The Salomon-China agreement rings alarm bells, but the West is China’s main game and Australia has looked the other way
The Salomon-China agreement rings alarm bells, but the West is China’s main game and Australia has looked the other way

The Salomon-China agreement rings alarm bells, but the West is China’s main game and Australia has looked the other way

In 1993, China’s then-Prime Minister Zhu Rongji stood in front of a large map on his office wall, pointed to it, and saw China’s fate.

China was largely without land, he said, open only to the sea on one side. It was different from other great powers that looked at a world of oceans.

Zhu said China’s future lay to the west. It was there that the country could develop a trade and tourism empire.

The story was conveyed by Shah Javed Barki when the Pakistani-American economist was Vice President of the World Bank. He was in the room when Zhu presented his vision.

Australia is draw red lines and talk about war after China’s security pact with the Solomon Islands, but if we’re concerned about China’s growing power, we’re heading to the wrong place.

Australia draws red lines and talks about war after China’s security pact with the Solomon Islands.(ABC News, AAP and AP)

Yes, Pacific island nations like the Solomon Islands are important, but for China it is critical to look west. Beijing has developed a powerful China-Pakistan economic corridor. It has built a port at Gwadar that opens up the Middle East and connects it all the way to Xinjiang in the west of China.

China is expanding its economic power over Central Asia to the Middle East and Africa. The massive Belt and Road Investment and Infrastructure project promises to be a 21st century silk road.

Of the 146 countries that have signed up for Belt and Road, it is by far the largest number west of China.

This is Xi Jinping’s great game for greatness.

China’s ‘long game’ is the West

China’s strategy for expansion to the west seeks to secure the supply of energy resources from the Middle East. For China, Westward Expansion seeks to gain an important advantage over the United States.

China’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization includes all the Central Asian states. As Diplomat Magazine has pointed out, “from Central Asia to the Middle East, no country falls within the sphere of direct American influence or poses a potential threat to China.”

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