CHINA’S SILK ROAD GROWS: FIRST FREIGHT TRAIN FROM CHINA TO THE ...January 8, 2017
This story was shared by Ms. K.M., and it's extremely important.
But first, some background...
Remember that state visit of the Chinese premier, Mr. Xi Jinping, to the United Kingdom in the autumn of 2015, and his quiet visit with the Queen? This, of course, preceded the BREXIT vote by about nine months, during which time we also saw that quiet little scandal of the British vice-premier invited to the Palace for tea and a quiet dinner, during which Elizabeth II apparently asked some pointed questions about what good being in the EU was doing Britain. As British tabloids and newspapers reported at the time, the Queen was not, apparently, as "sold" on Berlin's and Washington's grand "Europroject" as was once taken for granted. This too, preceded the BREXIT vote and the collapse of Mr. Cameron's government.
In a sense, such a reaction from the palace should have been foreseen. After all, the British royal family and the Crown still exercise a great deal of soft power behind the scenes and have a great deal of special privileges that could conceivably be threatened by the shiny bureaucracy pluming its feathers in Brussels. But whatever the truth or falsehood of such speculations, Britain made other significant moves, voting to become a founding member in the Chinese Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB. Only the USA and Japan abstained from entry.
And now, it seems, that commitment has come home in the form of the first freight train from China to the United Kingdom:
Consider the implications of the Telegraph article:
The train will travel from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China to Barking, London, taking 18 days to travel over 7,400 miles.
The route runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London. The UK is the eighth country to be added to the China-Europe service, and London is the 15th city.
There are currently 39 routes linking 16 Chinese cities to 12 European cities.
Until June 2016, 1881 services had run from China to Europe and 502 had returned.
The returning journeys transported items such as German meat products, Russian woods and French wines. (Emphasis added)
What interests me here are the countries through which this railroad trade route runs: Russia, Byelorussia(Belarus), Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France... with the exception of Byelorussia(Belarus) and Russia, all the other nations are NATO allies of the USA.
And all of this leads me back to some speculations I've been arguing in recent years as NATO and American troop deployments move "eastward". I've maintained all along that these deployments are as much about keeping Germany and the rest of Europe firmly under the American thumb, as they are about threats to Russia, for such repositioning allows the potential interdiction of such trade roots. But by the same token, the economic realities of the growing economic and trade integration of the vast Eurasian landmass form a strong center of gravity that over the long term is poised to draw Europe out of NATO and the American sphere of influence, and to end the unipolar track that Washington has been on since the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, and the tragic events of 9/11 and the equally tragic American response to them.
The realities of this achievement also point out another problem, and that is the ultimate futility of American sanctions on Russia, for these sanctions obviously are not having any effect on trade by rail through Russia with China, and hence, one must question the effectiveness of the "blockade" over the long term for these reasons alone. In short, the Chinese Silk Road project does an end run around American naval superiority and its ability to interdict trade. And last year brought us numerous stories about German, French, and Italian businessmen and state politicians doing end-runs around their central governments' participation in the Russian sanctions agenda.
What does this portend? Consider only that the European Parliament recently voted to create a pan-European military (and we all know who will dominate that). While the EU parliament has no real authority, the point here is one that I have stated before, namely, that such a military ultimately is designed to circumvent NATO and loosen the American hold over NATO policy. And with elections looming in France, Germany, and the Netherlands this year, that unipolar agenda could be under even more significant curtailment.
Time will tell of course, but while American neocons continue to cry about the recent election results, don't expect China, Russia, or Europe to sit idly by in empathy and commiseration...
See you on the flip side...