Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Economic Expansion’

Chinese and U.S. strategies in Africa

December 21, 2015

chinaafrica

Double click to enlarge.


 

Source: South China Morning Post.  (Hat tip to Barry Ritholtz)

China is Africa’s largest trading partner.  Its infrastructure investment are large and growing, although total Chinese investment in Africa is less than U.S. investment.

If all goes well, the infrastructure investments will result in building up Africa’s export industries, which will be used to pay off the Chinese loans.  If not, China will still have a claim on the food, energy and mineral resources of Africa, much as European and American banks did in an earlier era.

U.S. base locations. Click to enlarge

U.S. military sites in Africa.  Click to enlarge.          Source: Nick Turse for TomDispatch.

The United States meanwhile is increasing its presence in a different way.   Investigative reporter Nick Turse, whose articles are posted on TomDispatch, reports a growing number of secret U.S. military site in Africa, to advise and help the armed forces of African countries and supposedly to be in place to fight terrorists.

Which will be stronger in the long run—China’s economic influence or American military influence?

I think some Africans probably resent the growing power of China as a foreign economic power operating in their countries.

I think some African leaders would be grateful if the U.S. military could provide effective help against the Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria or the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa.

But overall, I’d bet on China.  The Chinese are creating jobs and building useful and visible public works, which foreign military bases and the presence of foreign troops are always resented.

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The geography of pipelineistan

March 28, 2013

Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times in Hong Kong writes about what he calls “Pipelineistan”—the region in the heartland of the Eurasian continent where China, Russia, the USA and other powers are jockeying for control of oil and gas resources and pipeline routes.   I like maps, and spent a couple of hours yesterday doing Google Image searches of maps of the region, and here is what I found.

The first map shows the recently-opened 5,400-mile natural gas pipeline, connecting China’s resource-rich, majority-Muslim Xinjiang western region with its manufacturing centers in the east.  It is the longest natural gas pipeline in the world.

1. china-east-west-gas-pipeline

Next is a map of China’s oil and gas pipelines reaching into Central Asia.   The longest is 1,100 miles, and their combined reach is 2,000 miles.  Notice the extension to the border of Iran.

2. china-central-asia-gas-pipelines

While China’s economic expansion in the post-Mao era has been mostly peaceful, the Chinese in Central Asia work with some of the most vicious tyrannies on the planet, as do the governments of Russia and the USA.  Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, for example, is a killer and torturer on a scale exceeding Saddam Hussein.

Next is a map showing China’s land and sea access to energy resources, which shows why the Chinese government prefers pipelines to vulnerable sea routes.

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