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Thursday, April 23

See, this is why I think US and EU should mend fences with Russia ASAP

But that's just me, so for those who laughed at my advice to President Obama yesterday -- yes I'm a laugh a minute. Always have been when it comes to China.  Yet I'd venture this is a good time to think outside the box of conventional military conquest.

Beyond Land Grabs

China's government has been buying up huge chunks of land in the EU and USA under the guise of buying up companies. However, the land grabs aren't the biggest problem if one thinks in terms of conquest.  It's the control Chinese-owned companies exercise over American and European salaries that can be conceived of as a battle plan.  

With a few taps on a computer keyboard, payments on all the salaries can be stopped at the same time -- along with all payments on rental properties China's government holds, through millions of proxies, in the United States and Europe.

Through that bloodless method China could eventually conquer the US and EU within 14 minutes -- 7 minutes for the bank transactions, 7 minutes to stop laughing.  They just have to get the number of salaries up to a certain percentage before issuing blanket stop payments. And they might need a reasonably hack-proof banking intranet and their own version of SWIFT to prevent fast retaliation and an overload of transactions.  Otherwise it's pretty simple.  

Yet the war strategy has been masked by the widespread belief that whatever economic harm China might inflict on these two trade giants would ricochet.  The flaw in the reasoning is that it's confined to peacetime economics. Has nothing to do with war.

The US and EU defense establishments could mount counteroffensives but they'd be doing this on the back foot of surprise while China's defenders would be well prepared for a siege.

How Likely Is The Scenario?

Give me a moment. [cracking open a fortune cookie and pulling out the fortune]  


Hmmm. Deep.  Wait; those are my lucky numbers. [looking at the other side of the fortune]

"He who does Asia Pivot should recall Chinese PLA not potted plant"

All things equal, I'd interpret that to mean it's important not to overlook the obvious.

As to how that would translate into an action path, maybe less pirouetting around the world and more attention to basics on the home front.  Dave Schuler at the Glittering Eye put it a little differently:
With characteristic American impatience we have been pursuing one year plans when we should have been pursuing a hundred year plan. China is simply too large for anything else and we’re seeing the results of that now.
Long range planning is hard in a democratic republic. although that's what the U.S. Senate and Pentagon are supposed to do.  But how much long-range thinking is required to see the need to protect a society's flanks?

Dave also noted:
I think that Nixon erred in opening U. S. relations with China, Clinton erred in granting China “Most Favored Nation” status, and the world erred in admitting China to the World Trade Federation. Just to name a few among many missteps.
Right.  And leading governments in the European Union erred in getting along and going along with NATO in the post Cold War period.  Better long-range thinking would have meant investing in building up a "Greater European" defense force that would have included Russia.

Of course there's nothing like 20/20 hindsight; China wasn't seen as an economic or military threat back in those days  But now that it is seen as a threat, the task is to strive for balance.  That this includes very difficult fence-mending -- better to start now than when you're flat on your back.

But What About Saving Poor Ukraine From Russia?

From China will win the war over Ukraine; March 19, 2015; Fyodor Lukyanov, special to Russia Beyond the Headlines:
The most unexpected result of the crisis in Ukraine is the emergence of China as a leading Eurasian power. As Russia and the West clashed over whose integration project Ukraine will join, Beijing announced a completely different initiative, although one aimed at that geographical area.
It is symbolic that Chinese President Xi Jinping's initiative to create the Silk Road Economic Belt was announced precisely at the time – Fall 2013 – when Russia and the EU where reaching the culmination of their confrontation on Ukraine.
With the Silk Road Economic Belt, China is noticeably distancing itself from any competition, proposing a project that bypasses all others and may even absorb them. With the volume of resources that Beijing is capable of investing, it is impossible for anyone to compete. While Russia, the EU and the U.S. are operating in Eurasia mainly with political instruments that are creating friction, China is offering real money – and political neutrality.
Light Reading

The Chinese Are Buying Large Chunks Of Land Across America (And Zillow Is Now Enabling It); Tyler Durden; April 3, 2014; Zero Hedge

Zillow To Give Chinese Homebuyers Access to U.S. Listings; Dan Levy; April 2, 2014; Bloomberg Business

China Loves Buying European Companies; CNN Money; March 23, 2015

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