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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:52 pm 
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Nearby Laos is into hock to the Chinese for a pile of infrastructure, notably their 'under construction' bit of a 'Kunming-Singapore' railroad that has very little support in Malaysia and Thailand further south which will cost them 33% of their annual GDP by the time it opens in 2021. The loan needs annual servicing thereafter.

The terrain in Laos is brutal, it is basically one mountain range from north west to south east.

Between the rail project (China to the capital) and some motorway and dam projects they are in hock for over 50% of GDP albeit rapidly growing GDP nowadays. If they could stop at that lot for a few years then inflation will get them out of potential trouble in a few years.

If they keep taking credit they will be a Chinese vassal state by 2025. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:39 am 
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A quick breakdown of how China's geaography drives it's defence policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Chinas Giant Gulag!

Since 2016 China has built a giant system of Gulags or 'special vocational schools' in its Muslim majority North West province of Xinjiang. These large camps, over 20 of them, are capable of housing at least 1 MILLION PRISONERS and a catalogue of these gulags, together with Google Earth Images, is available HERE.

So far China is detaining in the order of 500,000-700,000 prisoners, almost all are ethnic Uighurs and Kazakhs from the NW area. The total population of Kazakhs and Uighurs is around 13-14m meaning that 5% of the entire ethnic population is now in the Gulag. Whole areas are depopulated now.

The FT carried an excellent piece on this enormous security crackdown this week.

https://www.ft.com/content/ac0ffb2e-8b3 ... 81731a0340

Quote:
According to reports and accounts from human rights groups cited by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, at least 500,000 Uighurs are in detention or have been recently held. In April, its two chairs, lawmakers Marco Rubio and Chris Smith, called Xinjiang “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today”. In southern Xinjiang, where policing is the most intense, up to 80 per cent of adults in urban neighbourhoods have been rounded up according to remaining residents.

“So many people, mostly the men, were imprisoned for so-called ‘913’ crimes: having forbidden digital content on their phones,” says Alfiya, a Kashgar housewife.

Chinese media have in part masked the sudden disappearance of such a large part of Xinjiang’s population by absorbing it into more innocuous initiatives. For instance, according to the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, a national poverty alleviation programme relocated 461,000 rural Xinjiang residents in the first three months of 2018. Calls to Xinjiang’s provincial government and public security arm went unanswered.


Nobody is safe from the Gulag.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/worl ... dawut.html

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:57 am 
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That's horrendous about the Uighirs and Kazakhs. How is this the first we're hearing of this? It looks like it's too late to put the Chinese Genie back in the bottle.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:16 pm 
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The Chinese look to be ratcheting up the pressure on Taiwan. TBH I'm not sure what the status of Taiwan is. I have a vague rememberance (probably from this parish) that the Chang Kai Cheks Chinese Nationalist fled there after they lost to the Communists. I don't know if Taiwan is traditionally part of China, I'll have to look it up.

The Guardian wrote:
Taiwan further isolated as El Salvador switches allegiance to China
El Salvador and Taiwan have severed official ties, with the central American country switching its diplomatic allegiance to China.

Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said on Monday that Taipei had terminated bilateral ties with El Salvador and was recalling all staff from the country.

According to Wu, El Salvador had been asking Taiwan to provide an “astronomical sum” in financial aid for a port project that Wu said would leave both countries in debt. Meanwhile, Taiwan had received reports that El Salvador was considering establishing ties with Beijing in exchange for investment and aid...........

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:57 pm 
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From what I remember from my history lessons, it is(was) a Chinese province that is where the losing nationalists fled to after the civil war, the communists never bothered to pursue them at the time, but never recognised it as a separate country.

The Chinese don't appear to have any ambitions to bomb their way to victory, they'll play the long game where eventually Taiwan will be reunited into the State.
It looks like they recently have increased the pressure to grind down the Taiwanese so that eventually they'll rejoin (under duress).

As for that Genie, I think we can blame western business leaders who used cheap Chinese labour to break the western unions.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:46 pm 
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dolanbaker wrote:
As for that Genie, I think we can blame western business leaders who used cheap Chinese labour to break the western unions.


Yep, this is exactly it. Is it ironic that a Communist Country was used to break western unions?

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:00 pm 
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The clients along the Silk Road are waking up to the debt implication of some of the projects. The Myanmar Junta and now the Malaysian's are reviewing their part in the projects.

Business Insider wrote:
Malaysia axes $22 billion of Belt and Road projects, blow to China

[*] Mahathir Mohamad has cancelled two major Chinese-funded projects to avoid his country going into further debt.
[*] The projects were a $20 billion rail link and two gas pipelines worth $2.3 billion.
[*] All three were part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive project which aims to link more than 70 countries through trade.
[*] Several of China's partners are having trouble repaying their loans.

Malaysia's prime minister has cancelled two multibillion-dollar Chinese-funded projects to avoid his country going into debt — delivering a blow to China's plan to reshape global trade.

Mahathir Mohamad told reporters on Tuesday that he would axe two major infrastructure projects because "we don't need" them, and that the debt accumulated from them could bankrupt Malaysia.


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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:11 pm 
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Tanzania appears to have had a lucky escape from the clutches of the Chinese. The Previous government signed up for a huge $10bn Port named Bagamayo . Seemingly the current Tanzanian government will guarantee nothing for this project and it will probably not go ahead unless the Tanzanians are on the hook for a backstop.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:21 am 
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2Pack wrote:
Nearby Laos is into hock to the Chinese for a pile of infrastructure, notably their 'under construction' bit of a 'Kunming-Singapore' railroad that has very little support in Malaysia and Thailand further south which will cost them 33% of their annual GDP by the time it opens in 2021. The loan needs annual servicing thereafter.

The terrain in Laos is brutal, it is basically one mountain range from north west to south east.

Between the rail project (China to the capital) and some motorway and dam projects they are in hock for over 50% of GDP albeit rapidly growing GDP nowadays. If they could stop at that lot for a few years then inflation will get them out of potential trouble in a few years.

If they keep taking credit they will be a Chinese vassal state by 2025. :(


There are towns in northern Lao that are full of empty Chinese owned hotels and restaurants that have been set up for money laundering purposes.

The Chinese have also assumed de facto control of Lao's rubber industry. From a quick Google search....

Quote:
Despite centuries of state-directed eradication efforts, opium cultivation persists in northern Laos and Myanmar. The most recent of these efforts is China’s Opium Replacement Program (ORP). Like other illicit crop substitution programmes, the ORP seeks to provide opium cultivators with licit livelihood alternatives. Unlike other programmes, it does so by supporting Chinese agribusiness investors in the region – predominantly rubber companies – instead of targeting opium producers directly. Rubber is not, however, economically or ecologically speaking, an optimal replacement for opium. Rubber and opium have contrasting production cycles and market characteristics, and are grown at different altitudes by different types of producers (large corporations and smallholders, respectively). Due to this apparent mismatch, critics have dismissed the ORP’s opium eradication aims, viewing it as a pretext for land grabs. I argue instead that rubber makes sense as an opium replacement crop based on Chinese and Lao state views that opium is a symptom of weak state control and underdevelopment in the borderlands and rubber a tried and true modernising crop. I thus offer that the ORP attempts replacement by displacement – not necessarily by physically replacing opium fields with rubber plantations, but rather by drawing land and labour into rubber, away from opium.


https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... ode=fjps20

They are also probably going to be afforded the use of a number of Vietnamese islands in the South China Sea for a price...although many Viets are not happy with this prospect....

Quote:
The recent protests centered on the Special Zone Act, a law that would create “special economic zones” (SEZs) with the goal of sparking investment and economic reform. However, the prospect of dodgy deals that allegedly would have handed land over to Chinese investors provoked a flood of angry demonstrations less than two weeks ago, with protesters holding placards that read “No Special Zone — No leasing land to China — Even for one day!” and “Down with those who sell our country.” The chants started in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi but soon spread to towns in six provinces, including Danang, Nha Trang, Binh Thuan, and Tai Ninh.


https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/vietnam ... a-dilemma/

Ultimately all of these actions are being undertaken with the willing consent of the locals, some of whom will benefit from same (many others will not of course).

Its basically the same approach that the Britsh East India Company employed in the 18th and 19th centuries and is (depending on your perspective) infinitely more desirable than a Bush/Clinton/Obama approach which requires initial destruction followed by contracts for regeneration...at least for now....

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