By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: Jeff J. Brown on the left and Pepe Escobar on the right, cover news and events on every continent on Earth, except the Antarctic, but especially Asia and East v West.
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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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It was great to have such an informative and entertaining discussion with Pepe Escobar today. As I was editing it, I think what shines through is real friendship between two writers, journalists and analysts, who have great mutual respect for each other’s knowledge and experience.
Pepe’s core work can be found here: https://asiatimes.com
His new book, Raging Twenties, which I just got, can be found here: https://www.nimblebooks.com/where-you-can-buy-raging-twenties-by-pepe-escobar/
I’m looking forward to reading it and then having Pepe back on the show to discuss it.
Enjoy a fun and engaging exchange…
Jeff: Before leaving, please remember to contribute to all of my thousands of hours of work here, PayPal, Patreon, a fundraiser in the description below or on the China Rising Radio Sinoland article page. Thank you.
This is Jeff J. Brown China Rising Radio Sinoland on the beaches of Normandy. And I am elated, more than elated to have a great friend and comrade. I shouldn’t say comrade (Pepe shouts “Comrade!”) a colleague for journalism and tips. Pepe Escobar, how are you doing tonight?
Pepe: Very nice to be with you, Jeff. And well, I have a very special close relationship with Normandy as well.
Jeff: So come on, let me just tell you before we get started because it all kind of ties together. Pepe and I met in 2014. I don’t know, we found each other by email and he was coming to Beijing. And so he said, I want you to eat at my favorite restaurant. Well, in today’s atmosphere, it happened to be your favorite Uighur restaurant in a Muslim neighborhood and it was incredible. We saw no genocide.
Pepe: We can ask the waitresses, where’s the genocide?
Jeff: So don’t tell us that USA Secretary Tony Blinken or he’ll sanction us. And so then your Empire of Chaos was coming out, which I later really enjoyed. A year later, you came back to Beijing and we did the same redux and that wonderful restaurant that you had found and the still no genocide. And we hit it off and we stayed in touch. And then Pepe agreed to write the introduction to my second China book, China Rising.
And we’ve managed to stay in touch now for seven years. And then to kind of close the loop with Pepe, Normandy’s connection last summer, I invited him to come to visit us in Normandy, but Thailand had shut down for all the airports. My wife and I had just gotten out during a brief window in July when they opened the airports for about two weeks. We couldn’t go back to Thailand where we had retired.
So we had to permanently retire here in Normandy, which is no bad thing, and because we couldn’t go back to Thailand. So what incredible covid weirdness. So anyway, thanks. Thanks for joining me tonight.
Pepe: I haven’t been to France in over a year. Jeff, I can’t if I go to Paris and try to come back to Bangkok, it’s impossible. I know it’s a bureaucratic nightmare is you know, it’s madness anyway.
Jeff: I want to tell everybody out there and China Rising Radio Sinoland that Pepe has been writing some incredibly good articles. I mean, you up to your game. And as a fellow writer and journalist, I mean, you up to your game. I’ll put the links asiatimes.com and I’ll put it on the page anyway. So I think I sent him one of my articles and he responded and I said, I read your recent article, here’s mine. And I said, let’s get together for a talk. So that’s what we’re going to do tonight. Not a real interview, but just more of a discussion. So are you ready to start?
Jeff: Before I forget, I got your brand new book. Raging 20s, is that right?
Pepe: Oh, raging.
Jeff: That’s raging as a one, just.
Pepe: An echo of Dylan Thomas. I was just another one of my passions, one of my favorite poets. Yeah.
Jeff: A play on the rage.
Pepe: Rage against the dying of the light.
Jeff: There you go.
Pepe: And the play with Roaring 20s.
Jeff: The Roaring 20s from the night.
Pepe: We don’t have Hemingway or Fitzgerald anymore, unfortunately.
Jeff: So anyway, I will read your book. I got it and I will read it. And then next month, let’s get on it. Let’s talk about your book. Want to sell a few copies of your book. All right. Well, listen, who would have thought that two weeks ago that Biden and his secretary of state, Tony Blinken, would make Trump and his secretary of state Pompeo look like real diplomats. Mean it’s just not, you know, a killer knows. So Putin and you just, you know, and then Yang Jieche and Anchorage, you know, he was he probably gave the most outspoken public rebuttal of a foreigner since Mao Zedong. I mean, it was Mao Zedong.
Pepe: Yes. I did a little research. I couldn’t find anything as powerful since Mao.
Jeff: So, I mean, everything is just, you know, Russia and China seem fed up. The United States seems just increasingly desperate. So here’s what I’d like to ask you. Just what do you think is going on behind the headlines? And what do you see as a prognosis for China, Russia, and the United States say in the next year?
Pepe: Well, Jeff, what’s startling is that Blinken and Sullivan, or, nobody at the State Department, had done their homework before going to Alaska. And these people don’t understand the basic rules of international diplomacy, which are very rigid. Everybody respects them. Since the beginning of the Westphalian system, you know, even during the Cold War between the US and USSR, they respected the basic rules of diplomacy.
You know, no ad hominem attacks, you know, minimum politics. There were summits where they discussed, frankly, but, you know, let’s put it this way, relatively civilized manner. So you have these two upstarts going to the most important summit in the past few years, I would say we’re not China.
US relations are extremely tense to be diplomatic about it. And they’re going to talk to no less than Guangxi, who if you see that those clowns in D.C. are Yoda’s Jiangxi real, that you don’t know who you’re talking about. First of all, respect, and then you try to enter into a dialog. So these guys barge in and they start to roll-call of accusations right from the start in the presentation was not it was a presentation for the cameras.
Jeff: Yeah. In front of the whole world.
Pepe: Exactly. In front of Chinese media, American media, and everybody else. So you can imagine for Jiangxi how of course, he’s a master of self-control, is a master diplomat. So you could see during his response how exasperated he was. But obviously, as a gentleman scholar, a Confucian, this gentleman scholar and translated in real-time by that awesome young translator who later became
Jeff: A megastar in China.
Pepe: But what and what he said was very concise was unprecedented. It was, in fact, the Chinese red line, OK, everything that we had to put up with your trade war and your demonization, etc. But you don’t come to a diplomatic summit like this and start throwing out accusations that it’s because you’re not in a position, moral, economic, or political to behave like that. So this was, in fact, a diplomatic
Pepe: In front of the whole planet for Americas and those upstarts and the system around them would never expect. So this was the big US-China scene happening side by side with that five minute twenty second Putin response to that absolutely stupid accusation by crypto war criminal because of the Iraq war and other that he sanctioned Joe Biden,
Jeff: Yeah. Another gangster.
Pepe: Pre-arrange the interview because we all know we all confirmed that it was easy to confirm that set was already prearranged between Stephanopoulos and by then, Steve. So he will throw the ball. So is he a killer? Oh, yeah. He is a killer. You know, not very clever, right? But it was prearranged.
Jeff: He has no soul. Soulless.
Jeff: And especially soulless killer.
Pepe: So okay. Once again a gratuitous add-on attack against the leader of nuclear power, you don’t do this kind of thing because, you know, there can be repercussions. If Putin was a gangster, we would know about the response or we would not because it will be a good fellas kind of response. You start putting the diplomat once again and any built-in five-minute response was even a mini short story about the American empire condensed into the minute and a half, you know, something that it would teach a college class somewhere, you know?
So it was fantastic. This thing is this one to the Americans completely to evoke a Tibetan metaphor, discombobulated, you know. And right afterward, we have that one guy, Sergey Lavrov, meeting in Guilin.
Jeff: Yeah. He even said that before he left Alaska, it was already set up before he even left Alaska.
Pepe: Yes, it was. It was set up on Thursday, which was this if I’m not mistaken, was the second day of Alaska was Thursday. And then the Chinese and the Russians set up. Well, made the formal invitation to Lavrov? Come here, let’s discuss the strategy.
Jeff: I’m sure Wang Yi was saying, like, enough of this shit, I’m not finished. I want to talk to somebody who makes sense.
Pepe: And as we know, Lavrov is Russia’s Yang Jeshi. He’s the Russian Yoda, Enormous diplomatic experience, and arguably the best foreign minister in the world for the past few years. There’s no competition with Lavrov. So what they discussed the fact what it was something that they, of course, do have a very close relationship with.
They pick up the phone and talk to practically every week. You know, and this is practically at the level of Putin with see, because everybody is in sync. Right. So and Lavrov said some things that were in public and very forcefully once again, but this time with an extra emphasis, we’re going to bypass the dollar. We are Russia and China are working towards our trade investment mechanism and our own financial alternative financial mechanism.
We want to bypass the dollar in our transactions and then expand into all the other members across Eurasia. And we want to bypass Swift. So that just means an international alternative international payment system. And of course, being built in all this conversation is the convergence of those two visions, the belt and road, which is the overarching vision for the integration of Eurasia and the concept of greater Eurasia, which is I know it’s extremely complex.
We could have hours of discussion about essentially these are little by little converging because what are we going to have in the medium to long term is a sort of Russian Chinese agreement or a condominium in terms of managing this very complex process of integration of Eurasia with all the major players involved Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkey, and sooner rather than later for their benefit, India, when they finally wake up from their daydreaming that they’re going to be accepted as equals in that stupid quod the mechanism devised by the US.
Jeff: Hey, I have a better quad than the silly us when I call it the communist-socialist anti-imperial quad. And that said, DPRK, Russia, China, and Iran, I mean, they have Halford J. Mackinder’s Heartland Theory on Central Asia they locked up baby.
Jeff: They’ve got it locked up. Yeah. I mean their neighbors are against him. He can’t, he’s probably turning in his grave.
Pepe: He is non-stop.
Pepe: You remember 1997 at the grand chessboard where you when was explicit over and over again, the book was explicit. We have to prevent any sort of peer competitor from emerging across Eurasia. It’s even worse because it’s an alliance of peer competition
Jeff: And also keep Russia and Europe from ever becoming friends become. Got to keep them apart.
Pepe: So it’s especially Russia, Germany, because and as we all know, Brussels is a concoction. Brussels is fiction. It’s an enormous illusion. The real sick in Europe is what Germany decides. So we have to pay attention to Berlin and Frankfurt, not to Brussels. Brussels, as we know, is that the color-coded nightmare of bureaucrats fighting to stay there and secure their no tax pensions,
Pepe: That better for these people?
Jeff: I live here. I know you live there, right? It’s a nightmare.
Pepe: I know you live there, right? It’s a nightmare.
I covered Brussels a lot since the 90s, so I happened to get to know it from the inside. How do you work in the House, the European Commission works and it’s worse than any Kafkaesque nightmare. You cannot agree on anything corrupt. They only agree on something that the Americans over there. We don’t know what
Pepe: The say. Now, you have to agree on this because we want it and they agree that’s how it works.
Jeff: Well, go ahead. Finish.
Pepe: 30 seconds, Jeff. So after we had just one to Russia, China on Blink and Sullivan and Co., we have the three. So it became about one, two, three, which is what happened this Saturday into this signing of the China era,
Jeff: The million-dollar
Pepe: Million-dollar and beyond and Post-Strategic partnership. So now we have Russia, China Strategic Partnership, and Iran, China Strategic Partnership. What’s missing and this is something that I’ve been talking to some people into Iran and they’re saying, look, sooner or later, there’s going to be an Iran, Russia strategic partnership. I as well signed as. So then we have you know, we can call it a triangle, or we can have a delta as well. So this Delta Triangle spells out the future of this process of Eurasian integration. And as you mentioned before, if we add the DPRK to it.
Jeff: We have our Quad, we have our communist-socialist imperial quad DPRK is way too independent. I mean, they would never probably join something like that. But to know this or they’re just driving the west crazy and then have thermonuclear weapons that can wipe out the east coast of the United States. That is extremely important because it’s just another counterweight against the Western empire.
Pepe: You’re right, Jeff. And they’re going to start testing their brand new missiles, which may be hypersonic, which we still don’t know anything about. Maybe they have hypersonic technology already and we don’t know. So, being independent, and that’s what you can imagine in this Beltway circle, Pentagon is 17 agencies, etc. There’s nothing you can do against
Jeff: Very vulnerable, absolutely bulletproof,
Pepe: Bulletproof and of course, these had been paying a lot of attention to a plan that is was being brokered by Russia, which is deterrence, Korean integration.
Jeff: Trying to build a railway
Pepe: And their way will that will allow both Koreas to have direct access to the Eurasian market.
Jeff: By the way, all the way all those.
Pepe: Silly import that, of course, it’s a medium to long term project, but it’s already there. It’s already being discussed at the highest level. So, you know, sooner or later we’re going to have movement in this area as well.
Jeff: Let me ask you this. You know, I was just sitting here thinking, of course, I was sitting there thinking of Mackinder, you know, the heartland theory. But, yeah, internationally we’ve got entry in that anti-imperial sphere, we have BRICS, Brazil, and India, right now, we’re a little errant.
Pepe: For the moment is in fact, it’s not even Rick. Jeff, for the moment, is our see, the other three are completely out.
Jeff: Well, maybe South Africa’s fourth year. And they have their new development bank. China has the Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russia has the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the CSTA. There’s some interweaving of these groups. What do you see any possibility that as a way to, again, hold off? American Empire’s efforts to destroy the Mackinder Asian bloc that has been formed to any possibility they might integrate more, or what do you think
Pepe: They will integrate more? It’s a slow-moving process. So there’s nothing we can say about the next 5 to 10 years. But if we start thinking in terms of between 2030 and 2040, especially. Oh, yes, this is the way it’s going. Just to give you a real Politics example, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was set up 80 years ago. Now, in the first 10 years, they did nothing or in fact, nothing that we knew about. They were discussing those three evils. You remember, separatism, terrorism. And starting in the early 2010s, they started to open up, let’s bring more full-time members, not only our associate members, they brought in India and Pakistan
Jeff: Recently together, which was quite difficult.
Pepe: They have Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey as observers. Sooner or later, they’re going to become full members as well, and they start talking about economic integration instead of terrorism and separatism. You know, and I remember because I went to some of those roundtables of the SEO and they’re fascinating. They spent ninety-nine percent of their time talking about business, not about terrorism, not about what are you going to do, OK?
They also talk about what they’re going to do with the Taliban. The original plan of trying to solve the Afghan conflict was being done is being debated by SEO for at least four or five years now. This is what’s now more or less being discussed, and even the Americans are trying to get into it but the SEO has always made it very clear this is an Asian, foreigners is that this is the US.
The US means Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran as an observer and the Central Asian stance, because some of them are neighbors to Afghanistan, we decide sitting with the Afghans, what’s going to happen next. So now they have a much SEO, 20 years after their foundation. Now they have a commercial three role, a political role. So you see that it takes a long time. But once the train leaves the station, you know, it’s inevitable.
Jeff: So I think China even made some loans inside the SEO, not big ones, but I think they made some long ones. Its 10 million or 20 may not be just as an expression of cooperation.
Pepe: Small projects like building a road, dam, etc. So these big mergers, including Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Silk Road Fund, BRICS bank SEO, you’ll soon be greater Eurasia, that it’s inevitable because all the major players are involved. And so and now that we have Iran’s strategic partnership with China, they’ll be in it as a full member. So there’s no question about it, which means there’s going to be military security spending between, of course. And that’s why the Americans are freaking out, because they run now in terms of security, their national security, is now intimately linked with China’s national security. So this is enormous. It’s enormous.
Jeff: So not only the United States but vis an Iran. I mean, Israel must be peeing in their britches because they are. I mean, what can they do against Iran? I mean, Iran is now got a whole panoply of missiles and ships and they’re building their jet and they’ve got steel mills.
Pepe: And this is a lot of harm to Israel. Right. It’s stupid. And they know and on top of it, this is something that we’ve been hearing from, let’s see, more independent sources in Israel that are not linked to Likud or to BB and all that they are saying, look, they are so scared here that they are even trying. They are examining the possibility of trying to find some sort of arrangement with Hezbollah. It’s just something they will never read in the American media because they know that the real threat, let’s put it this way, to Israel is not the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons. It’s the hundred thousand plus Hezbollah missiles.
Jeff: Missiles hidden in the hills of Lebanon.
Pepe: Southern Lebanon, this is the real thing.
Jeff: And Israel already lost once against Hezbollah. I mean, they’re scared of them. I mean, they don’t want it.
Pepe: I visited that area a year and a half ago, Jeff, September before covid that September 2019 I was there. I went to the triple border occupied Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon. And I was talking to a lot of Hezbollah people in the area and they were telling me stories of how they won against Israel in a matter of days.
Jeff: Yeah, it was humiliating.
Pepe: And they told me, look, there’s no problem. We have our system of communication. We have weapons everywhere. Everyone is armed with their keys.
Jeff: Hey, you know what that sounds like Mao’s Red Army sounds. And, you know, I learned that Hezbollah has worked with the North Koreans on training and troop building and strategy, guerilla warfare and, you know, resistance, etc.
Yeah, the North Koreans have helped Hezbollah so that you can see why that’s one of the reasons they’re so formidable. So absolutely. Another one I want to get back to, which is really, I think, also very impressive when you consider the incredible influence the United States had on this organization up until quite recently, and that is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN.
I mean, it’s unbelievable that they have been able to hold off. The United States to Vietnam is a bit of a wild card because they want to play the United States off with China, which I bet. But the fact that they have been able to pretty much stick together and decide among themselves on what to do geopolitically is also a huge I wouldn’t say humiliation, but it’s a snub to the United States, something that used to be kind of the United States is a little anti-communist fiefdom, anti-communist puppets.
Yeah. Thailand and everybody else. And so now, you know, that’s just you. So here’s what the United States is at the end of its tether. I mean, I don’t know who else is left to sanction Putin’s dog. I mean, there’s nothing left to sanction. I went on the US Treasury website. There are thousands of people and organizations and businesses all over the world sanctioning being sanctioned by the United States. It’s just it’s like these are lizard-brained psychopaths. They have no vision. This is what we do. We sanction. We smash and grab it. And they have our policy.
Pepe: Their foreign policy sanctions, which is never a foreign policy for anybody. First of all, diplomacy, they are incapable of sitting down at the same table with their adversaries and have a dialog. So this eliminates diplomacy. They don’t talk to their allies, they order. Even with the Europeans.
Jeff: It’s a vassal state.
Pepe: Exactly. So what did the ASEAN do? Which was very clever. They said, look, we preserve our independence. We’re not going to fully contradict or clash against the Americans. China is our neighbor and the number one trading partner for all of us here at ASEAN. So we cannot antagonize China. We are involved in these very complicated discussions to have a code of conduct for the South China Sea, which will eventually happen.
And we’re going to have a document, a binding document that everybody is going to respect the role of the Chinese, but the Filipinos, the Vietnamese, the Malaysians. And this is a very long process. But the three already left the station on this one as well, and their policy of non-interference in domestic problems inside any one of the 10 members. It’s also very intelligent,
Jeff: Very encouraging.
Pepe: Discussions, which is great in terms of Myanmar, for instance at least half of ASEAN finds what’s going on in Myanmar abhorrent. But it’s OK if we sit down together with the Myanmar junta and let’s talk about it, which is the Asian way of doing things right.
Nobody wants to lose face. We’re not going to bash their heads on the table. No, OK, we sit down, we discuss, we say, look, what you’re doing is a little bit too hardcore. You know, Indonesia for us is trying to do that.
Indonesia is trying to force the Myanmar junta to sit down, that they will discuss with the ASEAN, not with us that night. The Thais, because the Thai military is very close to the Myanmar military, are trying to be OK and it’s going to get better. So, you know, that’s a very tight, non-confrontational way that, you know, you lived in Chiang Mai.
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. Well, I don’t know if you sort. Go ahead.
Pepe: To find accommodation.
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. I don’t know if you saw the little five-minute clip of the foreign minister of the Philippines where he was interviewed by the Rappler website. But I mean, he was it is so good. I even had it. I even transcribed it. He came out. He’s blamed the UK. He blamed Oxford, he kept talking about Oxford. They say destroyed Tsukhi, they built her up. And when she was no longer useful, they destroyed her. And he said in this recording, I told Tsuki, you know, she means everything in the world to me.
I told her that if she wants the army to respect her, she needs to build her power base. But she never did. She depended on Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright and Obama and she depended on George Soros and the Department of State. And so she had no power base. And so anyway, it was scathing. And it was an amazing little speech that he gave.
And he fully blamed the West and he said we need to get if he even said to us, we need we should not be talking to white people, to white advice. I’m getting you. Why? He said we need to get together with Asia’s big powers, India and China, and sit down together and find a solution for it to see if we can bring Tsuki back into the good graces of the military, which is the only thing that keeps the country together and holds the country together. I’ll send you.
Pepe: Well the analysis is fundamentally correct. And the thing is that the military probably knows. Certainly, they got fed up with this whole circus, in fact, and they told themselves that, OK, we’re going to run everything again because it’s the only way this country can be kept together. I’m not defending the Tatmadaw, on the contrary. I think they are a bunch of gangsters. These people are very dangerous.
But this thing is so she had the chance to build a national power base to get the minorities to be on her side. One hundred percent. But she didn’t have bargaining power in terms of defending the rights of minorities with the military. She continues to be manipulated by Oxford and company and Hailer and company, etc. So she did nothing. And she had the window of opportunity of, let’s say, four or five years what she could have done a lot.
So the military took over again. And now all those contracts and all that goes directly to them. So on top of it, follow the money. Now, you know, if you follow the money, everything goes to the military from now on, not more to the L.G. or commissions to the end as well and the drug angle,
Jeff: Of course,
Pepe: They control how good all that drug racket. How it goes to India, how it goes through the rest of Southeast Asia and China.
Jeff: They bring it into China.
Pepe: The military wants all the proceeds to go to death. Yeah, absolutely. They don’t want to split that with the actors, you know.
Jeff: So what was I going to say? Yeah, I just she was depended too much on Hilary to her credibility. And she and she never really had it. And it’s really sad. I wanted to get back to you. I love your comment about how the United States doesn’t do diplomacy. And I don’t know if you ever saw that quote. And I’ll send it to you if you haven’t seen it. But Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the retired secretary-general of the United Nations, never probably didn’t want to end up like Dag Hammarskjold and get killed. So he played it cool.
Pepe: He was out. It’s a balancing act all the time.
Jeff: Yeah. And so he but he stayed alive and but in his papers and it’s a wonderful quote, he said, I went to college and I went to university and I studied political science and I studied diplomacy and I went to diplomacy school. And I learned as you said, I mean, it’s like a code. It’s almost like the Catholic Church. It’s already codified and it’s extremely hierarchical. And I was proud of being my craft as a diplomat. But he said, what I learned is that the United States does not do diplomacy.
This was in his letters, he said the United States does not do diplomacy. He said for the United States, diplomacy is a humiliation. It’s like you’re accepting some sort of vulnerability, he said the Roman Empire didn’t do diplomacy and the United States does not do diplomacy. And that’s exactly right.
I mean, you know, Brussels, all the European leaders, the Valley and Skripal and the Russian hacking supposedly in Europe and Nord Stream, and they keep coming out the United States with these false flags and can just whip the Merkel Macau, you know, the major leaders of Europe and just rip them into shape. So it’s and now you’re telling me that you’re talking to some people in Europe and now the United States is trying to scuttle China.
Pepe: That they have a shot at the European Parliament because these people are easily bribed that there are a lot of greens over there who work for four American NGOs.
Pepe: So the thing is, that’s going to be a clash between these clowns at the European Parliament and German industrialists because they know they need to like yesterday.
Jeff: Yeah. It’s the day before yesterday.
Pepe: That day before yesterday, because it’s part of Germany as an international trade colossus, you need energy. And the only ones who are that are supplying it are the Russians. They cannot get it from Turkmenistan. They cannot get it from Qatar. So they getting from Gazprom. It’s taken them years to understand the logic in Brussels. But the Germans knew this years ago already. We need to do a deal with the Russians because we need their energy.
So if this thing hits a snag on the European Parliament, while we expect a major blowback from Germany. So this is still being played out. We don’t know. It’s going to be the next few months crucial. And obviously, Merkel has to send a message, especially to the Greens, that the European Parliament said, look, don’t do anything stupid against our national interests. You’re not going to betray German national interests because you’re being bribed by a bunch of Americans who want to sell their LNG five times the cost.
Jeff: Yeah. New Orleans can’t supply Germany with gas and come on, that’s ridiculous. Unbelievable. Well, you know,
Pepe: I’ll ask you a question. OK, can I ask you a question, please? I’m very curious to have your reading of this CIA Xinjiang OP.
Jeff: Well, you know, the CIA has are you talking about the world Ouiger, Congress and all that? Well, this is classic psychological warfare. This is what we do. People don’t realize just how embedded. I mean, I interviewed Douglas Valentine, the CIA is organized crime.
Pepe: Excellent book.
Jeff: Oh, yeah, really good. And it was a great guess, too. People do not realize just how embedded the CIA is in the mainstream media, which is why I call it the Big Lie propaganda machine, the halls of power in Europe, the halls of power in the United States. So and they have all that drug money and they’ve got all that human trafficking money and all that illegal armaments running and money laundering. And they’ve got billions and billions in black money to spend.
And so they can do it. They have Blanche and they’re very good at what they do. I mean, you have to admire any organization. That kind of change that they found that need National Endowment for Democracy, they found that lady first, she was raped and then she escaped and then, well, then she went back and then she went back to Xinjiang. It doesn’t matter.
They can sit there. They’ve got the money and they’ve got the influence and they’ve got the connections throughout the Western media and they can make us believe anything they want us to believe. I mean, look at the valley. It’s not it wasn’t even a good false flag.
And they just but it’s relentless. You know, that’s the big lie propaganda machine. They just start rolling it out and it just echoes. And all of a sudden, Macau is shooting himself in the foot for the China treaty and Russia and everything else, you know, just upsetting everybody. Oh, Navalny, we have to do it now. They’ve all sanctioned everybody. You know, the Europeans have sanctioned prefer Russia. And it’s just Xinjiang and it’s just they can do anything they want and they can and they get away with it because they manipulate they control the media.
As Weisner said, one of the founders of the CIA, the media is like a giant Wurlitzer organ. And that’s what we play. So that’s how they can get Macau and Merkel and any other leader, they want to line up like a puppy dog. Like a canine trained dog, you know, to do all these. Australia is one of the worst kind. They’re just pathetic to just line up and did you see what happened. And no one can resist because if you resist, you are immediately crucified by the Big Lie propaganda machine. Did you hear what happened to the CEO of Volkswagen? He went he was I think it was BBC, he was interviewing with the BBC and Volkswagen put it, China is a pretty important market. I mean,
Jeff: They even have a fact that they have a factory in Xinjiang with hundreds of employees. So, of course, you know, they said, well, what about the concentration camps in Xinjiang? And you have to give him credit. He, unlike H&M and Nike and all these other pusillanimous cowards, said I don’t know of any concentration camps in China.
And he, immediately the Twitter, Facebook, of course, Instagram, BBC, The Guardian, they all just start piling on top of him. So you can’t win against you can’t win. And so with the CIA, with the way they are so totally embedded in the halls of power, when I call it urangaloland the basically NATO, the five eyes is real. And in the EU they’re so embedded. And like you said, like in Brussels, they’re just through there and the
Pepe: Chinese are responding. Oh, Jeff, now.
Jeff: And they responding, hitting
Pepe: Their pockets of those multinational companies. And now they’re feeling the squeeze. All right. So out of our markets.
Jeff: Yeah, I know they did it by Taobao, but delisted by doodlers to them. Each of them is gone.
Pepe: Expelled from the market or your profits are going to be less than zero.
Pepe: And any of us independent analysts, if we try to shed some light on what’s happening in Xinjiang, not only now, but for the past. 20 or 30 years, the same thing, you’re a China shill, you’re paid by Beijing, it’s how I come I listen to this million of times a day, every day. It’s ridiculous but we don’t care. We are after facts. For instance, in my case, Suzhou Jiangsu one of my travel this last year because of Covid, I’m still waiting on the first set.
I want to do maybe later this year if China opens up is to go, it’s as you know, it’s very complicated for us as journalists. So what I want to explain to them is that I want to go on an anthropological, historical, cultural Silk Road trip, which is true. It’s part of my research. And at the same time, I’ll be talking to a lot of people in both branches of the Silk Road around the Taklamakan Desert. I will go to Kashgar again. I’ll go to China again. I’ll tell you. You see for yourself, I’ve been to the region five times. All right? So I know how it works. There is no evidence of concentration camps and this is bullshit. What they do.
They identify people who have been indoctrinated most of the time online by these SUBE, Wahhabi jihadi priests, mostly Saudis, some from the Emirates, some Kuwaiti, etc. Some of them have been to Syria, some of them have families in Xinjiang and they are fighting in Idlib. Some of them were with the Islamic State in Iraq. Some of them were transferred from Iraq to Afghanistan by the Americans, something that even the BBC reported about if you remember at the time.
So that obviously in terms of national security, the other extreme threat to the Chinese state, because these people are in their minds that these jihadis. So this is very serious. As much as those Chechens in Dagestan,
Jeff: Dagestan, look, what they did in
Pepe: Russia is that it’s the same thing of those French, Belgians, or Brits who became online Jihadis and then afterward moved to Syria as well. And then they had the free transit through the border, Syria, Turkey, and then from Turkey. It was very easy for them to get to Greece and back to the EU. And, nobody in Brussels, for instance, is talking about this internal jihadi enemy, which is the same internal jihadi enemy that the Chinese are fighting to see just exactly. And that does not add up to one million people in concentration camps. Total bullshit. We know that.
Jeff: Go ahead examples.
Pepe: And trying to explain the big picture for a Western audience who does not even know exactly what Tianjin is to start with.
Jeff: The well, what they were calling concentration camps were adult vocational schools, that’s all notational technical schools and some patriotism education. A lot of them couldn’t speak Chinese. So they’re teaching them Chinese so they can integrate into the national economy and the national culture. That’s I wrote about that in forty-four days. You know, they said the Chinese Oh, they’re horrible. You know they’re not teaching the Tibetans Chinese.
They’re trying to exclude them. They’re trying to shut them out. Well then they, of course, you know, they’ve had all the problems with the CIA coming in and then in 2008 and all that. OK, we need to now get the Chinese and we need to teach them Chinese and get them integrated so that they can make money and be prosperous. And then, of course, the Big Lie propaganda machine, look at them trying to you can’t win. Look at them trying to signify the Tibetans.
You can’t win against this mainstream media juggernaut. There is psychological warfare is down to an absolute science and an art. And so all we can do is people like you and me is just keep trying to tell the truth and yeah. Writing articles and keep podcasting and you’re doing a wonderful, wonderful job. I’m impressed with your writing recently. It’s improved. I, I’m just you are becoming a much more powerful writer.
Pepe: Well, it’s because I have been following this main theme, Jeff, for years now since 2014, especially one year after the start of the New Silk Road. So 2014, practically 90 percent of what I write about is about this inevitable clash between the US and Russia, China. So I have been mapping this same practice daily. So what’s happening now? It’s not surprising. What was surprising that so much happened in only two weeks. Yeah, it’s just those compressing periods in history where, you know, ten years happening, two weeks. This is what happened these past two weeks, I think.
Jeff: Go ahead.
Pepe: So when you have at the same time Russia and China making very clear their position vis-a-vis American foreign policy, what they are trying to do for Eurasia and immediately afterward, you have the China deal and the fact that now we have the three of them working together, Russia, China, and Iran, which not by accident are the three top threats, according to the US National Security Strategy.
Now, everything is clear, at least so this is what people, especially across the globe in Southeast Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, know if they keep it, that if they see how the big game is being played, they know the ramifications in their nations and what they should do in their nations to try to navigate this and their alignments, their political alignments in the future.
Jeff: Yeah. I just wanted to point you said the same thing. The one big difference is in these last two weeks is that China I think Mao was one of the great rhetorical global speakers and inspired. But I think China has been very Confucian, very Daoist these last days.
Pepe: Oh, it’s wonderful. Yeah.
Jeff: But now enough. And we now and I think what the game changer for me these last two weeks is the fact that now China and Russia are saying enough. Even Lavrov said we have no diplomatic contact with Europe and they’ve essentially shut off diplomatic contact with Europe.
Pepe: That’s correct.
Jeff: So, I think that Russia and China have maybe been a little bit too patient too long. Maybe they thought Trump was an aberration, but Trump and pale or absolute statesman compared to Blinken and Biden, and but now I think and this is a deception, you know, of supposedly there’s going to be a change. It’s worse than Trump and Pompeo. And so I think what I hope we get to see is China is a little bit more Mao and maybe Russia being a little bit more Lenin, a global empire.
Pepe: Jeff, if you look a6 the press conferences by both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they are much more forceful than they were only a few months ago, but Ms. Zakharov is a high-speed rail train, which is amazing. And now Russia questioning. I think she learned a few of Maria’s tricks. Responding in real-time. And it’s wonderful to watch.
Jeff: Pepe, this has been a wonderful discussion.
Pepe: Can I ask you the last question?
Pepe: You live many years in China, you saw this process from a Chinese point of view over the years, especially now, you know, of course, we have had enough phase. So as you see it from the inside, with all your years of experience in China, do you see Xi Jinping? Fully assured of the road map for China for, let’s say, the next 10 years, which means the next two five year plans when China then it’s going to be at the end of this decade, the number one economic power in the world, certainly the number one political-economic power in the world and probably sharing or even if not number one, again, technological power in the world. Do you think they have this quite clearly mapped out for the next few years?
Jeff: Yes, I do. I think they have the made in China 2025. You cannot fault the Chinese. They’re very Marxist, you know, in terms of dialectics and adjusting and trimming your sails. Well, the wind’s changing and they’re very flat on their feet by 2027. I think was the one they want to have a military that is just as powerful as the United States, not for imperial expansion, but to maintain their national integrity.
And of course, if they have to get back to Taiwan, so they just eliminated extreme poverty by 2030. We will want to be a prosperous, moderately prosperous, basically a middle-class country for everybody. They are planning out the technology. They are I don’t know if you know, but I hope I started a new website called China Tech News Flash.
So I’ve been following up on that. And they plan things out and they decided they’re going to build five hundred and thirteen laboratories over the next five years. They are so organized and yet everybody thinks that communism oh supremo totalitarianism and even Mao fought like a dog to get here. He had to fight to get what he wanted. There’s a tremendous amount of giving and take. There’s a tremendous amount of communication. There’s a tremendous amount of sharing of information.
They do all these pilot projects at villages and towns and then state and provincial level and then regional level. They have all these pilot projects. I think they are more than spot-on then, of course by 2050. They’re going to Taiwan must be back because that will 2049 for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
And they’re even want to be carbon neutral now by 2060. Who else is doing this? Who else is doing this? I saw as to their building, I forgot how many tens of airports in the next five years and now how many airports are the United States and Europe building? I mean, it’s a joke there. Shenzhen is building more skyscrapers than the entire United States.
The so they map this stuff out, the budget. And with the financial markets being state-owned, insurance being state-owned, real estate being state owned. Or I like to say people owned they can control the levers of the macroeconomy, they can control the levers of the financial markets for the benefit of the people, not for the benefit of the gangster.
And then when I mention these within each one of these programs, they have subprograms and then they get together and, you know, every six months and meet and then every year a bigger meeting and then every five years of the big meeting like they just had. And they’re constantly reassessing. Yes, it’s very Marxist. And so and China is and no matter what anybody wants to tell me, China is a communist country. I mean, It’s a Marxist, Leninist, Maoist.
And that’s why they’re doing so well. They’ve got ideology. They’ve got philosophy. They’ve got you know, they plan. They are now doing two rolling five-year plans. It’s like a ten-year plan now.
Pepe: Three, you know, up to 2035.
Jeff: Well yeah 2013. And I’ve left a few hours. I mean I just missed some of their benchmarks but it’s just relentless, which is why the West cannot compete, which is why all they can do is try to destroy them and it going to work. You know, it worked for five hundred years of colonialism and imperialism when they could smash Ghana and Kenya, and Bolivia. But it ain’t working anymore, you know, and now and I always say that the probably the greatest tragedy in postwar history was the Sino-Soviet split. If they could have stayed together in nineteen sixty instead of the United States using them to play off of each other in Vietnam and so many other places, God knows how much nicer the world would be today.
Pepe: Thing that Kissinger knew how to do and he was very good at divide and rule. But in 72, Jeff, I’m sure you remember the story if Kissinger didn’t have the Pakistanis as a middle man that never had to happen. We have to think, though, thank the Pakistanis because they were the essential middleman. After all, that’s the way I trusted the Pakistanis who didn’t trust Kissinger. Kissinger had to rely on the Pakistanis to do the messenger. So this was the keynote?
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. The nexus. So I think it’s just it’s hopeless for the West. You know, they can’t as long as DPRK and Russia and China and Iran maintain this Asian quad. It’s game over. It’s just more sanctions, more desperation, more, you know, messing with Taiwan, selling them weapons. This is a big deal would be as if Taiwan tried to declare its independence that would be a game-changer because the appeal of the play would be there in 20.
Pepe: For the people of Taiwan know that if that happens 24 hours later, we know what’s going to happen. They know it but let’s see Jeff, I’ve been talking to some, including some of my American analyst friends, that we don’t know how the impasse is going to lash out.
Jeff: That’s when sets up the universe.
Pepe: Who dictates policy? See that it’s game over.
Jeff: That’s the scary part. That’s the nuclear war, the hot war eventually leading to nuclear war because the Chinese military defensively is much stronger than them than the West is a credit. Yeah, they’re practically bulletproof short of an atomic attack. Not so that’s the whole scary deal in Iran with Israel. I mean, if Israel felt threatened, they’ve got two or three hundred, two, or three hundred atomic weapons to destroy Iran. I mean, that that’s sort of that’s what we all like to not think about.
Pepe: Yeah, I know, but what we have to gain it.
Jeff: I’m just saying it’s such an unpleasant thought that it is so.
Well, listen, amigo. Comrade. Pepe Escobar, so glad to have you as a friend, and I know we are both so busy and we should do this more often.
Pepe: We should do this more often. And if I go back to France in summer, well, we talk to a person together and we’re going to walk the beaches of Normandy.
Jeff: And but yeah. But I did get your book, The Raging Twenties, and I will read it. I’m reading the book by the French writer Florence de Magny, she’s the one that wrote the book about MH 370
Pepe: I learned about this book.
Jeff: Just came out like a month ago. So I’m almost finished. I don’t want to spoil it. But she has her. Anyway, as soon as I finish that, I’m going to start reading your book.
Pepe: Is it the worst reading her book? Because then I will add it to my list.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s really good. I mean, it’s yeah I think it’s essential because she is just showing what a complete and total MH37 is the same way. It’s just a complete and total coverage of every player imaginable. And she thinks the US shot it down.
Pepe: Hope. I haven’t heard that before.
Jeff: Is what she says. That’s what the conclusion she comes to.
Pepe: Any at least semi-hard evidence.
Jeff: Oh, she’s just shitting will reference. She spent years on this book. She well, of course, it’s all it has to be speculation. It has to be like circumstantial evidence. This piece is Sherlock Holmes to you. But yeah, that’s what she came up with, that they shot it down because it had some electronic equipment that they did not want Baba Beijing to get.
Pepe: That makes sense.
Jeff: And so I’m almost finished with it and I will start reading yours. And as soon as I finish it, I’ll drum up ten questions and call you back. And we’ll talk about your book.
Pepe: Brilliant. Jeff, thanks so much.
Jeff: Well, thank you very much. This is Jeff J. Brown China Rising Radio Sinoland and I have had the wonderful pleasure of having Pepe Escobar on the show. And just to confirm your writing is always on at www.asiatimes.com. Ok, so what is that for everyone?
Pepe: Our website is Asia Times dot com. There’s a slight problem because my articles are behind the paywall so that there are two options. Either you pay one dollar to read each article or you can buy a subscription. And if I remember correctly, if you buy a monthly subscription, it’s only ten dollars.
OK, and if you have this monthly subscription, you can not only read a lot of stuff, including all my columns behind the paywall but my ebooks as well. I’m releasing my archives on the. Really? Yes, in e-books. This is something I would love to talk to you about the next time because the three books so far are very important to what’s going on nowadays.
Of course, the first one was the US, Russia, and China between two thousand seventy-two thousand and twenty just beings during the Trump administration. So it’s a collection like, you know, a top of the pops of these four years. The second book was Irun virtually every reportage that I did in Iran or before and after I traveled to Iran, which was probably 10 times or so.
So there’s a lot of extremely exclusive stuff that it’s very important if you want to understand the dynamics of how we run works, which is much more important in the run-up relationship, we have to try to understand their society and how it works.
And the third one, which is the latest one where if there is a there’s a man on the front page, if you have a subscription, you can download this one free. It’s the Forever Wars e-book, which is Afghanistan and Iraq. Once again, everything that I did in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
So there’s so much stuff there that we had to divide it into two parts. So the first book is two thousand and one, two thousand and four because there’s a lot of stuff, you know, and then the next ebook is going to be twenty-four thousand twenty. So did you see the forever wars on the ground? Yeah, you know, the whole thing after 9/11, Tora Bora, what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, the preparation for the Iraq war the first weeks after the fall of Baghdad, you find everything over there.
So if you read the three of them together, it’s you know, you have the big picture of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US, Russia, and China for the past few years.
Jeff: You are you are Promethean.
Pepe: There’s nothing left to do nowadays except work.
Jeff: That’s right. Asiatimes.com. Thank paywall or to see Pepe work and his new book, Raging Twenty’s, which I’m going to read. And we’ll get him back on in about a month and talk about his book. And I’m sure it’s going to be as good as the Empire of Chaos and which I enjoyed. And so, anyway, let’s call it quits. We were going to have a short interview or a short talking it in about
Pepe: An hour and a half
Jeff: About an hour and 10 minutes. But I think the fans will like it. I hope so. All right. I hope. Thank you. All right. All the best in Thailand. Oh, the fan back and sees us this summer in France. Or maybe I can even go to Thailand and see you there.
Pepe: Oh, you’re not here.
Jeff: Do this. And I’m dying to get back to China whenever I can. I’ve heard of it.
Pepe: So I try to go to Shanghai. But the bureaucracy was so crazy. I gave up
Jeff: That’s all right, guy.
Pepe: Thank you. Bye-Bye.
Jeff: Thanks very much. Bye-Bye. Thanks, everybody. China Rising Radio Sinoland and China Tech news flash. Now, please contribute to all of my hard work. Thank you.
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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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