On Thursday, July 15, 2021, a US president received German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the last time in the White House and, not surprisingly, the meeting was partly about the Nordstream II gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
“We have reached different conclusions about what the project entails,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the meeting.
Joe Biden nevertheless pointed out that they agree upon that Russia will not be allowed to use the gas pipeline as a way of exerting pressure on neighboring countries.
Source; Sveriges radio
Oh, how sweet. Biden and Merkel sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. What does their statements mean then? I can tell you what it does not imply. This does not mean that the project will end, and it does not mean that Biden has not given the Nordstream II project its blessing.
”… What the project entails.” What does it tell us? Probably that the project will be realized and one should not discuss the realization of the project, but only what the project entails for the two concerned, Germany and the US.
And ”Russia will not be allowed to use the gas pipeline as a means of exerting pressure on neighboring countries.” Does that mean that the project will be realized then?
This means that Merkel passes to Biden, who passes back to Merkel who scooooores!!!! The course is fixed and the war against Iran will continue to be pursued. Syria is the country where Boots on the Ground will take place. Kremlin is kept happy so that Russia will not use its air base in Latakia and its naval base in Tartous to attack US forces during the vulnerable and delicate initial phase, or otherwise will not disrupt the process and thereby spoiling the US opening move. As an icing on the cake, Russia can, with mild coerciveness, put pressure on Assad not to intervene against the Americans when they arrive.
Sure enough, a treaty over the gas pipeline is close, according to a Sveriges radio article July 20, 2021. But to be honest, one of the reasons for this Merkel-Biden agreement can also have something to do with growing and overt neo-nazi movements in Germany making Germany destined for Hell. But it is not the only or the main reason from Biden’s perspective.
The German-American companionship that began with some sort of ’declarations of love’ between George W. Bush and Angela Merkel some day when Merkel was in the United States beforehand, is also possibly the reason why Russia more or less simultaneously with Merkel’s US visit threatened the Taliban, i.e. Afghanistan, with a beating. Sveriges radio commented on this in July 14, 2021, saying, quote;
”Russia warns the Taliban of threatening the security of its allies in Central Asia. The announcement comes after a delegation visited Moscow last week. The Russian Foreign Ministry also calls on the Taliban to start negotiations to create a transitional government before it is too late.” End quote.
Four days later there was another quote;
”The Taliban’s advance in Afghanistan could leave room for China while the United States withdraws from the region. During the week, China offered to take on the role as a new mediator in Afghanistan.” End quotes; Sveriges radio
This Merkel visit to the United States and what they talked about there is possibly also the reason why Russia simultaneously with the visit, leaked information that Putin was plotting to get Donald Trump elected through what is known as the Russiagate. Listen to the choice of words in the presentation of the leaked Russian information from the Kremlin to the newspaper The Guardian;
“Putin had a plot to put Trump in the White House.”
Does that mean Putin is on his way out? Or is it the journalists’ own interpretations of the information they received, that Putin himself (but apparently not the Kremlin) plotted to get Donald Trump elected?
Deutsche Welle published a video in which George W. Bush was interviewed after Merkel’s visit to the former president. The video has the title; ’She did what’s best for Germany’ – George W. Bush on Angela Merkel’s legacy.
Probably she did. But how it rained in Germany! Is she not a Christian? You’d think that she would make a conclusion from this coincidence, as a Christian. Apparently she is not a very good Christian.
With regard to the heavy rainfall and flooding in Germany in mid July 2021. It should be interesting to see how well the Germans will be able to negotiate with Ukraine over the purchase of grains, crops and potatoes considering the Germans’ well known ambitions to enforce the Nordstream II pipeline in the Baltic Sea. That might not end too well my German friends. Well, there is always Poland. Nordstream II is extremely unfavorable to the Ukrainians because the Russians can bypass gas that otherwise would have run through Ukrainian gas pipelines to above all Germany. To do like the Germans do and cut Ukraine out of any strategic leverage as a nation, leaves Ukraine in a seriously dangerous position. Now Germany might reap what they sowed.
[Simultaneously with Merkel’s visit to the United States, the western and south-western parts of Germany were drowned in up to three-meter-high rivers of rain, killing hundreds of people. It happens to be the worst in the industrialized Ruhr area around the river Rhine, where rainfall always gathers to. This will probably affect us Swedes economically in the short run and many, many other nations too. Roger’s note]
It seems that Biden will follow in Trump’s footsteps and continue to oust Sweden. Biden has thus made an active choice. They can no longer excuse themselves for not having any control over their wicked fellow countrymen. Biden can no longer pretend to be ignorant or pretend that he can do nothing about what is happening. Biden did not want to share with us. Biden, on the other hand, wants to share with the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. Shared power is double power. It is an active choice that Biden and his predecessors have made. In March 2021, Biden invited 40 world leaders to a summit, and he included the prime ministers of Denmark and Norway, but not Sweden’s prime minister. The summit topics were officially about climate change and measures to rectify it, and Covid 19. In reality, the summit was about energy and alliances, ”who is in and who is out”. But then the participants are also required to be able to read between the lines. Saying things straight in plain words is far too hazardous for a world leader.
Stefan Löfven’s press secretary announced in the newspaper Expressen, that questions about the invitation list are referred to the US administration and that it is still too early to say whether Sweden will ”conspire with” neighboring countries before the meeting. Quote; fPlus, March 28, 2021
Conspiring with means teaching our less initiated neighboring states.
In fact, I’m extremely relieved to no longer have to worry about helping the giant babies in the United States presidential administration. Biden, the old 60’s racist, is hoping for an American Saudi Arabia where the Americans have full control over their women. He will get a Brazil.
The stranding of the Panama-registered Japanese ship Evergreen Ever Given in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021 led to delays. Ever Given is a long-term leased container-ship to the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, and at the time of the accident the ship had an Indian crew. The ship is 400 meters long and that makes it one of the world’s largest ships. The oil from the Persian Gulf, the oil that goes to the East Coast of the United States, passes through the Suez Canal. It would take about 1+ months extra time to round South Africa and it is not certain that the tankers and container vessels have fuel tanks with fuel that is enough for a month extra travel time without refueling fuel oil somewhere in West Africa. Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal for barely a week, until March 29, 2021.
But what does Biden’s announced withdrawal of e.g. at least three Patriot batteries, and more or less permanently stationed aircraft carriers, from the Persian Gulf mean?
The aircraft carrier called Nimitz, which is also the first aircraft carrier in the Nimitz class, was on assignment for almost a full year without rotation or leave for the staff, and without any ship maintenance that could not be accomplished on board, until very recently when Nimitz was called home. Nimitz is expected to retire soon, and it is very costly to dismantle and scrap the nuclear reactor on board. Scrapping Nimitz will cost billions of dollars. If you have to risk one of the aircraft carriers, in the Persian Gulf, when provoking Iran, it is the Nimitz. The aircraft carrier Nimitz has been in active service since 1975 when Gerald Ford was president.
Does Biden’s announcement mean tha
the oil infrastructure is now built and ready in Uganda and the region surrounding Lake Victoria, and that the expected oil is now flowing, that it is flowing to the United States and that the oil has been proven to be gasoline oil of West Texas Intermediate comparable quality?
Or does Biden’s announcement mean that
Iran is not taking the bait of war, time to rethink.
If so, what role will Israel and Syria play in the new game? Will the Iranians dare to expand their influence in Syria? Will they take the new bait and will the future war take place in Syria? What role will Russia then play, given the Russian bases on the Syrian coast at the Mediterranean in Latakia and Tartous. What role will Turkey play?
What does this mean for us here in Sweden?
Does it mean that the Biden administration will use the UK, France and Germany to ease sanctions on Russia, so that Russia will cooperate in Syria. For example by closing its eyes to Gazprom’s/Nordstream’s gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. A kind of barter.
Or does it mean that
the Biden administration is open to the possibility of shifting the event horizon northwards, thereby shifting the US pivotal from roughly the Indian Ocean towards the northern parts of Russia, by focusing on Syria and Israel rather than the Persian Gulf, thereby hitting two birds with one stone, while at the same time being able to assure its allies in NATO support and/or protection?
Given China’s ambitions in the Persian Gulf, what are the short-term and long-term risks of this? In the short term, this probably means no major military risks for the United States, which would not be to the United States fortune, as China lacks an expeditionary fleet and army and only has two aircraft carriers. Albeit, they can use these two aircraft carriers more efficiently because they can be more ruthless to the crews long-term. But the necessity of overhauls of aircraft carriers and a dependence on bases and friendly ports are still major factors.
In the long run, China will strengthen its economic oil situation in the Persian Gulf if the United States partially withdraws militarily. But maybe China would have succeeded with that anyway. They have so far. Practically every state in the Persian Gulf, including Saudi-Arabia, do more business with China than they do with the US. Perhaps China will also strengthen its position militarily if it is allowed to build air bases in Iran. But then they will probably have to invest in large scale infrastructure projects and production of aeronautical components in Iran. So the solution of partially withdrawing from the Persian Gulf is not optimal, and Biden would not have gone so far if he had had an alternative. But Iran, through its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, actually made an agreement with China already in March-April 2021, through China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. As usual, Mohammad Javad Zarif taunted the Americans during the photo shoot of the two dignitaries.
So timely then that Iran’s air force is like a garment of sackcloth and ashes, from the time of the Shah. According to the New York Times, the parties decided on a Chinese investment of 400 billion US Dollars in Iran over a period of 25 years. However, it can become problematic because the deal was apparently settled in US Dollars and not in Chinese Yuan.
China also recently signed a multi-billion dollar agreement with Saudi Arabia. But it is probably just a manifestation of economic opportunism, on the part of Saudi Arabia.
For the United States, it is important to first and foremost involve the four Arab countries below and win them over on their side, while Israel is guaranteed to stay safe. Before Trump, people thought this would be an impossibility. But the Arabs think like Trump and understood him, and they connected with the former president. The four countries that first Trump and now Biden are trying to get onboard the ship are;
3. Saudi Arabia
The rest of the Persian Gulf countries they hope will follow suit. If there is no war against Iran, all the better. Only as long as the Iranians fall in line.
If there’s going to be a war, it’s not Joe Biden’s fault, it’s Donald Trump who put his foot in his mouth fault. His for the public covert war-mongering against Iran has led to the situation Biden is in now. Trump did not step on with woolen socks exactly, so the Iranians could hear the war thunder approaching and they also understand in general terms why Trump sought war with them. However, they probably do not understand that the United States is doing well without Iranian oil, they do not understand the bigger picture very well. The Iranians conclude that Iranian oil means war, they mistakenly believe that the United States is out to steal their oil and that is all there is to it.
Associated Press, Dec. 8, 2020:
”As the Pentagon pulls troops out of the Middle East in the coming weeks, under orders from President Donald Trump, U.S. military leaders are working to find other ways to deter potential attacks by Iran and its proxies and to counter arguments that America is abandoning the region./…/ The Pentagon announced last month that the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America’s long wars. Under the accelerated pullout, the U.S. will cut the number of troops in Afghanistan from more than 4,500 to 2,500, and in Iraq from about 3,000 to 2,500.”
Why pull out from Iraq and Afghanistan if they want a war? Because it is not optimal to wage a war against neighboring Iran from inside of Afghanistan. And they need to build up much larger forces in Iraq than they already have in Iraq. This takes time and is revealing and risky. It is much more optimal for the US to deploy their forces from the Mediterranean area, if and only if they can get Russia to go along with it.
It is not thankful to be the 46th president of the United States and take office after Trump. Biden has basically no choice. It seems like it’s time for a new US war president. Or what do you think?
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said in June 2021 that ”it remains unclear whether Iran will comply with nuclear deal”.
“We’re not even at the stage of returning to compliance for compliance,” Blinken said. “We don’t know if that’s actually going to happen. We’ve been engaged in indirect conversations, as you know, for the last couple of months, and it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance. So we’re still testing that proposition.”
Wow, they are not even at the stage of returning to compliance for compliance. That is like saying; ”We haven’t yet been in contact with a Kennel to make our dog understand who’s the boss.” Remember POTUS George W. Bush’s talk of weapons of mass destruction prior to the Gulf War? Anyone?
But this time it is probable that there are attempts to make weapons of mass destruction. Iran is trying to produce sufficiently enriched Uranium for use in missile warheads, and they have developed long range missiles.
By reading the article in The Algemeiner by Benjamin Kerstein, one can ascertain that the course to war is straight and the ’Fog of war’ is thick. War against Iran via the Mediterranean and Syria et.c. in the first place, the Persian Gulf in the second. Israel has a crisis of confidence in the United States, but Biden, Blinken and the United States are trying to make Israel understand that the course is fixed and that only the methods have changed back to the pre-Trump era methods.
Also, it is very interesting how one after another Iranian Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf catches fire and gets disabled or sinks, as reported by Israeli media in an error-prone manner. The latest reported and most noteworthy incident is from June 2nd 2021 when Iran’s largest Naval ship dubbed Kharg caught fire and sunk. However could a Naval ship sink from a fire onboard if there is no hole in its hull? Why would you even report it as if a fire caused the ship to sink? They are not idiots the Israelis you know. They ended one news report with the words;
”…One thing remains clear. Sailing in the region can be very hazardous.., for the wrong ship!”
The narrator emphasizing the words ”for the wrong ship”. They were also asiduous in pointing out the Iranians involvement in previous hostile mine operations in the Persian Gulf. So the Iranians are just reaping what they sowed. But it almost feels like if the Israeli media are hiding the true scope of this string of disasters, and Israels involvement in making it happen.
There are layers in the intelligence communities with different realities, if you’re a high enough ranking intelligence officer you will understand that.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has accused NATO, and Europe more broadly, of stoking tensions on the continent, as he called on leaders in February 2020 to ”abandon the phantom of the Russian threat”. Really, ”phantom”? Let me tell you what he is really thinking and why he cannot get the US to play along. Kreml is prepared to sacrifice Iran in exchange for the control over the Nordic countries. That is why Putin has been talking with Israel with a silk tongue lately and released a female Israeli prisoner from a Russian prison as a sign of good will. The US is trying to provoke a war with Iran. But the Iranians aren’t taking the bait lately. So the Americans are glancing on the possibility to get some of the Kurds or perhaps the Syrian rebels to provoke the Turks into a war with Syria by them killing some of Turkey’s military personnel at the border between Syria and Turkey in a false flag operation. Turkish president Erdogan has been very firm in his approach on Turkey’s stand should Syria engage the Turkish forces resulting in just one casualty. It will mean war. And Turkey is a NATO country. Erdogan has been firm but stupid. If Turkey is attacked in any way by any of the players in the region, then Turkey can release Article 5 in the NATO chart. And then the US would step in and gain access into Iranian interests in Syria and from there on it is not a long way to the war, that the US has sought with Iran, for control over the oil in the Persian Gulf.
We did not have to wait long for the Russian reaction, because we experienced that Russia either on its own or through the dictator Assad, in northwestern Syria attacked Turkish posts from Syria by air at the end of February 2020, resulting in 22 dead Turkish soldiers. Suitably enough, Russia has an air base in Latakia very close to the Idlib province. Turkish forces have been in conflict with Syrian forces, as a result of the airstrikes. Motion pictures from within Idlib show mushroom clouds after new bombings and shootings between the belligerents. According to the UN, schools, hospitals and temporary refugee camps have been in the firing line. Putin has deceived Erdogan over the phone. Better to forestall than to be forestalled. Erdogan responded by opening the corridor for refugees between Turkey and Europe. I don’t think Erdogan is well informed! He probably thinks that the Western world is behind the attacks. Or he’s really irrational, which wouldn’t surprise me. The Bashaws down there tend to be labile and unreliable.
The point is that the US is going to need all the NATO countries, also Norway and Denmark, to cooperate with the US and NATO. That’s why Norway and Denmark can relax for the time being. The US is going to defend them, or at least they are prepared to deter Russia from attacking Norway and Denmark. Only, Norway’s and Denmark’s security guarrantee can all go away in a decade or so. Noone knows. The only thing we can know for certain is that Trump is unreliable and that a Russian attack on Sweden and/or Finland will result in forwarded Russian power positions in Scandinavia. Looks like Trump has the upper hand. Maybe he is smarter than I thought? Or maybe he has just got more power than I thought.
Of course all this means that Norway and Denmark have been marched into another war for the US sake. Just not a war on their own soil. This have both upsides and downsides for our Scandinavian neighbors. For us Swedes it means bad news.
Putin and Trump are closing in on each other without so many words. It’s the way the big guys like to communicate, with military exercises using fleets and brigades and such. This kind of communication has its upsides and downsides, but it can be combined with making other projects a reality in different places of the world in order to convey a meaning. One downside to that is that you have only so much resources. In August of 2019, Russia held a big Naval drill very close to the Norwegian coast. But there is also the possibility to pull back troops, in order to convey a message, and that is what Trump was doing in late 2019, as he was defending his back-stabbing on the Kurds in Syria and Tweeting about the coming US withdrawal. But the US war with Iran is still coming.
If not Russia should collapse beforehand Putin sure looks forward to a future Russian salvation like a WWII Alliance with the Americans and the British. It is possibe to imagine a defensive war coming sometime in the future for the Scandinavian countries on the one side, and the would be assailants the US, Britain and if they all get their wish also Russia on the other side which is a necessity for such a war scenario. There could also be a blockade or some sort of sanctions against us. And with a war and/or sanctions against us I especially mean us Swedes. We would find ourselves in Israel’s position in 1967 and 1973. And you know what, I think we would win.
Trump’s motive? Economical gain for his country, Reality politics, recent resentments against Trump from high ranking officials in the Swedish armed forces, personal issues with us Swedes, you pick one or all! But the main motive in such a scenario would be that the US administration wants to grease up the Middle East by removing Russian incentives to counteract the US when they engage in yet another war in the region, this time likely against Iran. There is also a direct link between this and Trump’s visit to India in February 2020.
“John Bolton is absolutely a hawk,” Trump told NBC in June 2019. “If it was up to him, he’d take on the whole world at one time, OK? But that doesn’t matter because I want both sides.”
These two separate scenarios are surely a way to get both sides for ”businessman” Donald.
Let me just say that the US own WTI oil, which is of a quality that is currently the only kind of oil quality you can make gasoline from, will suffice for maybe 5+ more years. Do the calculations and don’t be fooled by commentaries by various players, like that the oil fields in Texas are as big as the state of Alabama. Do the counting on the official numbers!
It is in this context you should consider the ”save our ASAP Rocky” statements from Trump. ASAP Rocky is an American rapper that happened to get himself into a fight in Sweden and ended up in a Swedish court in the summer of 2019.
And it is in this context we should read that POTUS now wants to buy Greenland from Denmark or lease placement of BMD assets and runways from the country. Sounds to me like POTUS wants to go hunting with aircrafts for Admiral von Dönitz submarines in the Denmark Strait again. Of course it is only a plus that Russian endeavours to make it to the Atlantic with nuclear submarines in a war scenario where Russia is an assailant might be foiled. Or is this the main purpose? Noone would be happier than me if it is, but this shopping spree from the POTUS coincides with other suspicious stuff happening. But there is also a longer term aspect with Trump wanting to buy Greenland, natural resources. America has tried this before. And the timing is impeccable.
It is also in this concept you should read that Angela Merkel visited Iceland in August 2019. It is not just random happenings, almost everything that happens on the top levels have a causality.
Russias motive is that Kremlin is in a race to make something happen so that they will not implode as a state, again.
What message do you think that Russia wanted to convey to the US administration with their big Naval drill very close to the Norwegian coast in August 2019? The Russian Northern Fleet group of warships sailed north for live-shootings in the Norwegian Sea near the Arctic Circle. The main objective of the Russian air force group was an exercise to hunt down submarines.
Would you answer:
It was not a message to the US, it was a message to Norway and maybe also Finland and Sweden.
It was a message to Trump that he should keep out of Russia’s influence sphere wich Putin intends to expand by working his ”beanbag” Norway.
It was additionally an attempted message, or part of a message, to Trump that ”please, come to your senses and work together with us, let us have the Baltic states and/or selected parts of Scandinavia while you can do what you wish with Iran possibly. Help us contain Germany while we fuck up Scandinavia together”.
Sources; SR;Ekot and Kim Iversen on Youtube for the part about Syria and Turkey
Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden
China was leading negotiations with the small state of Djibouti at the Horn of Africa, about building a Chinese military base there. The base officially opened in 2017. There is an American Navy Regiment in Camp Lemonnier in the small country that is no larger than 200 km x 150 km (124 miles x 93 miles). Djibouti is also where the Americans base the bulk of their armed drones, UCAVs that operate over the alQaida-infested Yemen, or they used to at least. Camp Lemonnier is a center for about 6 drone and surveillance bases that extend straight from west to east and symbolically splits northern Africa from southern Africa. Due to its strategic location, Camp Lemonnier serves as a hub for aircraft carriers and aviation operations in the Gulf region. There are about 4,000 American soldiers in Djibouti. Djibouti serves as a base for a number of foreign powers, e.g. for the French fleet and the Foreign Legion. In 2015 Japan built, their first foreign military base since wwii, in Djibouti.
Chinese bases in Gwadar and Djibouti creates an opportunity for China to gain military influence over the oil commerce in the Persian Gulf. and thus an economic influence over the US and Europe. It’s an effective and fearful way, a potential game changer. I mean, the Chinese don’t even have to pass through the Red Sea with their merchant ships to reach their homeland from the Persian Gulf or from African trading partners.
China’s President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan in April 2015. Several formal visits between China and Pakistan have taken place in recent years. During his visit, it was expected that Xi Jinping was to announce extensive Chinese strategic infrastructure investments in Pakistan. The planned Chinese investment in Pakistan is expected to reach 46 billion dollars. The main purpose of the investments was to create what is known as the Chinese-Pakistani economic corridor. It will become a network of roads, railways and oil pipelines between the two countries. The corridor stretch about 483 km (300 miles), from western China into Pakistan.
Today, most of China’s trade and oil imports run through the Malacca Strait, and Beijing fears that, in the event of a conflict, the US fleet can easily carry out a blockade at the “chokepoints” of the Malacca Strait, the Sunda Strait and the Lombok Strait, thereby giving a hard blow to China’s economy. One could accomplish this remote blockade with 16 smaller military vessels, plus support and rotations, someone has figured out. In reality, a remote blockade requires relatively extensive efforts to search ships and take care of the seized vessels, etc. But practices and regulations are well established by the Royal Navy in the past.
The investments in Pakistan are a key part of an overall Chinese strategy to increase China’s influence around Asia. The United States, and perhaps especially India, regards the Chinese investments with great skepticism. The planned Chinese investment in Pakistan is significantly higher than the US investment in the country. Closer links between China and Pakistan are also not welcomed by the strategic antagonist India. But in Pakistan, they speak very positive about it. The poor country is in great need of investments for its deficient infrastructure. The Government in Islamabad is hoping that the Chinese projects can help turn Pakistan into a regional economic center. The port city of Gwadar is located near the Strait of Hormuz between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. But not as near as the two American air bases in Bahrain and Qatar in the Persian Gulf lies to the Strait of Hormuz. Two US airbases are even located right next to the Strait of Hormuz in the UAE.
In Burma east of India, the Chinese operate the Kyaukpyu port. According to the IDSA – Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, the Chinese are building a 982 km (610 miles) long oil pipeline from the port to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in southern China. A motorway will be built along this pipeline to connect the port with China and railways will be linked together. The pipeline shortens the distance by 1,200 km (745 miles) bypassing the normal vessel route through the Malacca Strait, for at least part of China’s oil demand.
Bangladesh in the depths of the Bengali Gulf at east India, and China signed several co-operation agreements and economic agreements, in March and June 2010, including the construction of a nuclear reactor to meet the energy challenges. China also sells modern military equipment to Bangladesh, instead of the second-hand weapons and the outdated technology that the western powers provided them.
On the large island of Sri Lanka off India’s southeast coast, in July 2011, the first part of the Hambantota port was built by the Chinese company Harbor Engineering Company with a Chinese 425 million dollar loan, according to PortCall’s Asia. Hambantota is just one of four ports built or upgraded. China played a major role both militarily as it provided the Sri Lankan government forces with military equipment that became crucial to defeat the Tamil Tigers’ uprising on the island. And China also played a major role politically as they supported international organizations to counter persistent allegations of government’s human rights violations. The small state of Sri Lanka sides with Pakistan.
The dispute between India and Pakistan has prompted Pakistanis to support the Chinese in order to in return gain military support from China. A strengthened Pakistan can force India to take a defensive stance in the event of a war with China over territorial claims, because if Pakistan is allied with China, India will be in a difficult seat with two enemies and thousands of miles of militarized border. According to an article in Reuters electronic edition in January 2012, China was an important supplier of technology and equipment to Pakistan. In the 1980s and 1990s, China provided Pakistan with knowledge so that Pakistan could develop nuclear weapons, and the Chinese also provided the Pakistanis with short-range ballistic missiles in 1992. The Chinese also built a facility to produce this type of weapon near the town of Rawalpindi. In 2004, the Chinese helped Pakistan build two nuclear reactors in the Punjab province, and more recently, China has planned to build two more reactors at the same construction site.
Neither the Indian nor the Pakistani side have attempted to resolve the issue politically. Instead, India has in April 2012 developed and launched its first long-range ballistic nuclear weaponry that can reach targets at a distance of 5,000 km including targets anywhere in Chinese territory. This makes India a member of a very selective club of countries which owns intercontinental ballistic missiles, along with the US, Russia, China, UK and France.
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. These are at present date not military Naval ports.
The Chinese have also built a military runway on a Kambodian island and they have invested in a Kambodian Naval base in the Gulf of Thailand.
Sources; Raimundo Oliveira, Social and Political Scientist, and SR; Ekot on April 20, 2015. Modified by the author.
Why do you think China would need a Naval base in Djibouti for? Please explain your thoughts.
Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden
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
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