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The rebellion in Hong Kong and its geopolitical effects

Giancarlo Elia Valori

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The rebellion in Hong Kong is more complex and politically relevant than we may think, both nationally and internationally.

In the elections held on last September in the former British colony, as many as eight openly pro-independence representatives were elected who, at the first meeting, shouted hate phrases against the People’s Republic of China and expressed clear rejection of its specific sovereignty.

The “students” and the other participants in the protests immediately attacked  police stations and then closed the main tunnel that connects the island of Hong Kong with the rest of the former British colony’s territory. Finally ,in Wanchai’s Golden Bauhinia Square – a magnet for tourists from other parts of China – they spray-painted palaces and a statue with provocative statements such as “Heaven will destroy the Communist Party” and “Liberate Hong Kong”.

The operation, organization, stability and continuity of the rebellion, as well as the control and cohesion of its ranks, the elimination of undercovers, the military quality of the “students’ operation”, the excellent publicity and recruitment ability make us think that this rebellion is so well organized that it certainly has points of reference, sponsors and supporters abroad.

Who? Certainly, the United States – with its foundations for the globalization of democracy – which thinks of exploiting Hong Kong to destabilize China, especially given the proximity of Shenzen, one of the largest developing areas of Chinese economy and technology that could easily be “infected” by the rebellion.

Certainly, China’s current dilemma about its next military reaction and its impact on the world public is already a serious damage to Chinese national and foreign policy.

The United States has every interest in causing at least China’s global defamation before and after the Hong Kong rebellion, precisely pending the clash over duties and tariffs for the import and export of Chinese goods.

There is also Taiwan that, thanks to the large echo of the Hong Kong rebellion, is trying to publicize its idea of independence from China, as well as of reaction against China’s latest adverse actions against the Nationalist Island.

The countries interested in the destabilization of the link between Hong Kong and China may also include Japan, which is interested in weakening the Chinese strategic projection eastwards, and finally even Britain which -fallen prey to the retro dream characterizing the current phase of Brexit – could think of recovering the old colony or even merely taking revenge against China.

It all began with a major demonstration in late April against the extradition bill, which facilitated the transfer from Hong Kong to mainland China of Chinese people found guilty according to local regulations, as well as of Chinese criminals who could be protected by Hong Kong’s autonomy.

The rebellion has already forced Carrie Lam, the current Chief Executive and President of Hong Kong’ Special Administrative Region, to drop the extradition bill. But now it is too late to stop the rebellion.

One of the protesters’ objectives is also to “raise awareness” among the many Chinese tourists of their demands and claims, which have been magnified by the current crisis of the local economy.

Also the choice of this type of propaganda makes us think of an influence by Westerners. Indeed, a not casual influence.

Certainly one of the rebellion goals is also the attempt to radicalize and destabilize the Chinese areas on the border with the former British colony, which is the reason why President Xi Jinping has created a “cordon sanitaire” for the news coming from Hong Kong.

The longer the rebellion lasts, the more the goal – rather unrealistic but rational, considering the current political equilibria – is precisely that of “infecting” the most modern and productive areas of Southern China.

Overseas and in Asia, there are those who dream of even “disintegrating China”, by stirring up the major minorities present in the People’s Republic of China, and by destabilizing the centres of greatest industrial concentration in the South, as well as by infecting the areas of most difficult communication with the political Centre and with Beijing.

Three concurrent and simultaneous projects for destabilizing China, which have already been underway for some time.

With or without the Hong Kong rebellion, which – in any case – is currently strategic for the splitting up of the People’s Republic of China.

Otherwise, those who oppose the growth of China as a great power may think about strengthening the Islamist insurgency in Xinjiang and in Tibet or triggering another insurgency by one of the 56 recognized minorities of the People’s Republic of China, namely the Miao, the Dong, the Yao or the Koreans.

This is what really lies behind the idea of the “Hong Kong Nation” that is spreading among the leaders of the current rebellion.

The independence issue, however, still accounts for 20-25% of voters in the old British colony – and all this has nothing to do with “nostalgia” for Great Britain.

Hong Kong is an area of great importance for China: since the British takeover of the island in 1977, Beijing has always privileged relations with the powerful financial and industrial elites of Hong Kong.

Exactly in the phase of the Four Modernizations, this enabled China to actually have one of the major financial hubs in the world.

Goodness knows how important this was for the further and subsequent growth of China.

But the former British promontory is very important also from the geopolitical viewpoint.

Indeed, it is the fifth most important port in the world.

For years China has already been implementing the “Great Bay” project that will unite Hong Kong with China, both in fact and in law.

Moreover, there is already the project of putting Hong Kong in communication with Macau and Zhihai, but the promontory is also already a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and will hence play a remarkable role in the New Silk Road.

It should also be recalled that when control over Hong Kong returned to China in 1977, under Deng Xiaoping, the leader of the Four Modernizations (and of the repression of Tiananmen Square), the former British colony accounted for over a quarter of the GDP of the entire People’s Republic of China.

Hence the issue was not only strictly economic, but also strategic in nature.

For President Xi Jinping, however, the main issue is to avoid – both in Hong Kong and in China – what now appears to be an obvious “colour revolution”, similar to the Georgian and Ukrainian ones, and to the various Arab Springs that spread the jihad to a large part of the Maghreb region.

Currently the dilemma for China is radical and very hard to solve.

Should it come to terms and – as some Chinese leaders are envisaging –accept to meet some demands from the Hong Kong insurgents who, however, deeply hate China?

Or should it do the same as in Tiananmen Square? A likely, but still dangerous option – mainly for its international effects.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam will probably be held in power by China to avoid a new “election” by the Hong Kong Election Committee, a body of 12,000 members in a city of over 7 million people.

Moreover, 1.3 million of them live in deep poverty but, for the time being, the “rebellion” is entirely organized by the middle class – like the European protests of 1968, the best operation of destabilization in recent history that has many fathers.

Nevertheless, unlike the European protests of 1968, the Hong Kong rebellion still lacks official leaders. While, at the same time as the democratic and pro-Western “rebellion” is developing, the pro-China insurgency tries to invade the streets against the struggle of the “autonomists”.

We should not forget this part of the issue either.

The maximum pressure of the “rebels” will certainly last until October 1, the day on which the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China is celebrated.

In my opinion, this seems to be the key date beyond which a Chinese intervention could have the greatest political and economic impact.

After all, there are two real reasons underlying the autonomist and anti-Chinese “rebellion” in the city-State: the clear mistrust vis-à-vis China, on the one hand, and, on the other, the total distrust also vis-à-vis the current government in Hong Kong which is still – almost more than the Chinese power – the current objective of the civil war now underway.

China could still separate the two objectives of the rebels, thus sparking off a crisis in the local government and then reacting militarily against the rest of the “students”.

The rebels are aged 25, on average, and are equally distributed by gender.

Most of them come from the educated middle class, especially the part that already votes for the “pan-democratic” parties, those that have long been opposing the pro-Chinese government in Hong Kong.

The rebels even accuse the poor population of supporting China. According to them, the poor are not “true Hongkongers” – and this says a lot about the social nature of the rebellion.

The “movement” is also very decentralized. It publishes good magazines and it is even said that its cameras frighten the police.

None of the local universities, however, officially supports the “rebellion”.

There is not yet workers’ clear solidarity for the “rebellion” – not even by the many migrant workers.

For the current rebels in Hong Kong, the word “democracy” does not concern the creation of an electoral system with universal suffrage that, indeed, already exists – albeit to a limited extent – but it is a sort of universal “system”, without repression, restrictions and controls – and hence it will be difficult to face similar demands by simply extending political representation.

However, most of the citizens living in the city-peninsula still do not support the rebels – not even superficially.

With specific reference to the international support for the rebellion, certainly the United States views it favourably, but we should also mention the now known direct commitment of the NGO National Endowment for Democracy, linked to the CIA, while the Chinese press underlines that the bill that triggered the revolt was inevitable, otherwise the already judged and convicted Chinese criminals could have fled to Hong Kong, thus becoming untouchable.

Furthermore, seventy NGOs have already signed an open letter to stop the extradition bill, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Red Cross International.

Too many not to think badly. Moreover, the rebels’ slogans and messages seem to be produced with purely Western techniques and methods.

Many of them are already written in English, instead of Chinese, and Hong Kong has always been one of the main places of CIA’s action against China.

Moreover, the aforementioned NGO, namely National Endowment for Democracy, already operates mainly through the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labour Party and the Democratic Party of Hong Kong.

There is also the cryptocurrency created by an obscure supporter of the rebellion, who calls himself “Dr. Dragon”, who has recently devised a “coin” to be distributed among the rebels to encourage and fund their actions.

As already said, Taiwan is certainly endeavoring to influence the rebels in Hong Kong.

There is also the Chinese Triads’ presence during the repression of the rebellion in the various cities of Hong Kong.

The Triads are essential to understand the economy of both Hong Kong and Macau.

Hong Kong is the traditional home of China’s major criminal organizations.

For example, the 14K, Wo Shin Wo and Sun Yee On Triads are essential in the entire world crime economy.

There are over 50 minor Triads in Hong Kong. Every economic activity in the former British colony is subject to bribery.

The major legal and illegal activities controlled by the Triads are gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking and dealing, as well as the counterfeiting of all kinds of products, ranging from drugs to toys.

Nevertheless, there is an economic sector in Hong Kong that is almost entirely in the Triads’ hands, namely the movie industry – mainly the genre related to martial arts and pornography.

Probably it is not by chance that the “rebels” often quote the old films of Bruce Lee, who was born in San Francisco but died in Hong Kong, and was a decisive figure in the martial arts movie sector.

Macau is the world capital of gambling. The city has five times the players of Las Vegas.

Moreover, as is well known, gambling is the main channel for money laundering.

While in China and Hong Kong gambling is forbidden – at least officially – the huge crowd of Chinese players goes to Macau for gambling. Also 47% of government officials and executives of Chinese state-owned enterprises go there for gambling and this allows to possibly blackmail a significant number of Chinese (and Hong Kong) bureaucrats.

However, there are also strong ties between the Triads and the Chinese government.

The activity of finding important civilian and military technologies is often “commissioned” to the Triads by the Department of the Chinese Intelligence Services, namely the Guoangbu.

The Chinese espionage relating to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is often carried out by the Sun Ye On Triad.

As part of the mutual assistance relations with the Chinese government, the Triads control and repress much of the petty crime in both China and Hong Kong.

Therefore, in all likelihood, there will also be the collaboration of some Triads in the future Chinese repression of the “rebellion” in Hong Kong.

Advisory Board Co-chair Honoris Causa Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr. Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York. He currently chairs “International World Group”, he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group. In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France. “

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East Asia

Emergence of New World Order out of Sino-US clash

Abbas Ali Bughio

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The United States of America and China’s relation has many up and down since the outbreak of Taiwan Strait status issue, Whenever, US Navy lifted than China deployed thousands of soldiers to Quemoy and MatruIsland in Taiwan Strait in August 1955.Later,Beijing was threatened with the Atom bomb, to end the agitation against the US. US president Richard Nixon ascribed Taiwan Strait status with China in 1972. Enduring conflict compelled the US to pass “Taiwan relation Act” from the congress on January 1, 1979, to help and maintain the peace, security and stability in western pacific and foreign policy would help to US authority to support on commercial, cultural and other relations between both countries. Therefore, Washington was lobbying to help Taiwan to get observer status at the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 73rd annual world health assembly while failing to maintain the preservation of the cross-strait status quo. Moreover, on retaliation by Chinese president Xi Jinping about Taiwan as under one-China policy to get and capture at any cost before 2050. However, this conflict would carry both superpowers to close any disastrous war.

Meanwhile, US-China Relation Act of 2000granted permission to China on trade. Firstly, the trade tensions were uprisings due to the US trade deficit with China from $273.1 billion in 2010. Therefore, on fulltime high of $295.5 billion in 2011.Preamble,US was malediction to pay $375.2 billion deficit to China in 2017.That imports increased $550 billion annually before imposing tariffs in which the comprehensive economic dialogue was convened in July 2017, on mutual understandings to adjourn$160 billion tariffs on Chinese goods, after the unfair practices of currency and manipulation of 1988 and 2015 Act of USA had compelled to China on massive tariffs.

Moreover, in March 2019, Trump warned most of the countries do not use Huawei and Telecom giant’s equipment in the battle with China for technological supremacy, and 5G works could use the company of spy. Furthermore, Trump administration-imposed tariffs to increase 10 to 25 percent on Chinese goods. The whole scenario compelled to Beijing to sign a trade agreement with Washington. However, the US blamed on currency manipulation through Act of 1988 under section 3004 against an opponent. It is a lengthy history of China to devalue the currency to gain and capture the market of the world. After the devaluation of Yuan as much weaker, which makes more competitive Chinese exports and buying to foreign currencies. Through, in global trade rules, if the competition among the countries on inflation and deflation currency could not evaluate due to get more foreign currencies though reduce capital inflow significantly hits on jobs sector especially in the USA and Europe. People’s Bank of China is under control by the communist party to let Yuan fall below key in 7.0 level against the US dollar and 8.5 percent depreciation from the exchange rate. However, the US department of treasury reported on January 13, 2020, before a great deal in which semiannual report on microeconomic and foreign exchange policies. This report assured about 20 significant partners of the US are involved with China on currency practices. The first trade deal would lead only $200 billion imports of US production and including $32 billion in agricultural. Moreover, $40 billion would be pasteurized through tariffs on Chinese goods at the end of 2021. Indeed, Trump ensured China all tariffs would be removed after signing the “second plan” trade deal.

The US and China’s relations got a new major twist due to COVID-19. After the breakout of the virus, the US president stretches the misinformation about China called “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus”. Moreover, the conspiracy theory lies the ideas about escaped from Wuhan lab. On the other side, China blames on US military persons on the carried virus and spilling in China. Therefore, the political battle of China is intense against adversaries, most of Americans about 66% believe virus divulged as the danger of dependency on China all manufacturing products, infect, the US was unaware from the abrupt global pandemic. It revealed the lack of necessary medical supplies and personal protective equipment’s (PPE) as well. The US must keep in mind the new raising for economic nationalism. The trade war between both countries will create uncertainty and global supply chain. Eventually, some business moved out of China like Apple production and the Tesla factory. If US government forced to leave US business from China through executive orders in which reestablish business in the USA to create jobs for Native Americans and secondly, a business must take ensures as a freeway, on its position. China is the first victim of the virus and reopening with $45 billion more attractive worth of markets. At the same time, senior US officials are proposing a plan to make China responsible for this virus and proposals are prepared to compensate that virus effects that economy of the world.

Furthermore, US state agencies convened a meeting on May 7, 2020, to begin mapping out a strategy as reflationary measurement against China, the whole meeting and planning put out on vanquish or anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal the planning. Trump and some expert have discussed to strip “sovereign immunity” of China. However, legal expert says it would not be easy to put back China even pass the congressional legislation which is extremely difficult for accomplishing and secondly, senior officer advice to Trump to cancel the debt obtain to China or to pay back $1200 billion amount with no interest and to consider levy extreme. Lastly, Trumps thinks about to increase one trillion-dollar tariff on Chinese imports due to damage to US cost. Similarly, coronavirus has killed 106000 Americans with loss of 28 million jobs. However, companies, corporation, oil companies became bankrupt and lost more than $700 billion since the outbreak of COVID-19 that would never easy to let the US boast up the economy after any solution about the virus.

China modernized maritime PLA Navy for the context of the new war. Moreover, this whole region relies on primary of American military presence on different offshores of countries to contain any immediate response from China and allies after intensifying the naval gape would lead the geopolitical competition US commentators towards south Asia. Last three weeks before Washington post published the secret report of CIA “The war with China would lead the major disastrous for the USA” And major superpowers would lead the US capital losses. Therefore, all bases of US in Indo-pacific command region would be at risk, especially US territory Guan might be the first concern. The primary issue of both superpowers on Taiwan Strait land. After pandemic ravaged in the world. Furthermore, the escalation was erupted last month to push back on the major war that would erupt a nuclear war. After publishing the report, the vast difference had been seen between Trump administration and US establishment.

On the other hand, Trump claims super-duper missiles. Moreover, the US wants to test nuclear bomb to deterrence against China. Besides, China is acknowledged throughout the world on economic hegemony. Lastly, after the end of pandemic US will lose her hegemony from the Middle East, South Asia because US pullout all forces from NATO on any stage in recent future, so Trump already withdraw from WHO. Moreover, Black African American George Floyd murder took a new great agitation against white supremacy. However, all about that weaken and isolate the US from rest of world which is beginning of the downfall of the US that could be enduring so on China will take a better position to change new world order on an economic basis.

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East Asia

Post pandemic: US, China and their deteriorating relationship

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In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increasing clamor, for reducing imports, especially of essential commodities from China, and for exploring new supply chains.

The US has proposed an ‘Economic Prosperity Network’ consisting of US, India, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo while speaking to the media, reiterated the need for greater cooperation between these countries for pushing forward the global economy, in a post corona world, and also to change existing supply chains.

Similarly, a number of members of the CPTPP (Comprehensive Partnership Trans Pacific Partnership), especially Japan, Singapore and Australia, worked closely, to keep supply chains intact in the midst of covid19 (Japan has also been seeking to expand the CPTPP with the aim of alternative supply chains).

Reducing dependence upon Chinese technologies

Apart from supply chains of essential commodities, steps are being taken to create an alternative to Chinese technologies.  UK has recently proposed, that 10 countries work together to counter China’s technologies – especially 5G. This network, Britain has proposed, should include G7 countries (United States, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France) + South Korea, India and New Zealand. US President Trump further stated, that G7should be expanded to include India, South Korea, Russia, New Zealand.

Resumption of International travel

While there have been numerous discussions on shifting supply chains from China, another challenge posed by the pandemic is likely to be the resumption of international travel. Interestingly, the US has international flights with China from June 16, 2020. This is in line with the US President’s aggressive stance vis-à-vis China. The reason cited for the US President’s decision was China’s refusal to allow US carriers to fly to China (American companies on the other hand have been lobbying for the resumption of flights). China was then compelled to take back on its decision of US airlines.

China has recently allowed business executives to fly in from Germany and South Korea (China and South Korea have also signed a fast track arrangement to reduce the quarantine period for executives travelling).

Domestic flights within Asia

A number of countries in Asia, including Vietnam and India have opened domestic travel (the latter is likely to resume international flights from June 9 to US and Canada). Vietnam had resumed domestic travel after the easing out of social distancing measures, (since then over 500,000 domestic passengers have flown). The ASEAN nation began by opening out five tourist destinations. India resumed domestic Air travel on May 25, 2020 and between then and June 1, 2020 over 4,000 flights have been operated.

Japan seeking to revive air travel

Apart from China, one more country which is  working towards resuming air connectivity with other countries is Japan (restrictions will remain in place for some time for US, China and South Korea). The countries, with which Japan is exploring the possibility of air travel are; Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand and Thailand. Japan shares close economic linkages with Australia, Vietnam and Thailand(over 1500 Japanese companies operate in the two ASEAN nations, while Japan is dependent upon Australia for farm products). Japan also receives a large number of tourists from these countries. The East Asian nation is focusing on resuming air connectivity with the above countries for kickstarting the economy, but it is likely to do so in a phased manner; international flights will begin first for business men, then students and finally tourists.

Countries like China, India, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam are looking to revive economic activity and air connectivity, both domestic and international, is essential for the same. It is important, not just to resume air connectivity, but also to learn best practices with regard to precautions.

While all the above steps are welcome, the real challenge for governments, globally, is likely to be in the months of August and September 2020, when students from different parts of the world, need to travel to the west (especially, US, UK and Canada) for pursuing higher education.

Conclusion

The efforts of Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia yet again reiterate the point, that while all eyes have been on the US and China and their deteriorating relationship, a number of countries have been seeking ways to foster cooperation, not just in dealing with the pandemic, but also for giving a boost to economic ties, and resuming air connectivity.

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East Asia

Exposure of Ulterior Motives Behind Stigmatization of China with COVID-19

Sabah Aslam

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As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to rage across the US, the American people are complaining about the White House’s “lack of action” in the critical period of pandemic prevention and control, to which, however, Pompeo and his fellow politicians have kept finding excuses for themselves.

To be fair, these politicians have truly had a full plate since the outbreak, although on their plate is not how to control the pandemic at home, but how to make trouble for other countries.

When China, the country first hit by the virus, was busy containing its spread, the US politicians tried to stick their nose into China’s Xinjiang, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and brazenly interfered in the internal affairs of the country by passing the so-called “acts”. On the other hand, they put out a number of ludicrous assumptions like “China made the virus” and “China covered up its pandemic situation”, in an attempt to stigmatize China in the international community and corner it to a moral predicament. Washington leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the use of these ugly tricks.

This isn’t the first time that politicians like Pompeo are trying to loot a burning house – they always jump at the first sign of sniffing such an opportunity. They rolled out sanctions against Iran during its domestic turbulence; they tried to have it both ways when Qatar was on bad terms with countries like Saudi Arabia; and they, on the pretext of “democracy and human rights”, blatantly backed radical and violent criminals in Hong Kong during the riot and unrest caused by the expatriation law amendment bill.

If we go into their ploys seriously, Pompeo and his like are not only professional looters of burning houses, and they set the fire themselves! They first set the house on fire and flame it up, then loot it while occasionally making a gesture of putting out the fire. They are so good at playing “good cop and bad cop” games and busy putting on their farcical performances.

Just take a look at what the US has done in the Middle East. The wars it waged against Iraq and Afghanistan left the two countries in lasting turmoil; the Arab Spring it much-trumpeted left Egypt and Syria in prolonged instability; and its instigation and flame-fueling have led to the growing escalation of Palestine-Israel conflicts, in which the US had sowed seeds.

Yet certain American politicians have the nerve to reap geopolitical gains where they set fire in the first place. Pompeo and his like even posed as saviors or angels claiming to have brought peace to those areas they left in ruins.

How ridiculous and shameful they are! These politicians are accustomed to being cops in name but thieves in nature, calling “stop thief” on the one hand while being that thief on the other. They beautify hegemony as justice and dress up rumor-mongering as freedom of speech.

Pompeo and his like are doomed to a pathetic end. As an old Chinese saying goes, good and evil will meet their karma one day or another, which has been verified on Pompeo and his like over and over again. In the Middle East, for instance, America’s credibility has been irreversibly destroyed no matter how hard Pompeo and his like are trying to bloat their bubble.

The COVID-19 outbreak wouldn’t and shouldn’t have spread so fast and widely across the US had Pompeo and his like devoted a tiny part of their energy and time into what they should have done. The chaotic disaster of Washington’s epidemic control has made millions of Americans suffer, and a growing number of the righteous people are voicing their questions and protests. In contrast, the US media has named Pompeo one of the worst Secretaries of State ever in American history.

Turning a blind eye to the chaos and loss of lives at home, Mike Pompeo and his like, adamant on making trouble for the world, have kept disrupting international cooperation and undermining peace undertakings. They have become the common enemy of world peace and are doomed for a pathetic end. The burning house looters will eventually get burned themselves.

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