So many people have been following the story of the Tianjin chemicals plant explosion that my inbox was inundated with articles. The reason? Well, briefly, the Tianjin explosion was followed by yet another explosion and China, and then, by an explosion at a US military base in Japan:
The real questions here are (1) are the two explosions in China related? (2) Are they the result merely of corruption or negligence, as China is now claiming, or (3) is the explosion in the US base related to the other two, in some sort of covert tit-for-tat warfare?
As I blogged last week, the conspiracy theories began almost as soon as news about the Tianjin explosion were posted, with the prevailing theory being that the US was "retaliating" with a "rod of God" space-based kinetic weapon which destroys simply by the energy relased for a hyper-velocity kinetic impact with the ground. People pointed to the large and deep crater left by the explosion as corroboration of this hypothesis.
High Octane Speculation - our trademark here - would certainly seem to include such possibilities as a covert retaliation-and-response scenario, given the escalating tensions between the America and China.
But there may be other actors one should consider. For example, the actors behind any covert attack on the Tianjin and Shandong plants in China might not be state actors at all: they might be corporate actors, facing losses from China's recent currency and market moves. Equally, it could be a state actor intent upon exacerbating tensions between the USA and China either from desperation, or a cynical desire to profit from such escalation. Indeed, the massing of tanks by China on North Korea's border recently suggests that something of this nature might be going on.
For my part, I strongly suspect that a covert war of some sort is taking place, but the real question is whether China or the USA are desperate enough to resort to these means. And for my part, I suspect the answer to that is no... Time, and more evidence, will tell.
See you on the flip side...