Pepe Escobar: vinte anos do 11 de setembro e caos no Afeganistão

O jornalista Leonardo Attuch entrevista o correspondente Pepe Escobar sobre os 20 anos do 11 de setembro e a derrota dos Estados Unidos no Afeganistão.

Live anterior de Pepe Escobar sobre 11 de setembro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUV8i…

Livros recomendados na live: https://www.amazon.com/Road-11-Wealth… https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Heroi…

Link recomentado por Pepe: https://www.salon.com/2007/10/12/wesl…

Why Taiwan Matters to the United States

Washington has strategic, economic, and normative reasons for safeguarding the island from Chinese coercion.

Amidst talk of U.S.-China competition, Taiwan too often devolves into a policy football, a subset object at the prey of larger geopolitical forces. Calls to make an explicit security guarantee for Taiwanmaintain the status quo, or even abandon the island cannot exist apart from U.S.-China competition. While reducing a vibrant island of 23 million to a policy point may be an invariable fact of statecraft, Taiwan is not simply an entry onto the balance of power ledger. Nor are simple Cold War analogies able to frame American interests in Taiwan vis-a-vis China in light of U.S.-China trade and modern competition.

Below we seek to rectify this simplification by analyzing what exact interest the U.S. has in Taiwan and how such interest should compute in U.S.-China statecraft, especially over the next critical decade. We conclude that Taiwan’s geopolitical position and economy, while important, are not critical to American interests in East Asia. However, Taiwan’s status as a vibrant, autonomous democracy is critical and an American interest.

Although the 1980 Taiwan Relations Act aimed to cushion Washington’s derecognition of the Republic of China in 1979, Taiwan has struggled to maintain relationships with other states, a challenge exacerbated by China’s growing power. The resulting absurdity leaves 23 million Taiwanese able to trade, travel, and negotiate – even to compete at the Olympics under the name “Chinese Taipei” – without enjoying the privileges of statehood. Taiwan is effectively a permanent, island-bound diaspora. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) treats Taiwan as a province – mainland maps depict Taiwan as such – whose inevitable return is strictly a domestic issue. The PRC foreign minister says Taiwan’s return is part of the “arc of history” and describes any declaration of U.S. support for Taiwanese independence a “red line.” PRC President Xi Jinping states reunification with Taiwan is critical to China’s national “rejuvenation.”

Beijing increasingly sees itself safer in a world fundamentally different from order(s) built by the West. Even within a softening of trade and travel policies, however, Beijing has long “sought to isolate Taipei internationally,” using diplomatic and economic means, including large-scale investment/infrastructure packages, to entice small states to abandon Taipei for Beijing as it has done in recent years with El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. Beijing even coerced global airlines to display Taiwan as part of the mainland. The result of U.S. derecognition in 1979 and the modern PRC dissuasion campaign is that Taiwan has diplomatic relations with only 15 of the 193 United Nations states – and just one in all of Africa.

For its part, Taiwan’s population increasingly supports decreasing cultural ties with the mainland. Surveys conducted in 2019 revealed that most Islanders consider themselves Taiwanese, as opposed to Chinese, though the split runs starkly along age and party lines. However, Taiwan’s embrace of self-identification has not been met by commensurate increases in its defenses. Taiwan’s army remains ill-prepared to defend the island, though its air force and navy are better equipped, due to the fact that conscription ended in 2012 and recruitment has lagged since. It is troubling that Taiwanese identity has risen concurrently with decreasing defense readiness, even as PRC coercion grows. However, an American security guarantee could create a moral hazard by underwriting Taiwanese declarations or, even worse, reducing Taiwan’s military preparedness still further.

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This may already be the case. The Tsai Ing-wen government’s failure to meet enlistment goals, its reticence to expand conscription, and several recent high-profile military accidents all reveal a lackadaisical attitude toward China and/or a presumption of a U.S. security guarantee. Consequently, an explicit embrace of Taiwan could engender reckless behavior, as occurred in the 1950s. Nor is a small commitment of force to Taiwan likely to change the PRC’s calculus.

China must already consider U.S. or Japanese involvement in its Taiwan plans. Thus a small force, far from acting as a “tripwire,” is more likely to imperil allied options by creating a force in need of rescue or a moral hazard that discourages an effective Taiwanese defense and causes over-expectations of U.S. support. Ultimately, buck-passing is a major concern for a partner more than 11,000 kilometers from U.S. shores; the U.S. cannot care more about Taiwan’s security than the Taiwanese. Any deployment of forces or use of diplomacy must therefore be in concert with U.S. interests.

The U.S. faces a toxic asymmetry of interests in Taiwan along with contradictory and escalatory pressures. Juxtaposed against the PRC’s techno-authoritarianism, Taiwan provides a proximate and culturally similar counterpoint to PRC propaganda, which depicts democracy as unable to deliver sustainable growth. Altogether, China’s combination of military strength, economic weight, and global ambition threatens U.S. interests because the PRC offers an apt counter to the American-led liberal order by offering a non-Western model that (potentially) demonstrates that democratic processes and open markets are not prerequisites for economic growth. Whether U.S.-PRC competition is rooted in ideological or geopolitics, there is a robust U.S.-PRC ideological divide that must be considered. China can discredit American influence not only through supporting authoritarian governments but also by skewing “global standards for trade and investment in its favor to the disadvantage of its competitors.” In this model, China’s success is implicitly America’s loss. Accordingly, U.S. policymakers must consider ideology, especially regarding the U.S.-PRC-Taiwan nexus.ADVERTISEMENThttps://eeedf6f25c3940ea04cfb827e3f8cd74.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

To inform our assessment we first consider the implications of a PRC-controlled Taiwan. Considering the geopolitical value of Taiwan is useful because doing so illuminates if or when the U.S. would consider Taiwan worth fighting for. Rather than having to consider a rear-area threat, a PRC-controlled Taiwan would serve as a forward base, extending its aircraft and missile ranges another 150 nautical miles (nm) to the east. This would enable PRC interdiction of air and sea routes in the East China Sea and increase China’s ability to strike at targets in Japan or Guam. Conversely, U.S. and allied forces would be pushed further afield, with their bases under even greater threat of PRC missile or aircraft attack. However, while Taiwan offers a platform to project power onto the Chinese mainland, placing forces on the island makes them exceedingly vulnerable absent aerospace dominance.

Economically, taking Taiwan would give Beijing control over its fifth-largest trading partner. Beijing would also gain access to its high-tech industry, including world-class semiconductor factories, adding to its considerable industrial base. Though Taiwan’s impressive $600 billion GDP would fall under PRC control, the degree of cut largely depends on how Beijing gains the island. A mutual reconciliation may minimally affect GDP whereas conflict may curtail trade entirely.

Conversely, a sober analysis shows that Taiwan trade is not vital to the American economy, certainly not relative to U.S.-PRC bilateral trade. Taiwan is the U.S.’ 10th largest trading partner ($85 billion), a paltry sum relative to trade with China ($635 billion) or Canada and Mexico ($500 billion each). Decoupling the world’s largest economies solely to preserve Taiwan would be self-destructive, and access to Taiwan is not essential to U.S. power projection. Nor is the island critical for projecting military force. Consequently, Taiwan’s importance differs relatively. To the U.S., Taiwan is a critical link, if replaceable, in the First Island Chain, while to the PRC the island acts as a “cork in the bottle” of China’s ability to project power in the East China Sea.

And therein lies the rub: though pure self-interest reveals that Taiwan’s political alignment or control is not vital for the U.S., how that alignment comes about is. Had the PRC controlled Taiwan since 1949 as it does Hainan Island, U.S. interests would not be at stake. However, a PRC attempt to forcibly retake the heretofore independent Island would be such a significant breach of international norms as to become a vital American interest.

The U.S. has a stake in ensuring the island’s unique status. Indeed, during the Cold War, the U.S. did not consider democratic solidarity a distraction to maintaining a favorable balance of power but rather a means of doing so. While the U.S. worked with authoritarian regimes toward some policy goals, its closest partners were always democracies. The loss of Taiwan through overt PRC action would have a detrimental effect on American credibility and global values-based policies, thus striking at the core of the U.S.-PRC ideological competition. Therefore, the manner of any potential Taiwanese transition is of vital interest to Washington.

Bad as it is, maintaining the awful status quo is the only reasonable forecast as other solutions may be unattainable for generations. Despite PRC claims – and its growing capabilities – the critical trend lines favor Taiwan. Its people view themselves as independent and the island’s economic heft and leadership have helped secure its place in the world, particularly when contrasted with China’s state-directed economy and bilateral coercion. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that the region is becoming hostile to China’s coercion and diplomatic bullying, ranging from Australia’s trade war with the PRC to Japan’s calls for Taiwan’s defense to growing regional antipathy toward China.

Likewise, regional powers such as the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and longtime PRC nemesis Vietnam, are becoming more vocal about opposing PRC actions in the South China Sea and embracing calls for regional solutions along with increased military exercises with the U.S., Japan, and Australia. These regional responses have come concurrently with the deployment of BritishGerman, and French naval forces to East Asia.

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So, what course should American Taiwan policy chart? Of course, not everything is a vital interest. A nation that considers the world as its own is bound to be disappointed. Critics of the Biden Administration’s “Democracy Agenda” rightfully point out, democracy is a continuum rather than a binary choice between authoritarianism and liberalism. But as detailed, Taiwan is economically important (if not crucial) to American trade in the region and offers the best political counterpoint to the PRC. More broadly, supporting an isolated democracy from external threats is implicitly beneficial to the normative standards the U.S. supports.

Maintaining the status quo, however, does not imply that American policy should remain static. Effective cross-strait deterrence remains precarious and increasingly dependent on credible American force projection capabilities in the region. In short, “American capabilities need to change, not policy.” Maintaining the status quo is only a surface-level continuity. Below the waterline it requires skillful diplomacy, enhanced military capabilities, and private signaling to the PRC – similar to the “adroit and vigilant application of counterforce” advocated by George Kennan 70 years ago. Whether American statecraft can walk the difficult line between competition, deterrence, and war remains an open-ended question.

This article represents the authors’ personal views, which are not necessarily those of the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, nor the U.S. government.

Fonte: https://thediplomat.com/2021/08/why-taiwan-matters-to-the-united-states/

4.1 billion lack social safety net, warns UN labour agency

LO/Marcel Crozet
A woman carries her child while begging on the streets of Chisinau in Moldova.

Leading the call for countries to extend social safety nets far more widely than they do now, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder insisted that such a move would help future-proof workers and businesses in the face of new challenges.

“This is a pivotal moment to harness the pandemic response to build a new generation of rights-based social protection systems,” said Mr. Ryder.

“These can cushion people from future crises and give workers and businesses the security to tackle the multiple transitions ahead with confidence and with hope. We must recognize that effective and comprehensive social protection is not just essential for social justice and decent work but for creating a sustainable and resilient future too.”

In a new report the UN body acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis had led to greater social protections worldwide, albeit mainly in wealthy countries.

It noted that only 47 per cent of the global population are covered by at least one social protection benefit, while only one in four children has access to national welfare safety nets.

Newborns’ needs unmet

Further research indicated that only 45 per cent of women with newborns worldwide receive a cash benefit, while only one in three people with severe disabilities receive a disability benefit.

Coverage of unemployment benefits is even lower, ILO said, with only 18.6 per cent of jobless workers effectively covered globally.

On retirement welfare, the UN body found that although nearly eight in 10 people receive some form of pension, major disparities remain across regions, between rural and urban areas and women and men.

Regional imbalances

The ILO report underscores the significant regional inequalities in social protection.

Europe and Central Asia have the highest rates of coverage, with 84 per cent of people having access to at least one benefit.

ILO/Marcel Crozet
A homeless woman sits by a railway track in Potosí, Bolivia.

Countries in the Americas are also above the global average (64.3 per cent), in stark contrast to welfare roll-out in Asia and the Pacific (44 per cent), the Arab States (40 per cent) and Africa (17.4 per cent).

Highlighting differences in government spending on social protection, ILO said that high-income countries spend 16.4 per cent of national turnover (above the 13 per cent global average, excluding health), while low-income countries budget just 1.1 per cent.

Billions more needed

The UN body noted that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have had to increase spending massively to ensure minimum social protection for all, by around 30 per cent.

And it maintained that to guarantee basic social protection coverage, low-income countries would need to invest an additional $77.9 billion per year, lower-middle-income countries an additional $362.9 billion and upper-middle-income countries a further $750.8 billion annually. That’s equivalent to 15.9 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent of their GDP, respectively.

“There is an enormous push for countries to move to fiscal consolidation, after the massive public expenditure of their crisis response measures, but it would be seriously damaging to cut back on social protection; investment is required here and now,” said Shahra Razavi, Director, ILO Social Protection Department.

Underscoring the multiple benefits of social welfare protection, Ms. Razavi insisted that it could promoted “better health and education, greater equality, more sustainable economic systems, better managed migration and the observance of core rights…The benefits of success will reach beyond national borders to benefit us all”.

Fonte: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/09/1098892

ONU quer mais atenção mundial para efeitos de conflitos armados sobre crianças

Somente no Afeganistão, entre 2019 e 2020, foram mortas ou feridas cerca de 5,770 crianças em confrontos e conflitos

© Unicef/Monique AwadSomente no Afeganistão, entre 2019 e 2020, foram mortas ou feridas cerca de 5,770 crianças em confrontos e conflitos.

Escritório, que celebra 25 anos de criação, documentou 24 mil violações graves cometidas contra 19,3 mil menores em 21 situações monitoradas pela entidade, no ano passado.

O destino de crianças afetadas por conflitos armados e a proteção delas têm que estar no coração da agenda internacional e isso inclui qualquer estratégia de resposta à Covid-19.

A declaração é da representante especial do secretário-geral para Crianças e Conflitos Armados, Virginia Gamba. Representante especial do secretário-geral para Crianças e Conflito Armado, Virginia Gamba.ONU/Rick BajornasRepresentante especial do secretário-geral para Crianças e Conflito Armado, Virginia Gamba.

Assembleia Geral

Nesta segunda-feira, a Assembleia Geral recebeu o relatório sobre o tema, que é assinado pelo chefe da ONU, António Guterres. O Escritório que, leva o mesmo nome, completa 25 anos, em 2021.

No documento, Guterres pede a todas as partes em conflito que priorizem o combate da violência à criança. 
As violações cometidas este ano só serão relatadas no próximo. Para o chefe da ONU, é preciso começar o diálogo, os processos de paz e de cessar-fogo que ponham fim a conflitos pelo mundo.

Somente em 2020, foram quase 24 mil violações graves contra 19,3 mil crianças que são monitoradas em 21 situações pelo Escritório liderado por Virginia Gamba. 

Para ela, o desdém pelos direitos das crianças é de “partir o coração”.Refugiados do Iraque caminham para o campo de Al-Hol, na Síria© Unicef/Delil SouleimanRefugiados do Iraque caminham para o campo de Al-Hol, na Síria

Recrutamento

As violações mais frequentes são recrutamento e uso de crianças em combates, os assassinatos e ferimentos dos menores e a proibição de acesso humanitários às crianças. 

Somente no Afeganistão, entre 2019 e 2020, foram mortas ou feridas cerca de 5,770 crianças em confrontos e conflitos.

A representante especial, Virginia Gamba, afirma que o Afeganistão é um dos países mais perigosos para uma criança crescer e viver.

O último relatório também alerta sobre um grande número de sequestros e casos de violência sexual contra meninas e meninos. Nos conflitos, hospitais e escolas são destruídos, atacados e saqueados. Muitos estabelecimentos são usados para fins militares.Duas crianças, que voltaram para casa recentemente depois que eles e sua família fugiram dos conflitos em 2017, olham para o bairro de Al Gamalia, na cidade de TaizOcha/Giles ClarkeDuas crianças, que voltaram para casa recentemente depois que eles e sua família fugiram dos conflitos em 2017, olham para o bairro de Al Gamalia, na cidade de Taiz

Conselho de Segurança

O chefe da ONU contou que a organização e agências parceiras no terreno incluindo a sociedade civil estão totalmente mobilizadas para proteger as crianças e prevenir novas violações.

Ao todo, o Conselho de Segurança já aprovou 13 resoluções para esse fim. No ano passado, mais de 12,3 mil crianças foram libertadas dessas condições.

A pandemia agravou ainda mais a situação de menores vítimas de violência e conflito armado. Com as escolas fechadas, as crianças perderam uma fonte de apoio e de recreação, que ajudava como terapia para os menores feridos nesses incidentes. Fora da escola também, muitas crianças ficaram expostas a esses abusos e riscos.Um menino de 16 anos se recupera em um centro de reabilitação na República Democrática do Congo para crianças que foram sequestradas e forçadas a combaterUnicef/Vincent TremeauUm menino de 16 anos se recupera em um centro de reabilitação na República Democrática do Congo para crianças que foram sequestradas e forçadas a combater

Explosivos improvisados

O relatório apresentado à Assembleia Geral neste 23 de agosto cobre o período de janeiro a julho de 2021. Uma das preocupações são os ferimentos causados nos menores por explosivos improvisados, bombas e minas terrestres.

A ONU pede aos países-membros que ainda não firmaram e implementaram protocolos e instrumentos internacionais de proteção a crianças em conflitos armados, que o façam. Uma das medidas é a limpeza de campos minados e a formação sobre os riscos de minas. A representante especial de Guterres sobre o tema também quer o fim da impunidade para esses crimes.

Fonte: https://news.un.org/pt/story/2021/08/1760782

Por que ataques de Bolsonaro à China não prejudicaram comércio com o Brasil

Bandeiras da China e do Brasil
China é principal parceira comercial do Brasil desde 2009

As tensões políticas entre Brasil e China, com declarações repetidas do presidente Jair Bolsonaro (sem partido) e pessoas do seu entorno contra o gigante asiático, não afetaram as relações econômicas entre os dois países no ano passado — os investimentos chineses devem continuar e miram um “horizonte de longo prazo”, diz um novo relatório do Conselho Empresarial Brasil-China (CEBC).

E mais: apesar das críticas à China, as ações concretas do governo brasileiro indicaram “mais continuidade do que ruptura na relação bilateral”, acrescenta o documento intitulado “Investimentos chineses no Brasil: histórico, tendências e desafios globais (2007-2020)”, o mais abrangente já realizado sobre o tema.

“Os investimentos chineses no Brasil são de longo prazo e isso é o que orienta a estratégia da China. Governos começam e acabam — o que importa é a relação harmoniosa entre os dois países, que já vem de muito tempo e historicamente sem atritos”, explica Tulio Cariello, diretor de Conteúdo e Pesquisa do CEBC e autor do relatório.

Em 2009, a China se tornou o principal parceiro comercial do Brasil, superando os Estados Unidos.

“Existe, portanto, um certo limite que a China aceita em relação às críticas que recebe. Veja o caso da Austrália”, assinala Cariello.

A China é o maior parceiro comercial da Austrália, enquanto a Austrália é uma das principais fontes de recursos para a China.

Mas as relações entre os dois países vêm se deteriorando desde 2018. Recentemente, chegaram a novo ponto baixo, com o apelo do governo australiano por uma investigação independente sobre a origem do coronavírus.

As tensões foram a principal causa da disparada no preço do minério de ferro em maio — a Austrália é o maior produtor mundial da matéria-prima, enquanto a China, o maior consumidor.

Nos últimos meses, a China suspendeu um acordo econômico com a Austrália e denunciou o país à Organização Mundial do Comércio (OMC) por concorrência desleal. Já militares australianos insinuaram guerra com a China.

Diferença entre discurso e prática

Mas, no caso específico do Brasil, diferentemente da Austrália, há uma dissonância entre a retórica de Bolsonaro e de seus aliados mais próximos, inclusive seus filhos, contra a China, e as ações de sua gestão, ressalva Cariello.

Ele cita como exemplo a viagem do vice-presidente Hamilton Mourão a Pequim, para participar da reunião da Comissão Sino-Brasileira de Alto Nível de Concertação e Cooperação (Cosban), o principal mecanismo de diálogo bilateral entre Brasil e China, cinco meses após a posse.

“O gesto significou a reativação das atividades da Cosban, que deveria ter encontros a cada dois anos, mas não se reunia desde 2015. A questão dos investimentos foi um dos pontos da agenda, com indicações de que o governo brasileiro apoiava a entrada de novos aportes chineses no âmbito do Programa de Parcerias de Investimentos”, diz o relatório.

Além disso, no ano passado, lembra Cariello, o Ministério da Agricultura criou um “Núcleo China”, uma unidade especial que cuida das relações com o gigante asiático, principal destino das exportações brasileiras do agronegócio.

Segundo o jornal Valor Econômico noticiou na época, a criação do departamento estratégico foi ideia da ministra Tereza Cristina e “uma surpresa até para quem trabalha na área internacional do ministério”. Cristina buscou na iniciativa privada um nome para chefiar a unidade: Larissa Wachholz, ex-diretora da consultoria de investimentos Vallya e com mestrado em Estudos Contemporâneos da China pela Universidade de Renmin, morou em Pequim por cinco anos e fala mandarim.

De fato, os investimentos chineses confirmados no Brasil caíram drasticamente no ano passado — 74% — atingindo US$ 1,9 bilhão, o menor valor registrado desde 2014. O número de projetos caiu para oito, 68% a menos do que em 2019, “ainda que a soma de aportes totais, incluindo anunciados e confirmados, tenha chegado a 15, ficando na média dos projetos entre 2011 e 2016”, assinala o relatório.

Apesar disso, ressalva o documento, “esse tombo pode ser interpretado mais como um esfriamento dos fluxos de investimentos globais no exterior, que caíram 35% em 2020, do que por atritos políticos bilaterais. No Brasil, o cenário não foi diferente, com queda de 61,5% dos aportes estrangeiros de forma geral, tendência similar ao declive de 50% apontado pelo Banco Central”.

O relatório destaca que outros importantes receptores de aportes chineses no exterior passaram por situações semelhantes.

Em 2020, houve redução dos investimentos na União Europeia e Reino Unido (-43%) e Austrália (-39%), “regiões onde há quedas contínuas desde 2017”.

Movimento de aperto de mãos com bandeiras da China e do Brasil
Apesar de críticas ao gigante asiático, ações concretas do governo brasileiro indicaram “mais continuidade do que ruptura na relação bilateral”, diz novo relatório

Fonte: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-58099335