You Must Accede to Us

That’s the message the People’s Republic of China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, has given to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call with Blinken prior to Blinken’s upcoming hat-in-hand trip to the PRC. Qin instructed Blinken,

The relationship between China and the US has encountered new difficulties and challenges since the beginning of the year. It’s clear where the responsibility lies.

Qin went on, paraphrased by The Wall Street Journal:

Qin called on the US to stop using competition as a pretext for damaging China’s sovereignty and security, according to the Chinese readout. He also urged the US to take steps to implement a plan to manage differences and stabilize ties….

Cowardice and NATO

This characteristic might seem a non sequitur as it applies to NATO, given that entity’s support for Ukraine in the war the Russian barbarians have inflicted on it.

But maybe it’s apt. NATO is planning for a successor to current Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, a Norwegian, whose term expires at the end of this year. Currently favored to succeed him is another Nordic, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

A NATO Drill

NATO has a Monday drill set up to exercise and demonstrate its largest-ever air force deployment in its history to stimulate an attack on an allied nation, and the NATO response.

The drill…will take place Monday over Germany and involve 10,000 participants and 250 aircraft from 25 countries, including 100 aircraft and 2,000 personnel from the US, as first reported [by] German news outlet DW.
The exercises are meant to ensure a coordinated response from NATO allies under Article 5 of the alliance’s charter, which states that an attack on a NATO member nation is considered an attack on all the members.


General Li Shangfu, the People’s Republic of China’s Minister of National Defense, says war between the US and the PRC would be an unbearable disaster for the world, and further,

China seeks to develop a new type of major-country relationship with the United States. As for the US side, it needs to act with sincerity, match its words with deeds, and take concrete actions together with China to stabilize the relations and prevent further deterioration.

Yet Another Excuse by a Progressive-Democrat

Virginia’s Progressive-Democratic Senator Tim Kaine wrote a brief letter to The Wall Street Journal‘s Friday Letters. He had proposed an amendment to the debt ceiling bill that would remove completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and in his letter, he actually claimed this as his rationalization:

I support reforms to the permitting process for energy projects. But cherry-picking one project….

And yet Kaine has proposed zero serious permitting reforms in his tenure in the Senate. Instead, he’s happy to carp from the safety of the sidelines regarding MVP, rather than—since he was proposing an amendment anyway—offering an amendment that would have generalized the MVP “exception.”

“Defense or Democracy?”

That’s the question the Biden administration is worrying about in Chad.

The Biden administration is in a bind over whether to provide military aid to Chad, one of Africa’s most reliable bulwarks against the spread of Islamist militants and an opponent of Russia’s growing influence in the Sahel region.
Chad’s longtime president, Idriss Déby, was killed in battle two years ago and quickly replaced by his son, violating the line of succession laid out in the Central African country’s constitution. Now, the US government is struggling with the question of whether the ruling junta is too brutal and undemocratic to merit US assistance, or whether the country’s value as a military ally trumps those concerns.

Two “Whys”

Carefully—cowardly—anonymous Biden administration officials have leaked to the press that

A drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month was most likely orchestrated by Ukraine, which has conducted a series of attacks on Russian targets, US officials said.

Why is the Biden administration even talking publicly about this? Who conducted the strike would seem to be a national security matter, for us and for the nation—if there was one—that conducted the strike, especially when that nation, supposedly, is heavily supported by the US. The leak and its claimed attribution of who did it seem especially egregious in light of the nature of the attack: it was blatantly amateurish and so wholly inconsistent with the quality of operations which the Ukrainian military has otherwise executed.

The Right Answer

I don’t often agree with Mark Zuckerberg, but in this case, I do, to the extent he has the courage of his words. The European Union’s Internal Market Commission has fined Meta $1.3 billion for the crime of sending the data its Facebook facility collects on European citizens to servers in the US.

The ruling raises pressure on the US government to complete a deal that would allow Meta and thousands of multinational companies to keep sending such information stateside.
Tech companies have been especially vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny absent such a deal. But most large international companies rely on a relatively free flow of data across the Atlantic….

Another Reason

In an attempt to extort concessions from us and to drive a wedge between us and the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China has banned certain local firms in key information-infrastructure industries from buying computer chips from the American company Micron Technology.

The next two largest chip manufacturers after Micron are the RoK’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, each with chip factories in the PRC. The wedge is the effort to get those two to sell into the PRC in place of Micron.

Department of State Gaslighting

This time it’s in the arena of foreign military sales. Arms sales to our friends and allies are approved by Congress and they’re carried out by DoD.

[State] is set to release a 10-point plan to retool its oversight of the process to make it more effective at a time of strategic competition, especially with China, State Department officials said. It calls its new plan “FMS 2023.”
The State Department plans to develop more creative and flexible financing for countries, expanding the view of arms sales to take a more regional approach instead of weighing each country’s request on a case-by-case basis, and prioritizing some cases when they fit squarely into broader national security goals, according to department officials.