Pubblicato in: Commercio, Geopolitica Asiatica, India

India ed Indonesia iniziano a farsi anche loro isolotti armati. Sabang.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-06-03.

Malesia 010 Sabang

Lo Stretto di Malacca mette in comunicazione tramite il Mare delle Andamane l’Oceano Indiano con il mare Cinese Meridionale. Attraverso di esso transitano ogni anno merci per un controvalore di circa 3,000 miliardi di dollari americani. Nel pressi di Singapore lo Stretto si restringe con una ampiezza minima di 2,8 km rendendo la navigazione più difficile vista l’intensità di traffico. Le dimensioni massime delle navi che lo possono attraversare sono definite dal Malaccamax.

La sua importanza strategica è semplicemente evidente.

La Cina ha fatto ampli sforzi per ottenere il controllo del mare Cinese Meridionale costruendovi un buon numero di isole artificiali, tramutate rapidamente in basi aereonavali armate allo stato del’arte.

Non solo. La Cina ha anche messo in atto un intenso programma di costruzioni di linee ferroviarie ad alta velocità che la collegano a porti locati sull’Oceano Indiano, stringendo ovviamente contatti politici, militari ed economici con i relativi paesi.

È semplicemente intuitivo come la Cina in un domani sentirà la esigenza di difendere le proprie rotte commerciali anche nell’Oceano Indiano, ossia ad ovest dello Stretto di Malacca.

Ma India ed Indonesia, al contrario dell’Occidente, si sono attivate per tempo: nella vita non si sa mai.

Malesia 011 Sabang

* * *

«Sabang is a city consisting of a main island (Weh Island) and several smaller islands off the northern tip of Sumatra. The islands form a city within Aceh Special Region, Indonesia. The administrative centre is located on Weh Island, 17 km north of Banda Aceh. The city covers an area of 153.0 square kilometres and according to the 2010 census had a population of 30,653 people; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 32,271. Sabang is also known as the northernmost and westernmost city of Indonesia.» [Fonte]

*

Se si desse una rapida occhiata alla carta geografica, la posizione strategica di Sabang salta immediatamente agli occhi. Non a caso nel corso della seconda guerra mondiale i giapponesi vi costruirono imponenti strutture di difesa. e basi aeronavali.

Se si guarda la fotografia satellitare, si nota un ampio porto con pescaggio attorno ai quaranta metri, con immediatamente a ridosso un aeroporto. Possono attraccarvi portaerei e sommergibili atomici.

Essendo un’isola, Sabang ha accessi facilmente controllabili, è vicina ad un’isola di grandi dimensioni e con strutture abbastanza adeguate a supportarla, è messa nella posizione ideale per controllare quella porsione di Oceano Indiano che aggetta sulla Malacca, nonché lo stretto stesso.

Una volta ben attrezzata e munita sia di missilistica contraerea adeguata sia di missili antinave potrebbe costituire un baluardo del quale sarebbe impossibile non dover tener conto.

«Indonesia and India pledged on Wednesday to step up defense and maritime cooperation, with plans to develop a strategic Indonesian naval port in the Indian Ocean»

*

«Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss, among other issues, developing infrastructure and an economic zone at Sabang, on the tip of Sumatra island and at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping channels for global trade»

*

«Analysts say the move comes amid concerns over China’s rising maritime influence in the region, and is part of Modi’s “Act East” policy of developing stronger ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).»

*

Una sola mesta nota di commento.

Anche se distante migliaia di miglia, lo Stretto di Malacca sarebbe strategico anche per gli occidentali, europei soprattutto. Ma nessuno se ne cura più di tanto.


Saudi Gazette. 2018-06-01. Indonesia, India to develop strategic Indian Ocean port

Indonesia and India pledged on Wednesday to step up defense and maritime cooperation, with plans to develop a strategic Indonesian naval port in the Indian Ocean, the leaders of the two countries said after meeting in Jakarta.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss, among other issues, developing infrastructure and an economic zone at Sabang, on the tip of Sumatra island and at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping channels for global trade.

“India is a strategic defense partner…and we will continue to advance our cooperation in developing infrastructure, including at Sabang Island and the Andaman Islands,” Widodo told a news conference after the meeting at the presidential palace.

Analysts say the move comes amid concerns over China’s rising maritime influence in the region, and is part of Modi’s “Act East” policy of developing stronger ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The India-ASEAN partnership can be a force to guarantee peace and progress in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Modi said in a statement read in Hindi.

Modi this year invited the leaders of all ten ASEAN nations to attend New Delhi’s Republic Day parade, the biggest such gathering of foreign leaders at the annual event.

There has been tension in Southeast Asia over the disputed South China Sea, a busy waterway claimed in most part by China.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have conflicting claims in the area, through which about $3 trillion worth of sea-borne goods passes every year.

While not a claimant, Indonesia has clashed with Beijing over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands and expanded its military presence there. It has also renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone, to reassert its sovereignty.
Modi, who is making his first trip to Indonesia, is also set to visit the Istiqlal mosque in the capital of the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country.

The Indian leader flies to Malaysia on Thursday to meet recently elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad before heading to neighboring Singapore to address a regional security forum, the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Last week, Indonesia’s chief maritime affairs minister, Luhut Pandjaitan, said the existing port at Sabang, which is 40 meters (131 ft) deep, could be developed to accommodate both commercial vessels and submarines, according to media.

Indonesia’s transport minister told reporters on Wednesday that Sabang would get a transshipment port that could be developed over two years.

Asked about Indian investment in Sabang, Indian foreign ministry official Preeti Saran said New Delhi was interested in helping build infrastructure across Southeast Asia.

“There have been discussions about building infrastructure, it’s not just seaports, but airports,” she said. “There would be a lot of interest among Indian companies.”

Widodo and Modi also signed pacts on cooperation in the pharmaceuticals and technology industries.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Asiatica

Bangladesh. Cina ed il ponte sul Padma.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-07.

Bangladesh. 001

Il Bangladesh è un paese disperatamente povero. Disperatamente.

Tuttavia qualcosa sembrerebbe iniziare a muoversi.

Se nel 2000 il pil procapite era 412 Usd, a fine 2016 era salito a 1,446. Negli ultimi cinque anni il pil è cresciuto al ritmo di qualcosa di più del 10% all’anno.

2018-05-05__bangladesh__001

«On 4 October 2000, the Government of Bangladesh issued a postal stamp marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Bangladesh-China diplomatic relations. By this time, China had provided economic assistance totaling US$300 million to Bangladesh and the bilateral trade had reached a value mounting to a billion dollars. In 2002, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made an official visit to Bangladesh and both countries declared 2005 as the “Bangladesh-China Friendship Year.” ….

The two countries signed nine different bi-lateral agreements to increase there mutual relationship. ….

On Bangladesh Nationalist Party PM Begum Khaleda Zia’s invitation China was added as an observer in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). After Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh in 2007, China donated US$1 million for relief and reconstruction in cyclone-hit areas. ….

Bangladesh is third largest trade partner of China in South Asia. But, the bilateral trade between them is highly tilted in favour of Beijing. Bilateral trade reached as high as US$3.19 billion in 2006, reflecting a growth of 28.5% between 2005 and 2006. China has bolstered its economic aid to Bangladesh to address concerns of trade imbalance; in 2006, Bangladesh’s exports to China amounted only about USD 98.8 million. Under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), China removed tariff barriers to 84 types of commodities imported from Bangladesh and is working to reduce tariffs over the trade of jute and textiles, which are Bangladesh’s chief domestic products. China has also offered to construct nuclear power plants in Bangladesh to help meet the country’s growing energy needs, while also seeking to aid the development of Bangladesh’s natural gas resources. China’s mainly imports raw materials from Bangladesh like leather, cotton textiles, fish, etc. China’s major exports to Bangladesh include textiles, machinery and electronic products, cement, fertiliser, tyre, raw silk, maize, etc» [Fonte]

*

Bangladeshi, Chinese firms sign joint venture pacts to build railway

«Two Bangladeshi and two Chinese firms have signed two joint venture pacts to build over 100 km rail lines and required infrastructure in the country’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar district bordering Myanmar.

Officials of Bangladesh Railways and joint venture China Railway Group Limited (CREC) of China and Toma Construction and Company Limited of Bangladesh; and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and MAX JV (joint adventure of CCECC of China and MAX international Ltd of Bangladesh) signed the deals on behalf of their respective sides here on Saturday. …. the project is part of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) support»

China EximBank to fund Padma Bridge rail link project

«The Export-Import Bank of China is going to fund the rail connection in Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure project till date, the Padma Bridge. …. Once in operation, it will only take about three and a half hours to travel to Khulna from Dhaka …..

This will help expansion of the transport sector, trade and commerce. This route will also be connected with the trans-Asian railway ….

Project sources said the principal works involve constructing 169 kilometres of main line, 43.33km loop and siding, laying down 215.22km broad gauge rail truck, 23.37km viaduct and 1.98km ramps.

Other works include constructing 66 big bridges, 244 small bridges and culverts, a highway overpass, 29 level crossings, 40 underpasses, 14 new station building, development of six existing stations, and arranging computer-based railway interlock system signalling at 20 stations»

*

«The Padma Bridge is a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River under construction in Bangladesh. It will connect Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the south-west of the country, to northern and eastern regions. Padma Bridge is the most challenging construction project in the history of Bangladesh. The two-level steel truss bridge will carry a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single track railway on a lower level. With 150 m span, 6150 m total length and 18.10 m width it is going to be the largest bridge in the Pawdda-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins of country in terms of both span and the total length» [Fonte]

*

Bangladesh. Ponte sul Pdma. 001

Il ponte sul Padma costerà alla fine 3.8 miliardi di dollari americani.

Basta solo guardare la carta geografica per comprendere quanto sia essenziale un ponte degno di tal nome sul Padma, un fiume di portata quasi eguale a quella del Rio delle Amazzoni.

*

Orbene.

Lasciamo i Lettori alla lettura dell’articolo comparso su Project Syndicate.

«To what does Bangladesh owe its quiet transformation? As with all large-scale historical phenomena, there can be no certain answers, only clues. Still, in my view, Bangladesh’s economic transformation was driven in large part by social changes, starting with the empowerment of women.»

Elementare, si direbbe.

Gli investimenti cinesi, strade, ponti, infrastrutture, etc, a ben poco sarebbero serviti, se non quasi a nulla.

È stata la liberazione femminile a generare l’inizio di questa ripresa economica.

Il farsesco è che il Project Syndicate è letto anche in Cina ed in Bangladesh.

*

Una sola domanda.

Il Bangladesh sarà più riconoscente all’Occidente oppure alla Cina?

Nota.

Il nome Padma denomina gli ultimi 145 kilometri dopo la confluenza del Padma Superiore e del Brahmaputra, fiume che nasce dal Tibet ed è lungo 2,900 kilometri.


Project Syndicate. 2018-04-23. Why Is Bangladesh Booming?

As a result of progressive social policies and a bit of historical luck, Bangladesh has gone from being one of the poorest countries in South Asia to an aspiring “tiger” economy. But can it avoid the risk factors that have derailed dynamic economies throughout history?

*

NEW YORK – Bangladesh has become one of Asia’s most remarkable and unexpected success stories in recent years. Once one of the poorest regions of Pakistan, Bangladesh remained an economic basket case – wracked by poverty and famine – for many years after independence in 1971. In fact, by 2006, conditions seemed so hopeless that when Bangladesh registered faster growth than Pakistan, it was dismissed as a fluke.

Yet that year would turn out to be an inflection point. Since then, Bangladesh’s annual GDP growth has exceeded Pakistan’s by roughly 2.5 percentage points per year. And this year, its growth rate is likely to surpass India’s (though this primarily reflects India’s economic slowdown, which should be reversed barring gross policy mismanagement).

Moreover, at 1.1% per year, Bangladesh’s population growth is well below Pakistan’s 2% rate, which means that its per capita income is growing faster than Pakistan’s by approximately 3.3 percentage points per year. By extrapolation, Bangladesh will overtake Pakistan in terms of per capita GDP in 2020, even with a correction for purchasing power parity.

To what does Bangladesh owe its quiet transformation? As with all large-scale historical phenomena, there can be no certain answers, only clues. Still, in my view, Bangladesh’s economic transformation was driven in large part by social changes, starting with the empowerment of women.

Thanks to efforts by the nongovernmental organizations Grameen Bank and BRAC, along with more recent work by the government, Bangladesh has made significant strides toward educating girls and giving women a greater voice, both in the household and the public sphere. These efforts have translated into improvements in children’s health and education, such that Bangladeshis’ average life expectancy is now 72 years, compared to 68 years for Indians and 66 years for Pakistanis.

The Bangladesh government also deserves credit for supporting grassroots initiatives in economic inclusion, the positive effects of which are visible in recently released data from the World Bank. Among Bangladeshi adults with bank accounts, 34.1% made digital transactions in 2017, compared to an average rate of 27.8% for South Asia. Moreover, only 10.4% of Bangladeshi bank accounts are “dormant” (meaning there were no deposits or withdrawals in the previous year), compared to 48% of Indian bank accounts.

Another partial explanation for Bangladesh’s progress is the success of its garment manufacturing industry. That success is itself driven by a number of factors. One notable point is that the main garment firms in Bangladesh are large – especially compared to those in India, owing largely to different labor laws.

All labor markets need regulation. But, in India, the 1947 Industrial Disputes Act imposes heavy restrictions on firms’ ability to contract workers and expand their labor force, ultimately doing more harm than good. The law was enacted a few months before the August 1947 independence of India and Pakistan from British imperial rule, meaning that both new countries inherited it. But Pakistan’s military regime, impatient with trade unions from the region that would become Bangladesh, repealed it in 1958.

Thus, having been born without the law, Bangladesh offered a better environment for manufacturing firms to achieve economies of scale and create a large number of jobs. And though Bangladesh still needs much stronger regulation to protect workers from occupational hazards, the absence of a law that explicitly curtails labor-market flexibility has been a boon for job creation and manufacturing success.

The question is whether Bangladesh’s strong economic performance can be sustained. As matters stand, the country’s prospects are excellent, but there are risks that policymakers will need to take into account.

For starters, when a country’s economy takes off, corruption, cronyism, and inequality tend to increase, and can even stall the growth process if left unchecked. Bangladesh is no exception.

But there is an even deeper threat posed by orthodox groups and religious fundamentalists who oppose Bangladesh’s early investments in progressive social reforms. A reversal of those investments would cause a severe and prolonged economic setback. This is not merely a passing concern: vibrant economies have been derailed by zealotry many times throughout history.

For example, a thousand years ago, the Arab caliphates ruled over regions of great economic dynamism, and cities like Damascus and Baghdad were global hubs of culture, research, and innovation. That golden era ended when religious fundamentalism took root and began to spread. Since then, a nostalgic pride in the past has substituted for bold new pursuits in the present.

Pakistan’s history tells a similar tale. In its early years, Pakistan’s economy performed moderately well, with per capita income well above India’s. And it was no coincidence that during this time, cities like Lahore were multicultural centers of art and literature. But then came military rule, restrictions on individual freedom, and Islamic fundamentalist groups erecting walls against openness. By 2005, India surpassed Pakistan in terms of per capita income, and it has since gained a substantial lead.

But this is not about any particular religion. India is a vibrant, secular democracy that was growing at a remarkable annual rate of over 8% until a few years ago. Today, Hindu fundamentalist groups that discriminate against minorities and women, and that are working to thwart scientific research and higher education, are threatening its gains. Likewise, Portugal’s heyday of global power in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries passed quickly when Christian fanaticism became the empire’s driving political force.

As these examples demonstrate, Bangladesh needs to be vigilant about the risks posed by fundamentalism. Given Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s deep commitment to addressing these risks, there is reason to hope for success. In that case, Bangladesh will be on a path that would have been unimaginable just two decades ago: toward becoming an Asian success story.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Asiatica, Unione Europea

Cina ed il dominio sul delta del Mekong.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-01-28.

Mekong 001

La stupefacente difficoltà a comprendere, ed accettare perché esiste, la realtà politica, sociale ed economica cinese da parte dei politici occidentali mette a durissima prova la capacità di resistenza mentale di quanti operino invece nel settore, che trovano in questo il loro più grande ostacolo operativo.

Eppure potrebbe benissimo capire la Cina anche un bambino di sei anni, purché non prevenuto, onesto e con un QI almeno superiore a quello di un orango. Ma l’ideologia acceca, ottunde.

Parole dure?

Parole troppo dolci e sussurrate in termini fin troppo politicamente corretti.

I cinesi sono dei pragmatici totalmente tetragoni alle ideologie: questo è il discrimine.

Non solo. Quando gli stati occidentali riescono a mettere da parte un qualche surplus, immediatamente lo utilizzano nel loro welfare, mentre i cinesi lo impiegano per conquistare il mondo. Se il surplus non ci fosse, ebbene, gli occidentali farebbero debiti.

Cina. 1000TTP. Ne ignorate la esistenza. Domani vi mangerete le dita.

Macron consegna l’ultimatum EU alla Cina. Mr Xi terrificato.

Cina risponde all’ultimatum di Macron in stile cinese.

Cina alla conquista dell’America Latina. – Bloomberg

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

Obor. Progetto cinese su di un terzo del pil mondiale, per ora.

*

Ma la grande differenza la si vede in un settore non economico. Riportiamo a seguito le parole di Mr Liu Zoukui.

«We in China think that all countries have the right to determine their own foreign policy»

*

«China is not meddling in political debates»

A questo fa riscontro la visione ideologica degli occidentali.

Is Cambodia an autocratic state now? 

Activists slam jailing of protesters in Cambodia

EU cuts off funds for Cambodia election after opposition party dissolved

«For many years, Cambodia has largely depended on financial support from Western countries. This is changing and Chinese aid and loans to Cambodia now far exceed those of the US»

*

«And contrary to the West, China doesn’t set conditions when it comes to protecting human rights and democracy. With Beijing on his side, Cambodian PM Hun Sen has criticized the West and accused the US of attempting to overthrow his government»

*

«Diminished US strategic leadership in the region also pushes Mekong states to turn to China»

* * * * * * * *

L’attuale clima politico occidentale non vuole aver nulla a che fare con stati che non ne accettino la propria Weltanschauung atea, liberal e statalista. Ma il fatto di voler ignorare ed osteggiare la presenza di codeste realtà non le elimina affatto: semplicemente le spinge verso l’orbita cinese.

Da questo punto di vista la geopolitica del delta del Mekong sembrerebbe essere da manuale, specie poi includendovi la situazione delle Filippine.

L’Occidente ha regalato alla Cina l’intero scacchiere del sud est asiatico. Sicuramente molti dei governi in tale scacchiere geopolitico non sono dei fiordalisi, ma ci si dovrebbe anche chiedere da quale pulpito provenga la predica.

Guardate con attenzione la carta geografica, e vi renderete immediatamente conto dell’enormità commessa.


Deutsche Welle. 2018-01-15. Is Chinese investment taking over the Mekong?

China is shoring up its sphere of influence in Southeast Asia through aid and investment. By funding infrastructure and development, China can increase its economic and strategic leverage over poorer neighbors.

*

Last week, China and Cambodia signed 19 agreements during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s meeting in Phnom Penh with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that will heavily increase Chinese investment in Cambodia.

The deals included the construction of a highway linking Phnom Penh with the port city Sihanoukville and an expansion of the capital’s international airport. Deals were also signed to build Cambodia’s first communication satellite and for “rice trade,” the Phnom Penh Post reported.

Over the past few years, China’s influence in the Mekong region has increased significantly. Beijing is the largest foreign investor in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar and has strengthened its presence in Thailand.

In exchange for aid and investments, China gets access to natural resources such as oil, gas and timber, and can garner support for building dams along the Mekong River. Cambodia also supports China in its ongoing territorial dispute over the South China Sea.

Premier Li announced that China is offering more government concessional loans with a total value of 7 billion yuan (€896 million, $1.1 billion) to the lower Mekong countries – Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

In Cambodia, Chinese companies are building new roads, bridges and skyscrapers, including the multimillion-dollar One Park project in Phnom Penh. The project includes condominiums and business high-rises being built on reclaimed land that used to be Boeung Kak Lake.

The eviction of thousands of people has led to ongoing protests. The area is being developed by the Chinese companies Graticity Real Estate Development and China State Construction Engineering Cooperation.

Diminishing influence of the West

For many years, Cambodia has largely depended on financial support from Western countries. This is changing and Chinese aid and loans to Cambodia now far exceed those of the US.

And contrary to the West, China doesn’t set conditions when it comes to protecting human rights and democracy. With Beijing on his side, Cambodian PM Hun Sen has criticized the West and accused the US of attempting to overthrow his government.

Carl Thayer, a Southeast Asia expert with the University of New South Wales in Australia, told DW that Cambodia “will continue to embrace China” and that mainland Southeast Asia “will be drawn more into China’s orbit.”

Cambodia is not the only country in the region coming under greater Chinese influence. Thailand and Laos are important links to the Belt and Road Initiative, a major infrastructure project spearheaded by Beijing that will connect China with the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In Laos, China has started construction on a new railroad that will connect the Chinese city Kunming with Vientiane and eventually with Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. China has high expectations for Laos’ development, with Chinese companies flocking to the country, building roads, shopping malls and even an entire satellite city near Vientiane.

“We will see China step up its Belt and Road Initiative in mainland Southeast Asia,” Thayer predicts. “China will fund infrastructure development in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The net effect will be to increase Chinese commercial and political influence in these countries,” he said. 

Beijing’s strategic goals

China’s political influence is apparent in the South China Sea dispute, where several countries are contending with Beijing over the territorial status of waters and islands. Because China has the support of Cambodia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has failed to create a united stand against Beijing’s position.

Jonathan Spangler, director of the South China Sea Think Tank, told DW that Beijing can influence ASEAN decisions by controlling a few of its members. “This strategy has been particularly effective in relation to South China Sea issues, as ASEAN’s disunity continues to hinder its members from agreeing upon a meaningful plan for dispute management or resolution.”

Diminished US strategic leadership in the region also pushes Mekong states to turn to China, although Carl Thayer has said there are signs that this may change. The US recently announced, as part of its national security policy, that Washington is committed to improve ties with its traditional allies in the region, Thailand and the Philippines, as well as with Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Thayer believes this could have mixed implications for the Mekong countries. “On the plus side, they could benefit from investment in high-quality infrastructure that promotes economic growth,” he said. “On the other hand, the states of the Lower Mekong could become a cockpit where US-China rivalry plays out.”

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Asiatica, Problemi militari

USS Carl Vinson e North Korea. Ecco perché la flotta è scappata. – Bloomberg

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-05-03.

Washington. White House. 001

Se la notizia non la avesse data l’Agenzia Bloomberg la avremmo ritenuta essere una barzelletta.

Abbiamo aspettato qualche giorno a pubblicarla, in attesa di una smentita, che non è arrivata.

*

«The U.S. Navy flotilla sailing toward the Korean peninsula to deter Kim Jong Un’s regime lacks a key capability: It can’t shoot down ballistic missiles»

*

«The USS Carl Vinson and the aircraft carrier’s accompanying destroyers and cruiser are expected to arrive in waters near the peninsula this week, carrying a full complement of weaponry, including scores of Tomahawk cruise and anti-ship missiles, radar-jamming aircraft and non-stealthy “Super Hornet” jets built by Boeing Co.»

*

«That firepower brings a lot to any fight, but the Navy’s lack of ballistic missile defense capability …. force has a significant gap as it warns North Korea against another missile test and pressures it to back down from its nuclear program»

*

«They aren’t equipped with the version of the Aegis surveillance system made by Lockheed Martin Corp. that can track long-range ballistic missiles or Raytheon Co.’s SM-3 interceptors that are capable of bringing down medium and longer-range ballistic missiles.»

*

«And the three South Korean “Sejong the Great”-class destroyers currently in operation don’t have ballistic missile defense capability»

* * * * * * *

Non si intende minimamente entrare nel merito del problema.

Si sa per esperienza che quando si parla di operazioni militari una gran massa delle notizie sono mera disinformazione.

Però, l’articolo di Bloomberg lascia alquanto perplessi.

Al momento attuale i sistemi di arma sono così numerosi da imporre altrettanto numerosi sistemi di contro azione. Gli americani hanno ottimi sistemi di arma contro i missili balistici, e non è assolutamente detto che essi debbano essere montati direttamente sulla portaerei e non piuttosto sulle navi di appoggio e di scorta.

*

Voci, e quindi pettegolezzi non verificati ed inverificabili, hanno anche suggerito che la North Korea sia stata dotata di sistemi missilistici 3M22 Zircon russi o sistemi equivalenti cinesi. La notizia sembrerebbe essere destituita di fondamento, essendo ufficialmente tale sistema ancora in fase di test ed essendo del tutto inverosimile che la Russia conceda i suoi più avanzati sistemi a paesi terzi, per di più non in stretti rapporti diplomatici.


Bloomberg. 2017-04-26. Trump ‘Armada’ Sent to Deter Kim Can’t Shoot Down His Missiles

– Vinson strike group escorts aren’t equipped for interceptions

– Navy vessels homeported in Japan would be needed for that

*

The U.S. Navy flotilla sailing toward the Korean peninsula to deter Kim Jong Un’s regime lacks a key capability: It can’t shoot down ballistic missiles.

The USS Carl Vinson and the aircraft carrier’s accompanying destroyers and cruiser are expected to arrive in waters near the peninsula this week, carrying a full complement of weaponry, including scores of Tomahawk cruise and anti-ship missiles, radar-jamming aircraft and non-stealthy “Super Hornet” jets built by Boeing Co.

That firepower brings a lot to any fight, but the Navy’s lack of ballistic missile defense capability on the scene means the Trump administration’s high-profile show of force has a significant gap as it warns North Korea against another missile test and pressures it to back down from its nuclear program.

“One carrier by itself is not a game changer,” Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst at Stratfor, a company that does geopolitical analysis, said in an interview. Although the Vinson-led group is getting a lot of attention, it’s “not going to do terribly much by itself,” he said.

Tensions on the peninsula have ratcheted up as President Donald Trump and Kim face off over North Korea’s continuing development of its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile program. Trump vowed in January that he wouldn’t let North Korea develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the U.S., and he said this month that the U.S. was sending an “armada” to the region. North Korea, in turn, called the Vinson’s deployment “intimidation and blackmail” and promised it would “react to a total war with an all-out war.”

This week the regime in Pyongyang conducted a live-fire artillery exercise east of the capital, while the USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying 154 Tomahawks, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan. In a highly unusual move, the Navy publicly announced the visit. But North Korea, which marked the 85th anniversary of its army during the week, didn’t conduct another nuclear test.

Accompanying the Vinson, which is en route from the Philippine Sea south of Japan, are the destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain. They aren’t equipped with the version of the Aegis surveillance system made by Lockheed Martin Corp. that can track long-range ballistic missiles or Raytheon Co.’s SM-3 interceptors that are capable of bringing down medium and longer-range ballistic missiles.

Nor are the modern Japanese Navy destroyers JS Samidare and JS Ashigara that joined the Vinson group for exercises equipped for missile defense detection or intercepts, a Japanese Navy spokesman confirmed. And the three South Korean “Sejong the Great”-class destroyers currently in operation don’t have ballistic missile defense capability, Tom Callender, a naval forces analyst with the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said in an interview.

Risk to Seoul

While the Obama administration began the process of deploying Thaad, a high-altitude missile defense system, to the South Korean mainland, the hardware isn’t fully operational yet either. That leaves Seoul — just 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of the demilitarized zone — and the rest of the country more vulnerable to attack.

Asked about the Vinson carrier group, Navy Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said via email that “we don’t discuss specific capabilities of weapons systems.” He added that “no single capability defends against all threats. Rather it is the employment of integrated, multi-layered land and sea-based systems that provide missile defense” for the U.S. and allies.

If the Trump administration wants to buttress its threats — at the risk of escalating the crisis — it could deploy toward Korea some or all of the six Navy vessels capable of defending against ballistic missiles that are now based at Yokosuka, on the eastern side of Japan. Just moving those ships toward the Korean peninsula would signal to the world U.S. action to stop a missile test is more imminent and would be seen as an urgent threat by Pyongyang.

Navy Admiral Harry Harris, the head of U.S. forces in Korea and the Pacific, cited those ships’ capabilities Wednesday in response to questions about whether the Vinson is capable of deterring ballistic missile launches.

“We have ballistic missile ships in the Sea of Japan, in the East Sea, that are capable of defending against ballistic missile attacks,” Harris told the House Armed Services Committee. He added that the carrier group is well-equipped to defend itself against attack with its own escort warships, saying, “If it flies, it will die, if it’s flying against the Carl Vinson strike group.”

The six vessels in Japan are the cruiser USS Shiloh and the destroyers USS Stethem, Barry, Benfold, Curtis Wilbur and John S. McCain. A seventh, the Fitzgerald, is currently at sea conducting a maritime exercise in waters west of Japan, the Navy said in a statement.

Sea of Japan

Those U.S. ships “would be in a good position to engage medium-range ballistic missiles going into the Sea of Japan, which is where the previous North Korean test shots have gone,” said Bryan Clark, a naval analyst with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, who previously served as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations.

That presence off of Japan means that “when the Vinson gets there, it will not need to bring additional BMD capability,” Clark added, referring to ballistic missile defense.

The cruisers and destroyers “bring a significant capability to the region,” Lieutenant Commander William Knight, spokesman for the Navy Pacific Fleet, said in an email.

Yet even if Aegis-equipped vessels are stationed near Korea and Japan, in the case of a North Korean ICBM test they wouldn’t be able to shoot it down immediately after launch, said David Wright, a missile defense analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“There is a misconception that if it was close enough,” a U.S. Navy BMD vessel “could shoot a missile down during boost phase,” Wright said. “But it doesn’t have that capability. During boost phase the missile is an accelerating target, and Aegis doesn’t have the maneuverability to home in on such a target.”

Boost Phase

“Similarly, it would not be able to shoot down shorter-range missiles, like the Musudan, during boost phase,” he said. “You might be able to shoot it down after boost phase, but by that time North Korea would be able to get information about the most critical part of the trajectory, so that strategy is unlikely to slow” the regime’s missile development process, he said.

The Carl Vinson and its four strike squadrons of aircraft plus escort vessels with more than 300 Tomahawk and air-defense missiles “provide an impressive non-nuclear strategic deterrent,” the Heritage Foundation’s Callender said. The Vinson’s aircraft include the latest Super Hornets and Growler electronic jamming aircraft.

Tomahawks are highly capable of striking surface targets such as air defense systems, but they aren’t designed for missile defense or penetrating deeply buried facilities, bunkers or caves. The current “Tactical Tomahawk” version is capable of loitering over an area and being re-directed against new targets, such as wheeled or tracked missile launchers and mobile artillery.

Stealthy Bombers

If the U.S. were to conduct a preemptive strike on North Korea, the Vinson’s role would be to enable missions by stealthy B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters, Clark said.

The Vinson fleet would need to use its radar-jamming capabilities and Tomahawks to degrade North Korea’s existing air defense system “before conducting strikes against North Korean nuclear or missile facilities,” Clark said.

Strafor recently completed an assessment of North Korea’s nuclear challenge and plausible U.S. responses that concluded the regime has more than 1,000 missiles of various ranges and destructive power that could strike from across North Korea.

But their military utility is limited by the relatively small number of launchers, which would have to be reloaded for successive launches and vulnerable to U.S. and South Korean strikes.

 

 

Pubblicato in: Demografia, Geopolitica Asiatica

Giappone. La tempesta annunciata incombe sul JGB.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-04-11.

2017-04-06__Giappone__001

L’immagine del Giappone è ben rappresentata dal treno ad alta velocità Hokkaido Shinkansen.

«The Hokkaido Shinkansen’s occupancy greatly varies from month to month; the rate hovered from 40% to 48% during the July-September tourist season but fell below 30% in November, then to 19% in January and February»

*

Quando era stato progettato avrebbe dovuto viaggiare sempre pieno. Stracolmo.

L’errore dei progettisti è stato non tenere in debito conto la demografia giapponese, l’unico fattore facilmente e sicuramente prevedibile su lunghi archi temporali.

Nel 2016 il Giappone aveva un’età mediana di 46.9 anni ed una percentuale di over 65 del 27.28%. I vecchi non viaggiano e quel poco che fanno non è certo sulle linee squisitamente commerciali.

Il Giappone è un popolo di vecchietti, che pensano non certo a lavorare, ma solo a mantenere la propria pensione al meglio. Il gusto di imprendere è tipico dei giovani, non dei vecchi. E con un tasso di fertilità dell’1.41 la situazione non potrà fare altro che peggiorare.

Se questi semplici dati fanno la consolazione di Russia e Cina, che stanno pazientemente aspettando che il popolo giapponese si estingua per risolvere in modo definitivo il problema nipponico nell’est asiatico senza aver dovuto sparare un colpo, d’altro canto non dovrebbero proprio rallegrare né i giapponesi né gli occidentali. Ma costoro sembrerebbero non darsene mica poi tanto cruccio.

*

Però il calo demografico porta inevitabilmente ad un calo produttivo e ad una riduzione dei consumi: così la stagnazione economica diventa ogni giorno che passa meno risolvibile.

Avendo assunto a dogma di fede l’assioma secondo il quale la crescita economica sia stimolata da tassi bassi, la Boj da molto tempo tiene tassi di interesse attorno allo zero.

Ma, ovviamente, nonostante oltre venti anni di tassi infimi, di ripresa economica non se ne vede nemmeno l’ombra. Quindi, da bravi ideologici, i giapponesi persevereranno.

Ma il sonno dei ventiquattro milioni e mezzo di pensionati non sono mica poi tanto tranquilli.

I contributi pensionistici versati non hanno avuto modo di essere rivalutati nel tempo, il numero dei pensionati è in continuo aumento, ed il numero dei lavoratori che versano attivamente i contributi diminuisce.

La conseguenza è lapalissiana.

Il Government Pension Investment Fund non sa più a quale santo votarsi.

«The Bank of Japan’s zero interest rate policy is forcing Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund to take on more risk via an increased portfolio allocation to stocks, as near-zero yields have made Japanese government bonds nonviable as core holdings»

*

«The GPIF aims to secure returns equivalent to the rate of wage growth plus 1.7 percentage points in order to make good on payouts»

*

«The rationale behind the change is that a portfolio heavily biased toward JGBs would fall short of the yield target once the economy sheds deflationary pressures»

*

«The new policy sets allocation goals of 35% for domestic bonds, 25% for domestic equities, 15% for foreign bonds and 25% for overseas stocks»

*

«Before the realignment, 60% was the desired proportion for domestic bonds»

* * * * * * *

Ma si sa che il diavolo si cela nei particolari.

Il Government Pension Investment Fund era uno dei principali acquirenti dei titoli di stato emessi dalla Boj, che li emette a piene mani per iniettare liquidità nel sistema. Incrementando così il debito sovrano che si avvia al 270% in rapporto al pil.

*

Riassumiamo.

Il Giappone, come peraltro la gran parte delle nazioni occidentali, si sta semplicemente suicidando, sotto gli occhi compiaciuti dei suoi competitors.


Asian Review. 2017-04-05. Ultralow rate driving Japan’s public pension fund out of JGBs

TOKYO — The Bank of Japan’s zero interest rate policy is forcing Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund to take on more risk via an increased portfolio allocation to stocks, as near-zero yields have made Japanese government bonds nonviable as core holdings.

The GPIF aims to secure returns equivalent to the rate of wage growth plus 1.7 percentage points in order to make good on payouts. The fund overhauled its base asset allocation policy in October 2014 amid the reflation push by the government. The rationale behind the change is that a portfolio heavily biased toward JGBs would fall short of the yield target once the economy sheds deflationary pressures.  

The new policy sets allocation goals of 35% for domestic bonds, 25% for domestic equities, 15% for foreign bonds and 25% for overseas stocks. Before the realignment, 60% was the desired proportion for domestic bonds.

The heavier focus on equities resulted in an investment profit of more than 10 trillion yen ($90 billion) for October-December 2016, a quarterly record due to gains in Japanese and foreign stocks. Cumulative income after the portfolio overhaul has climbed to 11.7 trillion yen.

The solid returns are good news, but a concerning shift has been occurring in the fund’s domestic bond portfolio. Allocations on those low-risk assets has fallen below the 35% target and hit a record low of 33.26% at the end of last year. Funds from redemptions of its Japanese government bond-holdings have been redirected toward short-term assets, lifting their share to 6.46%, the second-highest level on record.

This scenario is playing out because the interest rate outlook adopted in 2014 widely missed its mark. Yields not only failed to increase, but the BOJ’s monetary easing policy drove long-term interest rates into negative territory at one point. Long rates are currently hovering near zero. Since JGBs will generate hardly any interest income under such a rate environment, it is “difficult to justify JGB buying,” a person close to the GPIF noted.

Dividends and interest income used to make up two-thirds of the GPIF’s cumulative earnings. If JGBs with relatively higher returns continue to be redeemed, the income from JGBs will shrink further. This would make the GPIF’s portfolio even more susceptible to stock market fluctuations than it already is in the foreseeable future.


Asian Review. 2017-04-05. Lots of empty seats on Hokkaido Shinkansen

In dead of winter, new bullet train only 6% full at night.

*

TOKYO — A year since its launch, and the Hokkaido Shinkansen, which runs between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto stations, is struggling with low occupancy rates.

The rate through February was 7 percentage points higher than the previous forecast but still only 33%.

Passenger numbers have plunged with winter, dropping the line’s occupancy rate to below the 47% that the Hokuriku Shinkansen got its first year. The Hokuriku Shinkansen runs more or less west from Tokyo.

The Hokkaido Shinkansen’s occupancy greatly varies from month to month; the rate hovered from 40% to 48% during the July-September tourist season but fell below 30% in November, then to 19% in January and February.

By contrast, three airlines that have flights between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Hakodate saw their passenger rates during the 11 months from last April to February drop 5% below what they were in the year-earlier period.

The fastest that a bullet train can get passengers between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is four hours and two minutes. This barely eclipses the psychological four-hour barrier under which passengers are said to prefer trains over planes.

To attract passengers in the off-season, Hokkaido Railway, known as JR Hokkaido, plans to start marketing products with one-night stays in Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto before or after business.

“We have not had so many business travelers,” President Osamu Shimada said.

Since some trains are only 6% full at night, JR Hokkaido plans to sell special round-trip tickets between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Shin-Aomori stations for 4,000 yen ($35.92), about 70% cheaper than the normal price — but only to people who live near the stations.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Asiatica

Cina. Mr Tillerson in visita a Pechino sabato prossimo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-03-09.

Dorè. Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven. Lucifer

Dorè. Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven. Lucifer


Ogniqualvolta sia possibile poter raggiungere uno stabile accordo in via diplomatica si riducono le possibilità di attriti conflittuali che alla fine, se fomentati, potrebbe anche spingere a conflitti armati.

Quanti ritengano che questo assunto possa essere considerato valida guida operazionale, dovrebbero allora convenire che sarebbe opportuno cercare di rimuovere gli ostacoli alle trattative, invece che rinfocolarli.

La pace è un bene prezioso, ma richiede anche una chiara visione della realtà.

«Il ministro cinese degli esteri chiede a Pyongyang di fermare il programma nucleare e a Usa e Seoul di cancellare le esercitazioni militari. “Due treni ad alta velocità uno contro l’altro”. Pechino è contraria al Thaad perché teme spionaggio attraverso i radar.» [Fonte]

* * * * * * * *

«Tillerson will arrive in Tokyo on March 15, continue to Seoul on March 17, and travel to Beijing on March 18, according to Toner. An earlier report by Japan’s Kyodo news agency said the secretary was expected in Japan on March 17-18 and would meet Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.»

*

«In each country, Secretary Tillerson will meet with senior officials to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues, including strategic coordination to address the advancing nuclear and missile threat from the DPRK, and reaffirm the administration’s commitment to further broaden and enhance US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region»

*

«At the news briefing, Toner also talked about Washington’s deployment of the anti-missile defense system THAAD – the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense – in South Korea, saying that the US had told China the anti-missile defense system was not meant to be a threat»

*

«China on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to the deployment after a part of the THAAD battery»

* * * * * * * *

L’Asia sud orientale presenta molti problemi di non facile risoluzione.

La Cina sta rapidamente incrementando la sua dimensione economica e militare di potenza locoregionale, e di questo servirebbe prenderne serenamente atto.

La Korea del Nord ha ambizioni militari nucleari. Da una parte cerca di sviluppare l’armamento atomico, dall’altra un sistema di vettori per tali armamenti.

Il Giappone è la terza potenza economica mondiale, essendo stato da tempo superato dalla Cina. Ad una posizione economica di tutto rispetto sia associa una conduzione politica internazionale sommessa ed una presenza militare quasi nulla. Per quanto riguarda la difesa, il Giappone conta esclusivamente sull’alleanza con gli Stati Uniti, ma, correttamente, esige valide garanzie.

Si dovrebbero inoltre tenere presenti le istanze di tutti i paesi che formano una corolla a separazione del Mar Cinese del Sud e l’Oceano Pacifico, la collocazione politica e militare dei quali è elemento cardine nel mantenimento della pace n questa zona geopolitica e militare.

*

Le situazioni in campo hanno subito nell’ultimo quinquennio grandi mutazioni. I trattati a suo tempo siglati e gli accordi raggiunti sembrerebbero non rispondere più alla realtà dei fatti: di qui la necessità di una rinegoziazione.

Ma risultati accettabili da tutte le parti esigerebbero un sostanziale smorzamento dei toni.

Questo spiega molto chiaramente l’atteggiamento della attuale Amministrazione americana in rapporto alle costumanze della passata.

Rex Tillerson ed il Country Reports on Human Rights.

Cina. Durissima risposta al report Usa sui ‘diritti umani’.

E spiega anche molto bene l’atteggiamento assunto dal Segretario di Stato:

«Rex Tillerson said he wanted to see facts before criticizing countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Philippines».

*

«due treni ad alta velocità che stanno per scontrarsi in cui nessuno è disposto a lasciare la strada all’altro».

Ma è proprio questo che realmente vogliamo? Ragazzi! Ci si dia una calmata.


China Org. 2017-03-08. US Secretary of State to visit China on March 18

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Beijing on March 18 to discuss China-US relations and multilateral issues, the State Department announced on Tuesday.

In his maiden trip to Asia since taking the job as US President Donald Trump’s top diplomat about a month ago, Tillerson will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea and then China on March 15-19, Mark Toner, acting State Department spokesman, said at a press conference.

“In each country, Secretary Tillerson will meet with senior officials to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues, including strategic coordination to address the advancing nuclear and missile threat from the DPRK, and reaffirm the administration’s commitment to further broaden and enhance US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region,” Toner said.

Tillerson will arrive in Tokyo on March 15, continue to Seoul on March 17, and travel to Beijing on March 18, according to Toner. An earlier report by Japan’s Kyodo news agency said the secretary was expected in Japan on March 17-18 and would meet Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

At the news briefing, Toner also talked about Washington’s deployment of the anti-missile defense system THAAD – the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense – in South Korea, saying that the US had told China the anti-missile defense system was not meant to be a threat.

China on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to the deployment after a part of the THAAD battery arrived a day before, which began the process of deployment in the country’s southeast region.

“We will take steps to maintain our security interests,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, urging parties concerned to stop deployment and refrain from going too far along the wrong track.

A ROK defense ministry official told Xinhua that two mobile launchers and a part of other equipment arrived at Osan Air Base, about 70 kilometers south of the capital Seoul, on Monday night.

Li Haidong, a professor of US studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said the planned deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in the ROK is a thorn in the side of regional stability.

Tillerson may probably try to explain to China about the “necessity” of deploying THAAD, said Li. “But Beijing will not back out of its opposition to THAAD because it can lead to regional strategic imbalance and poses a grave danger to the country’s security.”

Tillerson’s China visit was announced exactly a week after a two-day visit to Washington by China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, on Feb 27-28.

In their meeting at the State Department, Yang, the first senior Chinese official to visit Washington since Trump’s inauguration, invited Tillerson to visit Beijing, and Tillerson expressed interest in doing so in the near future.

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said the country welcomed the prospect of Tillerson’s visit, noting that both countries were in communication over related matters.


Asia News. 2017-03-08. Wang Yi: No al sistema antimissilistico Thaad

Il ministro cinese degli esteri chiede a Pyongyang di fermare il programma nucleare e a Usa e Seoul di cancellare le esercitazioni militari. “Due treni ad alta velocità uno contro l’altro”. Pechino è contraria al Thaad perché teme spionaggio attraverso i radar. Il boicottaggio delle merci coreane. La Chiesa di Corea contro il Thaad perché fa scivolare la penisola in un “centro di una nuova guerra fredda”.

*

Pechino (AsiaNews) – Il ministro cinese degli esteri Wang Yi ha ribadito oggi la sua ferma opposizione allo spiegamento del sistema anti-missilistico Thaad in Corea del Sud, dicendo che esso è un errore e che minaccia la sicurezza stessa di Seoul.

In una conferenza stampa al margine dell’Assemblea nazionale del popolo in corso nella capitale cinese, Wang Yi ha precisato che lo spiegamento del sistema è il problema più grosso nei rapporti fra Cina e Corea del Sud.

Proprio ieri il ministero sudcoreano della Difesa e il comando Usa delle Forze in Corea hanno dichiarato di aver portato alcuni lanciamissili e altri elementi del Thaad nella base Usa di Osan, 70 km a sud di Seoul, dando inizio allo spiegamento ufficiale del sistema.

Il Thaad è disegnato per intercettare missili a corto e a medio raggio, in un raggio di 3mila km e per 40-150 km di altitudine.

Una batteria di Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) consiste di sei lanciamissili montati su camion, 48 intercettori (otto per ogni rampa), un controllo del fuoco, un’unità di comunicazione e un radar molto potente (AN/TPY-2). Già in passato Pechino ha espresso la sua opposizione perché essa afferma che il radar è così potente da recepire e spiare segnali provenienti dalla Cina. Ma Seoul e Washington hanno sempre ribadito che il sistema è soltanto difensivo e non pone alcuna minaccia agli altri Paesi della regione. Da quando Usa e Corea del Sud hanno deciso di lanciare il Thaad, la Cina ha attuato un boicottaggio delle merci coreane.

Secondo fonti militari coreane, il primo potente radar del Thaad sarà consegnato questo mese e andrà in operazione con aprile.

A proposito della situazione della penisola coreana, Wang ha detto che occorre da una parte che Pyongyang fermi il suo programma nucleare e dall’altra che Washington e Seoul cancellino le loro esercitazioni militari in grande stile come quelle in corso in questi giorni, e che la Corea del Nord interpreta come una preparazione alla invasione del suo territorio. Tre giorni fa Pyongyang ha lanciato quattro missili balistici verso il Mar del Giappone in protesta alle esercitazioni militari in corso.

La situazione della penisola coreana – ha detto Wang – è come “due treni ad alta velocità che stanno per scontrarsi in cui nessuno è disposto a lasciare la strada all’altro”.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Asiatica, Geopolitica Mondiale, Senza categoria

Trump telefona a Duterte. Entente Cordiale. Realpolitik.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-12-07.

 asia-sud-est-001

Basterebbe una occhiata superficiale alla carta geografica per comprendere l’importanza strategica delle Filippine.

Questa isola separa il Mare Meridionale della Cina dall’Oceano Pacifico. Il passaggio è obbligato attraverso alcuni stretti molto facilmente controllabili.

Chi dominasse le Filippine dominerebbe sia il Mar Cinese del Sud sia buona parte dell’Oceano Pacifico: non a caso alla fine dell’800 gli americani condussero una sanguinosissima guerra per prenderne possesso. Dominio che restò incontrastato anche dopo che le Filippine si conquistarono la propria indipendenza.

Senza il controllo delle Filippine non sarebbe stata possibile la guerra in Vietnam.

Abbiamo aspettato qualche giorno a dare la notizia della telefonata di Mr Trump a Mr Duterte per osservare meglio le reazioni. La Cina non si è opposta. Per il momento si accontenta di ciò che ha raggiunto.

*

Negli ultimi anni la Cina ha aumentato la sua presenza militare nel Mare Meridionale della Cina costruendosi isole artificiali, subito munite di scali portuali ed aeroporti, e munite da un congruo numero di missili terra-aria e terra-mare.

Ne è scaturita una bega colossale.

Essendo isole artificiali dovrebbero appartenere a chi le ha costruite, anche tenendo conto che esse sono state erette in acque internazionali: questa almeno è la versione della Cina. Per tutti gli altri la versione è semplicemente opposta.

Sicuramente da un punto di vista militare le isole sono bersagli fissi, quindi facilmente colpibili, anche se la contraerea potrebbe far pagare scotti severi ad eventuali attaccanti. Per un attaccante, in ogni caso, sono una ben scomoda realtà. In ogni caso, il Mar Cinese del Sud non è più un lago americano.

In conclusione, sembrerebbe lecito asserire che siano opere quanto mai scomode. L’amministrazione Obama se le è viste nascere sotto il naso incapace di qualsiasi reazione politica ovvero militare: ma adesso che ci sono non sarebbe possibile non tenerne conto.

*

In questo contesto, sia pur sinteticamente riassunto, si colloca il deterioramento delle relazioni politiche, economiche e militari tra le Filippine e gli Stati Uniti, che non gradiscono per nulla né la forma di governo che i filippini si sono eletti né il netto rifiuto che esse hanno opposto alla loro visione etica e morale, né infine al fatto che il Presidente Duterte abbia lanciato una severissima campagna per il contenimento della diffusione della droga nel suo paese. A questo proposito, Duterte non ha fatto altro che passare il reato di spaccio degli stupefacenti a livello amministrativo: in parole povere, la polizia giustizia tutti gli spacciatori che trova. Invece dei circa diecimila morti annuali per droga ce ne sono quattromila circa di spacciatori, che per ovvi motivi non potranno più spacciare stupefacenti. Fa anche specie che un’Amministrazione dichiaratamente pro-aborto, decine di milioni di assassinii negli ultmi anni, cavilli sulla morte di qualche spacciatore di droga.

L’Amministrazione Obama ha incentrato su questo punto un severo contenzioso con le Filippine, e queste hanno semplicemente iniziato a rivolgersi alla Cina ed alla Russia, per concludere accordi politici, economici e militari.

Un incidente mortale su sei causato dalla marijuana.

Cina. Tolleranza zero con pubblici dipendenti drogati.

Filippine. Abbandonerebbero l’Occidente alleandosi con Russia e Cina.

Philippines’ Duterte wants to ‘open alliances’ with Russia, China

Philippine president threatens to exit UN over drug campaign criticism.

Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte threatens to leave UN.

Philippines war on drugs: ‘1,900 killed’ amid crackdown

*

La possibilità concreta che le Filippine cambino schieramento è tutt’altro che remota, anzi. Con tutte le conseguenze geopolitiche facilmente intuibili.

«In five months in office, Duterte has upended Philippine foreign policy by berating the US, making overtures towards historic rival China and pursuing a new alliance with Russia»

Così, gli americani, che non avevamo avuto remora morale alcuna ad appoggiare il regime di Ngo Dinh Diem oppure del generale Pinochet, corrono adesso il serio rischio di perdere le Filippine perché sono omofobe e non tollerano più a lungo la diffusione delle droghe sul loro territorio. Ed anche perché sono stanche di dover sopportare le bizze di Amministrazioni con le idee confuse.

Di questi giorni la notizia che Mr Trump, il presidente eletto, ha telefonato direttamente a Mr Duterte.

«10 minuti di telefonata tra Donald Trump e il presidente delle Filippine Rodrigo Duterte: la conversazione si è conclusa con un invito alla Casa Bianca ».

*

«US President-elect Donald Trump has invited Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” phone conversation»

*

Un briciolo di Realpolitik sta facendo capolino anche nel cielo di Washington.

Apriti Cielo!

Le sinistre di ogni tipo e razza sono insorte come un sol uomo, condannando il fatto a nome di “tutto l’Occidente“.

Tutto l’Occidente“?

A quanto risulterebbe il partito democratico è stato sonoramente battuto nelle ultime elezioni presidenziali negli Stati Uniti. Né sembrerebbe che i socialisti stiano poi molto meglio in Francia, donde stanno per essere scacciati ed anche in malo modo, né in Germania, ove hanno regolarmente perso larghe fette di elettorato nelle ultime cinque elezioni nei Länder.

Le sinistre al momento assommano a meno di un terzo degli Elettori dell’Occidente, e l’Occidente a meno di un sesto della popolazione del mondo.

E costoro, i perdenti, gli sconfitti, si arrogherebbero il diritto di parlare a nome dell’Occidente?

Fate Voi.

Nota.

Si è perfettamente consci che tutti coloro che vivono lucrando sul traffico illegale di stupefacenti odiano Mr Duterte, che scombina in modo radicale i loro affari. Si comprendono meno facilmente tutti coloro che pur non lucrando alcunché si scandalizzano dell’operato di Mr Duterte: piangono qualche spacciaore morto e non hanno nessuna pietà delle vittime della droga. È in corso una guerra, ed il presidente delle Filippine cerca di tutelare il proprio popolo. Ha finaco la mano leggera.

 


Rai News. 2016-12-03. Trump invita Duterte alla Casa Bianca. Il Presidente filippino insultò Obama: “Figlio di p…”.

Duterte è conosciuto come “Punitore” dei drogati, da quando è presidente la polizia sta facendo una lotta senza quartiere che ha fatto registrare oltre 3 mila vittime, e per aver insultato leader mondiali

*

10 minuti di telefonata tra Donald Trump e il presidente delle Filippine Rodrigo Duterte: la conversazione si è conclusa con un invito alla Casa Bianca. Come di consuetudine, il neo presidente Usa sta chiamando tutti i leader mondiali prima della sua investitura ufficiale prevista il 20 gennaio 2017. A seguire da quella data, Trump potrà iniziare a ricevere ospiti alla White House. L’invito a Duterte, però, ha scatenato forti polemiche, che vanno ad aggiungersi a quelle di Pechino provocate da un’altra telefonata avvenuta tra Trump e il presidente di Taiwan, Tsai Ying-Wen. L’incontro mai avvenuto con Obama Duterte si sarebbe dovuto incontrare con Barack Obama in Laos, ma l’evento fu annullato in seguito alle parole offensive che il presidente filippino pronunciò durante un comizio: “Obama è un figlio di puttana”. Forte dell’investitura popolare, reduce da una campagna elettorale aggressiva, Duterte si è persino paragonato al führer dicendo che sarebbe felice di far uccidere tre milioni di tossicodipendenti proprio come il dittatore naturalizzato tedesco fece con gli ebrei. Oltre a prendere come modello lo sterminio commesso da Adolf Hitler, il presidente delle Filippine ha spesso criticato Europa e Stati Uniti. “Sono degli ipocriti quando criticano la mia campagna anti-droga”, azioni di polizia nella quale sono già morte tremila persone al di fuori di ogni procedura giudiziaria. Duterte, 71 anni, ha vinto le elezioni a maggio dopo essere stato per un ventennio sindaco di Davao. Sta mantenendo le sue promesse: “una lotta spietata al narcotraffico nella quale almeno 100mila persone dovranno morire”. L’ondata di violenza poliziesca con la quale sta cercando di mantenere quanto dichiarato in campagna elettorale ha suscitato lo sdegno del mondo occidentale.

 


Aljazeera. 2016-12-03. Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte ‘gets Donald Trump invite’

Top aide describes seven-minute phone call between the two presidents as “very engaging” and “animated”.

*

US President-elect Donald Trump has invited Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” phone conversation, according to a Duterte aide.

Trump’s brief chat with the Duterte comes during a period of uncertainty about one of America’s most important Asian alliances, marked by Duterte’s hostility towards the US and his repeated threats to sever decades-old defence ties.

The call lasted just over seven minutes, Christopher Go, Duterte’s special adviser, announced on Friday.

Trump’s transition team had no immediate comment.

In his five months in office, Duterte has caused a stir by criticising the US, cursing President Barack Obama, making overtures towards China and pursuing a new alliance with Russia.

His diplomacy has created nervousness among some Asian countries, wary about China’s rising influence and America’s staying power as a regional counterbalance.

Duterte has praised China and told Obama to “go to hell” and called him a “son of a bitch” whom he would humiliate if he visited the Philippines.

The anger was unlocked after Obama expressed concern about possible human rights abuses in Duterte’s war on drugs.

Duterte had initially expressed optimism about having Trump in the Oval Office, saying he no longer wanted quarrels. But it has not tempered his rhetoric and he has continued to rail at what he calls US “hypocrisy” and “bullying”.

In an interview with Reuters news agency during the election campaign, Trump said Duterte’s comments showed “a lack of respect for our country”.

‘Trump of the East’

Sometimes referred to as the “Trump of the East” because of his blunt remarks, Duterte has threatened repeatedly to sever US-Philippine defence ties, saying he “hates” having foreign soldiers in his country.

Joint military exercises look set to be scaled back next year, as Duterte demanded, including the number of US troops involved.

A question mark hangs over a defence agreement, which allows US forces access to Philippine bases on a troop rotation basis.

A source who has advised Trump’s transition team on security policy told Reuters news agency last week that Trump would start a “clean slate” with the Philippines.

“He is perfectly capable of talking to Duterte in an open way without being wedded to previous policy failures,” the source said of Trump.

Duterte caused a stir when he visited China in October and announced his “separation” from the US.

He has said the US could not be trusted to support the Philippines if it were attacked, as mandated in a joint defence treaty.

Some experts, however, say Duterte’s appointment of special envoys to Washington suggest that despite his hostility, he intends to keep good ties.

Among those envoys is Jose Antonio, a multi-millionaire real-estate tycoon who bought the rights to name a new office tower in Manila “Trump Towers”.

 


The Guardian. 2016-12-03. Philippines’ deadly drug war praised by Donald Trump, says Rodrigo Duterte

Philippines leader says US president-elect felt drug war which has killed thousands was being fought ‘the right way’

*

US President-elect Donald Trump has praised Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte for his controversial war on drugs in which thousands have died, Duterte said on Saturday following a phone call between the leaders.

The Philippine president called Trump on Friday evening to congratulate him on his victory and Trump wished him “success” in his controversial crackdown, in which 4,800 people have been killed since June, according to Duterte.

“He was quite sensitive also to our worry about drugs. And he wishes me well … in my campaign and he said that … we are doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way,” Duterte said in a statement.

An aide to the Philippines president earlier said Trump invited him to the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” phone conversation.

The call lasted just over seven minutes, Duterte’s special adviser, Christopher Go, said in a text message to media that gave few details.

A statement from Trump’s team said Duterte congratulated the US president-elect and the two men “noted the long history of friendship and cooperation between the two nations, and agreed that the two governments would continue to work together closely on matters of shared interest and concern”. The statement, however, made no mention of an invitation.

Trump’s brief chat with the firebrand Philippine president follows a period of uncertainty about one of Washington’s most important Asian alliances, stoked by Duterte’s hostility towards President Barack Obama and repeated threats to sever decades-old defence ties.

In five months in office, Duterte has upended Philippine foreign policy by berating the US, making overtures towards historic rival China and pursuing a new alliance with Russia.

His diplomacy has created jitters among Asian countries wary of Beijing’s rising influence and Washington’s staying power as a regional counterbalance.

Duterte has praised China and told Obama to “go to hell” and called him a “son of a bitch” whom he would humiliate if he visited the Philippines.

The anger was unleashed after Obama expressed concern about human rights abuses in Duterte’s war on drugs, in which thousands have died.

Duterte initially expressed optimism about having Trump in the Oval Office, saying he no longer wanted quarrels. But he has continued to rail against US “hypocrisy” and “bullying”.

Trump told Reuters during the election campaign that Duterte’s comments showed “a lack of respect for our country”. But he also stressed the “very important strategic location” of the Philippines and blamed Obama for failing to take the time to get to know world leaders.

A source who has advised Trump’s transition team on security policy told Reuters last week the president-elect would start a “clean slate” with Duterte, and analysts see some similarities in their blunt style.

Duterte caused a stir when he visited China in October and announced his “separation” from the US. He has said Washington could not be trusted to support the Philippines if it were attacked, as mandated in a joint defence treaty.

In an article published just before the US election, Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Alex Gray blamed the breakdown on the Obama administration’s failure to intervene in 2012 when China seized the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, which the Philippines considers its fishing ground.

“Washington’s utter failure to uphold its obligations to a longtime, pivotal ally during one of its most humiliating crises has no doubt contributed to [Duterte’s] low opinion of American security guarantees – and his recent move toward a China alliance,” they wrote.

Some experts say Duterte’s appointment of special envoys to Washington suggest he aims to keep good ties.

Among the envoys is multi-millionaire real estate tycoon Jose Antonio, who bought the rights to name a new office tower in Manila “Trump Towers”.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby said he did not know whether the department had assisted in setting up Trump’s call with Duterte, but stood ready to provide such help.

Philippines expert Ernest Bower of the Bower Group Asia consultancy said it was likely the call was facilitated by Trump’s business partners in the Philippines and a core group of advisers, who include his children.

Bower said Trump’s election victory could offer Duterte a face-saving way to move back from his anti-US rhetoric, while Duterte could provide Trump with a way to stress the importance of Asian alliances, which he appeared to question during the campaign.

Murray Hiebert of the Center for Strategic and International Studies noted that the Philippines would be chairing the 10-member Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) next year and it was common for the US to extend an invitation to the chair before the US-Asean summit.

Bower said this may have been fortuitous on Trump’s part.

“My guess is he was more interested in making a point – that he could deal with Duterte in ways Obama couldn’t – than in the strategic wisdom of driving alignment with the Asean chair ahead of the Asean and East Asian summits.”

 


The New York Times. 2016-12-03. Rodrigo Duterte Says Donald Trump Endorses His Violent Antidrug Campaign

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines said on Saturday that President-elect Donald J. Trump had endorsed his brutal antidrug campaign, telling Mr. Duterte that the Philippines was conducting it “the right way.”

Mr. Duterte, who spoke with Mr. Trump by telephone on Friday, said Mr. Trump was “quite sensitive” to “our worry about drugs.”

“He wishes me well, too, in my campaign, and he said that, well, we are doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way,” Mr. Duterte said.

There was no immediate response from Mr. Trump to Mr. Duterte’s description of the phone call, and his transition team could not be reached for comment.

Since his election last month, Mr. Trump has held a series of unscripted calls with foreign leaders, several of which have broken radically from past American policies and diplomatic practice. A call on Friday with the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, appeared to be out of sync with four decades of United States policy toward China and prompted a Chinese call to the White House.

Mr. Duterte has led a campaign against drug abuse in which he has encouraged the police and others to kill people they suspect of using or selling drugs. Since he took office in June, more than 2,000 people have been killed by the police in what officers describe as drug raids, and the police say several hundred more have been killed by vigilantes.

The program has been condemned by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and others for what rights organizations have characterized as extrajudicial killings. In rejecting such criticism from the United States this fall, Mr. Duterte called Mr. Obama a “son of a whore.”

In a summary of the phone call with Mr. Trump released by Mr. Duterte’s office on Saturday morning, Mr. Duterte said the two had spoken for just a few minutes but covered many topics, including the antidrug campaign.

“I could sense a good rapport, an animated President-elect Trump,” Mr. Duterte said. “And he was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem.”

Mr. Duterte added: “He understood the way we are handling it, and I said that there’s nothing wrong in protecting a country. It was a bit very encouraging in the sense that I supposed that what he really wanted to say was that we would be the last to interfere in the affairs of your own country.”

Mr. Duterte, who has said he was seeking “a separation” from the United States, a longtime ally, and has threatened to bar American troops from his country, also said, “We assured him of our ties with America.” He did not elaborate on that comment.

Mr. Duterte also said that Mr. Trump had invited him to visit New York and Washington, and that Mr. Trump said he wanted to attend the summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations next year in the Philippines.

Mr. Duterte has often been compared to Mr. Trump for his blunt speech and populist positions.

“I appreciate the response that I got from President-elect Trump, and I would like to wish him success,” Mr. Duterte said. “He will be a good president for the United States of America.”

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Asiatica, Logistica

Cina – Pakistan. Inaugurata la strada Gwadar – Kashgar.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-11-19.

 2016-11-15__pakistan_cina_002

 

The Western Alignment of CPEC is depicted by the red line. The 1,153 kilometer route will link the Brahma Bahtar Interchange of the M1 Motorway with the city of Gwadar in Balochistan province. The portion depicted by the orange line between Basima and Shahdadkot is sometimes regarded as part of the Western Alignment.


–  Cina. Una diplomazia alla conquista del mondo. 2016-11-08

–  Cina. È diventata il maggiore investitore nell’Europa dell’est. 2016-11-06

–  Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa. 2016-11-05

–  Cina. Fabbrica un nuovo miliardario ogni settimana. 2016-10-15

–  Cina e Myanmar. Un possibile sbocco sull’Oceano Indiano. 2016-09-21

–  China Development Bank ed accordo strategico Cina – Venezuela. 2016-08-12

–  Cina. La diplomazia ferroviaria. 2016-05-20

*

La politica cinese di costruire infrastrutture senza imporre clausole inaccettabili sta dando frutti sempre più visibili: la chiamano la “politica ferroviaria“.

L’accento dovrebbe essere posto sui termini “senza imporre clausole inaccettabili“.

«The $46 billion project is an extension of China’s “One Belt, One Road”»

*

«China’s popularity …. is strong. Its policy of not linking aid and investments to human rights and good governance has made Beijing many friends on the continent, beyond its authoritarian governments».

Adesso si è procurata un altro collegamento ad alta velocità con l’Oceano Indiano, che si associa a quello con il Myanmar ed a quello con la Malacca.

L’aumentata velocità di trasporto e la sua riduzione di costo permetteranno di ammortizzare le spese sostenuto in meno di dieci anni.

È una visione politica di pacifica conquista economica del mondo. Una visione imperiale


Saudi Gazette. 2016-11-15.  Pakistan, China launch new trade route

GWADAR, Pakistan — Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday inaugurated a trade route linking southwestern Gwadar port to the Chinese city of Kashgar as part of a joint multibillion-dollar project to jumpstart economic growth in the South Asian country.

The Cosco Wellington, a ship berthed at the deep-sea port in Baluchistan province, was loaded with over 150 containers — the first consignment under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor announced in 2014, which aims to link the Asian superpower’s Xinjiang region with the Arabian Sea.

The $46 billion project is an extension of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative and encompasses a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades that Islamabad hopes will kick-start its long-underperforming economy.

“The participants of the pilot convoy who have made it to Gwadar are the harbingers of development and progress, that this region is to see soon,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told audience members at a ceremony that was also attended by powerful army chief Raheel Sharif and senior Chinese officials.

“Their faces gleam with the beam of prosperity that CPEC will bring about in the years to come,” he said, calling the first shipment a “watershed event.”

Pakistan recorded a 4.7 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year that ended in June 2016, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has set an ambitious target of 5.7 percent for the current year.

With its dusty moonscape and shining new port, officials have repeatedly suggested the city of Gwadar is another Dubai in the making.

But the mineral-rich province in which it is located is beset by violence from militant groups as well as insurgents seeking a greater share of the region’s natural resources and secession from Pakistan.

Security problems have mired CPEC in the past with numerous attacks by separatists, but China has said it is confident the Pakistani military is in control.

 

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Asiatica, Unione Europea

Lesbo. Migranti pakistani e bengalesi incendiano il campo Moria.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-10-24.

 2016-10-24__lesbo__001

Il campo di Moria è stato bruciato diverse volte nel corso degli ultimi mesi.

Una cosa però sembrerebbe essere certa.

Non ci si venga a dire che pakistani e bengalesi stiano fuggendo da guerre o persecuzioni in atto.

Non solo.

Il Pakistan si è anche dotato da tempo di armamento atomico e sviluppa vettori: cosa c’entra l’Unione Europea se quella gente preferisce spendere i propri soldi in armamenti invece che per infrastrutture produttive?

Cosa vogliono da noi: il caffè a letto?

 


La Stampa. 2016-10-24. Lesbo, migranti assaltano e danno fuoco a una struttura per la gestione delle richieste d’asilo

Decine di migranti hanno attaccato e dato fuoco a una struttura dell’Unione europea che gestisce le domande di asilo sull’isola greca di Lesbo. La rabbia è esplosa durante una protesta per i ritardi con cui vengono gestite le domande di asilo. La polizia ha riportato che circa 70 persone, in maggioranza pakistani e bengalesi, hanno prima lanciato pietre e poi hanno appiccato il fuoco a parte della struttura del campo Moria.  

Nessuno è rimasto ferito ma tre prefabbricati sono seriamente danneggiati. Ventidue migranti sono stati arrestati. 

 

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Asiatica, Geopolitica Militare, Religioni

Duterte arrivato in visita a Pechino. Bud Bagsak non è stata dimenticata.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-10-20.

 2016-10-20__duterte__001

 «China’s President Xi Jinping has welcomed his Filipino counterpart Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to Beijing which he described as a “milestone”.»

Le Filippine da oltre un secolo sono nell’orbita politica e militare americana.

asia-sud-est-002

La loro importanza strategica è evidente. Costituiscono gran parte della corolla est di isole che chiudono il Mar Cinese del Sud dall’Oceano Pacifico. Non solo. Sono filippine anche le Isole Babyyan, che sembrerebbero essere state messe apposta in fila indiana per collegare le Filippine con Taiwan, dente cariato con pulpite purulenta della Cina. L’isolotto di Itbayat, dotato di sorgenti di acqua dolce, dista soltanto 170 kilometri da Taiwan. Se su tale isola fossero collocati missili terra-terra, Taiwan sarebbe vulnerabile da parte di missili di bassa gittata.

Non solo.

Lo Stretto di Luzon è alquanto ampio e ben si presta all’ingresso di flotte di navi da guerra dal Pacifico al Mar Cinese del Sud. Ma sotto la condizione che le Filippine siano schierate militarmente dalla parte di chi volesse oltrepassare lo stretto da est ad ovest.

*

Nel 1896 i filippini si rivoltarono contro la dominazione spagnola, ma la loro indipendenza fu effimera. Cacciati gli spagnoli, subentrarono immediatamente gli americani, legalizzando la situazione con il Trattato di Parigi del 1898, in cui le potenze di allora ratificarono il dato di fatto. La rivolta dei filippini proseguì per anni in una guerra sanguinosa contro gli americani che li avevano invasi, guerra terminata con la battaglia di Bud Bagsak del 15 giugno 1913.

«La guerra e l’occupazione militare delle Filippine trovò opposizioni anche negli stessi Stati Uniti, ispirando la formazione della cosiddetta “Lega anti-imperialista americana” il 15 giugno 1898. La guerra e l’occupazione provocarono vaste distruzioni e cambiarono l’entroterra culturale dell’arcipelago, con un numero di vittime stimato tra i 34.000 e un 1.000.000 tra i civili, la secolarizzazione delle istituzioni della Chiesa cattolica nelle Filippine, e l’introduzione della lingua inglese come linguaggio primario nell’istruzione, nel governo e nei commerci.

Con il “Philippine Organic Act” del 1902 ai filippini fu dato un autogoverno molto limitato.» [Fonte]

*

Chi avesse mai sperato che i filippini si fossero dimenticati la Rivoluzione Filippina avrebbe sbagliato grossolanamente. Chi avesse mai sperato che si fossero dimenticati dei loro morti si sarebbe sbagliato. Chi avesse mai sperato che si fossero dimenticati della loro religione si sarebbe sbagliato.

Se ne sono ricordati, eccome!

Ed alla prima concreta possibilità ne hanno tratto le conseguenze.

E chi mai avrebbe detto che il retaggio religioso, storico, culturale e sociale di una nazione potrebbe essere cancellato con un editto?

Solo un americano avrebbe potuto bersi questa storiella. Americano che adesso demonizza Duterte: lo maledice perché lo ha abbandonato, mandandolo anche “al diavolo”.


Bbc. 2016-10-20. Duterte in China: Xi lauds ‘milestone’ Duterte visit

China’s President Xi Jinping has welcomed his Filipino counterpart Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to Beijing which he described as a “milestone”.

*

Mr Duterte arrived on Tuesday for a four-day trip expected to boost trade and mend ties between the nations.

Both sides were ready to move on from a bitter row over islands in the South China Sea, a top Chinese official said.

The visit also shows Mr Duterte’s efforts to engage China as he moves away from the US, a long-time ally.

He has twice announced a “separation” of the countries, but a US official said no official request had been made to change their relationship.

Meanwhile, nearly 50 police officers who were involved in clashes with pro-China protesters outside the US embassy in Manila on Wednesday have been suspended. During the demonstration, a police van which came under attack drove into the crowd, knocking people down.

The dispute over the South China Seas did not take centre stage in Mr Duterte’s discussions with Chinese officials.

Duterte in China: Conciliator-in-chief?

Duterte: The ‘strongman’ of the Philippines

Saying the unsayable: Duterte in quotes

Why is the South China Sea contentious?

“Both sides agreed that this issue is not the sum total of bilateral relations,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters after the meeting.

The two countries had agreed to seek “settlement through bilateral dialogue”, he said.

Mr Duterte and President Xi presided over the signing of documents covering several trade deals as well as co-operation in cultural, tourism, anti-narcotics and maritime affairs.

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Thursday that the deals to be signed during the week would amount to $13.5bn.

The relationship between China and the Philippines had worsened in recent years as both claim the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

The dispute reached a peak in July when an international tribunal sided with Manila and rejected Beijing’s claims.

Although he maintained a blustery position towards Beijing during his presidential campaign, Mr Duterte sounded a note of reconciliation shortly after taking power.

At the same time, Mr Duterte has said he would end joint military exercises with the US, admonished the US for criticising him over his bloody war against drugs that has been linked with thousands of extrajudicial killings, and said US President Barack Obama could “go to hell”.

On Wednesday, Mr Duterte told a cheering crowd in Beijing: “I will not go to America any more. We will just be insulted there. So, time to say goodbye my friend.”

On Thursday he repeated his pledge, telling Chinese and Philippine businesspeople: “I announce my separation from the United States. Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”

“I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to [President Vladimir] Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world – China, Philippines, and Russia. It’s the only way,” Mr Duterte said.

But an unnamed US official told the AFP news agency that the US had “not received any requests through official channels to alter our assistance to or co-operation with the Philippines”.

The president of the Philippines also used his speech to mock American accents, saying the American “larynx is not greatly adjusted to civility” – captured in a video shot by a journalist from the Philippines in China on Thursday.

The BBC’s John Sudworth in Beijing said Mr Duterte appeared to have calculated that taking a less confrontational approach than his predecessor on the South China Sea dispute would help him secure aid from China.

For his part, Mr Xi welcomed the renewed friendship with the Philippines.

“I hope we can follow the wishes of the people and use this visit as an opportunity to push China-Philippines relations back on a friendly footing and fully improve things,” he said.

What does Duterte want from China?

China is the Philippines’ second-largest trading partner, with the latter supplying mostly electronic products but looking to diversify with more food exports for instance. Earlier this year, angry Chinese netizens called for a boycott of Filipino mangoes amid tensions over South China Sea claims.

The tensions also prompted Beijing to issue a travel advisory against the Philippines in 2014. Since then Chinese holidaymakers have flocked to elsewhere in south-east Asia; the hope is that they come back when Beijing lifts the advisory, which it has promised to do.

In a pre-visit interview with Chinese cable station Phoenix TV , Mr Duterte complained of inadequate military support from the US and said he planned to buy Chinese weapons and boats as part of a military equipment overhaul. “If China does not help us in this endeavour, we will find it hard,” he said.

Mr Duterte’s controversial war on drugs has attracted accusations of human rights violations by the West including the United States. But Beijing – no stranger to such criticism – has kept quiet, and has even pledged to support Mr Duterte.