The Arctic Silk Road: A Huge Leap Forward for China and Russia

The Arctic Silk Road: A Huge Leap Forward for China and Russia

 

The Silk Road, renamed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is developing infrastructure along land and sea trade routes. However, little is known about China’s initiative in the Arctic Circle, which represents a new route that Beijing is now able to develop thanks to technology together with the strategic partnership with Russia.

Involving about 65 countries and affecting 4.4 billion people, constituting thirty percent of the world’s GDP, together with a total investment from Beijing that could surpass a trillion dollars, the is an immense project that requires a lot of imagination to grasp the intentions of the Chinese leadership. With a host of projects already in progress, and some almost completed (the Sino-Pakistan Corridor known as CPEC is archetypical), the overland and maritime routes are developing side by side. Plenty of ink has been used detailing Beijing’s intentions regarding the East-West connections of the super Eurasian continent. Pipelines, railway lines, fiber-optic cables, telecommunications infrastructure and highways dominate discussions, together with talks about costs, feasibility studies, the question of security, and the return on investment. The land Silk Road is certainly an imposing challenge that is not just commercial in nature but sets the foundation for greater cultural and social integration between neighbouring countries. It is a project that in the long term aims to blend together the Eurasian continent and overcome the contradictions contained therein through win-win cooperation and economic development. Continue reading

China and Saudi Arabia Strengthening Ties

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China and Saudi Arabia Strengthening Ties Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) is welcomed upon arrival in Beijing, China August 29, 2016. – See more at: http://www.trunews.com/article/china-and-saudi-arabia-strengthening-ties#sthash.yC6hcArW.dpuf

 

(BEIJING) – Saudi Arabia signed 15 preliminary agreements with China on Tuesday in sectors from energy to housing on a trip headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at bolstering relations with a top energy customer and trade partner.

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Sochi ASEAN summit: Russia eyes economic expansion in SE Asia

MOSCOW–Russia moved to forge stronger ties with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last week, pledging to focus on economy rather than geopolitical alliances.

Local observers preferred to highlight geopolitical aspects of the rapprochement between Russia and Southeast Asia. Russian media outlets, including Sputnik International, noted that Russia looked to the East, seeking new allies among US partners in Asia.

The Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi hosted the Russia-ASEAN summit on May 19-20. The confab marked the 20th anniversary of the partnership. Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Southeast Asian leaders amid Moscow’s continued disagreements with the West. Continue reading

Russia and ASEAN on way toward strategic partnership – Thailand’s PM

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says Thailand supports raising the level of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN

“I have no doubt that the jubilee Russia-ASEAN summit will facilitate multilateral cooperation between ASEAN and Russia and will lay a path toward strategic partnership between the two sides,” Prayut said.

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Russia’s Strategic Partnership with Europe Inevitable – PM Medvedev

“Russia has no intention to abandon the European continent, either economically, or politically, or mentally,” Medvedev said in an article published by the Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.”The relations could be changing in the future, but the strategic direction will remain inevitable — cooperation, partnership, and, with favorable conditions, even the creation of a unified economic space,” Medvedev stressed. Continue reading

Putin, de Kirchner to sign statement on comprehensive strategic partnership

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will have talks with visiting Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the Kremlin on Thursday. The talks are expected to yield about 20 cooperation documents. The two leaders will put their signatures under a statement on establishing comprehensive strategic partnership. Continue reading

En Route to New Conflicts (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – In the midst of a phase of the expansion of the EU’s military policy relations with several East and Southeast Asian countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Japan. Merkel will arrive March 8 in the Japanese capital, reciprocating Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Germany last year. Tokyo seeks to intensify its cooperation with EU countries – also militarily – to enhance its position in territorial conflicts with Beijing. At the same time, the United States is focusing, to a growing extent, its global policy efforts on eastern Asia and the Pacific Basin. Shortly before Merkel is to visit Japan, a study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) points out that the interests of several EU countries would be “massively affected should conflicts escalate in this region.” These conflicts are mostly about territorial sovereignty over islands and groups of islands, which recently have become accentuated. SWP proposed that the EU “discuss” what position to take “in case of conflict.”

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Russia Is ‘Pulling a Crimea’ in Georgia

Georgia said the signing of a border deal between Russia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia on February 18 means Moscow was one step nearer to officially annexing the territory.

“It’s yet another action directed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and an attempt to artificially redraw internationally recognized borders,” said the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

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EXCLUSIVE: China sells fighter jets to Argentina which are able to attack Falkland Islands

ARGENTINA is to purchase sophisticated Chinese fighter jets able to attack the Falkland Islands as part of a “strategic partnership” with Beijing.

The move, which further raised tensions in the South Atlantic last night, follows a three-day visit by President Kristina de Kirchner to Beijing last week, in which Argentina secured 15 economic agreements and significant financial investment to bolster its failing economy.

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China won’t sit by idly if Russian economy collapses: ex-official

Long Yongtu, former deputy minister of foreign trade and economic cooperation, said at a Beijing forum that China “should adopt some aggressive measures” as the ruble has nosedived about 60% against the US dollar since the beginning of the year. “When Russia is facing massive difficulties, (China should) show moral strength and economic support,” he said according to a report by China News Service.

Beijing is obligated to help its northern neighbor both from a strategic perspective and out of concern for the wellbeing of the Russian people, he said without elaborating on any specific measures. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin Sparks Georgia Fury With ‘Annexation’ Deal in Rebel Region

Moscow, Russia:  Russia cemented control over neighbouring Georgia’s rebel Abkhazia region Monday with a “strategic partnership” deal that the Georgian government said amounts to annexation.

President Vladimir Putin signed the “alliance and strategic partnership” agreement which formalises Russian dominance of the tiny separatist region’s foreign policy, armed forces and economy, as well as placing Russian guards on the border with the rest of Georgia.

The Georgian government condemned the move as illegal. Continue reading

The Hegemony over Southeast Europe

BERLIN/BELGRADE (Own report) -The “Western Balkans Conference”, opening in Berlin today, is overshadow [sic] by the dispute over sanctions against Russia and criticism of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Serbia, a participant in the conference, has declared, it will not join the EU’s sanctions. Serbian enterprises are therefore not affected by Russian countermeasures and are even replacing agricultural products, whose importation from the EU has been banned by Moscow. The German government is attempting to prevent this. Berlin, in turn, has been forced to admit that, for years, the BND had systematically spied on Albania. Albania, Germany’s NATO ally, will also attend the conference. Berlin has initiated the “Western Balkans Conference” to shore up the hegemony over Southeast Europe, which it had acquired in the 1990s against the growing influence of China, Turkey and, particularly, Russia.

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Strategic ties with UAE likely to result in billion-pound defence contracts for UK

UK defence companies would benefit from a more energetic UK-UAE bilateral relationship, especially since the UAE is keen to replace its ageing Mirage fighter jets with the BAE Systems Typhoon in a deal worth $10 billion (c. £8bn), according to a new paper from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

As the UK appears to strategically orientate its defence and security posture towards the Gulf region from 2014, with the Minhad airbase in Dubai undoubtedly forming a major focal point of the future British presence, new research suggests that the UAE government is also committed to reinvigorating its relationship with the British; possibly at the expense of other potential strategic alliances. Continue reading

Eyeing rich bounty, China in line for Afghan role

KABUL (AP) – China, long a bystander to the conflict in Afghanistan, is stepping up its involvement as U.S.-led forces prepare to withdraw, attracted by the country’s vast mineral resources but concerned that any post-2014 chaos could embolden Islamist insurgents in its own territory.

Cheered on by the U.S. and other Western governments, which see Asia’s giant as a potentially stabilizing force, China could prove the ultimate winner in Afghanistan – having shed no blood and not much aid. Continue reading

The Unholy Union of ALBA and Hezbollah

ALBA professes commitment to regional economic integration. It promises easy money to beleaguered nations, and is viewed as an easy alternative to the bureaucracy encumbering the World Bank.

A closer look, however, reveals it to be a bloc devoted above all to anti-Americanism, and comprised of members who have rigged elections to avoid losing power.

Moreover, membership in alba brings countries into common cause with the world’s most destabilizing nations and most malicious terrorist groups. The organization has forged ties with Middle Eastern terrorists that could pose a serious threat not only to Latin American countries, but also to the U.S. and Canada.

The man most responsible for alba’s spread is Hugo Chávez. His checkbook has wide ideological and cultural appeal in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chávez gave nearly $200 million to Manuel Zelaya’s government in Honduras to help his illegal attempt at re-election. Every year, he gives Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega around $500 million in “free” money to prop up his dictatorship.

Under alba’s umbrella, leading politicians have become the Caribbean’s and Latin America’s new breeders of crime. And since politicians at the highest levels are in on the action, reporting on alba-Hezbollah ties is rare. But some reports fight their way through the conspiratorial haze.

In August of 2008, for example, the Los Angeles Times reported that an unnamed Western official had said Venezuela was providing Iran-backed Hezbollah with a base of operations. The official warned that Hezbollah is able to move “people and things” into Latin America thanks to the warm Iran-Venezuela relationship. He said this link “preserves the capability of Hezbollah and the [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard [Corps] to mount attacks inside Latin America,” and added “It’s becoming a strategic partnership.”

“There is a Chávez terror network on America’s doorstep,” says Rebecca Theodore, senior editor of Caribbean News Now.

Theodore said the danger of terrorists entering the U.S. via Latin America and the Caribbean is imminent. “It won’t be long before Iranian terrorists with Venezuelan and Dominican passports stand in line and show their documents to U.S. border agents as well,” she said.

The thickening alliance between anti-U.S. alba nations and West-hating terrorist groups like Hezbollah casts dark shadows across both Americas. It reveals that the Middle Eastern extremists who oppose the U.S. are becoming better connected, more powerful, and closer to America’s borders. It also reveals that U.S. influence is rapidly waning in a region it relies on heavily for industrial cooperation.

Full article: The Unholy Union of ALBA and Hezbollah (The Trumpet)