China is spending a great deal of time and money buying up a good deal of the world’s present and future raw materials. From oil to copper, natural gas to iron ore, industrial assets to mining companies, China is moving ahead exponentially. Couple that with their expanding naval presence throughout Asia and the Middle East, as well as their proliferating nuclear program, and throw in their conflict with Taiwan and their claim to its sovereignty, and one would start to wonder if we weren’t watching the rise of Germany in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.
To begin his war, Hitler sent his agents into enemy territory to commit acts of terrorism against his own people, to the end that he could justify invading his enemy. Let’s hope we don’t see that strategy develop in this area.
China has become the world’s sweatshop. It is the global factory. One only has to walk into any leading retailer in North America, and finding something made anywhere but China takes some searching. With this production comes the need for energy, and as history is more than willing to teach us what an energy crisis can do to a country’s ambitions (think Japan and Pearl Harbor), we should be looking at China very carefully.
I wonder, for example, what the western world would do, or Europe for that matter, if China began to march in a quest for space and natural resources. As the world’s largest single population and the world’s largest army, we had better be prepared for all contingencies.
China is now adopting a string of pearls strategy, that is, it is building naval bases and alliances from the South China Sea to the Middle East. They are building a naval base in Pakistan and have a new base in Burma. As well, they have added submarines and mines as part of their navy’s underwater capabilities. According to Pentagon reports, they are currently purchasing aircraft and are seeking long range target acquisition systems. They are building up oil reserves for the first time in their history as well, with a massive tank farm of 52 tanks near Hangzhou City. There will be sixteen oil tank facilities built by the end of August of this year.
In the south China sea area, Beijing is building up its air and sea forces, as well as long range capabilities. Relations with Japan are becoming strained, and the mood of the Chinese people is restless.
On another front, as China pegs the value of the yuan to the U.S. dollar, it is keeping its value artificially low resulting in $70 billion US a year in trade surpluses. The money is then being used to buy US treasury bonds, which results in the U.S. being indebted to China. This is a kind of economic warfare. The yearly surplus also gives China a huge bankroll to fund a military buildup.
This could be the beginning of the next cold war, or even the next world war, as China will soon have enough military assets in the area to destabilize the region and challenge the very security of the United States. I suggest this with about as little enthusiasm as I can convey, as the thought is chilling. One cannot, however, dismiss the obvious implications of the sum of China’s recent moves.
Where there is smoke, there is fire.