Asia Unites Against US Coup Attempt

December 6, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The nations of Southeast Asia have united in efforts to prevent a US-backed coup aimed at fellow-Southeast Asian state Cambodia.

Through a combination of travel bans and detentions across the region in late October and early November, Southeast Asia may have thwarted attempts by Washington-backed opposition front, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), from "returning" from its US and European exile to Cambodia where it sought to stir up unrest and sow instability.

The US seeks to disrupt, divide and even destroy the growing list of nations in Asia building ties with Beijing at the expense of Washington's fading primacy over the Asia-Pacific region.

Cambodia is among the staunchest of Beijing's allies in Southeast Asia.

Under the Radar 

With multiple US wars raging across the globe, Washington's ongoing trade war with China and Russophobic hysteria paralysing America's domestic political landscape, the rarely-mentioned nation of Cambodia and its political affairs couldn't be further from the global public's attention.

Using this obscurity as cover, the US began low-key preparations ahead of what the US had hoped would end in much more widely reported protests, instability and, if other nations suffering US regime change efforts is anything to go by, extensive violence.

Cambodia's ambassador (left) confronts CNRP deputy leader Mu Sochua (right) during a press conference organised by the Western media in Indonesia shortly before Sochua's detainment in neighbouring Malaysia. US-EU backed Indonesian "activist" Darmawan who hosted the conference, sits centre looking on.  
While these preparations were promoted by Western media organisations operating in Southeast Asia, they collectively omitted mention of US involvement or the much wider implications of the US organising what was essentially a coup attempt in Cambodia.

Preparations included moving CNRP members from their US and European homes-in-exile to neighbouring Southeast Asian states. There, Western media organisations and US-European funded fronts posing as rights organisations conducted conferences and published articles promoting their planned "return" to Cambodia.

Had the US succeeded in triggering chaos in Cambodia, it would have fed synergistically into ongoing US-fomented instability in Hong Kong, China as well as opened the door to other US-funded groups across Southeast Asia eager to engage in political unrest.

Thai political opposition party "Future Forward," for example, appears to have been planning unrest timed to coincide with CNRP's return to Cambodia.

Asia Unites Against US Coup Attempt 

However, these preparations appear to have been in vain.

In late October Thailand had denied CNRP deputy leader Mu Sochua entry into their territory where she had sought to then travel onward into Cambodia.

Why Thailand is Buying Russian Helicopters

November 17, 2019 New Eastern Outlook   

Beginning in 2011, the Kingdom of Thailand began replacing aging US helicopters not with newer US-built models, but with Russian and Italian systems instead.

This includes Russian Mi-17 medium twin-turbine transport helicopters and several AgustaWestland AW149's and AW139's (for transporting VIPs).

According to a January 2019 article in Jane's 360:
The RTA [Royal Thai Army] already operates five Mi-17V-5 platforms. In March 2008 the service ordered the first three such rotorcraft from Russia, which were delivered in March 2011, followed by the remaining two in November 2015 under a contract signed in July 2014. 
The article also noted that 2 more have recently arrived in Thailand, bringing the total number up to 7:
The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has received two more Russian-made Mil Mi-17V-5 ‘Hip-H’ medium transport helicopters, an RTA source told Jane’s on 8 January.
Russia's embassy in Bangkok would note during the delivery of several Mi-17's in 2015 that:
This model of the famous Russian MI-17 helicopter can be used not only for transportation purposes but also in combat circumstances as well as for civil needs, in particular for rescue operations and forest fire extinguishing.
Indeed, far from just new toys resulting from a military spending spree as US-backed opposition figures in Thailand claim, Russian-built Mi-17s have already been seen in action, most notably during the spectacular cave rescue incident last year where 12 children and their football coach made it out of flooded caves alive.

Mi-17's could be seen bringing in heavy equipment and other supplies to aid in search and rescue operations, just as Russian representatives had promised they could. The rescued children were also in fact flown to safety on Thailand's Mi-17's.

While these initial 7 Mi-17's sound insignificant, it should be noted that Thailand operates only 12 US-built UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. While it has a much larger number of much older US-built UH-1 and UH-212 Huey helicopters (78 and 51 respectively) only 20 UH-1's are being modernised along with 48 UH-212's.

Interestingly enough, the resources needed to upgrade Thailand's aging US helicopter fleet was so extensive it prompted Thai policymakers to look into and eventually decide to begin transitioning over to Russia's Mi-17, using funds from the upgrade programme to do so.

EXPOSED: US Lobbyists Behind Thai "Opposition"

November 11, 2019 New Eastern Outlook  

Documents have surfaced exposing US corporate lobbying behind one of Thailand's supposed "pro-democracy" opposition parties, Future Forward Party (FFP).

Future Forward, headed by union-busting nepotist billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, was revealed to be aided by US-based corporate lobbying firm, APCO Worldwide.

Who are These Lobbyists? 

APCO Worldwide, in turn, is directed by representatives of not only the US government itself, but some of the largest and most corrupt US corporations. These include Alcoa, Xerox, Dow, Cargill, Standard Charted Bank, Boeing, GE, Procter & Gamble, Morgan Chase, Nike, Starbucks, NBC, CNN and Goldman Sachs.

In addition to representatives of weapon manufacturers, banks, corporate media and abusive agricultural giants, there are also intelligence officers, former US ambassadors and various government officials working mainly for Republican presidents (Ronald Reagan and George Bush) serving on APCO's international advisory council.

This is despite APCO's deliberately dishonest attempts to pose as a liberal/progressive organisation.

The disturbing convergence of overreaching, abusive special interests represented by APCO's advisory council is in fact a reoccuring theme across US lobbying firms, many of which are just as inclined to function as "handlers" of foreign political figures as they are hired lobbyists for them.

Thailand-based English newspaper The Nation in its article, "Govt to probe Thanathorn’s hiring of US lobbyists," would report:
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said today (September 27) the government will probe the leader of Future Forward Party Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit for hiring American lobbyists under contract to allegedly discredit the Thai government through political activities.
Thanathorn and FFP's defence is that the hiring was "in line with US law," apparently disinterested in how his activities may have been "out of line with Thai law," Thanathorn being a member of parliament in Thailand, not the US.

Considering who APCO really represents and the immense conflict of interest that arises, a serious question of who Thanathorn really works for must be asked.

Of lesser importance, perhaps, is the questioning of Thanathorn's self-proclaimed "popularity." If his "popularity" is simply the result of a billionaire hiring lobbyists, yet another facet of Thanathorn's fraudulent political activity is revealed.

A History of US Lobbying for US-backed Opposition  

Thanathorn's predecessor, billionaire and now fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra, is likewise buttressed by significant US lobbying. Since his ouster in 2006, Thaksin has received lobbying services from Edelman, Baker Botts, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Kobre & Kim and Amsterdam & Peroff.

US Embassy Pressures Thailand Over Monsanto Poison Ban

November 3, 2019 New Eastern Outlook

Under Thailand's new government, efforts to ban toxic pesticides and herbicides including those made by US agricultural giant Monsanto were first accelerated, and have now finally succeeded.

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul bluntly stated that "the US was worried only about trade. The Thai government was concerned about the health of Thai consumers," in response to complaints from the US embassy over the ban, Bangkok Post would report in its article, "Govt rejects US opposition to farm chemicals ban." 

The article also reported that: 
In particular, the United States is opposing the ban on glyphosate, an informed source said, citing a copy of a US embassy letter sent to the prime minister and seven other cabinet ministers requesting a delay in imposition of the ban, and a review. 

A copy of a document from the US Department of Agriculture supporting the US assertion that a ban on glyphosate will affect Thai imports of US soybeans and US wheat was enclosed with the letter.
The article would also note:
The [Thai] government has rejected US opposition to its decision to ban use of three toxic farm chemicals, the herbicides paraquat and glyphosate and the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
The current government's refusal to bend to US demands has received wide praise from both the public and organisations such as the Biothai Foundation involved in pushing for the ban, Thai PBS would report in their article, "PM praised for not responding to US appeal to postpone the ban on glyphosate."

The ban will go into effect on December 1 of this year.

Who Does the US Embassy Serve?  

Contrary to what many believe, US embassies around the globe do not represent the American people, but rather the small handful of corporate-financier interests that own a vast, disproportionate majority of America's wealth.

The US embassy in Bangkok demonstrates this by peddling poisons facing backlash even back home, while contesting decisions made by Thailand's sovereign government and attempting to place pressure on Thailand to reverse decisions made about its own internal affairs.

Complaints passed by the US embassy to the Thai government were written by US Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.

Thai PBS would reveal in its article that:
Delving into McKinney’s background, Biothai said the US official had spent about 19 years working for Dow Agro-Sciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company, which specializes in not only farm chemicals, but also seeds and biotechnology solutions. 

Biothai said McKinney’s letter was an attempt to protect the interests of US chemical companies and not the interests of the American people or Thai farmers and consumers.
Of course, Biothai is correct. McKinney's letter, McKinney himself along with the US embassy, protect and serve the interests of large US companies and not the interests of the American people or the Thai people the US embassy is supposed to be building constructive relationships with.

Asian Separatism Fuelled by US-backed Groups

October 31, 2019 New Eastern Outlook  

Thailand's opposition faces sedition charges after conducting a seminar in Thailand's troubled deep south where they recommended amending the Thai constitution and paving way for the nation's territorial division.

Thailand's English language newspaper The Nation in an article titled, "Army's sedition charges against opposition, academics 'could aggravate southern conflict'," would report (my emphasis):
On Thursday, sedition charges were pressed against 12 people, including six key opposition party leaders and academics who have been campaigning to amend the charter. The group held a seminar in Pattani on September 28. Speaking at the event Chalita Bandhuwong, a lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Faculty of Social Sciences at Kasetsart University, called for the amendment of Section 1 and said the current Constitution could not resolve the prolonged political violence in the deep South. Section 1 states that Thailand is one and an indivisible Kingdom.
Predictably leaping to the accused's defence is a familiar collection of US-funded fronts posing as human rights advocates. Citing "free speech," these fronts ignore the fact that even in the Western nations sponsoring their daily activities, calls for a nation's division and destruction is not protected as "free speech" any more than the violence and terrorism used to answer such calls falls under "freedom of expression."

Thailand's opposition lost recent elections with billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra's Phue Thai Party (PTP) losing the popular vote to the military-linked Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP). Coming in distant third was nepotist billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his Future Forward Party (FFP) which includes among its ranks staff drawn from US government funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations.

While Future Forward campaigned as being distant and even opposed to Thaksin's Pheu Thai, Thanathorn and his party literally campaigned side-by-side with Pheu Thai and now jointly acts with Pheu Thai on every issue, including at the above mentioned seminar, revealing it as little more than a poorly disguised subsidiary of Thaksin's political machine.

Divide and Conquer Across Asia 

Divide and conquer is a tried and tested tool of empire. It was expertly used by the Romans over two millenia ago, perfected by the British Empire more recently and is eagerly used by its Transatlantic heirs in Washington today.

Across Asia, separatism and the division and destruction that often accompanies it can be seen working its way through various nations of the continent. China in particular faces multiple fronts seeking to carve out territory at Beijing's expense.

US-funded agitators in Hong Kong have demanded independence from China under threat of burning the special administrative region to the ground if their demands are not met.

In western China, US-Saudi funded extremists seek to carve the Xinjiang region out of China's borders and create a new nation they and their Washington sponsors call "East Turkestan."

Tibet has also weathered decades of US-funded sedition stretching back to the 1950s.

China's closest allies in Asia also face growing political conflict stirred up by US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funded fronts.

Cambodia has been working diligently to uproot US NED-funded networks from its streets, airwaves and across its information space online.

US Agitators in Asia "United" Over Hong Kong Chaos

October 24, 2019 New Eastern Outlook

Despite the chaos created across Hong Kong, the vast majority of the region's inhabitants do not support the growing violence nor do they benefit from it in any way.

As is typical in other regions of the world the US is meddling, a lack of local support is often remedied by attempting to create links and synergies between various US meddling in different nations.

During the 2011 Arab Spring the US literally imported terrorists and weapons it used in the overthrow of the Libyan government to Syria in an attempt to oust the government there.

In Ukraine, the US and its Ukrainian allies recruited right-wing extremists from around the globe to fill the ranks of "volunteer" Neo-Nazi militias.

Now in Hong Kong, similar synergies and ties are surfacing.

US-Backed Thai Opposition Conspiring with Hong Kong Agitators 

A recent Reuters article titled, "China denounces Thai politicians for show of support to Hong Kong activists," would report:
The Chinese embassy in Bangkok has condemned Thai politicians for showing support for Hong Kong activists involved in anti-government protests, saying it could harm the relationship between the two countries.
These "Thai politicians" belong to the US-backed opposition led by union-busting nepotist billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his patron, fugitive billionaire and ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra along with their collective political machine.

Reuters would report:
The [Chinese] embassy criticism, in a statement on its official Facebook page late on Thursday, came days after Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong posted a picture on social media with prominent Thai opposition politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
Thanathorn and Wong met at the London-based Economist sponsored "Open Future Festival" held in Hong Kong, Reuters reported. The Open Future Festival and particularly the event held in Hong Kong focuses primarily on contesting China's sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Reuters also noted that:
Thanathorn said he was not involved with the Hong Kong protests. He also said he respected Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, and supported freedom of expression. 

“I have always supported people’s rights to peaceful self-expression. I wish to see the situation in Hong Kong resolve,” Thanathorn said in a Facebook post.
Thanathorn's support for the Hong Kong opposition and their demands that the British-instituted "Basic Law" be upheld should come as no surprise.

Thanathorn himself along with is political party "Future Forward" have few well defined policies but those that are involve cancelling joint Thai-Chinese infrastructure projects including high-speed rail projects already under construction, as well as the cancellation of Thai-Chinese military arms deals and cooperation.

Thanathorn's pro-Western stance is further reflected by the fact that his party hosts several "founding members" drawn from US government-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations including "Prachatai" which poses as an "independent media platform" despite being funded and directed out of Washington and being headed by a literal "fellow" of the Washington-based US National Endowment for Democracy, Chiranuch Premchaiporn.

Singapore: Hong Kong Protesters' Demands are Unrealistic

October 21, 2019 New Eastern Outlook 

It is interesting to note where the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore sits amid the shifting poles of global power between East and West.

Once a British colony, the tiny island nation has since served as a barometer indicating the ebb and flow of Western influence over Asia, and now, the ups and downs of China's emergence as a regional and global power.

As China's rises regionally and globally, Singapore has shrewdly positioned itself to both benefit from its rise, while continuing to cultivate useful ties with the West. This creates a balance of interests that work to prevent any one nation from gaining too much influence over (or within) Singapore.

Singapore's view regarding ongoing protests in China's Hong Kong region is a good example that reflects these dynamics, with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong undermining the narratives the Western media has been spinning for the unrest.

Singapore's PM is Right 

Bloomberg in its article, "Hong Kong Protest Demands Are Unrealistic, Singapore PM Says," reported:
Protesters in Hong Kong are making unrealistic demands in an effort to take down the government, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said. 

“Those are not demands which are meant to be a program to solve Hong Kong’s problems,” Lee said at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on Wednesday. “Those are demands which are intended to humiliate and bring down the government. And then what?”
Firstly, Prime Minister Lee is entirely right.

The protests, confirmed to be the work of foreign interests seeking to undermine and destabilise China, seek only to tear down the current government with no practical plan for what will replace it.