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China Has Underway A One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative To Invest In 70 Countries To Improve Its Financial, Trade And Military Relationships: This Is A Major Challenge For The U.S.

ArmchairTechInvestor, July 17, 2018, by Brad Peery

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China Trade-One Belt, One Road Initiative
This blog is a final portion of the Conclusions Chapter of the China vs. U.S. A Police State vs. a democracy book. China has underway a massive project, One Belt, One Road, to build a land and sea network connecting Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. China is planning to spend as much as $4-$8 trillion on a trade route infrastructure project in about 70 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This will include spending on ports, roads, railways, airports, power plants, telecommunications, and other infrastructure, including gas and oil pipelines. The network has been designed by and implemented by China. The countries on the network will individually be nodes on the network. There six economic corridors on the network. China says that the infrastructure is for the purpose of enabling economic growth in some of China’s surrounding countries.

The trade deficit with China appears likely to remain above $360 billion per year, despite President Trump’s efforts to reduce it. Over 10 years such a trade deficit could be viewed as providing financing for 90% of a $4 billion OBOR intitiative by China.

The corridors are the:
• China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC);
• China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC);
• China Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC);
• Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC)
• China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC); and
• New Eurasian Land Bridge (NELB).

China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC)
The Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor starts in Kunming, China and has two corridors that run south from China through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. There is also a western corridor that runs west in China from Kunming, to Myanmar and then south to link up with an East-West Corridor that goes through Thailand and Laos. In the south, there is also a second east-west corridor that links up with the north-south corridors.

The coastal states in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia and the only landlocked country Laos would take part in the OBOR to build highways, railways and sea ports to realize the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. However, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam would provide nodes connecting the Belt and Road. The Belt stands for the continental sections of the Silk Road while the Road is the maritime domain of the Silk Road.

China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC)
The Russia-Mongolia-China Road Corridor runs from Tianjin in China north through Mongolia to Ulan Ude in Russia. The corridor is supposed to open in 2018. This is the development of a central railway corridor, organizing transit trucking activities on the Tianjin-Ulaan Baatar-Ulan-Ude route and paving a road along this route. “Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said construction of a transport corridor linking the three countries helps support economic development, and encourages Mongolia’s participation in international affairs.”

China Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC)
The China-Pakistan economic corridor is being established to develop modern infrastructure projects that include roads, railroads and power plants. A 250-mile Multan-Sukkur section of the Peshawar-Karachi Motorway began construction in 2016 for completion in August 2019.

Gwadar Port in Pakistan is financed and operated by China Overseas Port Holding Co., It started operations in November 2016. Located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, it is close to the Straits of Hormuz, and the Gwadar Port provides China with an important shipping route to the Middle East. In April 2017, China provided a loan of $1.2 billion to Pakistan to help it with a currency crisis. The Port city population is mostly Chinese and represents an example of how China can expand its operations beyond China using the OBOR initiative. This is particularly important in port cities that expand China’s maritime military footprint.

Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC)
China is setting up an economic corridors in alliance with other countries – with one covering Bangladesh, India and Myanmar (i.e. the BCIM Economic Corridor). The Corridor will link India’s Kolkata with China’s Kunming, with Myanmar’s Mandalay and Bangladesh’s Dhaka among the key points.” The Port of Dhaka is a major river port on the Buriganga River. The Chinese government has pledged to finance multi-billion infrastructure projects in Bangladesh.

China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC)
This is one of the main axes of the new Silk Road; it connects the Chinese province of Xinjiang to the Mediterranean Sea, through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. It follows the ancient Silk Route. This initiative will be completed by bilateral cooperation agreements between China and Central Asia states. This corridor aims to better connect all the regional economies to China but also to Europe and thus offers a new intercontinental communication network that will open up Central Asian states. This corridor requires the construction of numerous transportation and energy infrastructures from the Middle East to China. It is supplemented by various measures aiming at increasing trade among all states involved in the OBOR.

New Eurasian Land Bridge (NELB)
The New Eurasian Land Bridge runs from northern China through Russia to Europe.

To stimulate investment with an aim to diversify its economy, the Russian government is providing a wide array of incentives for investors developing new product, technology in the energy efficiency, nuclear engineering, space technology, medicine and IT industries. Other key sectors for development include pharmaceutical and medical, real estate, innovations and technology, infrastructure, aluminum, iron and steel, lead, platinum-group metals, precious metals, nickel, copper, zinc, coal, telecommunications, transportation, agriculture and food and gas.”

The Ukraine crisis made Russia embrace the OBOR Initiative by:
• Beginning confrontation with the West and Russia’s deteriorating economy due to U.S.-led sanctions and falling oil prices left Moscow little choice;
• Without Ukraine, the second-largest post-Soviet economy and a market of about 44 million people, Moscow’s hopes to create an integrated bloc that would be on par with the European Union and other centers of global economic power were essentially dashed;
• Lacking a market of sufficient size to create its own viable geo-economic area, Russia was left with the only option of moving into another nation’s economic orbit;
• Russia joined the China-controlled Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in March 2015; but
• The most decisive step came a few months later in May 2015, when Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow and pledged to work toward a “link-up” between Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China’s OBOR Initiative.

China’s OBOR Involvement
China is providing financing in the form of high interest loans. China is being accused by many of using the loans to put many small countries in default, and to thereby take over the projects that they have financed.

With many of the projects being port development, these joint ventures with the countries could allow China to expand their naval presence throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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