In­ti­mate pol­i­tics of Chi­nese-US com­pe­ti­tion

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Money - Kerem Alkin

The lat­est de­vel­op­ments in our re­gion and the passes ex­tend­ing to the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion stem from the po­si­tion­ing of the global econ­omy-pol­i­tics’ am­bi­tious coun­tries to­ward 2050 to 2100. It is ex­pected that 4.9 bil­lion of the world pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mated to reach 11.2 bil­lion in 2100 will be in Asia and 4.4 bil­lion will live in Africa. China’s One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive rep­re­sents a strate­gic process to­ward strength­en­ing the eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion be­tween re­gions that will be home to 83 per­cent of the world pop­u­la­tion, and it will pro­vide great ini­tia­tive to Turkey as a cross­road. Hav­ing said that, peace in Mid­dle East and Gulf is nec­es­sary for the One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive that will ex­tend from east and South­east Asia to Africa to suc­ceed. China, pri­mar­ily Iran and Saudi Ara­bia, should jointly take care of the coun­tries who will play crit­i­cally im­por­tant roles for the suc­cess of the project. In the mean­time, let’s not for­get that Qatar is the sec­ond most im­por­tant liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas provider of China, fol­low­ing Aus­tralia.

The rap­proche­ment be­tween Qatar and Iran that led to the Qatar cri­sis is crit­i­cally im­por­tant for China’s en­ergy sup­ply strat­egy. It should not be for­got­ten that Saudi Ara­bia King Sal­man bin Ab­dul-Aziz al-Saud signed 14 deals worth $65 bil­lion in Bei­jing in March. The U.S., within this frame, must pres­sure China from both the Pa­cific and the Mid­dle East and Gulf fronts. China’s ad­vance­ment for 2050 to 2100 means the U.S. will suf­fer from a se­ri­ous loss of ground. There­fore, U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Far East con­tacts start­ing with South Korea, his un­ex­pected state­ments on North Korea and the sud­den and rapid de­vel­op­ments from last week­end re­gard­ing the Saudi royal fam­ily should all be read and pro­cessed to­gether. This process should also be in­ter­preted as a U.S. op­er­a­tion to break the frag­ile balance be­tween the Saudi Ara­bia-Iran-Qatar triplet China feels obliged to build.

Like­wise, the fact that state­ments that Chi­nese were heav­ily pe­ti­tion­ing the his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant Saudi Aramco’s ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing (IPO) was not ver­i­fied also cor­rob­o­rate this con­flict. While it was an­nounced that the IPO of 5 per­cent of the $2 tril­lion com­pany, thus $100 bil­lion, which would be the big­gest IPO in his­tory, will be per­formed via the Shang­hai Stock Ex­change, fol­low­ing Trump’s visit to Saudi Ara­bia, the an­nounce­ment that the IPO will be car­ried out from the New York Stock Ex­change shows that Turkey should an­a­lyze the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion China is in and fol­low both the de­vel­op­ments in Saudi Ara­bia and Saudi Ara­bia-Iran-Qatar relations strained by the U.S. against China from an on-point dis­tance.

PA­CIFIC PUSH FROM TRUMP

In an en­vi­ron­ment re­gard­ing his death threat, Le­banese Prime Min­is­ter Saad Hariri made his res­ig­na­tion pub­lic from Riyadh, Saudi Ara­bia, which called on its cit­i­zens in Le­banon to leave the coun­try, and the num­ber of princes, min­is­ters and high-level ex­ec­u­tives ar­rested within the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­gard­ing allegations of cor­rup­tion sur­passed 200. The fact that the U.K. an­nounced that it is ready for a $2 bil­lion credit sup­port for Aramco shows that the U.K. also has a cer­tain po­si­tion­ing re­gard­ing the re­flec­tions of the ten­sion be­tween the U.S. and China in the Ara­bian Penin­sula and the Gulf re­gion. Above all, China’s One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive is re­ferred to as a Bei­jingLon­don rail line within some cir­cles. Mean­while, we should also note the visit of French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron to Riyadh con­cern­ing the Le­banon is­sue.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ous with these events is Trump’s Asia-Pa­cific tour that started with South Korea and con­tin­ues with China. Trump, who con­tin­ues to threaten North Korea, also brought up his ex­pec­ta­tion of fur­ther col­lab­o­ra­tion on the topic dur­ing his visit to China. Trump, even though he is trou­bled by China’s One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive, fi­nal­ized $250 bil­lion in co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments be­tween the U.S. and Chi­nese com­pa­nies, men­tion­ing that he does not blame Bei­jing for the trade im­bal­ance be­tween the U.S. and China and that pre­vi­ous U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tions are re­spon­si­ble. Trump also said this im­bal­ance must be fixed as it does not work any­more. An­a­lysts have eval­u­ated Trump’s state­ments to be smooth com­pared to his pre­vi­ous ac­cusatory state­ments against China.

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