China-Asean EXPO – “Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”
Sept. 18, 2014 (EIRNS)–The 11th China-ASEAN EXPO is taking place in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Province, from Tuesday to Friday. There are 4,600 exhibitors, 1,259 from the ten ASEAN countries. Xinhua notes that China is ASEAN’s largest trading partner, and ASEAN is China’s third-largest trading partner, and trade is expanding at a greater-than-10% rate per year.
The theme of the EXPO, of course, is “Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” marking the new world in which this EXPO is taking place, in contrast to the last ten.
Despite China naming the Philippines to be a “country of honor” at the EXPO, they did not invite Obama’s boy President Noynoy Aquino, and, apparently as a result, the Philippines is shooting itself in the foot again by being the only ASEAN country not in attendance. In fact, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Chinese tourists to avoid travelling to the Philippines, after three Chinese citizens in the country were abducted over a period of five days this month. The official Global Times called the authorities in Manila to be “major agitators of a nationalist and anti-China sentiment among its population.”
Chinese Vice Premier and Standing Committee member Zhang Gaoli opened the EXPO and greeted the Prime Ministers of Cambodia and Singapore and the high-level officials from the other nine ASEAN countries.
In the New World Economic Order we now live in, China-ASEAN relations are also booming. For example:
* China’s Three Gorges Dam Corporation signed a contract on Tuesday with Myanmar’s IGE Company to build Southeast Asia’s largest dam, on the Thanlwin (Salween) River. Australia’S Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation is preparing a report on the project’s environmental and social impacts.
* China and Thailand revived the Thai-Chinese Committee for Economic Cooperation, launched by PM Thaksin Shinawatra in 2003, but ended with the royalist/military coup in 2006. The new Junta from the 2014 coup, which is pushing forward with the big infrastructure projects associated with Thaksin and his associates, is also strengthening ties with China.
* China and Malaysia have established a “sister port” relationship between Qinzhou Port in Guangxi and Kuantan Port on the east coast of Malaysia, where the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) is under development. This is part of a plan to establish similar port-to-port relationships throughout ASEAN along the New Maritime Silk Road.
* China is moving ahead with plans to finance and build a $7.2 billion high-speed rail line through Laos, a crucial part of the planned new “Orient Express” from Kunming to Singapore. The deal is not official as yet, but the renewed interest from Thailand to build high-speed rail with China’s help, has broken a log-jam on the Laos project. The ADB is frantically trying to stop the project.
* China’s investments in Indonesia are only less than those in Brazil, among developing countries. They are building Indonesia’s third-largest dam, investing in pulp and paper, and bauxite and other minerals, and may help build bridges connecting Java with Sumatra, and Sumatra with Malaysia.