A277. The Censoring of The Epoch Times

(Jeremy Bezanger/Unsplash.com)

The Censoring of The Epoch Times

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker
August 2, 2022

Commentary

There was great drama over the weekend when Twitter, without explanation then or now, suddenly started labeling all content from the domain of The Epoch Times as unsafe. The page to which the reader was referred was once reserved for sites that are malicious or spammy or otherwise represent a technological threat. Years ago, users appreciated such warnings as a way of warding off malware that could harm our machines and local networks.

That very screen was deployed, in violation of user trust, in service of outright censorship. It apparently began at 8pm, July 28, 2022. I noticed it shortly thereafter when trying to post an article I had written for Epoch. Anyone who clicked on it was immediately sent this warning. Readers alerted me and I quickly ran some tests to find that the entire domain had been subject to banning.

 

 

 

This warning message is quite devastating because it reflects poorly on both the poster and the destination domain, as if both are involved in some nefarious effort to compromise the security of the personal computer or smartphone. It’s not true of course but the accusation alone does damage.

Twitter never explained its actions, to users or to The Epoch Times. The uproar against the action began immediately, Readers went into public revolt, and three U.S. Senators joined in the outcry. Within 24 hours, and again without explanation, the warning was removed and life went back to normal. Still, Twitter has posted no apology, explanation, or otherwise communicated about the incident at all.

If it was some kind of mistake, one might expect that Twitter would say so. That is not the case. Perhaps someone there really did believe that it would be no big deal if one of the world’s most important independent news and commentary voices would be blocked by its platform. If so, that reveals much about the bubble the administrators there truly do inhabit, as if Epoch’s many millions of readers the world over don’t matter. The readers’ response showed otherwise.

So Twitter reversed itself, likely on the calculation that such egregious impositions would do more harm to Twitter’s reputation than it would achieve in terms of information control. That the platform wants such control is beyond dispute. I have dozens of earnest friends who have posted on egregious pandemic policies who have been blocked.

Just how much has Twitter become captured by ruling-class interests in government? Substantially. We do have a First Amendment, and this is supposed to erect some kind of legal barrier against government actions that would censor speech. But what if government figures out how to muscle and otherwise work with private institutions to achieve the same end? What does the law say about that?

Maybe we will find out in the course of time. Recently released emails from America First Legal have revealed an incredible hand-in-glove relationship between the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and Twitter, along with Facebook and Google. All the top tech people in each institution know each other and agree that any narrative outside the one of their own crafting deserves to be excluded from the public sphere.

It’s strange to read through the 260 pages of email exchanges. They all consider themselves to be on the same team. For them, there is no distinction between public and private control, between markets and power, between Big Tech and government. They have presumed identical interests that set ruling-class priorities against dissident voices, whom they treat as nothing more than pests wrecking the party.

The Epoch Times has been the world’s major reporting voice in covering virus-related matters in a fact-based, objective manner, chronicling the sketchy origins of the virus as well as the harms of lockdowns and vaccine mandates. This has only been one piece of the coverage that diverges from corporate media priorities. The media venue has also reported fairly and honestly on the fakeries behind Russiagate as well as the wild hype over the supposed insurrection of January 6. The topics covered here include the ongoing world economic crisis that is given only muted attention by the corporate press.

But it’s not only that. Epoch also offers rich and varied video content that includes news reporting, live musical performances, intelligent conversations with scientists and scholars, deep documentaries, and also high-end content on art, culture, fashion, history, and so much more. The motto of the media empire is “Truth and Tradition” and that means scrupulous and fair journalism above all else. But it also means never condescending to the readership. It treats readers as intelligent. Subscribers can tell the difference immediately: it is a voice focused on actual reporting versus the partisan manipulation to which we’ve become accustomed.

This is hardly the first attempt to block The Epoch Times from influencing the public mind. The institution has been around for 22 years. Like many such venues in the old days, it had a winning economic model that relied on reach from social media giants like Facebook. There was a time when no one really imagined that this would become a danger to independent voices. Then Facebook turned, and Google too: they started demonetizing then finally banning impressions and links.

This caused a dramatic scramble at Epoch as they had to decide whether to shut down or innovate. They decided to adopt a paid model not because they wanted to charge but because they had to survive. But it is a dicey proposition in a world where people get extremely fussy about paying for news services. It works for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and others, but would it work for Epoch?

After some quick programming and hard hustle, the model went into place. And, remarkably, it worked. These days, users have become accustomed to paying for value on the internet. Even though I write daily for Epoch (I’m very grateful for the vast reach my content has), I’m more aware than ever of the value of independent and professional news reporting. Epoch has revived what otherwise seems nearly to have died. And clearly, people are willing to pay for that information.

The narrative of our lives is shaped by the ideas we hold in our head, the substance of which comes down to the information to which we have access. This is precisely why the ruling class is so incredibly and vociferously focused on controlling it.

Censorship is the tribute that would-be despots give to the power of ideas to disturb their plans and confound their aspirations to control the world. The war of ideas in the long run is the only one that matters. If we are to make good decisions about the kind of world in which we want to live, we need the open access to the widest possible conversation.

There was a time when most everyone believed that. These times are no more. As Twitter’s shot across the bow of The Epoch Times reveals, a free society and a free press go together. The enemies of freedom know this, and so too must its friends.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute, and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press, as well as 10 books in five languages, most recently “Liberty or Lockdown.” He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics for The Epoch Times and speaks widely on the topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

 

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-censoring-of-the-epoch-times_4638050.html

A276. Failure to Respond Increases China’s Threats to America

F.E. Warren Air Force Base, a strategic missile base, in Cheyenne, Wyo., an area near a host of cell towers using Huawei equipment. (Michael Smith/Getty Images)

Failure to Respond Increases China’s Threats to America

A spy pagoda, jet fighters targeting Pelosi, and Huawei networks near U.S. nuclear missiles are just the start

Anders Corr

Anders Corr
August 1, 2022

Commentary

The latest news from China would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

Beijing allegedly tried to build a 70-foot, white, spy pagoda on a high point in Washington, D.C. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) planned to courier parts for the pagoda in diplomatic pouches legally immune from search by U.S. officials.

However, the FBI discovered and foiled the CCP’s plan.

It was a foolish gambit but American politicians are the bigger fools. We did not hit back by letting the public know about it. American leaders probably did not want to ruffle Beijing’s feathers when our economic elites are desperate to increase trade with China.

Despite the abundant evidence of double-dealing from China, we keep engaging, like the drug addicts for cheap imports that we have become.

For example, Huawei and ZTE still have equipment in American telecom networks. They sold their components at a loss to telecom companies for installation near military bases, including those from which nuclear weapons deploy. They are now potentially capable of intercepting and disrupting U.S. Strategic Command communications, according to a July 24 report from CNN.

High-definition cameras on cell towers, meant to monitor civilian traffic and weather, can see U.S. military movements. Some of that data goes through Huawei networks that Beijing can easily hack. Indeed, U.S. intelligence caught the feeds being viewed from China.

This is serious stuff.

Imagine if China hacked U.S. nuclear weapons and launched one at Russia. Moscow might respond in kind, causing a war that knocks out China’s two biggest military peers. Beijing could then step into the breach as global hegemon.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice finally charged Huawei with conspiracy to racketeer and steal trade secrets. That year, Washington approved $1.9 billion to reimburse telecom companies for stripping China’s telecom equipment from American networks.

Telecom companies identified 24,000 pieces of Chinese equipment for removal, but the money is insufficient. Washington needs to approve another $3 billion to make it happen. So, the plan stalled and Huawei components still operate on American soil.

In the context of increasing security tensions with China, not least from Beijing’s persistent and successful spying on America, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is planning to lead several American lawmakers on a trip to Taiwan and other countries in Asia. It’s a rare ray of light against the China threat emitting from within the Democratic Party.

Pelosi has every right to go, and the trip is a much-needed signal of American support for the small island democracy standing up to history’s most powerful totalitarian country.

In response, Beijing is reportedly threatening to send fighter jets to shadow Pelosi’s ride, which will be a U.S. military plane. That kind of reaction is to be expected given Beijing’s increasing threats over the years.

But the Biden administration is interfering with Pelosi’s right to engage with Taiwan by publicly showing displeasure over the trip. President Joe Biden himself pressured Pelosi by noting that the Pentagon does not support her travel.

That demonstrates American weakness to Beijing.

Pelosi told the press, “I think what the president was saying is [that] maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something like that by the Chinese.”

Epoch Times Photo
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 14, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who along with other senior members of Biden’s cabinet has ties to a China-linked organization called the Asia Society, has indicated American fear, compromise, or both, by also opposing the trip.

The last U.S. Speaker to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich in 1997. On that trip he also visited China, where he attended church with the Australian prime minister in Shanghai and publicly warned Chinese officials that America would defend Taiwan against attack. He said they agreed to disagree and moved past the issue and went on to increase economic engagement.

Those halcyon days of American power are gone. The balance of power has shifted since the moment of American unipolarity, and the CCP now thinks it has the upper hand.

They think so in part, because we sent the wrong signals. The failure to continue regular high-level trips to Taiwan is likely encouraging Beijing to accelerate an invasion of the island and take measures to scare the United States and allied forces out of Asia.

In February, a Chinese navy ship shot a laser at an Australian P-8 spy plane, for example. The plane was within sight of Australia’s coast. We did next to nothing in response.

Three months later, a Chinese fighter jet upped the ante. It released aluminum chaff toward an Australian P-8 on a routine flight, some of which entered the jet’s engines. Again, no retaliation.

By turning the other cheek with China, we appear to show a fear that invites more aggression. With that kind of welcome, expect the People’s Liberation Army to increase the intensity of its attacks.

Sadly, Pelosi’s plane could be next.

Anders Corr has a bachelor’s/master’s in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea” (2018).

 

https://www.theepochtimes.com/failure-to-respond-increases-chinas-threats-to-america_4620493.html

A275. Condemning Twitter’s Censorship and Thanking Our Supporters

Condemning Twitter’s Censorship and Thanking Our Supporters

Editorial Board

Editorial Board
July 31, 2022 Updated: August 2, 2022

As an independent news organization dedicated to reporting the truth, The Epoch Times has been subjected to excessive censorship by Big Tech.

In the latest such incident, Twitter on July 28 censored all of our content by putting up a blockade to our website, describing it as “unsafe,” and encouraging users not to proceed.

Twitter’s actions—just like those by other tech giants such as Facebook and YouTube—specifically targeted the reach of our independent news and video content.

Twitter hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment and appeal, nor has the company explained what led it to censor our content or what caused it to lift its blockage two days later, following a public outcry.

The move by the social media giant came less than a week after we published our new documentary “The Real Story of January 6” and, on the same day, posted an interview with sex trafficking survivor Eliza Bleu, on our program “American Thought Leaders.”

While it remains unclear why Twitter targeted us, what is clear is that The Epoch Times is different from most other major news organizations, in that we dare to follow the stories where the facts lead.

In our Jan. 6 documentary, our reporters take an unvarnished look at the events of that day and present new witnesses and evidence that challenge the prevailing narratives. It provides extensive evidence of excessive use of force by police that broke protocol and policy, and raises questions about the lack of security that day. So far, the documentary has received more than a half-million views on our EpochTV platform.

In recent years, there have been other major stories on which The Epoch Times, because of our independence and adherence to traditional journalism, has differed from other major news organizations, only to be proven right.

For example, The Epoch Times reported accurately on events surrounding allegations that then-candidate and later President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia. From day one, The Epoch Times reported on the facts and through our reporting uncovered significant problems with the FBI’s probe of Trump’s campaign, which included problematic conduct involving surveillance.

While other news organizations won Pulitzers for their articles suggesting collusion between the president and Russia, The Epoch Times was, in fact, correct in reporting that the allegations had no support—as confirmed through investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice inspector general, as well as the ongoing probe of the origins of the FBI’s investigation by special counsel John Durham.

The Epoch Times also was among the first to report on the possibility that the novel coronavirus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Our April 2020 documentary on the subject was censored by Facebook. Today, a lab leak is now held as the most likely explanation for the spread of the virus, by both media organizations and many government officials.

The danger of allowing platforms such as Twitter to take on the role of arbiter of the truth is that they, in many cases, are plainly wrong. The most prominent example was Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post over its reporting on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.

This censorship behavior, which is antithetical to the protections Big Tech receives under Section 230, has also raised concerns about social media platforms censoring content on behalf of the government. Most recently, a federal judge ordered the government to cooperate in a lawsuit that alleges behind-the-scenes efforts to target the dissemination of information of stories related to COVID-19—including its possible origins and alternative treatments—that didn’t fit the government’s narrative.

“Government can’t outsource its censorship to Big Tech,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said.

Public Outcry

The public outcry against Twitter’s censorship of The Epoch Times was swift, with three U.S. senators publicly questioning the social media platform—which in recent years has repeatedly found itself in hot water for acts of censorship—over its targeting of the news organization.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) demanded that Twitter “explain itself for this outrageous act of censorship.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) asked, “Where’s the respect for free speech and freedom of press, Twitter?”

“We all remember your biased censorship of [the New York Post] and how that ended for you,” he said.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) described the action by Twitter as “alarming.”

“Twitter is censoring [The Epoch Times] under the guise of ‘unsafe’ speech. Remember what happened the last time corporate media and big tech tried to censor my investigation on Hunter Biden corruption?” he wrote. “The truth always prevails.”

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, described Twitter’s action as “an outrageous act of censorship.”

Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya called out Twitter’s suppression, writing: “It is perfectly safe to click through to the [Epoch Times] site in the quote tweet. For some reason, Twitter decided that today was a good day to suppress access to Epoch Times.”

Sex trafficking survivor Bleu, who was among the first to notice the censorship by Twitter because of its blockage of her interview with “American Thought Leaders,” posted a video condemning the platform’s actions that went viral.

It also created a stir among Twitter users, with many condemning the platform’s actions.

The Epoch Times wants to thank everyone who spoke out against this latest instance of censorship.

We will keep reporting the only way we know how, rooted in our tagline Truth & Tradition, without favor or fear. The fight for truth is one that has no shore and that is as old as the ages. We believe that only with brave individuals going the distance and striving to record the truth of what happens can the world have an accurate picture of events and history.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/condemning-twitters-censorship-and-thanking-our-supporters_4634287.html

A274. Hitler And Life Behind The Berlin Wall, With Dr. Rainer Zitelman

Hitler And Life Behind The Berlin Wall, With Dr. Rainer Zitelman

The Beau Show

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Dr. Rainer Zitelman is a sociologist author, and creator of the new documentary “Life Behind the Berlin Wall,” which profiles the stark differences between socialist East Germany and capitalist West Germany. It was Hitler’s National Socialism, he argues, that was far more nefarious than we could have imagined, which created atrocious living conditions well after the end of the Third Reich.
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A273. Analysis: China Can’t Afford to Go to War Over Pelosi Visit; Frank Gaffney: China Is a Voting Issue

Analysis: China Can’t Afford to Go to War Over Pelosi Visit; Frank Gaffney: China Is a Voting Issue

China Insider

Pelosi touches down in Taiwan. Her trip sparked aggression from the Chinese military, but fortunately, the White House didn’t cave in, and the speaker will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. But how has the trip been blown out of proportion? The White House may be to blame, due to its ambiguity and appeasement. I speak with Frank Gaffney, vice chair of the Committee on Present Danger: China, about a new poll, where China is a voting issue, ahead of the midterm elections.

A272. Pelosi to Visit Taiwan on Tuesday: Sources; Japanese Minister: China Uses ‘Logic of Brute Force’

Pelosi to Visit Taiwan on Tuesday: Sources; Japanese Minister: China Uses ‘Logic of Brute Force’

China in Focus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to land in Taiwan on Tuesday. The potential trip is igniting tensions between the United States and China to a historical high—with Beijing threatening to take action. After passing both chambers of Congress, an over $200 billion spending bill is heading to President Joe Biden’s desk. Supporters say it will boost America’s semiconductor manufacturing. Critics say it’s a free giveaway for big corporations. The United States and Japan are pledging deeper cooperation in a few key industries. America’s ambassador to Japan says the move will help counter China. Australian officials are partly blaming China for inflation at home. They say it involves Beijing’s strict COVID-19 policy.

A271. James Carafano: Inconsistent Policy Messaging on Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit and CHIPS Act

James Carafano: Inconsistent Policy Messaging on Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit and CHIPS Act

China Insider

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan. At the same time, Chinese threats and military activities ramp up in the region. We sat down with national security expert James Carafano to analyze the core problem of Pelosi’s Asia trip. He says the White House and Pelosi are not on the same page. Meanwhile, the United States passed the CHIPS Act, which is now waiting to be signed by President Joe Biden. Does it effectively combat the threat of China’s technology and supply chain competition? And will it actually move semiconductor manufacturing closer to home? We discuss this with Zach Mottl, chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America.

A270. ‘We Would Find Ourselves Actually Defending America, From Hawaii’: Newsham on China’s Pacific Threat

China in focus

In this special episode, we sat down with Alex Gray, senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and former director for Oceania and Indo-Pacific security at the U.S. National Security Council during the Trump administration; and Grant Newsham, retired Marine colonel and director of the One Korea Network. They discuss the importance of the Pacific islands, what it would mean if the United States loses its standing as the preeminent Pacific power, and the consequences if the Chinese regime gains the upper hand.

A269. China Compromised the Fed

China Compromised the Fed

Beijing is paying Fed officials for information and influence

 

Anders Corr

Anders Corr
July 29, 2022

Commentary

A new Congressional report (pdf) reveals that U.S. economic officials have pursued money and positions from China as part of programs that sought “malicious, undisclosed, and illegal transfers of information that seek to undermine the United States.”

The 40-page Senate report, based in part on an internal investigation by the U.S. Federal Reserve System (the Fed), shows that Beijing has for over a decade sought to develop a spy network, steal confidential economic information, and “gain influence” within the Fed.

The Fed Did Nothing

The FBI provided the Fed with a list of necessary counterintelligence measures, but rather than take them seriously, according to the report, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell second-guessed and cherry-picked the FBI recommendations. The Fed itself has demonstrated incompetence by losing some of the materials upon which the investigation was based.

Powell did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

According to the Senate report, a Fed economist was detained four times during a 2019 visit to China. Chinese officials forced him into a hotel room in a “frightening” manner, he said, accused him of crimes against China, threatened to imprison him and harm his family, and told him they monitored his phone for information, including information about his divorce. They wanted him to “say good things about China” in the United States, provide confidential economic information, and ensure his silence about the relationship.

Since 2013, according to the report, Chinese “talent recruitment programs” have sought inside information on the Fed’s view of the economy and its upcoming policy changes, including tariffs and interest rates. In exchange, senior staff within the Fed were offered as much as 1 million yuan (approximately $150,000 by today’s exchange rate), free travel, distinctions, and research expenses, to be “experts,” co-authors, and professors at Chinese research institutes and universities.

The Spies Must Go

One 2010 communication from China’s talent program to a U.S. professor and Fed economist discussed the need for “high-level Chinese economists” for “part time service in China [that] pays a high salary.” The Fed economist applied to China’s Thousand Talents Program, obtained a position at a Chinese university, and collaborated in research with the People’s Bank of China, including the sharing of Fed computer code used for economic prediction.

The report says another Federal Reserve employee was removed from their position “in large part due to their assistance in attempting to access restricted information at a Federal Reserve bank for a Chinese media outlet (China Global Television Network) designated by the U.S. as a foreign agent.”

The report reproduces a letter from another employee, who was incentivized with a possible $150,000 payment. He gave confidential information on the private views of a Fed chairman about rate hikes, which are the most consequential of Fed actions.

Shanghai’s Fudan University offered another Fed economist a three-year contract, starting in 2018, for an annual salary and research funds of approximately $45,000 (in Chinese yuan), to spend just four weeks annually on a campus in China, and host Chinese faculty and students at the Fed in the United States. Bonuses of up to $15,000 per article would be paid for co-authoring with the institution’s regular faculty. This salary was presumably paid on top of the official’s full-time salary at the Fed.

These examples are all part of Beijing’s broader campaign to build a “P-Network,” as the investigation called it, of informants within the Fed who would answer to Beijing. Despite numerous instances of inappropriate disclosures and collaborations with the regime in Beijing, all but one of the 13 individuals retain access to confidential Fed information, according to the report.

Congress Must Act

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is leading the campaign to make the Fed clean up its act, and has already been successful in getting the bank to ban payments to its officials from foreign countries like China.

The Fed was founded in 1913, so this measure is over a century late.

And, much more must be done. Officials who have—at any time—taken money from China, Russia, or any other adversary nations should be removed for their serious lack of judgment.

Similar steps should be taken by not only other Federal and state agencies in the United States, but in our most important businesses and academic institutions.

In 2020, Portman sponsored a bill, along with Senate Democrats, called the Safeguarding American Innovation Act (SAIA), to help protect American research and intellectual property from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spies. SAIA passed the Senate in June 2021.

The current Democrat-controlled House stripped the SAIA from upcoming legislation.

It should be reintroduced and passed immediately, or Beijing’s future IP theft will be the fault of Democrats, in addition to the CCP.

America is bleeding out. Congress must take action now.

Anders Corr has a bachelor’s/master’s in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea” (2018).

 

A268. Put the Pacific Into NATO: NAPTO

Put the Pacific Into NATO: NAPTO

Austin Bay

Austin Bay
July 27, 2022

Commentary

Beijing’s and Moscow’s lawlessness and collaborative belligerence threaten all sovereign nations in Europe and Asia.

We still have time to respond with a war-deterring diplomatic stroke: extending NATO’s Article 5 to committed nations in the Pacific and East Asia who already field NATO-ready military forces.

Background: The NATO treaty’s Article 5 exemplified the hard, clear-eyed diplomacy that won the Cold War. Cheekily known as the Three Musketeers Clause, Article 5 told the Soviet Union “that an armed attack against one or more of them (NATO members) … shall be considered an attack against them all.”

Each member would then take “action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain” NATO security. The enemy had to attack a member’s territory or member “forces, vessels or aircraft” operating “in or over” NATO territory.

Moscow and Beijing: Neo-Fascist Russia and Communist China are demonstrably lawless. Russia signed the 1994 Budapest Accords and guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity in exchange for its nuclear weapons. In 2014 Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded and annexed Crimea.

China signed the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) treaty. Ignoring the treaty, China construction barges and fishing boats invaded the Philippines. The barges built artificial islands with jet air bases; the fishing fleet poached Filipino reefs. As the invasion progressed, Beijing claimed Filipino seas as Chinese territory.

In 2016 a U.N. court backed Manila’s accusations of robbery and invasion. Beijing still ignores the verdict.

China also broke the Sino-British Treaty and crushed Hong Kong.

Chinese-Russian collaboration is multifaceted but these germane diplomatic and military cases make the big points. China supports Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian and Chinese diplomats collaborate as they seek to create and exploit political rifts among targeted nations worldwide. In the Pacific, the Russian and Chinese navies, air and missile forces stage mock attacks against Japanese and American air bases and naval targets, from Hawaii to Tokyo Bay.

Does China encourage North Korea to threaten missile strikes on Guam and Hawaii?

That’s a question with nuclear and NATO-less implications.

The United States is a founding NATO member. However, Guam and Hawaii are not covered by the NATO treaty and Article 5. The original 1949 treaty covered Europe and North America north of the Tropic of Cancer. Puerto Rico, Guam, and Hawaii were outside the geographic zone.

When Turkey joined NATO in 1951 the treaty was amended and Article 5’s reach extended. About 97 percent of Turkey is in Asia—Anatolian Turkey.

2022’s serendipity: Article 5 already covers a slice of Asia.

Expanding NATO and extending Article 5’s geographic reach in order to deter war isn’t a new idea. Though discussed for years, likely Asian members—think Japan—have favored strengthening deterrence using existing security arrangements, such as the bilateral and trilateral relationships that connect the United States, Japan, Australia, and Singapore.

Lawlessness and invasion, however, alter the calculus. In early June Japan’s Nikkei.com featured a story with this quote from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.): “Let’s build a NATO for the Pacific. We need allies to get back on the offensive against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) … as Chairman Xi (Jinping) looks to expand his sphere of influence, we need a new military alliance centered far out into the Pacific.”

At the end of June leaders from Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand attended NATO’s Madrid summit.

On July 3 Turkish journalist and foreign policy analyst Mehmet Kanci wrote (at aa.com.tr) that the Asia-Pacific four’s attendance “confirmed that the alliance will go beyond its Transatlantic identity and wave a flag in the Trans-Pacific geography by 2023.” Kanci noted NATO’s new strategic concept document calls China a common threat. China’s “malicious” hybrid operations and rhetoric (e.g., “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy) “harm the security of the alliance …” Kanci concludes NATO’s “paradigm shift” has begun.

Let’s speed up the shift and put the Pacific’s P in NATO. North Atlantic and Trans-Pacific Treaty Organization. If NAPTO seems awkward, APTO is apt.

Austin Bay is a colonel (ret.) in the U.S. Army Reserve, author, syndicated columnist, and teacher of strategy and strategic theory at the University of Texas–Austin. His latest book is “Cocktails from Hell: Five Wars Shaping the 21st Century.”

 

https://www.theepochtimes.com/put-the-pacific-into-nato-napto_4625593.html