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, they already have access to the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka off India’s southeast coast and has built military bases in Gwadar in Pakistan and they have a base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. 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