Posted: March 16, 2019 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Belt and Road, BRI, China, colonialism, debt trap, geopolitical influence, labor resources, lunar mining, manned submersible, sea bottom mining
CCP 19th Congress sets China’s goal of building China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by 2050.
To attain that goal, China needs lots of resources; therefore, its space program, sea bottom mining efforts and Belt and Road all aim at exploiting resources.
Lunar and Sea Bottom Mining
China’s space program focuses on lunar mining and satellite solar power stations.
The US space program aims at establishment of US world hegemony instead of the future development of the human race in space. It won the race to land on the moon with the Soviet Union to prove its overwhelming technological and financial superiority and then greatly reduced its budget for space exploration.
Now, the US is afraid that China may replace it as space hegemon so that it wants to return to the moon. However, perhaps it may not be able to afford competition with China if it repeats lunar travel with excessive costs without returns,
In addition to space exploitation of resources, China is making great efforts to develop the equipment and technology for sea bottom mining. It has successfully made and tested two manned submersibles that have respectively dived to 4,500 meters and 7,000 meters below sea level and is now building a new one to dive to 10,000 meters according to CCTV’s recent report.
China’s Mawei Shipyard has launched a 39,000-ton sea bottom mining ship for Nautilus Minerals, a Canadian company with ambition of sea bottom mining. As the company has not begun regular sea bottom mining to earn income to repay its debts, it is now on the verge of bankruptcy.
China, however, will conduct sea bottom mining funded by the state with rich financial resources. With the technology of building a large sea bottom mining ship and deep-sea submersibles, it may begin such mining sooner than others.
BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) Win-win Cooperation to Exploit World Resources
It may take two decades or longer to develop the technology required for exploiting lunar and sea-bottom resources, but Chinese industries have become so prosperous that they need lots of resources now especially low-cost labor .resources.
Shall China follow the failed model of colonialism in plundering world resources? China is certainly not so stupid to repeat others’ failures.
The US has exported its industries and capital to countries with relatively stable political situation and cheap labor to exploit the resources there. It has thus to various extents enabled the fast economic growth in some of the receiving countries and regions in Asia, including Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. Most of those countries become close to the US and even its allies. The US seems to have control of them so that it believes that export of industries and capital will enable a country to control the receiving countries. A country pursuing world hegemony like the US wants such control.
BRI for China’s Trade Security
China’s BRI export of industries and capital, however, strategically aims first of all at China’s trade security to prevent its shipping trade lifelines through oceans from being cut by powerful foreign navy. Through BRI win-win cooperation, China has established rail links with Europe through Russia, Central Asia and some European countries.
In that process, China has also built pipelines to get oil, gas and natural resources from Central Asia, which has thus become a part of Silk Road Economic Belt. Labor costs are low there and China has moved some labor-intensive industries there, but the population there is not big enough for China to transfer much of its industries there.
The above land routes are too long and too expensive. China has another half of BRI, i.e. the 21st century maritime silk road for less expensive but better, faster and also secure trade connection to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. That is why the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor becomes BRI’s first priority. China has been building rail and pipeline links and the port of Gwadar in the corridor that will not only provide secure shortcut for Chinese shipping to the Middle East, Europe and Africa but also promote the economic development of China’s vast northwest.
A shortcut of next importance is the rail link between China’s Ruili and Myanmar’s port of Kyaukpyu China has been building as a part of China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. It will provide southern, eastern and central China with a shortcut to bypass the Malacca Strait.
The above is the win-win cooperation with the countries concerned in exploiting their geographical resources related to location and connection.
BRI for Labor Resources
Economically, labor resources are more important for China’s economic growth as labor costs have been rising and may further rise due to China’s desire to improve its people’s living standards.
US trade war has heightened the urgency for China to move its labor-intensive industries to countries along Silk Road with low labor costs. US high tariffs on Chinese export do not affect the exports of the products made by the Chinese industries that have relocated in Silk Road economic belt.
There are large populations in South and Southeast Asian countries Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, etc. that may provide China with lots of labor at quite low costs. While China is anxious to move its labor-intensive industries to those countries to reduce labor costs and avoid US tariff hikes, the above-mentioned Asian countries are anxious to attract China’s labor-intensive industries. As a result, there has been BRI win-win cooperation between China and those countries in building industrial zones and moving industries to the zones.
For example on April 4, 2018 China’s State-owned China Harbour Engineering Company and the Bangladesh Special Economic Zone Authority (BSEZA) have signed a contract to set up a joint venture industrial zone near Chattergong for China to move its labor-intensive industries into Bangladesh. According to the contract the Chinese company will hold 70% share of the zone.
On September 9, 2018 Myanmar signed with China a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. The corridor will be T-shaped. It contains an economic corridor from Ruili, China through Mandalay, Myanmar to the port of Pyaukpyu that China has been building for Myanmar and an economic corridor from Mandalay to Yangon, former capital of Myanmar. Myanmar will build industrial zones in Mandalay and Myitkyina in China-Myanmar Economic Corridor to attract Chinese industries.
US Lies for Creation of a Rival Hegemon for Control of Asian Nations
As mentioned above, quite a few Asian countries that have grown rich due to US exports US industries and capital to exploit their labor resources. They become prosperous due to their capitalist system. During the Cold War, Soviet spread of communism to replace their capitalism scared them and caused them to be close to the US and even US allies for protection.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was not so urgent need for protection. Gradually, there is a trend of those countries severing their alliance with or even distancing themselves from the US as US control did no please them.
For example, before the Soviet Union collapsed, most Southeast Asian nations were US allies but now only the Philippines remains US ally. What worries the US most is that even its traditional ally for decades the Philippines is now distancing itself from it and seeking closer relations with China.
From its own experience the US knows Chinese exports of industries and capital may bring prosperity to receiving countries. It may cause them to be close to China and distance themselves from the US. In addition, China has been switching to creation-, innovation- and consumption-led economic growth. It will be able to export products of higher technology to those countries and provide China’s vast market for them as its people’s consumption grows. As a result, unlike the US, China will be able to maintain close economic ties with those countries for a long time.
Now, the US needs China to become a country like the Soviet Union so as to scare those countries away from China and make them turn to the US for protection.
Though China does not pursue communism nor wants to spread communism like the Soviet Union, the rise of a new power may be dangerous for nearby countries. Therefore, the US and Western media close to it have been busy in spreading the lies about BRI being debt traps, colonialism and pursuit of geopolitical influence. They think that such lies may make others believe that China is a rising rival hegemon like the Soviet Union and that China’s BRI is a trick to seduce others to fall into China’s “debt traps” and is China’s colonialism aimed at controlling them.
However lies are after all lies. The lie about Sri Lanka’s forced lease of the port of Hambantota has soon been broken by the disclosure by the Chinese listed company and Sri Lanka government of the truth. As a result, recently Bangladesh and Myanmar are enthusiastic in participating participate in BRI. Even Italy, aWestern developed country, does not want to be left behind.
Article by Chan Kai Yee.
Posted: November 28, 2017 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: China, deep-sea submersible, manned submersible, sea bottom mining, submarine technology
SCMP says in its report yesterday titled “Key work finished on Chinese submersible to carry humans to greater depths” that previously China built two manned submersibles that have dived to 4,500 meters and 7,000 meters below sea level and now it is building a new one to dive to 10,000 meters according to CCTV report yesterday.
The manned sphere is being made of titanium to withstand the great pressure at such a depth. Officials of the manufacturer Baoji Titanium Industry said that it was the first time titanium had been used to make a personnel sphere for a submersible.
Wang Dingchun, the company’s deputy general manager, told the broadcaster that the metal was more flexible and the company is able to make titanium alloy that is “almost corrosion-free”.
The report says, “The sphere is being made in two halves that will be welded together with just one seam to make it more solid. Traditionally there are more pieces involved.” Test dive of the submersible will be conducted at the world’s deepest Mariana Trench in three years.
Such deep-sea submersible will facilitate China’s sea bottom mining and its technology will be very useful for China in developing the most advanced submarine.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2121803/key-work-finished-chinese-submersible-carry-humans-greater-depths.
Posted: January 24, 2017 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: China, jiaolong, manned submersible, sea-bottom exploitation
A robotic arm from the Jiaolong (sea dragon) submersible places a Chinese national flag on the seabed. Photo: Xinhua
SCMP says in its report “China developing manned submersible capable of reaching the bottom of any ocean” today that China is developing a manned submersible able to go the deepest bottom of ocean on earth according to China’s Science and Technology Daily’s report on the weekend.
The vessel is being built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the company that developed and made the Jiaolong submersible, which has successfully taken a crew to the depth of 7,062 meters in 2012.
In addition, the company’s 4,500-metre manned submersible is in its final assembly and testing stage. Together with a 4,000-ton mother ship for the submersibles that will enter service in March 2019, China will be able to exploit the minerals at ocean bottom in earnest soon.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2064672/china-developing-manned-submersible-capable-reaching