It is like the United States own failures is used as an option to hurt Chinese Business interests. This is not only the sanctions and stopping of Huawei trading in the United States. The US has sanctioned 24 entities yesterday for their connections to the Chinese Military. Also on the same day, the US Commerce did also put sanctions on 9 companies connected to the oppression of Uighur in Xinjiang province.
That means the US has put their mission and blocks certain companies. Also ensures that these corporations or entities less traction in International trading. Just as the US Department of Commerce put it: “The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced it will add 24 governmental and commercial organizations to the Entity List for engaging in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The entities, based in China, Hong Kong, and the Cayman Islands, represent a significant risk of supporting procurement of items for military end-use in China” (Commerce.gov, 22.05.2020).
Also, the other piece from them state this: “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). This action will supplement BIS’s first tranche of Entity List designations in October 2019 involving 28 parties engaged in the XUAR repression campaign in Xinjiang” (Commerce.gov, 22.05.2020).
Yes, the actions of China and Chinese government in concern to the Uighur people is outrageous and morally wrong. No question in my mind. The activity and the destruction of them as a minority is wrong. However, in my mind, this is using them as en excuse for US selfish reasons. This is insincere. Because, its not like the US will open the arms for immigrants fleeing similar situations elsewhere. The US is building walls and closing its borders for asylum seekers fleeing situations like the Uighurs. So, the US is using this an argument, but not a legit one from this administration.
This administration cannot even make good lies. They are so open on their motives. This is direct trade-war and efforts as a scapegoat in the midst of the tragic COVID-19 Pandemic. The US needs a scapegoat and righteously so is it fitting to blame Beijing and China. Instead of looking at own inaction and lack of concern to what happen.
The US has also already put tariffs on Chinese production and products already. Therefore, this is a continuation. However, by every step and every action. The US is losing leverage and they are also paying the price. They need to go elsewhere for trading similar things. If not pay more, as they are stopping certain parts of imports from there.
The Chinese are doing their wrongs too. Nevertheless, the Foreign Affairs wrote this yesterday, which state it perfectly: “We urge the US side to abandon its Cold War mentality and ideological bias, follow the trend of the times, view China and China-US relations in an objective and rational way, immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s interests or undermining China-US relations, and work with China to bring bilateral relations back onto the right track” (Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on May 22, 2020).
This here says it all. Yes, the relations is based on both parties gives and takes. However, right now, the reality is that the one aiming and hitting one party. Is the US whose shooting down and tracing their targeted companies or entities. Just like last years tariffs and such, which has also slowed things down. The US is doing this and the Chinese has retaliated. This will continue. Just like the Chinese banned certain journalists and media houses within the Republic. That is all natural in the sense of the relations between them.
This is all hostile. There is not function or care. The US President says everything is China’s fault. While he hasn’t carried water for happen within his own borders. Therefore, that isn’t a fair assessment. It is an easy victimhood in this pandemic. Yes, the origin was from China. They didn’t do enough and do it correctly. Still, the US didn’t care about the warning signs either or did what they should have done. That is the 20/20 hindsight, which deems both parties wrong in the sense of acting in accordingly to the danger of COVID-19.
However, this is about the trade war. Where for every step the US is attacking and targeting companies of Chinese origin. They have to release proof of these allegations now. Especially, the list of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Where the Commerce Secretary says these companies are connected with this. If so, I would like to see proof and leaked documentation of sensitive intelligence. To actually prove the allegations. If not, the US is just using their power and means to kick the Chinese. Because, it is useful to have an enemy in this troubling time.
The Chinese is far from perfect and their reign within the One-Party state isn’t peaceful nor democratically anything to aspire too. Nevertheless, the US isn’t that great on this either. Especially, the way Trump Administration is just another epitome of baroque king-pin from the Big-Apple and Trump tower in New York. That is why these measures has to be explained to be believable.
The US cannot con the world anymore. They could in the past, but not now. This US-China Trade-War is only proving what sort of hostile force it is. Instead of finding diplomatic measures or even doing the hard work of talks between the parties. It is easier to sanction and block someone, than actually do the work. That is how it seems. They are using excuses and arguments of legit reasons to do something. But, a very important but, they are not proving the reasons for doing so.
If these companies are what they claim. Prove it and show it. Unless, they hare having a smokescreen and another visionary moment similar to the Iraqi WMDs in the early 2000s. Well, I’m looking forward to see that.
Until then, this is a propaganda victory for the Trump Administration with no hold in reality. Since, they are just blocking someone without any proof. They could say whatever and argue for it. Still, a man like me wants reasons for it.
Unless, they are just finding fitting measures to pressure Beijing, but that is not something they can do too long. Because, Washington D.C. doesn’t have that much leverage. Since, for every step they do. There is less of a reason for the Chinese to serve or even work in association with the US anyway. Peace.
Back in the day of 5th February 2003, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the United Nations Security Council with the intelligence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. A effort being made to ensure the legitimacy of a new gulf war and reasons to overthrow then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain. Not that President Saddam Hussain was a choir-boy or anything, but WMD he didn’t have or the capacity to built at the time. Just like that President George W. Bush had a “valid” and “accurate” argument to start war.
Just as those days, which is now 17 years ago. I had little faith, as the Iraqi didn’t have the weapons. They didn’t have the ability nor wealth to generate the weaponry in question. As they we’re sanctioned and had been both in past gulf-wars, bloody extortion of own citizens who opposed the regime and was enemies of Teheran. So, not like Baghdad had the time nor the opportunity to do what the US claimed.
That is why I am feeling I am living through the same moment. Just as United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and President Donald J. Trump proclaims the Chinese are manufacturing the disease and the COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. They did it in a secret lab in Wuhan and spread it like hot garbage to the whole world. It’s not like the origins isn’t proven already. However, the US claims certain things, but isn’t proving it. They need a scapegoat.
The failure internally in the US is the reason why the bad-guy needs to be China. Just like in older movies when the bad-guys of Hollywood, where either smoking Eastern-European fellas or Chinese. That was the code, they were the evil bastard who only wanted harm and they smoke Malboro.
Soon, they will deliver a rapport. Surely one of the big-men of the administration with pictures, red-tape and whole she-bang in public. They will profess and state this with the full intent of the getting the coalition of the willing. The United Kingdom, Samoa and Tuvalu to join on the Crusade against Beijing. Just like they did with Baghdad in a not to far distant time. They need the support of these nations, as they are following the gallant example of the hope of the West.
While really, they are the self-destruction of the West. They cannot wait to create havoc and unruly behaviour wherever they may go. So, now they just have created a new culture war and another enemy. With their propaganda and their mind-games. Where they hope they are capable of selling it.
Not that China is innocent in this. They have tried to distort and discredit the faith in their leadership. They have unquestionable behaviour and acted badly in the sense of this pandemic. They have not been transparent, but neither has the Trump Presidency ever been. That is why his Tax Returns is still a myth and hieroglyphics from ancient times are more accessible.
So, its not like Trump is transparent either. Xi Jinping is at least honest about his betrayal of public scrutiny. The Trump Administration is bullshitting it and with full disregard of the people, while they trying to act like the holiest men on planet earth, except for the Pope. That is just the way it is.
In that sense, the act of WMD in 2020 will be the origin of COVID-19. The public display, which will not be based on scientifically facts, but instead on political mind-games. It will be like the manufactured WMDs of 2003. Instead of a Colin, it will be a Mike. The UNSC might be used this time. If not it will be on Fox News and OAN. It will be ugly, but the lie is still a lie.
Yes, the origin was in Wuhan, but it was at the Huanan Seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The US might want to fix that, just like the Chinese authorities also claimed something else in April. However, it will not work. Not when the reports are written and all traces goes there.
You can say that someone got the WMD, but that doesn’t make it more true. You can scream that they got WMD. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make it true either. Your just making noise and not stating the fact. We know, we know and you better stop lying. Your not good at it. Peace.
The US President calls the Corona Virus or COVID19, the “Chinese Virus”. While the Chinese comes with an conspiracy of US intervention and making up the virus itself. This is a common practice of deflections and also disinformation practices of parties that doesn’t want to take responsibility and also deflect their own inability to cape with the new problems at hand. Than, its easier to blame another party or make a make-belief story.
However, Trump dumb arrogance and ignorant attitude shouldn’t shape the world. Neither should the Communist party and their propaganda shape the world either. Nevertheless, we got to listen to them both and glean through it all, as we are all settled on this earth and got to live together on this planet.
Last month, the White House and Trump administrations put some new limits on the Chinese media houses in the United States. The 5 Chinese Media had to register itself and its employees. The Trump Administration also planned to limit the visas to the Chinese journalists in the US. These were targeting the Chinese media like Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network (CGTN).
This month and today, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China wrote this: “First, in response to the US designation of five Chinese media agencies as “foreign missions”, China demands, in the spirit of reciprocity, that the China-based branches of Voice of America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Time declare in written form information about their staff, finance, operation and real estate in China. Second, in response to the US slashing the staff size of Chinese media outlets in the US, which is expulsion in all but name, China demands that journalists of US citizenship working with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post whose press credentials are due to expire before the end of 2020 notify the Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within four calendar days starting from today and hand back their press cards within ten calendar days. They will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions. Third, in response to the discriminatory restrictions the US has imposed on Chinese journalists with regard to visa, administrative review and reporting, China will take reciprocal measures against American journalists” (China, 17.03.2020).
We are now seeing a return of the favour, which is a way of using the same means of retribution. When one does this, I do that. When my brother steal my coke, I take his Pepsi and so-on. This is what is happening, the Chinese targets US media houses and the US targets Chinese media houses. In this regard none of them wins.
They are both stopping transparent reporting and also outsider looking in. No matter what sort of ideals you got. This is a diplomatic dispute between two parties. Who both seek to revenge. Who both uses this means on journalists and the media houses. While there are some underlying conflict between them. Stemming from the trade-war or the tariffs, maybe even the rhetoric of the Trump Presidency or the CCP Party officials. Because none of them are winning at this, only loosing.
This is just political mind-games with the usage of the media as the pawns. It is right to question the Chinese media houses and their affiliation with the ruling party. However, the US media houses have often played the tunes of the ruling regime and been the voice of whoever in-charge there too. Not so all to critical or questioning the status quo. That is why, this is more a question of imperialism and whose on first. Than whose the big bad wolf.
Yes, this here isn’t the whole story, there are more to glean into it. However, the stories shared from China wouldn’t have been uncovered by their own. Unless, they had more brave whistleblowers and such. Who dares to speak out, but not like there are so many big voices who doesn’t follow the corporate government agenda of Washington either? Who is in the mainstream media there and whose critical abroad, but a nice acting puppy at home.
Well, that is my take on it. You might not like it, but this is view of an outsider looking in. They are both playing each other. There are no innocent here. Both have their own agenda, not just trying to cover one side or another. They want to undress each other and uses all means.
This was a “tit-for-tat”. Let’s see where this one goes, but this is not last card in the deck. There comes more. Peace.
Certainly, the massive loans given to the “Build! Build! Build” are starting to cost. As the big infrastructure projects and other loans are taking their toll on the economy. Therefore, the Philippines and President Rodrigo Duterte are trying to collect something. It seems like the Chinese counterparts are getting lots of collateral and salvage the spent funds in Philippines. Because, as the weeks goes by and the ASEAN friends, the one with the upper-hand is China.
This is surely not how Duterte want it too look, as they are having a bargain. There has already been putting into question the control of Benham Rise and the hard-won control of the island there. Still, the Republic haven’t fought with tooth and nail to get it back. This week, it seems like there are more installations on it. The sovereign Philippines are being toyed with by China. They are being fooled and has to accept deals, because of the loans to Beijing. Manila is indebted and has to give concessions. Why else, would this week be filled with new Chinese interference and getting licenses in the Philippines?
Weather Station Controversy:
““It is currently coordinating with concerned government agencies, as well as with the Philippine Embassy in Beijing to verify the existence or non-existence of these alleged facilities,” he said. Panelo earlier addressed this concern on Monday saying Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin jr. will “do his job” once the reports have been verified. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang announced on November 1 that Beijing has already begun operating weather stations on the artificial islands in South China Sea. “These projects are designed to observe the maritime, hydrological, meteorological conditions and air qualities, and provide such services as maritime warning and forecast, tsunami alert, weather forecast, air quality forecast, and disaster prevention and relief,” Lu Kang said in a press conference” (Janine Peralta – ‘Philippines to take action if Chinese weather stations in South China Sea are verified — Palace’ 06.11.2018 link: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/11/06/ph-china-south-china-sea-panelo.html).
“One of the projects included an exploration between state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd., located off Calamian in southwestern Palawan province, Cusi told Manila Bulletin in a news briefing. Cusi was referring to Service Contract 57 which covers an oil and gas project awarded to PNOC’s exploration unit, and picked CNOOC as a partner. Cusi did not share details for Service Contract 72, an exploration permit held by the Philippines’ PXP Energy Corp. for Reed Bank, but clarified that the Reed Bank, another disputed South China Sea area, is not of the two” (Meanne Rosales – ‘ PH to seal 2 exploration deals with China’ 09.11.2018, link: https://powerphilippines.com/2018/11/09/ph-seal-2-exploration-deals-china/)
Chinese Telecommunication as the Third Telco:
“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded the entry of China Telecommunications Corp., or China Telecom, in his country’s telecommunication industry, saying the Philippines stands to benefit from the “good competition” that a Chinese company will bring to the industry” (…) “Duterte said that China “has proved to be of very incredibly high quality of electronics.” “(Xinhuanet – ‘Duterte welcomes China Telecom’s operating in Philippines’ 08.11.2018).
As we see, the sudden Benham Rise in the South China Sea and the will of China to takeover the place, while the Malacañang are preoccupied with sneering at priests, Rappler and who else who hurt their pride. They are not seeing or looking away from the sovereign implications on Benham Rise. As there are talks already of military installations, but now also monitoring equipment and a weather station. Clearly, the Chinese sees it as their land, while the PH are busy trying to find out what is happening there.
Than, you have the oil-fields in the same region, where the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) have gotten licenses to drill oil there. Clearly, this is all intentional, as well as they are the lucky third Telecommunication Company and getting into the Cellphone business too. This is just fitting as a glove. They are both getting territory in the South China Sea, they are getting exploitation opportunities and steady profits through a cell-phone carrier. All this they have gotten for dropping some loans, that is hard for the Philippines to repay in cash.
That is why they are allowed to get these things, as collateral for the debt. This is a game the Chinese plays well. That is why this is all happening. We have seen similar efforts done in Sri Lanka. That will surely happen in the Philippines too. As the Chinese is not forgiving with their loans. They want points on the dollar. Not loose money and certainly not lose face on the investments made. Peace.
“African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol
As The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to happen on the 2nd and 3rd December 2018, there is time to remember how the Chinese is operating on the African Continent. The Chinese isn’t coming with empty giving hands of donations or even charity. They come with intent of interests and needs of resources from the continent, by offering loans, serving and building through state owned enterprises (SOE) in various of countries, whether it is roads, ports or railroads are built by Chinese Companies, by Chinese Workers and often on Chinese loans. Therefore, they might end up as Chinese owned enterprises, whose vital for transportation and export of needed minerals and whatnot from the continent.
Instead of coming with loans and direct-aid with strings like Western Powers has done over the last few decades, the Chinese are coming with friendly loans, but the Heads of State should know that the Chinese doesn’t play. They want value for money and expect a return, if it doesn’t they might snatch the new crown-jewel or anticipate to get perks from the state. If that is some sort of trade-off or licenses to extract mineral resources or even minor taxation like toll-roads, where the piece of cash will be sent to Beijing and not the capitol of the country where the road is built. That is how these people operate. They are not in it to play or be giving, but gain advantage and have the upper-hand.
This can be shown by what the State Media in China writes in Xinhua Net wrote today and what a CARI report on the same funds are saying. The Chinese portray the funding as investments on the Continent, as the funds are most likely pushed as loans, which burdens the states and that they have to repay. Loans are not given, but issued because of lack of direct funds to build those infrastructure and investments done. So, what I am saying isn’t mere speculation, but a narrative that has to sink in.
“China’s investments into Africa surged by more than 100 times from 2000 to 2017. In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China’s investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent” (Li Xia – ‘Facts & Figures: China-Africa ties: cooperation for shared future’ 02.09.2018 link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/02/c_137438845.htm).
“From 2000 to 2017, the Chinese government, banks and contractors extended US $136 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Angola is the top recipient of Chinese loans, with $42.2 billion disbursed over 17 years. Chinese loan finance is varied. Some government loans qualify as “official development aid.” But other Chinese loans are export credits, suppliers’ credits, or commercial, not concessional in nature. China is not Africa’s largest “donor”” (China Africa Research Initiative – ‘DATA: CHINESE LOANS TO AFRICA’ Version 1.1 August 2018).
They might try to conceal the reality, just like make-up is used on the face to fade the age or even marks that shows stress or pimples. However, the Chinese cannot be able to lie about their intent. They would not offer these sums of cash, without expecting a turnover or even profits. The Chinese wouldn’t allow all these billions of US Dollars spent on these nations to be spoiled and lost on the streets of Lome, Harare, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. They anticipate a return on the loans, either straight cash or getting pieces of the built infrastructure to advance the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
That the Heads of State in Africa should be concerned as they are getting in debt traps, instead of being in cycle of positive growth, they are getting new loans to pay the old ones. They are using the same creditor to secure new loans on top of the old-debt. That is how it will continue, until a point where they cannot pay the defaulted debt and the Chinese would then come to snatch something of value to recoup the failing debt. Because they don’t want to write-off the big money without having anything in return. That is what the Chinese has done in Sri Lanka and might start elsewhere. There might be soon more control of port in Djibouti or railroad of Kenya, even the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line too. As they want their value of money.
They might be all smiles and photo-ops in Beijing these days, the smiles and added loans to dozens of countries. The added “investments” and deals struck, but the Chinese will not do so without getting something in return. To think otherwise, is to be naive and think they don’t have an agenda by doing it.
There is nothing like a free-lunch and the people will learn that, the Heads of State will not directly pay the debt, but the states will do so. Maybe not in this decade or next 5 years, but sooner or later. The bill for the coffee and biscuit will come. Than it is all eaten, but tab still has to be cleared. Peace.
“If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.” – John Maynard Keynes
There are worries about the rising levels of debt the Philippines has to China. That should worry all Filipino. Since, this will be repaid, even as the infrastructure projects under the President is served now. The time for repaying these debts will come. This might be the next one after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte might have to answer for that. But he should be worry himself of the levels he is putting the Republic in, unless he wants important parts of the infrastructure be “given” to the Chinese as a way of repaying the debt like Sri Lanka did.
“The conclusion of an agreement with China to manage the Hambantota port was seen as inevitable after the government buckled under Chinese pressure when the China Communication and Construction Co Ltd, which was building the port city, demanded USD 143 million as compensation for the stalling of the work. The Sri Lankan government was also compelled to renegotiate the Colombo Port city project last year, which had been suspended due to criticism about the Chinese ownership of 20 hectares of freehold land as well as controversy over the project’s possible negative environmental impact” (Smruti S. Pattanaik – ‘New Hambantota Port Deal: China Consolidates its Stakes in Sri Lanka’ 17.08.2017).
This story should be worrying for the Philippines as the rising debt to China will come to roost one day. Duterte has accepted and taken it for his projects, but will it be sustainable. That is something he himself should ask himself and also if they can repay this debt without paying a high price.
Jovito Jose P. Katigbak reported in June 2018 this: “Another issue worth noting is debt sustainability. There are concerns that borrowing heavily from China will lead the country into a debt trap. A 2017 Forbes article contends that the Philippine government debt could swell up to USD 452 billion by 2027, which translates to a debt-to-GDP ratio of 197 percent. The estimated figure is based on an annual 10 percent interest rate on loans levied by the Chinese government, hence tying the Philippines into a “virtual debt bondage”” (CIRSS Commentaries – ‘BRIDGING THE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT GAP THROUGH FOREIGN AID: A BRIEFER ON CHINESE ODA’ June 2018).
If the Filipino doesn’t get to worried about the amount they are borrowing from China. It isn’t only Sri Lanka who has eaten over more debt than they can swallow and has to repay with other means. There are worry in the Pacific island of Tonga.
As reported from Tonga: “Chinese aid in the Pacific region has increased dramatically in recent years and the country has become the region’s second-largest donor. Tonga’s debt to China has been estimated to be more than $100m by Australia’s Lowy Institute think-tank. The prime minister told local media last week that countries would get together to ask the Chinese government to “forgive their debts”. “To me, that is the only way we can all move forward, if we just can’t pay off our debts,” he added. Beijing has refused to write off loans in the past but has given Tonga an amnesty on repayments” (Simone Rench – ‘Tonga premier to ask China to ‘forgive’ Pacific debts’ 21.08.2018 link: https://www.publicfinanceinternational.org/news/2018/08/tonga-premier-ask-china-forgive-pacific-debts).
We have seen what the Chinese done to the Sri Lankan and Tongan counterparts. Both of instances could be happening to the Philippines. Not that you wish that, but the repayments of the growing debt will happen at one point. Even if there is long grace-period of lower rates on the interests as promised to Manila. You can wonder when the Beijing want to recoup the funds and the debt.
Right now, Duterte has a good relationship with Beijing, but when do they feel they have invested enough in the Build! Build! Build! (BBB) projects and wants profits and returns on the investments?
Because the Chinese will not do this forever. They might act nice at first and investing in infrastructure projects as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but when time goes by and lack of repayment hits the fan. The familiar faces of Beijing will get their value for the money and the sovereignty will be taken away. As a port, a piece of mines or exploration of some sort of industrial output will go directly to Beijing and a state owned company. Since they will get their repayment for all the offered debt to the nation.
That is what Duterte is risking, if it is oil exploration and extraction, mineral resources or even ports that is vital to the business done in the Philippines. Does he wants to risk that for the signature building of the BBB?
As conning as President Paul Kagame are, he will never outsmart the Chinese in their loans and agreements, especially when concerning their moneys and the planned extension of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Before I show the naive relations that Kagame has with Xi Jinping on the visit. I will first show the statements made by Kagame as he is signing agreements and loans. Kagame is really risking natural resources and the infrastructure projects that the Chinese are supporting. If there is any default on loans or problematic to pay back. The Rwandan state will repay with the resources in the soil or within bound of the structures put in place. Therefore, Kagame shouldn’t think of himself as an equal with China, he should think of it as a borrower and find ways to secure repayments.
“I also want to say a few words from the heart. The growing relationship with China is based as much on mutual respect as on mutual interests. That is evident in your personal commitment to our continent, Mr. President” (…) “More generally, China relates to Africa as an equal. We see ourselves as a people on the road to prosperity. China’s actions demonstrate, that you see us in the same way. This is a revolutionary posture in world affairs, and it is more precious than money” Kagame stressed” (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban – ‘’China relates to Africa as an equal’ – Paul Kagame’ 23.07.2018 – Africa News).
When you see this, you wonder if the Rwandan President is naive or if he thinking that the Sri Lankan experiment of high loans and bad repayments cannot hit Kigali, like it hit Colombo. Not that I want this to happen to any state. I am as worried about this in Uganda and Kenya, as the loans to for instance Madaraka express, Karuma Hydroelectric Power project and Kampala-Entebbe Expressway. This has to be repaid to the Chinese at some point and with interest.
Kagame is foolish, if he thinks the Chinese will not expect a return on their investment, that is what they do.
Here what happen with the Chinese loans in Sri Lanka:
“Some Sri Lankan economists had privately told me in 2011 that their country will find it difficult to repay the massive loan of USD 8 billion at an interest rate of more than six per cent taken from China for modernising the Hambantota port and that it may ultimately have to convert these loans into equity. That warning came true on July 29, 2017 when Sri Lanka and China signed the Hambantota Port Concession Agreement. Soon after the Agreement was signed, China declared that the Hambantota port is a part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to the agreement, China will pay USD 1.12 billion upfront in a debt-equity swap in the ratio of 70:30 approximately, with the China Merchant Port Holdings Company (CMPort) getting 69.55 per cent of the shares and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), a public sector organization, holding the remainder 30.45 per cent. After 10 years, SLPA can buy another 20 per cent of the shares, making the two companies equal partners” (…) “The conclusion of an agreement with China to manage the Hambantota port was seen as inevitable after the government buckled under Chinese pressure when the China Communication and Construction Co Ltd, which was building the port city, demanded USD 143 million as compensation for the stalling of the work. The Sri Lankan government was also compelled to renegotiate the Colombo Port city project last year, which had been suspended due to criticism about the Chinese ownership of 20 hectares of freehold land as well as controversy over the project’s possible negative environmental impact” (Smruti S. Pattanaik – ‘New Hambantota Port Deal: China Consolidates its Stakes in Sri Lanka’ 17.08.2017).
So if the Rwandan take the grants and loans for granted, they might be forced by the financial pressure from Beijing to give away either infrastructure or even make concession of some other vital resources. Because the Chinese expect some value for their money, they are not doing this for charity, but for development of themselves. Therefore, Kagame is not an equal and will not be an equal. I wish that was a serious thing, but the way the Chinese play these agreements. They are not playing around and doling out money for the hell of neither. Neither does anyone else, that is why usually with Western Aid the state expect bought from same source imports and also with strains of governance to get the funds. So, the Chinese does it their way. That is respected, however, the worry is what the aftermath is the for the ones that swallowed to much debt and cannot repay.
Will that happen to Rwanda?
Kagame shouldn’t see himself as an equal, but wonder how he does fit as a piece of the puzzle in the BRI project of the Chinese and how he can pay back with interests. Because that is the next step. The should also worry the neighbors who has borrowed heavily as well from the same They should all be careful and wonder what would happen. This is isn’t only for Kagame, but he was today speaking a bit to friendly to the Chinese.
As if he haven’t gotten the news of what happen in Sri Lanka and for everyone else, that should be warning. Peace.
What is up with President Rodrigo Duterte?
First it was the Benham Rise, where the Philippines won’t send the army or the field researchers on it. As the Chinese have named the area and several government leaders are we’re at one point saying that the Republic wasn’t sovereign to have control over it. Therefore, they have already shown deep weakness towards Beijing. They have accepted to muffled and tussled with by Xi Jinping and his brigades, as the Philippines are less powerful, than the Chinese.
Secondly, Duterte has again shown that he is this weak, as the war-planes and war-ships are put into the South China Sea, as the administration will not react or make a diplomatic spat with them. Even if this is military movement in the nearby area or anything else. Its like he has lost the power of sovereign nation and become a groveling poor uncle to the grandest family member in Beijing. Rodrigo just have to bow his knees and kiss the ring. Accept to be violated and played with, instead of standing ground on the principals of his state. That is not going to war, but questioning the motive of Beijing. Since, they are putting a lot of force close to its borders. That should worry him as the President of his Republic.
“The Philippines said it is “closely monitoring developments” in the area, but diplomatic actions against China’s intrusive behavior will not be publicized. “It is not our policy to publicize every action taken by the Philippine government whenever there are reported developments taking place in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said. The department noted the improved relations between China and the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte and said it will avoid steps that could undermine the situation. “Moving forward, we are taking a different approach to avoid any drawbacks and challenges,” the department said. Duterte on Saturday said he cannot do anything to oppose China’s militarization of the islands and that he would not risk deploying forces in the South China Sea. However, he said he will eventually bring up the dispute later in his term” (Mikhail Flores – ‘Philippines stops short of condemning China over bombers’ 21.05.2018, Asia Nikkei).
This here shows how careful the Philippines are with their powerful neighbor. They might do something later, they accept to kicked in the guts by the Chinese and trying to keep cool. Usually, Duterte is a hot-head who speak his mind first and begs for forgiveness. Therefore, this is a bit weird coming from him and his administration. He has no trouble getting rid of enemies and people who questioning his powers. However, the Chinese can power-play and mock him even, in his backyard with their military force.
You can wonder if the promised Chinese investments deals and aid agreements are the reasons for this carefulness, as well as the lack of territorial integrity on Benham Rise and now with the militarization of the South China Sea. It is like the Chinese are not as friendly as it seems, more like they want to show their strength and not play on others people’s terms, but their own. If they are toying around with the Philippines and showing whose the boss.
It must hurt the pride of Duterte, who likes to be the strong-man, the big-man, the ones whose words matters and decrees are honored. Now, he is played around by Beijing and has to anticipate his next actions. That is not typical Duterte, not at all.
A humiliation doesn’t fit him or his republic well, it is weird. Peace.