China's putting the moves on Afghanistan
Yesterday, I wrote about the way China has the Balkan country of Montenegro so deeply in its debt that it will soon own part of that country. Today, I'm writing about the fact that, with America pulling out of Afghanistan, China is putting the moves on Afghanistan, too. China is effectively creating an empire, not with its military, but by creating debt relationships with poor countries across the world.
The Daily Beast published a long article about China's plans for Afghanistan:
China is poised to make an exclusive entry into post-U.S. Afghanistan with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to government officials in Afghanistan told The Daily Beast that Kabul authorities are growing more intensively engaged with China on an extension of the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the flagship project of BRI, which involves the construction of highways, railways and energy pipelines between Pakistan and China—to Afghanistan.
Under its BRI strategy, China wants to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and maritime networks spanning some 60 countries. The strategy would not only promote inter-regional connectivity, but would also enhance China's influence across the world at an estimated cost of $4 trillion. By virtue of its location, Afghanistan can provide China with a strategic base to spread its influence across the world, ideally located to serve as a trade hub connecting the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe.
Afghanistan's government, writes the Daily Beast, is completely on board with the plan. In other words, while Americans spent gold and shed blood to save the Afghani government from being taken over by the Taliban, that same government is voluntarily giving its loyalty to America's greatest geopolitical enemy.
Moreover, think about the fact that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are Muslim countries, yet they have no qualms about doing business with a country that is systematically torturing, killing, sterilizing, and otherwise discriminating against their co-religionists. In this regard, they are consistent with the rest of the Muslim world, whether here in America or in the Middle East.
It is a useful reminder for those who need it that the world's Muslims do not care about (nor do they even like) the Palestinian people. Those people are just a vehicle to support the rabid anti-Semitism that Mohammed baked into the Muslim cake.
As for those countries buying into the Belt and Road initiative, they may find that the burdens are greater than the benefits. As I wrote in yesterday's post, doing business with China is like doing business with the mob. They offer you a deal you can't refuse, and then you discover that, once they've got you in their power, your options are foreclosed.
Australia, which has gradually ceded almost all its manufacturing to China, discovered this when it tried to cancel two Belt and Road agreements. China threatened a trade war. Less than a month later, when Australia tried to make a stand on Taiwan's behalf, China threatened it with a ballistic missile strike.
Having grown up in San Francisco, I've long liked and admired the Chinese people. However, I do not like the Chinese Communist Party, which should more accurately be described as the Chinese Fascist Party.
In communism, the state owns all the means of production. Fascism, however, is a fusion of capitalism and socialism. The state allows private ownership and encourages wealth creation, provided that the state retains complete control over its subjects — and over the subjects of the countries it acquires by force or finance. China is currently spreading around the world — including here in America — like kudzu.
In America, the Chinese promised greedy people in power (in the media, politics, and technology) that playing nice with the Chinese meant market access to the 1.6 billion people in China. In poor countries, China hands out money, ultimately in exchange for massive land ownership. Either way, China is creating colonies, and it's the ordinary people in each of these countries who will find themselves getting the short, painful end of the fascist stick.
Image: China-funded Orange Line metro train in Lahore, Pakistan by China News Service. CC BY 3.0.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.