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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:53 pm 
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tulip wrote:
mr_anderson wrote:
tulip wrote:
You have to admire the simplicity of the plan and the scope of their ambition. Using 19th Century technology to link markets and tie them to China. All without a shot being fired... so far.



The test will come when some local faction, opposed to the sitting government, decides to 'interfere' in the railway.
Will they have China to answer to ?

In fairness, the USA has shot it's way to influence, whereas China is taking a trade-based approach.
Only time will tell which one is more effective, but I think we all know which approach is preferred.


The thing is, if the railways are the means by which wealth is brought into the Country, do you want to endanger your future spoils of war by destroying it. After you win, you still owe the Chinese for it's construction cost. If you renege, the Chinese upsticks and persuade the other parts of the rail network to up tariffs to repay the Chinese.

Whose sphere of Influence is east Africa? The Sahara and Central African regions are mostly French. Djibouti is French too. The French can be quite mendacious when it comes to Africa. Any threat to the Chinese plan will come from the West.


Djibouti is very small, and In addition to the French, the US has it's only full time military base in Africa there. Other countries with military bases in Djibouti include, Spain, Italy, Saudi, Japan, and China. Go figya!

Don't know if any of it involves anything more than chasing pirates........
Good source of revenue for Djibouti......


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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:07 pm 
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Germany's 'China City': how Duisburg became Xi Jinping's gateway to Europe

The Guardian wrote:
.....If in 2018 Duisburg is slowly rediscovering its cosmopolitan past, it is not just because four centuries after Mercator, traders are still trying to find the most direct route from A to B. As the threat of Donald Trump’s tariffs and Brexit-related trade barriers is driving wedges between the EU and the Anglosphere, this former rust-belt town town allows one to see in real time how Germany and China are intensifying their economic ties.

Every week, around 30 Chinese trains arrive at a vast terminal in Duisburg’s inland port, their containers either stuffed with clothes, toys and hi-tech electronics from Chongqing, Wuhan or Yiwu, or carrying German cars, Scottish whisky, French wine and textiles from Milan heading the other way.

In Duisburg’s port, where train tracks run straight to the edge of the Rhine River, goods are loaded straight on to ships, stored for further dispatch in one of several football pitch-sized storage units, or sent on by train or truck to Greece, Spain or Britain.

Duisburg was already regarded as the world’s largest inland port. But thanks to the Belt and Road infrastructure project – a revival of the Silk Road route that Mercator had read about in the travelogues of Marco Polo, this time subsidised with billions of dollars by the Chinese government – the port is fast becoming Europe’s central logistics hub. Around 80% of trains from China now make it their first European stop, with most using the northern silk road route via Khorgos on the China-Kazakhstan border and the Russian capital, Moscow......

....The trains’ return journeys, however, remain Duisburg’s achilles heel. For every two full containers arriving in Europe from China, only one heads back the other way, and the port only earns a fifth of the fee from empty containers that have to be sent back to China.

And while the west’s appetite for gadgets made in China shows no sign of abating, one of the main European products heading east is powdered milk – a result of low trust in domestic brands following a 2008 food safety scandal. If that trust returns, even fewer containers may be heading east from Duisburg......

....But in Germany, some have been quick to sound a note of caution. If the still-recovering industries in western Germany make themselves too reliant on China, they warn, it could provide economic leverage for an authoritarian regime that wants to project its geopolitical power into western Europe. “What’s good for Duisburg isn’t necessarily good for the world,” cautioned one recent article.....
There is more

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:50 pm 
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tulip wrote:
Any threat to the Chinese plan will come from the West.


Indeed.
The now familiar 'suffering peoples' has been exported to Burma and the Rohingya people.

As this link and map illustrate, the desperation of the West to prevent a 'Western' Chinese port on the Eastern Indian ocean (thus avoiding the Malacca Straits and a huge sea journey) is key to the misery of the Rohingya.
Access to the ports of the Rakhine state in Burma/Myanmar allows the Chinese a much, much quicker and more secure route to export and import over land.

How long until Myanmar has 'weapons of mass destruction' and needs a bit of the oul' 'humanitarian intervention' to set em strait.... er, sorry.... straight....

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inter ... 06580.html

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:56 am 
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So you're saying the west are going to use the Rohingya to start a war with the Myanmar government to stop China from getting a port there? What advantage would this give them over having a port in Pakistan?

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:09 am 
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China already has quiet ports/radar/sigint in Burma, specifically adjacent Indian islands on a strategic sea lane
https://thediplomat.com/2015/02/the-sma ... ian-ocean/

Further, they are planning KYAUKPYU: CONNECTING CHINA TO THE INDIAN OCEAN
Kyaukpyu is of considerable strategic and economic value for China as it seeks to speed development of Yunnan and its other inland provinces.


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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:23 am 
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It looks like the Myanmar Generalissimo's are getting cold feet about the Kyaukpyu port. They fear they're going to fall into the same problems Sri lanka did where it had to give the port built using Chinese loans to the Chinese when they couldn't pay them back.

The Guardian wrote:
Myanmar scales back Chinese-backed port project over debt fears

Myanmar has scaled back plans for a Chinese-backed port on its western coast, sharply reducing the cost of the project after concerns it could leave the south-east Asian nation heavily indebted, a top government official and an adviser told Reuters.

The Kyaukpyu port is a key part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, aimed at expanding trade links across the world. While Beijing says Belt and Road is mutually beneficial for it and its partners, questions have been raised about countries taking on excessive debt to build projects.

The initial $7.3bn (£5.6bn) price tag on the Kyaukpyu deepwater port, on the western tip of Myanmar’s conflict-torn Rakhine state, set off alarm bells due to reports of troubled Chinese-backed projects in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the official and the adviser said........

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:29 am 
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The chinese don't understand the soft in 'soft power'. You keep good relations, not reposses bits of another country; in times of stress you use the "yeah, but you still owe me 10 billion for the port; not looking for it, just saying like if you need to vote, or I need to park an aircraft carrier".

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:40 am 
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Hmmm, and there appears to be some pushback on the move from soft power:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... over-china
Whether it amounts to anything is another question!

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Quote:
Before the West started paying real attention to the Rohingya crisis, Myanmar’s democratic transition was something of a cause celebre. But in reality, the country is still under military sway, and the democratic West is still less influential in Myanmar than China. Beijing’s interests are still a decisive economic influence in the country, which is clearly a potentially crucial partner in China’s gargantuan Belt and Road initiative.

To be sure, China is just one of Myanmar’s heavyweight international protectors, which also include Russia and India. These three countries all share certain urgent concerns, among them the threat of militant radical Islamism. Connections have been drawn between Rohingya militants and Pakistani extremist groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, this just as Beijing is increasing pressure on Pakistan to curb its support for fundamentalist groups that could threaten Chinese interests in Asia.

As it surveys this troubling map – which also includes an insurgency among the Uighur Muslims of China’s own Xinjiang province – Beijing views Myanmar’s crackdown not as a domestic problem for a junior partner, but as another front in a wider struggle for stability.

And just as Myanmar fits into that particular Chinese strategy, it also has a part to play in various others.


https://scroll.in/article/864709/why-ch ... mar-regime

The west had been under the impression that if it could get Aun Sang Su Ki installed in power it would then have a puppet with which to oppose China by proxy. Hence the Nobel Prize and fawning by Hillary Clinton, Bono et al. When it became apparent that she was not going to play ball and allow western interests unfettered access to to Burmese mineral deposits and the rest of it they then turned their attention to fermenting unrest via Rohingyan Islamists in Rakhine state before Bob Geldof and the like began labeling her as a war criminal etc.

As an aside the whole region around Bangkadesh to include Rakhine State and parts of India, notably Assam, are ethnic conflicts and even potential genocides waiting to happen (obviously has already happened to an extent in Myanmar) as ever increasing numbers of illegal migrants from Bangladesh (i.e. Muslims) encroach on surrounding areas. Currently the Indian Givernemnt is threatening to deport significant numbers of the estimated 4 million Muslims in Assam if they cannot prove that they are citizens despite most (probably) of them having been born in India. An opposition Indian politician in parliament this week even predicted civil war if the plan goes ahead....probably hyperbole but given what happened in Myanmar last year the situation is tense.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:56 pm 
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There was a TV report earlier this evening that referenced this article....interesting, innovative stuff on the part of the Chinese....as the woman said, while the Yanks have spent the past decade and a half focussed on blowing up a guy in a cave, the Chinese have been at the likes of this...

Quote:
Transsion, Tecno’s manufacturer, has two other brands on the market – Itel, and Infinix catering to different price points and consumer segments. What sets the company apart is that they are solely focused on the African continent and do not even sell in their domestic market of China. This was a strategic decision, as a recent article says, and their rapid success very likely due to the vacuum left by Nokia. They’ve customized completely for the African market, going as far as to develop cameras suited for local conditions, something no other phone manufacturer has done anywhere on the planet.

“For African consumers, a main medium of entertainment is photos – they love to take selfies and share them with friends. The traditional camera was not optimised for the African consumer because often, for those with darker skin, the photos don’t come out well especially in low light. We did research using over 10,000 photos of African consumers to create a special algorithm to optimise the camera to attract 30% more light on the darker face. We call this ‘Africa Focus’. It’s been heavily popular. It improved our cameras and won the hearts of Africans who like to take selfies.


http://nitibhan.com/tag/transsion/

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