Category Archives: Cold War

Cold War

Former Samsung executive Yang Hyang-ja urges US to abandon China chip strategy

The US’ strategy to curb Chinese semiconductor industry, including attempts to persuade Asian allies to introduce restrictions against China, could lead to the disruption of supply chains and other countries forming alliances against the US, a South Korean lawmaker and former Samsung executive, Yang Hyang-ja said on Sunday.

“If [Washington] continues to try to punish other nations and to pass bills and implement ‘America First’ policies in an unpredictable manner, other countries could form an alliance against the US,” Yang said in an interview with British business daily, the Financial Times.

Yang Hyang-ja, a member of South Korea’s parliament, said countries could form an alliance against the US if it continued with its ‘America First’ and anti-China policies © Office of Yang Hyang-ja/Handout

by Christian Davies and Song Jung-a in Seoul via – Excerpt

An influential South Korean legislator has strongly criticised Washington’s interventions in the global semiconductor industry, in a sign of the disquiet in Seoul over US efforts to corral Asian allies into its economic security agenda. Yang Hyang-ja, a former chip engineer and Samsung executive who chaired a ruling party committee on South Korea’s semiconductor competitiveness until early this year, said that measures to curb China’s ability to access or produce advanced chips risked damaging relations with its Asian allies.

“If [Washington] continues to try to punish other nations and to pass bills and implement ‘America First’ policies in an unpredictable manner, other countries could form an alliance against the US,” Yang told the Financial Times in an interview.

“The US is the strongest nation in the world,” she added. “It should consider more of humanity’s common values. Appearing to use its strength as a weapon is not desirable.” The US has passed legislation offering tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to non-Chinese chipmakers to increase semiconductor production in the US, in exchange for restrictions on their ability to upgrade or expand their facilities in China.

The Biden administration has also imposed sweeping export controls on critical chip manufacturing tools to China and prohibited US nationals and companies from offering direct or indirect support to Chinese companies involved in advanced chip manufacturing.

But there are concerns in Seoul that the US measures will provoke a backlash from Beijing, disrupting finely calibrated supply chains and threatening profits.

Lee Jae-myung, the leader of South Korea’s leftwing opposition Democratic party, has accused the conservative government of harming the country’s economic and security interests by siding too closely with the US and Japan against China and Russia.

Yang, a former Democratic party member who formed her own technocratic party, Hope of Korea, in June, acknowledged that “US tech war measures are not harming our semiconductor industry yet because sanctions against China could actually reduce output, leading to higher prices”. But she added: “The more the US sanctions China, the harder China will try to make rapid technological progress. China will provide more national support for the goal. Then it will pose a crisis to South Korea, given China’s abundant talent and raw materials.”

“The US should abandon its current approach of trying to get something out of shaking and breaking the global value chain,” she said. Yang added that the US had benefited from South Korean and Taiwanese expertise in manufacturing memory and processor chips respectively, saying it was “trying to demolish the status quo through sanctions”.

Many analysts said the US measures actually helped South Korean chipmakers by hampering the progress of their Chinese competitors. The biggest long-term threat to South Korea’s semiconductor industry, they said, was not supply chain disruption but the rise of state-backed Chinese rivals such as YMTC, which has made rapid progress in closing the technological gap with leading Korean chipmakers in the Nand flash-memory sector.

Troy Stangarone, senior director at the Korea Economic Institute of America, notes that US tech giant Apple had considered using YMTC’s Nand flash-memory chips for the current iPhone 14, until political pressure from US lawmakers forced it to abandon the option. “The Apple-YMTC episode demonstrated both how far the Chinese have come in the Nand memory sector, and how Korean companies have benefited from US intervention,” said Stangarone.

The FT has also reported that US export controls helped thwart an alleged attempt by a renowned South Korean semiconductor expert to build a “copycat” memory chip plant in China. According to Korean prosecutors, the plant “would have caused irrecoverable losses to the [Korean] semiconductor industry”.

Yang accepted that the US-China tech war had bought South Korea time to develop its own technologies but added that the country’s semiconductor industry was in a “very precarious situation”. The lawmaker, who was instrumental in passing the K-Chips Act this year to boost tax credits for companies investing in chip manufacturing in South Korea, said the country had to address what she described as neglect of its own engineering talent.

“In Taiwan, technicians get treated better than lawyers and judges. But in Korea, they are not treated well,” said Yang, who is also a member of a cross-party committee on cutting-edge technologies.

“Smart Korean students want to become doctors, dentists or oriental medicine practitioners rather than to become engineers,” she said. “Only technology can set us free from all these geopolitical problems.”

How CIA Schemes Color Revolutions Around the World

by Yuan Hong via Global Times

cyber attack Photo:VCG

For a long time, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has plotted “peaceful evolution” and “color revolutions” as well as spying activities around the world. Although details about these operations have always been murky, a new report released by China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and Chinese cybersecurity company 360 on Thursday unveiled the main technical means the CIA has used to scheme and promote unrest around the world.

According to the report, since the beginning of the 21st century, the rapid development of the internet offered “new opportunity” for CIA’s infiltration activities in other countries and regions. Any institutions or individuals from anywhere in the world that use US digital equipment or software could be turned into the CIA’s “puppet agent.”

For decades, the CIA has overthrown or attempted to overthrow at least 50 legitimate governments abroad (the CIA has only recognized seven of these instances), causing turmoil in related countries. Whether it is the “color revolution” in Ukraine in 2014, the “sunflower revolution” in Taiwan island, China, or the “saffron revolution” in Myanmar in 2007, the “green revolution” in Iran in 2009, and other attempted “color revolutions” — the US intelligence agencies are behind them all, according to the report.

The US’ leading position in technologies of telecommunication and on-site command has provided unprecedented possibilities for the US intelligence community to launch “color revolutions” abroad. The report released by the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and 360 disclosed five methods commonly used by the CIA.

The first is to provide encrypted network communication services. In order to help protesters in some countries in the Middle East keep in touch and avoid being tracked and arrested, an American company, which, reportedly, has a US military background, developed TOR technology that can stealthily access the internet — the Onion Router technology.

The servers encrypt all information that flows through them to help certain users to surf the web anonymously. After the project was launched by American companies, it was immediately provided free of charge to anti-government elements in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt and other countries and regions to ensure that those “young dissidents who want to shake their own government’s rule” can avoid the scrutiny of the government, according to the report.

The second method is to provide offline communication services. For example, in order to ensure that anti-government personnel in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries can still keep in touch with the outside world when the internet is disconnected, Google and Twitter quickly launched a special service called “Speak2Tweet,” which allows users to dial and upload voice notes for free.

These messages are automatically converted into tweets and then uploaded to the internet, and publicly released through Twitter and other platforms to complete the “real-time reporting” of the event on site, said the report.

The third method is to provide on-site command tools for rallies and parades based on the internet and wireless communications. The report noted that the US RAND Corporation has spent several years developing a non-traditional regime change technology called “swarming.” The tool is used to help a large number of young people connected through the internet join the “one shot for another place” mobile protest movement, greatly improving the efficiency of on-site command of the event.

The fourth is American developed software called “Riot.” The software supports 100 percent independent broadband network, provides variable WiFi network, does not rely on any traditional physical access method, does not need telephone, cable or satellite connection, and can easily escape any form of government monitoring.

The last one is the “anti-censorship” information system. The US State Department regards the research and development of the system as an important task and has injected more than $30 million into the project.

High vigilance needed

Moreover, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and 360 company have spotted Trojan horse programs or plug-ins related to the CIA in recent cyberattacks targeting China. The public security authorities have investigated these cases, the Global Times has learned.

Aside from the five methods the CIA has used to incite unrest globally, through further technical analysis, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and 360 company also identified another nine methods used by the CIA as “weapons” for cyberattacks, including attack module delivery, remote control, information collection and stealing, and third-party open-source tools.

The response center and 360 company also spotted an information-stealing tool used by the CIA, which is also one of the 48 advanced cyber weapons exposed in the confidential document of the US National Security Agency.

The discovery of these information-stealing tools shows that the CIA and the US National Security Agency will jointly attack the same victim, or share cyberattack weapons with each other, or provide relevant technical or human support, according to the report.

These new findings also offer important new evidence in tracing the identity of the APT-C-39 attackers. In 2020, 360 company independently discovered an APT organization that had never been exposed to the outside world, and named it APT-C-39. The organization specifically targets China and its friendly countries to carry out cyberattack and stealing activities, and its victims are spread all over the world.

The report also noted that the danger of CIA attack weapons can be glimpsed from third-party open-source tools as it often uses these tools to carry out cyberattacks.

The initial attack of the CIA cyberattack operation will generally be carried out against the victim’s network equipment or server. After obtaining the target purview, it will further explore the network topology of the target organization and move to other networked devices in the internal network to steal more sensitive information and data.

The controlled target computer is monitored in real time for 24 hours, and all information will be recorded. Once a USB device is connected, the private files in the victim’s USB device will be monitored and automatically stolen. When conditions permit, the camera, microphone and GPS positioning device on the user terminal will be remotely controlled and accessed, according to the report.

These CIA cyber weapons use standardized espionage technical specifications, and various attack methods echo and interlock and have now covered almost all internet and IoT assets worldwide, and can control other countries’ networks anytime, anywhere to steal important and sensitive data from other countries.

The American-style cyber hegemony is evident, the report notes.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday that US intelligence and espionage activities and cyberattacks on other countries deserve high vigilance from the international community.

The US must take seriously and respond to the concerns from the international community, and stop using cyber weapons to carry out espionage and cyberattacks around the world, Mao said.

In response to the highly systematic, intelligent, and concealed cyberattacks launched by the CIA against China, it is important for domestic government agencies, scientific research institutions, industrial enterprises, and commercial organizations to quickly find out and deal with them immediately upon discovery, the report says.

The report suggests that in order to effectively deal with imminent network and real-world threats, while adopting self-controllable localized equipment, China should organize self-inspection against APT attacks as soon as possible, and gradually establish a long-term defense system to achieve comprehensive systematic prevention and control against advanced attacks.

The Theater called the Cold War

by Claudiu Secara

What is important about Rogozin’s revelations, BIG: The Fake Moon Landing – Top Russian Official, is not that the Moon landing was a hoax. Anybody that had an interest in finding out the truth knows that.

The serious implications of Rogozin’s post is that he provides the smoking gun to those who always suspected a collusion – beyond the superficial – between the two Cold War adversaries. At the peak of the Cold War rhetoric, both sides were lying. Wink, wink among them, nuclear war threat for the hoi polloi to get them in line, to get them to be submissive. Even as recent as ten years ago, all the top officials in the “Soviet Union”, now Russia, were still lying. So were all the Chinese leadership lying.

They could have deflated the American Superman balloon by just piercing one of their myths and laughing out loud. The emperor has no clothes. But they lied ! Why? Politics? Not enough of a reason. There must have been much deeper considerations. And more sinister.

Now, the consequences of that fact, of collusion, are tremendous. All the die-hard supporters of the Cold War theater throughout these many years, including the war in Ukraine  should be . . . speechless.

Yes, the war in Ukraine is fake, as fake as the Moon landing, as fake as 9/11 and as fake as the Corona virus. And not the least as fake as WWI and WWII. Which is no longer a surprise as we know that Germany, the villain, was propped up by Standard Oil and IBM and all the rest of the Anglo-Saxon real villains.

Now, we can all go to sleep in peace.

. . . Except for the dead and the wounded and those left homeless. It is good theater for us, but is is a real tragedy for them and their families.

US Chip Ban Most Punitive Move Yet Against China


[. . .] In a speech to the Communist Party Congress a week after the US controls were announced, China’s President Xi reaffirmed, twice, his country’s goal to “join the ranks of the world’s most innovative countries, with great self-reliance and strength in science and technology” within five years.

The controls announced by the Biden administration directly undermine Xi’s ambition for China. They seek to maintain US tech supremacy, while simultaneously eroding China’s ability to conduct fundamental research. Given this, a significant escalatory response from China should not be unexpected.

US-China decoupling

In an age when militaries, economies and our daily lives depend on technology it is astounding how many people continue to tune out when technology – and the policies that shape it – are discussed. If there ever was a time to tune in, it is now.

For several years, leaders and commentators the world over have speculated about the possibility of the US “decoupling” from China: reducing economic and technological entanglement with the rising Asian power.

Debates on the feasibility of economic decoupling will continue. However, historians will pinpoint Biden’s decision on October 7, 2022, as the moment at which US and Chinese technology decoupling became inevitable.

The US has now played its hand. The most consequential question remains: what will China do next?

Professor Johanna Weaver is Director of the Tech Policy Design Center, Australian National University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Why a Yalta II ?

by Thierry Meyssan via

The United States is not the hyper-power it dreamed of being. It has endured a terrible military defeat in Syria with a hundred allied states. Even if they continue to delude themselves, the time of reckoning has come. To survive, Washington has no choice but to ally itself with one of its adversaries. Russia or China? That is the question.
PNG - 225.1 kbAt a G7 preparatory meeting on May 3, 2021, U.S. and U.K. foreign ministers Antony Blinken and Dominic Raab suggested that the West would fight both Russia and China. But it is an entirely different scenario that should be implemented.

We cannot live in a society without rules. If they are unjust, we revolt and change them. This is inevitable, because what seems right at one time is not necessarily right at another. In any case, we need an order, otherwise each one becomes the enemy of all. What is true for men is also true for peoples.

In 1945, the Yalta Conference laid the foundations for the division of the world into the zones of influence of the three great victors of the Second World War: the USA, the United Kingdom and above all the Soviet Union. Throughout the Cold War, each side publicly insulted the other, but they always got along under the table. Historical research has shown that, although at any moment the agreement could have turned into a confrontation, the invective was rather intended to weld each side together than to hurt the opponent/partner.

This system was never contested. It lasted until the disappearance of the USSR in 1991. Since then, the United States has claimed to be the only hyper-power capable of organizing the world. They have not succeeded. On many occasions, China and Russia -heir to the USSR- have tried to reshuffle the deck. They have not succeeded either, but they have not stopped making progress. The United Kingdom, which had joined the European Union during the Cold War, left it to compete again (“Global Britain”). Thus, there are no longer three, but four powers that aspire to share the world.

After the confusion of 1991-2021, from “Desert Storm” to the “reshaping of the broader Middle East,” the United States’ ambition broke down in Syria. It took several years for it to admit defeat. The Russian armies now have much more advanced weapons and the Chinese army has much more qualified personnel. Washington urgently needs to take note of reality and accept an agreement otherwise it will lose everything. It is no longer a matter of calculating what is best for it, but of undertaking everything to survive.

The allies of the United States have not perceived the importance of the military disaster in Syria. They persist in lying to themselves and treating this major conflict, involving even more states than the Second World War, as a “civil” war in a small, distant country. It will therefore be particularly difficult for them to comply with Washington’s cascading retreat.

A Yalta II is the last chance for the United Kingdom. The former “Empire on which the sun never sets” no longer has the military means of its ambitions. But it still has an exceptional know-how and an unfailing cynicism (the “Perfidious Albion”). It will take part in any deal as long as it guarantees a payoff. It follows in the footsteps of the US Administration, taking advantage of their common culture and solid networks of influence. The Pilgrim’s Society, which was very present during the first Obama administration, is back in the White House.

Russia is not the USSR, where few leaders were Russian. It does not seek the triumph of an ideology. Its foreign policy is not based on a vague “geopolitical” theory either, but on the projection of its strong personality. It is ready to neglect its interests rather than to deny itself.

China has come a long way without owing anything to anyone, and especially not to those who destroyed it at the beginning of the 20th century. It intends above all to recover its regional influence and trade with the rest of the world. It knows how to wait, but is not ready to make any concessions. Today it is an ally of Russia, but it remembers its role during its colonization and has not given up its territorial claims on Eastern Siberia.

In short, none of the four major powers is acting according to the same logic and pursuing the same objectives. This makes it easier to reach an agreement, but more difficult to keep it.

The Pentagon has appointed a task force to consider possible options for dealing with China (DoD China Task Force), which it fears more than Russia. Indeed, whatever Beijing recovers from its regional zone of influence, it will do so at the expense of Washington’s positions in Asia. For its part, the White House has organized a top-secret working group to consider possible new orders. The first group has issued its report, which has been classified. No one knows whether the second group has completed its work or not.

It is this group that oversees the destiny of the United States. Its composition itself is secret. Its members are obviously more powerful than a senile president. It plays a central decision-making role comparable to that of the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPD) during the Bush-Cheney Administration.

It is unclear at this point whether this group represents political objectives and/or financial interests. In any case, it is clear that Global Finance influences both NATO and the White House. It does not seek to change alliances, but rather to have the information necessary to adapt behind the scenes to these changes and preserve its social position.

The movements of Washington’s various special envoys suggest that the Biden Administration has already chosen to restore the Cold War duopoly. This is the only way for Washington to avoid a war against a Russian-Chinese alliance that it would probably not survive.

This option implies that Washington commits itself to defend the integrity of Russian Siberia against China and that Moscow reciprocally defends the US bases and possessions located in the Chinese zone of influence.

This option assumes that Washington recognizes Chinese economic pre-eminence in the world. But it leaves it the possibility of politically containing the “Middle Kingdom” so that it never becomes a world power in the full sense.

The only real loser would be China, still deprived of a part of its zone of influence and politically contained. However, it would be appeased, for the time being, by letting it recover Taiwan, which the Pentagon Think Tank has considered for a week as “non-essential” for the USA.

It is important to understand that the main obstacle for the US is mental. Since 2001, Washington has been convinced that instability plays in its favour. This is why it is unabashedly instrumentalizing jihadists around the world, thus implementing the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. However, the concept of a Yalta-type agreement is, on the contrary, a bet on stability, which is what Moscow has been preaching for two decades.

President Biden has planned to meet with his British partners to strengthen their alliance on the model of the Atlantic Charter; then to bring together his main allies for the G7: and finally to meet with his military and civilian allies in NATO and the European Union. It is only after having assured himself of the loyalty of all that he will meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Geneva on June 16.

All this is paradoxical; because it amounts to making the Biden Administration do exactly what the Trump Administration was prevented from doing. Four years have been wasted for nothing.

(To be continued…)

Roger Lagassé

The Great Seal Bug: How the Soviet Union Spied on the US Embassy


US Representative to the United Nations Henry Cabot Lodge shows Soviet “bug”, 1960, USA

The original was published in the magazine Smena, No. 1729, Nov. 2008, pp. 25-26. Translated by Alevtina Rea

In 1943, on his return from the Teheran conference, Stalin placed an important task before Beria: at all costs, to penetrate the working office of the U.S. ambassador, Averell Harriman. The ensuing operation, resulting in the successful eavesdropping of the office of the head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow, became one of the classics of espionage. As the result of this operation, Stalin learned about decisions being decided over there even earlier than did the president of the United States. For eight years, the unique Soviet “bug” literally undermined the heraldic symbol of American freedom – the U.S. coat of arms – outlasting four ambassadors of the United States of America to Moscow.

Diplomatic relations between the USSR and the U.S.A. were established on November 16, 1933. From day one Soviet counterintelligence agents mounted a full-scale effort to penetrate the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In 1938, charming agents of the 2nd Department of General Directorate of State Security of the NKVD – in essence, ballerinas from the Bolshoi Theater – managed to establish intimate working relationships with a number of high-ranking American diplomats. Moreover, the vigilance of the U.S. Marines, who guarded the Embassy’s premises, was constantly undermined by the NKVD’s sex-bombs – attractive Russian language instructors. In the course of mass onslaughts on the hearts of Americans greedy for free “strawberry,” the “gardeners” from the NKVD found out that the most protected area in the embassy were the upper floors. There were situated the offices of the political department, of military intelligence officers, cipher clerks, security officers, and, finally, the office of his Excellency the ambassador.

The NKVD’s attempts to eavesdrop on this special zone acquired a frenzied tempo, following information received in September 1941 from a NKVD agent of the 5th Department of the General Directorate of USSR State Security, nicknamed “Sergeant.” According to his report, the American Air Force attaché in Moscow was a German agent, passing on intelligence information about the Soviet Union to the Germans.

On December 17, 1943, Beria reported to the Boss that a microphone of unique design had been developed and successfully tested. However, installation was stalled because of the inaccessibility of the ambassador’s office. Even a big fire organized the day before – with the aid of “the swallows” who had won access to the premises – did not permit the NKVD agents to enter the embassy in the guise of firemen. Security was adamant: “The whole place can burn to the ground, but, in the name of the president of the United States, entrance to any outsiders is denied!”

After listening to what Beria had to say, Stalin reminded him that “there are no such fortresses, which cannot be taken by Bolsheviks.” Then, in his usual familiar, condescending manner, he suddenly asked: “Lavrentiy, did you ever hear of the Trojan horse?” By the Trojan horse Stalin meant – and Beria understood this instantly – the production of a listening device, camouflaged under any object which, being given to Harriman, would remain in his office.

About an hour afterward, two dozen souvenirs made of wood, bone and skin had been delivered to the reception area of the People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs’ office. Especially prominent was the large shield of a Scythian warrior, made of black alder; 6.6-ft mammoth tusks; “Ericsson” telephone equipment made of ivory, presented to Nicholas II by the Swedish king; and also a 3.3-ft high wastepaper basket made from an elephant foot.

After examining the exhibits, Beria summoned academics Axel Berg and Abram Ioffe for consultation. Under their leadership, a team of highly qualified professionals from the operational and technical NKVD department began the development, production and testing of a unique bug, one hitherto unknown in the annals of international espionage and the acquisition of state secrets from another another state.

This device was a passive listening device: there were neither power supply, nor any electronic elements that could be detected by technology available to the experts of the time. The device resembled a tadpole with a small tail – that is, a 4- to 5-inch antenna. The tadpole part was a diaphragm that could vibrate. From an exterior source the eavesdroppers would beam powerful microwaves pointed at the hidden device, forcing the diaphragm of the “tadpole” to resonate. If someone was speaking in the room, this would alter the resonant frequency of the antenna, which would send back its signal – the conversations in the office – to a receiver, which would be situated out of line with the powerful beam.

This microphone could operate indefinitely. A powerful transmitter sitting in an apartment across the street beamed a strong continuous microwave signal at a distance around 300 meters . Reception, decoding and tape-recording of the slightly altered signals was achieved by a sensitive receiver well out of the path of the beam from the transmitter so that the transmitted and received signals would not be superimposed, thus swamping the sensitive receiver. The entire geometric figure – transmitter, device and receiver were in the form of a isosceles triangle.

Transmitter and receiver were duly installed in two separate apartments on the upper floors of residential buildings, across the street, to the left and right of the U.S. Embassy. The previous tenants were of course evicted. Liberated in this manner the communal apartments were occupied by specialists from the technical-operational department of the NKVD, operating the equipment. On the balconies facing the American Embassy, laundry continued to be hung, as it had been before, and, on Sundays, women (sergeants of the State Security) shook out rugs and blankets – thus, literally blowing dust into the eyes of the embassy’s security officers.

The microphone bore the code name the “Chrysostom” [“Golden mouth”]. It should be noted that neither the technical designers nor the specific microphone manufacturers knew the intended target. All they knew is that it served the national security of the USSR.

Called for consultation, the leaders of the technical team were asked to advise on the feasibility of installing “Chrysostom” into one of the exhibits located in the office of the People’s Commissar. Their instant and unanimous verdict was that the proposed souvenirs were entirely impractical as shelters for the device. They explained that the specific design features of the microphone required a souvenir specifically adapted to it, but not vice versa. For this reason, they insisted on the installation of a microphone simultaneous with the production of a gift.

Such a gift was duly made.

Trojan horse in the American camp

On February 4-11, 1945, the Big Three – Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill – met for the Yalta conference in the Crimea and hashed out fateful decisions on the shape of postwar Europe. Simultaneously came resolution of the fate of Lavrentiy Beria – whether he would be a marshal. Such was the indomitable will of the Boss: “Microphone in the office of ambassador – then marshal’s epaulets on your shoulders, Lavrentiy!”

The stage presentation of “Chrysostom” to the American ambassador needed an appropriate setting. To this end, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the pioneer camp “Artek” was planned on February 9. The day before, on February 8, deputy chairman of the People’s Commissariat – Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov – in the presence of Stalin, handed to Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill the children’s invitation to visit them on the opening day of Artek. The desire of the young pioneers to see, at their holiday celebration, the president and the premier of their nation’s allies was appropriate expression of their deep gratitude for the assistance provided to children in the USSR during the war.

The calculation of the Minor Trio – Stalin, Molotov and Beria – was based on the assumption that neither Roosevelt nor Churchill, whatever whatever zeal they might have nourished to do so, would take this furlough from weightier duties during the already protracted Yalta Conference. Although the distance between Yalta and Artek was only 18 kilometers, during the war it required about two (!) hours to cover this distance on the bombed-out highway.

The strategists from the Minor Trio also knew that neither Edward Stettinius nor Sir Anthony Eden – the foreign ministers of the United States and Britain – would be able to leave their patrons in order to travel to the pioneer camp. Next in rank as candidates for a trip to the children’s celebration in Artek could only be the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Averell Harriman, and his colleague from the U.K., Sir Archibald John Clark Kerr. These two were unable to reassign the mission to any of their deputies, because they got direct instructions – from the lips of Roosevelt and Churchill – to visit the Russian children.

The motorcade of the cars with foreign guests, led by the huge black, German-built Horch of Lavrentiy Beria, entered the territory of Artek and slowly moved toward the brigade of “Stalin’s falcons,” where was to take place the encounter of ambassadors with pioneers. There was music, smiles, and – despite the winter – fresh-cut roses, delivered by military aircraft from Sukhumi. The principals were guarded by two battalions of NKVD officers camouflaged as pioneer leaders.

At the finale of the welcoming ceremonies, Averell Harriman gave the pioneers a gift from the government of the United States – a check for $10,000. Sir Archibald Kerr – a check for 5,000 pounds. At this point, the orchestra struck up the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and the chorus of pioneers sang it in English. Harriman broke into tears. At the same moment, four pioneers carried in an enormous, wooden shield, the Great Seal of the United States of America. Amid a storm of applause, the director of Artek handed to the U.S. ambassador a passport-certificate of the Great Seal, signed by the Soviet head of state Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin.

Valentin Berezhkov, Stalin’s personal translator, translated the details of the certificate to the foreigners: sandalwood, boxwood, redwood, ivory palm, Persian ironwood, red and black wood, black alder – all these valuable species of wood had been used in the creation of the Great Seal.

Delighted by the gift and at a loss for words Harriman – perhaps for the first time in his commercial and diplomatic practice – said what he thought: “Where shall I place it? … Where to keep it? … I cannot take my eyes of it!”

Berezhkov, instructed the day before, said casually – his voice a murmur so Sir Archibald Kerr could not hear – “Just hang it in your office … The British will die of envy.”

Thus, in February 1945, “Chrysostom,” framed by the coat of arms of the United States, was safely installed on the top-secret floor of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. The NKVD operation – codenamed “the Confession” – on the eavesdropping of meetings conducted by U.S. ambassadors, was successfully launched. By ambassadors? Yes! “Chrysostom” worked for eight years, surviving four ambassadors. It is noteworthy that every newly appointed head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow would order a complete makeover of the office interior inherited from his predecessor – from inkstand to the parquet on the floor. However, the only non-replaceable object in the room was the Great Seal. Its artistic perfection had a hypnotic effect on America’s higher diplomats. Even the curtains on the windows and sofa and chair covers were selected to match the colors of the Soviet gift!

After it was eventually discovered in the Great Seal, the “Chrysostom” lived on. The Americans and British attempted to make copies. Work on making an analog of the Soviet “bug” by Americans was carried out in a secret laboratory in the Netherlands, under the code name “The Convenient Chair.” Simultaneously, English counterintelligence conducted its own research, codenamed “Satyr.”

The British advanced in research more than the Americans, but used a weaker microave beam, effective up to only 30 yards. The United States sat on their humiliating discovery for seven years. Then, in 1960, after the USSR brought down a U-2 spy plane with Gary Powers on board, Washington counterattacked, making public the Soviet listening device, which the Soviets had installed in the office of the American ambassador in Moscow.

Henry Cabot Lodge, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, during the Organization’s emergency session on the U-2 crisis, showed the Great Seal of the United States, opened it, and demonstrated the “Chrysostom.” Later, the coat of arms and the miracle microphone were also demonstrated during the Security Council meeting. Primed by Soviet diplomats, India’s envoy jokingly asked for a copy of the microphone. Lodge was embarrassed, and the Great Seal with the embedded “bug – a shameful memento for U.S. security services – has never been exhibited since.

Currently, the “Chrysostom” is stored in the museum of the CIA in Langley.

Note by Igor Atamenenko via Counterpunch:

The actual inventor of the bug was a fascinating figure. Léon Theremin, born Lev Sergeyevich Termen, born in St. Petersburg in 1896. By his mid-teens, Theremin was doing advanced work in electronics, with important missions in radio communication during World War One. By 1920, he had invented the world’s first synthesizer, known as the Termenvox in the Soviet Union and as the “theremin” in the United States. He also developed a television receiver in the mid-1920s.

By the 1930s, he had settled in the United States, organizing the world’s first electronic concerts, and – divorcing his first wife Katya – marrying Lavinia Williams, a dancer in the American Negro Ballet. Money problems and bruising encounters with the IRS took him back, solo to the USSR in 1938, when the purges were at their height. For a while, it looked as though ongoing struggles with the IRS would have been the safer bet. Theremin was put in prison, later the Kolyma gold mines, and there were rumors of his execution. In fact, he was now in a sharashka, an advanced lab and design shop within the Gulag system, and worked alongside such famous figures as the aircraft designer, Tupolev and Korolyov, father of the Soviet space program.

In the team led by his former mentor in his youth, Abram Ioffe, he invented the “Chrysostom” as well as the Buran eavesdropping system, precursor to the modern laser microphone, using a low power infrared beam to pick up the sound vibrations in glass windows, allegedly used by Beria to spy on Stalin. Theremin supposedly kept tapes of these intercepts in his apartment. THeramin was given the Stalin prize in 1947. In later life, he toured the world with his daughter Kavina, daughter from a third and final marriage Maria Guschina. Keenly admired by Robert Moog, who made many Theramin instruments, he died at the age of 97, thus outlasting his “victim,” Averell Harriman, who had died in 1986 at the age of 95.

Chinese Chip Manufacturers Want to Abandon American Technologies

via Sputnik

Chinese chip makers want to insure themselves against US sanctions. SMIC and Yangtze Memory Technologies are considering replacing American equipment with domestic alternatives, after the US said it didn’t rule out sanctions against SMIC, similar to those imposed against Huawei.

Semiconductor manufacturing international corporation (SMIC) is a leading Chinese chip manufacturer that recently raised a record $7.8 billion worth of investment in production development.

But SMIC products are still lagging behind today’s most advanced chips in terms of manufacturability: SMIC produces 14nm chips, while leading manufacturers TSMC and Samsung produce smaller 5nm chips.

That said, even at 14nm, many Chinese electronics manufacturers use SMIC products. And this number looks set to rise due to US sanctions on Huawei, leading the company to buy a significant proportion of its chips from SMIC, up to 20 percent of the company’s orders, according to the chip maker.

The problem is that even in the 14nm manufacturing process, SMIC, as well as other chip manufacturers throughout the world, depends on American technology. For example, all the software needed to design chips is American: Cadence Design Systems, Synopsys, Ansys. The companies supplying the equipment necessary for chip production are also American: Applied Materials, KLA, ASML.

This makes SMIC sensitive to the secondary US sanctions imposed on Huawei, banning US companies from supplying chips to the Chinese telecom company if their production uses any American technology. Moreover, the US authorities have recently announced the possibility of blacklisting SMIC and imposing similar sanctions against it, motivated by the fact that SMIC allegedly cooperates with the Chinese military-industrial complex. This is damaging for SMIC’s share price, and as reports of possible sanctions became public, the company’s capitalization fell by around 20 percent.

Given all of this, Chinese chip manufacturers are trying to reduce their dependence on imports. Chinese authorities have repeatedly spoken about the need to develop their own fundamental technologies and China has set a target to meet 70 percent of its needs for chips and semiconductors by 2025, and to achieve complete import substitution by 2030. To do this, the so-called “Big Fund” (China integrated circuit industry investment fund) was created in 2014, and has already built up a war chest of more than $30 billion. This is being used to finance the development of local equipment manufacturers: Naura, Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment, Hwatsing, ACM Research, Mattson Technology and Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment. The latter, according to the Chinese media, promises to have installed its own equipment to produce 28nm chips by 2022.

Xu Canhao, professor at School of Computer Science and Technology at Suzhou University, considers this goal too ambitious, saying that it’s almost impossible to establish a domestic production base in just a few years.

“If we are talking about a 40nm manufacturing process, or even older technologies, of course, Chinese companies can do that. But if we are talking about a 5nm manufacturing process, it’s almost impossible to cease dependence on American technologies. China has always lagged behind in the field of semiconductors. After all, it is a process that involves a lot of production chain links.”

So far, to produce chips of at least 28nm, SMIC is able to provide itself with only 20 percent of the necessary equipment and technologies, while the rest has to be imported, if not from the USA, then from Japan, South Korea or the EU. But even non-US equipment still uses US technologies in some way. Therefore, China needs to develop its own industrial base from scratch. But this is a long process, the expert pointed out.

“For example, Dutch ASML produces photolithographic systems. But the laser radiation source these systems use is American. This is a very long production chain, and there is no company that can manufacture world-class products alone. The main problem for us is that we don’t have advanced semiconductor technologies. We’ve created a special fund to stimulate the semiconductor industry. Companies involved in this area are subject to tax breaks. But we need many years to reach the breakthrough international level. It took the US, the EU and Japan 40-50 years to develop these technologies. We simply won’t be able to reach such a high level in two or three years.”

Even those Chinese manufacturers that produce innovative products on a global scale still depend on foreign components. Back in spring, Yangtze Memory Technologies created a prototype of a 128-layer 3D NAND flash memory chip, which is not yet mass-produced by any company in the world. However, the company depends on foreign supplies, and, fearing a further deterioration in relations with the United States, it, like Huawei, started stockpiling components so that they would last for at least a year.

Chinese high-tech manufacturers are now trying to solve pressing problems by diversifying their suppliers. However, assuming that the technological and ideological confrontation with the United States is serious and long-lasting, China needs to think of how to ensure its independence and economic and technological security in the future.

China is sparing no expense in technology development, planning to allocate $1.4 trillion to it by 2025. A few decades ago, China produced only cheap consumer goods, but today it has switched to producing cars, telecommunications equipment and computers, which already are a real competition for Japanese, European and American products. It is hard to estimate how long it will take China to develop its own competencies in semiconductors. The Chinese authorities have exempted companies engaged in the semiconductor industry from income tax for 10 years. And it may well be the case that this is how long it could take them to become competitive players in the world market.

The modern US war machine kills more like a python than a tiger

By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

Donald Trump has not started any new shooting wars, sure, but that doesn’t make him a “president of peace.” Instead of openly assaulting the enemies of American hegemony, the US military is now a tool for slowly strangling them.

Forbes has published two back-to-back articles about the analysis of retired Navy captain and political scientist Bradford Dismukes titled ‘To Defeat China In War, Strangle Its Economy‘ and ‘If Russia Invades Europe, NATO Could Sweep The Seas Of Russian Merchant Ships.’

The articles were authored by a man named David Axe, who is my new favorite small-time war propagandist because he’s so desperate to be recognized for his imperialist stenography that he often approaches his spin jobs in an informatively unskillful and ham-fisted way. The best one I’ve found so far is this 2013 piece about the time he spent with the “rebels” of Syria, who he takes great pains to assure us are not terrorists or extremists but brave freedom fighters who’d successfully “liberated” large swathes of Syrian territory.

Each of the two Dismukes articles focus on how the same military strategy can be employed against the first- and second-most powerful nations which have resisted absorption into the US-centralized power alliance, namely China and Russia respectively. They explain how “a coordinated effort by the whole of the US government and its closest allies” can be used to “strangle” those nations economically via blockades which cut them off from trade and resources should the time come for an aggressive confrontation, thus minimizing the need for direct military combat.

“Cutting off China from its trading partners and sources of oil, natural gas and other resources could be the best, and least costly, way for the United States to defeat China in a major war,” Axe explains.

“In wartime, the US and allied fleets could blockade Russian sea trade, putting a choke-hold on the Russian economy that could force Moscow to end the war on terms favorable to Washington and its friends,” he writes.

Unspoken by Axe and Dismukes is the fact that both Russia and China are nuclear-armed nations, so direct hot warfare is something the US power alliance would want to avoid anyway.

Indeed, the articles present a vision for confrontation with Russia and China that is not just realistic but probable, and not just probable but currently underway. This is exactly the reason the empire-like network of allies loosely centralized around the United States has been so forceful about controlling crucial resources like oil on the world stage; it’s not so that the US can use the oil itself, it’s so it can control who will have access to it. It’s also why they’ve been working to surround both China and Russia militarily via military bases and NATO expansionism.

These are the chess pieces that have been put in place during the slow-motion third world war between the US-centralized empire and the governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into it. In order to avoid nuclear conflict the imperialists know they’ve got to be patient and strategic, which they’ve learned can lead them to victory from past experience in the previous Cold War against the Soviet Union. The fact that they’re imperiling the life of every organism on our planet in the meantime is for them mostly a non-issue.

This is how the US-centralized empire prefers to kill now. Not like a tiger, pouncing on its prey with old-school ground invasions and ripping out the jugular, but more like a python: slow, patient strangulation and suffocation.

That’s what you’re seeing with the murderous starvation sanctions that have been placed on Iran and Venezuela. With Yemen, where in addition to deadly blockades the Saudis have been deliberately targeting farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites and cholera treatment centers with US-assisted airstrikes. With North Korea, where boats full of dead people have been washing up on Japan’s shores because fishermen get stuck out at sea trying to catch food since they can’t afford enough fuel to get back to shore, which former secretary of state Rex Tillerson attributed to US sanctions. With Gaza, where people are being deprived of an adequate amount of nutrients due to an Israeli blockade designed to “put the Palestinians on a diet.”

It’s a slow, suffocating strategy which only works if you’re the side in power, the side with all the resources and all the time in the world, the side which knows it can just relax and wait for the other side to starve to death. Not with the “shock and awe” invasions of the Bush era, but with sanctions, blockades, coups, psy-ops, CIA-backed uprisings and the arming of opposition forces like David Axe’s “rebel” friends.

This is one of many reasons you can be dismissive of any Trump supporter who defends their president by arguing that he “hasn’t started any new wars.” What they mean is he hasn’t launched any tiger-style, old-school ground invasions. He’s still attacking and killing with python-style sanctions and blockades and imperiling the world with dangerous new cold war escalations. He’s still continuing the slow-motion third world war. And we may be certain that if Biden wins he will do the same.

This is important to be aware of, because it changes what it means to be anti-war. We don’t have to just oppose direct hot war conflicts like the one we were afraid earlier this year might erupt between the US and Iran (which could still happen); we also need to aggressively fight the new strangulation-style warfare that is being increasingly favored by the US-centralized empire.

When it first rose to power with the Bush administration, the neoconservative ideology of doing whatever it takes to ensure continued US unipolar hegemony was widely criticized. Now it’s the bipartisan beltway consensus, and if you question it you’re smeared as freakish and suspicious. You never even hear the word neoconservative or neocon anymore in mainstream US discourse, not because it went away but because it became the normalized default mainstream worldview.

And while all these imperialist psychopaths are waving literal Armageddon weapons around in the name of an imaginary god named unipolarism, we’re also hurtling toward ecosystemic collapse and any number of other potential Armageddon-level events. We’ve got to turn away from this trajectory as a species and begin collaborating with each other and with our ecosystem if we are to turn this disaster around.

China’s New Coronavirus: An Examination of the Facts

By Larry Romanoff

The Western mass media have discussed the new corona virus that began in the city of Wuhan in Central China but, apart from repetitive small details and the inevitable China-bashing, not much light has been shed on the circumstances. My initial commentary here is composed from a medley of nearly 100 Western news reports, primarily ABC, CBS, CNN, AFP, and from some Chinese media. Officially called the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the contagion is a respiratory illness, a new type of viral pneumonia, in the same family of infections as SARS and MERS.

At the time of writing, Chinese health authorities announced 830 confirmed cases caused by this virus in 29 provincial-level regions in the country, resulting so far in 25 deaths primarily among the elderly who had been suffering serious prior medical conditions and were perhaps in weakened physical states. A few cases have been reported in other countries, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, the US, Japan, all of which involved ethnic Chinese who had traveled to Wuhan. The virus initially showed no signs of spreading between humans, but then may have mutated with 15 medical workers in Wuhan apparently contracting the pathogen from other victims. It still remains unclear how easy it is to contract it from another infected

The initial symptoms were mild, which permitted many people to travel before stronger symptoms were detected. The first occurrences in December thus appeared to be of minor concern. The incubation period has not been definitively stated but, once infections began, the spread was surprisingly rapid after the first case was confirmed on December 31: on January 3, 44 cases; January 21, 225 cases, January 24, 830 cases. Local medical authorities have said the true extent of the Wuhan coronavirus is unclear, and the early official figures may have been an underestimation since the mild symptoms and delayed onset meant infections may have been undetected.

All the evidence suggests the Chinese authorities acted effectively as soon as they realised the danger they might be facing. Medical authorities immediately declared the outbreak, and within a week they had identified the pathogen and also determined and shared the genome sequence with the WHO and other parties, a sufficiently speedy response that earned praise from the WHO and scientists around the world.

Remembering the SARS troubles, they did much more. In most large centers in the country, all sports venues, theaters, museums, tourist attractions, all locations that attract crowds, have been closed, as have all schools. All group tours have been cancelled. Not only the city of Wuhan but virtually the entire province of Hubei has been locked down, with all trains, aircraft, buses, subways, ferries, grounded and all major highways and toll booths closed. Thousands of flights and train trips have been cancelled until further notice. Some cities like Shanghai and Beijing are conducting temperature tests on all roadways leading into the cities. In addition, Wuhan is building (in five days) a portable hospital of 25,000 square meters to deal with the infected patients. As well, Wuhan has asked citizens to neither leave nor enter the city without a compelling reason, and all are wearing face masks.

The scale of the challenge of implementing such a blockade is immense, comparable to closing down all transport links for a city 5 times the size of Toronto or Chicago, two days before Christmas. These decisions are unprecedented, but testify to the determination of the authorities to limit the spread and damage of this new pathogen. They not only address the gravity of the situation but also the seriousness of consideration for the public health, unfortunate and difficult decisions since the holiday is being destroyed for hundreds of millions of people. Most public entertainment has been cancelled, as have tours, and many weddings as well. The damage to the economy during this most festive of all periods, will also be enormous. Hong Kong will suffer severely in addition to all its other troubles, since visits from Mainland Chinese typically support much of its retail economy during this period.

The Chinese New Year is the most important festival for Chinese. Saturday, January 25, is the first day of the Lunar New Year, a festive period that typically sees the largest mass-movement of people on the planet as Chinese flock back to their hometowns to be with relatives. No health authority has ever tackled the challenge currently faced by China, as the country grapples with a new coronavirus just as hundreds of millions prepare to travel.

And of course the Western media had a field day of schadenfreude. CNN published a report – a bit too gleefully, I thought – on the potential damage to China’s economy: (1)

“China’s economy is slumping and the country is still suffering the effects of the trade war with America. An outbreak of a new and deadly virus is the last thing it needs. The Wuhan coronavirus has already roiled Chinese markets and thrown plans for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday into chaos for millions of people. The world’s second biggest economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly three decades last year as it contended with rising debt, cooling domestic demand and US tariffs, many of which remain in place despite a recent truce. Beijing is worried about unemployment, too, and has announced a wave of stimulus measures in recent weeks aimed at preventing mass layoffs. . . The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could spark widespread fear and spur people to hunker down and avoid going outside. That kind of behavior would deal a huge blow to the service sector, which now accounts for about 52% of the Chinese economy.” [And so on . . .]

The Western media have already staked out their claim to the fundamentals, all media sources claiming the virus was transferred to humans from animals or seafood. The media have added fuel to the fire by claiming the virus emerged from “illegally traded wildlife” in a market “where offerings reportedly include wild animals that can carry viruses dangerous to humans”, and that this virus “jumped into the human population from an infected animal”. Chinese officials stated that the virus appears to have originated at a seafood market in Wuhan, though the actual origin has not been determined nor stated by the authorities, and is still an open question perhaps primarily since viruses seldom jump species barriers without human assistance.

While there is no evidence of biowarfare, a virus outbreak in the city of Wuhan immediately prior to the Chinese New Year migration could potentially have dramatic social and economic repercussions. Wuhan, with a population of about 12 million, is a major transport hub in Central China, particularly for the high-speed train network, and with more than 60 air routes with direct flights to most of the world’s major cities, as well as more than 100 internal flights to major Chinese cities. When we add this to the Spring Festival travel rush during which many hundreds of millions of people travel across the country to be with their families, the potential consequences for the entire country are far-reaching.

Comparison with SARS

This is a novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), an entirely new strain related to the MERS (MERS-CoV) and the SARS (SARS-CoV) viruses, though early evidence suggests it is not as dangerous.

SARS was proven to be caused by a strain of the coronavirus, a large family of mostly harmless viruses also responsible for the common cold, but SARS exhibited characteristics never before observed in any animal or human virus, did not by any means fully match the animal viruses mentioned above, and contained genetic material that still remains unidentified – similar to this new corona virus in 2019.

Virologist Dr. Alan Cantwell wrote at the time that “the mysterious SARS virus is a new virus never before seen by virologists. This is an entirely new illness with devastating effects on the immune system, and there is no known treatment.” Dr. Cantwell also noted that the genetic engineering of coronaviruses has been occurring in both medical and military labs for decades. He wrote that when he searched in PubMed for the phrase “coronavirus genetic engineering”, he was referred to 107 scientific experiments dating back to 1987. To quote Dr. Cantwell:

“I quickly confirmed scientists have been genetically engineering animal and human coronaviruses to make disease-producing mutant and recombinant viruses for over a decade. No wonder WHO scientists identified the SARS/coronavirus so quickly. Never emphasised by medical news writers is the fact that for over forty years scientists have been “jumping species” with all sorts of animal and human viruses and creating chimera viruses (viruses composed from viruses of two different species). This unsupervised research produces dangerous man-made viruses, many of which have potential as bioweapons. Certainly SARS has the hallmarks of a bioweapon. After all, aren’t new biological warfare agents designed to produce a new disease with a new infectious agent? As in prior military experiments, all it might take … to spread SARS is an aerosol can . . .” (2) (3) (4)

Almost immediately upon receiving the genome sequence, several Russian scientists suggested a link between SARS and biowarfare. Sergei Kolesnikov, a member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, said the propagation of the SARS virus might well have been caused by leaking a combat virus grown in bacteriological weapons labs. According to a number of news reports, Kolesnikov claimed that the virus of atypical pneumonia (SARS) was a synthesis of two viruses (of measles and infectious parotiditis or mumps), the natural compound of which was impossible, that this mix could never appear in nature, stating, “This can be done only in a laboratory.” (5) And Nikolai Filatov, the head of Moscow’s epidemiological services, was quoted in the Gazeta daily as stating he believed SARS was man-made because “there is no vaccine for this virus, its make-up is unclear, it has not been very widespread and the population is not immune to it.” (6) (7)

It wasn’t widely reported, but it seems the final conclusion of the Chinese biochemists was the same, that the SARS virus was man-made. This conclusion wasn’t a secret, but neither was it promoted to the international media since they would simply have used the claim to heap scorn on China, dismissing this as a paranoid conspiracy theory. The Western media totally ignored this aspect, except for ABC news who reported that the SARS “Mystery Virus” was possibly “a Chinese bio-weapon that accidentally escaped the laboratory”. Nice of ABC to notice, but their story, if true, would be the first example of a nation creating and releasing a race-specific biological weapon designed to attack exclusively itself.

Notable is that while SARS spread to about 40 countries, the infections in most countries were few and deaths almost zero, and it was exclusively (or almost exclusively) Chinese who were infected, those in Hong Kong most seriously, with Mainland China suffering little by comparison.

This appears to be precisely the case with this new virus, in that most of the infected persons (sofar) are Chinese. News reports speak of infections appearing in Thailand or the US, but those (at least to date of writing) were all Chinese who had been to Wuhan. There have been no cases so far of infected Caucasians.

As with SARS, this new virus appears to be tightly-focused to Chinese. At this stage it is too early to draw specific conclusions.

We might in other circumstances pass this off as an unfortunate coincidence but for some major circumstantial events that serve to alter our focus. One of these is the history of American universities and NGOs having come into China in recent years to conduct biological experiments that were so illegal as to leave the Chinese authorities enraged. This was particularly true when it became known that Harvard University had surreptitiously proceeded with experiments in China that had been forbidden by the authorities years earlier, where they collected many hundreds of thousands of Chinese DNA samples and then left the country. (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)

The Chinese were furious to learn that Americans were collecting Chinese DNA. The government intervened and prohibited the further export of any of the data. The conclusion at the time was that the ‘research’ had been commissioned by the US military with the DNA samples destined for race-specific bio-weapons research.

In a thesis on Biological Weapons, Leonard Horowitz and Zygmunt Dembek stated that one clear sign of a genetically-engineered bio-warfare agent was a disease caused by an uncommon (unusual, rare, or unique) agent, with lack of an epidemiological explanation. I.e. no clear idea of source. They also mentioned an “unusual manifestation and/or geographic distribution”, of which race-specificity would be one. (13)

Recent disease outbreaks that would seem to possibly qualify as potential bio-warfare agents are AIDS, SARS, MERS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Hantavirus, Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, Ebola, Polio (Syria), Foot and Mouth Disease, the Gulf War Syndrome and ZIKA. And in fact thousands of prominent scientists, physicians, virologists and epidemiologists on many continents have concurred that all these viruses were lab-created and their release deliberate. The recent swine flu epidemic in China has the hallmarks as well, with circumstantial evidence of the outbreak raising only questions.

There was another curiosity in this case, in that additional to the usual criticisms of China being inactive or secretive, several US media replicated accusations from “a senior US State Department official” claiming Washington was “still concerned” about transparency in the Chinese government on the Wuhan coronavirus. Other articles claimed the US CDC was “concerned that Chinese health officials have still not released basic epidemiological data about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, making it more difficult to contain the outbreak.” There is no substantial reason that officials at any level of the US State Department should concern themselves with a virus outbreak in a foreign country.

Their criticisms were surprisingly detailed, demanding specifics on the number of infections directly from contact with the Wuhan market, the number of person-to-person infections, the precise incubation period from exposure to the onset of symptoms, the point at which persons become contagious. The questions were presented in benevolent terms of helping the Chinese medical authorities deal with the virus, though it was already self-evident China had no need to be lectured on such basics.

As of the date of writing, details are still too scarce to form definitive conclusions but, in every such case, once the smoke clears there are many unanswered questions that challenge the official Western narrative, but it’s old news and the media have already staked out their ground so the matter dies in the Western public mind, but not in China.


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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.


(1) The Wuhan virus is the last thing China’s economy needs …







(8) The Harvard case of Xu Xiping: exploitation of the people, scientific advance, or genetic theft?
Margaret Sleeboom; Amsterdam School of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam and International Institute for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Routlege; Taylor & Francis group; New Genetics and Society, Vol. 24, No. 1, April 2005





(13) Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare