The New Silk Road (I)

And Germany will do it. When push comes to shove, it has historically sided with Russia and other axis powers. China should be no exception. In a time when America is suiciding itself off the world stage, it’s a matter of survival for its allies as they seek more stable and consistent alliances.

 

BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) – With tensions rising between China and western powers, the German chancellor is using her current visit in Beijing to enhance Sino-German economic cooperation. German investments in the People’s Republic of China had increased to around 60 billion Euros in 2014 – tendency still rising – surpassed only by investments in the USA and a few EU countries. Business representatives are campaigning in favor of stronger German participation in a Chinese trillion-dollar project. This project named the “New Silk Road,” is aimed at bolstering ties between Eastern Asia and Europe. The project, also on the agenda of today’s German-Chinese government consultations, has two components, overland and maritime transport routes. Trade by train from Chongqing to Duisburg and by ship through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean will be enhanced. While German companies hope for lucrative business deals, strategists warn that the New Silk Road could enhance Beijing’s global influence – and ultimately break the western powers’ global dominance.

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How China’s Silk Road Will Transform Eurasian Infrastructure

The project is more than just a group of new transportation corridors linking China with Europe. In fact, the New Silk Road is a new model of economic partnership in Eurasia.

The initiative includes several transit corridors from western China to Europe which can be divided into three groups – the Northern Route, Sea Route, and the Southern Route. Continue reading

Russian Navy is Returning to Cam Ranh Bay

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Sean says that his country is not opposed to the Russian Navy returning to the base in Cam Ranh Bay, on the condition that its presence is not directed against any third country. Will Russia take the opportunity to regain a foothold in Southeast Asia? Svobodnaya Pressa journalist Anton Mardasov explores.

Speaking to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti earlier this week, Nguyen Thanh Sean explained that “Vietnam’s policy is not to enter military alliances or to ally with any one state against another.”

During the interview, Nguyen Thanh Sean also said that Hanoi plans to continue defense cooperation with Russia, and added that Vietnam has always considered Russia to be “a close country, and a traditional partner,” and that a “relationship of trust with Russia is a priority of Vietnamese foreign policy.” Continue reading

Chinese Naval Base in Djibouti Poses Problem for U.S.

The guard is changing, as the West was prophesied to lose the strategic gateways of the world.

On Monday April 18, 2016, China officially broke ground on its first naval base in Djibouti, Africa, a country which has also been the home of the United States (U.S.) African intelligence-gathering base for the past 15 years.  The Chinese base will be encroaching upon a major U.S. military installation with 4,000 troops and has the largest drone installation base outside of Afghanistan.

Djibouti may be a proving ground for China’s foreign policy as the nation looks to further expand its influence in Africa. China has participated in anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia since 2008 and increased those missions in 2010. Chinese President Jinping donated $100 million to the African Union (AU) and said it was to help build a standby force as well as an emergency response and quick response force.

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Russia’s new tactics

Over the last two years, a number of microstates, mainly those located in the Pacific, have introduced a visa-free regime with Russia.

For example, two years ago, the island nation of Fiji canceled visas for Russians, while the Kremlin offered similar terms to hypothetical tourists from Fiji.

A year ago, it was Vanuatu, microstate in Melanesia, that suddenly decided to introduce visa-free regime with the Russian Federation.

And now Mauritius, a distant island in the Indian Ocean close to Madagascar, also readies to join the visa-free club. Continue reading

France seizes ship with ‘hundreds of weapons’ heading for Yemen

The United States says a ship carrying hundreds of weapons, which was captured by the French Navy in the Indian Ocean, originated from Iran, and that the cargo was destined for Yemeni rebels through Somalia. The ship was seized on March 20 by a French warship patrolling the Indian Ocean as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF is a multinational naval fleet that aims to implement United Nations sanctions on Somalia. The sanctions are designed to frustrate the activities of al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group, and to put an end to maritime piracy in the Horn of Africa. Continue reading

China launches charm offensive for first overseas naval base

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing’s contribution to regional security and development.

China has repeatedly said it does not seek a U.S.-style “hegemony” by extending its military reach, including through bases abroad.

Now that it appears it may be doing precisely that, the government has been quietly briefing on its rationale for the Djibouti base and using state media to address fears of China’s aims. Continue reading

The Art of War

In Sun Tzu’s The Art of War present Chinese military strategy in the South China Sea comes into focus. Tzu argued that the best war is one not waged, one in which the cleverest leader wins without fighting.

The Chinese declaration over its perimeter zone incorporates a number of islands claimed by other regional nations, e.g. Japan and the Philippines. With the construction of reefs that can accommodate air force assets, the government is sending a message: the so-called contested islands are part of the Chinese Middle Kingdom. Continue reading

US Navy’s Challenge in South China Sea? Sheer Number of Chinese Ships

Not only do they have coast guard ships, they are now able to mobilize commercial ships, bringing the total to 172,000 vessels during a national emergency.

 

Hong Kong:  When a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed near one of Beijing’s artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea this week, it was operating in a maritime domain bristling with Chinese ships.

While the U.S. Navy is expected to keep its technological edge in Asia for decades, China’s potential trump card is sheer weight of numbers, with dozens of naval and coastguard vessels routinely deployed in the South China Sea. Continue reading

CHINA SECURITY: Are China’s New ‘Floating Islands’ Being Built for the Indian Ocean?

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A concept for a “Very Large Floating Structure” mobile sea base is shown in a Chinese promotional video, which was posted online by naval defense industry magazine, Navy Recognition. The mobile base project was recently unveiled at the National Defense Science and Technology Achievements exhibition in Beijing. (YouTube screenshot)

 

The project is a “Mobile Sea Base” concept, using the fitting name of “Very Large Floating Structures” (VLFS). According to an Aug. 9 report from naval defense industry magazine, Navy Recognition, the Chinese regime’s VLFS project was publicly revealed at the National Defense Science and Technology Achievements exhibition in Beijing.

I poked fun at this project in a previous report, but its implications are actually rather serious. Continue reading

China to Extend Military Control to Indian Ocean

The Chinese regime said it’s wrapping up its construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, and all signs suggest its next big push will be into the Indian Ocean.

Conflicts are already surfacing. India was caught off guard in May, when the Chinese regime docked a submarine in the nearby port of Karachi in Pakistan. Close to two months later, on July 1, Chinese defense spokesman senior Col. Yang Yujin tried lightening the concern by saying the Chinese navy’s activities in the Indian Ocean are “open and transparent.”

The same day, a very different announcement was made by a senior captain from China’s National Defense University. He warned India, saying they cannot view the Indian Ocean as their backyard. Continue reading

China Expanding Regional Nuclear Forces

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Military vehicles carry HQ-6A surface-to-air missile batteries during a parade / AP

 

New cruise, ballistic missiles increase danger of war, report says

China is developing a nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile as part of a military buildup of both its regional and long-range nuclear forces, according to a forthcoming congressional commission report.

A final draft of the annual report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission presents a dire picture of advancing Chinese military capabilities and declining relations with the United States. Continue reading

Two lighthouses in Spratlys solidify China’s territorial stake

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Huayang Lighthouse. (Photo/Xinhua)

 

China’s Ministry of Transport held a completion ceremony for the construction of the Huayang and Chigua Lighthouses on Huayang Reef, built on disputed Nansha (Spratly) island territory. The ceremony has marked the start of the operation of the two lighthouses.

The two lighthouses, as the first civil aids to navigation in Nansha waters, will greatly improve navigational conditions and reduce navigational risks and accidents by providing route guidance, safety information and emergency rescue and other public services to passing vessels, according to an official government statement. Continue reading

The Clock Is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency

The View From Hubbert’s Peak

In 1971, the American President put an end to a 2,500 year trend; the Wall Street Journal called it “Nixon’s Worst Weekend.” Considering the old boy had some really bad ones, this must have been something special. In August of that year (on Friday the 13th) it was decided that the U.S. would no longer pay out gold for its paper dollars. OPEC Ministers took note, and in September they met, deciding it would be necessary to collect more paper dollars, if possible, since gold was no longer on offer and oil was the only asset they had to sell.

The Wizard of Oz

The ultimate irony for this generation of investors is that, despite the occasional obligatory chant about ‘free markets’ and the wonders of capitalism, most of the day is spent obsessing about what the world’s most important central planner will do next. By Supreme Central Planner, I mean, the Fed. Continue reading

Germany, Italy may increase submarine fleets

The German and Italian Navies are looking to increase their submarine fleets again in light of evolving security challenges, senior officials said at the Subcon 2015 conference on submarine technology organised by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Kiel.

Germany

An “arc of instability” now spans several continents, exacerbating maritime security challenges, and the Ukraine crisis has highlighted the need to still consider more traditional security challenges, noted Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, the head of the German Navy. Continue reading