Friday, January 23, 2009

[china] and a false sense of security


Poor old China - the news doesn't look good:

Annual economic growth in China almost halved from 13 per cent in 2007 to 6.8 per cent in the year to December, the National Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday. The growth figure is below the arbitrary 8 per cent threshold that Chinese leaders say creates risks of social instability. Adding to concerns, Citigroup has calculated China's economy shrank 0.1 per cent in the December quarter from the September quarter — its first contraction in at least 16 years.

Wishful thinking.

There's still growth, of course and the shrinkage was miniscule but given the overall strength and direction in its controlled economy, it's still able to pursue its objectives around the world. Whatever China has become in the last 15 years, it is still a country relying on vast, cheap manpower and this can overwhelm all but the United States, which has been crippled by the traitors at the top in all spheres of its society. This article's not new but it sums up the reality:

China has adopted a "string of pearls" strategy of bases and diplomatic ties stretching from the Middle East to southern China that includes a new naval base under construction at the Pakistani port of Gwadar. Beijing already has set up electronic eavesdropping posts at Gwadar in the country's southwest corner, the part nearest the Persian Gulf and the post is monitoring ship traffic through the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Sea.

Other "pearls" in the sea-lane strategy include:


• Bangladesh: China is strengthening its ties to the government and building a container port facility at Chittagong. The Chinese are "seeking much more extensive naval and commercial access" in Bangladesh.

• Burma: Close ties to the military regime in Rangoon and turned a nation wary of China into a "satellite" of Beijing close to the Strait of Malacca, through which 80 percent of China's imported oil passes plus naval bases, electronic intelligence gathering facilities in the Bay of Bengal and near the Strait of Malacca. Beijing also supplied Burma with "billions of dollars in military assistance to support a de facto military alliance," the report said.

• Cambodia: Military agreement in November 2003 to provide training and equipment. Cambodia is helping Beijing build a railway line from southern China to the sea.

• South China Sea: Focus is "protecting or denying the transit of tankers through the South China Sea" and to be able to "project air and sea power" from the mainland and Hainan Island. A military airstrip on Woody Island was upgraded and its presence increased through oil drilling platforms and ocean survey ships.

• Thailand: Construction of a $20 billion canal across the Kra Isthmus that would allow ships to bypass the Strait of Malacca giving China port facilities, warehouses and other infrastructure in Thailand aimed at enhancing Chinese influence in the region.

China will not confront the Islamic push or Russian reassertion - it will simply sign treaties with them until the time is ripe. Never forget because the Chinese don't, Deng Xiaoping's maxim of hiding its light for the present and nourishing obscurity until the time is deemed right.

2 comments:

ScotsToryB said...

James,

I admit to being surprised that there were no comments on what is an effective metaphor of our time: the incremental building(in plain sight) of the means of control.

I like the last sentence. That means I can give up googling those two words!


STB.

James Higham said...

You and me both.