Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
China has surpassed the World Bank in lending to the developing world. 01.02.2011
On the heels of Forbes’ meeting with the World Bank comes news that China has surpassed the World Bank in lending to the developing world. The Financial Times estimates that over the past two years, China has made an estimated $110 billion worth of loans to Africa, South America and the Middle East. With China taking center stage in the U.S. political arena, could it also be taking over the globalization agenda?
The development goals of China stand in stark contrast to those of the World Bank according to Jamie Metzl, executive vice president of the Asia Society. “The key difference between World Bank loans and China’s loans is that Chinese investments are not being made from an economic perspective, but from a strategic and national security one. China has national security motives in gaining access to natural resources and in gaining political support.” Sudan, for example, sells two-thirds of its oil to China and in exchange is provided with tanks, combat aircraft, small arms and investment funds, despite the civil conflict and human rights violations in Darfur. In 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced that China would forgive $70 million in Sudanese debt and enter into a series of bilateral economic deals, including an interest-free loan of $12.9 million for a new presidential palace.
Loans from China typically carry different terms than World Bank loans. In the case of China’s involvement in Africa, Robert Rotberg, editor of the book China into Africa, says, “China loans [are] in exchange for resources, which its companies extract themselves using Chinese labor, so in essence it’s fake lending. The Chinese rarely expect those loans to be paid back.” According to a paper published by David Mitchell of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, China canceled $1.2 billion in debt from 31 African countries in 2000 and added another $750 million in debt forgiveness in 2003. World Bank loans, on the other hand, come with expectations of transparency and anti-corruption measures to ensure good governance in recipient countries. Metzl argues that China’s loans are emboldening undemocratic and autocratic leaders in developing nations: “We [the West] can’t be too sanguine about the past 40 years of development strategies in Africa. At the same time, it’s hard to believe that propping up rogue leaders with unconditional loans can be a good thing. Without better governance, Africa is going nowhere. If countries get money that supports the position of the government elites, then there’s no pressure to reform.”
With loans being doled out by China, no strings attached, what does this mean for the World Bankand its agenda? According to Metzl, “China will undermine the efficacy of the World Bank.” He does not consider Chinese loans as development aid. Furthermore, “African countries are being bombarded with cheap Chinese consumer products. This makes the possibility of Africa developing a low-end production base extremely difficult. There just aren’t a lot of growth prospects with these loans.” he says. But perhaps there’s at least something gained from a bottom-line perspective. Mr. Rotberg argues, “They [the World Bank and Chinese Development banks] have different roles. The World Bank is a transparent organization. The Chinese can lend however they want. This means projects that wouldn’t otherwise get done, are undertaken.”
Globalization is a euphemism for the replacement of nation-states by imperial financier-run corporate cartels.
The British East Company, which made vast profits from human misery, is the model for the global financial and political system the Anglo-Dutch imperial financiers have planned as the replacement for our current, dying system. Globalization is not the vanguard of economic progress its proponents claim it to be, but the culmination of a long-standing project to defeat the American System of Political Economy and put the genie of freedom back in its bottle.
Today, we are inundated with propaganda about the benefits of the "free market," in which "the markets" are somehow wiser than the citizenry. In fact, there is little that is free about this "free market," which is dominated by powerful global financial interests who use their financial power and inside information to manipulate the system to their advantage. In their hands, globalization is not "freedom," but a deadly weapon.
The financiers attempted to ram through their imperial scheme under the guise of the various fascist movements in the 1920s and '30s, using the Nazis in Germany, the Synarchists in France, the Fabians in the Britain, the Mussolini corporatists in Italy, and the America First crowd in the U.S., among others. This drive failed, when Hitler turned on his masters and attacked Europe instead of Russia, leading to the defeat of both himself and Mussolini, along with widespread destruction in Europe. This, combined with the defeat of a fascist plot inside the U.S. to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt, caused the oligarchy to regroup and prepare the ground for another attempt. What we know today as globalization, is the cornerstone of their new attempt at global domination.
It had a different name when Lehman Brothers senior banker George W. Ball laid out the plan for a "world company" project, at the 1968 Bilderberger meeting. The purpose of the world company project, Ball explained at a series of conferences, was to replace the "archaic" nation-state with global corporate cartels capable of operating across borders without interference from nations. That this project was modelled on the British East India Company was made explicit by Atlanticist and diplomat Eugene Rostow at a conference held in 1974 at the American Assembly. "The true ancestors of the modern multinational companies ... [are] the great trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries" Rostow said, naming "the East India Company, the Hudson Bay Company," and others. "Many of these companies undertook to govern as well as to trade," he added.
The explicitly Malthusian nature of the project was made clear at the same conference by a number of speakers. Ball warned that without the "maximal efficiency" of corporate overlords, "a Malthusian debacle on a global scale" would ensue. IBM's Jacques Maisonrouge was even more dramatic, invoking the specter of "pandemic inflation, skyrocketting oil prices, scarcities of raw materials, disequilibrium in international payments, poor harvests, rising unemployment, high interest rates, growing fears of a global depression" as proof that "political solutions do not work," and that corporate control was required to avoid this fate.
These latter-day followers of Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus—both of whom were propagandists for the British East India Company and British Empire—were, like the globalization pushers of today, lying in the service of the empire. The American Assembly, for example, has pushed both eugenics and globalization, and is now running a "next generation" project to restructure the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations along more explicitly imperial lines.
The world they are seeking, is actually the world they are telling us is inevitable unless we capitulate to their demands. Knowing that growing world populations are a threat to their control of the world, they seek to impose control over nations, to impose austerity and shortages, combined with higher prices, along with more direct measures such as plagues, famine, and wars, to cut global population significantly, starting with the darker-skinned peoples. Globalization is not just fascism, it is also genocide.
The intent of these imperialists is to make every nation dependent upon their world company apparatus for a significant portion of the necessities of life. This is why the corporations have stripped the U.S. of its manufacturing capacity and have decimated our family farmers; why retailers like Wal-Mart were designed to run small and medium-sized operations out of business; why at every turn the U.S. is weakened economically. Except, of course, for finance, where we are assured that the bubble will be our salvation. That, too, is another illusion, fed to us by people who think we are too stupid to see through their lies, and too cowardly to challenge them.
Myths and realities about China’s ambitions in Africa abound: China is monolithic, mired in stale ideology, subverting the Bretton Woods system, and unwilling to provide global public goods. Another is that China has no “soft power,” that is, the ability to engage almost one billion Africans by persuasion, attraction, and market relations rather than brute economic and military force.
These myths, which cause some to conclude that China is interested in a “resource grab,” or aiming to displace the West, may cause strategic errors by other nations or the global governing institutions. It hurts the interests of Africans who have made great strides to eradicate poverty, build democratic institutions, and integrate into global networks of trade and investment.
China’s History in Africa
China’s involvement in Africa, which dates as far back as 618 A.D., is seen as a unique advantage (see Figure A). It may be divided into three periods. The first period leading up to 1949 is the episodic phase where The T’ang (618-907 A.D.), Sung, and Ming dynasties traded tusks and horns, slaves, and light-manufactured goods, respectively. In the late nineteenth century, the first wave of Chinese immigrants came to Africa, especially after the Boxer rebellion in 1899. The second wave of immigrants came to Africa after the formation of the People’s Republic in 1949.
The second period is the ideological or “symbolic phase” and began in 1960 and lasted until 1989. This was characterized by open conflict and competition with the Soviet Union and the West, and the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. Other salient events of the time included the construction of the Tan Zam railway (1970-1976), China replacing Taiwan on the UN Security Council with African support in 1971, and in 1982, when the Communist Party of China (CPC) defined the principles of “Mutual Respect and Non-interference.”
The third or “symbiotic phase” began in 1990 and persists to the present. It is characterized by the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army, the restructuring of State Owned Enterprises, and the development of the “Socialist Market Economy.” China went from oil exporter to oil importer, and in 1996, China’s acquisitions in Africa take off. Consequently, a “Third Wave” of Chinese immigrants to Africa begins.
Comprehending the history of China in Africa is fundamental because it forms the basis of China’s identity in Africa as another developing nation, a benign not colonial presence, which sets the foundation for their espoused strategy of “mutual benefits,” and non-interference in sovereign issues.
Demographics drive Strategy
China’s strategy in Africa may be partly linked to its demographics. The greatest challenges facing China are aging population, gender disparity, migration to cities, rural health care, and income inequality. Poverty declined from over 60 percent to less than 7 percent since 1978, eradicating more poverty than in the rest of human history.
China has been the world’s most populous nation for many centuries. Its national population density (137/km2) is not very high. The overall population density of China conceals major regional variations; that is, the western and northern areas have only a few million people.
China now has an increasingly aging population; it is projected that 11.8 percent of the population in 2020 will be 65 years of age and older. Health care has improved dramatically in China since 1949. Many major diseases have been brought under control. Life expectancy has nearly doubled.
According to the 2010 census, males account for 51.3 percent of China’s 1.34 billion people, while females make up 48.7 percent of the total. In most western countries the sex ratio at birth is around 105 boys to 100 girls. In some parts of China, the number may be as high as 128 boys to girls.
China’s internal migrants can be divided into those with and without local residency rights. There will be an increase of almost 400 million migrants to the major cities over the next 15 years.
In 1979, the year Deng Xiaoping introduced sweeping economic reforms, the rural health-care system started to disintegrate. Subsidies disappeared, and local hospitals were sold to the private sector. As a result, the proportion of rural residents covered by the government’s medical cooperative system fell from 90% to 9.8% by 1985, where it remains today. The incidence of cancer, heart disease and tuberculosis has increased and become a serious social issue between the governing elites and rural poor.
China’s Gini coefficient has climbed to 0.5, from less than 0.3 before Deng’s reforms. The government plans to conduct a nationwide income survey in 2012 to help it calculate wealth inequality. Premier Wen Jiabao is signaling that curbing pollution, inequality, and the risk of financial instability are more important than economic growth. They may be moving the economy to greater consumption and away from exports and investment, a shift that may mitigate global imbalances blamed for the last financial crisis.
Some social scientists suggest that a Gini coefficient of around 0.4 predicts a large degree of social unrest. Mass incidents, including strikes and riots doubled to at least 180,000 in 2010 from 2006. In February 2012, one analyst projected the figure in 2012 to be 300,000 incidents.
Chinese leaders are concerned over how to manage changing demographics and technological and political innovation. China has a history of bottom-up rebellion that is unmatched in the history of the world. A number of questions betray inherent contradictions and threats to their current model.
For example: How can the Chinese see their own history as a force for unity when it is replete with recurring cycles of economic turmoil and peasant revolts? How can the leaders of China embrace information technology as a force for positive change, and be the world’s biggest censor? How can China speak of its unity while brutally suppressing ethnic groups? How can they decentralize power while corruption at local levels is so great? How can China keep the military leaders happy while entrepreneurs become more important?
Chinese demographics undergird China’s strategy in Africa. Africa represents oil and minerals to fuel employment and growth at their thousands of factories, a place to send young men to work (some say there are 500,000 Chinese workers in Africa), and a place to invest some of its excess liquidity to keep domestic inflation down.
China—the Principle Beneficiary of Globalization?
China was once a revolutionary force bent on overturning world order. It has now become the principle beneficiary of globalization, and a member of most international regimes: the Nuclear non-proliferation Treaty, World Trade Organization, the United Nations Security Council, and founding member of the G-20.
China has not formulated a view of how it would contribute global public goods (cyber space, climate change, and regional security). This is a source of frustration to many. It is probably because it is struggling to reconcile its double identity as a developing nation and global economic power.
Twenty organizations make international strategy in Beijing. They use the broadest range of instruments of any nation: diplomatic instruments, financial incentives for infrastructure investments, Special Economic Zones, development assistance, military cooperation, and peacekeeping.
One thing is certain, however. Growth was always the main goal of China’s globalization strategy. Gross domestic product expanded 9.2 percent last year, down from a 10.4 percent gain in 2010. China’s economic growth will slip to 8.59 percent this year due to Europe’s problems; inflation will decline to 3.3 percent; the pace of the Yuan gains will decelerate this year due to a declining trade surplus and slowing capital inflow. Growth in imports will outpace exports, according to a Xiamen University and National University of Singapore joint forecast.
Liberalizing the economy on a massive scale is what kept the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in power over the last two decades. But it also created problems and asymmetries: coastal areas grew faster than the interior, and inner cities are characterized by social disparity. The elites are sometimes viewed as exploiting the poor, and local authorities can be corrupt. These, together with the cyclical overheating of the export-based economy, are the side affects of miracle growth.
China’s approaches to wealth creation should resonate in the West—China boasted the largest economy in the world for two thousand years. The interruption, which is often referred to as “The Century of Humiliation,” began with the Opium War of 1842 when Britain forced concessions on China for trade and foreign settlement. They see growth as their natural trajectory. The new theory of the state is the “socialization of individual happiness.” Wealth is part of a narrative of social cohesion and destiny, proof of Chinese exceptionalism. Deng Xiaoping, the leader widely credited with China’s “Going Global Strategy” said, “To get rich is glorious!”
China intends to get rich by looking for more influence in global governance and participating in vision of a “harmonious” world order. China places a heavy emphasis on multilateralism, some say, a greater emphasis than the United States does. It views the United Nations as the primary framework for legitimizing collective action, and the preferred platform for multilateral responses to common challenges. It also sees the United Nations as the only way to constrain American unilateral behavior.
Within this context, China intends to slowly remake the world order, not just geopolitically, but normatively, as non-western ideals and beliefs compete with western liberalism. Its relationship with Japan is not an easy one, and its relationship with the United States—complicated by arms sales to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama’s White House visit, and the value of the Yuan—has been difficult.
China’s Strategy for Africa
China’s explicit state-to-state strategy in Africa is based on “Mutual Benefit” and Constructive Engagement. The principles are: “Sincerity, equality and mutual benefit; solidarity and common development.” Premier Wen has said, “Hegemony is raising its ugly head,” and that relationships with African nations will be “without political conditions.” He stated on other occasions that China’s broader strategic purpose was “to counter western dominance.”
China’s engagement strategy in Africa is rooted in its rise as a world economic power, but it employs a broad scope of diplomatic instruments, financial incentives in the forms of infrastructure investments, and development assistance, as well as peacekeeping and military cooperation.
China has a strategy of engaging with three types of African nations, in order of increased political problems: democracies with diversified economies (South Africa), weak democracies that hold sub-soil assets in abundance, and some countries considered to be pariah states in the eyes of the west. It is important to comprehend that China’s approach with the latter are fundamentally opportunistic.
China is sensitive to western criticism that it enables regimes that violate international norms. It sees its strategy as constructive engagement and argue that military force and sanctions are ineffective, most controversial issues are domestic, and that their concrete economic and political interests offer the opportunity for softer forms of persuasion.
In a couple of decades, China has made Africa into a proving ground for its diplomacy and international businesses. It has broken the western aid monopoly in Africa without engaging in the intricate dance of western conditionality, which some Africans view as a menace to their sovereignty.
Sino-African trade increased from US $125 billion in 2010 to US $155 billion in 2011. More than 2000 Chinese private businesses are in Africa. China’s share of Africa’s total exports has increased from 1 percent to about 15 percent in a decade.
The improvement in Africa’s terms of trade, which has increased by 4.3 percent on average between 2000 and 2008, may be attributed to China’s demand. China’s exports to Africa enable access to inexpensive manufactured goods: electronics, toys, and even cars. This raises purchasing power and improves the quality of life.
China’s industries have caused pollution, but not more than western investments. Labor disputes exist, but some evidence suggests they treat workers the same in China, and are willing to improve this.
China’s low-cost manufacturing exports have undercut some local manufacturing firms, especially clothing and footwear. But, they have also helped develop manufacturing by investing in infrastructure and increasing their imports. And, there is a vast potential for Africa’s agricultural goods in China.
China’s foreign direct investment in Africa reached US$ 5.5 billion in 2008, up from only US$70 million in 2003. Many observers think it is based on extractive industries, but since 2003, resource-rich nations have received only 37 percent of Chinese investment. China’s official foreign aid has increased from US$800 million in 2005 to US$1.4 billion in 2009, but when one takes into account concessionary loans, export trade credits and other mechanisms, it compares favorably with the World Bank’s annual flow.
Coordination between the United States and China would be valuable since so many complementarities exist between the two nations. US aid to Africa goes toward democratization efforts, public health programs, counterterrorism cooperation, and improved regulatory regimes. It often comes with stipulations or conditionalities. The Chinese invest in infrastructure and enterprises, and are less interested in exporting their beliefs and values. Though this might change as their stakes on the continent rise.
The Chinese also invest in countries with a high credit risk rating such as Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone. This is not due to their desire to invest in difficult political circumstances. It is because there is less competition for new Chinese multinational corporations, they need to fuel their growth at home, and because they strongly adhere to the principles of non-interference in sovereign issues. This frustrates many in the international community and in Africa, and there has been some flexibility of late.
China’s firm-level strategies follow a clear path in Africa: First, they must find commercial success in the Chinese domestic market, and then scale it; second, find access points to global supply chains through trade; third, raise funds in the global capital markets; fourth, pursue mergers and acquisitions to gain global economies of scale; and fifth, develop and obtain global management expertise and technology to compete globally.
China does not have a competitive edge over many Western firms in globally open markets. But in inward looking markets, like in Africa, Chinese companies are able to gain from state-to-state or bilateral influence. They have an explicit willingness to work with any state, to be the low cost bidder based on lower wages for workers and managers, and to bundle diplomatic attention, support for prestige projects, and low interest loans and outright grants to beat the competition. The result is that over 800 Chinese state-owned businesses are now working in Africa.
China’s strategy has hurt some small business people in Africa. China has brought new goods closer to consumers, but threatened established retailers. It is not just the importation of light-manufactured goods that have out-competed indigenous manufacturing, (that is, in Nigeria, 250,000 workers have been laid off because 80 percent of the textile factories have been closed); the emergence of new Chinese retailers all across Africa have squeezed out indigenous entrepreneurs.
The Chinese entry strategy is basic: an initial entrepreneur, perhaps some one who left a state-sponsored construction job, opens a shop and sells merchandise through superior access to Chinese goods. He uses family labor and sells a very broad scope of products. Other Chinese see the success and open similar shops. Profits are driven down, which drives diversification and focus. Africans are hired to do menial work, but the Chinese retailers use a form of indentured servant and family members for higher ordered work, which increases the supply of future Chinese business people. If the local authorities tighten regulations, they find it difficult to enforce given these lucrative investments.
The problem is bound to increase; the Chinese are now exporting refrigerators, air conditioners, and even vehicles. Emigration from China is no longer limited to a few segments of society. It is an option for those who live and work all across China, and it has rapidly become a reasonable aspiration.
Tens of thousands of African entrepreneurs attend business festivals in southern China, Nigerian primary students are learning Chinese, Confucian institutes, which are the equivalent of the Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institutes, are springing up.
Western fears have reduced China to caricatures
As with all caricatures, they are reminiscent of the truth, but incomplete. And in the high stakes world of trade and development, possessing part of the truth is dangerous.
The Aggressor, China, is interested in a resource grab, which takes little account of local needs or desires. They see Africa as a dumping ground, are callous to environmental and human rights concerns, which negate African developmental gains.
The Hegemonist: China’s new relations with Africa, since 1996, are aimed at displacing the West, forging relationships with autocrats and elites under the banner of south-to-south solidarity, and can only result in a form of political control over the continent.
The Partner: China is a partner in Africa as part of long-term strategic commitment to the global poor. It is driven by China’s economic needs, but also a commitment to convey its historical experience on the periphery to the global system with all African nations, as well as a desire to build effective partnerships across the developing world.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, a Ghanaian Cardinal of the Catholic Church said, “Many Africans believe that the West has had it chance.” Many outside observers agree that “China will act as an alternative model to the West, embodying a very different kind of political tradition, a post-colonial, developing country, a communist regime, a highly sophisticated statecraft, and an authoritarian-Confucian rather than democratic polity.” Paul Romer, a Fellow at the Center for Global Development, says, “A world in which many countries provide development assistance is better than a world where the U.S., Europe, and the World Bank are the only game in town. Even if countries like China or Brazil pursue self-interested assistance strategies, as the existing players do, recipient countries will benefit from the ability to choose among a richer menu of options.” Michael Kremer, a leading development economist at Harvard, says, “The policy discussion over China is simplistic. China is more people to do business with, their purchases create jobs, and their products create value.”
Despite the existence of these Western characterizations, one thing is for certain: the relationship between Africa and China is evolving. Grand statements and gestures have given way to practical experiences that have built trust in some cases and skepticism in others.
It is probably true that Africa is more important to China than it is to the West, and that China, without the explicit goal of altruism, has done more to alleviate poverty in Africa than anything ever attempted by western colonialism or the initiatives of the multilateral institutions.
China has an Africa strategy, but Africa does not have a China strategy. Leaders throughout Africa are addressing this. But those outside the continent that are mired in myths, old assumptions, and the self-sealing logic of ideology will remain flat-footed, flummoxed, and miss the opportunities that China sees in Africa. As one European official said recently, “Thanks to China, we have discovered that Africa is not a continent of crises and misery, but one billion new business partners.”
China and the United States are unlikely to ever have anything other than superficial diplomatic relations. Their competing interests and ideological disparities are extensive. The United States strives to maintain its dominance but China will challenge the status quo. China’s growing brashness and efforts to dominate the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Indian Ocean necessitates that the United States revise its strategy and resource allocations.
America may be treaty bound to protect these islands but at what cost and for how long?
By 2020 a significant portion of US naval and air force assets will likely be deployed in the Asia Pacific. As America’s resources continue to dwindle and China’s continue to grow, the United States will have to increase personnel and hardware allocations to project long distance force. While diplomatic deterrence with China will continue, Beijing will discuss long term goals, friendship, and economic co-prosperity but still pursue its own interests. Ultimately, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines fall deeply within China’s perceived sphere of influence. America may be treaty bound to protect these islands but at what cost and for how long? Strategies of consolidation and denial will only accelerate China’s military expenditures and cause an expensive escalation far from the United States.
China is systematically acquiring or controlling key naval sea lanes that will hamper US speed of access to key maritime points of ingress and egress. The comparative military asymmetry between China and the United States is significant now but America may find underestimating China costly. What some US hawks may not realize is that while China establishes regional territorial sovereignty, only speculation and rhetoric support Beijing’s intent to use force against Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, or Vietnam. China’s current strategy plausibly relates to trade and resource exploitation and the protection of trade routes; whereas US regional intervention is a conflict posture to consolidate China’s influence and puts US “allies” at greater risk.
China has achieved rapid development via Deng Xiaoping’s open door policy and now sees itself as an equal among its developed peers. China may have sought validation from the West in the past, but now it wants respect. When China asserts, or tries to assert, its authority, the country is confident enough to rebuff disapprobation acting as if its standard or perspective is absolute. China claims it is not a hegemon while the United States claims not to be imperialist but disingenuously practices unimperial imperialism. Perhaps one day Chinese foreign policy will be characterized as non-interfering interference. Levity aside, China will continue its military expansion. While the United States currently outguns China, history is replete with examples where asymmetry was irrelevant in determining the outcome of conflict (such as the United States in Vietnam and the United Kingdom and USSR in Afghanistan).
Propaganda poster from the 1970’s from the PLA Navy Magazine. Photo available for use under Chinese copyright law, section 22
China is a cash-rich lender and a labor-rich builder, which means China’s military imbalance may be irrelevant unless there is war. The Soviets demonstrated that trying to outspend one’s opponent may not be the ideal way to win a war as we learned by the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war in 1991. However, outsmarting one’s opponent is still likely the best path to victory. Paradoxically, as much as the United States borrows from China, the US seems to have unlimited funds for military spending as opposed to China’s more measured but persistent military growth. The United States is more technologically advanced than China, but history offers examples of war where the victors were technologically and quantitatively inferior such as Vietnam and Afghanistan. Moreover, Beijing need not be more technologically advanced to fight the United States; China merely needs the ability to defeat or undermine US technology, such as US satellites, which are used to manage remote assets. Beijing realizes that a successful military campaign requires logistics and if China can undermine US logistics, it has a strong tool in its arsenal. The United States needs naval and air support to contain China in the East and South China Seas but needs basic logistics to maintain those assets and China is focusing on its ability to control or undermine these resources in addition to pursuing non-logistics offensive and defensive assets of its own. China may need ten to twenty years to attain military technology parity with the United States but, consistent with its economic development, Beijing is focused first on developing an infrastructure to support its military expansion both at home and abroad. China is systematically establishing a presence from East Asia to Northeast Africa and strategically establishing footholds everywhere it can in between while simultaneously expanding its naval fleet to marshal these resources.
A critical area of China’s expansion is South Asia. China has been at odds with India for decades, particularly in relation to border disputes. However, China has cultivated a strong relationship with Sri Lanka, notably beginning in 1952 upon signing of the “Rubber-Rice Pact,” one of the first treaties the PRC signed after “liberation.” China was then unable to buy rubber due to the ban on rubber exports from Malaysia per a UN resolution. Presently, Sri Lanka is very strategic for China vis-à-vis India and together with its new naval base in Djibouti will offer China very effective coverage in the Indian Ocean. While it is quite isolated Sri Lanka is a strategic lynchpin for China in the Indian Ocean. China’s strategy to mitigate its asymmetry with the United States is not just about dominating the high seas in Asia but to control the ways and means of ingressing and egressing the world’s oceans primarily via maritime chokepoints, most notably canals. Below is a brief exposition of strategic maritime locales and their connection to China and its naval expansion.
In 1997 Hutchison Whampoa gained effective control of the Panama Canal via the ports it has operated at both ends since 2000 under a 25-year concession; thus China effectively controls the canal until 2025. China’s influence inside Panama has also grown per a 2007 bill submitted to the Panamanian legislature mandating that Mandarin be taught in all Panamanian public schools.
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who controls CK Hutchison Holdings, the largest operator of container terminals in the world, has strong PRC ties and seems to comply with Beijing’s demands. It appears Li acted as a proxy for China and has made acquisitions on the nation’s behalf that have been rewarded by Beijing. As early as 1991, Li tried to acquire Subic Bay, a former US naval base in the Philippines. Additionally, only two years into a twenty-year lease on its prime flagship location in Beijing, McDonalds’ lease was inexplicably terminated. The whole area was razed and a huge development called Oriental Plaza was built by Li.
China will break ground on the Nicaragua canal in 2016. -This canal will be significantly larger than the Panama Canal. It is to be built by HKND, a Hong Kong listed company run by Wang Jing, a PRC-born tycoon. China will likely fund (directly or indirectly) this US$50 billion, 278km long canal project. HKND will control the canal and the ports on both sides under a 100-year concession.
In 2006, during the third Africa Summit in Beijing, President Hu Jintao greeted each African leader as they entered the Great Hall of the People for an average of twenty seconds. At the time, China’s appetite for natural resources was at an apex. Interestingly, President Hu greeted Hosni Mubarak for about one minute. Egypt has some natural resources but nothing like some other African nations have to offer. I strongly believe the Egyptian resource that most interests Beijing is the Suez Canal. This would complement China’s aspirations to control the East and South China Seas, Indian Ocean and a critical new canal in Thailand, which is likely to be constructed within the next five to ten years. Control over the Suez Canal together with the other naval aspirations I address herein would give China significant trade and military leverage on the world’s high seas that will soon begin to rival that of the United States.
The idea of a canal through Thailand is not new and was considered by the Thai royal family as early as the late 1600s. Later, completions of the Panama, Suez, and Keil canals made the idea plausible.
Numerous studies were conducted on building a canal in the Kra Isthmus area by private enterprise as well as the Thai government. In 2007, the Thai Senate finally provisionally approved the Kra canal project but physical work never began. The project has detractors, such as Singapore, that could lose its place as South East Asia’s de facto shipping hub, and the US, probably due to its growing concerns over China’s regional overtures. Notwithstanding any dissent, the Kra canal project will likely be built when Beijing influences Bangkok accordingly. China has the technical know-how and money to make the canal an impressive reality. The Kra Canal not only offers China control over a critical East Asian naval chokepoint but, together with its presence in Sri Lanka, completes a considerable defensive chain. It also offers Chinese vessels rapid ingress and egress, cutting significant distances, time and, fuel in circumventing the Malacca Strait chokepoint, which has historically been a bastion of pirates. The Kra Canal would create a strategically critical new sea lane under de facto PRC control, directly linking the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. I believe the cementing the final terms of a collaboration to build a multibillion dollar high speed railway project between Thailand and China militates strongly in favor of the Kra Isthmus canal being the next big Sino-Thai project.
Sri Lanka and the Kra Canal are interwoven. Aside from the new port and massive land reclamation projects in Colombo along with massive highway projects, Hambantota is a key to China’s South Asia strategy.
China has financed and built a multiphase deep water port with a significant oil bunkerage terminal and container capacity in Hambantota. Additionally, China has financed and built a second, barely used, international airport in Hambantota, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport which could easily be an artifice for use by a well-equipped air force. Why build a new airport in an area with little infrastructure? Sri Lanka is an island with a population of about 20 million. Exactly when construction will begin on the Kra canal is uncertain, but the infrastructural development backed by China in Hambantota and likely imminent agreement on the Chinese high speed rail project in Thailand suggests it may not be in the very distant future.
Many in China believe the ability of other states to block China’s trade routes threatens Chinese interests. As a net food importer, any significant blockage of such imports could have dire consequences in China (one senior Russian diplomat opined that China’s dependency on food imports will prevent it from becoming a superpower). Beijing realizes it needs a strong blue-water navy and overseas military bases to protect its trade routes and cut supply costs. “Far sea defense” is its naval strategy to project power in the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka is very important to this strategy, but it is unclear if Chinese military vessels or aircraft will use, or be allowed to use, the deep-water port or Mattala Rajapksa International airport.
There has been quiet chatter about a land reclamation island the Chinese intend to build off the coast of Sri Lanka, approved by former President Rajapaksa. The island’s stated purpose is beach resorts and casinos. However, Sri Lanka is an island nation that already has casinos and abundant beaches. The proffered pretext for the island is unconvincing. The island will be in Sri Lanka waters but apparently will be considered Chinese territory and closed to anyone without a permit, including Sri Lankans. It remains to be seen if this island is a subterfuge supporting a hidden submarine base. The nearby Hambantota port would be close enough to support bunkerage and refueling capacity for the island. The island would certainly play a key role for Chinese vessels to promote regional security from the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Kra Isthmus Canal into the Andaman Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the greater Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Such a reclamation project is not without precedent as the Chinese have already constructed numerous islands in the South China Sea and conducted other reclamation projects. It is possible the island will house a modernized version of the “underground” submarine facility in Sanya, Hainan. This location would be ideal for sheltering Jin class submarines, making their deployment and movement almost impossible to detect, further securing China’s ability to monitor and be present at key Indian Ocean chokepoints; Bab El Mandeb, at the entrance of the Red Sea (Suez Canal); the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf; and the Kra Canal, when it is constructed.
China is still heavily reliant on its Sanya base to deploy submarines in the East and South China Seas and to key Indian Ocean chokepoints, as well as the Malacca Strait, which accounts for the passage of 80 percent of China-bound oil transits. The Kra Canal will mitigate China’s exposure to the Malacca Strait and offer it speedier regional passage through a chokepoint it will likely control . China’s eastern naval strategy, the “string of pearls,” closely traces the route of key oil shipping lanes to East Asia, and Sri Lanka, known as “the pearl of the Indian Ocean,” is a fundamental component of this stratagem.
Though former President Rajapaksa was very close to the Chinese, Sri Lanka’s current Foreign Minister Samaraweera indicated that Sri Lanka would not permit Chinese submarines to dock at its ports. Additionally, President Maithripala Sirisena made pre-election intimations of his desire to improve ties with India and distance himself from China. However, he continues to do significant business with China. It should be noted this island would not be a Sri Lankan port and therefore its use by Chinese submarines would not contradict the promise to disallow Chinese submarines from entering Sri Lankan ports. Interestingly, the island project is barely discussed and has not been raised by President Sirisena and his administration.
India is very wary of China’s increasing naval expansion in the Indian Ocean. As a dutiful client, the United States has “magnanimously” agreed to supply India with aircraft carrier technology to facilitate the launch of jets and drones, plus other hardware.
An India-US defense cooperation framework has been renewed for ten additional years. India and the United States also issued a joint statement on safeguarding maritime security in the South China Sea where neither has any territorial claims. China’s continuing expansion in the Indian Ocean and America’s continued coalition building to assert its presence in the East and South China Seas portends naval escalation in the eastern hemisphere.
India should be concerned about an expansionist China. The 4,000+ km border between India and China remains disputed, with no clearly defined line of control in the Himalayas. Recent rhetoric regarding Arunachal Pradesh, about which some in the Chinese leadership have begun calling “Southern Tibet,” points to conflict with India.
China has established ports in Pakistan and Bangladesh and new transportation links with Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan, in addition to upgrades to military infrastructure in Tibet and a new naval base in Djibouti. China seems to be surrounding India. China is eroding India’s maritime dominance in the Indian Ocean and its terrestrial dominance over Indian land in addition to supporting India’s neighbors. China can rapidly invade India from numerous directions at once. Additionally, India derives one-third of its annual water supply from Tibet. India’s alliance with the United States has provoked China. India may possibly become another US client-state used as a proxy against China but it will prove to be merely another cog in America’s wheel of primacy, to be used and discarded as needed. The US may be setting up India for a fight it should be trying to avoid in order to circumvent direct US confrontation with China.
China must use its maritime strength to safeguard its regional spheres of influence, particularly in the Indian Ocean.
The Kra Canal shortens the trip around Singapore and through the Malacca Strait by 1,300km – saving substantial time and money for shippers. Ultimately the canal gives China a grip in a critical zone with major sea lanes and the Sri Lanka island project gives China a critical Indian Ocean spring-board together with its new naval base in Djibouti, which gives China two footholds in the Indian Ocean, the latter of which is also very close to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea. China must use its maritime strength to safeguard its regional spheres of influence, particularly in the Indian Ocean. It cannot effectively project regional power without basic logistics facilities there. While the distance from the nearest Chinese naval base is great, the Kra Canal significantly shortens the trip by three days.
Conflict between India and China is plausible due to the importance of these vast regional waters. Since 1945, American dominance in the region has never been challenged but this is changing and US dominance will likely diminish in this zero-sum game. The United States is unlikely to directly assist India in any overt engagement by China. Sri Lanka is a key to China’s dominance in the Indian Ocean and the expansion of its influence in the region. While the United States has sought to consolidate China’s expansion in the region, China seems intent on reciprocating.
Strategic Infrastructure Plan Precedes Military Option
China has a population in excess of 1.2 billion.
China is a Communist dictatorship.
China is an atomic super power.
China has a large arsenal of short and medium range missiles and is thought to now have accurate long range missile capability.
China is rapidly building the world's largest navy and is ever increasing its airpower.
China has the world's largest army at over 3 million strong.
The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) directly controls and supervises more than 15,000 business and 50,000 factories. These businesses are of a widely varying nature within both the civilian and military spheres. The PLA even trades stock in financial centres.
Thousands of PLA products fill the shelves of U.S. stores.
"I have a continuing sense of awe at the scale of this. They are now running a multibillion dollar conglomerate." - James Mulvenon, RAND Corporation.
Many U.S. Companies do business with the PLA, an army that invaded Tibet, kills students and maintains the denial of basic freedoms to Chinese citizens.
According to the Institute for Strategic Affairs in London the PLA earns $25 billion a year from its businesses.
Profits go back into feeding troops, modernizing aggressive military capabilities and strengthening ambitions for regional and world supremacy.
On July 17th 1998 the emerging "strategic partnership" between the U.S. and Red China escalated significantly when it was revealed that members of the elite U.S. Special Forces would train soldiers from the PLA.
China will soon have the world's second largest economy.
China dominates the economies of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines and runs the economies of Singapore and Hong Kong.
China disputes the following boundaries: The boundary with India; sections of the boundary with Russia; the boundary with Tajikistan; a section of the boundary with North Korea; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; maritime boundary dispute with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, as does Taiwan.
In late 1999 China completed its Muglad oilfield project in the Sudan. The Chinese have built a 940 mile pipeline from Heglid in Southern Sudan to the Port of Sudan, centrally situated on the Red Sea's western coast opposite Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in what has been China's largest overseas operation by the China National Petroleum Corporation.
Chinese investment in the Sudan is now well over US $2 billion.
In late 2000 the UK's Daily Telegraph reported that China had put 700,000 troops in the Sudan on alert and was preparing to enter that country's civil war.
The U.S. State Department denied that China had such troop levels in Sudan 'otherwise we'd have known about it'. However the Chinese troops entering Sudan went undetected by other nations. Only the number of these forces is disputed, but aid workers have confirmed the levels of Chinese in the Sudan to be in the 'tens upon tens of thousands'.
This large Chinese presence midway between the Horn of Africa and Suez could become a threat to Saudi Arabia (world oil supply), the Red Sea and the Suez Canal (through which 6% of world shipping, up to 25,000 vessels a year, passes) and to Israel.
The sudden use of Chinese 'workers' as a trained military force does not bode well for current Chinese operations underway in Panama and the Caribbean, where a large influx of Chinese illegals is occurring.
Whilst the US and NATO were busy in Yugoslavia, China was cementing relations with Cuba and is now financing and modernising Cuba's telecommunications and electronics industry.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Cuban President Fidel Castro 13th April 2001 and signed contracts for US$400 million of business.
In addition to the telephone system and electronics the agreements cover sports, educational exchange, maritime relations, a fiscal agreement to avoid double taxation, economic and technical exchanges, a bank credit for a hotel now being built in downtown Havana and a US$150 million credit for the purchase of Chinese television sets.
During Jiang's visit a high level American trade delegation left Cuba empty handed.
China's Defence Minister visited Cuba over one year ago.
China already has a techno-spy base and communication bases in Cuba and is building intelligence facilities at Torrens/Lourdes adjacent to a massive Russian facility already in operation.
It has been reported that the Lourdes facility is the largest such complex operated by the Russian Federation and its intelligence service outside the region of the former Soviet Union. The Lourdes facility is reported t o cover a 28 square-mile area with some 1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base. Experts familiar with the Lourdes facility have reportedly confirmed that the base has multiple gro ups of tracking dishes and its own satellite system, with some groups used to intercept telephone calls, faxes, and computer communications in general, and other groups used to cover targeted telephones and devices.<b r
The Lourdes facility also monitors the U.S. Atlantic fleet and elements of U.S. Pacific fleet operations as well as domestic, commercial and military communications throughout the Americas.
The Cuban Missile Crisis between Russia and America in October 1962 successfully stopped Russia from installing strategic missiles on Cuba. Today China has a strong presence within Cuba and could position strategic missil es on the island relatively easily.
Nothing has been done to address this potentially dangerous situation of cities throughout North America becoming targeted by missiles to be launched out of Cuba.
During Jiang's April 2001 Latin American tour he met with Communist allies in Venezuela, paid visits to Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, and addressed a meeting of the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Cari bbean.
Venezuela is under the revolutionary rule of self-described Maoist Hugo Chavez.
"I have been very Maoist all my life," said Chavez during an October 1999 visit to Beijing.
China is active within Venezuela in gas, oil, agriculture, mining and the national railroad plan.
In late January 2001 Colombian President Andres Pastrana sent his Chief of Staff to Beijing to ask China for help in developing agricultural programs in Colombia.
Asked if he was concerned about this development, U.S. Secretary of State for Defence Colin Powell replied: "I don't know why it would trouble me, especially if the Chinese have something to contribute. President Pastran a is free to seek advice where he finds it more useful."
Beijing has allied itself with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which receives backing from Russia, Cuba and Iran and supports China's plans to conquer the free Chinese on Taiwan.
The Panama Canal is 900 miles from the U.S.
The Panama Canal controls at least one third of world shipping and is vital to American trade and defence capabilities as well as being an economic and logistical bridgehead between North and South America.
Some 20% of total US imports and exports pass through the Canal including around 40% of all grain exports.
Panama is a vulnerable front-line state against the spread of narcotics and terrorism that plague its South American neighbours. When the U.S. pulled out of Panama at the end of 1999 the U.S. counter-narcotics centre at H oward Air Base was closed.
Panama is now the central base of Communist Chinese operations in Latin America and the Pacific Ocean port of Balboa is a vital component to the emerging Chinese strategy of dominating the Pacific and undermining and isol ating the United States.
A Chinese corporation, Great Wall of Panama, has a 60 year lease for an export zone on the Atlantic end of the canal.
Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong based multinational conglomerate with a market capitalisation of US$53 billion and almost 100,000 employees worldwide has spent more than US$100 million to modernize its two ports, Cristob al on the Atlantic and Balboa on the Pacific ends of the Panama Canal. These are now run by Communist Chinese allies.
Hutchison Whampoa operates five core business in 28 countries: ports and related services, telecommunications and e-commerce, property and hotels, retail and manufacturing and energy and infrastructure.
Hutchison is 10% owned by China Resources Enterprises (CRE) and has been identified by the U.S. Senate as a front for Chinese military intelligence.
CRE was identified by the U.S. Senate Government Affairs Committee as a conduit for 'espionage - economic, political and military - for China.'
Hutchison has joint venture terminal operations in Mainland China, the Bahamas, Panama, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Under controversial Panamanian Law Number 5, that was secretly implemented by the Balladarcs regime, the Hutchison Whampoa company has the right of first refusal on other Canal facilities, including former strategic facil ities, which include former U.S. bases, such as the Rodman Naval Station port.
Some of the measures harmful to U.S. security and economic interests under Law Number 5, include:
Article 2.1 grants Hutchison Whampoa first option to take over the ports at Rodman Naval Station meaning that U.S. warships could be shut out.
Article 2.8 authorizes Hutchison Whampoa to transfer contract rights to any third party registered in Panama. This third party could be Cuba, Iraq, Iran or Libya or any other country which is hostile to the United States. Hutchison can extend its leases until 2047.
Article 2.12a, grants Hutchison Whampoa priority to all piers, including private piers, at Balboa and Cristobal, plus an operating area at Albrook Air Force Station.
Article 2. 12i, guarantees Hutchison Whampoa the right to designate their own canal pilots, change the rules for boarding vessels and add additional pilots - if clients claim dissatisfaction.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, stated on February 6th 2001 "I have not found that the so-called Chinese presence in the form of shipping companies and the like have created any danger to the Panamanian people, the Panamanian government, or to the canal itself. Our interests are served."
During his presidency Bill Clinton admitted that China would control the Panama Canal after December 31, 1999. "I think the Chinese will, in fact, be bending over backwards to make sure they run the Canal in a competent a nd fair manner. I think they'll want to demonstrate to a distant part of the world that they can be a responsible partner, and I would be very surprised if any adverse consequences flowed from the Chinese running the Cana l."
During his presidency Mr.Clinton did more than anyone to accommodate Communist China's requirements.
Hutchison Whampoa is part of the Li Ka Shing group of companies, owner Li Ka Shing having close ties to the Chinese government. He is a board member of the Chinese government's main investment arm, the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC), run by the PLA arms dealer and smuggler Wang Jun.
CITIC is the bank of the PLA and finances Chinese army weapons sales and the purchase of Western Technology.
Wang Jun is also the head of China's Polytechnologies Company, the international outlet for Chinese weapons sales.
China and Russia's strategic alliance is posing an ever increasing threat to the U.S. and NATO. Panama now hosts a highly dangerous mix of well-financed Chinese and Russian organised crime mobs along with Cuban government operatives, drug lords and narco-terrorist militants, who threaten the democracy of Panama and neighbouring countries and are a direct long-term threat to Mexico and the United States.
There is an ongoing massive smuggling operation of illegal aliens from China into Panama by Chinese Triad gangs on China Overseas Trading Company (COSCO) shipping.
In the Bahamas Hutchison Whampoa has dredged and expanded the port at Freetown on the island of Grand Bahama, 60 miles from Florida, enabling it to handle the largest container ships in the world. Hutchison is building a massive naval facility there.
Many Chinese officials as well as the Cuban ambassador have visited the Freetown port.
Hutchison has a 50% stake in the Grand Bahama Airport Company, which owns one of the world's longest airport runways at more than 11,000 feet, capable of handling the world's largest aircraft.
The Canadian government has allowed China's state-owned China Overseas Trading Company (COSCO) to make Vancouver the gateway for its operations in North America against intelligence advice.
U.S. Senate and Canadian intelligence have described COSCO as the "merchant marine" for China's military. COSCO vessels have been apprehended carrying assault rifles into California and missile technology and biological-c hemical weapons components into North Korea, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.
COSCO ships have been used by the Chinese government to ship missiles, jet fighters and components of weapons of mass destruction to nations such as North Korea, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.
COSCO has been seeking to take over former naval facilities in Southern California at Long Beach.
COSCO has over 600 merchant ships in its fleet, which makes it larger than the U.S. merchant marine during World War II and the PLA's literature refers to COSCO vessels as zhanjian, or 'warships'.
COSCO'S merchant fleet is currently being refitted for military troop transportation.
Al Santoli, an aide to Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, says that China is positioning itself commercially and militarily along key naval 'choke points'. Santoli has been monitoring Chinese mariti me activity from the Philippines to Panama. The Chinese are building military bases and expanding Chinese illegals on a massive scale at these choke points which include:
Burma (access to the Indian Ocean)
Hong Kong (to control the South China Sea)
The Straits of Malacca (where China has ties with Cambodia and is building a naval facility and fortifications on the Philippines-claimed Spratly Islands. An average of 150 ships pass through these straits daily)
The Central Pacific (a major land satellite tracking station on Tarawa)
Hawaii (a major ocean mining tract)
The Caribbean (the Bahamas naval facility and growing relationship with Cuba)
Cuba (where, amongst other activities, the Chinese are building communications intelligence facilities adjacent to Russia's huge technical spy center at Torrens/Lourdes.)
Panama (eventual control of the Panama Canal)
Sudan (to control the Red Sea, Suez Canal and possibly threaten Saudi Arabia and Israel).
The United States is expecting a possible confrontation with China over Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, including its occupation of the disputed Spratly islands, close to the Phillipines.
Hong Kong's Cheng Ming newspaper quoted Chinese Defence Minister Chi Haotian as saying war with the United States is inevitable.
"Seen from the changes in the world situation and the United States' hegemonic strategy for creating monopolarity, war is inevitable," Mr. Chi told a military conference in early December 1999.
"We cannot avoid it," he was quoted in the newspaper as saying. "The issue is that the Chinese armed forces must control the initiative in this war. . . . We must be prepared to fight for one year, two years, three years or even longer."
Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest ranking military officer in the U.S. has concluded that China is planning on a major war with the U.S. within the next two years.< br
Admiral Moorer believes a conflict with China over Taiwan is inevitable and that such a war is likely to lead to the use of atomic weapons by both sides.
He has stated that China's new bases in Panama and Cuba will allow them to covertly strike every U.S. city with atomic weapons delivered by their large arsenal of short and medium range missiles.
Moorer warns that the new nexus between China and Russia now threatens the balance of world power and fears therefore that one or more serious conflicts may face America in the next few years.
As if to perversely reinforce Admiral Moorer's point about China and Russia's alliance being a threat to the United States the U.S. State Department in recent years has ceded several U.S. islands in the Arctic and Bering Sea to Russia without congressional approval or public debate.
These islands are significant because they hold potential mineral, gas, oil and fishing rights - not to mention possible strategic military value and have been part of America since the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867.
The Arctic islands, which lie west of Alaska and north of Siberia, include the islands of Wrangell, Herald, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta.
The islands in the Bering Sea make up the westernmost point in Alaska's Aleutian chain and include Copper Island, Sea Otter Rock and Sea Lion Rock. These islands together have a square mileage more than that of some U.S. States.
The U.S. Census Bureau's director, Kenneth Prewitt has said, "Census Bureau officials were informed by the U.S. Department of State that these islands remain under the jurisdiction of Russia. Without confirmation and appr opriate documentation from the Department of State to the contrary, the Census Bureau cannot include these islands as part of the State of Alaska."
The islands may already be hosts to Russian military tracking and listening facilities.
The shortest distance between the U.S. mainland and Asia is the polar route.
Asia includes China.
A senior Russian transportation official, Viktor Razbegin, was quoted in the London Times in early January as saying a railway tunnel will be built under the Bering Straits connecting Alaska to the Russian Far East. The p roject, estimated to cost $60 billion, has been talked about for years, but many consider it unrealistic. Such a tunnel would provide an access point for covertly infiltrating illegal aliens and/or military forces into No rth America.
Even the possibility of a 55 mile 'Peace Bridge' joining Siberia and Alaska has been aired.
In a 1988 report to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, after a 21 month investigation, the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) revealed an appalling lack of security at the three main U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) weapons laboratories: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California; Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico; and Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico.
The GAO study concluded: "During the 21-month period from January 1986 through September 1987, about 6,700 foreign nationals visited or were assigned to one of these laboratories. About 900 of the visitors were from Commu nist or other sensitive countries, including those suspected of developing nuclear weapons, such as India, Israel, and Pakistan."
The DOE attempted to downplay the seriousness of its abysmal security record by asserting that the visitors from Communist countries did not participate in any 'sensitive' projects - an assertion not supported by the GAO report, which said:
"We found that foreign visitors from Communist and other sensitive nations have been involved in activities that have been identified as sensitive by DOE's own criteria, such as lasers, nuclear physics, and particle beams that could assist countries to develop and produce nuclear weapons. Information on classified programs could be derived from available unclassified data or by observing activities at these facilities."
As bad as the situation was at that time, security under the new Clinton regime became a lot worse.
The Wall Street Journal reported that in 1993, "The Clinton Department of Energy actually widened the loophole, waiving rules requiring background checks on many visitors from countries known to be involved in nuclear wea pons programs. The laboratories said that the stream of foreign scientists, especially from China, put too much of a burden on security officials. The Clinton waivers produced a surge of unchecked visitors at the Los Alam os lab and at the Sandia National Laboratory. In the late 1980s there were 67 visitors from China at the three weapons labs, which included Livermore National Laboratory in California. Now there are almost 500, or almost one-third of all foreign scientists."
CRIMINAL THREAT TO U.S.
The United States faces a growing threat from Chinese organized crime groups that are using Canada as a base from which to conduct criminal activities. Members of ethnic Chinese criminal groups from China, Hong Kong, Taiw an, and Macao have exploited Ottawa's immigration policies and entrepreneur program to enter the country and become Canadian residents, making it easier for them to cross into the United States. Canada has become a gatewa y for Chinese criminal activity directed at the United States, particularly heroin trafficking, credit card fraud, and software piracy.
The fact that COSCO has made Vancouver its gateway for operations into North America can only aggravate the situation.
South Africa could soon play a significant strategic role in the world.
At this time being heavily depopulated by AIDS and with a virtually bankrupt government South Africa is strengthening ties made by the African National Congress (ANC) before coming to power in 1994 with various 'non-align ed' countries, including Libya and China.
Recently South African president Thabo Mbeki visited Saudi Arabia and Cuba.
Saudi Arabia was visited to negotiate oil supplies and financial assistance.
Cuba was visited to make arrangements for Cuban teachers, doctors and nurses and others trained in critical civilian infrastructure areas to be brought into South Africa to fill the increasing gaps made by AIDS deaths, w hich South Africa cannot fill.
Cuban teachers were cleared to work in South Africa on the 20th April 2001 as 'a mark of respect for the contribution by Cuban revolutionaries to the ANC's struggle for power'.
During 2000 the ANC government, that claims to have little or no money to help HIV/AIDS sufferers, signed a 40 billion Rand (US$5 billion) arms deal with Europe that some forecasters estimate could escalate to 60 billion Rand (US$7.5 billion) in the final analysis.
The deal, corruption within which is being investigated at high level, is for the purchase of corvettes, submarines, helicopters and jet fighters.
How South Africa will be able to afford this arms purchase is unclear.
Precisely who is going to fly or operate this military hardware in the face of the AIDS decimation within the South African armed forces is unclear, or why this escalation of military capability might be necessary.
South Africa may well have to look to another country to provide the trained manpower to operate the hardware being purchased.
'Secret' talks are underway between South Africa and China. The Chinese are keen to get into South Africa and if their future world plans included shutting down the Suez Canal at some stage, by whatever means, then the So uth African Cape would immediately take on extreme strategic importance. Were the Chinese to have moved into South Africa in force by that time, their powerful navy would be in a position to put pressure on world shipping which would once again have to go around the South African Cape, as in pre-Suez canal days.
With their presence in South America burgeoning China's naval capability may soon have the ability to 'police' the other Cape of significance, Cape Horn, adding even more control to any pressure applied to shipping passin g through the Panama canal.
SUMMARY AND SCENARIOS
China is moving rapidly to complete worldwide infrastructure to handle the movement of all kinds of civilian and military cargoes, both legal and illegal.
This infrastructure uses key 'choke points' that could be used for threatening other countries economically or militarily, or that could be used to launch combined military aggression from any number of strategic strongho lds.
China has infiltrated America's backyard (Panama/Cuba), where it is establishing ports and may soon have airbases.
China has the capability to launch short or medium range missiles targeted at the United States from Panama or Cuba and may also have long range capability.
China could potentially hold US shipping to ransom on passage through the Panama canal.
Having to round Cape Horn would put 8,000 miles on the journey from the East to West coasts for U.S. shipping.
China is present in strength in Sudan, from where it could threaten the region and world shipping by 'choking' the Red Sea or Suez Canal and bringing the South African Cape into play.
In coercion with Russia, China will shortly have the ability to launch an attack on North America from both within (existing infiltration) and from outside the continent.
China may commence such a scenario with planned military diversions, such as in Taiwan and the Middle East, that would require the deployment of a large percentage of U.S. forces to those regions. At that time such an attack as outlined upon the U.S. could have a devastating and extremely swift result - the consummate defeat of the United States.
China's most favoured option in an attack upon the U.S. would be to use biological/chemical weaponry.
The simultaneous release of a virulent biological agent at hundreds of key points throughout the U.S., subway systems, air ducts of crucial buildings, sporting events, rush hour traffic and upwind of selected military bases, coupled to missile delivery, would result in chaos.
The objective of such an attack would be the immediate reduction of all armed forces stationed within North America, the National Guard, police forces, militias and the civilian population by well in excess of 50%, thereby destroying all resistance infrastructure.
By utilising a relatively fast clearing biological the U.S. would then be laid open to Russian and Chinese armed forces landing from Panama, Cuba, Bahamas, Eastern Siberia via Alaska and via COSCO shipping at multiple beach heads and devastated US ports as well as by thousands of infiltrators, 'sleepers' already within the U.S.
Even without using atomic weaponry, which would render vast tracts of America useless for the future and result in catastrophic retaliation against the Chinese mainland, China has the missile capability to deliver biological/chemical weapons into every American city and the U.S. has no defence against a multiple launch out of Panama/Cuba.
Whilst China builds the infrastructure needed to create such a military option, or a variant of it, America and the Western World seem to be deaf to the warnings of respected experts like Al Santoli and Admiral Moorer and are simply letting the Chinese Communist Dictatorship carry forward its plans without so much as lifting a finger.
Jess Miller is a freelance journalist who studies the workings of world power.