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VIDEO-
COLUMN #8

War
against China

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/KIGALI | | ruanda

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/KIGALI (Own report) - The EU plans to relocate refugees from Libya to camps in Rwanda. In an initial step, 500 refugees, seeking to cross over to Europe, but are now detained in Libyan camps, will be deported to the small Central African country, according to several reports. This program, which should at least be co-financed by Brussels, could possibly be expanded to 30.000 refugees. This step is being considered, because a program, initiated at the end of 2017, has stalled. Under that program refugees were relocated from Libya to Niger. However - contrary to promises made - the refugees were only being resettled very slowly to the rich countries in Europe and North America, and discontent is rising in Niger. Rwanda is already hosting nearly 150,000 refugees, who are living in camps under desolate conditions. Last year, eleven refugees were killed during their protest against 25% reductions in food rations. Rwanda is notorious for its bloody repression. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - German authorities and business agencies are calling for drastic measures to attain national independence from of Chinese raw materials. Particularly in the case of so-called rare earths, "the entire Chinese-controlled value chain must be broken," the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS) explains. If this fails, the "EU's military autonomy" would be compromised, since the metals in question are "indispensable" for arms production, according to the German government's think tank on military policy. This view is shared by the Federal Agency for Geological Studies and Natural Resources (BGR). In a recent paper it warned of serious "disadvantages" for "Germany, as an economic base of operations," should China's "supremacy" in exporting mining products is not countered with appropriate "alternative strategies." And according to the German media, China’s alleged raw material monopoly is like a "super weapon." more…

BRUSSELS/BERLIN/CANBERRA | | australienchina

BRUSSELS/BERLIN/CANBERRA (Own report) - NATO continues to intensify its cooperation with Australia. This is the result of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's talks in the Australian capital in the middle of last week. According to Stoltenberg, the cooperation is aimed particularly at taking a stance in the growing rivalry between the major powers - against Russia, but above all, against China. For several years, Germany has been accompanying NATO's cooperation with Canberra, by enhancing its own bilateral military cooperation, explicitly considering Australia to be a "strategic springboard into the Asian-Pacific region." Currently tensions are threatening to escalate, because Washington would like to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Australia, which could directly hit Chinese territory. Strategists are increasingly pushing NATO to intensify its activities in the Asian-Pacific. These could even develop into the warfare alliance's key task, according to the president of the Federal College for Security Studies in Berlin. more…

BERLIN/TEHRAN | | iran

BERLIN/TEHRAN (Own report) - German military experts have presented their first concrete plans for an EU naval operation in the Persian Gulf. According to the draft of two well connected government advisors and a Bundeswehr professor, warships should be cruising at the two entrances to the Strait of Hormuz. Supplementary warships should escort oil tankers through the strait with armed troops on board to ward off possible attacks - depending on the disposition to escalate. This would necessitate "between 10 and 30 percent of the EU's naval capacities," and Berlin should be in command of the deployment to demonstrate its aspiration to shape global policy. Whereas sectors of the SPD and the opposition reject the operation, the chancellor and foreign ministry are promoting the plan also within the EU. Previously, Foreign Minster Heiko Maas had rejected the US demand for Germany to deploy warships in a US-led naval mission in the Middle East. Berlin is positioning itself to be an independent power in global politics. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Germany is continuing to strengthen its close ties to the United States despite the US President's recent racist campaign. German companies have announced billions in investments in the country, for example the German Telekom, which plans to invest more than five billion euros in its T-Mobile USA subsidiary. The United States is, by far, the biggest investment site for German companies. Dax enterprises, alone, generate 22 percent of their total revenue in the USA - more than on their home market (21 percent). Various German enterprises are dependent on close cooperation with the US high-tech industry, so as not to hopelessly lag behind in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving. Cooperation with China - increasingly practiced - is the only alternative. Notwithstanding their profitable cooperation with the USA, the escalating US economic wars and their attacks on German business partners are driving the German industry toward confrontation. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - In Berlin and other capitals of the EU, political advisors are appealing for a speedy course of action to be taken against US extraterritorial sanctions. The sanctions, unilaterally imposed by Washington, which obligate, in principle, all enterprises doing business in the USA to abide by, are not only causing billions in losses in Europe, but are also thwarting Germany and the EU from pursuing their own global policy, independently from that of the USA. In the meantime, experts at several European think tanks are appealing for direct countermeasures to be initiated against the USA. Some suggest, for example, that extraterritorial sanctions could be imposed also on US companies. As an alternative, "asymmetrical countermeasures" could be considered, such as the freezing of the assets of US enterprises. Time is of the essence. Should Washington, in the future, impose extraterritorial sanctions on China, the damages for the EU economy would hardly be surmountable. The Trump administration is currently expanding its extraterritorial sanctions to Latin American countries. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW | | russische-foederationusa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) - The EU and NATO are using dramatic appeals to try to shift the blame for the abrogation of the INF-Treaty to Russia. In the upcoming days, Moscow must take "substantial actions" to preserve the disarmament treaty" in the last minute, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, proclaimed. Otherwise it would bear "sole responsibility" for new armament measures flanked by growing insecurity, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The NATO states' allegation that Russia had violated the treaty has not been proven; on the other hand, the Trump administration has admitted that it had been working on the development of new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles for more than eighteen months. Their deployment is prohibited under the INF-Treaty. EU arms manufacturers are participating in the production of these US-missiles, with contracts worth millions of dollars. The nominee for Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff is in favor of deploying new intermediate-range missiles against China. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Berlin and Brussels are weighing countermeasures to the Trump administration's growing number of extraterritorial sanctions. The US government is seeking to globally enforce its unilaterally imposed sanctions to bind other countries, including allies, to its foreign policy course. The sanctions against Iran are the most prominent example. They also made German business with Iran largely impossible. Washington first implemented extraterritorial sanctions in the mid-1990s, but finally reached agreement with the EU not to enforce them against European companies. This was changed during the Obama administration, when it amassed billions in fines from banks in the EU. The Trump administration has expanded the extraterritorial sanctions to include Russia and Cuba. Following the failure of the INSTEX financial vehicle, German government advisors are proposing that legal action be taken in US courts. Now, “asymmetric countermeasures” are also being discussed. more…