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One Belt, One Road

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Revi » Tue 14 Nov 2017, 09:41:15

What do you think of the One Belt, One Road Chinese project? It looks like it's looping up to Moscow nowadays, maybe because there was no cooperation from Hungary, etc. It could be huge. Is it going to work?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Belt_ ... Initiative

It includes all sorts of pipelines and maritime routes as well. It all ends in either Duisburg, Germany or Rotterdam. A lot of it goes through Kazakstan, so it's going to be quite big.

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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 14 Nov 2017, 10:44:43

When the Chinese proved the Rail portion of this system several years back by shipping containers directly to Madrid, Spain I knew we were in for a much different future than expected by USA analysts. In essence the NAZI/Fascist dream of the 1930's looked a great deal like this with Germany as the controlling authority rather than China. The goal was to exploit African raw materials with Asian cheap skilled labor and European markets to for a kind of 'world island' that would all be under one authority and united by trade.

Sea trade remains the most energy efficient and cheapest for bulk cargo like crude oil with pipelines a very close second in many scenarios. Rail remains by far the cheapest and most energy efficient land transportation system, and a rail cargo unit train traveling from China to Spain can make the trip in less than a third of the time the same cargo needs to be shipped by sea from China to Rotterdam where it is trasn shipped via truck or rail to Spain. The Arctic Sea route changes that somewhat by cutting the shipping duration by sea over 50% from the Suez route but China is very much a diversified authority that doesn't believe in putting all their eggs in a single basket of technology.

I will also point out that China has been doing a LOT of work upgrading rail transport in the continent of Africa replacing the decrepit and small gauge (in many places) colonial rail system with fully modern high speed high durability standard gauge railroads that operate on real schedules rather than when the system operators feel like working or the equipment isn't broken down. At the rate they are rebuilding and building new rail systems Africa will have a basically all new rail network by 2025. There is also still the possibility dangling out there of a deal to connect rail trough the Middle East and former USSR Muslim states to Egypt and from there create a direct connection with the new African railroad network.

USA foreign policy for generations has been based on preventing any deal like these ones for a very basic reason. Our real power is maritime power allowing us to intimidate frequently and blockade occasionally the sea lines of communication and commerce that allow the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe to engage in trade. By building efficient rail and supplementary road networks China is making USA intervention in international trade extremely difficult or even impossible without actual acts of open warfare. If the Middle East gets tied in with rail networks they can ship oil and natural gas easily to anyone else on the rail network without fear of USA naval threats. With a rail system in place to the Middle East it also becomes a much easier task to build pipelines parallel to those rails where desired which would allow Iran to export its vast stockpile of Natural Gas for a much lower cost than its competitors are able to charge for LNG shipped over those vulnerable sea routes. there has been talk for at least 30 years I am aware of about Iran tying its gas resources into the Ukraine hub to gain access directly to Europe. So far the Russians have always stifled such plans because they didn't want competition for their natural gas, but with the new connections they are making to China in the far east they will soon have more pipeline capacity than available gas to sell. That changes the equation and makes typing into the Iranian sources an attractive way of easing tensions with Europe as they sell more gas directly to China. Alternately the Chinese may build the pipeline through the Muslim former USSR states and tie in with Iran directly. All of these big infrastructure projects have been possible for a long time lacking only money and the will to accomplish them. China certainly has the money, and they are lead by people who tend to take the longer view and that gives them the will to take these steps. Meanwhile the Globalist faction of the US Government sees all of these options as great for Globalism and ignore the fact that it makes the USA toothless in international influence so far as naval control is concerned.
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 14 Nov 2017, 12:02:45

Once the rail network is complete and the globalists get their free trade deals negotiated, China will be able to export huge amounts of low cost manufactured goods to Europe, wiping out EU manufacturers in Germany, France, and Italy, and the EU will be able to send their wine, cheese, etc. to China.

That would be a good deal for China, but I don't see what Europe will get out of it.

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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Revi » Tue 14 Nov 2017, 15:21:50

China will be the ones with the money, so they will be able to buy things .
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 14 Nov 2017, 17:51:51

Revi,
If they are the ones making what will they buy?
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby evilgenius » Wed 15 Nov 2017, 12:06:26

Thinking about it in terms of American hegemony, you can see weakness in key places. The Suez Canal looks like one major weakness. It's easy for the US Navy to target, as is all of the water along the Saudi coast. The waters around Malaysia have historically been vulnerable too. That land part is the dangerous thing for the US. It has an inherent vulnerability in that it is a single roadway/route. If the US could threaten it, and not necessarily with military power, the vision could be crippled. Because with a single route all the US would need would be some proxy freedom fighters in some obscure region the route goes through, who strangely can never be satisfied no matter what is offered to them. If the rail and the road (road meaning highway and pipeline infrastructure along land) can work in conjunction that wouldn't be possible, since they are far enough apart. Attacks on the road would not hamper the flow of goods. Those would only be short term inconveniences, nothing bad enough to bring parties to the table.

It's an interesting threat. I suppose it's best handled with money. Using money would be like being able to use the road yourself, for whatever can be gained in either direction. The US could actually look at this and put money into it, usurping the dominance the Chinese might be seeking. The Chinese do have a lead in this respect. They have been about the world simply investing, and not using the heavy hand of their military to guarantee returns. But, if the US chose to, they could more heavily invest, and target their investments better, and probably get back that edge.

I wonder what the prospects look like in hard times? If the US were in a depression would this be a worthy place to spend money even if it was the best place outside of the country? It's not a glorious sounding thing, like military intervention in some land where propaganda can easily make the locals sound like our worst enemies ever. It would take real effort, and we have trouble supporting a very small foreign aid budget because it's politically inglorious.
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Revi » Wed 15 Nov 2017, 14:04:28

China could become a consumer nation, if it continues down the path that other nations have set. Right now they are a big manufacturing nation, and they will continue, but I think the lure of fine wines and other European goods might fill those trains on the way back as well...
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 16 Nov 2017, 06:16:46

Revi wrote:China could become a consumer nation, if it continues down the path that other nations have set. Right now they are a big manufacturing nation, and they will continue, but I think the lure of fine wines and other European goods might fill those trains on the way back as well...


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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Cog » Thu 16 Nov 2017, 06:53:23

Roads are dual purpose. The transport of goods and the transport of troops.
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 02:02:17

Cog wrote:Roads are dual purpose. The transport of goods and the transport of troops.

You dont waste time and effort and money invading your trading partners.

War is about making a profit why start one when your already profiting
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 02:34:26

Both Russia & Kazakstan need to make visas a lot easier to get, ridiculous rigmarole at present (weeks waiting, sending Passport away, security checks blah blah blah).
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby GASMON » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 04:48:43

The Chinese are investing heavily in Thailand's railways also - upgrading the line south to Leam Chebang port. A quicker route for their exports.

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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Revi » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 08:10:42

Cog wrote:Roads are dual purpose. The transport of goods and the transport of troops.


True, Remember Ghengis Khan? He had the largest land empire on earth. He was all the way into Europe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan
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Re: One Belt, One Road

Unread postby Cog » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 10:52:43

Shaved Monkey wrote:
Cog wrote:Roads are dual purpose. The transport of goods and the transport of troops.

You dont waste time and effort and money invading your trading partners.

War is about making a profit why start one when your already profiting


Sometimes trading partners can be difficult. Why has any country ever invaded another? The Japanese thought they could consolidate the entire region under their rule during WW2 and were willing to go to war with the US and British to make that happen.
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