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dimanche, 31 mai 2015

China’s New Roads to Russia


China’s New Roads to Russia

I know of no comparable global Great Project to equal what is now unfolding, bit-by-bit, as China reveals more about her Silk Road Economic Belt high-speed railway infrastructure network. And it’s now clear that the road will be filled with entire new cities, industrial zones, construction, improving standards of living for hundreds of millions of people previously abandoned. The implications for founding a new global alternative to the bankrupt dollar system are immense.

The Chinese don’t dither around when they’ve reached a consensus. The project of President Xi Jinping to develop a new economic space across Eurasia from Beijing to the borders of the European Union, which he unveiled during one of his first foreign visits as President in 2013 in Kazakhstan, is now known as the New Silk Road Economic Belt.

The project is emerging as the centerpiece of a renaissance in infrastructure construction that will transform and lift the entire world economy for decades. For the economic space encompassing China and Asia, a recent study estimated that over the next years some $8 trillion of infrastructure investment will be needed to bring those economies into modern standards of commerce and development.

A rail renaissance

China began several years ago drawing up plans for a colossal Eurasian and Asian rail infrastructure series of high-speed railroads to provide a future alternative to transport trade to the world. In 2010 Wang Mengshu of the Chinese Academy of Engineering revealed in an interview that China was examining plans to construct a high-speed railway system that will weave together high-speed rail links across Asia and Europe by 2025.

That same year China began what then was the first leg of three planned rail legs. The domestic Chinese part of one route starts in Kunming in Yunnan Province and runs south to Singapore. A second route starts in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and connect Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan with Germany. A third line will connect the city of Heilongjiang in northern China with Eastern and Southern European countries via Russia. At that time China’s aim was to create a pan-Asian rail network to connect 28 countries with 81,000 kilometers of railways.

With Chinese diligence, the country began buying the state-of-the-art high-speed rail equipment from Germany, France, Japan and Canada. By 2010 China had developed its own high-speed rail systems, with advanced trains which run at over 350 kilometers per hour. By 2012 China had built 42 high-speed lines inside China, conceived in their national planning as preparation to launch the greater Eurasia and Asia expanded rail links. China understands the economic value of infrastructure as few nations today. Given the extent of deployment internally since then, today China stands to become the world’s leading exporter of advanced high-speed railway technology to the nations of Asia and Eurasia including Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

On September 7, 2013 in a speech before Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, China’s newly-installed President Xi proposed, for the first time officially, his global New Silk Road strategy, suggesting that China and Central Asia join to build a “Silk Road Economic Belt” to boost cooperation.

Xi proposed that Kazakhstan and other relevant Central Asian countries, including Russia, increase communication and promote regional economic integration in terms of both policy and law. He proposed concretely that China and Central Asian countries compare notes on their respective economic development strategy and work together to formulate plans and measures for regional cooperation. Xi also said that they should work to improve traffic connectivity to open the strategic regional thoroughfare from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea, and set-up a network of transportation that connects Eastern, Western and Southern Asia. Xi also proposed trade be done with local-currency settlement and not via the US dollar to improve their immunity to financial risks from US future financial warfare, the kind of financial warfare the US Treasury initiated around that time against Iran oil payments and in March 2014 against Russia.

At that time Russia was focused on the war in Syria, on hosting the showcase Sochi Winter Olympics and had not yet clearly formulated its own Eurasian Economic Union in detail. The US coup d’etat in Ukraine that began with Maidan Square protests in November 2014 and escalated into a de facto war situation on the part of NATO against Russia since then, dramatically concentrated Russian energies on developing alternative strategies and firm partners and allies to withstand what were clear threats to Russia’s very existence as a sovereign nation. At the same time China was being confronted by US encirclement in the East China Sea and across Asia known as Washington’s military “Asia Pivot,” aka China Pivot strategy, of containing China’s future economic and political emergence. Ironically, those very US escalations of military pressure brought the two giants of Eurasia—China and Russia—closer together than ever in history.

New Silk Road begins

Those events, which no one could have clearly foreseen in 2010, catalyzed the most dramatic series of changes in world geopolitics since May, 1945. Only this time, as the American Century is sinking in debt and economic depression, Eurasia is rapidly emerging as the most dynamic and far the largest and richest region in the world in terms of resources and especially human resources.

This fact was underscored by the recent visit of China president Xi to three key member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. A day before Xi was to be one of the honor guests at the May 9 Victory Day celebrations, he had closed door talks with Vladimir Putin. After those talks Putin announced that the two countries had signed a decree on cooperation in connecting the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the Silk Road Economic Belt project. “The integration of the Eurasian Economic Union and Silk Road projects means reaching a new level of partnership and actually implies a common economic space on the continent,” Putin said.

China agreed to also invest $5.8 billion in the construction of the Moscow-Kazan High Speed Railway, a major boost at a critical time for a project that will be extended to China through Kazakhstan, a part of the route of the new Silk Road project. The total cost of the Moscow-Kazan high speed railroad project is $21.4 billion.

Wasting no time, on May 13, China Railway Group announced it had won a $390 million contract from Russia to build the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway which is to be further extended to China as part of the new Silk Road project. A consortium led by China Railway with two Russian companies will jointly survey and conduct regional development planning and design for the Moscow–Kazan segment of the Moscow–Kazan–Yekaterinburg high-speed railway line in 2015-2016 according to a report from RT in Moscow.

Chinese participation in the planned Moscow-Kazan. Ekaterinburg High-Speed Rail segment will integrate Russia into the New Silk Road Economic Belt

The day before, on May 7, China’s Xi was in Astana meeting with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev to concretize Kazak participation in the New Silk Road. China, Kazakhstan and Russia are all founding members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well. Construction on the China-Kazakh part of the New Silk Road high-speed rail line is already underway from China’s side.

The visits of Xi to Kazakhstan and Russia were followed with a three day visit of Xi to Belarus on May 10. Belarus is geographically a critical potential link in a more peaceful world, between the countries of the European Union and the Eurasian countries within the developing New Silk Road project. After their meetings Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko announced he too had agreed to make Belarus a platform for the development of the New Silk Road Economic Belt. Lukashenko revealed that 20 years before as a member of the Parliament of the new independent Belarus as the Soviet Union dissolved he made a visit to China: “I adopted China’s step-by-step economic reform style in Belarus…” That puts the three key countries of the new Eurasian Economic Union—Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus—fully in the New Silk Road Economic Belt project.

Opening Eurasia to real development

One intriguing and potentially very strategic side benefit of the vast Silk Road Eurasian Economic Union integration that has just been decided will be the dramatic change in the development possibilities of some of the world’s richest undeveloped raw materials, including of gold. Russia and Central Asian states hold perhaps the world’s largest reserves of every imaginable metal and minerals.

Both China and Russia have been building their central bank gold reserves as rapidly as possible. Economic exploitation of gold reserves in Central Asia could become a significant support for that effort.

During Soviet times gold was part of Soviet National Bank reserves but considered a “capitalist relic.” After 1991, in the chaotic collapse of the Soviet Union, Western intelligence agencies in cooperation with Italian organized crime and criminal former Soviet senior bureaucrats organized the theft of the entire gold reserves, more than 2,000 tons of bullion, from the Soviet Gosbank vaults, a crime announced by bank chairman Geraschenko, himself reportedly a secret participant in the theft, to an astonished Russian parliament.

Since Putin became president in 1999, the Russian central bank has been steadily restocking its central bank gold. Today according to official IMF statistics, Russia’s Central Bank has managed to accumulate 1238 Tons of gold reserves. In April alone Russia bought 30 tons.

The existence of central bank gold reserves has been shrouded in mystery for the country allegedly the world’s largest gold reserve holder, the US Federal Reserve Bank. In 2011 IMF Director General Dominique Strauss-Kahn demanded an independent physical audit of Federal Reserve gold. The Federal Reserve gold has never been audited. Strauss-Kahn reportedly had information that the 8000 tons of gold reported to be held by the US was gone.

The IMF head became concerned reportedly after the United States began “stalling” its pledged delivery to the IMF of 191.3 tons of gold agreed to under the Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement to fund what are called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Some days later a bizarre hotel sex scandal forced the abrupt resignation of Strauss-Kahn and an end to IMF calls for a gold audit.

Whatever the true state of US Fed gold reserves, it’s clear that both Russia and China are stocking gold bullion to back their currencies as they carefully create a new architecture to replace the US dollar system.

Despite US financial warfare efforts, Russia state finances are also remarkably healthy in comparison with those in the West. In the USA government debt officially is well over $17 trillion or 105% of GDP. Greek debt is 177% of GDP. The Eurozone countries average debt to GDP is 91% and Germany 74%.

In Russia state debt is about 18% of GDP. China’s debt is around 43% according to latest IMF data.

Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and China have all substantially increased their official gold reserves since the first quarter of 2000. Now it emerges that gold is intended to be a vital element in the OBOR—One Bridge, One Road—Silk Road project.

At a Dubai commodities conference in April this year, Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, revealed that China is consciously looking to integrate its search for gold with the Silk Road economic project over the next ten years. He cited a statement from Xu Luode, President of Shanghai Gold Exchange and a National People’s Congress (NPC) delegate who proposed to integrate gold market development into the strategic development plan of Silk Road Economic Belt at the March, 2015 meeting of the Chinese Central Committee. He suggested a mechanism to involve major gold producers and users along the new rail routes through Kazakhstan and Russia. He also proposed that the Chinese government’s development of those resources make the Shanghai Gold Exchange the trading hub, and be integrated into the Silk Road Economic Belt plan.

The opening of the new network of Eurasian high-speed rail infrastructure will open entire new areas of mineral riches to development. On May 11, 2015, China’s largest gold mining company, China National Gold Group Corporation (CNGGC), signed an agreement with Russian gold miner Polyus Gold to deepen ties in gold exploration. Announcing the deal, Song Xin, general manager of CNGGC and President of the China Gold association, said, “China’s Belt and Road Initiative brings unprecedented opportunities for the gold industry.” Song Yuqin, Deputy General Manager of the Shanghai Gold Exchange stated, “The gold trade is expected to become a significant component of transactions by ‘Belt and Road’ countries.”

The Eurasian region in fact holds every conceivable mineral and rare earth metal known in vast quantities. That will now become economically feasible to develop with presence of high-speed freight rail infrastructure.

The Great Silk Road Economic Belt is clearly going to happen and fast. The emerging reality of the network of New Silk high-speed rail infrastructure, a wide-spanning network of road and rail links between all Asian and Central Asian nations, will be the heart of a new economic world. It is a well-known phenomenon of economics that as transportation infrastructure is developed there is a stronger GDP growth in each connected nation, a multiplier effect as entire new markets grow up. Clearly Eurasia is the place to be as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have demonstrated.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/28/china-s-new-roads-to-russia/

jeudi, 28 mai 2015

La Cina risponde al Pivot degli Stati Uniti in Asia con il proprio perno


La Cina risponde al Pivot degli Stati Uniti in Asia con il proprio perno

Ex: http://www.lantidiplomatico.it

Il premier cinese Li Keqiang è in visita in Sud America, e ci si aspetta che formalizzi la versione regionale della Via della Seta, la Ferrovia Interoceanica, durante il viaggio, scrive Andrew Korybko per Oriental Review. Un ampio progetto per costruire una ferrovia di 5300 km dal Brasile al Perù, attraversando alcuni dei territori più difficili e delicati del mondo. Lungo la strada, tuttavia, affronterebbe certe minacce asimmetriche emergenti, come il potenziale assalto di gruppi ambientalisti indigeni violenti o il riemergere dell’organizzazione terroristica Sendero Luminoso. Se il progetto dovesse essere costruito e attivare il proprio potenziale economico, tuttavia, potrebbe risolvere la rivalità tra Alleanza del Pacifico e Mercosur che minaccia di dividere il continente e impedirne l’integrazione multipolare.
Grandi ambizioni

La grande strategia della Cina è facilitare il commercio globale attraverso progetti infrastrutturali strategici, credendo che la libertà economica offra ai partner la possibilità di liberarsi dal quadro unipolare occidentale e facilitare la transizione verso il sistema multipolare emergente. Assieme a questa visione, sono annunciati i progetti Fascia economica della Via della Seta e Via della Seta Marittima, diffondendo questa visione in Eurasia e Africa orientale. Informalmente, però, ha anche lo scopo di lcolegare l’America Latina a questo sistema tramite i più recenti impegni verso il continente (America Centrale e Sud America). La Cina risponde al Pivot degli Stati Uniti in Asia con il proprio perno, sia pure verso l”emisfero occidentale, e l’ultimo programma ferroviario è un’indicazione della scommessa cinese su una presenza prolungata nella regione. Il Dialogo Chino è un’ottima didascalia interattiva delle specifiche della Ferrovia interoceanica, spiegando la natura tramutante del progetto. Dovrebbe partire da Porto Do Acu, vicino Rio De Janeiro, e correre direttamente a nord-ovest fino al confine settentrionale con la Bolivia, dopo di che serpeggiare attraverso le Ande e terminare a Puerto Ilo in Perù. Lungo il percorso, attraverso il cuore industriale, carbonifero, agricolo (soprattutto soia e manzo), minerario (fosfati) e del legname del Brasile, ne trasporterebbe i prodotti oltre le Ande avvicinandoli all’affamato mercato cinese. L’obiettivo immediato è integrare le economie dei due Paesi BRICS, più vicini che mai, nonché dare a Pechino un punto d’appoggio sulla costa pacifica del Sud America, attraverso la porta peruviana, completandone la strategia emisferica assieme al Canale Transoceanico in Nicaragua, finanziato dai cinesi, con i due grandi progetti infrastrutturali che creano gli ancoraggi nord e sud del perno della Cina in America Latina.
Le minacce emergenti alla Ferrovia Interoceanica

Mentre il piano della Via della Seta sudamericana della Cina suona bene sulla carta, potrebbe in realtà essere piuttosto difficile attuarlo sul campo. A parte gli ostacoli geografici come montagne vertiginose e giungle impenetrabili, vi sono anche minacce socio-politiche e militari che potrebbero ritardarne o fermarne completamente la costruzione in alcune aree. Ecco ciò che potrebbe ragionevolmente incontrare la Ferrovia Interoceanica o essere fabbricato.

Resistenza ambientalista indigena
Anche se la rotta ufficiale della ferrovia deve ancora essere resa pubblica, le stima di ciò che probabilmente attraverserà preoccupa alcuni per le conseguenze ambientali e sociali. Più precisamente, importanti tratti di foresta pluviale, fauna selvatica e comunità indigene (alcune delle quali rimangono volontariamente isolate) probabilmente rischierebbero di essere disturbati dal progetto, e questi due temi, ambiente e diritti degli indigeni, notoriamente creano coalizioni di sostenitori nazionali ed internazionali. Il rischio è che la resistenza da tali due gruppi (soprattutto da comunità indigene e sostenitori) potrebbe divenire uno scandalo per le pubbliche relazioni, creando un caso di politica interna e dibattito nazionale, consentendo ai movimenti di opposizione anti-multipolarismo in Brasile e Perù di capitalizzare sui sentimenti negativi e sfruttarli nelle loro campagne per il potere.
Opposizione armata

L’evoluzione dello scenario delle minacce già citato per la Ferrovia interoceanica, è possibile se gli attori citati infine passassero all’opposizione armata. Dopo tutto, non sarebbe del tutto peculiare, dato che una guerriglia che in generale sostiene tali movimenti è recentemente spuntata in Paraguay. L’Esercito Popolare Paraguaiano (PPE) è un presunto gruppo di guerriglieri marxisti con legami con FARC ed organizzazioni di narcotrafficanti sudamericani, ed usa l’ambientalismo militante come suo ultimo grido di battaglia. L’ultimo attacco del PPE, ad aprile, ha visto la presenza di opuscoli di propaganda accanto a tre vittime uccise, denigrando la coltivazione di “soia, mais e altri prodotti che richiedono pesticidi” (prevedibilmente in risposta al controllo della Monsanto sul Paese), così come l’armamento delle milizie antiguerriglia degli agricoltori. Invano esso cercò il favore della popolazione indigena Mbya Guaraní in passato, ma ciò non significa che le mosse precedenti lo portino in futuro ad abbandonare completamente tale strategia. Pertanto, come si vede nel suo intenzionale (ma non necessariamente riuscito) uso di ambientalismo e diritti dei popoli indigeni, nell’ambito degli sforzi per sensibilizzare la comunità, il PPE presenta la violenta fusione di due temi principali che un giorno potrebbero riunire i principali come massa organizzata i gruppi d’interesse che si oppongono alla Ferrovia interoceanica. Non si prevede che il PPE espanda le attività in Brasile o Perù, ma movimenti simili potrebbero svilupparsi attorno a tali principi, e il fatto stesso che il PPE le utilizzi nell’ambito della propria attività d’informazione, crea il presupposto per futuri gruppi violenti nascosti dietro di essi.
Campagne terroristiche

L’apice dell’opposizione alla Via della Seta sudamericana vede gruppi ambientalisti e indigeni unirsi in una campagna terroristica contro i governi brasiliano e peruviano. Mentre il Brasile non ha una storia di terrorismo rurale, finora, il Perù sì ed è possibile che tale problema possa rispuntare ‘convenientemente’ con la Cina che porta la Ferrovia interoceanica nel Paese. Sendero Luminoso, riconosciuto come gruppo terrorista da Stati Uniti e Unione europea, mostra piccole scintille di una rinnovata attività negli ultimi due anni (per lo più traffico di droga), facendo pensare che un giorno possa acquisire una seconda vita. Se il movimento si rianima (forse anche con supporto esterno (occidentale)), potrebbe rappresentare un disastro per la costruzione della Via della Seta sudamericana, soprattutto perché il gruppo ha un passato operativo nelle giungla e montagne che la ferrovia dovrebbe attraversare. C’è anche lo scenario inquietante che tattiche terroristiche e motivazioni di Sendero Luminoso ed Esercito Popolare Paraguaiano si diffondano nell’Amazzonia brasiliana, creando una grave crisi interna che potrebbe impantanare il bastione sudamericano dei BRICS.
UNASUR più forte?

La costruzione della Ferrovia interoceanica collegando le coste atlantica e pacifica del Sud America attraversa il centro del continente, rappresenta un’impresa ingegneristica storica dalle profonde implicazioni economiche e politiche. Uno dei segni più importanti del completamento del progetto potrebbe benissimo essere la mitigazione delle tensioni tra i blocchi commerciali Alleanza del Pacifico e Mercosur e il rafforzamento del gruppo integrativo continentale UNASUR. Il ragionamento dietro questo ottimismo è semplice, l’economia cinese ha dimensione e forza tali che Pechino potrebbe usarla ‘mediando’ tra i due blocchi, e ciò ancora di più se i progetti ferroviari (l’unico dei grandi progetti infrastrutturali che li collega) venissero completati. Se l’Alleanza del Pacifico e il Mercosur convergono, come è stato già detto, il risultato logico sarà la creazione di una zona di libero scambio pan-continentale fornendo la base economica essenziale a una maggiore integrazione in altri campi. Dovrebbe essere un dato di fatto che la maggiore integrazione renderebbe il Sud America più resistente all’egemonia degli Stati Uniti; e con la Ferrovia Interoceanica quale motore del processo multipolare, ci si può aspettare che gli Stati Uniti mobilitino i loro agenti in qualsiasi modo possibile, per sabotarla ad ogni costo.

Traduzione di Alessandro Lattanzio – SitoAurora 

mardi, 26 mai 2015

La Chine , le Brésil et le Pérou brisent le monopole du Canal de Panama


La Chine , le Brésil et le Pérou brisent le monopole du Canal de Panama

Auteur : Station Zebra
Ex: http://zejournal.mobi

En visite au Brésil le Premier-Ministre Chinois Li Keqiang a signé pour plusieurs milliards de dollars d’accords économiques dont le plus important est le financement d’une voie ferrée transcontinentale qui va relier le Brésil au Pérou c’est à dire l’Océan Atlantique à l’Océan Pacifique et à l’Asie .

S’il s’agit dans un premier temps de favoriser les exportations brésiliennes de produits agro-alimentaires comme le soja et la viande , cette voie ferrée va devenir un nouveau corridor entre les deux océans . Cette voie ferrée concernera aussi des exportations minières, des produits industriels et des dérivés pétrochimiques produits à partir des gisements off-shore de la façade Atlantique du Brésil .

Toutefois cette voie ferrée génère déjà des polémiques : le Président Bolivien , le camarada socialista – ethno socialiste – Evo Morales , s’insurge contre le choix du Pérou pour espace de transit unique vers l’Océan Pacifique et affirme qu’une voie ferrée désenclavant la Bolivie aurait été moins chère à construire et plus rentable à exploiter

Comme de bien entendu des associations indigènistes soutenues par des ONG’s occidentales sont sorties de leur silence comme les champignons ( vénéneux ) après la pluie pour manifester leur opposition au projet . Parmi les opposants au projet on retrouve les  » habituels  » comme Paulo Adario, directeur des campagnes Amazonie de Greenpeace.

Du point de vue géopolitique cet accord est une victoire de l’école Méridionaliste qui préconise le développement des relations sud-sud . Son principal penseur est le géopolitologue , professeur d’université en géographie , André Martin .

- Source : Station Zebra