losers in all of this are plainly the Chinese," said Christopher Bendiksen, head of research at digital asset manager CoinShares. "They will now lose around $6 billion worth of annual mining revenue, all of which will flow to the remaining global mining regions," he added, citing Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States.

Reporting by SHANGHAI newsroom; Alun John in Hong Kong and Tom Wilson in London; additional reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; writing by Michelle Price in Washington; editing by Nick Macfie, Carmel Crimmins, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Giles Elgood

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After the GENOCIDE: Will there be enough VACCINE SURVIVORS to rebuild civilization?

By  - 17. September

Image: After the GENOCIDE: Will there be enough VACCINE SURVIVORS to rebuild civilization?

(Natural News) The vaccine holocaust is now beginning to produce mass casualties around the world, with post-vaccine deaths skyrocketing across America and many other nations. Recent VAERS data reveal 70 deaths per day among vaccinated Americans, and reliable projections of the VAERS reporting require us to multiply this by around 40 to achieve real-world numbers. This puts the daily deaths from vaccines at 2,800 in the United States alone.

The world population currently stands at 7.9 billion people (Worldometers.info).

Nearly 43% of the world population has received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. (OurWorldInData.org)

This means nearly 3.4 billion people have been vaccinated to date.

Are these vaccines now killing millions around the world? Beyond merely hypothetical, a steady stream of doctors, nurses and health experts are reporting large numbers of post-vaccine deaths that are primarily taking place in hospitals. Examples:

Hospitals are now being labeled the “killing fields” of the plandemic, with hospital doctors, nurses and administrators openly conspiring to mass murder those who are unvaccinated while covering up the deaths of those who took the jab:

Hospitals are now widely known to be covering up vaccine deaths in order to hide the number of fatalities for as long as possible. This is taking place alongside publicly admitted hospital efforts to “scare the public” by faking the number of hospitalized people “with covid.”

Despite the best efforts of the criminal hospitals and treasonous Biden regime to cover up the vaccine holocaust now taking place, vaccine deaths are skyrocketing:

And certain types of cancers in women are increasing by 2000% among the vaccinated:

Meanwhile, the nation of Israel — with an 80%+ vaccination rate — is experiencing such high levels of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths that it now stands as a glaring example of vaccine failure.

Similarly, the most vaccinated state in the USA — Vermont, with an 88% vax rate — is seeing a record surge in covid cases:

 

Everywhere that vaccine uptake rates are the highest, covid “cases,” hospitalizations and deaths soon follow. It’s abundantly obvious that the vaccine is the pandemic, and the spike protein inserted into the vaccines is what’s causing the injuries and deaths.

How many will die globally before this crime against humanity is halted?

With 3.4 billion people already vaccinated around the world, the obvious question becomes, “How many will die from the long-term effects of the depopulation shots?”

Remember, these “vaccines” are designed to achieve global depopulation. They do so through a variety of biological mechanisms:

  • Killing people with blood clots and heart attacks (vascular effects).
  • Killing people with increased rates of cancer and autoimmune disorders.
  • Aborting babies and causing long-term infertility.
  • Shedding spike protein toxic nanoparticles to others, causing sickness and death even among those who did not take the jabs.
  • Attacking the nervous system and causing cognitive impairment.

Medical experts who have studied these effects currently estimate the long-term death rate among those who have taken the vaccines to be anywhere from 10% to 70%. This means based on current vaccination data, we can expect vaccine-induced deaths to kill anywhere from 340 million people to 2.38 billion people.

And that’s if the vaccines stop right now. (But they aren’t stopping.)

Currently, nearly 30 million new vaccine doses are administered daily (OurWorldInData.org). Many of these are second doses, so this number doesn’t represent new people receiving their first dose, although that’s part of this number. According to the same data source, roughly about 90% of those who have received at least one vaccine have also received a second vaccine. (In other words, people who take the jabs tend to go with two doses, not just one.)

Widely published medical research — including the vaccine manufacturers’ own data — reveals that vaccine injuries and deaths increase sharply with the second dose of the jab. While the first jab is killing some people, the second jab tends to set people up for serious complications and risk of injury or death.

Thus, each day about 30 million people are moved up the “risk hierarchy,” with most of them moving from a low-risk (single jabbed) category into a high-risk (double jabbed) category.

If just 10% of those who receive vaccines ultimately die from the spike protein injections, this means that each day the global vaccine initiative is eventually murdering about 3 million new people. And that’s the estimate on the low side. A 50% death rate would mean the daily murder numbers are about 15 million people, or more than twice the total human cost of the Third Reich’s Holocaust over the entire period of World War II.

Stated again, it is entirely plausible that right at this very minute, the global vaccine initiative is achieving “two holocausts” per day… although we won’t know the actual numbers until the full extent of the vaccine injuries and deaths play out over time. And this will likely take years to fully develop…

Billions of casualties from the covid vaccine war on humanity?

We’re estimating that the globalist vaccine push will ultimately manage to inject as many as 5 billion people with at least one “dose” of the bioweapons spike protein jab.

With casualty rates running from 10% – 70%, we are theoretically looking at global deaths of half a billion to 3.5 billion people.

I am hoping that by exposing the truth about vaccine bioweapons, we may be able to limit the global deaths to merely one billion people, but that may be entirely too optimistic. It is quite feasible that global deaths could greatly exceed 1 billion people and approach 2 or even 3 billion in a worst case scenario.

Dr. Paul Cottrell explains that these deaths might take ten years to be fully realized, due to the nature of ADE and how long it takes for new vaccine-resistant variants to emerge that bypass vaccine-damaged immune systems:

Brighteon.com/e53f0d21-6c10-48b5-a364-1d455011337f

In other words, we may not see a billion or more deaths right away, but there will likely be another circulating wild-type virus which will, says Dr. Cottrell, wreak havoc among the vaccinated just like what we saw happen with the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.

Vaccine deaths are separate from deaths caused by economic collapse, engineered famine and war

The other concerning factor in all this is that weaponized vaccines are not the only vector being used by globalists to wage war against the human race. Other forms being actively pursued include:

  • Terraforming (sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere to collapse global food crops)
  • Engineered famine (food supply weaponization / scarcity)
  • Chemical exposure (pesticides, fluoride, hormone disruptors in food packaging)
  • Ecological collapse (agricultural runoff, over fishing, rainforest destruction for soy farming, GMOs, etc.)
  • Economic collapse (currency collapse, debt bomb implosions, forced lockdowns, punitive taxation, fiat currency printing)
  • Cultural collapse (attacks on the Church, the family, reason and the rule of law)
  • Cyber warfare (attacks on the power grid, telecommunications, etc.)

If you put all these together, it becomes obvious that the vaccine war against humanity is just one part of a much larger depopulation assault which can easily lead to mass starvation, disease, destitution, violence and war.

The total casualties from such events are entirely unknown, but since every living person needs food, water and shelter in order to survive, the weaponization and scarcity of such supplies potentially puts all human life at risk. All 7.9 billion of us.

And by the way, treasonous actor Joe Biden just announced the restriction of monoclonal antibodies to red states, effectively declaring an act of warfare against his political enemies by denying them lifesaving medicine. This is open warfare against conservative America, and it clarifies the fact that humanity-hating globalists (and their puppets like Biden) will indeed pull out all the stops to achieve mass extermination by any means possible.

Thus, the only rational conclusion from all this is that all 7.9 billion living human beings are in grave danger of being exterminated through various means: Bioweapons, economic collapse, starvation, geoengineering and weather weaponization, geopolitical war and so on.

Will enough knowledge and know-how survive to rebuild civilization?

To address the primary question of this article, will enough people survive to rebuild civilization, I can only answer honestly: I’m really not sure.

I don’t know if human civilization survives this without being plunged into an 18th century existence and losing much of what we’ve gained over the last 2+ centuries.

Furthermore, it looks to me like the total extermination of human civilization is the goal of the globalists.

They are preparing Earth for a post-human future. There is no plan for human beings to exist in any sustainable form whatsoever. This is why they don’t care if they’re risking the credibility of “science” or “medicine” or even government itself. If their own plans are successful, there won’t be anyone left alive to matter.

Let us pray we can stop them, and remember that doing so will take more than signing petitions or sharing links. In the mean time, avoid the clot shot if you wish to be part of the future of the human race.

Today’s Situation Update podcast delves into this topic in more detail, via Brighteon.com:

Brighteon.com/d03ee3ec-7681-442d-8bee-353fece0045f

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Currency and control: why China wants to undermine bitcoin

Beijing’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has captured headlines, while behind the scenes its reserve bank set up its own digital currency

By  - 09. July 2021

Bitcoin ad on a Hong Kong bus
China has banned banks using bitcoin and banished so-called crypto ‘miners’ from the country. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

Few would dispute that China’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining has contributed to the recent plunge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptos.

But while the argument rages about whether the volatility of cryptos is a sign of fundamental weakness or merely a bump along the road, the initiatives coming out of Beijing are being seen by experts as a sign of China’s attempts to incubate its own fledgling e-currency and reboot the international financial system.

The People’s Bank of China aims to become the first major central bank to issue a central bank digital currency. While the PBOC’s counterparts in the west have taken a more cautious approach, it has held trials in several major cities including Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hangzhou.

The benefits of an e-currency are immense. As more and more transactions are made using a digital currency controlled centrally, the government gains more and more ability to monitor the economy and its people.

The rollout is also seen as part of Beijing’s push to weaken the power of the US dollar, and in turn that of the government in Washington. China believes that by internationalising the yuan it can reduce its dependence on the dollar-dominated global banking system, just as its Belt and Road Initiative is building an alternative network of international trade.

Alarm in western governments is such that the threat posed by the digital yuan, which could put China out of reach from international financial sanctions, for example, was discussed at last month’s G7 meeting.

But another crucial motivation is the increasing alarm in Beijing at the size of the crypto industry in China, where a huge amount of cryptocurrency was being “mined” until the recent crackdown.

The threat of an unregulated alternative monetary system emerging from blockchain technology is a clear and present danger to the Communist party, according to observers.

Jim Cramer, a former hedge fund manager and CNN business expert, said the government in Beijing “believe it’s a direct threat to the regime because … it is outside their control”.

Seen from the perspective of central banks, cryptocurrencies are a threat to financial stability, argues Carsten Murawski, professor of finance at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and if digital currencies are to be developed then authorities want control.

“All central banks want to control them – the PBOC, the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank,” he says. “They have no interest in parallel currencies floating around. Some countries may not be too worried but in China it could be more of a concern.”

On Thursday, Fan Yifei, a deputy governor of the PBOC, said China was concerned about the threat posed by these digital currencies developed outside the regulated financial system. “We are still quite worried about this issue, so we have taken some measures,” Fan said.

The value of bitcoin shot up to a record high earlier this year of almost $65,000, having been worth less than $10,000 in the middle of last year, sparking a frenzy of interest in the cryptos as an investment to hedge against more traditional assets such as stocks and bonds. Comments by Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla, that he would not allow bitcoin to be used to buy his cars added to the volatility and it is now trading in the low $30,000s.

But that has also attracted the attention of authorities such as those in China concerned about the largely unregulated market.

“In many countries it is completely unregulated – it is the absolute wild west,” says Prof Murawski, who also pointed out that there might not be the usual legal avenues to pursue if people thought they had been defrauded.

“So that’s another reason to control cryptos: to protect the consumer. Uninformed investors could lose a huge amount of money.”

A technology trader advertises high-speed computers that can be used for cryptocurrency ‘mining’ in Hong Kong
A technology trader advertises high-speed computers that can be used for cryptocurrency ‘mining’ in Hong Kong. Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA

In China, the rollout of the digital yuan has speeded up this year in tandem with the outlawing of crypto trading. In May, the PBOC banned banks from doing business or providing accounts for anyone trading in cryptocurrencies. It was followed by the outlawing of bitcoin mining in several provinces, including Sichuan. On Tuesday, China’s central bank warned companies against assisting cryptocurrency-related businesses as it shut down a software firm over suspected involvement in digital currency transactions.

Fan said on Thursday that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin had become “tools for speculation” and were bringing potential risks to financial security and social stability.

Online businesses have been allowed to prosper in China, but the government in Beijing has been ruthless in cutting them down to size if they appear to be getting too big to control. Jack Ma, the high-profile billionaire founder of the Alibaba empire, disappeared abruptly from public view for months last year, and his company was fined and ordered to downsize. Regulators have also targeted tech giants Tencent and Bytedance, the respective parents companies of WeChat and TikTok, and this week ordered ridesharing app Didi be pulled from app stores and launched an inquiry.

Dong Shaopeng, a senior research fellow at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said some online industries such as cryptocurrencies had reached an “alarming” size. 

“It’s time for the government to block such transactions from capital sources, so that money will stop flowing from real industries to those transactions,” Dong told the Global Times.

Prof Murawski says yet another reason why China wants to clean up the cryptocurrency business on its own patch is the possible threat to the electricity system.

The process uses a huge amount of electricity and has tended to be set up in areas where cheap power is available. In China that has included Sichuan, which benefits from abundant and cheap hydro-electric power. But as profits rise thanks to the popularity of cryptos, governments may becoming less willing to allow miners to accrue huge benefits from a system that uses so much electricity it can threaten the stability of the power grid.

The crackdown on cryptos is not limited to China. Britain’s financial regulator said last month that Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, cannot conduct any regulated activity and issued a warning to consumers about the platform.

But cryptos remain an extremely attractive asset for many investors who see nothing to fear from China’s crackdown and that mining will simply migrate to other more accommodating jurisdictions with little impact on the market.

Michael Saylor, co-founder of the business intelligence company MicroStrategy and one of cryptos’ biggest cheerleaders, recently bought an additional 13,005 bitcoins for roughly $489m at an average price of $37,617 per coin. And the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz just launched a $2bn crypto fund and announced it was “radically optimistic about crypto’s potential to restore trust and enable new kinds of governance”.

Author:

Martin Farrer

Read more

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Illustration by Jurgen Ziewe

‘I put my life savings in crypto’: how a generation of amateurs got hooked on high-risk trading

Bitcoin miner Huang inspects a malfunctioning mining machine during his night shift at the Bitcoin mine in Sichuan Province, China

China’s vast bitcoin mining empire risks derailing its climate targets, says study

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‘Without fear of death’: Xi Jinping orders Chinese army to be ready to fight ‘at any second’

By EgyptT - 05. April 2021

China’s leader Xi Jinping has directed the military to bolster training in 2021 and use more hi-tech in its drills. The order comes after tense standoffs with India and Taiwan last year

Xi, who chairs China’s Central Military Commission, ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to maintain “full-time combat readiness” and to be ready to “act at any second.”

“The commanders and the soldiers of the whole army must… carry forward the spirit of combat without the fear of hardships and the fear of death,” the order read, noting that this year will be the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

Xi directed the PLA to bolster its “frontline training” and “substantially increase” the use of technology in exercises. Calling modern technology “the core of combat effectiveness,” Xi ordered the military to use computer simulations in drills and to explore ways to add more high-tech and online methods into their operations.

According to the South China Morning Post, the mentioning of unspecified “frontline military struggles” in the start-of-year general order to the army was a departure from previous such orders issued by Xi, in which the PLA was told to “manage crises and deter war.”

China has seen increased tensions with its neighbors India and Taiwan throughout last year.

Hostilities along the Himalayan border culminated in a bloody skirmish in June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed, and Beijing suffered an undisclosed number of casualties. The atmosphere on the ground has since remained tense, despite the commitment of both sides to de-escalation.

Last month, China sent an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait a day after a US warship sailed there. Beijing’s increased military posturing in the region took place as Taipei launched a rearmament program and secured several major arms deals with Washington.

China and the US continued accusing each other of provocative maneuvers in the South China Sea, while their ties were further damaged by a trade war and Washington’s support for the protest movement in Hong Kong.

Video already deleted by the criminal GooTube censors

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China's Threat to Free Speech in Europe

By Soeren Kern - 31. March 2021

  • The current standoff is, in essence, about the future of free speech in Europe. If notoriously feckless European officials fail to stand firm in the face of mounting Chinese pressure, Europeans who dare publicly to criticize the CCP in the future can expect to pay an increasingly high personal cost for doing so.

  • "As long as human rights are being violated, I cannot stay silent. These sanctions prove that China is sensitive to pressure. Let this be an encouragement to all my European colleagues: Speak out!" — Dutch lawmaker Sjoerd Sjoerdsma.

  • "It is our duty to call out the Chinese government's human rights abuses in Hong Kong and their genocide of the Uighur people. Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice." — Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

  • "Beijing's strategy is to simply crush and silence any global opposition to its atrocity by inflicting crushingly punitive measures on anyone who speaks out. A very concerning development." — Adrian Zenz, German scholar.

  • "It is telling that China now responds to even moderate criticism with sanctions, rather than attempting to defend its actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang." — China Research Group.

  • "For far too long the EU has believed in the illusion of a middle ground." — Lea Dauber, Süddeutsche Zeitung.

  • "In plain language: Beijing wants to decide who in Europe can talk or write about China." — Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

  • "Beijing's sanctions against the UK and EU — targeting MPs, academics, even legal groups — show the regime of Xi Jinping will not tolerate dissent from anyone, anywhere." — Sophia Yan, China correspondent for the Telegraph.

  • "Beijing's message is unmistakable: You must choose. If you want to do business in China, it must be at the expense of American values. You will meticulously ignore the genocide of ethnic and religious minorities inside China's borders; you must disregard that Beijing has reneged on its major promises—including the international treaty guaranteeing a 'high degree of autonomy' for Hong Kong; and you must stop engaging with security-minded officials in your own capital unless it's to lobby them on Beijing's behalf." — Matt Pottinger, former deputy White House national security adviser, Wall Street Journal.

(Image source: iStock)

China has imposed sanctions on more than two dozen European and British lawmakers, academics and think tanks. The move comes after the European Union and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region.

China contends that its sanctions are tit for tat — morally equivalent retaliation — in response to those imposed by Western countries. This is false. The European sanctions are for crimes against humanity, whereas the Chinese sanctions seek to silence European critics of the Chinese Communist Party.

The current standoff is, in essence, about the future of free speech in Europe. If notoriously feckless European officials fail to stand firm in the face of mounting Chinese pressure, Europeans who dare publicly to criticize the CCP in the future can expect to pay an increasingly high personal cost for doing so.

On March 22, the European Union and the United Kingdom announced (here and here) that they had imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials accused of responsibility for abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, a remote autonomous region in northwestern China.

Human rights experts say at least one million Muslims are being detained in up to 380 internment camps, where they are subject to torture, mass rapes, forced labor and sterilizations. After first denying the existence of the camps, China now says that they provide vocational education and training.

Among those targeted by the EU are Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB). In its Official Journal, the EU stated:

"As Director of the XPSB, Chen Mingguo holds a key position in Xinjiang's security apparatus and is directly involved in implementing a large-scale surveillance, detention and indoctrination program targeting Uyghurs and people from other Muslim ethnic minorities. In particular, the XPSB has deployed the 'Integrated Joint Operations Platform' (IJOP), a big data program used to track millions of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region and flag those deemed 'potentially threatening' to be sent to detention camps. Chen Mingguo is therefore responsible for serious human rights violations in China, in particular arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment inflicted upon Uyghurs and people from other Muslim ethnic minorities, as well as systematic violations of their freedom of religion or belief."

The EU sanctions, which involve travel bans and asset freezes, conspicuously exclude the top official in Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, who has been targeted by U.S. sanctions since July 2020. The EU apparently was attempting to show restraint in an effort to forestall an escalation by China.

The Chinese government responded to the EU sanctions within minutes by announcing its own sanctions on 14 European individuals and entities. The individuals and their families are prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.

Those prohibited from entering China or doing business with it are German politician Reinhard Bütikofer, who chairs the European Parliament's delegation to China, Michael Gahler, Raphaël Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann, all Members of the European Parliament, Sjoerd Wiemer Sjoerdsma of the Dutch Parliament, Samuel Cogolati of the Belgian Parliament, Dovilė Šakalienė of the Seimas of Lithuania, German scholar Adrian Zenz, and Swedish scholar Björn Jerdén.

The ten individuals have publicly criticized the Chinese government for human rights abuses. Sjoerdsma, for instance, recently called for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. Cogolati and Šakalienė have drafted genocide legislation, while Zenz has written extensively on the detention camps in Xinjiang.

China also sanctioned the EU's main foreign policy decision-making body, known as the Political and Security Committee, as well as the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights, the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies, and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a Danish think tank founded by former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In a March 22 statement, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:

"The Chinese side urges the EU side to reflect on itself, face squarely the severity of its mistake and redress it. It must stop lecturing others on human rights and interfering in their internal affairs. It must end the hypocritical practice of double standards and stop going further down the wrong path. Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions."

A few days later, on March 26, China announced sanctions on nine British individuals and four entities. The individuals include Tom Tugendhat, Iain Duncan Smith, Neil O'Brien, David Alton, Tim Loughton, Nusrat Ghani, Helena Kennedy, Geoffrey Nice, Joanne Nicola Smith Finley. The entities include China Research Group, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Uyghur Tribunal and the Essex Court Chambers.

On March 27, China announced additional sanctions on Americans and Canadian individuals and entities. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Canada and the United States to "stop political manipulation" or "they will get their fingers burnt."

EU-China Investment Deal

The EU sanctions, the first such punitive measure against China since an EU arms embargo was imposed in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy crackdown, appear to indicate that both the EU and the UK plan to follow the United States and pursue a harder line against human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

The bedrock of EU-China relations has always been economic, and European leaders have long been accused of downplaying human rights abuses in China to protect European business interests there.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel recently negotiated a controversial trade deal with China.

The so-called Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), concluded on December 30, was negotiated in great haste. Merkel, facing pressure from both China and German industry, reportedly wanted an agreement at any cost before Germany's six-month EU presidency ended on December 31, 2020.

The lopsided agreement, which ostensibly aims to level the economic and financial playing field by providing European companies with improved access to the Chinese market, actually allows China to continue to restrict investment opportunities for European companies in many strategic sectors.

One week after the deal was signed, China launched a massive crackdown on democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Now that China has imposed sanctions on European lawmakers, the investment agreement may never see the light of day. "It seems unthinkable that our Parliament would even entertain the idea of ratifying an agreement while its members and one of its committees are under sanctions," said MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, a parliamentary point-person for the EU-China deal.

European Responses

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has been strangely silent regarding the Chinese sanctions. Others have been outspoken in their criticism:

"We sanction people who violate human rights, not parliamentarians, as has now been done by the Chinese side," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. "This is neither comprehensible nor acceptable for us."

After being put on China's sanctions list, Dutch lawmaker Sjoerd Sjoerdsma tweeted:

"As long as human rights are being violated, I cannot stay silent. These sanctions prove that China is sensitive to pressure. Let this be an encouragement to all my European colleagues: Speak out!"

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited several of the MPs hit by Chinese sanctions to Downing Street. He tweeted:

"This morning I spoke with some of those who have been shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims. I stand firmly with them and the other British citizens sanctioned by China."

Johnson referred to the parliamentarians as "warriors in the fight for free speech" who have his "full-throated support" and expressed bafflement at Beijing's "ridiculous" actions.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added:

"It speaks volumes that, while the UK joins the international community in sanctioning those responsible for human rights abuses, the Chinese government sanctions its critics. If Beijing wants to credibly rebut claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, it should allow the UN high commissioner for human rights full access to verify the truth."

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith tweeted:

"It is our duty to call out the Chinese government's human rights abuses in Hong Kong and their genocide of the Uighur people. Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice. If that brings the anger of China down upon me the I shall wear that as a badge of honor."

Labour MP Lisa Nandy, in an interview with the BBC, said:

"This is incredibly serious. It's a direct attempt to silence and intimidate those who criticize the actions of the Chinese government. If China thinks that this will silence critics, they are completely mistaken....

"This will only strengthen our resolve to be more vocal and more resolute in calling out and challenging the grotesque human rights abuses that we've seen coming out of Xinjiang and the clampdown on democracy in Hong Kong. We are British Parliamentarians who will not be divided on this. Whatever political tradition we come from, we are first and foremost democrats and we will stand up for those values, especially when they are under attack."

MP Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in an interview with the BBC, said:

"What we are seeing at the moment is a vulnerable and weak China that has failed in its democratic outreach to states around the region, it has failed to undermine the coalition of countries that are standing up for human rights and it has failed to undermine the connection between the UK, the US and indeed Europe, so what they are doing is lashing out.

"Sadly, this is a sign of weakness and not a sign of strength and a demonstration that President Xi is failing the Chinese people, the Chinese Community Party and, indeed, failing the whole world."

British academic Jo Smith Finley tweeted:

"It seems I am to be sanctioned by the PRC (Chinese) government for speaking the truth about the #Uyghur tragedy in #Xinjiang, and for having a conscience. Well, so be it. I have no regrets for speaking out, and I will not be silenced."

Adrian Zenz, a German scholar subject to Chinese sanctions, tweeted:

"Beijing's strategy on Xinjiang is fundamentally shifting. Their goal is not mainly to erase the evidence, although they do that. It is now also less about denying said evidence, although they still do it. Rather, they now feel untouchable about it all.

"Beijing's strategy is to simply crush and silence any global opposition to its atrocity by inflicting crushingly punitive measures on anyone who speaks out. A very concerning development."

The China Research Group, which was established by a group of Conservative MPs in the UK to promote debate and fresh thinking about how Britain should respond to the rise of China, concluded:

"It is tempting to laugh off this measure as a diplomatic tantrum. But in reality it is profoundly sinister and just serves as a clear demonstration of many of the concerns we have been raising about the direction of China under Xi Jinping. Other mainstream European think tanks have also been sanctioned this week and it is telling that China now responds to even moderate criticism with sanctions, rather than attempting to defend its actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang."

The founder of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said:

"We will never give in to bullying by authoritarian states. Our work to promote freedom, democracy and human rights around the world will continue. China has once again highlighted the urgent need for democracies to unite in stemming the tide of autocracy in our world."

Select Commentary

In an editorial, the Financial Times wrote that the EU's sanctions on China are a sign of Western resolve on China.

"China retaliated against EU sanctions by punishing several parliamentarians, analysts, and Merics, a think-tank on China based in Berlin known for its judicious analysis. It also targeted the committee of 27 member-state ambassadors to the EU who oversee foreign and security policy. Beijing has in recent years used a divide-and-conquer approach with national capitals to undermine a common EU front. With its Xinjiang abuses and overreaction on sanctions, Beijing has managed the rare feat of uniting the EU on a foreign policy issue.

"By targeting critics of its actions and analysts who refuse to toe its line, Beijing has demonstrated its totalitarian mindset. By punishing European Parliament members, it has made it all but impossible for that legislature to ratify the investment agreement. MEPs were already clamoring for more concessions from Beijing, namely the adoption of international standards outlawing forced labor. China will need to make a double retreat to put the deal back on track, which seems unlikely. Having used the investment deal to drive a monetary wedge between Washington and Brussels, Beijing may feel it can dispense with it."

The Guardian, in an editorial, wrote:

"The sanctions have drastically lowered the odds of the European parliament approving the investment deal which China and the EU agreed in December, to US annoyance. Beijing may think the agreement less useful to China than it is to the EU (though many in Europe disagree). But the measures have done more to push Europe towards alignment with the US than anything Joe Biden could have offered, at a time when China is also alienating other players, notably Australia....

"Beijing's delayed response to the UK sanctions suggests it did not anticipate them, perhaps unsurprising when the integrated review suggested we should somehow court trade and investment while also taking a tougher line. But the prime minister and foreign secretary have, rightly, made their support for sanctioned individuals and their concerns about gross human rights violations in Xinjiang clear. Academics and politicians, universities and other institutions, should follow their lead in backing targeted colleagues and bodies. China has made its position plain. So should democratic societies."

Lea Deuber, China correspondent for Süddeutsche Zeitung, wrote:

"In response to European sanctions against those responsible for human rights crimes in Xinjiang, Beijing is sanctioning European politicians, academics and research institutes. The sanctions must not be understood as a threat against individuals. They are an attack on the entire European Union, on its fundamental values ​​and freedom.

"Beijing accuses the EU of questioning China's sovereignty. In reality, the regime is trying to force the European Union to take sides in the dispute between the U.S. and China through violence and manipulation. The escalation must be a wake-up call.

"For far too long the EU has believed in the illusion of a middle ground. With a view to the cruel conduct in Xinjiang, Brussels waited for years, only appealing again and again. Even with the sanctions, Brussels had sought a softened solution, disregarding important Chinese players in the region.

"That must come to an end. Berlin must draw conclusions. At the end of last year, contrary to all warnings, the German government pushed through the investment agreement with China. This still has to be ratified by the EU Parliament. That is now unthinkable."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine, in an article titled, "Anyone Who Does Not Sing Beijing's Song Will be Punished," wrote: "In plain language: Beijing wants to decide who in Europe can talk or write about China."

UK MP Nusrat Ghani, writing for the Spectator, noted:

"There is a positive side to all this. The reaction from the Chinese Communist Party shows that some of the work going on in Parliament is having an effect — and is reaching the ears of those who matter in Beijing. Twelve months ago, the abuse of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang was only whispered about in Parliament. There was no sense that the UK's supply chains might be affected, or that we could bring about real change. Now the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, of which I am a member, has held an inquiry into forced labor in UK value chains, and we have found 'compelling evidence' of Chinese slave labor links to major brands.

"The Chinese authorities should realize that their actions today have laid down a challenge for Parliament. They have essentially told MPs to stop asking questions and to mind their own business. Throughout its history, our Parliament has never much liked that attitude. I can assure the Chinese Communist Party that I and my fellow MPs will continue to shine a light on their activities, and that Parliament — more than ever — stands behind us."

Robin Brandt, Shanghai correspondent for the BBC, wrote:

"China has gone for the people exerting the most pressure on Boris Johnson to be tough on China. It's gone for the people who say 'genocide' has happened in Xinjiang.

"The measures are essentially tokenistic — it's unlikely these people or entities did any business with Chinese firms or people anyway.

"Targeting Neil O'Brien is personal for the UK prime minister. The MP is in charge of leading policy in Downing Street.

"Going after Essex Court Chambers — a group of self-employed barristers — for a legal opinion it reached also shows you how China views an independent judicial system. It doesn't believe in them."

Sophia Yan, China correspondent for the Telegraph, in an analysis, wrote:

"Beijing's sanctions against the UK and EU — targeting MPs, academics, even legal groups — show the regime of Xi Jinping will not tolerate dissent from anyone, anywhere....

"China is flexing its muscles to challenge a rules-based world order set by the West in a campaign to be treated as an equal. It plays well at home.

"But there are genuine questions over whether the show of force is wise. Beijing's behavior is certainly not winning hearts and minds, and instead appears to be doing damage to its international standing.

"Beijing has long bet that most countries would be wooed by lucrative opportunities with the world's second-largest economy.

"How long that will continue to be the case remains to be seen. Britain, for its part, is unlikely to step back from its criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and it's hard to see how China could cool tensions if it wanted to....

"A key test of whether Beijing can get away with throwing its weight around like this will be whether the EU moves to ratify an investment agreement with China. It has been in the works for seven years, but EU officials were expressing doubts even before they were hit with sanctions.

"Whether the deal is approved, renegotiated, or scrapped entirely will send a message to Beijing — either that it can indeed do what it wants, or that it's crossed a line."

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Matt Pottinger, former deputy White House national security adviser, concluded:

"Beijing's message is unmistakable: You must choose. If you want to do business in China, it must be at the expense of American values. You will meticulously ignore the genocide of ethnic and religious minorities inside China's borders; you must disregard that Beijing has reneged on its major promises—including the international treaty guaranteeing a 'high degree of autonomy' for Hong Kong; and you must stop engaging with security-minded officials in your own capital unless it's to lobby them on Beijing's behalf.

"Another notable element of Beijing's approach is its explicit goal of making the world permanently dependent on China, and exploiting that dependency for political ends. Mr. Xi has issued guidance, institutionalized this month by his rubber-stamp parliament, that he's pursuing a grand strategy of making China independent of high-end imports from industrialized nations while making those nations heavily reliant on China for high-tech supplies and as a market for raw materials. In other words, decoupling is precisely Beijing's strategy—so long as it's on Beijing's terms.

"Even more remarkable, the Communist Party is no longer hiding its reasons for pursuing such a strategy. In a speech Mr. Xi delivered early last year...he said China 'must tighten international production chains' dependence on China' with the aim of 'forming powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities.'

"This phrase — 'powerful countermeasures and deterrent capabilities' — is party jargon for offensive leverage. Beijing's grand strategy is to accumulate and exert economic leverage to achieve its political objectives around the world.

"CEOs will find it increasingly difficult to please both Washington and Beijing.... Chinese leaders, as mentioned, are issuing high-decibel warnings that multinationals must abandon such values as the price of doing business in China. Like sailors straddling two boats, American companies are likely to get wet.

"Beijing is trying to engineer victory from the mind of a single leader; free societies like ours harness the human spirit. Therein lies our ultimate advantage. The Communist Party's leaders are right about one thing: American CEOs, their boards and their investors have to decide which side they want to help win."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.