Sunday, January 04, 2009

China Bestrides the World

Awesome article from Geoffrey York at the Globe and Mail on China's advancing world influence -- enormously helped by our totally incompetent President and his obsession with the Middle East. A taste:
MADANG, Papua New Guinea — When Chinese engineers landed in Papua New Guinea in 2006 to inspect their latest mineral acquisition, they faced an arduous journey through the tropical wilderness. They drove over crumbling roads to the Ramu River, then found natives with dugout canoes to paddle them upstream. Next, they hired another team of locals with machetes to slash a rough trail for eight hours through the steamy jungle, dodging poisonous snakes and malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

"It was terrible," recalls Wang Chun, the chief engineer. "You couldn't breathe."

Today, less than three years later, a series of small Chinatowns has emerged in the jungle — complete with Chinese food, Chinese satellite television channels and crews of Chinese migrant labourers living in cheap dormitory huts. Where once was wilderness, you find the workers of China Metallurgical Group Corp., toiling seven days a week and chattering about their families back home in Beijing and Sichuan.

It hasn't been easy. The state-owned mining company has dealt with violent clashes with local landowners, striking workers, attacks from the media and unfriendly police who arrested more than 200 Chinese technicians on charges of illegally entering the country. But today it is transforming the economy of Papua New Guinea. Its $1.4-billion nickel and cobalt mine (all figures U.S.), the biggest construction project in the country, will employ 4,000 people at its peak, adding at least 10 per cent to the national economy every year.
Lenthy, informative and wide-ranging, great work. China's interests in Papua...and Chen Shui-bian's diplomatic initiatives -- overlap. And the KMT is busy digging into the PNG initiative with the indictment of former Chen Administration official Chiu I-jen...


Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Bush is responsible for some of that. However, let's not forget the sinophile academics, diplomatic officials, and think tanks are also the reason

NONE said...

I'll share this with everyone:

reminds me of one of the only real interesting segments in that book by Owen Rutter when, in describing the Japanese rubber plantations in Borneo in 1923... (p.74)

" ... And if the Japanese see opportunities in this tropical country which lies much nearer to their own than it does to ours, if they care to put down the money and to take the risks, there appears to be no reason why they should not be encouraged. It seems to me that under the circumstances there is only one ground on which they could be discouraged, and that is that a large colony of Japanese might be a potential danger to the State in the unlikely event of a war breaking out between Great Britain and Japan. To my mind the risk is not worth talking about; no State would deserve to succeed if it allowed itself to be dominated by such craven fears."

Anonymous said...

The problem is that your quote is more or less right, considering that it was made in 1923 and not 1933, or 1939. Looking at Western countries own track record when it comes to exploiting resources of poorer countries and supporting oppressive regimes we dont have any moral authority to condem the PRC, as the play along our own rules, only giving other countries (sometimes) a slightly better deal.

Anonymous said...

I think the interesting thing is when colonization and militarization start stepping on the toes of other interested parties later down the road. "Fine, fine, let them do their thing... the world is big enough to divide between us". Then Wham!

Furthermore, China loves to spit venom at Japan and "the West" over (neo)colonialism, when, in fact, China has in the past, and is currently acting out a colonial project.