American and Japanese Interests Align in Space

This elitist pipe dream of open borders and world trade under a world bureaucracy has turned out to be the greatest, grandest boondoggle of our time. The world was simply not ready for Globalism.

While the war between the Trump faction and the Globalists rages on in DC, there are huge geopolitical realignments happening in the rest of the world. The era of free trade, Globalism and the highly-centralized, extraterritorial power of multinational corporations has come to an end. This elitist pipe dream of open borders and world trade under a world bureaucracy has turned out to be the greatest, grandest boondoggle of our time. The world was simply not ready for Globalism. In the end, the level of coordination and stability (most notably price stability) required to integrate and form a one world economy was too much for our current state of bureaucracy and technology to handle.

Individual bosses will often blame one-off factors: currency moves, the collapse of Venezuela, a depression in Europe, a crackdown on graft in China, and so on. But the deeper explanation is that both the advantages of scale and those of arbitrage have worn away. Global firms have big overheads; complex supply chains tie up inventory; sprawling organisations are hard to run. Some arbitrage opportunities have been exhausted; wages have risen in China; and most firms have massaged their tax bills as low as they can go. The free flow of information means that competitors can catch up with leads in technology and know-how more easily than they used to.

As a result firms with a domestic focus are winning market share.

The retreat of the global company

Although Globalism is over, the economic/petrodollar war and the oil glut continues as China and Russia will push their BRICS alternative to the US financial hegemony being run out of the Federal Reserve. The latter has suffered two substantial losses in the recent days- the loss of Turkey as a western ally to BRICS, the Chinese and the Russians, and the accession of Japan to the China International Payment System (CIPS).

The ramifications of the loss of Turkey are fairly substantive, as Turkey was a brick in a geopolitical wall the western powers established to keep Russia out of the resource rich middle east and Africa. But Japan’s membership in CIPS may turn out to be just as damaging, if not more so, than the loss of Turkey. CIPS is the primary alternative and competition to SWIFT, the western system of financial institutions and satellite networks that are responsible for securely communicating and clearing financial transactions around the world. That means the Japanese can skip purchasing the reserve currency of US dollars and allow Japanese banks to wire money directly to and from China.

The fact that the Japanese are able to do this without metaphorical, or literal, earth-shattering consequences from the West will be noticed. More and more nations in Asia may choose to opt out of SWIFT and artificially inflating the dollar. This is, without a doubt, a result of the fall of Globalism and the debt-finance model that has ruled America since the early 90’s, but I am 100% sure that the fake media will pin this on the Trump administration. This is a part of the mess that the President says he has inherited.

But the President did secure investment from the Japanese in terms of high-speed rail infrastructure, and the Japanese were even willing to invest $150 billion from their government run pension fund. This is a sign that American and Japanese interests are aligning on a long-term economic basis. The Trump administration has also focused on lowering the price of the F-35 fighter plane, which has overrun its budget by the billions. As Joseph Farrell at Giza Death Star pointed out, the US has been pricing itself out of the international weapons market by failing to reign in budget deficits on developing programs like the F-35. Countries wishing to modernize their military out of a fear of regional instability, countries like Japan, may be interested in such a program.

During the meetings between the President and the Japanese Prime Minister, North Korea performed another test launch of a long-range missile system capable of striking US soil. The two leaders of the US and Japan issued a joint response, condemning the missile test and reaffirming their alliance and coordination against North Korean missile threats. Although issuing such a statement was a pretty standard affair, the implications behind this alliance caught my attention.

If you’re aware of China’s intention to build a continent-spanning electrical grid running on green energy, you may know Japan was the one who proposed this giant infrastructure plan. It’s no secret that the Japanese have been looking to get away from nuclear power, and one project started in 2015 involves sending into orbit a series of satellites covered in solar panels to collect energy directly from the sun. This power would be beamed down to earth in the form of microwaves to a receiving station, a “rectenna,” where it would be converted back into electricity and distributed via Ultra-high-voltage power cables currently under Chinese development.

Meanwhile, JAXA is planning on testing the technology in space by 2018, with a small satellite transmitting several kilowatts from low Earth orbit to a microwave receiver on the ground. JAXA hopes to have a 100 kW satellite in orbit by 2021, and a 200 MW version by 2028. By 2031, if everything goes well, a 1 gigawatt commercial pilot plant will be in operation, with a full on commercial space-based power industry to kick off with one launch per year starting in 2037.

Japan Demoes Wireless Power Transmission for Space-Based Solar Farms

The reason why I mention this in a defense context is that, theoretically, any satellite that can efficiently beam energy to a specific point on earth could also be used as a weapon. A 1978 NASA study found that an older method using longer wavelengths required a rectenna at least 6.2 miles in diameter. That is a huge area of effect for any potential weapon.

But the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been experimenting with shorter wavelengths and achieving “pinpoint accuracy.” This sort of accuracy would be much more useful as an anti-missile defense system, and combining this capability with Japan’s proximity to a North Korean launch means that such a device could be quite useful during the short but vulnerable boost phase of a missile launch.

With Globalism dying in a ditch and US and Japanese relations substantially restrengthened, the ball is now in Russia’s court. Putin knows that siding with the Chinese will mean that Russia will always play second fiddle next to the modernized, industrial behemoth of a workforce of the Chinese economy. He understands well the predatory nature of free trade and Mr. Global’s endless scarcity game of debt-financing and austerity, but Russia and China’s interests are already heavily tied together. Judging from Russia’s recent actions and their overarching geopolitical goals, Russia and China will continue to work together in the foreseeable future, but Russia, and Japan, seem to be inching closer and closer to the detente balance of power and away from the Old World Order.

The Beginning of Geopolitical Upheaval and a New Economic Order in 2017

In order to win back trillions of dollars in repatriation, Trump, through his appointees, has called for the establishment of a new economic order.

After talking about the geopolitically obstructionist nature of the Russian hacking theory in my last post, one might wonder exactly what the Globalists in the DC establishment are obstructing. We already know what the obstructionists want: open borders, the outsourcing of jobs in the “pivot to the Asia,” coziness with the Saudis, endless foreign wars and conflicts, and so on. But what does Trump, and most tellingly, one of his appointees tell us about his geopolitical goals over the next four or eight years in office?

United States

Many are wondering how Trump plans to fund an infrastructure repair bill while cutting taxes. The money has to come from somewhere, and repatriation of trillions of dollars from offshore accounts, foreign investment from allies like Japan, and lots of deregulation are keys for the Trump administration. Repatriation of funds is paramount, or else the administration will fall into the standard establishment protocol of Big Government Republicanism and running up the national debt.

In order to win back trillions of dollars in repatriation, Trump, through his appointees, has called for the establishment of a new economic order. For the position of Secretary of the Treasury, Trump has nominated Steven Mnuchin. Although many immediately took notice of Mnuchin’s membership in Skull and Bones and Goldman Sachs, few know the interesting details of his background.

According to Catherine Austin-Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and founder of The Solari Report, Steven Mnuchin is the son of Robert Mnuchin, the man who ran the equity trading desk at Goldman Sachs.

“When I worked there in the summer of 1977, I used to take some of the courses in the equity sales intern program and knew all those guys, which is how I met his dad. If you wanted to understand everything about equity on the planet, all you had to do was sit on that trading floor. Bob Mnuchin ran the arbitrage desk on that trading floor. You’re talking about somebody with unbelievably deep ties for generations in the equity world.”

In other words, the Mnuchins are Goldman Sachs royalty, identifying at least one group of the deep state who have splintered from the Globalists and aligned with Trump. Catherine also notes how Steven Mnuchin was working closely with the architects of the housing market collapse, siphoning trillions of dollars out of the US economy and taking it elsewhere.

“So the idea of taking the people who engineered the financial coup d’état and using them to bring the money back is certainly interesting. If you’re talking about a machine that has real power, the question is: Can you get it to have a positive return to the taxpayer?”

That is indeed the question at hand. When the old Soviet Bloc countries transitioned to capitalism, debt/equity swaps and equity trading gave insolvent governments a way to restructure their debts by selling off state-owned assets. In Russia, this was done under the Yeltsin regime to benefit pro-Western factions within the Russian deep state, factions that still do not see eye-to-eye with Vladimir Putin.

The lure of privatization could be very effective at repatriating money to the US. For example, the privatization of space required a huge amount of fixed capital, technological development, and innovation, but the lucrative prospects of asteroid mining and space tourism drew in investors and entrepreneurs from around the world. Of course, the financial predators wait in the wings, licking their teeth at the prospect of the classic “pump and dump” to line their own pockets at the expense of society.

Trump’s call for a new economic order is a shift away from debt based finance, centralization and Globalization and a move towards innovation, privatization, and deregulation.

The Middle East

530781-russian-ambassador

Israeli officials said they felt betrayed last week when the Obama administration decided not to veto a UN resolution condemning Israel’s territorial expansion. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to condemn the resolution and demand its repeal.

“The 342-to-80 vote reflected the bipartisan nature of Congress’s support for Israel. Almost all of the votes against the resolution came from Democrats, and a handful of Democrats also voted ‘present.'”

House votes to condemn U.N. security council resolution on Israeli settlements

This is yet another attempt by Globalist stalwarts to sabotage and obstruct any return to a detente policy and to force the next administration back into the status quo. Israel has recently accepted Russian investments and cooperation exploiting the Leviathan gas field, a venture that Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson would be very familiar with.

In Turkey, we have what would appear to be even more obstructionism and sabotage with the assassination of a Russian ambassador at an art exhibition. The assassin claimed revenge for Russia’s actions in Syria, but the only effect this has had has been to embolden and inflame political hardliners backing both Putin and Erdogan, putting pressure on them to act against the West, and sabotaging any possibility of rapprochement between the US and Russia.

With the US becoming energy independent, and the silent, unremarked upon death of “peak oil,” don’t expect the Trump administration to be anywhere nearly as cozy with the Saudis as a Hillary Clinton administration would have been. The Saudis have been trying to sell off ownership of their state-run oil industry in an attempt to diversify their economy- dealing mostly with defense technology and arms manufacturing. Globalist carbon policies dictated this process, but the unexpected victory of Trump, who doesn’t believe in Climate Change, have caused the Saudis to prepare for a future that hasn’t arrived yet, and may not arrive for a while longer.

Asia

shinzoobama

After President Obama spoke at a memorial in Hiroshima, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to Pearl Harbor to commemorate those killed in action. There has been a sincere desire by both sides (and maybe all of the US factions) to reaffirm our alliance with Japan. With Russia somewhat uneasy over the Chinese takeover of the South China Sea, Putin has welcomed Japanese investment in Siberian gas ventures and worked to resolve the Kuril Islands territorial dispute.With all of this recent fence mending, it would appear that Japan is establishing a position of detente. Given the location of the country, and the conflict between the US and China to control trade around the Pacific Rim, it’s not a bad idea. Expect Japan to play a vital part of any rapprochement between the US and Russia.

On Christmas day, a Russian plane carrying the Alexandrov Ensemble, formerly the Red Army Choir, to a Russian military base in Syria crashed into the Black Sea minutes after take off. The day after, Vladimir Putin declared a day of mourning, and investigations have concluded that it was an accident. But with the recent assassination of a Russian ambassador in Turkey and the flimsy Russian hacking theory being aired on most news networks in the US, I would not be surprised to discover Globalist involvement to – you guessed it – obstruct Trump.

Similar to the assassination in Turkey, the death of the Alexandrov Ensemble, and suspicions of foul play, have been whipping up the Russian hardliners backing Putin to act against the US and pro-Western factions in Russia.

Europe

soldiers_eurocorps-0

In Europe, and the EU, the struggle between centralization and sovereignty continues. While the British establishment are still trying to hold back the triggering of Article 50, many European Parliament politicians have become concerned over the formation of an EU military. They have pointed out that such an army would be redundant to NATO, except even more bloated and bureaucratic. Any proposed EU army would also suffer from the same complications in coordination and logistics that NATO suffers from- i.e. language barriers and the need for mass standardization. On top of that, the US and the UK, two of the largest military powers in the world, will not be members of the EU, excluding their military might from an EU army.

In other troubling news, Yves Chandelon, the NATO Auditor General and the man in charge of investigating the international funding of terrorism, was found dead from a gunshot wound in Brussels. The official cause of death has been ruled a suicide, but Chandelon’s family disagrees. Could this be an effort by the Globalists to cover for their friends Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar? It is these three nations who have been implicated in the funding and nurturing of ISIS. Or perhaps this is a measure by the Globalists to rid themselves of further oversight, so they can continue their clandestine operations to manipulate world affairs well after President Obama leaves office.

How Will Russia and China’s Asian Strategy Deal With Trump?

China’s proposal would include Australia, Japan, and India, aiming to govern and regulate 40% of the world’s trade.

President-elect Trump’s meeting this past Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have been conducted in an unofficial capacity, but it should still worry the US’s rivals. Japan, growing nervous of China’s expansionism, has been cozying up to Russia, who views Japan as a potential ally, counterbalance and check to China’s growth in the Pacific.

Counterbalancing Chinese influence would be prudent as China is introducing their own free trade agreement, the RECP, in the wake of the political death of the Globalist TPP. China’s proposal would include Australia, Japan, and India, aiming to govern and regulate 40% of the world’s trade. The Chinese, who along with the Russians have been suffering from a severely compressed timeline for their operations due to the oil glut and economic sanctions, will have to speed up their operations even further as Trump’s protectionist tariffs could severely impact China’s exports. But I speculate that China’s military infrastructure in the South China Sea, the mechanism responsible for the enforcement of any prospective trade deal, will not be able keep pace with the speed up in negotiations and planning.

One possible indication of these forthcoming protectionist policies is a Congressional advisory commission’s annual report recommending that Congress block Chinese state-run firms from buying up American businesses.

“Carolyn Bartholomew, the Democratic-appointed vice chairman of the review commission, said that while China restricts foreign investment with laws banning foreign participation in large swaths of its economy, Chinese companies face no such obstacles in the U.S.”

Congress urged to bar U.S. acquisitions by China state firms

China is facing more severe, long-term problems in Trump, who wants to reorganize the world economy and renegotiate the Globalist trade deals that have benefited countries like China since the 90’s. Trump also doesn’t believe in the climate change apocalypse, calling it a Chinese plot. Although nobody can deny that the smog and pollution over Beijing is real, the Chinese are relying on climate change/rising sea level hysteria to fuel interest and investment in their renewable energy industry from island nations in the Southeast Pacific.

Heavily invested in technologies like solar, China has agreed to join Japan in a proposal to integrate the countries of the Pacific Rim into one massive electrical “super grid” running entirely on renewable energy. However, the project is a long-term infrastructure deal requiring huge amounts of fixed capital over the next 34 years, so nothing is set in stone at this time.

“The entire idea is contingent on ultra high voltage power transmission lines, thousands of miles operating at more than 1,000 kilovolts AC/800 kilovolts DC. High voltages reduce losses over long distances, and both Russia and Japan already have hundreds (in Russia’s case thousands) of miles of ultra high voltage lines up and running. These pale in comparison to China’s infrastructure; since 2009 China has built nearly 10,000 miles of UHV power lines, with about the same again to come online in the next two years.

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“The larger GEIDCO’s interconnected web of renewable energy becomes, the more stable the supply is, because it’s less dependent on individual sources, so moving toward a global energy network that shares power from Greenland to South Africa, Australia to Switzerland is the ultimate goal.”

Asian “super grid” the first step towards a global, interconnected, renewable energy grid

In their mission to overturn the Western hegemony, Russia and China have split their duties to depress the US economy before ultimately shutting it out.

Russia and its Iranian allies have been using military force to exploit the US quagmire in the Middle East. By intervening in Syria and taking on ISIS, Russia looks like a stabilizing force and Putin accumulates political capital, which he uses to gain access to oil and business ventures in the Middle East and to form economic unions in Asia. Putin even cut oil deals with a disgruntled Israel, still upset over their treatment by the Obama administration and the Iran deal. By increasing their influence over world oil production, Russia can cut into the value of the petrodollar with their oil-ruble, and maybe end the oil glut which has stalled their economy.

On the other front, China’s offensives concern economic and monetary policy. Before the yuan was given reserve currency status by the IMF, it was being decoupled from the dollar’s exchange rate and strategically devalued to help China recover from their stock market crash and to slightly advantage Chinese exports at the expense of the US. Looking forward, the Chinese are developing technologies like the “super grid” to construct a framework for a renewable energy industry. The goal is to get in front of and shut out the US from dominating any forthcoming, Eco-friendly world energy market, designed to heavily favor green energy through policies that the Chinese and Globalists have been calling for. Policies like carbon taxes, carbon credits, carbon markets and their accompanying commodity games for Wall Street to play with.

But now, Trump, with his disregard for climate change and Globalist trade deals, will force them to fundamentally revise their strategies. Trump will have to step carefully as spoiling China’s green energy super grid plan could push the balance of power and world energy markets into the hands of Putin’s oil industry, or vice-versa. The President-elect said during his campaign speeches that he would invest in all forms of energy. That would be a good start.

China Challenges Japan, Australia Told to Pick a Side in South China Sea

The Chinese are now sending armed escorts to accompany hundreds of fishing boats to fish off of the disputed Senkaku Islands, officially recognized as Japanese territory.

After the Hague officially denied China’s claims over the South China Sea, China has continued using its artificially-created island chains to advance their take over of the economic zone. The island chains, running from Japan to Indonesia, are being used by China as platforms to quickly project military force in the area, housing communications systems and landing strips for aircraft. The first resource the Chinese intend to exploit, to the exclusion of others, is fishing.

Beware the invasion of China’s ‘little green boats’

The Chinese are now sending armed escorts to accompany hundreds of fishing boats to fish off of the disputed Senkaku Islands, officially recognized as Japanese territory. The Japanese have yet to respond militarily, sending Coast Guard vessels to drive the fishers off.

Second, the Chinese maneuvers around what they call the Diaoyu Islands appear to be part of China’s larger strategy to gain control of the shipping lanes of the East China Sea, similar to its construction of artificial islands in the adjacent South China Sea.

However, the Japanese have continued their recent trend towards rearmament in anticipation of trouble with China as well as North Korea. Japan has looked to purchase 11 AAV7 amphibious assault vehicles, a fleet of F-35 fighter planes, Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and Chinook helicopters. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a major Japanese defense contractor that outfits the Japanese military, has also entered into negotiations with the colossal American military industrial complex to develop armored vehicles for export.

Japan wants British weaponry for South China Sea standoff

Mitsubishi Heavy discusses U.S. armored vehicle tie up after losing sub deal

After a much-anticipated Japanese contract to build submarines for Australia fell through, the West has begun to question Australia’s support. Since the mighty American economy has become stagnant for nearly a decade, the lure of forming economic ties with China is very strong to the Australians.

US army official asks Australia to either pick Washington or Beijing over South China Sea row

Australia is a major participant in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and part of a group of nations opposing China’s recent expansionist policies. This group also contains Vietnam, who has recently installed missile batteries on islands bordering Chinese claims. New  Zealand is another member, expecting to benefit from the TPP, and the Philippines arguably have the most to lose from China’s territorial seizures.

All in all, the picture in Southeast Asia is changing quickly, and is starting to show signs of a shrinking US presence. Although the US is still obliged by treaty to defend the Japanese in a time of war, Japan has decided to hedge their bets by developing their own military industry. Losing Australia in the conflict against China is a real possibility as progressive Keynesian economics, stimulus policies, and the long-standing myth of “quantitative easing” are beginning to lose their prestige.

 

US Military Bases Facing Expulsion, Has Trilateral Foreign Policy Failed?

The situations in Turkey and Japan, and the fact that this scenario is no longer an isolated incident, suggests that the foreign policy of the current administration has performed poorly.

Make no mistake, I love America. Even with all of our selfie sticks and deep-fried twinkies, I love this country. But I have to give credit where credit is due, and I have to seriously consider if Russia, and Putin in particular, has bested this country in the realm of geopolitics, for now. The petrodollar hegemony is under siege, GMO’s and trade deals are being rejected, the EU is in danger of disintegration, and our allies are turning to Russia. One of those allies is Japan, who has recently invested in the Russian oil project in the Irkutsk region of Eastern Siberia. Wary of an aggressive China, Japan has recently set off on a course of rearmament and military revival, rather than relying on the US as a guarantor of protection. Relations between the US and Japanese Okinawa have soured to the point that the US has agreed to move its base to a remote location, away from a local populace deeply angered over a history of criminal conduct involving members of the US military. The US wore out its welcome in Okinawa.

Abe, U.S. commander agree to carry out defense guidelines in steady manner

Due to a severe backlash against the refugee and migrant policy in the EU, which may have been the primary cause of the Brexit referendum, Turkey and its president, Recep Erdogan, were forced to capitulate to the Russians and end their effort to remove Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria. With the possibility that much of Europe could severely limit the amount of migrants and refugees entering their countries, Erdogan was facing the grave scenario of Syrian war refugees entering Turkey for asylum and having nowhere else to go. A massive influx of refugees staying in rather than passing through Turkey would have severe economic, political and social ramifications. Very shortly after Erdogan’s reversal of policy, a (possibly rushed) coup attempt failed to unseat him. Officially blaming the US, power to the Incirlik Air Base and thousands of US Airmen was cut off and no flights were allowed to take off from the base for two days. Last night, thousands of Turkish police officers have surrounded the base for a “security check” after local police were told of a second coup attempt. Nothing was found, but it is clear that the base, and the US, is no longer welcome in Turkey.

Report: 7,000 Turkish forces surrounded Incirlik air base overnight

US military bases are crucial to the projection of American power. With the ability to quickly form a military response, the US is able to establish and enforce treaties and agreements, protect allies, and deter rivals. When local opinion turns against the US, the military base and its inhabitants are often the first target of protests and enmity. The situations in Turkey and Japan, and the fact that this scenario is no longer an isolated incident, suggests that the foreign policy of the current administration has performed poorly.

The Obama administration belongs to the Trilateral Commission school of thought, with Zbigniew Brzezinski being the expert on foreign policy and a key founder of the group. There are clear parallels between current policy and Brzezinki’s policy during the Carter administration

  • an aversion to unilateral policy and overt warfare
  • a preference for covert armament and proxy wars, technological superiority and manipulation, and political and media pressure
  • alliance building, support for the EU and control over Eurasia
  • and most importantly, the abandonment of (Kissinger’s) balance of power strategy, as per Presidential Directive 18 on U.S. National Security, for a globalist, supranational hegemony led by Western financial elites, technocrats, and intelligence agencies.

Nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state. – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: The Technetronic Era, 1971

It should be noted that Brzezinski does not hold any official positions in the administration, and he has even criticized some of its decisions including the arming of rebels in Syria. Brzezinski even admitted that the US is “still the strongest, but we’re not necessarily the most respected or legitimate,” in 2014. This point, legitimacy and respect, is the linchpin of Brzezinski’s style of foreign policy, and the key failure of the Obama administration in implementing it. With the exposure of NSA surveillance, technological superiority and legitimacy are threatened. Due to unpopular economic policies and underhanded trade deals, our alliances and friendships are threatened. The policy of regime change, dubious support of “moderate” Muslim radicals in Syria, and drone warfare collateral damage degrades our reputation as a facilitator of peace.

There has been a schism in the leadership over these issues. Henry Kissinger, the purveyor of the balance of power strategy (AKA detente), has tacitly shown displeasure at the current state of affairs. In February, Kissinger met with Putin as the West was imposing sanctions and denouncing the Russian slow-mo invasion of the Ukraine. Kissinger even met with Donald Trump in May, answering Trump’s requests for help developing foreign policy.

Donald Trump to meet with Henry Kissinger, GOP’s foreign-policy eminence

“America first will be the overriding theme of my administration,” Trump said last month in a speech at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel, where he also called globalism a “false song.”

 

China Defies Tribunal, New Zealand Picks a Side in the Pacific

Choosing to ignore the court’s decision is a continuation of the “slow-motion invasion” style of territory grabbing that China’s ally, Putin, utilized in the Ukraine.

Despite the ruling a week ago from the International Criminal Court rejecting China’s claims over the resource-rich South China Sea, China has continued to develop artificial islands and is setting up communication systems on them.

During US Navy visit, China vows ‘never to stop’ island buildup

The islands could serve as platforms for China to project military force throughout the region, allowing the control of trade and exploitation of oil reserves. Choosing to ignore the court’s decision is a continuation of the “slow-motion invasion” style of territory grabbing that China’s ally, Putin, utilized in the Ukraine. In light of these developments, the US Navy has been invited to make a port call in New Zealand for the first time in over 30 years.

US Navy to return to New Zealand after 30-year rift over nukes

The 30-year stand-off was due to a conflict between New Zealand’s anti-nuclear laws and America’s policy of neither confirming or denying the presence of nuclear weapons on its ships.

It should be noted that the US Navy has continued to apply their policy of neither confirming nor denying nuclear armaments on their ships, which could serve as a reminder, if not a tacit warning, to any Chinese attempt to impede “freedom of navigation” operations. By caving to the policy and inviting US presence, New Zealand is announcing their opposition to China’s expansionism, serving as an important stepping stone between America and Australia.

In stark contrast to these warming relations, the Incirlik Air Base, and a whole other nuclear matter, may represent a serious setback in US geopolitical positioning. With power to the base still cut off after 6 days, and fuel reserves rumored to hold out for less than a week, some commentators have begun to speculate if the base was being used as a bargaining chip in the fallout of Erdogan’s accusations of American involvement with the recent failed coup. In Okinawa, an unfortunate history of criminal activity involving servicemen has severely soured relations with the Japanese. A protest held two days ago drew over 60,000 people asking for the military bases to be moved out of Okinawa. As China seeks to expand their ability to project force in the South China Sea, the US’s first line of force projection is being contested.

 

South China Sea a Chessboard of the Far East

Time will tell how many steps the west is ahead of China and Russia.

Adding to yesterday’s piece on Japanese rearmament, the situation in South East Asia develops further as the International Criminal Court has just rejected China’s claims over the South China Sea.

Beijing’s South China Sea Claims Rejected by Hague Tribunal

If Japan has reasons to rearm, a potential conflict in this area would be a prominent one. Control of the South China Sea means control over a vital resource of food in the form of fish, shipping lanes for maritime trade, and an untapped oil field that, by the most optimistic estimates, could be larger than Kuwaiti reserves. China’s commitment to the BRICS system and Russia means that the international oil markets, and therefore currency reserves, are being shaken up. Russia’s economy relies primarily on oil exports, and China has been gaming oil markets by filling its strategic reserves at opportune times. With oil being a crucial component of foreign policy, it would not be illogical for China to slowly take control of the South China Sea.

The tribunal cited interference with fishing and oil exploration, “irreparable” damage to the environment and the construction of a large artificial island in Philippine waters. China has built a military airstrip, naval berths and sports fields on the island, known as Mischief Reef, but the panel said that it was in Philippine waters.

China’s strategy of creating artificial islands as platforms to quickly project military force in the region is just the foundation for a much larger scheme. If the above image from a 2006 report to Congress is accurate, China intends to establish two things with its two barrier-like island chains. The first island chain incorporates all the oil reserves and excludes all other nations south of Japan. The second extends from the east coast of Japan and ends in eastern Indonesia, and effectively cuts off the South China Sea from the Pacific, and the western powers. It’s clear that one purpose of the first island chain is to facilitate Chinese exploitation of the oil reserves, but I believe the purpose of the second chain is to extend Chinese influence, and control over trade, beyond territories like the Philippines and South Korea and to solidify China as the dominant player in an economic union similar to Germany’s position in the European Union. By creating a territorial dispute over undefined maritime boundaries and obfuscating the issue in arbitration, China was expanding its influence without overtly breaking international law similar to Putin’s “slow motion invasion” of the Ukraine. Rulings like the one coming from the Hague today are going to make it harder for China to maintain its innocence.

However, all of this maneuvering and calculating may have come too late as the banking class have recently dumped oil from their portfolios and popular science is all over carbon emissions. Time will tell how many steps the west is ahead of China and Russia. If the Chinese are ultimately successful, don’t be surprised to see an alliance with Japan as Japan has already cooperated with Russia on Siberian oil investments. Having previously demonstrated an understanding of the importance of controlling the trade of a region in their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere concept of WWII, the Japanese have seen the writing on the wall and have started to feel a little uncomfortable.