Recent examples reported by the Washington Post have been:
- On Feb. 12, China's state-owned metals giant Chinalco signed a $19.5 billion deal with Australia's Rio Tinto that will eventually double its stake in the world's second-largest mining company.
- On Feb. 17 and 18, China National Petroleum signed separate agreements with Russia and Venezuela under which China would provide $25 billion and $4 billion in loans, respectively, in exchange for long-term commitments to supply oil.
- On Feb. 19, the China Development Bank struck a similar deal with Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company, agreeing to a loan of $10 billion in exchange for oil.
- Iran announced that it had signed a $3.2 billion agreement with a Chinese consortium to develop an area beneath the Persian Gulf seabed that is believed to hold about 8 percent of the world's reserves of natural gas.
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them (Revelation 9:13-16).
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Revelation 16:12-14).
April 17, 2009
For a year and a half, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been trying to get the military establishment to focus on the guerrilla wars we're in today—instead of hypothetical showdowns with another big power tomorrow. But this morning, at the Naval War College, Gates had a subtle message for the gathered sailors, marines, and soldiers: Don’t forget about China, either.
In recent years, Beijing's buildup of quiet, diesel electric submarines and advanced, super-sonic cruise missiles has been met with increasing worry in some corners of the Pentagon and Congress. Gates, for the most part, has been seen as outside that camp. Today, however, the Defense Secretary warned that "we know other nations are working on ways to thwart the reach and striking power of the U.S. battle fleet—whether by producing stealthy submarines in quantity or developing anti-ship missiles with increasing range and accuracy. We ignore these developments at our peril."
Gates never mentioned China by name. Instead, he referred only to the "risks posed by the military forces of other state actors" looking to "deny the U.S. military freedom of movement and action." He also warned of "potential adversaries" building weapons that "threaten" America's "bases, sea and air assets, and the networks that support them." In military circles, such talk usually implies the Chinese.
Since Gates announced his radical overhaul of the Pentagon's arsenal, his critics have accused him of something close to unilateral disarmament, in the face of China's stockpiling of weapons. American Enterprise Institute analyst Tom Donnelly, for one, accused the Defense Secretary of ignoring a "persistent pattern of provocation by the Chinese military."
"He also seems to be unfamiliar with the conclusions of the Pentagon's own series of annual reports on China’s rising ambitions and improving capabilities," Donnelly added.
Of course, the American arsenal still dwarfs that of any potential foe, including China. Gates noted that the U.S. "battle fleet, by one estimate, is still larger than the next 13 navies combines—and 11 of those 13 navies are U.S. allies or partners." That's "why, despite significant naval modernization programs underway in some countries, no one is aiming to bankrupt themselves by challenging the U.S. to a shipbuilding competition."
But Gates warned that the source of America's strength at sea—her massive aircraft carriers and destroyers—could be a point of vulnerability, too. The loss of even one of these multi-billion dollar ships "would be a national catastrophe," he noted. In World War II, the Royal Navy lost two of its capital ships in part because British admirals "had little appreciation [for] the threat posed by a single, air-delivered torpedo." Gates didn't have to warn the American officers assembled here too loudly not to make the same mistake.
US/China Education. U.S. Education Secretary Signs Partnership with Chinese Communists Who Put Dissidents in Re-Education Camps: "U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has signed a formal educational partnership agreement with the Peoples Republic of China... The documents signed by both Secretary Duncan and Zhou Ji include, among other items, the following initiatives: '...Consultation with the higher education community (academic institutions and organizations) take place on direct collaboration with China or the United States that includes the sharing of best teaching practices and deepening of existing ties....'
"Leading human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Harry Wu... said the United States cannot learn anything from the Communist Chinese educational system.... The State Department’s Human Rights Report on China, dated Feb. 25, 2009, states that the Chinese government... continued to ... detain citizens for possession of unauthorized religious texts, imprison citizens for religious activities determined to be ‘extremist’....
"...the XUAR government would carry out ‘preemptive attacks,’ implement ‘antiseparatist reeducation’ across the region, and increase policing of religious groups.'"
China and Communism. China Orders Tightened Internet Controls: "The rules ban online videos that harm national stability, 'instigate hatred between ethnic groups' or 'maliciously disparage' the nation's police or armed forces, a notice on the government's main website said.... Chinese authorities have a history of blocking websites they deem politically unacceptable or offensive, and their censoring of the Internet has created a so-called 'Great Firewall of China.'"
Annual Report to Congress: Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2009
Documentary: China's Stolen Children