Wednesday, May 18, 2011

China Stuff

The China Reform Monitor passed along some interesting stories in this week's edition:
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reports that the strengthening of Chinese competition in the global arms and military equipment market is the most serious threat facing the Russia’s military-industrial complex. “In the field of military-technical cooperation, Russia and China are focused on the same regional markets, large emerging countries keen to pursue a military-political line that is relatively independent of Western countries,” the report noted. On the other hand, however, “Chinese policy is giving rise to increasing fears among neighboring states in Southeast Asia, which provides Russian exporters with new opportunities.” 
The article noted that Myanmar had surprisingly chosen Russian fighters over Chinese jets, even though the junta and Beijing are reputed to be close. Meanwhile it noted that India and China are still confronting each other over the disputed Himal region:
In response to China’s rapid development of road and rail networks in Tibet, India will complete a network of military roads on its side of the border by 2013, India’s Border Roads Organization (BRO) Director, General S. Ravi Shankar said in comments carried by India’s Economic Times. About 63 percent of work has been completed on 27 roads in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and 12 more in Ladakh are already complete, he said. In response to China the BRO has undergone a restructuring process since 2007 and has purchased equipment that will allow it to build 5 km of roads per day in the inhospitable mountainous environment.
Hopefully they will have the courage to connect the roads so that trade and travel can take place, and my intrepid friend Michael Fahey, longtime local cyclist now currently cycling at a few thousand meters in northern India, can enjoy another interesting route.

Finally, this report on Kazakhstan from the CRM:
In Kazakhstan the opposition political party co-chairman Azat, Bulat Abilov, has called on the Kazakh authorities “to suspend all the contracts currently in force with China, make them public and make all the loans attracted during the past two years - almost $20 billion - the property of the public.” Abilov said that the party would submit to the city mayor's administration a request to hold an anti-Chinese rally in Almaty on May 28 to oppose the “influence of China on the country's economy.” In comments carried by the privately-owned Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, he said: “Chinese expansion, Chinese influence, Chinese capital and investments are increasingly penetrating the economy of Kazakhstan and over the past five years Chinese companies have virtually become owners of Kazakh oil resources.”
Lessee.....look at the region -- China is the leading foreign investor in Iran and Afghanistan and is forging close links with Pakistan, to whom it is the leading supplier of military equipment (a move with obvious implications for India). With China busy expanding all across central Asia, the criminal stupidity of our Afghan policy should by now be clear: Washington is killing Americans and Afghans to make Afghanistan safe for Chinese expansion. It has to stop. Now.
Daily Links:
  • Mark Valencia has a piece at NBR entitled: Foreign Military Activities in Asian EEZs. Its language and construction is severely pro-Beijing: "Indeed China's increasing assertiveness and expanding spatial perception of its security needs conflict with ever more aggressive and intrusive U.S. military intelligence probes." The US is aggressive and intrusive, China is merely assertive. The euphemism there for territorial expansion, "expanding spatial perception of its security needs", is priceless. I've discussed Valencia's pro-Beijing constructions before here.
  • At CSIS, Dave Brown has a sturdy Establishment summary of China-Taiwan relations, informative with a useful timeline at the end.
  • Latest issue of Taiwan What's Up out.
  • James Holmes on how maps of the PRC's missiles pointed at Taiwan can be misleading.
  • With all the focus on Taiwan's drought and the Mississippi floods, extreme weather is whacking Columbia (11 months of rain), Alberta (drought + wildfires), China ("a severe drought along the Yangtze River region in central China has rendered nearly 1,400 reservoirs in Hubei Province temporary unusable") and other areas. No April before 2005 was as hot as this one. 
  • Jens Kastner in AsiaTimes on how Beijing might use a tourist boycott against a DPP Administration. I sure hope they do; it is exactly the kind of move that backfires. 
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.

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