Archive for the ‘minerals’ Category

China’s Growing Naval Reach May Cause Worries

December 26, 2008

China’s Pacific neighbors worry that the superpower’s growing naval power could cause regional tensions to rise and fester…

The first deployment of three Chinese ships to the coast of Africa in hundreds of years means China is becoming more involved in world and international matters.  The pirates in Somalia are causing insurance prices to rise for everyone.  So China’s committment and involvement causes many to applaud.

But not everyone is applauding China’s naval moves.  Many worry.

Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, to name just a few nations, worry that China’s growing naval strength means China will eventually want something in Asia and have the power to take it without too much discussion.

Even Pacific Ocean nations like Australia worry that China will become too dominant in the region.

Here at Peace and Freedom, readers from Vietnam, Japan and South Korea have swamped us with questions about China’s actual strength at sea — and China’s intent.

And why does China need a large navy?  What is China’s “Grand Strategy”?

“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

The “Grand Strategy” will ultimately include aircraft carriers.

China will “seriously consider” building aircraft carriers to protect its vast maritime territory, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on just last week as the anti-piracy mission was being prepared.

Huang Xueping made the remarks at a news conference called to announce details of a Chinese flotilla that departed for Somali waters on Friday to protect Chinese ships from pirates.

Asked whether the Chinese navy’s first deployment abroad is a good opportunity to build a carrier, Huang said the government would seriously consider the issue.

“Aircraft carriers are a symbol of a country’s overall national strength as well as the competitiveness of its naval force,” Huang said.

“China has a long coastline and the sacred duty of China’s armed forces is to safeguard the country’s marine safety and sovereignty over coastal areas and territorial seas,” he said.

Above: Near the Republic of Korea (Oct. 7, 2008). The ROKS Gangkamchan (DDH 979) steams by a line of  warships during the International Fleet Review “Pass and Review.”

China has many mineral rights and oil disagreements at sea with Japan, Vietnam and other nations — and a poweful navy means to these countries that China will, before long, lay down the law from Beijing on other regional neighbors.

According to Japan’s Navy Retired vice admiral Fumio Ota, currently director of the Center for Security and Crisis Management Education of the National Defense Academy, “One reason is China wants to make advances in the sea to secure energy resources. The other is to survey and expand the area of its operational waters in preparation for a war with Taiwan ….. China’s State Oceanic Administration has said: ‘The one who controls the sea will survive and grow. China will build a powerful and modern maritime state.'”

Most worriesome to the United States and those neighbors of China is this: no one really knows how big and capable China’s navy has become or how much China is spending on naval programs.

Beijing’s rapidly growing military spending, estimated at $85 billion to $125 billion last year, is still dwarfed by the United States, where a half-trillion dollars is shelled out for defense spending each year, not counting money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last year said the U.S. Navy needs to spend about $21 billion annually on new ship construction over 30 years to meet its goal of a 313-ship fleet. That is far above the Pentagon’s average spending between 2000 and 2005, and about $6 billion more than President Bush requested for this year.

But it is China’s secrecy on military spending and programs that causes so many to worry in Asia — and that is why U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates frequently speaks about the need for “transparency” in both China’s military investments and their intentions.

China’s military spending and intentions are hidden behind a fog of state controlled media and government secrecy.

On the aircraft carrier issue,  China’s Maj. Gen. Quan Lihua said:

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier.  Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”

Of course: we can all trust China.

Related:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf
/12/26/china.pirates/index.html

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Piracy draws China back to the ranks of maritime giants
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China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?
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China Launching First Long-Range Naval Mission Since 15th Century

General Hints China’s Navy May Add Carrier

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here on December 2008, ... 
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here in December 2008.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Scott Olson)

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From the Associated Press

China’s willingness to send ships so far from home is also the latest example of the growing power and confidence of the country’s navy. In recent years, the military has been loading up on warships, planes, missiles and other weapons — a beef-up that has worried its neighbors and the U.S.

Those most concerned include the Japanese and South Koreans, who have long-standing disputes about territorial waters that occasionally flare up. China has also been locked in an uneasy stand off with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations over the ownership of the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, said countries in the region will view China’s mission off Somalia differently.

“For Japan and some in South Korea, this is another step in the unwelcome growth of the Chinese navy as a capable blue-water force, which has only downsides for Tokyo and Seoul,” said Roy, an expert on China’s military.

“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan at Princeton.

But he said most Southeast Asian countries may see China’s involvement in the anti-piracy campaign as a positive thing. It would mean that China was using its greater military might for constructive purposes, rather than challenging the current international order.

However, the analyst added, “The Chinese deployment gets at a question the U.S. and other governments have been asking: ‘Why the big Chinese military buildup when no country threatens China?’ Or more bluntly, ‘Why do the Chinese need a blue-water navy when the U.S. Navy already polices the world’s oceans?”‘

Roy said the answer is that China is unwilling to rely on the U.S. to protect China’s increasingly global interests. Beijing still believes it needs to enter the field, Roy said, and that leaves open the possibility of a China-U.S. naval rivalry in the future.

China has said the mission’s purpose was to protect Chinese ships and crews that have come under attack from pirates. The vessels would also be willing to share intelligence and conduct humanitarian rescue operations with other countries involved in the anti-piracy efforts, Senior Col. Huang Xueping, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said Tuesday.

Read the entire article:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,473044,00.html

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Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

December 6, 2008

The world is about competition.

Do you get the feeling that China and Russia are slicing up the world pie?  Or want to?

At Peace and Freedom, we get the feeling that Russia and China are grabbing all the economic value from the world and leaving the U.S. to happily make subsidized cars in Detroit. Case in point is the current global foray of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev  who is wrapping up a gigantic business trip to nations like Venezuela and India.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) waves as Indian Prime ... 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) waves as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh looks on at a welcome ceremony in New Delhi. Singh hailed a landmark nuclear deal signed with Russia on Friday as a “milestone in the history of our cooperation” after meeting in India with Medvedev.(AFP/Raveendran)

Like it or not, where the U.S. isn’t, China and Russia thrive.

Earlier this year China’s President Hu Jintao completed a multi-nation trip to Africa.  Mostly, he seized opportunities to cheaply exploit raw materials desperately needed by China’s industrial dragon.  President Hu even went to Sudan despite international condemnation of the genocide in Darfur.

A Chinese bank employee counts stacks of hundred yuan notes ...

China also has recently completed the largest seaport in the world at Gwadar in Pakistan.

Russia and China often work in tandem — as they do in behalf of  Iran.  China and russia have the lions share of the business dealing with Iran, so when the U.S. proposes sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, China and Russia block the effort together.

Human rights takes a back seat in Russian and Chinese business.  And both nations have their top guy out there globally beating the bushes in favor of homeland businesses.

When the U.S. was agast at human rights abuses in Myanmar, China objected and protested the junta.  China wants Myanmar’s oil.


Homeless, displaced refugees in Darfur.  But China still pours money into Sudan in exchange for oil….

Add this to the many challenges of Barack Obama.  Sitting in the U.S. watching the United Auto Workers kill off the car industry as we gear up to produce environmentally pure “Made in the U.S.A.” windmills might be fine for some; but we’d like to add our voice to those that believe the U.S. needs to be a major global business.

We need to think big.  We need to redevelop  the U.S. infrastructure with jobs and billions of dollars of spending.  But we also need to hunt out and drag home a lot more of the global market.

Wherever the U.S. is shy to go in the world: Medvedev and Hu Jintao do not fear to tread.  They have been — or they plan to go.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

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Extra:

China Now Holds Most of U.S. Debt

China passed Japan to become the U.S. government’s largest foreign creditor in September, the Treasury Department announced yesterday, reflecting the dramatic expansion of Beijing’s economic influence over the American economy.
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China’s new status — it now owns nearly $1 out of every $10 in U.S. public debt — means Washington will be increasingly forced to rely on Beijing as it seeks to raise money to cover the cost of a $700 billion bailout. China, in fact, may be the government’s largest creditor, period. The Treasury does not keep records on domestic bond holders. But analysts said China’s holdings are so vast that the existence of a larger stakeholder in the United States now seems unlikely.

By Anthony Faiola and Zachary A. Goldfarb
The Washington Post

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/18
/AR2008111803558.html?wprss=r
ss_business%2Feconomy