Burying China's 'String of Pearls' - An Unworkable Endeavour

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by sorcerer, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    The “String of Pearls” model has long outlived its usefulness as a strategic concept.
    By Christopher D. Yung
    January 22, 2015


    In a November 8 column, U.S. Naval War College Professor James R. Holmes (aka the Naval Diplomat) criticized a new National Defense University (NDU) report on Chinese overseas basing that I and a team of analysts published in October 2014. Holmes mischaracterizes the report’s findings as concluding “there’s little reason to expect China to seek bases in the Indian Ocean” and criticizes it for “linear thinking” and “straight-line analysis.” In fact, the report argues that China’s expanding global interests will generate increased demands for out-of-area naval operations and predicts that China is likely to establish at least one “dual-use” civilian/military base to provide logistics support for increased People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) operations. The report also concludes that the so-called “string of pearls” model of covert access to commercial ports built with Chinese investment is unable to support a robust, combat-oriented Chinese naval presence in the India Ocean. The report argues that it would not make strategic sense for the Chinese to pursue such a course.

    The NDU report is titled “Not An Idea We Have to Shun: Chinese Overseas Basing Requirements for the Twenty First Century” and was written by Ross Rustici and me with research assistance from Scott Devary and Jenny Lin. We examined China’s growing foreign economic and security interests abroad; posited which interests needed to be protected and would generate PLA missions; surveyed press reports and statements by government officials about overseas bases; looked at writings by Chinese civilian and military analysts; and conducted interviews with logistics experts. We concluded that China’s current method of protecting its interests abroad by relying solely on commercial port access was unsatisfactory from a Chinese perspective, which suggests change is likely. A number of Chinese commentators agree with this conclusion.

    This raises the question: what kind of logistics support would the Chinese military need for an expanded overseas presence? The report identifies and analyzes six potential logistics models, each with distinct features:


    • The “Pit Stop” model is what China currently uses to support its Gulf of Aden counter-piracy operations. It relies solely on access to existing commercial ports, and is an expensive, ad hoc, and limited means of resupplying naval vessels.
    • The “Lean Colonial Model” illustrated by Germany’s pre-World War I bases in the Pacific is characterized by commercial driven facilities designed not to project military power, but to support commercial activities overseas and enhance a country’s image as an international power.
    • The “Dual Use Logistics Facility” is characterized by its light footprint, its emphasis on providing logistics support to overseas non-traditional security missions, and its dual commercial and military nature.
    • The “String of Pearls” model is similar to the “Dual Use Logistics Facility” except that it would include secret access agreements and covert development of commercial facilities to support later military use, with the ultimate objective of being able to support major combat operations against India and to dominate the Indian Ocean Region.
    • The “Warehouse Model” fashioned after British inter-war bases in the Pacific is largely a one-stop shopping military base where the country’s military can resupply and repair ships, store ordnance and other materiel, station troops, and essentially warehouse all of a forward operating forces’ needs.
    • “Model USA” is the American military’s current military logistics support system with a vast network of military bases, large numbers of auxiliary supply ships, and ad hoc access to logistics chains worldwide.

    The report examined the characteristics of each model against long-standing Chinese foreign policy principles. For example, China has emphasized the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country. It has also followed Deng’s maxim to lie low and bide time while focusing on the development of its economy. Because some basing models (the “Lean Colonial model”, “Warehouse model” and “Model USA”) involve placing large numbers of troops on the sovereign territory of host nations, we assessed the likelihood of Chinese adoption to be low. Only two models survived the assessment process: the “Dual Use Logistics Facility” and the “String of Pearls” model.

    We used a number of approaches to analyze these two alternatives. What did the physical evidence or evidence of current activity at various facilities suggest? What did current Chinese Navy operational patterns of behavior suggest about future access arrangements with the countries and facilities of the Indian Ocean Region? What characteristics would a base need to support a long-term Chinese plan to conduct conventional military operations against its rivals in the Indian Ocean? Is there any evidence that these features are incorporated in commercial port facilities in the Indian Ocean being built with Chinese investment? Finally, would it make strategic sense for China to covertly build up its military forces in the Indian Ocean, place highly valued naval assets in a high-threat environment, and potentially strand naval assets where they cannot respond quickly to threats to the Chinese mainland?

    We concluded that there is scant evidence to support the idea that China would pursue a “String of Pearls” model. The ports analysts have identified as supposed “String of Pearls” sites (Gwadar in Pakistan, Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Chittagong in Bangladesh, and the Coco Islands of Myanmar) lack the features necessary to support major combat operations, and there is little physical evidence of a covert military buildup on any of them. Current PLA Navy operational patterns of behavior rely on other facilities; not a single one of the “String of Pearls” has been used to support PLAN counter-piracy operations. Moreover, the current PLAN operational pattern of behavior (e.g., ad hoc visits, largely involving liberty port calls, with small numbers of vessels at a time) is inconsistent with a country preparing the battle space for large scale conventional conflict.

    Finally, it makes no strategic sense for China to be doing what “String of Pearls” advocates claim: placing high value PLAN assets within range of Indian precision air and missile threats; dividing China’s naval forces in ways that make the Chinese homeland more vulnerable; and jeopardizing China’s “peaceful rise” image by building up large, offensively oriented naval and air forces and associated logistics support bases in the Indian Ocean.

    We concluded that the “Dual Use Logistics Facility” model makes the most sense to support future Chinese naval operations in the Indian Ocean. Such a logistics facility would be designed to address non-traditional security challenges to China’s overseas interests. It would ease the logistics burden of China’s overseas naval operations (at present mostly counter-piracy operations), but could expand to support limited operations protecting Chinese citizens and property abroad. These could include conducting non-combatant evacuation operations (NEOs) of Chinese citizens (as in Libya in 2011), conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and potentially conducting special forces ground operations in such places as Africa to protect Chinese personnel, property and other economic interests.

    Interviews with U.S. military logisticians suggested that such a facility could involve a light footprint of perhaps 100 Chinese personnel; would likely be operating in a very restrictive political and legal environment; and could include features such as medical support, ship and equipment repair, communications support, and ammunition/ordnance storage. A “Dual Use Logistics Facility” would be politically palatable to the countries in the region, and the Chinese government could sell the concept domestically as well. Karachi would be the most likely site for such a base. We conclude that a “Dual Use Logistics Facility” would not constitute a direct threat to the countries of the region, to U.S. global military dominance, or to Indian regional dominance. However, it would still constitute a political and diplomatic challenge to both the United States and India.

    In his November column, James Holmes suggested that China could still build the “String of Pearls” and criticized the NDU report. We believe China is unlikely to attempt to dominate the Indian Ocean region militarily. Even if it does harbor such ambitions, the “String of Pearls” model would be insufficient to support the logistics needs of a large Chinese air and naval force focused on combat operations. China would need a much more robust logistics infrastructure to support such a force.

    Hypothetically, this would include large hospital and medical facilities; ordnance storage and distribution; petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) storage and distribution; mortuary services; large ship and equipment repair facilities; air traffic control and other air support facilities and operations; and air and missile defenses. The “String of Pearls” concept based on covert development of military facilities at commercial ports would be insufficient. Moreover, a long lead time would be required to develop such facilities and the necessary construction could not be kept secret, thereby telegraphing China’s intentions well before Beijing would be ready to admit to such ambitions. The NDU report makes this case in detail, and also suggests that the best indicator of Chinese malign intentions would be efforts to build a much more robust overseas military logistics support system capable of supporting sustained combat operations. The “String of Pearls” model has long outlived its usefulness as a strategic concept!

    Dr. Christopher D. Yung is a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), at the National Defense University.

    Burying China’s ‘String of Pearls’ | The Diplomat

    =========

    A very interesting article.

    @Ray, @roma, @pmaitra, @Kunal Biswas , @cobra commando, @LETHALFORCE, @rock127, @ladder, @Redhawk, @asianobserve @Free Karma, @Dark Sorrow, @Bangalorean.
    And all other awesome people in here!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  3. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Interesting read, Thanks for sharing ..
     
  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chinese-built ports in Gwadar, Colombo or Chittagong have commercial value, but pose no threat - A FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS

    Reports that Pakistan invited China to construct a naval base in Gwadar have reignited concerns about Beijing’s strategic ambitions in the Indian Ocean. For many China-watchers, the militarization of this commercial port – just 500 kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz – would confirm longstanding anxieties about Beijing’s so-called “string of pearls” strategy. Yet there are few reasons to fear China’s strategic weight in the Indian Ocean, explains Ashley S. Townshend, research associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney. The ports are, as China contends, conventional shipping facilities to connect landlocked Chinese provinces with trade routes. Transforming the commercial ports into military bases would not only require extensive fortification but also convincing host countries to upend a geopolitical strategy balancing interests of China, the US and India. The ports have long-term strategic value, but Townshend concludes that it’s in the interest of all, including China, to minimize conflicts in the Indian Ocean and keep trade routes open.


    SYDNEY: With the US and the western world mired in debt crisis, the rise of China’s military appears more threatening than ever. The recent launch of China’s first aircraft carrier will only add to regional anxieties over the military challenge emanating from Asia’s fastest rising giant. But a closer examination shows that at least one aspect of China’s supposed military prowess – its alleged creation of far-ranging naval facilities, the so-called “string of pearls” strategy – can be discounted as more fevered imagination than actual military threat.


    Coined in a classified 2005 Booz-Allen report, the shibboleth is widely used to describe China’s purported plan to establish naval bases and intelligence stations throughout littoral South Asia. Adherents to this perspective argue that Beijing has spent the past decade trying to forge closer diplomatic relations with many Indian Ocean nations. China has signed multimillion dollar aid, trade and defense deals in capitals across the region, while Chinese state-owned corporations have financed commercial ports in Pakistan (Gwadar), Sri Lanka (Hambantota and Colombo), Bangladesh (Chittagong) and Burma (Sittwe and Kyaukpyu). Viewed alongside the large-scale naval modernization program being undertaken by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) many worry that these ostensibly trade-oriented ports will one day be upgraded into permanent naval bases. In a worst-case scenario, it’s feared such bases might enable Beijing to threaten India’s security, menace global sea lanes and challenge the United States for regional naval primacy.

    This assessment is greatly exaggerated, and there are many reasons to be skeptical about a Chinese “string of pearls.”

    Crucially, there’s no evidence to suggest the PLAN is involved with these ports. Nor is there any proof to support claims that “listening posts” and “monitoring stations” have been hidden amidst the cranes. On the contrary, China’s “pearls” appear to be what Beijing says they are: conventional shipping facilities designed to connect China’s landlocked western provinces to maritime trade routes in the Indian Ocean.

    This doesn’t mean they lack strategic value. The South Asian harbors and their overland conduits to China will permit some Chinese-bound tankers to offload Persian Gulf oil without having to sail all the way to East Asian waters. Such arrangements will reduce China’s dependence on precarious shipping routes through the Malacca Strait “chokepoint,” where Beijing fears that its tankers could be blockaded by US warships already deployed to the region. In the name of energy security, such facilities offer a degree of flexibility for China’s otherwise vulnerable Indian Ocean supply-lines – across which roughly 80 percent of Beijing’s imported crude must travel each year en route to the mainland.

    Even if China’s leaders were contemplating militarizing these “pearls,” there are serious doubts about the feasibility of such a scheme.

    Diplomatically, Beijing would find it difficult to convince its South Asian counterparts that hosting PLAN bases is in their best interests. As “swing players” in an emerging Indo-Pacific “great game,” the littoral states of the Indian Ocean stand to gain more by oscillating between Beijing, New Delhi and Washington than by aligning with any one of the three. Indeed, Colombo, Dhaka, Islamabad and Rangoon already enjoy lucrative economic and military relations with two or more of Asia’s competing great powers – often leveraging their financiers’ strategic anxieties to advance their own national objectives. Whatever sweeteners China might offer, it’s hard to imagine that any South Asian regime would jeopardize this geopolitical flexibility for a PLAN pied-à-terre and political blessing from Beijing. While some, notably Pakistan, may be tempted to provide berthing rights to PLAN warships, such moves would fall short of granting China sovereign bases abroad.

    Establishing a “string of pearls” would face serious practical obstacles. Transforming commercial ports into defendable forward bases requires high levels of technical, logistical and strategic expertise. Despite the PLAN’s growing proficiency, the demands of this Mahanian task would probably exceed China’s capabilities for at least another decade. The PLAN has little experience in force projection, joint operations or sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It would be hard pressed to fortify distant bases with local air defenses, mine-clearing assets or munitions storage facilities, and is likely to be handicapped by its inflexible command structure. As such, the PLAN would find it almost impossible to defend isolated naval bases from cruise-missile strikes or airborne attacks by potential US or Indian adversaries. While such kinetic scenarios seem highly unlikely, they still beg the question: Why would China invest billions in South Asian bases that would be impotent during wartime?

    The answer, many argue, is that Beijing’s base-building ambitions are largely defensive in nature – designed to offset China’s sea-lane vulnerabilities by deploying PLAN assets to challenge rivals’ sea lanes. Acutely aware of the strangulation threat Indian and US forces pose to Beijing’s Indo-Pacific energy supply lines, some Chinese strategists have advocated offshore naval bases as a means of protecting China’s economic interests overseas. As forward bases would permit Chinese warships to wield some “tit-for-tat” coercive power over Indian and American vessels, Beijing’s modest objective would be to project limited sea power for deterrence – not to position the PLAN for great power confrontations.

    Yet China is unlikely to achieve even this limited goal. As the prevailing Indian Ocean power balance is tilted in favor of Washington and New Delhi, Beijing’s capacity to influence international sea lanes remains grossly inferior. While India and the US boast multiple carrier strike-groups, nuclear submarines and experienced blue-water fleets – supported by US bases in Bahrain and Diego Garcia – China’s nascent navy is only beginning to project power abroad. Even if PLAN warships were one day able to contest Indian Ocean sea lanes, the US Fifth Fleet would still hold a geopolitical advantage – exercising, as it does, near-total control over access to the Persian Gulf source of China’s hydrocarbon lifeline.

    But what about three decades from now? Might a militarized “string of pearls” form part of a longer-term strategy to project Chinese strategic weight west of Malacca?

    While current geopolitical and military obstacles appear unlikely to be overcome any time soon, it’s true that Beijing’s Indian Ocean objectives are not purely commercial. Chinese leaders are reticent to continue outsourcing their nation’s sea-lane security to US and Indian flotillas. As concerns about energy security intensify, Beijing will almost certainly seek a more permanent naval presence in the Indian Ocean. At a minimum, this will require access to deep-water ports for PLAN vessels to rest, refuel and possibly refit. This could, of course, be achieved by negotiating long-term berthing arrangements at various South Asian ports. Yet it would be foolish to ignore the strategic advantages of full-fledged naval bases. In the future, a stronger China may well make this calculation – motivated perhaps by growing strategic anxieties or a bellicose turn in its foreign policy. While Beijing’s proclivity for financing commercial ports does not necessarily portend this worrisome future, China’s stake in well-situated South Asian harbors offers a number of ship-ready options for eventual expansion.

    Whatever naval facilities are developed over time, it’s difficult to envisage a scenario in which Beijing would be willing to undermine maritime security in the Indian Ocean. China is destined to face mounting energy demands, compelling it to acquire new resources, trade routes and the means to defend both. Dependence on seaborne energy supplies is likely to instill in Beijing – like the US, India and other maritime powers – a powerful incentive for stability at sea. While the myth of a Chinese “string of pearls” will continue to trouble US and Indian analysts, it’s important to recall that all Indo-Pacific states depend on unfettered Indian Ocean trade. Asia’s greatest challenge is not to position naval forces in preparation for conflict, but to defuse maritime tensions for the sake of regional order.



    Ashley S. Townshend is a research associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, and a former visiting fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.

    Unraveling China’s “String Of Pearls”
     
  5. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    If we can neutralize these bases during war time covertly or overtly we really deserve to be defeated.
    How difficult will it be for RAW to find out if any capital class ship have entered the port. In the port their ships will be sitting ducks during refueling, maintenance and restocking.

    [​IMG]

    If we analyze the map we will realize base 6 to 15 are in our strike range.
    Our biggest concern shall be Chinese SSN.
     
    navkapu likes this.
  6. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    regardless of the analysis of he article , dont expect the ccp's to "give up " the idea
    they will continue - perhaps they may even try a new strategy if they feel the article
    and perhaps others like it have value.

    the article should have little impact.

    hmmmmm..... members should realise that ideas are ideas and the ideas
    developed here even though many of us are not directly in the military,
    nevertheless our ideas may have some strategic value and the presence of
    the ccp 50 cent-ers should remind us to be a little careful

    i too have some comment on the matter but out of security concerns shall not
    reveal them .
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  7. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    And the general idea? Let the Chinese commit blunders and throw heaps of money on endeavors that is ultimately not going to strategically tip the balance. In the meantime, sound all the alarms of Chinese "expansion" and the growing might of the PLA in the region so that: 1) the PLA will continue believing that they're doing it right; 2) American taxpayers keep funding the US military based on hysteria; 3) Smaller Asian countries will panic and allow the Americans greater military access into their countries. Who said Americans are dumb?
     
  8. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Both Chinese and Americans will come out of the race winners as Yin Yang of Indo Pacific. Minors who wish to play both sides will end up being fleeced in the name of military modernization and invigorating the Yin-Yang duo. America and China as top notched makers sell them advanced arms and consequently disable their indigenous R&D and manufacturing.
     
  9. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    YIng yang..I like it..Chinese and US doing 69... I bet the US will be on top.

    The plan will work if the world wants cheap arms in numbers than quality as offered by Israel or France or US for that matter. But which country wil sell their security cheap!
    USA for a factor wont sell their core tech to anyone but use it to contain Chinas number game and get into the 'disabling of R&D and manufacturing' facility ying yang!
     
  10. jus

    jus Senior Member Senior Member

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    I thinks String of pearls is a joke ...

    c'mon,what is navy do in sea,to secure trade routs in Indian ocean or any ocean.IO trade pass through Lakhswadweep to A&N Islands. Prima facie IO security lies on Indian navy.Case closed.

    If at all Chinies are interested/capable they already occupied rocks in ECS and Chiniese Navy patrol in SCS, stupid lines drawn by CCP.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China has part of the Sri Lankan port they are building on reclaimed land in perpetuity.

    That should indicate the aim.

    Further, read this in conjunction to the Chinese string of pearls

    Revived: plan to give access to bases
    Revived: plan to give access to bases
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chinese are many things, stupid is not one of them.

    I think above articles clear a lot of air regarding the LSA debate. So much for the effort I put into typing the replies.:toilet::pound:
     
  13. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    if we play the cards right both sri lanka and nepal will get closer to india and further away from PRC in short to medium term ... probably making it a permanent relationship of closeness (sure one can say nepal is already in technicality).
     
  14. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The String-of-Pearls model hasn't outlived its effectiveness as a strategic concept. It'll continue to keep India at bay and safeguard Chinese passage and assets (like the Trans-Myanmar oil pipeline recently completed in addition to the gas one)

    China shall keep on upgrading littoral states' navies, including their submarine forces (already done for Bangladesh), for offshore balancing.

    Myanmar - Navy
     
  15. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sri Lanka to Reassess Port Deal With China - Plus, the “string of pearls,” Chinese investment in Indonesia, and the curious story of the Liaoning.

    Ever since Maithripala Sirisena ousted incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka’s elections, observers have watched carefully for signs that the new administration will adopt a different approach to China policy. Sirisena had promised to reconsider several high profile deals signed with China during Rajapaksa’s time in office, likening the financial deals to European encroachments during the colonial period. The Diplomat has covered this issue in some detail, with pieces by Harsh V. Pant, Nitin A. Gokhale, and Ankit Panda.

    In particular, the incoming Sri Lankan government previously threatened to scrap a $1.5 billion deal that would see a Chinese company build a “port city” on reclaimed land in Colombo. Now, Reuters reports, there’s an update to that position — Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senarathne told reported Sri Lanka was “reassessing the deal.” Explaining further, Senarathne said, “We need to see the feasibility study. We need to see the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and reassess the tax concessions given to it and land ownership issues.” Under the original terms of the deal, the Chinese firm (China Communications Construction Co.) would be given 20 hectares of reclaimed land and would receive another 88 hectares under a 99-year lease. Senarathne did say the government would be open to renegotiating the deal after Sirisena’s administration makes its own assessment.


    The Colombo port city project is offered mentioned as part of the “string of pearls,” commercial ports that China is supposedly also eying as military bases. National Defense University’s Christopher Yung, writing for The Diplomat, makes it clear the “string of pearls” theory has little connection with reality. Summarizing the findings of a report he co-authored with Ross Rustici, Yung writes:

    “We believe China is unlikely to attempt to dominate the Indian Ocean region militarily. Even if it does harbor such ambitions, the ‘String of Pearls’ model would be insufficient to support the logistics needs of a large Chinese air and naval force focused on combat operations. China would need a much more robust logistics infrastructure to support such a force… ‘The ‘String of Pearls’ model has long outlived its usefulness as a strategic concept!”

    And speaking of Chinese investment, the Investment Coordinating Board of Indonesia called Chinese companies onto the carpet for not living up to their investment promises. “Out of the planned US$18.4 billion Chinese investment here in the last five years, only $1.1 billion, or 6 percent, has materialized,” the board says, according to The Jakarta Post. That means, in terms of realized investment in Indonesia, China has been outperformed by Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius — even Taiwan. Still, the board said it expects China to move from its current ranking as the 13th largest investor in Indonesia all the way up to third.


    Earlier this week, I covered China’s quest to create globally influential think tanks. As a sign of how far China has to go, I cited the 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. The 2014 version was released two days later, and China’s think tanks fared even worse in the updated report: its top-ranked think tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, dropped from 20th to 27th in the global rankings.


    Sri Lanka to Reassess Port Deal With China | The Diplomat

    @Ray

    Sir, IMO, the reclamation project will be stalled by the new Govt in Sri Lanka citing the lack of credibility in Chinese investment as well as a probable bribe charge. (Related to the article you have posted about the reclaimed land, Sir.) . The environmental impact is always a 'public statement' to shadow the larger intentions behind the stalling. :D

    I suppose that the new Govt will wait for the developments in the INDO - US affairs to formulate pro progress options for Sri Lanka in which China is an unreliable partner.

    China becoming 3rd largest investor in a region is nothing new, but the previous statement contradicts (Realised investment) . I saw the same pattern everywhere China went.
    A lot of noise but not even a fartual(read factual) realzation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  16. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    One step backward, two steps forward. Chinese r very patient. The longstanding friendship is marked by monumental buildings named after Bandaranaike that Chinese gifted to Lankans through ups and downs.

    Sirisena is still immersed in the post_election joys. It takes a while for the mud slinging game to subside. Meanwhile his minister already assures no Chinese projects will be stopped. Who else in the world can finance big tickets projects? India with its beggar_thy_neighbour tactics and ticking Tamil time bombs? 😁

    The review of the Colombo Port City can't b seen as a setback. Aside from "environmental" impacts the investor needs to take a deep breath n rethink profitabilty for such a white elephant in a 3rd world country.

    The Indo US deal now Indians r beating their drums for will b all gospel for the pearl_string enhancement once India strips off its non~aligned guise. Things will get much obvious for SCO expansion and the much touted Russia _Pakistan _China axis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The issue that is worrisome not only to others but also to the Sri Lankan is:
    That is why the statement that Sri Lanka cannot afford to be sold to foreign powers.

    If China has Sri Lankan land 'in perpetuity', it means China has sovereign rights over that piece of Sri Lanka. It has immense strategic nuances, not only for the world, but also for Sri Lanka.

    And all know that China will not be that magnanimous as Britain to hand over as did Britain to hand over Hong Kong inspite of the fact that it had 'in perpetuity' as stipulated in The Treaty of Nanking.

    And to imagine there was a US expert who did not think that China has a 'String of Pearls' strategy!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  18. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    A Game Changer for China and India in Sri Lanka


    On January 18, a Reuters reported claimed that Sri Lanka’s now former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had expelled the station chief of India’s intelligence agency in Colombo after accusing him of working against his government and supporting the opposition.

    India denied the claim, but the report serves as an example of Rajapaksa’s thorny attitude towards New Delhi, irrespective of the face presented by public diplomacy.

    The docking last September of a Chinese naval submarine in Colombo turned heads in New Delhi, just as the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was still getting up to speed. The event underlined the magnitude of Chinese influence in Sri Lanka under Rajapaksa, despite assurances from Beijing that the docking was a routine stopover to re-stock on supplies before heading to the Gulf of Aden to participate in anti-piracy operations.

    A month later in October, the Indian government quietly launched an inter-ministerial review exercise to revisit India’s policies for the Indian Ocean. This followed on the heels of China’s proclaimed Maritime Silk Road, its growing influence around the Bay of Bengal, and the development of the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is to be operated exclusively by Beijing. Glimpses of this exercise were seen the same month when Modi visited Myanmar, Australia and Fiji. China is the biggest foreign investor in Australia, and has liberally provided economic aid, loans and investments to Myanmar and Fiji. A few weeks later, China docked two of its submarines again in Sri Lanka.

    Calls for a reworking of India’s Indian Ocean strategy had been brewing within the strategic community for some time. The new government took some initial steps within months of taking power in New Delhi, with the Shipping Corporation of India launching special container trade lanes with countries such as Myanmar. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Maldives was also aimed at strengthening the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), an organization set up in 1995. A subsequent visit to the UAE, also an IORA member, was made with the same intention.

    More than 70 percent of India’s liquefied energy supplies travel through the Indian Ocean, making it vital to the country’s security. Close Indian allies such as Japan, which is now setting up a permanent anti-piracy outpost in Djibouti, also source vast quantities of natural gas and crude oil from the Middle East, which travels through the Indian Ocean towards Japanese shores. The international community is also trying to rapidly extend security from the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.

    The news of Rajapaksa losing the elections was greeted with much enthusiasm in the Indian media even as the government responded with the routine declaration that it would work with whichever government the people of Sri Lanka decided to choose. It is no secret, though, that India is looking more than confortable with Sirisena at the helm in Colombo.

    China had been building its base of influence in Sri Lanka since 2009, when the Rajapaksa government ended its bloody crackdown against the LTTE in the country’s largely Tamil populated north. While the Sri Lankan government was the target of global protests over alleged human rights violations against the Tamils, Beijing stood by Colombo and began providing it with huge loans at liberal terms, albeit with high interest rates.

    According to statements made during pre-poll campaigning, Sri Lanka picked up major loans for projects from countries such as Japan, Kuwait and China. Japan and Kuwait, on average, offered loans at rates of 0.2-0.3 percent. In contrast, the interest rate on the Chinese loans exceeded 3 percent.

    Rajapaksa’s government chose Beijing over conventional lenders such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Using Chinese funds, totaling nearly $5 billion since 2009 (compared to India’s $350 million over roughly the same time frame), Sri Lanka was able to boost its growing services sector by investing in infrastructure projects such as highways, public amenities, and ports. China enthusiastically partnered with Sri Lanka in a $1.5 billion port project in the southern coastal town of Hambantota, one that India had vehemently opposed. Chinese loans are also being used to build a new international airport in Mattala.

    Sirisena, in his pre-poll campaigning, had said that he would put a stop to the unchecked inroads that China had made in the country. Since taking over, his government has already stated that it plans to reassess the port project, a decision that will resonate positively in the Indian capital.

    The new government has apparently already made the first moves to rebalance towards Delhi, with the new Sri Lankan foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, making India his first port of call. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ramil Wickramasinghe in a recent interview said that “Rajapaksa played China and India against each other in Sri Lanka,” and that the new government will look to fix this.

    However, India’s ambition of checking Chinese influence in Sri Lanka by influencing Colombo to abandon, or at least minimize projects, may not be an easy task. For Sri Lanka to ignore China could be next to impossible. Sri Lanka today owes China billions, and in some cases, according to sources, significant sections of these loans did come with certain sovereign guarantees that were agreed between the two countries. These guarantees today give Beijing significant political advantages in Colombo irrespective of who is in power.

    This situation makes it difficult for the new Sri Lankan government to renegotiate with China the projects and loans already signed off by the Rajapaksa administration. Beijing has leverage, which it will doubtless use to prevent Sirisena from diluting the influence China had built under the previous regime.

    At any rate, China is too large an economic entity for any country to actively sideline. The art of managing Beijing’s economic assertiveness is not easy to master, and requires political will and skillful diplomatic maneuvering. A recent example of the challenges has been witnessed in Myanmar, where the government reportedly decided to clamp down on the pace of Chinese economic and cultural infusion after it was found that Chinese language had started to overshadow Burmese in Yangon.

    Rajapaksa’s policy of enjoying the best of both worlds was clear, as Japan remained Sri Lanka’s largest lender, even as China managed to build a strong political constituency in India’s neighborhood. The new Sri Lankan government will find that it has its work cut out just containing Chinese influence in the country, let alone fulfilling the Indian dream of eliminating it altogether. The growth of Chinese influence in Sri Lanka may slow, but Beijing is in the region for the long haul. It is up to India to turn this political change in Colombo to its advantage.

    A Game Changer for China and India in Sri Lanka? | The Diplomat
     
  19. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    East wing of the pearl string - Chinese facilities will not only boost economies of littoral countries by knitting them into Chinese web but also ensure freedom of passage and energy security.

    Kyaukpyu Deep Sea Port ready to send oil to China

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    The Chinese oil tanker docked at Kyaukphyu seaport on January 24, 2015. Photo: Tun Tun Naing

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    Energy gateway for China. Natural gas tanks in Madae Island, Kyaukpyu, Rakhine. Photo: Mizzima

    Crude oil brought by ship from the Middle East will be stored at oil tanks on Madae Island in Kyaukpyu Township prior to sending it to China through the recently constructed pipeline, according to a Rakhine State minister.

    Large 100,000-ton oil tankers will moor at Kyaukpyu Deep Sea Port as of January 2015, Rakhine State Minister for Forestry and Mining U Kyaw Khin told Mizzima on December 23, using the oil tanks of the China National Petroleum Corporation for storage.

    “China needs crude oil while the Myanmar government will benefit from [fees charged for] the storage of the oil and the use of the pipeline,” he said.

    Oil tankers will arrive at the island at least three times a month.

    Some local people have expressed concern over the possible danger to the environment and oil spills.

    “The project may benefit the government but cause difficulties for local fishermen. The local authorities have not responded to concerns about responsibility for accidents,” U Tun Kyi, a local resident on Madae Island said.

    The Minister for Energy and Rakhine State Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn met with local people in Kyaukpyu on December 21 but reportedly did no clearly address the issues of possible accidents and pollution.

    Arrangements have been made to send crude oil from the CNPC Company tanks to China along a pipeline that runs parallel to the natural gas pipeline that will deliver gas from the Shwe block off the Rakhine coast.

    According to Lower House MP U Aung Mya Kyaw of Sittwe Township, the government has an arrangement to deal with any oil spills as part of the agreement.

    About450,000 barrels of oil maximum will be sent to China per year. Myanmar will have the use of one tenth of it , Deputy Minister for Energy U Aung Htoo told local people on December 21.

    Shwe gas activists noted in a report in 2013 that the Myanmar government will make US$54 billion from the pipelines over a period of 30 years.

    [​IMG]

    Such build-up serves multiple purposes of course.
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Chinese policy of 'String of Pearls' is indeed a far visioned (which is one of their traits that is far reaching nationally). And it is clever.

    It ensures economic well being, as well covertly ideal for strategic military aspirations.

    Indian Ocean is the bugbear to China. It trade and oil perforce has to transit through the Indian Ocean since Africa and Middle East (ME) straddles it.
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    However, the choke-points, the Straits of Malacca, Straits of Hormuz, Straits of Lombok (much deeper than the Strait of Malacca and can accommodate larger "post Malaccamax" vessels) are not in allies or pro Chinese hands.
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    If these choke-points are blocked, then it would affect China's economic progress and even imbalance its strategic reach and influence.

    That is also the reason why China is aggressively claiming the South China Sea since vast amounts of oil and gas and other rare minerals are estimated there, wherein the dependency on ME oil and is not material in the short run in case of any blockade.

    The various overland routes, namely through Myanmar and Pakistan are also added protection for China's economic progress' non interruption wherein the oil can be pumped through the oil lines to China, while trade imports taken to China by road or rail.

    China's blue Navy is still work in progress. Therefore, she requires intermediate ports and that it is littering itself all over littoral countries of the Indian Ocean like the one in Gwadar, (Pakistan), Chittagong (Bangladesh), Hambantota (Sri Lanka) and sniffing around the Maldives.

    The ports military use cannot be seen to be too far. A neat and militarily covert way to encircle India.
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    To that end of encircling India, China opened the Gyirong Port on the Rasuwagadhi border in Nepal, the first being at Tatopani border.

    Brilliant strategy, if one wishes to see it from the Chinese point of view.
     
  21. kumar2310s

    kumar2310s Regular Member

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    If you recall reports in the media over past 5-7 years, China has taken large lands in African nations on lease and using it for different purposes. Agriculture and growing Palm and rubber was cited as one of the reasons. A recent report on BBC showed African ports have chinease tankers leaving with Metals (after extracting metal from Ore), instead of ore. While the same ships are coming back with cheap chinese goods which people in African nations facscinate. By having port in Pakistan, and the Rail Line, China has insured long term supplies of crucial ingredients that help in the making of a superpower in future.

    I hope Indian Govt wakes up and do the similar alliances with African nations to insure continuous future supply of metals including iron and steal.
     

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