On The Road to a Post-G20 World

The ascendence of China and multilateral trading blocs could eventually spell the doom of the G20 and U.S. global dominance, as Pepe Escobar explains.

By Pepe Escobar
in Moscow
Special to Consortium News

The trade war launched by the Trump administration against China may not have been solved by a 2½-hour dinner between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the G20 in Buenos Aires on Saturday. But it may have opened a path towards a drastic realignment.

Way beyond the histrionics surrounding the “family pic” – and whose nods and winks signaled surefire geopolitical capital – the G20 walked and talked like a last gasp to “save” the current turbo-capitalist world (dis)order.

The sherpas at the G20 lost sleep for two consecutive nights trying to come up with a final declaration capable of appeasing Trump. As virtually every nation at the G20 supports multilateralism on trade, nobody wanted to upset even more the real Big Boss in Buenos Aires: Xi Jinping.

The climax in any case was the U.S.-China bilateral – which carried the potential, if things went downhill, to derail the global economy.

The White House spin was on immediate negotiations – lasting 90 days – over forced transfers of U.S. technology to China; intellectual property protection; an array of non-tariff barriers; and alleged Chinese cyber “intrusions”. If there’s no deal, Washington will raise tariffs on Chinese imports to 25 percent.

Xi and Trump at G20. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Now compare that with the key take away from Beijing, with Wang Yi, the vastly experienced Chinese Foreign Minister, describing the dinner conversation as “friendly and candid.” There were also no specifics on how substantial the allegedly “immediate” Chinese buying of American agricultural, energy and industrial products will be.

Wang, defiant, outspoken, and an expert on Japan, was promoted to state councillor last year, which means the Ministry of Foreign Affairs now has much more clout over other key Chinese institutions. Last summer, Wang coined a priceless take on Trump’s trade war: “The U.S. often says that it is taken advantage of, but this is perplexing. It’s like someone who buys a hundred-dollar product in a supermarket, has the product in hand, and then complains that he is a hundred dollars short. Does that logic stand up?”

Applying Sun Tzu

The Chinese negotiation camp though is led by a thoughtful intellectual; Harvard-trained vice-premier Liu He, 66, who directs the all-powerful General Office for the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission. Xi heads the commission but it’s Liu, his top adviser on economic policy, who actually runs the daily operations. He’s also the top interlocutor of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

In the end, Beijing actually applied some modified Sun Tzu tactics to buy time. It has, in parallel, stalled almost to a whisper the “Made in China 2025” agenda, a plan to boost Chinese domestic industry which the Council on Foreign Relations calls a “real existential threat to U.S. technological leadership.”

The imminent Chinese leadership in robotics and artificial intelligence does proceed, of course, but now in dissimulation mode.

It’s not that Beijing has never thought about so-called “reforms.” Steps were already delineated by the China 2030 report, agreed five years ago between premier Li Keqiang and the World Bank, pointing to a progressive privatization of major state corporations and the banking system.

But this will happen on Chinese, not American, timing. Few, if any, analysts have noted that in the new NAFTA negotiated by the Trump administration with Canada and Mexico, and signed in Buenos Aires, that section 32.10 forbids members to negotiate with “non-market economies.” That’s code for China. Whatever happens next, Beijing will keep being demonized for “predatory” practices – the terminology of choice within the Beltway and enshrined in the U.S. National Security Strategy.

Submission Down South

On the Global South front, just as the G20 was hosted by South America, the two key regional powers, Brazil and Argentina—one a BRICS member and the other a potential BRICS Plus member—instead of shining, presented a sorry picture. Argentina, with its economy in tatters thanks to a neoliberal puppet, and Brazil, totally humiliated on the brink of being run by a cartoonish neo-fascist, were both prostrated in total submission to the “indispensable nation.”

There are some fascinating nuances, however. Argentina’s neoliberal President Mauricio Macri is really a hyper-multilateralist, pro-free trade, and cooperation proponent in every international forum but his friend, Trump, was instrumental in getting the IMF to take Argentina to the cleaners once again.

Macri has excellent relations with the notorious multilateralists, China and the EU. When the White House claimed that Buenos Aires agrees that China’s trade policies are “predatory,” Argentine diplomats immediately denied it.

No wonder, as Argentina’s fourth nuclear power plant will be financed by China, at $8 billion. China will become Argentina’s biggest non-institutional lender after a currency swap doubles the nation’s credit line to $18.7 billion.

The Militarized Evangelical Banana Republic, formerly known as Brazil, once again, did not fail to deceive. French President Emmanuel Macron – already embattled by the Yellow Vest insurrection across France – reiterated that a free trade deal between the EU and Mercosur, under negotiation for nearly twenty years now, can only be clinched if the Brazilian government, under Jair Bolsonaro, does not ditch the Paris climate change Accord.

Prior to the G20, Bolsonaro abdicated from hosting the UN summit on climate change in 2019 – as Brazil may leave the Paris Accord to the benefit of the powerful agro-business lobby ravaging the Amazon rainforest. For Macron, self-styled leader not only of the EU but global environment, that’s a major red line. And that will translate into a French veto on a deal with Mercosur. No wonder Macri has got to be furious.

Enter the R20

The Trumps head home after G20. (White House photo)

Crucially, Xi Jinping once again stressed in Buenos Aires that Beijing supports “necessary reforms” to the World Trade Organization (WTO). But these should protect the “interests” of developing countries – and China still defines itself as a developing country.

That brings us to a road map that should please the Global South.

Yaroslav Lissovolik, former Duetsche Bank and IMF official, at the essential Valdai Discussion Club, which he directs, proposed a horizontal format to coordinate trade and infrastructure integration: namely, an “R20” – as in Regional 20 – that “would bring together the largest regional heavyweights in the world economy represented by 10 regional blocks.”

This “connectivity track” within the R20 format, as Lissovolik describes it, might become the essential platform interlocking many current infrastructure projects, from the vastly ambitious – and well funded – Chinese-led New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to the still quite vague Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), driven by Japan and India.

It’s not about nations; it’s about regional trade blocks. They might well become the uber-building blocks of a post-G20 world after a definitive, world system-shattering moment is brought upon us: when the petroyuan eclipses the dollar.

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is 2030. Follow him on Facebook.

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31 comments for “On The Road to a Post-G20 World

  1. Mild - ly Facetious
    December 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Bye-Bye American Empire? — Or does Manifest Destiny and/or American Exceptionalism demand more ‘rockets red glare’ & ‘bombs bursting in air’ – over Iran… ?
    Will Trump go down in history as The Last Commander-in-Chief? Yet the only US President ever to suffer defeat?
    :

    Mr. Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may get their war, but war is a deeply uncertain business. As Prussian Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke, one of the founders of modern warfare, once noted, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

    The Iran Agenda Today covers a lot of ground without bogging down in a overly detailed accounts of several millennia of history. It certainly provides enough historical context to conclude that an attack on Iran—which would likely also involve Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and possibly Israel—would unleash regional chaos with international repercussions.

    Such a war would be mainly an air war—not even the Trump administration is crazy enough to contemplate a ground invasion of a vast country filled with 80 million people—and would certainly inflict enormous damage. But to what end? Iran will never surrender and its people would rally to the defense of their country. Teheran is also perfectly capable of striking back using unconventional means. Oil prices would spike, and countries that continue to do business with Iran—China, Russia, Turkey and India for starters—would see their growth rates take a hit. No European country would support such a war.

    Of course creating chaos is what the Trump administration excels at, and in the short run Iran would suffer a grievous wound. But Teheran would weather the blow and Americans would be in yet another forever war, this time with a far more formidable foe than Pushtin tribes in Afghanistan or jihadists in Iraq.

    https://dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/iran-a-rumor-of-war/

  2. Mild -ly Facetious
    December 7, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Bye-Bye American Empire? — Or does Manifest Destiny and/or American Exceptionalism demand more ‘rockets red glare’ & ‘bombs bursting in air’ – over Iran… ?
    Will Trump go down in history as The Last Commander-in-Chief? Yet the only US President ever to suffer defeat?
    :

    Mr. Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may get their war, but war is a deeply uncertain business. As Prussian Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke, one of the founders of modern warfare, once noted, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

    The Iran Agenda Today covers a lot of ground without bogging down in a overly detailed accounts of several millennia of history. It certainly provides enough historical context to conclude that an attack on Iran—which would likely also involve Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and possibly Israel—would unleash regional chaos with international repercussions.

    Such a war would be mainly an air war—not even the Trump administration is crazy enough to contemplate a ground invasion of a vast country filled with 80 million people—and would certainly inflict enormous damage. But to what end? Iran will never surrender and its people would rally to the defense of their country. Teheran is also perfectly capable of striking back using unconventional means. Oil prices would spike, and countries that continue to do business with Iran—China, Russia, Turkey and India for starters—would see their growth rates take a hit. No European country would support such a war.

    Of course creating chaos is what the Trump administration excels at, and in the short run Iran would suffer a grievous wound. But Teheran would weather the blow and Americans would be in yet another forever war, this time with a far more formidable foe than Pushtin tribes in Afghanistan or jihadists in Iraq.

    https://dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/iran-a-rumor-of-war/

  3. Mild -ly Facetious
    December 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    US hegemony and imperialistic posture could coax it’s narcissistic “commander in chief” to another fling into militarism via War with Iran. American Exceptionalism cannot die under Trump ! — Bye-Bye American Empire ?!?

    ::
    “Mr. Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may get their war, but war is a deeply uncertain business. As Prussian Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke, one of the founders of modern warfare, once noted, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

    The Iran Agenda Today covers a lot of ground without bogging down in a overly detailed accounts of several millennia of history. It certainly provides enough historical context to conclude that an attack on Iran—which would likely also involve Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and possibly Israel—would unleash regional chaos with international repercussions.

    Such a war would be mainly an air war—not even the Trump administration is crazy enough to contemplate a ground invasion of a vast country filled with 80 million people—and would certainly inflict enormous damage. But to what end? Iran will never surrender and its people would rally to the defense of their country. Teheran is also perfectly capable of striking back using unconventional means. Oil prices would spike, and countries that continue to do business with Iran—China, Russia, Turkey and India for starters—would see their growth rates take a hit. No European country would support such a war.

    Of course creating chaos is what the Trump administration excels at, and in the short run Iran would suffer a grievous wound. But Teheran would weather the blow and Americans would be in yet another forever war, this time with a far more formidable foe than Pushtin tribes in Afghanistan or jihadists in Iraq.

    https://dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/oi/iran-a-rumor-of-war/

  4. Seamus Padraig
    December 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Well, well! That didn’t take long …

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/12/huawei-cfo-daughter-founder-possible-heir-apparent-extradited-canada-us-charges-transfer-us-technology-iran.html

    Whether or not Trump actually managed to wrangle some deal out of Xi, it’s all over now. The US is now demanding the extradition of a Chinese VIP from Canada on felony charges. Maybe US executives ought to review their own travel plans?

  5. zhenry
    December 6, 2018 at 1:33 am

    What interests me is China allowing foreign (mostly US I expect) private corporations and banks to become part of their economy and that their chief economic strategist is Harvard trained.
    Recent comments by US economist Michael Hudson – he teaches in China – makes pointed observations about US influence on Chinese economic matters.
    It surely has not evaded Xi that Chinese economic resurgence has a lot to do with its Government having control, of its corporations, either by ownership or by finance.
    How does China control private foreign, especially US, banks and corporations?

  6. wendy davis
    December 5, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    is there some reason you keep deleting my comments? i’ve heard many others ask the same question before.

  7. wendy davis
    December 5, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    i admit it was disturbing to me to see genocidaire paul kagame in the g-20 ‘family photo’. but apparently bidness is bidness:

    “Kagame will also hold a tripartite meeting ahead of the summit with President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and President Macky Sall of Senegal as the Chair of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.

    Major key priorities of the African continent to be highlighted at the forum include: increase continent’s level of engagement with the G20, strengthen G20’s commitments to Africa’s Agenda 2063 and a greater integration of African economies in the global economy.

    Rwandan and Argentinian Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed a cooperation agreement at the G20 MOFA meeting in May in Buenos Aires.”

    https://ktpress.rw/2018/11/president-paul-kagame-attends-g20-in-argentina/

    but then narendra modi similary committed genocide as governor of gujarat province. namaste all the way.

    nice to see you, dw bartoo; hope you and your family are doing well.

  8. karlof1
    December 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    For the uninitiated, the Valdai Club is a great font of information and idea sharing that goes on continuously outside of its yearly Forum. I suggest spending some quality time there and bookmarking its URL. Noticed MbS didn’t rate one word. Nor did Putin.

  9. Linda Furr
    December 5, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I praise and curse Pepe Escobar for this tantalizing peek into the world’s economic future. It will be chaotic at first, of course, because people behind the US throne insist upon chaos – like certain children perpetually disrupting things because they can’t understand the whole picture.

  10. DW Bartoo
    December 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Very much appreciate seeing Pepe, here, at Consortium News.

  11. Brad Owen
    December 5, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Bannon’s speech at Black Americans For A Better Future, made me rethink my charitable attitude towards China. It’s on You Tube in its entirety. Economic Nationalism is the future for sovereign Nations. China knows better than to throw open their country to “free trade” (the looters’ creed, politely expressed), as does almost every other Nation. China’s a developing Nation?…well…there’s a new category that’s come into existence: the formerly Advanced, NOW RE-DEVELOPING, Nation, and Protectionism and tariffs are charging back, like a semi-truck barreling down the Interstate. China will be FORCED to share manufacturing capability with us (we don’t need it all, like USA circa 1946); and this is NOT about Empire, this is about OUR tradition as a Sovereign, civic-minded, economically powerful, self-reliant, and INDEPENDENT, citizens’ Nation/State, and WE SHALL have that once again. The Globalists (polite term for Imperialist Oligarchs-of-Empire) will be DRIVEN from the stage (as is happening in France, Italy, Britain/Brexit, etc…).

  12. Michael Kenny
    December 5, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Like so much else that has appeared on the American internet recently, what stands out is the half-heartedness of the article. Unlike his usual line, the author doesn’t stridently proclaim the ineveitable triumph of Vladimir Putin or the inevitable demise of the EU. By the way, I’v never seen anybody, least of all himself, proclaim Macron as leader of the EU.

  13. Deschutes
    December 5, 2018 at 7:05 am

    What a sickening photo that accompanies this article: that total asshole Trump, with his trophy model wife (25 years younger than Trump who is 72) next to him gorging themselves in some luxury banquet hall with all the other global plutocracy G20 representatives. It has come to pass just as Karl Marx predicted: in late capitalism, all the money is concentrated at the top of the pyramid, and the majority of the working class are disenfranchised, underemployed and destitute.

    “Let them eat cake” comes to mind.

    • Skip Scott
      December 5, 2018 at 10:18 am

      “If you don’t have a seat at the table, chances are you’re on the menu!”

      • Deschutes
        December 6, 2018 at 3:49 am

        Good quote Skip! :-D

  14. Zhu
    December 5, 2018 at 12:56 am

    The grest “crimes” of PR China – the government isn’t submissive & the ordinary people are prospering.

  15. KiwiAntz
    December 4, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    The G20 meeting between Trump & President Xi really highlighted Trump’s Enron like “mark to market” (futures accounting fakery) philosophy with taking credit for & profiting from future Trade profits as a result of the Trade tariff wars with China, despite the fact that nothing concrete had been established? Far from hurting China’s interest’s it’s Trump whose hurting his own Countries interests with Soy farmers & others facing extreme hardship due to Trump’s tariffs! And these are the MAGA disciples who voted for Trump & unlikely to vote for him again if the tariffs continue! Trump might end up a lame duck, 1 Term POTUS like Bush 41? And all this nonsense about China taking advantage of America is just rubbish? For every dollar in actual finished goods China sells to America, what China receives from America is a US dollar that’s just worthless paper, created out of thin air by the FED for a couple of cents it cost to print? In affect, China’s Trade, subsidises the entire American Economy enabling cheap consumer goods whilst buying up America’s trillions of dollars of debt via US Bond buy up’s! Yet they thanklessly blame China for all America’s woes! Maybe Trump needs to stop blaming China for everything & tell his Country to start living within its means? Stop wasting money invading the Planet as the Worlds Policeman for zero benefits & just stay at home & sort out your own & numerous domestic problems!

    • Dave P.
      December 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      Excellent post. Very true. I tell my wife (who spends lot of her time listening to propaganda on TV the whole day, and on another pastime of endless shopping)) everyday that we should pay thanks to Chinese workers everyday, who toil in the factories eighteen hours at minimum wages to keep this extravaganza going here of which I have been a part too for well over half a century now.

      I will give you an idea of this consumer extravaganza. My mother, who was in her nineties passed away a few years back, lived her whole life in a village back home. She generated less trash in a whole year than what just two of us generate here in a day. During her last ten years I visited her every year, felt guilty every time you come back to this life of endless consumption. In fact, I rarely saw any trash in her yard. The vegetable cuttings, etc. were made into manure for her vegetable garden in the yard. Plastic bag, a very rare occurrence, she will keep it for a long time storing things.

      And my wife is supposedly an ardent environmentalist too, a very dedicated Hillary and Obama devotee. I don’t pay much attention anymore when these liberals and others talk about saving the environment. And yet promote endless wars.

  16. Don Bacon
    December 4, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    The big news, for me, out of the recent G20 summit was certainly not anything to do with Trump but with the alignment on the sidelines of Russia, China and India. From M. K. Bhadrakumar: “Vladimir Putin sprang a huge surprise on his Indian and Chinese colleagues by initiating a summit meeting in the Russia-India-China (RIC) format. . .statements made by Putin, Modi and Xi at the RIC summit make extraordinary reading, signaling the sea change in the regional alignments.” here

    • Skip Scott
      December 5, 2018 at 10:13 am

      Thanks Don. Interesting link.

    • karlof1
      December 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      I heartily second that article! Note the number of times Chinese and Indian leaders have met just this year!

    • michael crockett
      December 6, 2018 at 4:24 am

      Very informative. Thanks for the link Don.

  17. O Society
    December 4, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Well done as usual, Pepe Escobar!

    Here’s more on G20 from Finian Cunningham:

    G20 Summit’s Top Agenda Item: Bye-Bye American Empire

    • Mild - ly Facetious
      December 8, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Bye-Bye American Empire? — Or does Manifest Destiny and/or American Exceptionalism demand more ‘rockets red glare’ & ‘bombs bursting in air’ – over Iran… ?
      Will Trump go down in history as The Last Commander-in-Chief? Yet the only US President ever to suffer defeat?
      :

      Mr. Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may get their war, but war is a deeply uncertain business. As Prussian Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke, one of the founders of modern warfare, once noted, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

      The Iran Agenda Today covers a lot of ground without bogging down in a overly detailed accounts of several millennia of history. It certainly provides enough historical context to conclude that an attack on Iran—which would likely also involve Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and possibly Israel—would unleash regional chaos with international repercussions.

      Such a war would be mainly an air war—not even the Trump administration is crazy enough to contemplate a ground invasion of a vast country filled with 80 million people—and would certainly inflict enormous damage. But to what end? Iran will never surrender and its people would rally to the defense of their country. Teheran is also perfectly capable of striking back using unconventional means. Oil prices would spike, and countries that continue to do business with Iran—China, Russia, Turkey and India for starters—would see their growth rates take a hit. No European country would support such a war.

      Of course creating chaos is what the Trump administration excels at, and in the short run Iran would suffer a grievous wound. But Teheran would weather the blow and Americans would be in yet another forever war, this time with a far more formidable foe than Pushtin tribes in Afghanistan or jihadists in Iraq.

      https://dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/iran-a-rumor-of-war/

    • Mild - ly Facetious
      December 8, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Bye-Bye American Empire? — Or does Manifest Destiny and/or American Exceptionalism demand more ‘rockets red glare’ & ‘bombs bursting in air’ – over Iran… ?
      Will Trump go down in history as The Last Commander-in-Chief? Yet the only US President ever to suffer defeat?
      :

      Mr. Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may get their war, but war is a deeply uncertain business. As Prussian Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke, one of the founders of modern warfare, once noted, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

      The Iran Agenda Today covers a lot of ground without bogging down in a overly detailed accounts of several millennia of history. It certainly provides enough historical context to conclude that an attack on Iran—which would likely also involve Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and possibly Israel—would unleash regional chaos with international repercussions.

      Such a war would be mainly an air war—not even the Trump administration is crazy enough to contemplate a ground invasion of a vast country filled with 80 million people—and would certainly inflict enormous damage. But to what end? Iran will never surrender and its people would rally to the defense of their country. Teheran is also perfectly capable of striking back using unconventional means. Oil prices would spike, and countries that continue to do business with Iran—China, Russia, Turkey and India for starters—would see their growth rates take a hit. No European country would support such a war.

      Of course creating chaos is what the Trump administration excels at, and in the short run Iran would suffer a grievous wound. But Teheran would weather the blow and Americans would be in yet another forever war, this time with a far more formidable foe than Pushtin tribes in Afghanistan or jihadists in Iraq.

      https://dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/iran-a-rumor-of-war/Mildred

  18. mike k
    December 4, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    The indispensable Pepe keeps us informed of the Big Picture.

  19. December 4, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Of interest is how the relationship between China and the US will shake out. Not inconceivable that deals could be reached to the benefit of both parties while damaging others around them. That’s as obscure as the contentions in the Escobar article but it does seem that Trump, the self-proclaimed deal matter is more comfortable with bilateral trade arrangements than such arrangements as under the WTO.

    Lest we forget, the appealing part of the Trump campaign was to bring back good paying, mainly manufacturing jobs, and living under the rules of the WTO, that is nigh on impossible. We have been living in an era with multinational institutions, public and private reduces the elected governments ability to influence outcomes like exporting good jobs in exchange for cheaper goods.

    Trumps campaign was met by our elites as viewing his efforts and primitive and efforts to turn back the clock, as if what was happening was caused by some invisible yet irresistible force. Sovereignty in this worldview is passe’.

  20. Jeff Harrison
    December 4, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I am stunned that Pepe didn’t recommend calling the so-called Yellow Vests in France, the Yellow Jackets. An excellent summation and pretty much what appeared if you didn’t only look at the American propaganda.

    • Gene Poole
      December 5, 2018 at 1:14 am

      Could you explain the difference?

      • Skip Scott
        December 5, 2018 at 10:07 am

        A Yellow jacket is a hornet with a very nasty stinger.

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