Cambodia Warns of Foreign Regime Change "At Any Cost"

July 10, 2019 New Eastern Outlook

US and European-driven regime change efforts persist even in Asia where socioeconomic progress and stability have been on the rise. So persistent are these efforts that regional leaders have openly warned about them recently.


Reuters in its July 4th article, "Cambodian PM says those seeking 'regime change' risk return to war," would claim:
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose government is accused of suppressing human rights, said on Thursday that foreigners were risking returning his country to war through what he called stirring up turmoil and seeking regime change.
The article also stated (my emphasis):
Cambodia had risen from poverty to becoming a lower middle income country, and it aimed to graduate to the upper middle income by 2030 and high income by 2050, he said. But some groups and institutions maintained “a single political agenda of regime change at any cost”, Hun Sen added. 
Reuters would continue by reiterating claims that the current Cambodian government is guilty of a variety of abuses including "trying to silence dissent" according to "U.N. experts" and the European Union.

What Reuters omits from its article is that virtually every aspect of this "dissent" is funded and directed by Washington.

Cambodian Dissent is Made in America 

Just as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen alluded to, many of the "dissidents silenced" are media platforms literally run by foreigners. This includes the US State Department-funded and directed Voice of America and Radio Free Asia as well as the previously American-owned and operated Cambodia Daily newspaper.

There are also political entities like the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) whose members regularly operate out of Washington D.C. itself.


CNRP leader Kem Sokha has openly admitted to Washington's role in propping up his party and its bid to seize power in Cambodia not through elections, but through the same sort of destructive colour revolutions that have swept through Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.


US vs China: Smartphone Wars

July 7, 2019 New Eastern Outlook  

If Washington's goal was to pressure and isolate China by targeting smartphone giant Huawei, it seems to have accomplished the exact opposite. In the process, the US has only accomplished in exposing its own growing weakness and unreliability as a trade partner amid a much wider, misguided and mismanaged "trade war."


While we're only talking about smartphones and economic competition, however fierce, the outcome of this smartphone battle amid a much wider trade war will have an impact on global power and who wields it in the years to come.

Losing Ungracefully  

By May 2019, Huawei had firmly climbed to the number two spot in global smartphone sales at the expense of US-based Apple. By the first quarter of 2019 it had shipped 59.1 million phones compared to Apple, now third place, at between 36-43 million phones, IDC (International Data Corporation) reported.

IDC and many other articles based on its data would note that while Huawei and Apple have traded places in the past over who held second place among global smartphone sales, Huawei's ascension this time seemed much more permanent.

Those watching the trajectory and inner workings of both tech giants will have noticed Apple's decline as endemic internal management problems coupled with growing global competition tattered its reputation and consumer appeal.

Was it just a coincidence that just as first quarter sales data emerged, the US announced one of its more dramatic turns amid its wider trade war with China? The Trump administration would announce a ban on all American-made goods to Huawei including microchips made by Intel and Qualcomm as well as the Android operating system (OS) made by US tech giant Google.

Coupled with this move was a public relations blitz across the US media and their partners working within nations moving closer to China. In Thailand, for example, local media trained and influenced by US interests attempted to undermine consumer confidence in Huawei in the wake of US sanctions against the company.

This one-two punch was a partial success. Sales did slump and Huawei was faced with significant obstacles. But significant obstacles are not the same as insurmountable obstacles, and overcoming obstacles is often how true competitors strengthen themselves.

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger 

For Huawei, a tech giant integral to China's wider economic and political success upon the global stage, it has all the resources and support it needs to weather the toughest of storms.

In the wake of US sanctions, and even in the lead up to them, Huawei has begun to source critical parts from non-US companies. It is also investing significantly in its own in-house alternatives to US manufactured microchips and even in an alternative OS to replace Android.

Digital Trends in its article "Huawei’s Android-alternative operating system: Everything you need to know," helps illustrate just how determined Huawei is to overcome these obstacles.

The fact that work on the OS supposedly began as early as 2018 indicates that Huawei executives are under no illusions regarding American goodwill. If America is to play nicely with Huawei and other Chinese companies, it will be because Huawei and other Chinese companies took steps leaving the US no other choice but to do so.


Why is The Financial Times Smearing Thailand?

July 2, 2019 New Eastern Outlook 

Southeast Asia has become a defacto battleground for the wider war waged between the United States and an emerging China.


The nation of Thailand, possessing the second largest economy in ASEAN and a pivotal partner for China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has just emerged from turbulent elections in which US-backed "pro-democracy" parties were defeated both at the polls and in parliament leaving Thailand's military-linked political party in control.

As previously warned, the United States has no intention of simply accepting the defeat of its political proxies in Thailand. Instead, it has shifted toward undermining political and economic stability.

The bulk of this effort comes in the form of the Western media and associated "nongovernmental organisations" (NGOs) funded by the US and Europe but operating inside of Thailand.

An example encapsulating these efforts comes to us from the Financial Times. Its article, "Thailand remains the sick man of south-east Asia," published by "FT Confidential Research" attempts to portray Thailand as especially ailing economically.

Yet the narrative and graphs constituting the article are clearly manipulated to merely give the impression of a lagging economy, intentionally taking many facts out of context and dishonestly conflating different trends with Thailand's ongoing political developments.

While we all most likely understand the ability of influential media platforms to manipulate statistics to portray virtually any reality they wish to sell the public, it is still worth looking at just how FT does this in regards to Thailand and to understand why.


The West's Losing Battle for Hong Kong

June 24, 2019 New Eastern Outlook  

Another pivotal battle is being fought over Hong Kong between Beijing and political forces backed by the special administrative region's former British colonial masters.


At the heart of the battle is a proposed law that will allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China, Taiwan or Macau.

The BBC in its article, "Hong Kong lawmakers fight over extradition law," would claim:
Critics believe the proposed switch to the extradition law would erode Hong Kong's freedoms.

By "critics," the BBC is referring to US and British-backed opposition, with the article specifically linking recent protests against the proposed law to the US-funded "Umbrella Movement" demonstrations in 2014.

The BBC would also remind readers of the conditions the British imposed on China as a condition of returning Hong Kong:
Under a policy known as "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong has a separate legal system to mainland China.

Beijing regained control over the former British colony in 1997 on the condition it would allow the territory "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs" for 50 years.
The BBC would also quote the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, as if to dispel any doubts over how the fault lines of this most recent political controversy formed, and the interests really driving opposition to the recently proposed law.

Patten would claim the proposed law was, "an assault on Hong Kong's values, stability and security."

Hong Kong's "values, stability and security" in this context reflects Western desires to maintain the region as a foothold not only for its interests in Asia-Pacific, but within China itself. The slow, incremental erosion of Western influence in Hong Kong and elsewhere across Asia-Pacific appears to be ending what has been centuries of European and then American primacy over the region.

The West's Losing Battle for Hong Kong 

Colonised by the British Empire in the 1800s, Hong Kong served for over a century as an Anglo, then Anglo-American outpost in Asia-Pacific. Since its handover in 1997, Beijing has incrementally reasserted control over the territory.

More recently, as China rises economically and militarily, Hong Kong has served as an indicator of waning Anglo-American domination over China and its peripheries.

Beijing's strategy has been to avoid direct political confrontations with Hong Kong's dwindling US-funded opposition parties and to instead patiently develop surrounding territory, inundating Hong Kong with mainlanders who bring with them culture and politics aligned with Beijing and economic influence that is slowly displacing Western-leaning leftovers from British colonisation.


US NED-Funded Meddling Exposed in The Philippines

June 22, 2019 New Eastern Outlook

With little else to offer the nations of Southeast Asia, the US has opted instead to wield the familiar and well-honed weapon of political subversion to peel potential partners away from Beijing in Washington's continued bid to rescue its waning primacy in Asia-Pacific.


The most recent manifestation of this can be seen in the Philippines where Manila has accused media front Rappler, founded by long-time CNN bureau chief Maria Ressa, and others of representing foreign interests and conspiring with foreign intelligence agencies in direct violation of the nation's constitution.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its defense of Rappler would claim:
First were the politically motivated state charges that funding provided to the news website Rappler by a U.S. philanthropic foundation represented a violation of constitutional provisions barring foreign control or ownership of Philippine media. 

Then came government allegations in April that journalists from independent media groups, including Rappler, the independent media organization VERA Files, and the non-profit Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, were involved in a conspiracy to discredit and oust President Rodrigo Duterte's elected government. All four outlets issued statements denying the allegation. 

Now, a pro-government media campaign claims that the same independent news outlets and the Philippine press freedom group Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility are in the pay of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a potential criminal offense under local law.
The CPJ notes that all of the accused groups are openly and admittedly funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The CPJ admits (my emphasis):
All four outlets receive substantial grants from the NED. 

Funded largely by Congress, NED was founded in the early 1980s as a way for the U.S. to openly promote democracy worldwide by providing annual grants to non-governmental groups, according to its website.

The CPJ categorically fails to challenge what are the NED's own assertions that it is merely "promoting democracy worldwide."

NED: The Public Face of (Often Violent) US Regime Change 

The NED's board of directors includes individuals openly involved in US-backed regime change including in Iraq, Ukraine and ongoing US regime change efforts in Venezuela.

Board members including Francis Fukuyama and Elliott Abrams openly advocated the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 in which the government in Baghdad was toppled and its senior leadership murdered based entirely on now verified lies regarding supposed "weapons of mass destruction."

Elliott Abrams is listed on the NED's website as "On Leave," having been appointed as a US special envoy for Venezuela amid ongoing efforts to overthrow the government there.


New Thai Government and America's Asia "Pivot"

June 18, 2019 New Eastern Outlook 

After much uncertainty and a turbulent election, Thailand now has a new government led by its newly elected prime minister, Prayuth Chan-o-cha. This bodes well for Thailand's stability and development as well as its growing ties with its ASEAN neighbours as well as with China.


For the US and its attempts to reassert "primacy" over Asia while encircling and containing the rise of China, the defeat of its "pro-democracy" proxies it is a nightmare.

The Western media, their media partners in Thailand and a small army of US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) have decried the new government as a "dictatorship disguised as democracy."

Articles like, "Thailand Junta Leader Named Prime Minister After Contentious Vote," published by the New York Times, set the tone of the West's backlash against the newly formed government, citing unqualified claims like, "an election marred by charges of manipulation" or depicting the opposition as being "pro-democracy."

Absent from NYT articles and others across the Western media is any mention of who PM Prayuth Chan-o-Cha was really running against or why there was a coup in 2014 to begin with. This omission is deliberate, because its inclusion by the media would provide crucial context both justifying the coup and exposing the "pro-democracy" opposition as anything but.

Putting Things in Context 

PM Prayuth led a 2014 coup, ousting the regime of Yingluck Shinawatra, which in turn served merely as a front for convicted criminal, fugitive and US-proxy Thaksin Shinawatra.

From 2001-2006, Shinawatra had loyally served US interests as Thai prime minister. He privatised Thailand's energy concerns which were promptly bought up by US and European oil corporations, committed Thai troops to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, invited the US Central Intelligence Agency to use Thai territory for its extraordinary rendition programme and even attempted to pass a US-Thai free trade agreement without parliamentary approval.


US-backed Agitators Go "Missing" in Asia - Why?

June 16, 2019 New Eastern Outlook 

The Western media along with multiple US and European funded "rights" groups have sounded the alarm over what they claim is a wave of assassinations and physical attacks on "activists."


The particular target of these claims is Thailand.

Articles like the Sydney Morning Herald's "'They sent an assassination squad': Thai exiles speak of life in fear," allege:
The attacks on Thai dissidents and pro-democracy activists are becoming increasingly violent and are being felt across ASEAN countries. And for political exiles who are critical of the monarchy –many of whom are wanted for lese-majeste or royal defamation – the attacks can be deadly.
 The article makes mention of those "deadly attacks," claiming:
On New Year's Eve, two bodies washed up on the banks of the Mekong River on the Thai-Laos border. They were gutted and stuffed with concrete to weigh them down, and were later identified as belonging to colleagues of Surachai Danwattananusorn, who has spent decades opposing the monarchy and military regimes. Surachai himself has been missing since December 12.
One problem with the Sydney Morning Herald's article is its omission of the fact that Surachai himself is a convicted murderer and belongs to a movement that readily uses violence. Another problem is that there is no evidence of who is behind these attacks or why.

What remains is the West's now all-too-familiar accusations of "human rights abuse" aimed at coercing yet another targeted nation.

"Missing Activists" Support Violence, Sedition 

The Union for Civil Liberty, funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in a 1986 report would admit Surachai's role in various acts of politically-motivated violence including murder and arson.

The report admits:
Surachai led [an] angry mob of 30,000 to protect against the authorities; negligence of the flood victims in the province. The protest ended in the burning of the governor's residence. Surachai and 12 other people were detained but later released following the public pressure. 

Threatened with arrest and death, he took refuge in the junge areas under the control of the CPT [Communist Party of Thailand]. 

Surachai was reportedly involved in the stopping of the train by CPT forces. This resulted in the disappearance of 1.2 million baht (US$ 46,154) and the death of a policeman. He later fled the scene. 
Surachai, for his role in the murder was arrested, found guilty in a court of law and sentenced to death.

He was later pardoned by Thailand's king. The violence Surachai was involved in is now omitted completely from Western media coverage of him and others in his movement today, including the above cited Sydney Morning Herald article.

Now 77 years old, he turned from "communism" to supporting US proxy, billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. His advanced age and exodus from Thailand rendered him useless. Surachai by remaining "alive" leaves him a spent force with a checkered past and serving only as dead weight for the movement. Being "killed" transforms this dead weight into a "martyr."