|Asia News Digest
India, China Plan Cooperation To Keep Maritime Lanes Safe
Jan. 11 (EIRNS)India and China have begun formulating measures to keep maritime trade lanes in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf safe from pirates. Indian Defense Secretary Pradeep Kumar, During a Jan. 6-10 visit to Beijing, and Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, signed an agreement to share information on anti-piracy measures in the Gulf of Aden. They also began the groundwork for a joint military exercise in China in 2011.
Sharing of information between the two navies is of particular importance, since both China and India are bringing in bulk material through the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea for developmental requirements. Closer cooperation in this area will eventually lead to a better understanding of where the threats lie and how those threats affect the security of both countries, as well the region as a whole.
This dialogue, the second since 2008, is in itself a significant step in defense cooperation between the military of the two countries.
Will China Invest Reserves in U.S. High-Speed Rail?
Jan. 13 (EIRNS)The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is considering investing in the U.S. high-speed rail sector, China's official Shanghai Securities News reported today. The CIC was set up in 2007 to improve the investment of China's huge foreign exchange reserves, now at $2.27 trillion; the CIC currently holds almost $300 billion. After big losses from investments in the Blackstone Group and Morgan Stanley, in 2009, CIC shifted towards energy, infrastructure, and raw materials. The fund wants to expand in 2010.
When President Obama went to China Nov. 16-18, the joint statement he signed with President Hu Jintao made a brief reference to high-speed rail, saying that "the two sides welcomed cooperation by public and private bodies on the development of high-speed railway infrastructure."
There has been at least one big rail agreement, private on the U.S. side: On Nov. 17, General Electric and the Chinese Rail Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding to "jointly pursue high-speed rail projects in the United States." Both sides want to develop high-speed rail technology more rapidly and broadly, GE announced, and will spend over $13 billion in the next five years for this. At first, GE will produce advanced diesel engines in China, and this will lead to cooperation in more advanced high-speed rail technology, where China is taking world leadership. "A successful partnership with [China's Ministry of Railways] would allow GE to more effectively compete against European and Japanese companies for high-speed rail related opportunities," GE announced at the time.
It is also notable, that when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Beijing Dec. 4the first such visit in many yearsthere was discussion of infrastructure development. Harper said that Canada is investing over $1 billion into its Asia-Pacific Gateway, an integrated system of ports, airports, road and rail connections, to "link Asia deep into the heart of the North American marketplace," China Daily reported.
Hysterical Assault on China in London 'Economist'
Jan. 11 (EIRNS)The Economist, mouthpiece of the City of London financial district, once again exposed its role as the spokesman for the Brutish Empire, in a diatribe against China for exploiting Africa (unlike the benevolent British Empire, of course), and for China's reminder that the Opium War has continued.
The weekly Banyan column reviews the human rights issues which are filling the Western news (Uighurs in Cambodia forced back to China, the execution of a British drug peddler despite London's demand for leniency, and the incarceration of a Chinese human rights activist), then fulminates about the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, where the British experienced a direct defeat:
"Most striking of all were China's actions at the Copenhagen summit on climate change, where the world's biggest emitter appeared churlish. In a bid to avoid being pinned down to firm commitments, China insisted that all figures and numerical targets be stripped out of the final accord, even those that did not apply to China.... Further, China's Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, at first did not deign to sit down with President Barack Obama on the final day, sending relatively junior officials instead. China may have got a deal it liked, but at the cost of a public-relations disaster. Some think this a prelude to a prickly, more unpleasant China in the decade ahead, but it is too soon to conclude that...."
The Economist then gripes that China's diplomacy shows "an abiding lack of sophistication, and an attachment to a ritualistic diplomacy ill-suited to fast-moving negotiations, such as in Copenhagen, where the outcome is not pre-cooked. Over the case of Mr. Shaikh [a British drug runner], the official press indulged in the predictable and puerile ritual of railing about the historical indignity of the Opium War. Yet even many Chinese recognise that the worldand even drug-pushing British gunboat-diplomacyhas changed, and that it may be time to move on."
Change, indeed: The Empire moved the opium production from India to Afghanistan.
Korean Official To Give Keynote at Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi
Jan. 15 (EIRNS)Kim Young Hak, the vice minister of South Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy, will be making a keynote speech at the World Future Energy Summit, which opens Jan. 18 in Abu Dhabi. South Korea has leaped into a leadership role in the international nuclear industry by winning a contract to build four nuclear reactors for the U.A.E.the first nuclear reactors in the Arab world and the first nuclear exports for Korea.
The World Future Energy Summit looks to have been designed as a dark-age promotional bash, with nearly all the panels dedicated to solar, wind, carbon capture, etc. But many heads of state, energy ministers, and industry CEOs will be there, and the dynamic of the nuclear renaissance sweeping Asia will not be suppressed.
Floating Ice Threatens Chinese Sea Lanes
Jan. 13 (EIRNS)China's National Marine Forecasting Station issued an alarm yesterday, that the worst sea ice of the past 30 years is rapidly developing off the country's eastern coast. By next week, floating chunks of ice up to one foot thick could extend up to 90 nautical miles off the coast of the Baohai Sea and 25 nautical miles in the northern Yellow Sea, the station said.
The Baohai Sea, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea, is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, serving Beijing and other population centers. The station warned of threats to port infrastructure, transportation, and maritime operations. This, the worst sea ice in 30 years, appeared in early January along these coasts, as cold fronts pushed the temperature to minus 10 degrees Celsius and below.
Lyndon LaRouche commented, "We are now in a situation where we have not only the broad, environmental evidence of global cooling, but you now have this very specific kind of view of the sea ice. The way the mechanism works, is you have the Solar System, which is the great energy system, which controls pretty much everythingthe Sun. Then you have the refractions of that, which generally get associated with the balance between water and ice. Now you have a glaciation potential being built up inside the oceanswhich is very inconvenient news for those who want to have this global warming thesis, which is a genocide thesis."