13 January 2009

Chinese Inroads in DR Congo: A Chinese "Marshall Plan" or Business?


"China has strategically shifted away from actively supporting radical ideologies around the world in the 1960s and 1970s and moved toward becoming a major economic investor that proclaims neutrality in political matters."

...but, as he goes on to say:

"It is also hard to imagine, with such large fortune at stake, that Beijing would want to see the DRC destabilized. If anything, it is in China’s fundamental interests to build a more secure environment for its long-term presence."


In other words, China's economic interest compels it to take part in local politics, just as England became embroiled in Indian politics and ended up with the British Raj.

"There is also an emerging debate on whether the on-going war in North Kivu province is the result of the growing rivalry between the United States and China in the DRC [12]."

12. F William Engdahl, “China’s US$9bn Hostage in the Congo War,” Asia Times Online, December 2, 2008.


Notably, in late October Nkunda's well-armed troops surrounded Goma and demanded that President Kabila negotiate with him. Among Nkunda's demands was that Kabila cancel a $9 billion joint Congo-China venture in which China gets rights to the vast copper and cobalt resources of the region in exchange for providing $6 billion worth of road construction, two hydroelectric dams, hospitals, schools and railway links to southern Africa, to Katanga and to the Congo Atlantic port at Matadi.

The other $3 billion is to be invested by China in development of new mining areas.

Curiously, US and most European media neglect to report that small detail. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa.

F William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press) and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (www.globalresearch.ca). A new book, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Third Millennium Press) is due out early 2009. He may be reached via his website: www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.

10 January 2009

Soros: The Crisis & What to Do About It

Volume 55, Number 19 · December 4, 2008
The Crisis & What to Do About It
By George Soros
The salient feature of the current financial crisis is that it was not caused by some external shock like OPEC raising the price of oil or a particular country or financial institution defaulting. The crisis was generated by the financial system itself. This fact—that the defect was inherent in the system —contradicts the prevailing theory, which holds that financial markets tend toward equilibrium and that deviations from the equilibrium either occur in a random manner or are caused by some sudden external event to which markets have difficulty adjusting. The severity and amplitude of the crisis provides convincing evidence that there is something fundamentally wrong with this prevailing theory and with the approach to market regulation that has gone with it. To understand what has happened, and what should be done to avoid such a catastrophic crisis in the future, will require a new way of thinking about how markets work.