a Turkey waits to be plucked.

neverfail
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Re: how China got Sri Lanka into its oven

Post by neverfail » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:30 am

Milo wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:09 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:24 pm
Mahinda Rajapaksa, former president of Sri Lanka thought that he had a bright idea. To redevelop a port in the south of his island country that had been hit hard by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. His government wanted to draw in seaborne trade from the busy shipping lanes to the south of his country. Sort of "do a Singapore". All western banks refused him a loan - told him the project was unviable and the Indians rejected his plea for loan funding for the same reason. That did not deter the Chinese:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/worl ... -port.html

In Beijing their foreign ministry must have been eyeing Sri Lanka for years beforehand. Part of their diplomatic analysis would have been from studies of the leadership; with the brief on looking for weaknesses, both political and personal. In the case of Rajapaksa they must have pinpointed his chief weakness as vanity combined with cluelessness about economics. When Rajapaksa turned to the PRC for funding of his pet port project they must have seen him and his country as a nice plump turkey presenting themselves to be plucked.
How many 'turkeys' can China afford though?

Apparently this port doesn't see 40 ships per year.
Still useful to them as a future naval base in the Indian Ocean.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: a Turkey waits to be plucked.

Post by SteveFoerster » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm

neverfail wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:40 pm
Yes Milo. I was thinking exactly of that when I posted the last sentence in my previous post.

The PRC does not seem to be so much building a colonial empire per se as much as a vastly expanded sphere of influence abroad. Lining up overseas, strategically placed ports and bases (like the one it now has in Djibouti on the horn of Africa) is all instrumental in bringing that to pass.
They've bought a lot of influence amongst Caribbean countries that one would normally expect to be staunchly aligned with the U.S. and Britain. And that way of empire building sounds a lot cheaper than doing it the old fashioned way.
neverfail wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:40 pm
Now, just imagine if China were to gain control of the Bosporus waterway: the sole seaborne entrance connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean? What a geostrategic gem that would be, eh!
Interesting. Sounds like Putin's problem more than anyone else's.
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neverfail
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Re: a Turkey waits to be plucked.

Post by neverfail » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:44 am

neverfail wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:40 pm
Yes Milo. I was thinking exactly of that when I posted the last sentence in my previous post.

The PRC does not seem to be so much building a colonial empire per se as much as a vastly expanded sphere of influence abroad. Lining up overseas, strategically placed ports and bases (like the one it now has in Djibouti on the horn of Africa) is all instrumental in bringing that to pass.
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm
They've bought a lot of influence amongst Caribbean countries that one would normally expect to be staunchly aligned with the U.S. and Britain.
I cannot see what they gain from that. Viewed from Beijing the Caribbean must look like a remote backwater far from their country's natural sphere of influence.
neverfail wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:40 pm
Now, just imagine if China were to gain control of the Bosporus waterway: the sole seaborne entrance connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean? What a geostrategic gem that would be, eh!
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm
Interesting. Sounds like Putin's problem more than anyone else's.
I was not all that serious when I wrote that Steve. But just imagine that China could help lever Turkey out of NATO. That surely could not help but benefit Putin: bearing in mind that Russia and China are supposed to be allies.

neverfail
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Re: some are having second thoughts about Belt and Road.

Post by neverfail » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:49 am

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/china ... 4zyo3.html

Malaysia cancels Belt and Road projects with China over bankruptcy fears

"Bankruptcy" is Mahathir's excuse. The reason is that he does not want his country to become a captive of China.

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Milo
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Re: a Turkey waits to be plucked.

Post by Milo » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:05 am

I find the above confirming the Seeley thesis. China is already making decisions based on bureaucratic empire building as much as profit. It only remains to be seen how much they are willing to pay for it.

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Re: a Turkey waits to be plucked.

Post by SteveFoerster » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:50 pm

neverfail wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:44 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm
They've bought a lot of influence amongst Caribbean countries that one would normally expect to be staunchly aligned with the U.S. and Britain.
I cannot see what they gain from that. Viewed from Beijing the Caribbean must look like a remote backwater far from their country's natural sphere of influence.
You'd think so, and yet you'd be surprised how many Chinese people have emigrated there, running shops, restaurants, etc.

As for the regime, they gain international prestige, and they send a message to U.S. policymakers that China's reach is global, extending to the U.S.'s own neighbourhood.
neverfail wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:44 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm
neverfail wrote:Now, just imagine if China were to gain control of the Bosporus waterway: the sole seaborne entrance connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean? What a geostrategic gem that would be, eh!
Interesting. Sounds like Putin's problem more than anyone else's.
I was not all that serious when I wrote that Steve. But just imagine that China could help lever Turkey out of NATO. That surely could not help but benefit Putin: bearing in mind that Russia and China are supposed to be allies.
If I were Erdoğan, who clearly has no interest in maintaining Turkey as a genuine republic, I would see Putin or Xi as a more natural partner than NATO anyway.

That said, "supposed to be allies" reminds me of the truism that countries do not have friends, they have interests. Putin and Xi will be allies exactly as long as the arrangement is in both of their interests... and no longer.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: http://newworld.ac

neverfail
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Re: a Turkey waits to be plucked.

Post by neverfail » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:00 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:50 pm
neverfail wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:44 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm
They've bought a lot of influence amongst Caribbean countries that one would normally expect to be staunchly aligned with the U.S. and Britain.
I cannot see what they gain from that. Viewed from Beijing the Caribbean must look like a remote backwater far from their country's natural sphere of influence.
You'd think so, and yet you'd be surprised how many Chinese people have emigrated there, running shops, restaurants, etc.

As for the regime, they gain international prestige, and they send a message to U.S. policymakers that China's reach is global, extending to the U.S.'s own neighbourhood.
I can see why in Washington they often get the shits with Beijing.
neverfail wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:44 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:31 pm
neverfail wrote:Now, just imagine if China were to gain control of the Bosporus waterway: the sole seaborne entrance connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean? What a geostrategic gem that would be, eh!
Interesting. Sounds like Putin's problem more than anyone else's.
I was not all that serious when I wrote that Steve. But just imagine that China could help lever Turkey out of NATO. That surely could not help but benefit Putin: bearing in mind that Russia and China are supposed to be allies.
SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:50 pm
If I were Erdoğan, who clearly has no interest in maintaining Turkey as a genuine republic, I would see Putin or Xi as a more natural partner than NATO anyway.

That said, "supposed to be allies" reminds me of the truism that countries do not have friends, they have interests. Putin and Xi will be allies exactly as long as the arrangement is in both of their interests... and no longer.
Of course! But as long as the US remains globally powerful and a bane to the respective ambitions of both, I anticipate the two will, remain together as allies.

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