Skip to content

Kina rasler med sabler og dollar

februar 12, 2010

“The Asian Empire” (“Empire d’Asie”)
by
Georges Bigot (1860 -1927)

UPDATE: «Iran Gives China Chance to Prove Its Stuff», Bloomberg via BusinessWeek.

USA inngikk nylig en avtale om nye våpenleveranser til Taiwan tross protester fra Kina. Nå svarer Kina med planer for økte militære budsjetter, innføring av handelsrestriksjoner mot amerikanske bedrifter og dumping av enorme beholdninger av amerikanske statsobligasjoner.

Anstrengte sino-amerikanske relasjoner forverres

Oppblussingen av striden over Taiwan kommer etter kinesisk hacking av et titalls store amerikanske bedrifter, deriblant Google, og en allerede høy kinesisk etterretningsaktivitet i USA. Dette skjer i en situasjon uten enighet om en felles strategi mot Irans atomprogram. Kina spiller et høyt diplomatisk spill når de nå vurderer konkrete tiltak mot USA.

Kina, verdens mest befolkningsrike land, har de senere år gjennomgått en eventyrlig økonomisk vekst. Et tradisjonelt jordbrukssamfunn er blitt omdannet til en overopphetet globalt integrert økonomi i løpet av noen få tiår. Faren for inflasjon, liten forutsigbarhet for investorer og forurensning har vært eneste hinder i veien mot en årlig vekst i BNP på ca. 10 % siden årtusenskiftet.

Økonomisk vekst over lik

Landets avhengighet av kullkraft har snart tømt deres enorme kullgruver og import av kull og gass fra Australia er en nødvendighet. Tørsten etter olje har nå tvunget Kina til å importere olje fra land som Sudan og Iran som nå utgjør henholdsvis 10 og 15 prosent av importen. Kombinert med landets plass i FNs sikkerhetsråd kan mulige sanksjoner mot Irans atomprogram forhindres.

Kinas geopolitiske ambisjoner og status som en økonomisk ekspansiv supermakt gjør mange i USA bekymret. Rester etter ”Den Gule Fare” kan skimtes i kommentarene til journalisten Bill Gertz i Washington Times. Han frykter et Kina med ambisjoner om totalt verdensherredømme, en tanke mange med ham misliker.

Kappløp om energi og teknologi

Vi er intetanende vitner til en global fordekt maktkamp om herredømme over naturressurser og økonomisk infrastruktur. Mens den moderne vestlige stat våkner opp til dens mange systemiske svakheter som finanskriser og en overbelastet infrastruktur gjør Kina seg klar for økonomisk krigføring.

De kommende årene vil vise om Kinas diplomatiske høyrisikostrategi vil avskrekke India i Tibet og USA i Iran. Kan en totalitær kommunistisk elite tvinge Oksidenten i kne med en sterkere økonomi som våpen? Kan dette være begynnelsen på den første økonomiske verdenskrig?

Det er ingen tvil om at Kina vil få et enormt kunnskapsforsprang med sine millioner av høyt utdannende fagfolk. Kina ligger langt fremme innen forskning på stamceller, nanoteknologi og informasjonsteknologi. Områder som vil bli kritiske for en fremtidig levedyktig stat. Mens den vestlige verdens infrastruktur forfaller både innenfra og utenfra bygger Kina forsvarsverk for en kommende storkrig.

Referanser:
China hits back at US over Taiwan weapons sale, BBC.
The Challenge of China, New York Times.
China PLA officers urge economic punch against U.S., Reuters.
China’s military studies Treasury sale as Taiwan ‘retaliation’, MarketWatch.
Blame China for Iran’s Nukes, Wall Street Journal.
China sabre-rattling risks starting trade war, Financial Times.

5 kommentarer
  1. Blame China for Iran’s Nukes i Wall Street Journal
    Beijing’s friendship with Tehran makes war in the region more likely.
    By MICHAEL DANBY

    Iran’s threat to «punch» the West will exacerbate the worries of many people who follow events in the Middle East and are increasingly worried the world is sleep-walking towards a new regional war. The causes of this possible war are typically categorized as, first, Iran’s determination to build nuclear weapons, and second, the world’s apparent inability to stop it.
    But a third cause often gets overlooked: If there is a war, a large part of the responsibility will rest with Beijing. China has assumed the status of a great power, including a veto at the U.N. Security Council. But instead of becoming a responsible member of the community of leading states, acting jointly with other powers to avert the prospect of wars, China is using its new-found power in ways that make war more likely.

    China’s military and diplomatic power have increased enormously over the past 20 years. But unlike the world’s other leading powers, China is a poor country economically and a dictatorship politically. After decades of rapid growth, China’s per capita GDP is still only $6,500–less than Ecuador or Angola, and only 14% of per capita GDP in the United States.
    China’s approach to Iran can be explained by the political situation at home: The Chinese people have come to expect constantly rising standards of living, and this the greatest weakness of the Chinese Communist regime. The Chinese people will tolerate the communists’ monopoly of power only so long as their living standards keep rising.

    The weak link in this system is China’s inadequate energy sources. Even with coal, nuclear power and its huge hydro-electricity schemes, China is short of energy, and its dependence on imports is growing. Australia, as a major exporter of coal and natural gas, has been one of the major beneficiaries. But China’s greatest need is for oil, and this Australia cannot supply.
    China can buy all the oil it wants on the international market, but the communist leaders don’t want China’s prosperity—and their own hold on power—to be dependent on a free market they don’t trust. They want control and certainty. They see the way to get these things is through deals with selected oil-exporting countries, preferably ones which are at political odds with western powers, so that their need for friends and protectors is greater.

    This explains China’s deep involvement with Sudan–one of the world’s nastiest regimes, responsible for the deaths of up to 300,000 people in Darfur. Sudan now supplies nearly 10% of China’s oil imports. It’s a cozy deal–China gets a secure oil supply and Sudan gets arms and diplomatic protection. The Sudanese regime knows it will never face U.N. sanctions, because China uses its Security Council veto to protect it.

    An even bigger supplier of oil to China is Iran. China now gets 15% of its oil from Iran, and is Iran’s second-biggest customer after Japan. As with Sudan, China pays for its oil by protecting Iran against U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program. Even with Russia threatening to support sanctions against Iran, China’s foreign minister has made clear that Beijing opposes sanctions.
    This is a very dangerous game. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is determined to build nuclear weapons and has threatened Israel with destruction many times. He may be bluffing, but this is not a risk Israel can afford to take. If the international community cannot restrain Iran, the government of Israel will face great pressure to take pre-emptive steps to protect the country against attack.
    Thus, China’s greed for secure oil imports and its willingness to deal with outlaw regimes to get these imports is causing a breakdown in the world’s only system for disciplining countries that endanger peace. If the U.N. sanctions break down in Iran, this opens up a serious danger of war—and China will bear a heavy share of the blame.

    Mr. Danby is a member of the Australian Parliament and chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee.

    Lik

  2. China sabre-rattling risks starting trade war i Financial Times
    By Geoff Dyer February 8 2010

    It is almost two months now since the Copenhagen climate change conference but one incident from the meeting is still causing a buzz in Beijing. It was the moment in one of the tense final sessions when, according to witness accounts, a Chinese official started to jab his finger at Barack Obama, the US president.

    More than anything else, that incident has symbolised what many see as a newly aggressive Chinese approach to diplomacy. As a European diplomat said: “If one of the deputy heads of the planning ministry can behave like that to the American president, how are they going to treat the rest of us?”
    Almost every day there appears to be a new source of irritation between China and the US about Tibet or Taiwan or the Chinese currency. That is on top of Google, Iran, tyres and chicken feet. And it is not just the Americans: similar stories are being told by Indians, Russians and assorted Europeans.

    There is a ritualistic quality to some of these disputes, especially Taiwan and Tibet. But China seems to be raising the stakes threatening sanctions on US companies selling arms to Taiwan, including Boeing. In lots of ways, China’s pushier approach is understandable. Everyone has been telling the Chinese that they are the coming superpower. It should be no surprise, then, that China wishes to turn that position into real influence over “core” issues.

    “We have to show the US that today’s China is very different from the China of eight years ago,” a Chinese businessman said last week, applauding the bolder stance on Taiwan.
    Talking tough with the US is popular at home, where nationalist sentiments are often only just beneath the surface. The idea of imposing sanctions on US companies over Taiwan arms sales was touted on the internet and in some newspapers before the Obama administration approved the $6.4bn package. One poll last year found that 50 per cent of Chinese respondents view the US as a threat to China’s security.

    Chinese frustrations with the US include some surprises. China’s foreign currency reserves of US dollars are usually seen as a strength, but many in China complain that the government has been talked into buying assets whose value, they think, will inevitably collapse. A headline in Sunday’s China Business News reads: “The US frequently uses cunning tricks to force China to buy its bonds”.
    Some of the rhetoric might also reflect growing internal political battles, over the potential for inflation, for instance, or the leadership succession.+

    But even if such talk is good domestic politics, China is playing with fire if it takes a genuinely harder line with the US. Beijing has a lot to lose if these disputes become more than just a war of words.
    The most obvious risk is that Chinese sanctions on US arms companies could help provoke a trade war. There is a cupboard full of bills in the US Congress threatening tariffs on Chinese goods if Beijing does not let its currency appreciate, which are just waiting to be dusted off – especially if unemployment remains high.

    More broadly, Beijing’s more abrasive approach risks undermining a decade or so of highly successful diplomacy that has helped sustain China’s booming economy. Beijing has managed to neutralise a lot of potential tensions about the “China threat” by settling border disputes, increasing its participation in international organisations and distributing aid. In Africa, people talk about “stadium diplomacy” because of all the Chinese-built football pitches. The cornerstone of this strategy was making sure relations with the US did not become too fraught.

    But if Beijing follows through on some of its sabre-rattling, it could lead to a cascade of tactical adjustments on how to deal with China. In its first year, the Obama administration emphasised engaging China but it could lean more towards containment. Japan, Australia and India, for instance, might be pulled in a similar direction and neighbours in central Asia and south-east Asia could become more wary of being dominated by China. The result would be to make it more difficult for China to do energy-supply deals and open new markets for its products.

    China is too powerful to keep following statesman Deng Xiaoping’s advice to “adopt a low profile” and having a louder international voice will inevitably ruffle some feathers. But as China’s leaders ponder how to exert more influence abroad, they need to ask: “Is it really worth tearing up a winning strategy?”

    Lik

  3. joachim permalink

    godt innlegg, sender deg en mail om artikkelen til Bruce Gilley’s i Foreign affairs ang, USA’s Taiwan/Kina-politikk…Veldig smart å invitere Dalaiaen til White house for øyeblikket(som forresten har velsignet motorsykkelen til Steven Segal…hurmpfh) Scanner og sender deg artikkelen, ganske interessant…
    Keep up the good blog!

    Joachim

    Lik

  4. The Case For Striking Iran Grows
    Only decisive action can stop Tehran from acquiring nukes.
    John Bolton i Wall Street Journal, February 11 2010

    Iran’s Islamic Revolution had a busy week preceding its 31st birthday yesterday. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Sunday that Iran would enrich uranium to 19.75% purity for Tehran’s research reactor. Yesterday he claimed to have done just that, making Iran «a nuclear state.»

    Earlier, Tehran boasted of making advances in radar-evading drone aircraft. Its ambassador to Moscow said that Russia promised imminent delivery of S-300 air-defense systems that could preclude Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear program. And to intimidate protesters, the regime disrupted communications networks, made widespread arrests, and executed dissidents. Antiregime demonstrations yesterday were met with force.

    Unfortunately, President Obama is not affording these provocations the seriousness they deserve. On Feb. 9, he struck pre-emptively in the White House pressroom by saying that the Iran nuclear issue was well in hand despite what National Security Adviser James Jones earlier this week called Iran’s «puzzling defiance.» Advocating a «regime of sanctions» against Iran, Mr. Obama stressed that his purpose was to «indicate to them how isolated they are from the international community as a whole.»

    That raises the question of why being isolated would bother Iran. The regime’s leaders believe they are implementing God’s will, so why should they fear being isolated from mere mortals—even Barack Obama?

    Mr. Obama also said «the door is still open» for Iran to negotiate, and a State Department spokesman added «If Iran didn’t trust the proposal we put on the table last fall [to enrich uranium outside Iran] . . . we’re willing to explore . . . alternatives.»

    Mr. Obama’s open-handed, open-doored, two-track approach just won’t die, despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceding last week that Iran has not «unclenched its fist» as Mr. Obama called for in his inaugural address. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said, «the only path that is left to us at this point . . . is that pressure track.» Perhaps the president and his national-security cabinet should talk more often.

    In the White House pressroom, Mr. Obama said that he is «confident . . . that the international community is unified around Iran’s misbehavior.» But his very next sentence offered this contradictory statement: «How China operates in the Security Council as we pursue sanctions is something we’re going to have to see.» Despite the lack of support from China, a veto-wielding permanent council member, Mr. Obama argued that his outreach to Iran had strengthened the campaign for more sanctions. He said he was «pleased . . . to see how forward leaning the Russians have been on this issue.»

    Moscow seems to be telling Washington what it knows Mr. Obama wants to hear, but that has little to do with how it behaves privately. We can predict that Russia will obstruct the drive toward sanctions. After all, it did just that for all five of the existing Security Council resolutions sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program. As for China, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has been unusually public in saying «to talk about sanctions at the moment will complicate the situation and might stand in the way of finding a diplomatic solution.»

    So is Mr. Obama’s real objective to pressure Iran back to negotiations, force it to give up nuclear weapons altogether, or undermine the regime’s authority and capacity to govern? And how long does Mr. Obama think reaching any of these objectives will take?

    It is true that we stand a much better chance at getting Iran to give up its nuclear programs if the regime is replaced with a democratically elected government. But it is entirely possible that even a democratic Iran would retain any nuclear weapons program it inherits upon the collapse of the current regime. If so, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others will likely continue to see a nuclear Iran as a threat and seek to acquire their own nuclear weapons. Democracy in Iran will not calm their fears.

    America’s central focus must be to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons in the first place. Doing so requires decisive, and likely military, action now, since there is essentially no likelihood that an Obama-inspired «regime of sanctions» will achieve that objective. The U.S. must rigorously avoid «sanctions» or «pro-democracy» rhetoric becoming excuses for American nonaction.

    Incompetence, sabotage and other factors can still slow Iran down, but not forever. Mr. Obama’s fascination with negotiations and gestures like sanctions is something Tehran fully understands and is happily exploiting. Iran’s nuclear progress and the potential delivery of the S-300s all suggest a crisis point sooner rather than later. We ignore this reality at our peril.

    Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of «Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad» (Simon & Schuster, 2007).

    Lik

Legg igjen en kommentar

Fyll inn i feltene under, eller klikk på et ikon for å logge inn:

WordPress.com-logo

Du kommenterer med bruk av din WordPress.com konto. Logg ut / Endre )

Twitter picture

Du kommenterer med bruk av din Twitter konto. Logg ut / Endre )

Facebookbilde

Du kommenterer med bruk av din Facebook konto. Logg ut / Endre )

Google+ photo

Du kommenterer med bruk av din Google+ konto. Logg ut / Endre )

Kobler til %s

%d bloggers like this: