CHINA BASES, A 'STRING OF PEARLS' (CHINA)


The DOD report, as quoted by the Times elaborates on the Chinese strategy, noting that, "China … is looking not only to build a blue-water navy to control the sea lanes, but also to develop undersea mines and missile capabilities to deter the potential disruption of its energy supplies from potential threats, including the U.S. Navy, especially in the case of a conflict with Taiwan."


(27.10.2005)

China has been moving aggressively not only to secure raw materials from abroad to fuel its rapidly expanding economy, but also to protect the sea lanes along which these supplies will be shipped. This strategic effort has now been analyzed in an internal report submitted to the U.S. Department of Defense, according to Bill Gertz of the Washington Times. The report discusses China's efforts to establish new bases' a "string of pearls"from the Middle East to southern China.

China has strengthened ties through diplomatic, domestic aid and military exchanges with countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia and India. In some cases these connections involve gaining the right to build or expand naval or intelligence bases along these countries' coast lines. Areas that especially concern China are potential "chokepoints" like the Malacca Straits off Indonesia, the Straits of Hormuz and the Red Sea exits.

The DOD report, as quoted by the Times elaborates on this strategy, noting that, "China … is looking not only to build a blue-water navy to control the sea lanes, but also to develop undersea mines and missile capabilities to deter the potential disruption of its energy supplies from potential threats, including the U.S. Navy, especially in the case of a conflict with Taiwan."

This great expansion of China's capabilities, has been accompanied by increasingly bellicose statements. Asia-Times reports that recently: "On the Chinese, side, Major-General Zhu Chenghu in a speech at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club … stated that China would initiate a nuclear first-strike on the US if it were to intervene in a conflict over Taiwan."

The Times concludes that "All the major Asian powers are significant energy consumers and importers … Thus energy competition will determine the states of future confrontation and conflict in Asia."

Von: 24 October 24 2005, http://www.freemarketnews.com

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