New Silk Road Shows Chinese Leaders’ Vision for National SecurityPosted: April 24, 2016
In its report “China’s ‘New Silk Road’ facing difficulties: former official” today, SCMP quotes Xu Shanda, a former deputy director of China’s State Administration of Taxation, as saying that China may be facing big financial losses from its high-profile programme of overseas investment but the policy is necessary as an outlet for excess industrial capacity. The total amount of China’s investment in its new Silk Road, also referred to as One Belt, One Road, is US$40 billion.
Since the US began its pivot to Asia, Chinese leaders have been aware of possible US aggression against China in order to prevent China from replacing US as number one in the world. As Chinese leaders are pursuing economic growth that will finally make China a bigger economy than the US, if the US persists in containing China, no one can say that the US may not attack China in order to prevent it from growing stronger than the US.
US military actions in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have proved that the US has been used to military approach in resolving its problems without considering the possible consequences of its actions.
Chinese leaders, however, are able to foresee that even if China succeeds in resisting US military aggression, powerful US navy will block China’s maritime trade routes after US defeat. With the wisdom to foresee the consequence, Chinese leaders began the Silk Road economic belt and maritime Silk Road campaign (One Belt, One Road) to ensure China’s trade lifelines that link it with the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
The Silk Road economic belt will ensure China’s land links to Europe through Russia and Central Asia while the maritime Silk Road will at least enable China to link with the Middle East, Europe and Africa through Pakistan on land and from Pakistani port safely along Iranian coast if not through Iran on land.
As for the loss caused by moving excess industrial capacities to poor countries along the Silk Roads, China has to scrap such capacities if it does not export them to those poor countries. However, instead of scrapping them without recovering any of the costs, China will recover at least parts of the costs of such capacities in the worst case. That is indeed a very wise approach as China may become very popular in those countries with such investment to ensure that those countries will be willing to allow Chinese trade routes through them in spite of US pressure.
Therefore, even if China loses all its US$40 billion investment, the loss is only economic, China gains politically in security.
It is much better than US investment of more than US$1 trillion in two wars in the Middle East that has given rise to ISIS and made the US even less secure.
Strategic vision on future consequence is indispensable for a country’s leaders. It seems that China does not lack such wise leaders now while the US has to elect a wise leader in its coming presidential election.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report “China’s ‘New Silk Road’ facing difficulties: former official”, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/1937835/chinas-new-silk-road-facing-difficulties-former-official