6) China: the Silk Road. Lesson thirtyeight

New or modernized and expanded Chinese railway line in the picture below. Will it be difficult because of mountainous areas to connect this railway line to the already existing railway that extends south of the Caspian Sea from east to west through Iran and into central Turkey and Ankara and beyond to Istanbul? There is nothing that suggest it. The oil from Baku must reach further, otherwise it would make no sense to build a railway line from Baku to Turkey. But the oil does not come by railway trains. There are existing oil pipelines from Baku to Istanbul via Georgia, and from Baku to Turkey’s southeast coastal area via Georgia. Russia is present in Syria’s western coastal area south of Turkey, with a naval base in Tartous with the S-400 and S-300 air defense systems deployed, and an airbase protected by air defense systems in Latakia located about 100 km north of Tartous. Given these oil pipes running through Turkey and the railway line that looks like it stops indefinitely on the map below, who knows where it will be drawn next.

There are reportedly also 40,000 Russian citizens in Syria of which most probably are tourists in the unharmed Tartous or Latakia or the rather untouched central Aleppo, whose presence should not be extenuated when Russia implements its major strategy plans and tries to obstruct others. Russia is now (2018) caught up in the game. China wants to expand the oil pipelines to Turkey’s southeastern coastal area, Russia probably does not want this as long as China also aspires to expand the “Silk Road Economic Belt” by land towards Europe, because this threatens Russia’s southern front.

Russia is thus dependent on the turncoat state of Turkey and that Beijing does not have Turkey in their pocket, and they have, among other things, therefore, had negotiations with Turkey about initiating a sale of the S-400 Triumph air defense system to the country. Turkey has already made an advance payment and is hoping for delivery by 2019. The issue is discussed according to what Kremlin adviser Vladimir Kozhin told the Russian news agency TASS in September 2017. The Russian leadership is often forced to concentrate resources, preparations and efforts to Russia’s southern and eastern borders. Many times it is of a military and economic nature. These playfields are primarily much more important for Russia’s security than the Baltic issue is. Much of their strategy in the northwest is a luxury they can sometimes engage in.

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey thus put an 826 km long railway on their territories (reported in November 2017). The question is whether the Chinese want or intend to resolve the issue of how to pass over or under the 300 km (186 miles) long stretch of the Caspian Sea. Traveling 300 km across the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to the oil-rich Baku by ship is a realistic solution. They also probably see a solution with an existing railway line south of the Caspian Sea in Iran. I don’t think Russia is happy about these plans because the influence over the oil-rich Baku is slipping over to China’s court. The Russian interest will probably be shifted to the south and towards China in the near future. But in St. Petersburg and in Kaliningrad, Russia’s plans will continue as usual. It is cunningly done by the Chinese to make Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey invest in China’s evil scheemes for Europe. But this railway is just one of all the railways, roads and fairways, which together make up the modern Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt project. Bit by bit and under obscurity, they are single-mindedly building on this logistical venture’s partly civilian project and partly military project. The silk road is the largest logistic project of all time, which requires a well-developed infrastructure, project planning and investments in transit countries.

The problem with the silk road project is not primarily that there are no good roads. It is laying down oil and gas pipelines, the creation and maintenance of infrastructure such as gas stations, service stations, power stations, drinking water, animal husbandry, agricultural production, food processing and irrigation projects in the silk road transit countries that the challenge lies in. It requires even more fuel and resources of fresh water. Creating opportunities for this can easily be a geopolitical gamble. It will be difficult to provide maintenance support for entire armies. Deserts must be crossed and power plants require fuel, nuclear power plants require water, personnel require drinking water. Perhaps one has to bypass some of the railways with a regular road where the transported vehicles move on their own machine. But they can also lay down water pipes to the steam generator in nuclear power plants. Not even on a multi-track railway, can you transport as many combat vehicles as needed in a short time. Towing vehicles, drinking water, fuel, tires, service personnel, spare parts and rolling mechanical service stations for trucks will require a large part of the space in the trains. Iran doesn’t lack oil but they have a quality on their oil that is not suitable for making diesel from, which means that diesel is rationed and reserved for Iranian truck drivers.

Locomotives probably require relatively flat ground if they are to be able to pull long and heavy trains fully loaded with tanks and fuel. That being said, the world’s highest railway line is Chinese and crosses the Kunlun Shan 3,000-5,000 meters above sea level. It is called the Qingzang railway. It is conceivable that a railway line, if it is not stretched over or through mountains, runs from Inner Mongolia (belonging to China) to Gansu to the Uighur land Xinjiang, into Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and further via southern Iran along the coast of the Persian Gulf and further northwest through Iraq and Syria and southern Turkey. In a war, southern Turkey becomes the most vulnerable stretch, requiring control of the eastern Mediterranean. From Beijing to Istanbul, the train route is >14,000 km of country road which I describe above. But the Chinese may have to punch at least one hole in the Chinese wall, which is actually several walls from different eras and which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Chinese are planning infrastructure investments for a railroad, a country road and oil pipelines between the port city of Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan and Kashgar in western China, or are already building them. It sounds quite logical. What then follows causally is that China completes the port of Gwadar for their Naval forces and merchant ships in southern Pakistan at the Arabian Sea and a military airport, if they get permission from Pakistan. According to the Financial Times web release in May 2011, Pakistan’s Defense Minister has requested from China to build a Chinese military base for Gwadar’s port. In Uganda 1 200 km southwest of Djibouti there are giant oil reserves. It does not have to be said that the great powers are fighting hard for these oil reserves, which are estimated to exceed the total oil reserves of the OPEC countries put together.

It has been established that the total raw material resources under the Caspian Sea is almost twice as large as all commodity assets in the whole of the United States. Kurdistan has the so-called Taq taq field and has increased its production of oil more than one hundred times from 2,000 barrels of oil a day since new discoveries were discovered in the 00’s. On the border between Kazakhstan and Russia, there are huge reserves in the Karachaganak field, 42 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as well as liquid natural gas and crude oil. In Turkmenistan, there are gas assets of no less than seven hundred trillion calculated cubic feet in the ground, the fourth largest deposit in the world. In addition, gold mines in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are part of the Tian Shan belt. These are the second largest gold deposits in the world after the Witwatersrand mountain in South-Africa. Both Beryllium, Dysprosium and other Rare Earth Element metals have been found in Kazakhstan. These are important in the manufacture of mobile phones, laptops and rechargeable batteries, as well as Uranium and Plutonium which are necessary for nuclear energy and nuclear warheads.

In eastern Ukraine towards the border with Russia in the Donetsk basin, where there is a state of war, there are coal resources with up to about ten billion tonnes. U.S. Geological Service states that there are 1.4 billion barrels of oil and 2.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in addition to considerable amounts of liquid natural gas. Also the fertile black topsoil of Ukraine and southern Russia is sought after. A non-governmental organization has concluded that land worth nearly $ 1 billion in Ukraine alone is being dug up and sold annually. Crop failure and war in Ukraine affect both the price of technology products, cereals and oil.

An expanded and existing railway line between China-Germany will soon reach Paris. Major investments in those transcontinental rail lines have opened for freight routes along the more than 11,000 km long international Iuxinous railway, which runs from China to Duisburg in Germany. 800 m long trains have begun to transport millions of laptops, shoes, clothing and other consumer goods in one direction, and electronics, car parts and medical equipment in the other on a journey that takes 16 days. Significantly faster than the sea route from Chinese ports in the Pacific. Source: The Silk Roads; by Peter Frankopan

Sources:
The Silk Roads; by Peter Frankopan
SR;Ekot

Homework:

We know that the US facilitates the economic development of the Central Asian former Sovjet republic “Stan-countries”. But it can be for more than one reason. Why do you think the US do this? I mean, they’ve already left Afghanistan.

Justify your answer please.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

5) China: Options. Lesson thirtyseven

What, then, does the future have in its womb? China is the world’s second largest economy. China, which is a hybrid system, partly communist and partly super-capitalist, has now replaced the United States as Asia’s largest trading partner. CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2018-2019 estimated that China’s defense budget in 2016 was 1.9 percent of GDP. But China does not publish open documents describing the country’s military doctrine or strategy. However, China is said to not make any major secret of which new systems and platforms are produced. I can imagine that China will continue its economic growth, develop its prosperity and raise the standard of living for more and more Chinese citizens. We can then end up in a situation where;

A) The western powers and China will end up in a conflict and with armed forces will fight for trade routes and commodity assets and the oil from the Arab world and Africa. In that case, colonialism will increase in one way or another and the Arab world and Africa will lose. At present time, this scenario is unlikely as long as China is dependent on shipping of oil and agricultural products through the Malacca Strait, which is one of China’s weak spots, for its raw material-consuming industry and its vehicles and food for its demanding population. China hardly controls its own backyard, the South China Sea. China’s military fleet cannot match US Navy before the next 20-30 years. China has only got one or two aircraft carriers, but they have a strong but largely outdated submarine weapon including 7 nuclear-weapon submarines (2012).

B) The western powers will do everything to sugar the financial bids for Africa’s raw materials, and do everything to convince them that they should let our side make investments in different countries and that they should sell the products to our side. China will do the same. In this scenario, the third world will gain greater influence. Depending on how the scenario develops, it may be to our advantage alt. to our disadvantage that China has invested in agricultural production in Africa.

C) The western powers and China eventually end up in a cold war with reasonably civilized competitive conditions where Africa and the Arab world does not get too much influence.

Choose which alternative you prefer and then act accordingly. There is nothing that excludes B from following on C following on A, or any other combination of these three options. I am not mixing Russia into the compote so it won’t be so complicated, but it is probable that China and Russia will enter into a deeper unholy alliance, because it was like that already. China has electronic technology and Russia has commodity resources and natural resources, it is the perfect “reasoning marriage” to use General Major Karlis Neretnieks words. Fortunately, western and Chinese immorality are on different levels, so that the Chinese do business with morally corrupt countries in Africa while the West condemns it, if we can. At the same time, western powers are doing business with morally corrupt Arab countries and also arming these countries to the teeth in the process. But what options for war are then available to China if alternative A becomes dominant? There are two options that I see, and both require a strong Chinese fleet and control over the South China Sea;

1. China builds or invests in, from east to west, the port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta Indonesia, and Port Klang, Penang and Tanjung Pelepas in the Malacca Strait in Malaysia. The sea route then goes on to the Indian Ocean to Hambantota on the island of Sri Lanka off India’s south coast. In Hambantota there is a port which China has bought. China needs, in order to be able to threaten the western world, to control the well-trafficked Malacca Strait between the island state of Sumatra northwest Australia and the peninsula Malaysia, where 40 percent of world trade, and 80 percent of China’s oil imports go through. But also 100 percent of Japan’s and 90 percent of South Korea’s oil imports go through the Malacca Strait. China can if they control the mentioned seas and straits, and have bases in Gwadar, colonize selected African countries and exert harmful influence on its east Asian neighbors, on African commodity nations, on the Middle East and Europe and the US. If necessary, they can attack European interests via the Djibouti strait between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea at the Horn of Africa and further through the Suez Canal, but they must then be able to dispose of Djibouti with the exclusive right among the Great Powers. In short, the Malacca Strait is the key to world domination and it is the United States that still has the upper hand. Commodities worth 1 billion dollars passes the Strait of Hormuz at the Persian Gulf every day. 85 percent of that oil goes to Asia, 8 percent goes to Europe and 7 percent goes to the US and others. It is because of the strategic Malacca Strait, the Sunda Strait and the Lombok Strait that the United States has an expeditionary troop of 1,250 Marine soldiers in the small town of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. The United States has long had a Marine Corps in Darwin, which was supposed to be greatly strengthened according to a decision by Obama. Probably if the Chinese attack Europe in an Attila style women conquer campaign, it is first initiated by cruise missile attacks from apparently civilian or military Naval ships against military targets and then follows a landing up through Greece-Bulgaria-Romania and on rails through Greece-Serbia-Hungary into Central Europe.

2. In this option, China still has to secure the Malacca Strait and keep Australia and New Zealand at bay alt. invading port cities, keeping their shipping routes to the Middle East and Africa open while keeping the Americans 3rd fleet in California, Washington and Hawaii and the smaller 7th fleet in Apra Harbor Guam and in Yokosuka Japan away from uploading in the Pacific sea. China surprise attacks and strikes the US expeditionary Marine Corps in Australia and the bulk of the US fleet in the Pacific Ocean, the US base in Djibouti at the Horn of Africa, the marine base of the small island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and the 5:th fleet in the Persian Gulf, leaving the opportunities open to China to control selected parts of Africa and the Persian Gulf, while giving Europe an opportunity to stay out of the war by delimiting the Chinese influence plus the assets of the raw material countries in Africa, but above all leaving the oil countries in north Africa free so that they can sell or exchange oil for weapons with the Europeans. This scenario is less likely due to the US nuclear super power status.

China was demanding a 35-year lease with Greece for the port of Piraeus, if they were to help the Greeks by buying government bonds. The port has now been incorporated under Chinese trustee. The port of Piraeus is well protected in the Greek archipelago in very close proximity to the capital Athens. So you know what awaits you Greeks! The Chinese must control the strategically important western gateway to the Mediterranean. And perhaps they make a mark on Italy’s foot or at least take Sicily, Malta and knock out the fleet base in the Taranto Gulf on Italy’s boot hills in a first step and then disembark in the coastal areas of Slovenia, or disembark in Slovenia’s capital Trieste in the Gulf of Trieste in the northern Adriatic Sea east of Italy. All available ports will be used. Then follows a deployment up to Central Europe through Austria. They will certainly try to discourage the United States from intervening, and they may even be able to buy the United States by a delimitation of China’s own influence in the oil-producing countries of Africa. The Chinese must initially strike France’s and Britain’s strategic submarines already in port if possible. The Chinese also need to bridge the logistically gigantic distances if they want to control the western gateway to the Mediterranean. They are trying to solve this problem through recent investments in Spain and Portugal (2017). It is possible to achieve, but the Chinese-controlled ports i.e. the logistics nodes then become opportune targets. Therefore, the whole scenario is a gamble. Thus, we can expect a Chinese surprise attack and deployment of anti-ship missile systems and air defense systems on the British base in Gibraltar to take control of the Gibraltar strait.

China will not attack Europe by road with green forces on any route in the next decade. India and Pakistan stand in the way of the Chinese, so they cannot with an army forcefully access Europe on the south land route. But in order to afford to attack Europe by land, China first needs normal trade relations with India and Pakistan. Therefore, the Chinese are planning new routes to link Beijing with Pakistan and India via Kazakhstan to the north. The Kremlin is either trying to counter this or not.

The ideal way for the Chinese to deploy directly to Europe is via Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan and then Iran and Turkey. Should they take the possible route north through Kazakhstan and Russia or west of the Caspian Sea via Iran, then Russia must allow the Chinese to pass by either Volgograd, or directly through the oil installations in the Caucasus in a situation where the oil in the Caucasus will be cut off by the Chinese. If the Chinese circumvent Russia, then they must finally cross a narrow strait called the Bosphorus in Istanbul Turkey before reaching Europe, which is far from ideal whether it is intended to be via the three bridges or via ferries or both bridges and ferries. The train tunnel requires control of the energy network, it is not that easy as just loading on combat vehicles on a train trailer. But China’s ability to invade parts of Europe in an Attila style women conquer campaign can shift to China’s favor if China controls the Malacca Strait and preferably the Balabac Strait, the Makassar Strait, the Mindoro Strait, the Lombok Strait and the Sunda Strait.

In particular, China already has access to the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka off India’s southeast coast and have built military bases in Gwadar in Pakistan and they have a base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. They have also built a military runway on a Kambodian island and they have invested in a Kambodian Naval base in the Gulf of Thailand, according to publically released images, from American imaging satellites, in 2020. That’s not even within the arbitrary Chinese Nine-dash line. China may be able to project enough military and economic power in the Gulf of Thailand to put pressure on Thailand to let the Chinese dig a canal through the narrow country which will make sure that Chinese merchant ships in the future can pass between the Gulf of Thailand and the Bengal Bay to reach the Indian Ocean without even having to pass the Malacca Strait. Another known project is that China has built a railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa in central Ethiopia. The railway line may have, or is of logistical advantage.

A brand new railway will be built between Budapest in Hungary and Belgrade in Serbia, which connects to an already existing railroad between Belgrade and the port city of Piraeus near Athens in Greece, a port which the Chinese already run under their own control. However, the Chinese must invade Gibraltar in a surprise attack first, and deploy air defense systems and anti-ship missiles there, before they can attempt an invasion of Europe’s inland from the Mediterranean, which would be fairly easy given that the British normally lack qualified and relevant military systems in Gibraltar. An attack in advance on Gibraltar becomes the trigger that reveals that a major war has started. Therefore, one should be vigilant when Chinese aircraft carriers and other warships visit mainly Spanish and Portuguese ports, especially in combination with supposedly civilian Chinese ships.

The train tunnel under the strait of Bosphorus I do not believe much in initially in an invasion scenario. The Chinese do not know anything about the capacity of bridges or ferries yet. The whole endeavor would be a blind operation with a gigantic and long logistics chain that would be very vulnerable. But if they succeed in establishing the new Chinese silk road project “Silk Road Economic Belt” in the future, then maybe they can succeed with an invasion scenario by land.

Homework:

How do you figure the Turks will react when they learn about this coming Chinese venture? Will they go along with it in order not to pay the ultimate price in women losses and losses of Turkish lives?

Surely the Iranians would let the Chinese transit through their country?

Do the Chinese first have to make the country of Afghanistan their private brothel as once the Mongols did before them in history, in order for the Chinese to gain possession of a build up area and a grain storehouse before they embark on the further invasion of Europe?

Please motivate your opinion.

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

4) China: Rare Earth Elements. Lesson thirtysix

Although China extracts 98 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, like Neodymium, which in small amounts together with some Boratoms to keep everything in place are used to “dope” magnetic iron so that they become stronger (Neodymium magnets) and other elements that have recently been used in high-tech contexts, it’s difficult for them to use the ore as an economic weapon.

There are also much China is dependent on which comes from the surrounding world, like agricultural products and fuel oil, as well as copper and other metals. China alone stands for 2/5 of the worlds consumption of coal, aluminum, zinc and copper. Therefore, the Chinese are doing mining and oil business with countries that Europe and America consider too dubious to do business with, African countries with a horribly low level on human rights, that China benefits from. China is a relatively resonable trading partner for western countries. As of 2015, the only mining company of its kind in the United States – Molycorp – which used to capitalize rare earth elements, filed for bankruptcy due to unfavorable Chinese competition.

The problem is that REE (rare earth elements) is so difficult to extract from the soil. In May 2012, Japanese researchers discovered an estimated 6.8 million tonnes of rare earth metals near the island of Minami-Tori-Shima, which can supply Japan’s current industrial consumption for over 200 years.

Another recently developed source of rare earths is discarded electronics and other scrap that have components of REE. Progress in recycling of electronics has made the extraction of REE from junk possible and recycling stations have recovered hundreds of thousand tonnes of REE from electronic junk. In France, two factories have been built that will recycle 200 tonnes of REE per year from end-of-life fluorescent lamps, magnets and batteries.

China has no real market advantage despite their introducing of restrictive export quotas from 2010 and also their stopping of production, and despite their extraction of REE in China linked to the Chinese state. In March 2012, the United States, the EU and Japan confronted China in the WTO. China claimed that the export quotas were maintained for the sake of the environment. (Well, sometime would be the first.) Chinese export restrictions failed in 2012 since prices on REE fell in response to the opening of other production sites. [In January 2015, China lifted all export quotas of REE, but export licenses will still be required. It is unclear if they thought they were the only ones who had raw materials in sufficient quantities, but the Chinese had misjudged the power of the free market and for the moment being they have already used up their advantage.

In 2013, Rand Corporation published a report that stated that the US economy is “critically dependent” on 14 different raw materials produced in countries with weak regimes and that China has a market-controlling position on 11 of these raw materials. China has introduced production monitoring, export restraints, closing of mines and restructuring of production within China’s own borders. In the same year, the United States’ Energy Department announced that they had created a new institute with an annual budget of $ 120 million called the Critical Materials Institute. The aim is to avoid the consequences of scarcity of raw materials, which threaten to put obstacles in the way of transition to alternative energy forms. Five so-called rare earth metals (neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium) are listed on the institute’s website as such critical raw materials. Two non REE raw materials are also included in this category. Calculations showed that there would be an imbalance of about thirty percent between supply and demand already in 2016. This primarily affects electricity production by wind and solar power. A major problem is that there is no acceptable alternative to oil for propulsion of vehicles and aircraft. There is no other substance with that much energy content per transported unit than oil products and which does not cost astronomical sums to produce with now known technology. Without transport, we would return to the stoneage. Every country needs to look out for its supply of crude oil to meet both civil society’s need for fuel in peacetime and sustain its military in the event of conflict. Source: KKrVA, Ingolf Kiesow

Source; KKrVA, Ingolf Kiesow

Homework:

Will REE become a big issue in the future you think? Short term or long term?

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

3) China: Monetary warfare. Lesson thirtyfive

China’s GDP per capita is estimated at $ 16,600 (2017). It’s just a 106th place in the world. The Chinese has yet to make an effort to start producing quality goods the way the Japanese did in just a couple of years at the end of the 1970s. In the long run, it should be inevitable for a giant country like China to start manufacturing quality goods in order for them to survive and continue to grow and be able to build up their fleet, army and air force, as well as their space technology if they are to have a chance to be able to measure up qualitatively with the US.

More and more westerners realize that buying Chinese junk goods do not pay off. The junk goods often doesn’t work even when it has just left the factory band. The Chinese knows this, which is why they allow and even use as regulator that China’s factories produce pirated copies of branded goods. Pirate copies that unscrupulous western buyers buy and sell cheaper than the market price or at dumped prices. One example is the Danish store chain Netto, which used to sell electronic junk in Sweden. But in order for the Chinese to avoid an economic dependence on the West, in the future, they must make an effort to make merchandise with quality.

But first, they want to crack the almighty dollar by distorting competition in absurdity because of currency differences and encumber the Americans with dept over their ears and by pushing up the repayment of US loan from China to insurmountable levels. US owes China $ 1,200,000,000,000 ($ 1.2 trillion). So much has China invested, mostly in US almost interest-free government bonds which, however, have to be repaid according to the terms. The alternative to repaying is that the United States declare themselves in state bankruptcy or turn their own financial rules upside down by simply refusing to pay. Not much thought is needed to realize that this would cause an economic and military turbulence without any match in the world.

$ 1.2 trillion is equivalent to 19 percent of US foreign debt (2017), and China still has a surplus to invest. Though they may never succeed in breaking the US economy. It is the United States that decides how many treasury bills, notes and bonds they want to give out and therefore the Chinese have been forced to revise their strategy between 2011-2018, which shows that China’s economy is in a dependence to the US. But with US tax policy, the US government’s budget get strained when they don’t issue any bonds. US GDP (2013) was $ 16.72 trillion. The Americans now know that Beijing was trying to push up the US loan ceiling to unsustainable levels and punch a hole in the US economic bubble as they did in 2018 by selling, selling, selling. It’s just that the Chinese risk their own finances in the process. But better to do what you can to turn the winds of fortune than to do nothing at all.

But the low-valued Yuan and the fact that China extracts 98 percent of the world’s rare elements (rare earth metals), and their low quality on technology or, in other words, the low production costs together with industrial espionage are what the Chinese believe are the best Chinese weapons yet. The Chinese work ethic is also one of their best weapons. In August 2015, the Chinese currency was first devalued by 1.9 percent and the following day by 1.5 percent and the following day by another 1.6 percent. Devaluation was an attempt to pump up their own economy. You get US $ 0.15 for a Chinese Yuan at present time. You get US $ 0.0091 for a Japanese Yen, but Japan is expensive for westerners still, and the prices of their goods are high. If it is possible to set an exchange rate artificially, is a philosophical question. Actually, the Yuan should be valued as half the Dollar and quality goods should flow from China, one might think.

It was debated a few years ago in the United States of America if they should print a trillion ($ 1,000,000,000,000) platinum coin to use to pay off its foreign debt to China. I do not know how serious the debate was, but it would be a dishonest act, although it is legal in the US to print a platinum coin with this denomination whilst it is not legal with silver coins, gold coins or banknotes. CNN correctly mentions that such a coin will not contribute to inflation in America because it will never come into circulation. Suppose the Americans could force such a coin on the Chinese with the threat of otherwise unilaterally writing off their own debt to China. What then would the Chinese be able to use the coin for, and what would it be worth? The collector value of a single trillion dollar coin issued by the US government would surely make a realistic value of an estimated $ 100 million for a wealthy patriotic American collector who wants to help his country not appearing to be crooks. But the Chinese will not be able to buy even a larger company for the coin, its value being at most just $ 100,000,000 regardless of what denomination is printed on the coin.

Homework:

What do you think could happen if the United States coined a trillion dollar coin and tried to force it on China as if it was mony paid back? You can choose to answer what you think it would bring to the United States, or to China, or to the world, or to your country.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

2) China: Japan and South Korea. Lesson thirtyfour

We know with certainty which the other east Asian countries that the United States wants to connect to their nation are.

”Overshadowed by China and India, a group of smaller Asian economies has committed to rapid economic integration and cooperation. The six largest economies among them – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam – have diverse population sizes, incomes and cultural affinities but share a common desire to prosper as independent and open countries. Together, they are on their way to becoming a powerful new economic bloc.” LIGNET (CIAs former public page) August 29, 2013

In the above citation from LIGNET, Japan and South Korea are omitted in the American-preferred union against China. It may be because of Japan’s and Korea’s early nineteenth century history dominated by Japanese supremacy in a time when hundreds of thousands of Korean women and girls were taken as sex slaves to Japanese soldiers while Korean men were force recruited to the Imperial Army.

The mentioned countries in the quote – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam – encircle China in the South China Sea, and by including the to a large extent Muslim Malaysia, the US covers the important Malacca Strait geostrategically.

Islam is the state religion of Malaysia, about half of the population are Muslims. The malays are defined according to paragraph 160 of the Malaysian Constitution as Muslims. A piece of the puzzle is added, but it may raise more questions than answers, at least what concerns the US plans for Japan and South Korea. It has been interesting to follow the development. We can begin by citing the CIA LIGNET from October 15, 2013:

Why Japan Lost Faith in America’s Security Guarantee
Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently held important talks with their counterparts in Tokyo to revise the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines. But rather than bringing the United States and Japan closer together, the talks revealed a growing divide between them, as Japan appears to have lost its trust in the U.S. security guarantee over North Korea’s triumphant emergence as a nuclear missile power. LIGNET

The questions we need to answer are;

a. Why do they or did they want to revise the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines?
b. Why is there a growing gap between Japan and the US?
c. And why have the Japanese lost their confidence in the US security guarantee (nuclear umbrella)?

Question b. above has already been answered in previous lessons, it happened because of US fears of a possible Chinese-Russian-Japanese axis. Perhaps this is also why the Japanese have lost their confidence in the US security guarantee?

December 8, 2013: South Korea expanded its air defense zone so that it partially overlaps an expansive air defense zone that China had declared just before South Korea’s expansion of their air defense zone. The area includes two islands in the south east China Sea, and an underwater reef that China also claims. The new zone was effectuated from December 15th, 2013. South Korea conferred with the United States before the country decided to expand their Air Defense Zone, according to the Washington State Department. According to the Korean Defense Ministry, the decision “will not violate the sovereignty of neighboring countries”. Now we at least know what role South Korea playes in the equation under LIGNET on August 29, 2013 mentioned before. The statement by the Korean Defense Ministry carries the Americans’ thumbprint, and the parties – quite rightly and technically correct – makes no secret of the fact that South Korea conferred with its US advisers.

December 26, 2013: Perhaps we have the explanation for the US prudent behavior in the neighborhood of the East China Sea. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raises anger from neighboring countries. This because he made a visit to a controversial memorial on December 26, honoring his country’s fallen soldiers of the second world war. Abe later explained that he visited Yasukuni in Tokyo to pray at the memorial. He said that the intention wasn’t to provoke anger in China and Korea, and he said that Japan is working for peace these days. Abe also again mentioned that he felt “deep repentance” over Japan’s past. But there were angry comments and condemnations coming from the regime in Beijing. South Korea also condemned the visit. Abe’s visit to Yasukuni was the first from a seated prime minister since the year 2006.

In Washington, the government expressed disappointment because of Abe’s visit to Yasukuni since Abe should have known it would increase tensions with neighboring countries. [Washington said “neighboring countries” but what they really meant is that they were disappointed that Abe had done something to increase the tension between Japan and South Korea, since it counteracts US interests to unite the region economically under US supervision against China.]

In 2015, the Japanese military budget amounted to 42 billion US Dollars, up 3.5 percent since 2014. The military budget has been on the rise since 2012 and pending. Overall, this means that Japan is developing a military capacity to carry out limited offensive undertakings, in terms of the ability to recapture an occupied island/archipelago, within the framework of a defensive military operation with an emphasis on qualified air and naval forces. Source; Johan Elg, Swedish National Defense College

Japan has three (3) ongoing border conflicts. These concern three islands as well as an island group with Russia, the island of Takeshima with South Korea and the Senkaku Islands with China. Japan only controls the Senkaku Islands.

Why are Japan and China arguing about some small uninhabited islands off the coast of China? I can only imagine three reasonable explanations:

A) It is believed that the waters around the islands hide oil deposits. But no oil or gas has yet been found.
B) China feels threatened because Japan possibly may develop and deploy non-ballistic cruise missiles or ballistic missiles on the islands, so that Japan can strike China’s mainland faster than they can from Okinawa or any other of the Riukiu Islands.
C) China wants to circumscribe Taiwan by building an airbase and a missile base on the islands and Japan oppose it because they want to prevent China from strengthening its position in the region.

LIGNET reported on July 3, 2013 that China was on a charm offensive at an ASEAN meeting. Certainly it was a causality based on Obama’s State of the Union speech from February 12, 2013, when he gave his “And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia” speach. This speach in turn was a causality based on the RCEP rounds, but above all it was based on China’s industrial espionage. Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me; The Chinese proverb that President Bush could not get it right in a television speach. Obviously, Obama would have had no problem getting it right. Obama played hardball when he delivered his speach on February 12, 2013. But already Hillary Clinton threw the glove too early at China when she wrote in November 2011; “When the war in Iraq ends and the US withdraws from Afghanistan, the United States faces a turning point in the US Pacific Ocean.”

Hillary Clinton revealed the US plans which could be interpreted as the United States doing as they please and that no morality is necessary to apply to any emerging situation for the US to take the right to intervene in any part of the world. We are not yet there, but we are heading there. For the time being, there is always someone holding the rudder, if not America then someone else, and someone else is not better.

Sources;

CIAs LIGNET; and Johan Elg at the Swedish National Defense College

Homework:

What do you make out of this information? Is Trump just following a charted course demarcated by Obama and Hillary Clinton?

Do Japan and South Korea play any important geostrategic role you think? I am not asking if they play any important geopolitical role, because obviously they do.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden