Common Grounds

Our Friday News Analysis | How Do You Love Your Enemies? Have None! (Part 7)

June 02, 2023


What is the Fuss All About? Not Global Hegemony? Who is on First?


The Hague, 26 May 2023 | If you know of any story that is decisive, tell the world. We're still searching.

Our Friday News Analysis | How Do You Love Your Enemies? Have None! (Part 7)

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The G7 countries may have set out to deter China without escalating the new cold war, but the perception in Beijing suggests that they failed to thread the needle at their recent summit in Hiroshima.


It is clear to all that the United States, its allies, and any partners they can recruit
are committed to containing China’s rise.


But first, watch this 2-minute Video:


Carl Zha: China Has Given Up on Trying to Work With The USA

Afshin Rattansi's Going Underground



Click Here to Watch Video (2 minutes, 28 seconds)


Carl Zha says China has given up on trying to work with the United States as tensions between the two superpowers continue to worsen. You can watch the full interview here:



What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive? Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen.





By Nouriel Roubini
Project Syndicate, A George Soros Publication
May 30, 2023


NEW YORK | Following the May G7 summit in Hiroshima, US President Joe Biden claimed that he expects a “thaw” in relations with China. Yet despite some recent official bilateral meetings – with US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen expressing hopes for a visit to China soon – relations remain icy.


But going even further, the G7 devoted a substantial portion of its final communiqué to explaining how it will confront and deter China in the years ahead. The document decries Chinese policies of “economic coercion” and stresses the importance of an Indo-Pacific partnership to thwart China’s efforts to dominate Asia. It criticizes Chinese expansionism in the East and South China Seas and includes a clear warning to China not to attack or invade Taiwan.


In taking steps to “de-risk” their relationships with China, Western leaders have settled on language that is only slightly less aggressive than “decoupling.” But more than the diplomatic argot has changed. According to the communiqué, Western containment efforts will be accompanied by a policy to engage the Global South with significant investments in the clean-energy transition, lest key countries be drawn into China’s sphere of influence.

No wonder China could not contain its rage against the G7. In addition to overlapping with a Quad meeting, the Hiroshima summit comes at a time when NATO has begun its pivot to Asia and when the AUKUS alliance (comprising Australia, the United Kingdom, and the US) is gearing up to confront China in the Pacific.


Meanwhile, the Western-Chinese tech and economic war has continued to escalate. Japan is imposing restrictions on semiconductor exports to China that are no less draconian than those put in place by the US, and the Biden administration is pressuring Taiwan and South Korea to follow suit. In response, China has banned chips made by US-based Micron.

With the US chipmaker Nvidia quickly becoming a corporate superpower– owing to surging demand for its advanced chips to power AI applications – it, too, will likely face new constraints on selling to China. US policymakers have clarified that they intend to keep China at least a generation behind in the race for AI supremacy. Last year’s CHIPS and Science Act introduced massive incentives to restore chip production.


The risk now is that China – at pains to close its tech gap with the West – will leverage its dominant role in producing and refining rare-earths metals – crucial for the green transition – to retaliate against the US sanctions and trade restrictions. China has already increased its exports of electric vehicles by almost 700% since 2019, and it is now starting to deploy commercial airliners to compete with Boeing and Airbus.


So, while the G7 may have set out to deter China without escalating the cold war, the perception in Beijing suggests that Western leaders failed to thread the needle.


It is more evident than ever that the US and the broader West
are committed to containing China’s rise.

Of course, the Chinese would like to forget that today’s escalation owes as much, if not more, to their aggressive policies as to US strategy. In recent interviews marking his 100th birthday, Henry Kissinger – the architect of America’s “opening to China” in 1972 – has warned that:


               “Unless the two countries find a new strategic understanding, they will remain on a collision course.


               The deeper the freeze, the greater the risk of a violent crack-up.”


Read more: ‘No Respite from the Slow-Motion US-China Collision,’ by Nouriel RoubiniProject Syndicate, A George Soros Publication, 3 May 2023.


               “Despite US efforts to de-escalate tensions with China and Chinese officials’ wariness of economic decoupling, attempting to restore trust between the two powers seems futile. In this increasingly fraught climate, fragmentation trumps cooperation, and the danger of a military conflict over Taiwan looms large.”


Nouriel Roubini, Professor Emeritus of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is Chief Economist at Atlas Capital Team, CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, Co-Founder of, and author of MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them (Little, Brown and Company, 2022). He is a former senior economist for international affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. Prof. Roubini has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank. His website is, and he is the host of




By Christian Shepherd and Meaghan Tobin with Mikhail Klimentov
Washington Post
2 June 2023


Elon Musk, left, meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing on Tuesday.
(Chinese Foreign Ministry/Reuters)


During a whirlwind 44 hours in Beijing and Shanghai, the Tesla and Twitter CEO was celebrated by Chinese Communist Party commentators as an ally opposing a perceived American campaign to separate the world’s two largest economies.

“Decoupling from China means decoupling from opportunity, decoupling from the future,” wrote Xiake Dao, a blog affiliated with the People’s Daily, the party’s official newspaper. “Even if the White House agrees with arguments for decoupling, the Musks [of the world] will not agree.”

Musk, making his first trip to China in three years, apparently felt the same (even though Twitter is blocked in China and Musk did not tweet while in the country). According to Chinese readouts, he told the foreign minister that China and the United States were “conjoined twins” with inseparable interests. The trip has been a propaganda win for Beijing’s intensifying campaign to signal openness to foreign investment after months of unpredictable, politically motivated crackdowns stoked fears that the business environment was worsening.

So far, China’s promises haven’t quelled international corporations’ alarm over an updated counterespionage law and raids on global consulting firms in recent weeks, during which employees were detained in at least one of them. Even the US Chamber of Commerce has warned that “China’s stated policy of openness and desire to attract new foreign investment and exports” from the United States is not without risk. But Beijing is rolling out the red carpet for visiting American executives — not just Musk.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan have also been in the Chinese capital this week, shoring up their business interests at the same time as Beijing tries to woo the American business lobby, which has traditionally opposed Washington’s more hawkish China policies.

Read more: China gives Elon Musk a hero’s welcome — and a message for the US.



HEATED EXCHANGE-Obama & Clinton's National Security Director Challenged Russia vs. NATO in Ukraine
Afshin Rattansi's Going Underground


Click Here to Watch Video (28 minutes, 07 seconds)


On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to a Senior Fellow & Director of European Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the former National Security Director for European Affairs under Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Prof. Charles Kupchan.


Prof. Kupchan has a heated exchange with Afshin Rattansi on Russia vs. NATO in Ukraine:

  • The history of US and NATO wars in the global south.
  • Seymour Hersh’s report that the US blew up the Nordstream pipelines.
  • Prof. Kupchan pushed for more arms supplies to Ukraine while supporting a negotiated end to the conflict.
  • The birth of the multipolar world vs. one global police force.
  • And much more.



Despite warnings that arming Ukraine will start a world war, President Biden continues to push the Russian leader’s limits — a strategy that brings risk and reward

By John Hudson and Dan Lamothe
Washington Post
1 June 2023


President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Evan Vucci/AP)


President Biden’s decision last month to help Ukraine obtain F-16 fighter jets marked another crossing of a Russian red line that Vladimir Putin has said would transform the war and draw Washington and Moscow into direct conflict.


Despite the Russian leader’s apocalyptic warnings, the United States has gradually agreed to expand Ukraine’s arsenal with Javelin and Stinger missiles, HIMARS rocket launchers, advanced missile defense systems, drones, helicopters, M1 Abrams tanks, and, soon, fourth-generation fighter jets.


A key reason for brushing aside Putin’s threats, US officials say, is a dynamic that has held since the war's opening days: Russia’s president has not followed through on promises to punish the West for providing weapons to Ukraine.


His bluffing has given US and European leaders some confidence they can continue doing so without severe consequences — but to what extent remains one of the conflict’s most dangerous uncertainties.


               “Russia has devalued its red lines so many times by saying certain things would be unacceptable and then doing nothing when they happen,” said Maxim Samorukov, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


               “The problem is that we don’t know the actual red line. It’s in one person’s head and can change daily.”


Read more: Biden Shows Growing Appetite to Cross Putin’s Red Lines




From lobbying for fighter jets to supplying depleted uranium, the UK ensures escalation is the only way forward.


By Jonathan Cook

24 May 2023


Rishi Sunak and Volodymyr Zelensky on 8 February 2023

(Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street)

At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favored an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to "weaken" Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more robust and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia.


What was hard to ignore once again was how the UK plays an outsized role in Ukraine.


Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kyiv – presumably on Washington's instructions – apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow.


At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favored an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to "weaken" Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China.


Since then, the UK has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping lobby for supplying weapons, training, and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces.

British tanks and thousands of tank shells – including, controversially, some made from depleted uranium – are being shipped out. Last week, the UK added hundreds of long-range attack drones to the inventory.


Read more: British Warmongering is Driving Europe Toward Catastrophe in Ukraine




EDITORIAL | Is Russian Roulette a real thing?



Russian roulette (Russian: Русская рулетка, romanized: Russkaya Ruletka) is a potentially lethal game of chance in which a player places 1) a single round in a revolver, 2) spins the cylinder, 3) places the muzzle against the head or the body (of the opponent or themselves), and 4) pulls the trigger.


Is Russian Roulette all luck?



Roulette is a random numbers game, so like the lottery, it is all luck.


Do people survive Russian Roulette?


There is a one in three chance that you will die. This probability does not change with any number of spins. There is a 66.7% chance (4/6) that you will live. If the cylinder is not spun, the key to calculating the odds is the clue that the rounds are located in adjacent chambers.


Only the desperate – sociopaths – play Russian Roulette.


Be aware of Psychopaths! Psychopaths play Russian Roulette with your lives.


Figuratively speaking, they point the gun against the body of the other. It doesn’t matter who, as long as the one holding the weapon gets what they want. The end justifies the means, even nuclear craters all over the planet.


Some of our world leaders are psychopaths.


Will the Russian Federation ever cave in and give up Donbas, the region predominantly populated by the ‘Black Russians,’ the Ukrainians of Russian descent?


The people of Donbas have overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine.


How will Kyiv, bolstered by NATO, treat the Black Russians in Donbas if, in the most unlikely event, NATO prevails?


What’s it all about?


Isn’t this conflict primarily about ownership of the region’s immense wealth, its natural resources? Eastern Ukraine has abundant reserves of coal, iron ore, natural gas, manganese, salt, oil, graphite, sulfur, kaolin, titanium, nickel, magnesium, timber, and mercury.


               Does Ukraine, the ‘White Ukrainians,’ care about the ‘Black Russians?’


               Does NATO care about the ‘Black Russians?’


                Do the Russian people care about their own in the region?


Ukraine, not Russia, had alienated the Black Russians from White Ukraine.


Ukraine wants the region, not its people.


Whoever cares more for the people in Eastern Ukraine, the ‘Black Russians,’ will own its vast riches.


This goes against the grain of Western Neo-colonialism Policies.


Simply stated, Western Neo-colonialism means: ‘What is mine is mine. What is yours in mine also.’



U.S. Rebuffs Cease-fire Calls in Strategy for Ukraine Resilience


By Missy Ryan
Washington Post
June 2, 2023


Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers his speech at the Helsinki City Hall Friday.

(Antti Aimo-Koivisto/AP)


HELSINKI — Proposals to impose cease-fires or territorial concessions to halt the war in Ukraine would serve only to legitimize President Vladimir Putin’s aggression and encourage future assaults, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday as he laid out U.S. strategy for hardening Ukraine against long-term Russian threats.


Read more: U.S. Rebuffs Cease-fire Calls in Strategy for Ukraine Resilience




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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of the Building the Bridge Foundation, The Hague.


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