In regard to Bannon meeting with Kissinger, what has changed in regard to Kissinger’s China outlook as an advocate of global plutocracy? In a word: nothing.

Former White House aide Steve Bannon reportedly had two meetings with Henry Kissinger in September 2017, regarding China. The story was first reported by Bloomberg Business Week. Immediately the media was widely conjecturing the meaning of this Bannon-Kissinger dialogue, the details of which remain unknown. Somehow, it is also being widely reported that Bannon and Kissinger are establishing a “project” to “warn about China.” How this assumption is reached is not explained and seems baseless. It is also being stated that Bannon has enlisted Kissinger as an “ally” in an anti-China crusade. Again, the slightest indication to warrant such as assumption is elusive. Given Kissinger has spent a lifetime close to the globalists and especially those based in the USA; that he is an eminence in the major globalist think tanks such as the Bilderberg conferences, Council on Foreign Relations, Asia Society and Trilateral Commission; and, most famously, that he was the public face of the 1971 rapprochement between China and the USA, Kissinger teaming up with the political renegade Bannon might indeed indicate a paradigmatic shift in globalist attitudes towards China. However, there is simply no basis to the conjectures and assumptions.

The original Bloomberg report by Joshua Green stated that Steve Bannon, as a self-declared “populist-nationalist” and “economic nationalist”, has established a widening and more significant influence outside the White House,[1] where he had been hedged in by antagonists. Bannon’s “economic nationalism” includes a significant element of protectionism against China. Bannon’s comments China indicate a perception based on history. He has stated:

The forced technology transfer of American innovation to China is the single biggest economic and business issue of our time. Until we sort that out, they will continue to appropriate our innovation to their own system and leave us as a colony—our Jamestown to their Great Britain, a tributary state.[2]

Bloomberg’s Green commented:

As a candidate, Trump pledged to take aggressive action against China. And though he’s continued to talk tough, he’s done little to make good on his threats. As with many issues, his campaign rhetoric has run headlong into reality. “We’re still talking about treating China no longer as an economic partner but an economic enemy,” says Derek Scissors, a China economics expert at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). “However, we have yet to take any meaningful action in that direction.”[3]

Where the assumption arises that Bannon is embarking on a campaign against China based on the advice of Kisisnger is in Green’s comments,

That lack of progress has convinced Bannon that an outside entity is necessary to focus U.S. attention—and political pressure—on confronting China more aggressively. What made up his mind, he says, was a pair of September meetings at Kissinger’s country home in Connecticut. The former Nixon secretary of state cited the period of the early 1970s, Bannon says, when American political leaders were preoccupied with ending the Vietnam War, while foreign policy hawks on the outside worried the U.S. was losing the Cold War to the Soviets. Those concerns led, in 1976, to the revival of the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War-era lobbying group formed in 1950 to promote the foreign policy ideas of Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson. Its aim was to strengthen U.S. resolve to counter the Soviet threat and lobby against détente and the SALT II arms-control agreement. “They understood that you couldn’t do it from inside,” Bannon says. “You had to go outside and, like a fire bell in the night, wake up the American people.”[4]

That he got the idea of what I will call an “anti-China” lobby from Kissinger, in alluding to an anti-Soviet lobby during the Cold War, seems a leap of logic in analysing this as Kissinger advising Bannon on how to establish such a movement, and becoming an “ally” in such a “project.” This paragraph in the Bloomberg article is immediately followed by statements that should have put the matter into context, but the significance of which is being ignored:

On its face, Kissinger’s interest in advising a bomb-throwing ideologue like Bannon seems unusual. The 94-year-old has visited China more than 80 times since his first trip to restore U.S.-China relations in 1971. He went on to build an international consulting business and has been China’s preferred intermediary to U.S. presidents. “It’s very odd,” says Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). “Kissinger has been one of the most significant proponents of a G2—the idea that there is no more important relationship for the U.S. than the one with China.” However, she adds, “there’s really no downside for Kissinger in meeting with someone who likely still has some influence in the White House.” Kissinger declined to comment.[5]

Elizabeth Economy, a director at the Council on Foreign Relations, has a more realistic perception. She does not assume that a meeting between Kissinger and Bannon implies that the former, as a primary architect of Sino-U.S. relations, had an epiphany and become an “economic nationalist” who is going to assist Bannon. She does not interpret the meeting as representing a new Sinophobic trend among oligarchs, who have for decades been cultivating relations with China to the extent that historian Niall Fergusson coined the word “Chimerica” to emphasize the symbiotic relationship between China and America. As Elizabeth Economy states, Kissinger has been a primary advocate of the Sino-U.S. relationship. She saw nothing in the meetings that would prompt her to conclude that Bannon had recruited Kissinger as an “ally” in a “project” against China.

Kissinger, CFR and China

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), of which Kissinger has been along-time member, was a major player in formulating and implementing the Sino-U.S. relationship on behalf of their oligarchic sponsors. The CFR is proud of its role and their historian has provided the details. Peter Grose, in his history of the CFR, described how the CFR formulated a strategy culminating in the oligarchy’s long-sought opening up of China, starting in the 1960s:

The Council turned in earnest to the problem of communist China early in the 1960s. Various Council publications had started developing the idea of a “two-China” policy—recognition of both the Nationalist government of Taiwan and the Communist government on the mainland. This, Council authors suggested, might be the least bad policy direction. Professor A. Doak Barnett published a trail-blazing book for the Council in 1960, Communist China and Asia. A major Council study of relations between the United States and China commenced in 1964, the year China exploded its first nuclear bomb; the group met systematically for the next four years. “Contentment with the present stalemate in relations with the Chinese is not statesmanship,” declared Robert Blum of the Asia Society, the first director of the project. “American impatience and the strong currents of political emotion often make it impossible to plan ahead to manage our policy in a persevering but flexible way.”[6]

Given the role played by David Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger,[7] and the primary involvement of Rockefeller in developing relations with China, it is notable that the head of the CFR’s “China team,” Robert Blum, also headed the Asia Society, which was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III. The Asia Society might be seen as a precursor to the Trilateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller in 1973, the very year he visited China with other from his Chase Bank, and returned enthused by what he had seen.”[8] The Trilateral Commission, having a significant overlap of membership with the CFR, Kissinger being a prominent example, was also a primary factor in the USA China policy. The Pacific Asian Group, a division of the Trilateral Commission, even includes members from China.[9]

Taiwan presented a problem for the globalists insofar as the USA had guaranteed Taiwan’s security in the supposed line-up of the Cold War. The CFR formulated a dialectical solution of seemingly supporting a “two China” policy that in practise would mean that Taiwan could be discarded by the USA without seeming to have betrayed it. That in reality is what happened, as the USA used the “two-China policy” formulated years before within the CFR to secure Mainland China’s entry into the United Nations, and to side-line the Republic of China. The CFR approach was one of gradual promotion of the Mao regime, decrying the so-called “strong currents of emotion” that were holding back the globalist relationship with China. Grose plainly states:

This seemed just the sort of political stalemate that the Council on Foreign Relations, free of electoral and partisan constraints, was endowed to repair. Midway through the project, the Council published an analysis of public opinion called The American People and China by A. T. Steele, who reached the unexpected conclusion that Americans were more willing than many of their elected officeholders to forge new relations with China. This study argued that it was only a steady diet of hostile public statements that had made Americans “disposed to believe the worst of Communist China and they [the Chinese] the worst of us.”[10]

The report by Steele indicates that the CFR believed the public would be susceptible to a pro-China policy, and the abandonment of Taiwan. Grose continues:

In 1969 the Council summed up the project under the title, The United States and China in World Affairs. … Tilting at the long-prevailing freeze, the Council’s project defined a two-China policy with careful analysis. It advocated acquiescence in mainland Chinese membership in the United Nations, and argued that America must “abandon its effort to maintain the fiction that the Nationalist regime is the government of China.”[11]

Grose concluded by proudly citing Kissinger and Cyrus Vance for their pivotal roles of opening up China:

Kissinger, acting as Nixon’s national security adviser, embarked on a secret mission to Beijing in 1971, to make official, exploratory contact with the Communist regime. Nixon himself followed in 1972. The delicate process of normalizing diplomatic relations between the United States and China was completed in 1978 by Kissinger’s successor as secretary of state, Cyrus R. Vance, a leading Council officer before and after his government service.[12]

Bannon’s Perceptions

Bannon is no fool; he knows history. Unlike Trump, Bannon has a world-view on which to form analyses, whereas Trump’s lack of ideological background leaves him open to be swayed anchorless in many directions. While that ideology is seriously marred (by his allegiance to “Christian Zionism”), on the matter of China, Bannon draws from history in assessing China’s present—and enduring mentality. Green states of this:

In Bannon’s view, China is harming the U.S. by engaging in unfair trade practices, such as the forced transfer of U.S. technology to Chinese companies. While many experts agree, Bannon has a more dire view of the consequences. “There have been 4,000 years of Chinese diplomatic history, all centered on ‘barbarian management,’ minus the last 150 years,” he says. China’s historical disposition toward trading partners, he contends, is exploitative and potentially ruinous. “It’s always about making the barbarians a tributary state,” he says. “Our tribute to China is our technology—that’s what it takes to enter their market, and [they’ve taken] $3.5 trillion worth over the last 10 years. We have to give them the basic essence of American capitalism: our innovation.”[13]

Green states that while Bannon’s view is shared by some who are still prominent in the Administration, Trump’s rhetoric has yet to yield concrete measures. More significantly there are others who maintain the pro-China outlook of the globalists.

Trump has held back from cracking down on China for economic, military, and political reasons. Several top White House officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser—both former financial executives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—fear that tariffs and similar measures could spark a damaging trade war….[14]

Again, there is the pervasive presence of Goldman Sachs, despite Trump’s populist election rhetoric about “draining the swamp” of the globalist elitists, and in particular Goldman Sachs.

Green states that while Bannon met with Wang Qishan, a member of the Chinese Politburo, in Hong Kong, Kissinger had already met Wang in December, shortly after Trump’s election. Given the background and connections of Kissinger, one might assume that the visit was to assure China that Trump would be kept in check. Kissinger is not about to be pilloried for meeting Chinese officials like Flynn et al in regard to meeting Russians. The difference reflects a long and fundamental contrast in outlook by powerful coteries in the USA in regard to the way Russia and china are considered. The Sinophilia of the globalist networks has been as consistent as their Russophobia, yet despite the glaring differences in relationships there are those even among the conservative Right who see some impending confrontation between the USA and China over some minor geopolitical issue, while the nexus between China and the globalist networks and corporations proceeds. There is no alarm among the U.S. based globalists such as Goldman Sachs, Soros, and Rockefeller interests when China announces that it is ready to take the leadership of globalization over from the USA.[15] The presently most important project of what amounts to a Sino-globalist axis is the “New Silk Road,” in which American-based globalists are prominently involved,[16] as one should expect.

For Bannon’s part he sees the China issue as intrinsic to his “economic nationalism,” and aims to make the issue a feature of the 2018 and 2020 elections.[17] Scissors, the economist at the American Enterprise Institute, darkly warns:

The current direction of U.S. politics is headed toward populism, isolationism, and bashing China for good reasons or bad. If I were Goldman Sachs or another big bank looking to defend my deal pipeline, I would be worried.[18]

That assumes populism will defeat the globalist networks and corporations. It supposedly has under Trump, but there is not yet much practical evidence that this is being enacted in the real world, especially when plutocrats have replenished the Washington “swamp,” and Bannon was purged in short order. It seems that, like Reagan’s presidency, there is a conflict for ascendency within the Administration between palaeoconservatives, and the so-called neocons, who are neither “new” nor “conservative,” along with other globalists and interventionists. So far the latter seem to be winning all along the way, often in direct contradiction with Trump’s election promises. Scissors’s warning about “populism and isolationism” is typical of the paranoia that impels those such as Soros to pump billions into subverting and destroying anything of a traditional character remaining in a society, in the name of “human rights.” They conjure imagery of a return of the “Black Hundreds” in Russia; or of “McCarthyism” and “America First,” with ominous recollections of the pre-war years and the mass ranks of the German-American Bund, and the prospect of a “Fascist Amerika” under Trump.

Green states that “Donald Trump entered the White House prepared to hold China accountable for what he saw as currency manipulation, among other economic maneuvers. But Trump hasn’t quite stood by his harsh rhetoric.”[19] He concludes with the warning that “Bannon, who is now comfortably outside the confines of the West Wing, appears prepared to turn his anti-China war into reality, enlisting allies from Henry Kissinger to Hong Kong investment banks in his fight against Chinese trade practices.”[20] Apparently, Green considers Bannon, now unrestrained, to have a quantum increase in influence as director of Breitbart. However that might be, assuming that Bannon has secured an important ally in Kissinger for an anti-China crusade in favor of “economic nationalism” is, unless Green has inside knowledge that is not yet public, utter drivel, but a bizarre assumption that has been picked up far and wide. One might as well say that the Devil has converted to Christianity.

Tina Nguyen of Vanity Fair, more reasonably concluded of the Bannon-Kissinger meeting, that, “Mr. Bannon said he admires Mr. Kissinger and has read all his books, but none of that swayed him from his preference for confrontation over diplomacy.”[21] Thank you for some logic, apparently based on what Ms. Nguyen had heard from Bannon rather than illogical conjecture.

Sino-Globalist Axis Proceeds Regardless of Trump

Heather Timmons and Ilaria Maria Sala, of Quartz Media (a digital news source focusing on business in the global economy), offer commentary more relevant than most in stating that Kissinger is “continuing to play a key, globe-spanning role in one of the most substantive foreign policy negotiations of the US presidency so far.”[22] Democratic and Republican Administrations come and go, but the CFR and Kissinger remain. At least these provide continuity to U.S. foreign policy, regardless of election rhetoric. Timmons and Sala continue: Kissinger has “served a valued go-between for the two nations for more than four decades, earning him the nickname of ‘old friend of the Chinese people.’” Note, “old friend of the Chinese people;” not “running dog of American imperialism.” Nothing has changed adversely since Kissinger paved the way for his mentor David Rockefeller and a subsequent multitude of other globalists to get into China from 1972, fulfilling the long-term CFR/globalist goal described by Grose. We are expected to believe that a Trump presidency has somehow trumped that goal by words. If Trump does we might expect an escalation of “Antifa” in the streets trying to make the USA “ungovernable,” along the lines of color revolutions across the world.

Despite the standard reaction from Beijing in disapproving Trump’s accepting a congratulatory massage from Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen, Timmons and Sala write that “Kissinger was already in Beijing with Chinese president Xi Jinping, reassuring him that ‘overall, we hope to see the China-US relationship moving ahead in a sustained and stable manner.’”[23] Kissinger said much the same thing to a Mao envoy in 1973, when discussing how the USA will arm China in response to conflict with the USSR. In regard to public posturing by the USA in opposing hi-tech deliveries from the West to China, Kissinger assured the envoy: “Don’t be confused by what we do publicly.”[24] That should be a premise for political analysis. Not much notice should be taken of American statements designed for public consumption, as the strategic alliance with China would proceed regardless of the posturing.

So close has Kissinger remained to China that Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the “Public Citizen” group, said that Kissinger is “representing China’s interests and trying to influence American foreign policy. That crosses the threshold for FARA,” (Foreign Agents Registration Act). Holman considers Kissinger an agent for China and that he should register as such.[25] Actually, Kissinger would more precisely be described as an agent for the globalist oligarchy whose interests happen to so closely coincide with those of China that they are difficult to tell apart, other than when the military brass of Beijing and the Pentagon are placated by being permitted some public shadow boxing. Timmons and Sala remark that Kissinger “has served as the unofficial voice of the Chinese government in the West since he left the Gerald Ford administration in January 1977.” Again, along the right lines, but not quite on the mark: rather, Kissinger has served the Rockefeller and allied interests in their approaches to China. Richard Painter, chief ethics officer for the George W. Bush Administration, likewise said that Kissinger “strains the limits of lobbying disclosure laws and possibly violates the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” referring to Kissinger’s role as key adviser in 1997 “to a 1,000 strong corporate lobbyist group seeking better US-China relations.”[26]

So again, despite the political posturing the reality is different: In November this year, while Trump was on a state visit to China, the real business—literally—was being done by those who actually matter in world affairs: “Amidst U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to China, business representatives gathered in Beijing on November 9 and signed a series of agreements valued at $253.5 billion, the largest commercial deal between any two countries,” wrote Xie Tao, for The Diplomat, in an article entitled “How Trump Became an Old Friend of the Chinese People.” [27]

So beyond illogical assumptions and interpretations of discussions for which there is no evidence, in regard to the Bannon meeting with Kissinger, what has changed in regard to Kissinger’s China outlook as the diplomat-at-large for global plutocracy? In a word: nothing.

References

[1] Joshua Green, “Bannon’s Back and Targeting China,” Bloomberg Business Week, September 28, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-28/bannon-s-back-and-targeting-china

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Peter Grose, “Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations 1921 to 1996,” (CFR Press, 2006), “‘X’ Leads the Way,” https://www.cfr.org/book/continuing-inquiry

[7] For Kissinger’s 60 year relationship with David Rockefeller see his “memorial remarks” to the Trilateral Commission, May 2, 2017, http://trilateral.org/download/files/membership/HK%20-%20DR%20Memorial%20remarks-5-2-17-AS%20DELIV.pdf

[8] David Rockefeller, “From a China Traveller,” New York Times, August 10, 1973, http://www.nytimes.com/1973/08/10/archives/from-a-china-traveler.html

[9] http://trilateral.org/page/7/membership

[10] Grose, op. cit..

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Green, op. cit.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Bolton, “Will China Assume the Leadership of Globalization?,” Foreign Policy Journal, April 7, 2017, https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2017/04/07/will-china-assume-the-leadership-of-globalization/

[16] Bolton, “‘One Belt, One Road,’ China, Globalization, and the International Oligarchy,” Foreign Policy Journal, October 19, 2017, https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2017/10/19/one-belt-one-road-china-globalization-and-the-international-oligarchy/

[17] Green, op. cit.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Tina Nguyen, “Bannon lays groundwork for economic warfare in China,” Vanity Fair, September 28, 2017, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/09/steve-bannon-economic-war-china

[22] Heather Timmons, Ilaria Maria Sala, Quartz, “At 93, Henry Kissinger is still doing deals and courting controversy in China,” (Quartz Media LLC), April 5, 2017, https://qz.com/950103/at-age-93-henry-kissinger-appears-to-have-played-a-cruical-role-in-the-xi-jinping-donald-trump-summit/

[23] Ibid.

[24] Quoted by Jung Chang and John Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (Jonathan Cape, 2005), p. 612-613.

[25] Timmons, Sala, op. cit.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Xie Tao, “How Trump Became an Old Friend of the Chinese People,” The Diplomat, November 14m 2017, https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/how-trump-became-an-old-friend-of-the-chinese-people/