, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China, Russia, India, now Iran, and others, are all partnered together in the huge SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Org.) while complaining about NATO. In all likelihood, Russia dared to take Crimea because China had its back. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation

Also called the “New Silk Road” and One Belt One Road (OBOR), China’s “multitrillion-dollar “Belt and Road” initiative’ cuts through several former Soviet bloc states, including Ukraine. A direct rail and ferry freight link opened in 2016, linking China with Illichivsk port on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast via Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, bypassing Russia.

Ukraine is a major exporter of grains to China. By 2025, Beijing and Kyiv aim to increase bilateral trade by 50 percent, to $20 billion per year. China has also funded infrastructure projects, including a new metro line for Kyiv. If Russia invades Ukraine, could Beijing’s investments in the region be at risk? For now, China is showing little concern, says Tsang. “The more immediate impact on the Belt and Road initiative would in fact be the Russian military intervention in Kazakhstan. And the Chinese government have actually shown that they are quite relaxed and comfortable with that. To them, it’s more important to support authoritarian states and autocrats to stay in power than for some of them to be closer to Russia than to China, at the moment. Over the longer term, things may change,” Tsang said.
” See: “China Eyes Risks and Rewards of US-Russia Standoff Over Ukraine” January 28, 2022 6:19 AM By Henry Ridgwell https://www.voanews.com/a/china-eyes-risks-and-rewards-of-us-russia-standoff-over-ukraine/6416467.html

As shown in this video, the Belt & Road initiative is much more expansive than the VOA map shows. India refused to join. Other countries started to rethink the Belt & Road. The President of Afghanistan opposed the Belt & Road. Is that why the Biden Administration handled Afghanistan the way that it did? “Gravitas Plus: The Belt & Road initiative”, Feb. 27, 2021: https://youtu.be/Rjx1iuY9D2s

Under former Ukrainian President Yanukovych, in December 2013, Ukraine was one of the first countries to announce support of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Apparently before his departure, documents were signed including the China-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Development Plan (2014-2018), the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and Ukraine and the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and Ukraine on Further Deepening the Strategic Partnership.
See: “Belt and Road Countries- Ukraine” January 19, 2020 https://web.archive.org/web/20210301125431/https://en.imsilkroad.com/p/310667.html
Were these memos-MOUs-statements binding? Or later administrations simply chose to move forward with them?

From 2014 to 2018, the two countries will work closely in agriculture, energy, resources, infrastructure construction, finance, high-tech, aviation and aerospace, said a joint statement, which was issued after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych held talks on Thursday”. See: “China, Ukraine plan to deepen strategic partnership (Xinhua)” Updated: 2013-12-05 https://web.archive.org/web/20140121132300/http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-12/05/content_17155239.htm

Is Biden and/or Putin trying to get cut into the infrastructure deals or use military action to expropriate land?

According to HRW, as cited in VOA (below), “China has “heightened surveillance and repression” to prevent unrest that might impede OBOR plans in that nation’s Xinjiang province. The far-western region of China is a key part of the silk road, and home to 10 million Muslim Uighurs, who differ in culture, language, and faith from China’s majority population. Xinjiang has long been the scene of ethnic and political tensions and is heavily patrolled by Chinese police and military units.https://www.voanews.com/a/foreign-firms-seek-a-fair-shot-at-china-new-silk-road-projects/3874333.html

Scottish Highland Clearances redux.


Almost certainly Pence connected Cummins will be involved, in some way, with the Belt and Road. Cummins has been in China since 1979 and Pence visited China on a trade mission in 2015:
1975-1979: Cummins Dares to Be the First https://archive.is/R52Ae
Pence Makes Cummins Connection in China”Tuesday, August 18th 2015 https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/29824575/pence-makes-cummins-connection-in-china https://web.archive.org/web/20150908005321/http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=220871&information_id=214537&type=&syndicate=syndicate

Foreign Firms Seek a Fair Shot at China’s New Silk Road Projects
May 28, 2017 7:38 AM By Jim Randle
China’s planned modern version of its ancient “silk road” may bring more than one trillion dollars of infrastructure investment along trading routes that wind through emerging markets in dozens of countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe.

“One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) trade routes, which stretch from China to London and to Africa, are intended to boost the economies of China and the many nations along the routes by making trading easier and cheaper.

But so far, these road, rail, pipeline, port, power grid, telecom, and other projects offer major opportunities for Chinese companies and not so many for outside firms.

The Chinese will take “most of the highest-profile projects,” said Researcher Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute.

The author of China’s Asian Dream: Empire Building Along The New Silk Road, Tom Miller, said Chinese banks are financing much of the work with the goal of exporting Chinese technology and creating new demand for Chinese products. Miller said nations that use Chinese technology are more likely to buy Chinese products in the future and will work to boost Beijing’s political influence abroad.

Cornell University’s Lourdes Casanova, an expert on emerging markets, said China is using these investments to “gain strategic power.”

Five of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world [measured by revenue] are Chinese, said Casanova, as well as four of the five largest banks [by assets]. The Cornell University researcher and senior lecturer said Chinese companies gained experience building huge infrastructure projects at home that will help them handle major projects elsewhere.

“Chinese engineering firms perform better in difficult environments than any other firms in the world,” said Scissors, adding “they don’t necessarily have to show profits, and have accumulated experience in Pakistan, Nigeria, Ecuador, and elsewhere.”

It may be difficult to operate in some OBOR nations, Cornell’s Casanova said, but they will still attract investment because they need a “huge” amount of infrastructure.

New opportunities

Some foreign companies tell researchers the business climate in China is deteriorating, and they are rethinking investments, which might affect new projects like OBOR. A survey by AMCHAM (the American Chamber of Commerce in China) finds some firms slowing investment in China or moving some operations to other nations. Members complain that “inconsistent” enforcement of regulations puts foreign companies at a disadvantage while slowing economic growth is hampering opportunity.

But major U.S. firms – GE, Honeywell, and Caterpillar – already do a lot of business in China and see opportunities in the new silk road/OBOR projects.

Caterpillar’s revenues have been boosted by improving sales in China, and the firm says it has been “deeply involved” in the new silk road initiative which it sees as a “long-term opportunity.”

Caterpillar officials said the company uses global resources to focus on solving problems for customers in China and 20 other nations along the new silk road. In the 40 years, it has been in China, Caterpillar has evolved from importing machines to China, to sharing technology with local partners, to now operating factories and other facilities within China.

Honeywell employs 13,000 people in China and earned billions of dollars in revenue there in 2016. Company spokesmen say their workforce includes a couple of thousand Chinese scientists and engineers, who are helping establish Honeywell as a local Chinese company that can address the needs of local business and consumers. The company offers a wide range of China-made products that support oil & gas operations, airports, healthcare, and other activities.

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said in a recent speech that his firm competes successfully in China and elsewhere with “local capability inside a global context.” He says GE has 20,000 employees in China with “multiple factories and research centers.” He said his company partners partnership with Chinese construction companies, and his firm leads in power, healthcare, avation, and petroleum.

Human rights

Human rights experts say another concern grows from the need to move some people out of the way of large infrastructure projects. Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson told VOA it is unclear what impact these large and ambitious projects will have on human rights, but she said there is reason for concern because some nations along the silk road routes “preside over widespread abuses.”

Richardson said China has “heightened surveillance and repression” to prevent unrest that might impede OBOR plans in that nation’s Xinjiang province. The far-western region of China is a key part of the silk road, and home to 10 million Muslim Uighurs, who differ in culture, language, and faith from China’s majority population. Xinjiang has long been the scene of ethnic and political tensions and is heavily patrolled by Chinese police and military units.

Richardson said private companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, and must take steps to mitigate or avoid risks. She said these obligations are spelled out by United Nations guidelines that have been embraced by key Chinese business organizations, and firms should be judged on how they handle peaceful protests of their activities. https://www.voanews.com/a/foreign-firms-seek-a-fair-shot-at-china-new-silk-road-projects/3874333.html Occasionally VOA does still make useful articles or did in 2017.