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Shifts in political balance worldwide

The new silk roads

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wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 21-Dec-2018 19:06 Message #4731763
Trump has announced that America is pulling out of Syria and that ISIS is defeated, they're also halving troops in Afghanistan. This has worried many people, especially the Kurds who have been fighting alongside the USA. The Kurds are in many ways being protected by their Amercian allies, not from ISIS but from Turkey, the Turks have a long standing dispute with the Kurdish people and lots of blood has been spilt on both sides. Turkey is also close with Iran, another major player in the middle east who don't much like the Kurds. Both Turkey and Iran are getting closer with both Russia and China, the latter is investing heavily in infrastructure in the region and are good friends, Turkey and Russia have traditionally had an uneasy relationship, but this is now rapidly warming.

I get why Trump wants US troops out of there, but is it a good idea to abandon a group, the Kurds who have been such good allies since the first gulf war? What will it do for the political balance not just of the region but of the world? By withdrawing troops from Syria America is giving up any chance it has of infuencing any outcome and is instead ceding it to Russia, backed up by Iran and Turkey.

China's Belt and Road project is pouring billions into infrastructure projects around the world, many with countries to poor to have any real hope of repaying loans for these projects, one has already been defaulted on with the country handing over the port facilities to China giving it a base on the east coast of Africa.

Until the last 500 years and the rediscovery of America, Europe was a bit of a backwater, to far out from the main trade routes to be able to effect very much and generally more involved in its own internal disputes. DOes anyone else see history about to repeat itself and the world reorrienting eastwards towards the silk roads?
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 21-Dec-2018 22:31 Message #4731785
Wholeheartedly agree 'hen, that the Kurds continue to get an exceedingly raw deal - and not just from their geographical neighbours.
And this despite (or perhaps because) they show time and again that they are very effective fighters.

As for the continuing spread of China's tentacles through the medium of extensive funding and then calling in the loan, isn't that what Roman procurators did to the Iceni, Cecil Rhodes (latterly Lonhro) did throughout Africa and over the last fifty years what you describe the Chinese as doing. Certainly, history repeats itself, but what measures do you see being put in place to prevent that ?

Probably getting out of my league here, but my view is that the Silk Roads were trade routes for a wider range of goods and ideas that the name suggests; whereas in the present, the mineral resource potential of Africa, particularly in what are regarded as 'strategic metals', is what many (not just the Chinese) would seek to control.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 23-Dec-2018 12:04 Message #4731905
Yes the silk roads carried more than silk, you could just as easily call them the spice roads, naturally ideas spread along them too, Buddhism expanded along them, along with other material culture, porcelain, horses, horses were big business on the Eurasian Steppes.

I think the Chinese always tell the countries they're dealing with that its a loan that needs to be repaid, hopefully with the proceeds of the changes the infrastructure projects bring about. I've thought for a while that China wants to buy the world and the more I find out about it the more I believe it to be the case. China has yet to flex any military muscle, which is just as well, as it has a huge and well funded and provisioned army, many are worried about its island building in the South China Sea, these seem to be military bases, but no ones allowed near them. China's neighbours such as Japan are very worried about them, China seems to be claiming rights over huge parts of the South China sea, America is heavily involved in patrolling this sea with its navy and has had a few run ins with the Chinese navy.

If you want to know more then get yourself a copy of The New Silk Roads, by Peter Frankopan, this covers the extensive developments made in the last 5 years by countries along the old Silk Roads.
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 23-Dec-2018 13:41 Message #4731913
Indeed 'hen, not every country affected by China's 'Belt & Road' initiative is wildly enthusiastic about the idea.
Much the same goes for India, which is also acquiring port facilities around the Indian Ocean - another 'string-of-pearls' not unlike the former Royal Naval coaling stations. As for the Chinese-funded port in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), this has already seen visits by Chinese warships and no doubt there will be more to come. With a third Chinese aircraft carrier on the stocks and various other manifestations of Trump's withdrawal from world affairs, I don't see a 'challenge' to US naval capability, so much as a replacement in Asian waters. And it's possibly worth remembering that there's a very large amount of potential 'living room' in Northern Australia.
For all sorts of reasons, the strategic build-up of Chinese influence brings to mind the concept of a 'Greater Asian Co-prosperity Sphere' - ring any bells ?
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 23-Dec-2018 18:16 Message #4731943
No, that phrase rings no bells and we're not supposed to live in Australia only the First Nation Australians are, theres to many things that want to kill us in Australia, many of them spiders, yuk.

Just because a warship visits somewhere, even docks, dosen't make it an unfriendly visit, although I agree the Chinese navy will prpbably make its presense more widely felt in coming years. What I do find interesting is what China's response to Russia, Turkey and Iran will be? China dosen't like change very much and violent change least of all, these three will most likely be doing far more in the Middle East as America withdraws from the region. America's withdrawl leaves israel in an interesting position too, Iran dosen't believe in Israel as a nation state.

I must admit I wonder if Trump hasn't signed his own impeachment by announcing a withdrawl from the Middle East, he seems to have not consulted with anyone including his defense secretary who later resigned over it. The Republican party seem uneasy about America ceding so much ground and influence, so they may work behind the scenes to get rid of Trump?
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 24-Dec-2018 10:51 Message #4731981
Well 'hen, that the phrase: 'Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere', rings no bells, even for a history graduate, does surprise me somewhat.
But therein, I suppose, lies the nub of the cliche: 'History repeats itself'; and its follow up: 'Has to. No-one pays attention the first time around.'

While rather cumbersome to our ears, the title of their seagoing arm, 'Peoples Liberation Army Navy' (PLAN), does I believe, give a very clear indication of China's long-term ambitions. While latter day versions of the Silk Road are set to traverse Tibet and a whole lot of states whose names end in '..stan', all with their destination the Mediterranean and points west; PLAN is equipping, not only in order to influence the Pacific region, but also to secure lines of seaborne communication across and throughout the Indian Ocean. Perhaps a glance at the map might clarify our thinking with regards as to what is actually happening. There is for instance, every reason for India to view itself as being encircled.

Further insight might arise from taking a close look at the everyday goods all around us. 'Could be rather thought-provoking to realise just how many items in our own homes are labeled 'Made in China'.

Indeed, the image of spiders and their webs that you provoke, is one that I find more than a little apposite.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 25-Dec-2018 12:03 Message #4732046
I'm a medievalist with an interest in anciet history too, anything after the Tudors and my eyes start to glaze over and a lot of modern history is more like old news.

I think India is worried about Pakistan, India's economy will be as big or even bigger than China's in the next few years. It could be good for Europe if India chooses to look west for trading partners, rather than east to China.

What does concern me is how China will react to dissent in other countries it has close ties too, and religioius issues with its allies, I'm thinking specifically of the Uigar Muslims who have been herded up into huge "re-education" camps. I can see trouble ahead with its largely Muslim neighbours.

It seems almost impossible to buy anything that has nothing from China in it.
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 25-Dec-2018 19:09 Message #4732052
The quatrains of Nostrodamus are coming to pass!

In my occasional researching of Nostrodamus over the decades, (particularly from my 20’s to my 40’s), I always assumed he was way off the mark in suggesting that China would be the catalyst to start world war 3 but as China has risen in power and influence, (now being acknowledged to become the biggest world power within the decade), it seems as if Nostrodamus’s quantum theory view of some alternate future is surely coming to fruition.

And could Trump represent the Anti Christ so often mentioned?

“The anti-Christ, in the process of building a power base, will be influenced by the perverted influences of the fundamentalists”. (His redneck, low I.Q followers).

“The men who appear very religious are very shrewd and calculating. They use knowledge for crowd control and brainwashing and manipulating people”.

Is Nostrodamus referring to, (amongst other things), FAKE NEWS?

Earthquakes, volcanoes, messed up weather systems … Wars over water …

“The social and political world being turned upside-down.”

This fervour affecting the Anti-Christ, helping him come into power … “for he has a very cunning tongue” … “The people who venerate him viewing him as a religious figure.”

Changes in the levels of the oceans … etc, etc.

And anyway … Just because the U.S.A has been the policeman of the world for so long, who is to say that situation will be maintained?

Heck. After what Trump has just done this week, (Throwing any Middle east policy right out the window in preference for some, secular, inward looking protectionist “America First” policy), don’t we have a perfect storm of global political shift on the international scene?

My view?

As American Attorney Robert Mueller gets even closer to putting Trump behind bars, don’t you see that Trump will actually cause some catastrophic international incident … to start a global world war … so that he can deflect/cancel/stop such damaging challenges against himself?

Trump’s whole international policy will be governed and manifest simply by hubris and self serving survival AND, as we have just witnessed by his own personal dictate to abandon his own allies in Syria, mere human life means nothing to this tyrannical dictator. (American troops leaving Syria guarantees the, near, genocide of Kurdish forces).

Trump will happily see planet earth go up in flames … to protect his own skin and ego.

And he will do exactly that, protected in his own bunker, as Commander in Chief.

Trump will never be indicted or impeached … because he will vapourise the world first.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 25-Dec-2018 22:20 Message #4732063
I have thought that Trump was the anti Christ ever since he took office.
Or at the very least, the handmaid's tale seems to be coming true.
These are very strange times to be living in.
bella111  Female  Devon 26-Dec-2018 00:06 Message #4732065
"Then Minnie and Beach" wake up next to each other and realise they were dreaming..Ho Ho Ho
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 26-Dec-2018 11:44 Message #4732074
Nostradamus is very vague and you could apply those things to almost anytime.

Beach is there any chance you could stick to the topic of the OP rather than basically starting a whole new thread?
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 26-Dec-2018 12:20 Message #4732077
You can't get away with that sort of an attitude, Wonderoushen, and you can't dictate what other people think, feel or write. In fact, you are being very hypocritical ... having admitted that fact yourself in the past.

I think your Aspergers is confusing you because my comments are related to your original post.

You entitled this thread "Shifts in political balance worldwide. The new silk roads" yet you started the thread with the word Trump AND mentioned him in your 1st two paragraphs so where is the confusion ... other than between your ears?

I merely injected some life into your prior, stuffy, dialogue with Warmundeft.

I'll not be silly enough to do that again though.
Andromeda  Female  Berkshire 26-Dec-2018 12:30 Message #4732078
I think there is one member on here who things the only dialogue which isn’t stuffy is his own.
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 26-Dec-2018 17:43 Message #4732085
Thank you for that valuable contribution, Andromeda.

wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 26-Dec-2018 18:10 Message #4732087
Beach, get over yourself, so what if my thread is stuffy, no one says you've got to post on it or make "more interesting". Actually I think a discusion of Nostradamus is worthy of its own thread.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 26-Dec-2018 22:01 Message #4732098
The only thing that I am dreaming of is the day when you learn to hold your vicious gossiping tongue, you poison old witch, Bella.
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 28-Dec-2018 12:02 Message #4732140
Syria of course is a sovereign state, and America's military presence in Syria is a breach of international law! But the US does not follow international law, that is for others, notably non-allies.

China, has done very well in the last few decades. It has in fact raised the standard of living of its citizens I believe by at least 30% on a continuing basis (while ours has dropped of course). Selective reporting is the way forward for the west.

India is the 6th wealthiest country in the world. But for its citizens I think it has to be on the poverty list.
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 28-Dec-2018 12:30 Message #4732143
I would also add that one would be a fool to trust Hassan Rohani, but all Europe can think of is expanding its own trade empire. However I would put Rohani ahead of the royal house of Saud, one generation out of Bedouin (well maybe 2. But they have the money, and we do like to go where the money is!
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 28-Dec-2018 19:08 Message #4732172
I think you could say Russia's pressence in Syria is in breech of international law too, I suppose you could argue that the Assad regime is the legitimate government and is entitled to ask for foreign assistance, but ISIS had a stronghold there and they're everyones problem and Syria was in a state of civil war against Assad and his murderous regime.

So what if Rohani's family are Bedouin? Bedouin are an old and distiguished people, just because they're taditionally nomadic makes no difference, to think there is is to indulge in the same sort of ignorant racism that would condemn the offspring of an Irish farmer as "bog Irish" or anyone from farming stock as a yokel.

So Gilpin I would ask you what your point is?
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 28-Dec-2018 19:47 Message #4732182
Oh dear, you appear to have got a few things upside down!

No, you could not say Russia is in breach of international law, they did not enter the conflict until asked for assistance by Assad.

Yes, Assad is head of the legitimate government in Syria. You need to check your facts!

The middle east is very complex. Without Russia ISIS would not have been defeated. We could and did have the opportunity to beat ISIS while they were still a small outfit, but did not take it, we waited to see if ISIS would first topple Assad, and leave the way clear for us to take control of Syria. We have also been heavily funding the Syrian Rebel army to oppose Assad on the ground, our proxy army.

Bedouins do not come from Iran! Iran, formerly ancient Persia has a very long and revered, historical and cultural lineage. Many notable scholars, philosophers, poets, 6th century BC emperors of note, etc. I was referring to Saudi Arabia, and desert travellers. And absolutely no connection to what you call 'bog Irish', certainly not a term I would use.

My point, probably that you should read up on some history and political science. Since you ask.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 29-Dec-2018 11:19 Message #4732219
Actually I started this thread after reading up on the history of the region, its current affairs and politics.
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 30-Dec-2018 15:16 Message #4732270
History of the region? Ooh, you'd have to start with the Ottomans, and further back. Sykes-Picot, the start of all their troubles. The bad old French and British colonial lust. False promises to the Kurds, the fall of the Shah (of Persia) and British involvement, all leading to the present impasse. But it's amazing stuff if you're interested in that region.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 31-Dec-2018 11:36 Message #4732318
Actually I started reading with the prehistory of the area and have worked my way forwards.
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 31-Dec-2018 12:40 Message #4732320
Pre-history. The definition of which is a time before written records!

Ok I think this is just silly and pointless now.
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire 31-Dec-2018 12:52 Message #4732322
In many regions of the world we can go back to prehistory and times before written records.

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