[News] China’s Silky Road to Glory

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 14 18:47:56 EST 2014


November 14, 2014
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-141114.html

*Further On Down the Multi-Polar Road*


  China’s Silky Road to Glory

by PEPE ESCOBAR
If there were any remaining doubts about the unlimited stupidity Western 
corporate media is capable of dishing out, the highlight of the 
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing has been 
defined as Russian President Vladimir Putin supposedly “hitting” on 
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s wife – and the subsequent Chinese 
censoring of the moment when Putin draped a shawl over her shoulders in 
the cold air where the leaders were assembled. What next? Putin and Xi 
denounced as a gay couple?Let’s dump the clowns and get down to the 
serious business. Right at the start, President Xi urged APEC to “add 
firewood tothe fire of the Asia-Pacific and world economy”. Two days 
later, China got what it wanted on all fronts.
1) Beijing had all 21 APEC member-nations endorsing the Free Trade Area 
of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) – the Chinese vision of an “all inclusive, 
all-win” trade deal capable of advancing Asia-Pacific cooperation – see 
South China Morning Post 
<http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1637765/xi-jinping-unveils-chinas-plan-asia-pacific-wide-free-trade-pact> (paywall). 
The loser was the US-driven, corporate-redacted, fiercely opposed 
(especially by Japan and Malaysia) 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership 
(TPP). [See also here 
<http://www.tax-news.com/news/APEC_Leaders_Endorse_FTAAP_Roadmap____66373.html%22>.2) 
Beijing advanced its blueprint for “all-round connectivity” (in Xi’s 
words) across Asia-Pacific – which implies a multi-pronged strategy. One 
of its key features is the implementation of the Beijing-based US$50 
billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. That’s China’s response to 
Washington refusing to give it a more representative voice at the 
International Monetary Fund than the current, paltry 3.8% of votes (a 
smaller percentage than the 4.5% held by stagnated France).

3) Beijing and Moscow committed to a second gas mega-deal 
<http://rt.com/business/203679-china-russia-gas-deal/> – this one 
through the Altai pipeline in Western Siberia – after the initial “Power 
of Siberia” mega-deal clinched last May.

4) Beijing announced the funneling of no less than US$40 billion to 
start building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime 
Silk Road.

Predictably, once again, this vertiginous flurry of deals and investment 
had to converge towards the most spectacular, ambitious, wide-ranging 
plurinational infrastructure offensive ever attempted: the multiple New 
Silk Roads – that complex network of high-speed rail, pipelines, ports, 
fiber optic cables and state of the art telecom that China is already 
building across the Central Asian stans, linked to Russia, Iran, Turkey 
and the Indian Ocean, and branching out to Europe all the way to Venice, 
Rotterdam, Duisburg and Berlin 
<http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014livisitgrl/2014-10/18/content_18763272.htm>.Now 
imagine the paralyzed terror of the Washington/Wall Street elites as 
they stare at Beijing interlinking Xi’s “Asia-Pacific Dream” 
<http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-11/09/content_18889698_2.htm> way 
beyond East Asia towards all-out, pan-Eurasia trade – with the center 
being, what else, the Middle Kingdom; a near future Eurasia as a massive 
Chinese Silk Belt with, in selected latitudes, a sort of development 
condominium with Russia.

*Vlad doesn’t do stupid stuff*

As for “Don Juan” Putin, everything one needs to know about Asia-Pacific 
as a Russian strategic/economic priority was distilled in his 
intervention at the APEC CEO summit 
<http://www.globalresearch.ca/putins-asia-pacific-economic-cooperation-apec-summit-speech-trade-in-rubles-yuan-will-weaken-dollars-influence/5413432>.
This was in fact an economic update of his by now notorious speech 
<http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/23137> at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi 
in October, followed by a wide-ranging Q&A, which was also duly ignored 
by Western corporate media (or spun as yet more “aggression”).The 
Kremlin has conclusively established that Washington/Wall Street elites 
have absolutely no intention of allowing a minimum of multipolarity in 
international relations. What’s left is chaos.

There’s no question that Moscow pivoting away from the West and towards 
East Asia is a process directly influenced by President Barack Obama’s 
self-described “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” foreign policy doctrine, a 
formula he came up with aboard Air Force One when coming back last April 
from a trip to – where else – Asia.

But the Russia-China symbiosis/strategic partnership is developing in 
multiple levels.

On energy, Russia is turning east because that’s where top demand is. On 
finance, Moscow ended the pegging of the rouble to the US dollar and 
euro; not surprisingly the US dollar instantly – if only briefly – 
dropped against the rouble. Russian bank VTB announced it may leave the 
London Stock Exchange for Shanghai’s – which is about to become directly 
linked to Hong Kong. And Hong Kong, for its part, is already attracting 
Russian energy giants 
<http://en.ria.ru/business/20141108/195319981/Russian-Energy-Giants-Consider-Listing-Securities-on-Hong-Kong.html>.

Now mix all these key developments with the massive yuan-rouble energy 
double deal, and the picture is clear; Russia is actively protecting 
itself from speculative/politically motivated Western attacks against 
its currency.

The Russia-China symbiosis/strategic partnership visibly expands on 
energy, finance and, also inevitably, on the military technology front. 
That includes, crucially, Moscow selling Beijing the S-400 air defense 
system and, in the future, the S-500 – against which the Americans are 
sitting ducks; and this while Beijing develops surface-to-ship missiles 
that can take out everything the US Navy can muster.

Anyway, at APEC, Xi and Obama at least agreed to establish a mutual 
reporting mechanism on major military operations. That might – and the 
operative word is “might” – prevent an East Asia replica of relentless 
NATO-style whining of the “Russia has invaded Ukraine!” kind.

*Freak out, neo-cons*

When Little Dubya Bush came to power in early 2001, the neo-cons were 
faced with a stark fact: it was just a matter of time before the US 
would irreversibly lose its global geopolitical and economic hegemony. 
So there were only two choices; either manage the decline, or bet the 
whole farm to consolidate global hegemony using – what else – war.We all 
know about the wishful thinking enveloping the “low-cost” war on Iraq – 
from Paul Wolfowitz’s “We are the new OPEC” to the fantasy of Washington 
being able to decisively intimidate all potential challengers, the EU, 
Russia and China.

And we all know how it went spectacularly wrong. Even as that 
trillionaire adventure, as Minqi Li analyzed in /The Rise of China and 
the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy/, “has squandered US 
imperialism’s remaining space for strategic maneuver”, the humanitarian 
imperialists of the Obama administration still have not given up, 
refusing to admit the US has lost any ability to provide any meaningful 
solution to the current, as Immanuel Wallerstein would define it, 
world-system.

There are sporadic signs of intelligent geopolitical life in US 
academia, such as this 
<http://www.wilsoncenter.org/book/the-sino-russian-challenge-to-the-world-order-national-identities-bilateral-relations-and-east> at 
the Wilson Center website (although Russia and China are not a 
“challenge” to a supposed world “order”: their partnership is actually 
geared to create some order among the chaos.)

And yet this 
<http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2014/11/10/china-is-not-the-next-global-superpower> opinion 
piece at USNews is the kind of stuff passing for academic “analysis” in 
US media.

On top of it, Washington/Wall Street elites – through their myopic Think 
Tankland – still cling to mythical platitudes such as the “historical” 
US role as arbiter of modern Asia and key balancer of power.

So no wonder public opinion in the US – and Western Europe – cannot even 
imagine the earth-shattering impact the New Silk Roads will have in the 
geopolitics of the young 21st century.

Washington/Wall Street elites – talk about Cold War hubris – always took 
for granted that Beijing and Moscow would be totally apart. Now 
puzzlement prevails. Note how the Obama administration’s “pivoting to 
Asia” has been completely erased from the narrative – after Beijing 
identified it for what it is: a warlike provocation. The new meme is 
“rebalance”.

German businesses, for their part, are absolutely going bonkers with 
Xi’s New Silk Roads uniting Beijing to Berlin – crucially via Moscow. 
German politicians sooner rather than later will have to get the message.

All this will be discussed behind closed doors this weekend at key 
meetings on the sidelines of the Group of 20 in Australia. The 
Russia-China-Germany alliance-in-the-making will be there. The BRICS, 
crisis or no crisis, will be there. All the players in the G-20 actively 
working for a multipolar world will be there.

APEC once again has shown that the more geopolitics change, the more it 
won’t stay the same; as the exceptional dogs of war, inequality and 
divide and rule keep barking, the China-Russia pan-Eurasian caravan will 
keep going, going, going – further on down the (multipolar) road.

/*Pepe Escobar* is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World 
is Dissolving into Liquid War 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0978813820/simpleproduction/ref=nosim> (Nimble 
Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge 
<http://www.amazon.com/Red-Zone-Blues-snapshot-Baghdad/dp/0978813898> and Obama 
does Globalistan 
<http://www.amazon.com/Obama-Does-Globalistan-Pepe-Escobar/dp/1934840831/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233698286&sr=8-1> (Nimble 
Books, 2009). //He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com 
<mailto:pepeasia at yahoo.com>.
/

-- 
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