Seeing and Setting Trends for 10/1/2009
From SamHenry, Editor
We are in debt to China unlike we are to any other nation on earth. What power will they exert over us? They are confronting us with an updated fleet in the waters near Taiwan, they are facing us head on for scarce, strategically needed resources, and they are a growing force in banking. India, the other rising power in the East is slowly waking up to what the Dragon on their border may want.
This is the first in a series of articles examining China’s power worldwide but in particular as it relates to the US.
China aims to block India’s place in the sun
By John Elliott, the FT’s first south Asia Correspondent (1983-88)
Published: August 13 2009 14:03 | Last updated: August 13 2009 14:03
It’s probably the tip of the iceberg of China’s ambitions to thwart India’s emergence as a significant economic and maybe diplomatic and military power. I’m referring to what might appear to some to be a crazy article on a Chinese strategic issues website, which claims that China could “dismember the so-called ‘Indian Union’ with one little move”.
The writer has argued that India’s national unity is weak and that China could exploit this by supporting separatist forces, such as those active in India’s north-east state of Assam, and split the country into 20 or 30 sovereign states.
For more comment by John Elliott go to his blog
“There cannot be two suns in the sky. China and India cannot really deal with each other harmoniously,” said the article. That almost certainly reflects Beijing thinking, even though the founder of the website has claimed the anonymous writer has no known government links.
The article was posted last Saturday and was publicised in India on Wednesday, prompting the Indian foreign ministry to say it appeared to be “an expression of individual opinion and does not accord with the officially stated position of China on India-China relations conveyed to us on several occasions”. But what else could India say – especially since the article coincided with apparently cordial talks between the two countries on their border that has been disputed since China defeated India in a brief 1962 Himalayan war.
For the remainder of this article, see the Asia-Pacific section Financial Times for October 1, 2009
And for the US – smothering competition for natural resources
China seeks big stake in Nigerian oil
By Tom Burgis in Lagos
Published: September 28 2009 23:30 | Last updated: September 28 2009 23:30
A Chinese state-owned oil company is in talks with Nigeria to buy large stakes in some of the world’s richest oil blocs in a deal that would eclipse Beijing’s previous efforts to secure crude overseas.
The attempt could pitch the Chinese into competition with western oil groups, including Shell, Chevron, Total and ExxonMobil, which partly or wholly control and operate the 23 blocks under discussion. Sixteen licences
China company grabs power over Panama Canal
By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Majority Leader Trent Lott recently wrote to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen that a Chinese shipping company is gaining broad authority over the Panama Canal and could deny passage to U.S. ships.
“It appears that we have given away the farm without a shot being fired,” the Mississippi Republican said in the Aug. 1 letter requesting Mr. Cohen’s security assessment.
It was the first time a congressional leader has raised questions about growing Chinese influence over one of the world’s most strategic waterways. Until now, warnings were being raised primarily by a handful of conservative lawmakers, led by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, who plans a fact-finding trip to Panama on Monday.
The focus of concern is Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd., a giant Hong Kong-based shipping firm with ties to China’s leadership and its armed forces, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Under circumstances the U.S. Embassy in Panama called unusual, the government in 1997 awarded Hutchinson a 25- to 50-year contract to run the two major ports on the canal’s Atlantic and Pacific entrances.
Moreover, conservatives assert that Panama gave Hutchinson broader powers in legislation known as “Law No. 5.”
Al Santoli, an aide to Mr. Rohrabacher, said the law enables Hutchinson to assign the pilots who take control of ships and steer them through the canal. He also said the Chinese company can block passage of ships to meet its business needs.
This contention was challenged by a spokesman for the Panama Canal Commission, a panel of five Americans and four Panamanians who run the waterway. The Panama Canal Commission spokesman said the treaty gives the United States the right to intervene militarily to protect access.
Mr. Lott wrote to Mr. Cohen, “This administration is allowing a scenario to develop where U.S. national security interests could not be protected without confronting the Chinese communists in the Americas. U.S. naval ships will be at the mercy of Chinese-controlled pilots and could even be denied passage through the Panama Canal by Hutchinson, an arm of the People’s Liberation Army.
For the remainder of this article: The Washington Times.