The War Against Truth

Is Washington trying to provoke World War III? Xi Jinping believes so, or at least, he claims to believe so. In recent days, it has emerged that he warned European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about the US political establishment goading Beijing to attack Taiwan, presumably as part of a grand plan to bring about Chinese collapse. Xi, fortunately, has seen through these schemes, and he is not about to take the bait.

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A planned invasion of Taiwan is certainly no American fabrication. In Fujian province, just across the water from Taiwan, the Communist Party is busy building air-raid shelters and emergency hospitals. Military recruitment centres have been opening all over China. Banks, utility firms, and property companies now host workplace militias. Beijing appears to be sanction-proofing the nation’s economy. Over the past 18 months, China’s gold reserves have skyrocketed, reaching an estimated value of $170 billion, while Chinese investment in Saudi Arabia (an indispensable oil supplier) saw a sharp increase from $1 billion in 2022 to $16 billion in 2023. However we choose to interpret them, these are the facts.

Billions have been funnelled into the solemn task of transforming the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a “world class” military. Earlier this year, I wrote about the silo fields of Xinjiang and Gansu, where Beijing threatens the world with hydra-headed ballistic missiles. But US intelligence has since provided an unexpected punchline—some of those missiles were filled with water rather than fuel. Personnel had apparently been in the habit of taking home chunks of solid missile fuel to make traditional Chinese hotpot (a communal meal kept continually on the boil). That was the real reason for Xi’s purge of senior military figures in late 2023. The President’s fanatical ambition had collided with the PLA’s comical corruption. There is no reason to believe the planned invasion has been cancelled as a result, but we can surmise a postponement.

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