Written by Mary Curran
The Silk Road, the ancient trade route that once ran between China and the West during the days of the Roman Empire, has been resurrected. Over the past decade, China’s Xi Jinping has been developing the Belt and Road Initiative. Belt is short for Silk Road Economic Belt, the overland routes. And Road is short for “21st century Maritime Silk Route” linking China with Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia. Its aim is allegedly “to improve regional integration, increase trade and stimulate economic growth”. It involves over 80 countries across three continents and along six economic “corridors”, plus an additional route to the Arctic. It encompasses 900 infrastructure and development projects with a combined cost of US$900 billion. The Belt and Road Initiative includes infrastructure projects such as road and railways networks and sea ports.
BRI can reach parts of the world where the West may have difficulty. Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in natural resources including diamonds, gold, oil, natural gas, uranium, platinum, copper, cobalt, iron, silver, and more. The Chinese have invested heavily in African infrastructure to this end. China has ambitions for the Sahel region, but I understand Al Qaeda and Islamic State groups have also been expanding there and exploiting gold mines. In Burkina Faso for example locals had not previously been allowed by the State to mine the gold; but in 2018 armed men in turbans chased government forces away from the mining areas, took over and ruled that residents could mine in the protected areas, with conditions attached like demanding a cut of the gold. The flow of gold trade in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has been already largely out of state control.
Armed extremists’ control of the region’s gold mines provide both a hideout and a treasure trove: of funds with which to recruit new members and buy arms, and of explosives and detonators to stage the attacks that extend their power. Dozens of robberies and kidnappings have been reported that target mining.
Huge numbers are emigrating from the Sahel; encouraged by globalist Powers-That-Be they are heading for Europe and also, unreported by European MSM, further south. The globalists’ excuse for this is allegedly climate change, but I think one of the real motives is to clear the scene for them to exploit the area undisturbed.
Any disorder there will doubtless give them the excuse to ship in Chinese/UN “humanitarian peacekeeping” forces and consolidate their control.
And Afghanistan. Filling the void left by the West, China is now preparing to move in with over $60 billion investment. The Taliban say they will support development projects if they serve Afghan national interests. Afghanistan would in return give China a strategic boost as the country is placed as a central hub connecting the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe. China may also have plans to mine lithium in Afghanistan – apparently $1 trillion in lithium has been shown to exist under Afghan soil. The Chinese may do deals with the Taliban to extract it for the production of green car batteries. Afghanistan’s other natural resources, rare earths, essential for the computer and telecoms industry, can also be mined and transported.
China also has its eye on Venezuela’s thorium deposits for their planned nuclear reactors across the world. Venezuela is not technically part of the BRI but has signed an agreement. It has had loans from China to the tune of $50 billion, at least as of 2017. Chinese geologists have now mapped and prospected for thorium something like 1,000,000 square kilometres of Venezuelan land.
Critics of BRI had always been been suspicious about China’s true intentions and strategy, fearing it is a land grab, exploiting countries and threatening the liberal world order. China’s trading partners have criticised its perceived a lack of transparency, corruption, environmental impact, legal issues and labour problems. Over 80% of BRI projects are contracted to Chinese companies, often state-owned, and using Chinese workers. Beijing controls most of the funding and there is the danger of China saddling a poorer country with debt in order to leverage control over it as it has allegedly done with Sri Lanka.
Critics say that over the past seven years or so, it has resulted in a trail of destruction, wasteful spending, environmental destruction and untenable debt. Many major projects are allegedly currently strewn around the world in half-finished disrepair and the opportunities that were sold to local populations rarely materialized; all up and down the Belt and Road, projects have allegedly been complicated by delays, financial problems and public protests; e.g, a dam completed in 2018 in Cambodia has undermined the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.
A rival global infrastructure strategy was launched in June 2021 by G7 countries to rival China’s BRI : “Build Back Better World” or “B3W.” This strategy shares its unfortunate name with Klaus Schwab’s “Build Back Better” ambitions, but I am unclear about the relation between the two. I had thought that the CC, the globalists and the banksters were all collaborating rather than rivalling each other in the evil Great Reset.
In the meantime, what else can we do but: KBO!!!
Photo by orangen im meer