Category Archives: american imperialism

Tony Abbott in Taiwan as Gunman for Morrison and ASPI

Bruce Haigh, in Globsal Times, 13 October 2021, where the title readsAbbott extends Morrison’s diplomatic disaster”

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott blundered his way on stage in Taipei city to deliver a most imprudent speech to the Yushan Regional Security Forum on October 7. Abbott was accorded all the courtesies of a visiting dignitary, including being received by Tsai Ing-wen. Prior to Abbott arriving, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the visit was private yet he was accompanied by a senior Australian representative, Jenny Bloomfield. Her presence conferred official status on Abbott’s presence in Taiwan.

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Malaysia Challenges Australia’s AUKUS Smokescreen

Yiswaree Palnasamy in Malay Mail, 12 October 2021,   where the title reads thusHishammuddin: Aukus can potentially disrupt South-east Asian peace; Malaysia won’t stand by”

Malaysia has made it clear to Australia that it won’t stand for any external threat to the peace and stability in South-east Asia, Parliament was told today.Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the federal government’s position has been very clear and consistent regarding the three-way security pact Australia has with the United States and the United Kingdom in the Indoe-Pacific region, better known as Aukus. “The latest stance of the Malaysian government on Aukus remains consistent with the stance affirmed by the prime minister, that the formation of Aukus raises concerns as it has the potential to disrupt peace and stability in Southeast Asia. 

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Okt — Menteri Kanan Pertahanan yang juga Ahli Parlimen Sembrong Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein ketika Mesyuarat Khas Penggal Ketiga Parlimen Ke-14 di Parlimen hari ini.?–fotoBERNAMA (2021) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

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Tony Aboott on the Warpath in Taiwan in Pursuing Foolhardy Australian Policy

 Leng Shumei, in Global Times, 11 October 2021, where the title runs thus  “China lodges solemn representations to Australia over Abbott’s ‘immoral, ridiculous’ comments on Taiwan”

China lodged solemn representations to Australia over recent “immoral, irresponsible and ridiculous” speeches made by former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott on Taiwan-related affairs, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday, stressing that the one-China principle is a universally recognized norm governing international relations and the consensus of the international community.  “Some Australian politicians’ actions and comments have seriously violated the principle and sent wrong signals,” Zhao said at Monday’s routine press conference.

during the 2015 Asian Cup match between the Australian Socceroos and Kuwait at AAMI Park on January 9, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

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Addressing Hostility to China from Sri Lankan Commentators

A Memo from “Fair Dinkum” to Michael Roberts, 21 September 2021 ….with highlighting imposed by The Editor, ThppHI Nmwly, Michael

Michael,

I was glancing at some of the comments on the latest Hambantota piece. I am mystified as to why some Sri Lankans are so hostile to Chinese investment.

To touch on one specific point:  One person who posted a message could only highlight three instances of Chinese interventions. In truth, two of those were not intervention; namely, the 1962 India conflict and China-Vietnam conflict. India had provoked China in 1962. China decided to send a message to India. They crossed the border into Indian territory and seized 45,000 sq km of land, but then suddenly withdrew. In other words, China never intended to take control but simply wanted to show India they could do so if provoked. It’s a Chinese strategy. These two were small conflicts and were not about taking control of India or Vietnam. So, I’m afraid these are not good examples to use against China.  By contrast the US has overthrown over 72 governments, were implicated in the deaths of millions in Indonesia in the 1960s, as one example, but similar patterns can be found in the other 72.

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Pyrrhic Defeat: Seven Days which shattered the Great Game of Smashing Afghanistan

Jolly Somasundaram

            “Truth is like the Sun, one can shut it off for sometime, but it will not go away.” …. Elvis Presley                  

Afghanistan has done it again! A country, where her geography was her destiny, made her push towards repeated trysts with history- Alexander’s Greeks, Mongols, Mughals, the Brits, Russians, Americans. She, redoubtable to foreign invaders, specialised in making her country, micro- Kanattestans for these invading hordes. These done-in foreign forces now out-done, were not small fry but superpowers.

Troops from Britain- the Rotweiller in her time slot of Empire building- were decimated three times, bleaching this arid landscape. Undaunted, Sysyphean Britain ventured on the fourth, though now a metamorphosed American poodle: same wipe-out. Russia, in her own time slot of imperial hope, was similarly sent scurrying home. Smaller European countries- Australia, Germany, France Italy, Canada, wishing to taste Petite Gloire but lacking oomph, hitch hiked on the NATO bandwagon: the same degrading exit.

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No Debt Trap at Hambantota: False Picture on China’s Role

Deborah Brautigam & Meg Rithmire,  in The Atlantic, 6 February 2021, where the title is The Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth “

The narrative wrongfully portrays both Beijing and the developing countries it deals with. China, we are told, inveigles poorer countries into taking out loan after loan to build expensive infrastructure that they can’t afford and that will yield few benefits, all with the end goal of Beijing eventually taking control of these assets from its struggling borrowers. As states around the world pile on debt to combat the coronavirus pandemic and bolster flagging economies, fears of such possible seizures have only amplified.

Ben Shmulevitch

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September 11: Back to Square One 20 Years After

David Kilcullen, in The Weekend Australian, 11-12 September 2021

Twenty years after 9/11 the terrorism threat is larger and more widespread, the Western alliance is weaker, and the US is in sharp ­decline relative to its rivals. Democratic societies are less free, stunted by “safetyism”, less resilient and more divided.

The abandonment of Afghans amid the return of an unreformed triumphant Taliban just in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, underlines the failure of the global war on terror and the need for a radical rethink. This is particularly true for Australia, which faces the most threatening geopolitical environment in a century.

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Spats about Ports in Sri Lanka: The Bigger Picture

  Mick Moore**

To the extent that we can make any confident prophesies about world affairs in this very fragile current context, it is reasonable to predict that (a) global political, military, economic and ideological competition between China and the US is going to continue to loom large and (b) Sri Lanka, for a range of historical and geographical reasons, is likely to remain caught up in that competition. We can expect to see many more partisan spats, like those between Jonathan Hillman and Fair Dinkum in relation to the Hambantota Port, counterposing good/wicked China against wicked/good US. Some claims will be right, and some wrong. My guess is that in 10 years or so, the two combatants will earn similar levels of positive and negative points.

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American Schemes of Global Bifurcation behind Hillman’s Story on Hambantota Port

Fair Dinkum

I am unfamiliar with the work of Jonathan E. Hillman. So, I spent time researching his background before reading this article. I wanted to read the article with an open mind. With this type of article, it is important know who the author is; what his relationship is with Sri Lanka, China and the US; the organisation he is affiliated with and what their goals are; and why did he decide to write this essay and for what purpose?

Greece may be on the fringe of the EU geographically, but it has become a key focus in the intensifying scramble for global influence. Sri Lanka could go the same way.  Illustration by Henry Wong

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The Story behind the Rise of Hambantota Port: An American Twist

Jonathan E. Hillman, 26 August 2021, whose title runs thus:The Secret History of Hambantota” ….  while the presentation here is marked by the imposition of highlights, let me prefigure the prospect of critical commentary from knowledgeable specialists sought out by Thuppahi.

If Chinese loans were cigarettes, Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port would be the cancerous lung on the warning label. Some observers have pointed to the underperforming port and alleged that China is using “debt trap diplomacy,” loading countries up with loans and seizing strategic assets after they cannot repay. Others have argued that Sri Lanka, not China, is responsible for its debt woes. The debate is important for understanding the risks lurking in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, especially as the pandemic pushes more of China’s borrowers to the brink.

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