Why the US has now decided to push its concerns publicly about Chinese Cyber attacks is a cause for concern. It seems to be part of the Obama administration’s shift of focus from the Middle East to East Asia. It seems that for whatever strategic reasons, the USA no longer is concerned as much about the Islamic fundamentalist threat. Probably with the death of Osama Bin Laden they consider the rest of Al Qaeda to be merely a mop up operation, or a police and CIA concern, as they should have been all along in this writer’s view. The overreaction after 9/11 simply led to a massive American drain of tax dollars in pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq is now an ally of Iran and Afghanistan is about to become a failed puppet of the USA as soon as the troops are pulled out.
Strategic interests in securing oil lanes and more specifically being able to cut the oil lifeline from Africa and the Middle East to China have become primary focuses for the US military machine. Chinese commercial inroads in South America and Africa, are seen as a threat, as well as Chinese support for Iran, Syria and the Rump Sudanese regime to name a few.
The author Dambisa Moyo seems to think in her book “Winner Takes All” that the world is headed for a massive conflict over resources:
“we are in big trouble – which makes the central premise of her book, Winner Takes All, all the more arresting. Governments across the world, she writes, have singularly failed to grasp what’s coming – with one sensational exception. “Simply put, the Chinese are on a global shopping spree.” State-sponsored Chinese corporations are busy buying up commodities across Africa, North America, the Middle East, South America – anywhere they can – in a concerted strategy to seize control of resources before the rest of the world wakes up to the looming crisis. They’re striking deals with what she calls the “axis of the unloved” – developing countries rich in commodities but poor in political and economic capital – in return for much needed investment, employment and infrastructure. Extravagant shoppers, the Chinese are happy to pay over the odds, treating their trading partners not as poverty-ridden charity cases nor political pariahs but valued commercial equals. But when the resources begin to run dry, the consequences will be catastrophic. Already, since 1990 at least 18 violent conflicts worldwide have been triggered by competition for resources. If nothing is done now, warns Moyo, commodity wars on a terrifying scale are all but inevitable” - Guardian.
Claiming that China has a leg up on the game is a little disingenuous as the British and French have been players for centuries and the USA has dominated the world sea lanes since the British passed the baton after WW2. This reminds one of the German, Japanese and Italian attempts to join in the fun after their own unification in the later part of the nineteenth century, mostly in Asia and Africa, Latin America being seen as an American interest. When they became successful, the alliance of France, Britain and Russia decided to clobber the Germans before they became too powerful. The Italians and Japanese wisely joined in with the Alliance. Not so in WW2 when they allied with Germany only to be clobbered together for their vain attempts to gain a place in the imperial sun. Now China an ancient player in the game, wants to play and it looks like the world is getting ready to gang up on them to crush their new found interest in becoming a world player. Not on your own terms seems to be the program spearheaded by the USA.
The French seem to be taking on the Al Qaeda in North Africa and spreading their arms interests around the world on the coat tails of the US and Russia the worlds biggest players. Why the French want to be the Junior cops, sort of Little American’s is a bit of a dubious question. They have long been dug into Africa and are prying into Syria, a former colony in the post WWI dissection of the Ottoman Empire by the European imperialist states Great Britain and France.
What will Russia do? That is critical for the Chinese interests. As the only other serious nuclear power besides the USA, they need Russian back up if they are to sustain their interests without becoming subject to western domination again. It will be interesting to see if a viable power block can be created to contest the US dominated NATO alliance and its friends. India seems to be leaning to the west after a long dalliance with the Russians, mostly done to thumb their post colonial noses at their former masters, the British. Now with a newly capitalist orientation in India, if they decide to end their neutrality and if Japan decides to take a more than purely defensive military posture the Chinese will have a serious problem of being contained. Its North Korean allies can hardly be expected to take on a newly militarized Japan, they could hardly sustain a conflict with their own South. Russia is the key to Chinese security, with a wealth of Siberian resources within easy access and the former Soviet Central Asia at its back door, an alliance is more than a benefit, it is a necessity something that the USA and its allies are sure to try to disrupt by any means. A history of Sino-Russian mistrust does not help, so this may be the Chinese Achilles heel .
Guardian article on resource war to come
Chinese Cyber Attacks in NYT.
French Sub sales to Brazil in Reuters
Defense Security Cooperation Agency reports on pending arms sales.
Foreign Military Sales in Latin America.
Malaysian Scandal over Submarine Purchase from French Company DCNS, murder and suicides.
Japanese concerns over DCNS sales to China.
Wiki article on DCNS
French Military interests in Africa Background
France in Mali from a Critical African Perspective
New Cold Warriors skew data from Chinese African relations in new database.
Russian Arms Industry welcomes Chinese Military Interest
Russian-Chinese military cooperation