Did De-Dollarization Just Reach Escape Velocity? China's New Silk Road & Putin's Eurasian Trade Network

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Pepe Escobar, originally posted at Asia Times,

Westward Ho On China's Eurasia BRIC Road

“…it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger (to the U.S.)

 

emerges capable of dominating Eurasia

 

and thus also of challenging America

 

Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 1997

What’s in a name, rather an ideogram? Everything. A single Chinese character – jie (for “between”) – graphically illustrates the key foreign policy initiative of the new Chinese dream.

In the upper part of the four-stroke character – which, symbolically, should be read as the roof of a house – the stroke on the left means the Silk Road Economic Belt, and the stroke on the right means the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. In the lower part, the stroke on the left means the China-Pakistan corridor, via Xinjiang province, and the stroke on the right, the China-Myanmar-Bangladesh-India corridor via Yunnan province.

Chinese culture feasts on myriad formulas, mottoes – and symbols. If many a Chinese scholar worries about how the Middle Kingdom’s new intimation of soft power may be lost in translation, the character jie – pregnant with connectivity – is already the starting point to make 1.3 billion Chinese, plus the overseas Chinese diaspora, visualize the top twin axis – continental and naval – of the New Silk Road vision unveiled by President Xi Jinping, a concept also known as “One Road, One Belt”.

In practical terms, it also helps that the New Silk Road will be boosted by a special, multi-billion-dollar Silk Road Fund and the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which, not by accident, has attracted the attention of European investors.

The New Silk Road, actually roads, symbolizes China’s pivot to an old heartland: Eurasia. That implies a powerful China even more enriched by its environs, without losing its essence as a civilization-state. Call it a post-modern remix of the Tang, Sung and early Ming dynasties – as Beijing deftly and recently stressed via a superb exhibition in the National Museum of China consisting of rare early Silk Road pieces assembled from a range of regional museums.

In the past, China had a unifying infrastructure enterprise like the Great Wall. In the future it will have a major project of unifying Eurasia via high-speed rail. When one considers the breadth of this vision, depictions of Xi striving to be an equal of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping sound so pedestrian.

Of course China’s new drive may be interpreted as the stirrings of a new tributary system, ordered and centered in Beijing. At the same time,  many in the U.S. are uncomfortable that the New Silk Road may be a geopolitical, “peaceful development”, “win-win” answer to the Obama administration’s Pentagon-driven pivoting to Asia.

Beijing has been quick to dismiss any notions of hegemony. It maintains this is no Marshall Plan. It’s undeniable that the Marshall Plan “covered only Western nations and excluded all countries and regions the West thought were ideologically close to the Soviet Union”. China, on the other hand,  is focused on integrating “emerging economies” into a vast, pan-Eurasian trade/commerce network.

Achtung! Seidenstrasse! (Attention! Silk Road!)

It’s no wonder top nations in the beleaguered EU have gravitated to the AIIB – which will play a key role in the New Silk Road(s). A German geographer – Ferdinand von Richthofen – invented the Seidenstrasse (Silk Road) concept. Marco Polo forever linked Italy with the Silk Road. The EU is already China’s number one trade partner. And, once again symbolically, this happens to be the 40th year of China-EU relations. Watch the distinct possibility of an emerging Sino-European Fund that finances infrastructure and even green energy projects across an integrated Eurasia.

It’s as if the Angel of History – that striking image in a Paul Klee painting eulogized by philosopher Walter Benjamin – is now trying to tell us that a 21st century China-EU Seidenstrasse synergy is all but inevitable. And that, crucially, would have to include Russia, which is a vital part of the New Silk Road through an upcoming, Russia-China financed $280 billion high-speed rail upgrade of the Trans-Siberian railway. This is where the New Silk Road project and President Putin’s initial idea of a huge trade emporium from Lisbon to Vladivostok actually merge.

In parallel, the 21st century Maritime Silk Road will deepen the already frantic trade interaction between China and Southeast Asia by sea. Fujian province – which faces Taiwan – will play a key role. Xi, crucially, spent many years of his life in Fujian. And Hong Kong, not by accident, also wants to be part of the action.

All these developments are driven by China being finally ready to become a massive net exporter of capital and the top source of credit for the Global South. In a few months, Beijing will launch the China International Payment System (CIPS), bound to turbo-charge the yuan as a key global currency for all types of trade.  There’s the AIIB. And if that was not enough, there’s still the New Development Bank, launched by the BRICs to compete with the World Bank, and run from Shanghai.

It can be argued that the success of the entire Silk Road hinges on how Beijing will handle restive, Uyghur-populated Xinjiang – which should be seen as one of key nodes of Eurasia. This is a subplot – fraught with insecurity, to say the least – that should be followed in detail for the rest of the decade. What’s certain is that most of Asia will feel the tremendous pull of China’s Eurasian drive.

And Eurasia – contrary to perennial Brzezinski wishful thinking – will likely take the form of a geopolitical challenge: A de facto China-Russia strategic partnership that manifests itself in various facets of the New Silk Road that also bolsters the strength of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

By then, both Iran and Pakistan will be SCO members. The close relations between what was ancient Persia and China span two millennia – and now they are viewed by Beijing as a matter of national security. Pakistan is an essential node of the Maritime Silk Road, especially when one considers the Indian Ocean port of Gwadar, which in a few years may double as a key transit point of the IP or Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. It may also be the starting point of yet another major Chinese Pipelineistan gambit parallel to the Karakorum highway, delivering gas to Xinjiang.

Beijing values both Iran and Pakistan – the intersection of Southwest Asia and South Asia – as fundamentally strategic nodes of the New Silk Road. This allows China to project trade/commerce power not only in the Indian Ocean but the Persian Gulf.

Got vision, will travel

Washington’s alarm at these developments betrays the glaring absence of an enticing made -in-the-USA vision to woo pan-Eurasian public opinion – apart from a hazy military pivoting posture mixed with relentless NATO expansion, and the TTIP “free trade” corporate racket, also known across Asia as “NATO on trade”.

The counter punch to the above could be already coming via the BRICs; the SCO; the non-stop strengthtening of the China-Russia strategic partnership. There’s also the expansion of the Eurasian Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia – with Kyrgyzstan soon acceding, followed by Tajikistan). In the Middle East, Syria is seriously studying the possibility, and a trade agreement with Egypt has already been clinched. In Southeast Asia, a pact with Vietnam will be a done deal by the end of 2015.

Russia and China’s “secret” agenda in helping to clinch an Iran-P5+1 nuclear deal paves the way for Tehran to be admitted to the SCO as a full member. Expect, as early as 2016, an SCO alignment that unites at least 60% of Eurasia, with a population of 3.5 billion people and a wealth of oil and gas that more than matches the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

So the real story is not how China will collapse, as peddled by David Shambaugh, the so-called second top China expert in the U.S. (who’s the first? Henry Kissinger?) This is a line that’s been soundly debunked by many sources (here and here).  The real story, which a revived Asia Times will be covering in detail in upcoming years, is how the myriad aspects of the New Silk Road will be configuring a new Eurasian dream. Have vision, will travel. Bon voyage.

*  *  *

Pepe Escobar’s latest book can be found here...

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Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Neocons desperate for a black swan, to delay and re-route the Road.

one_hundred's picture
one_hundred (not verified) Kirk2NCC1701 Mar 24, 2015 11:14 PM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... www.globe-report.com

lakecity55's picture

Yes.

Actually, the only thing exceptional about the USA was its Constitution, which is no longer followed.
Had the US kept the document intact, world history would have been better.

The USD is on the way OUT. No amount of skulduggery can change that.

Too bad our overlords won't do it, but if we encouraged more foreign investment, we could integrate better with the new Eurasian financial power.

If the States took their lawful Constitutional power back from the control freaks, everything could improve.

Soul Glow's picture

The only thing is that we stood up to the Brits.  Australia didn't, Canada didnt', but we did, and we won.  Now Charles jet sets here and patrinizes us while he benefits on bloodshed.  The crown was beat.  We claimed our soveirnty.  Remember that.

strannick's picture

KNow freedom loving, business supporting commercial fostering America sabotaged it from every angle.

America ruins the world to rule it.

Antifaschistische's picture

I realize there is a painful history between China and Japan.  I realize there is also extreme pride on both sides that seems to be insurmountable.  American's take advantage of this.   Forget Eurasia.   If China and Japan ever treated each other like distant historical cousins rather than enemies it would certainly be lights out.   I know it's painful to say, but both countries have much to learn from each other.

Sandmann's picture

If you are American then you got caught up in a global war with France, Spain and Dutch providing naval power and supplies to break away the British colony making warships for the Royal Navy. The renegades were Scots largely fighting Hessian mercenaries press-ganged into soldiering

Nexus789's picture

Your new masters seem to be the Israelis.

Antifaschistische's picture

What made America great was it's people, their obsession to improve their way of life, their respect for others, willingness to work their butts off 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset, combined with an appropriate level and balance of intelligence and creativity and amibition.

almost all of which has vanished in today's under 35 crowd.

HolyfieldsOtherEar's picture

The neocons of the Obushma Administration have the reverse Midas touch -- everything they touch turns to poopies, and the whole world can see it. No wonder the poors want to do biz with China.

 

Problem is, China will collapse, and when it does it will look inward, as it always has in the past. Then everyone will come running, and as the rats find out when they're caught in a mousetrap, not everyone is there to help.

silverer's picture

@ one-hundred.  Hey, did you know you get billed for running those ads?

Sandmann's picture

The British Empire was terrified by the Berlin-Istanbul Railroad extending to Baghdad and then to Basra - silting at Basra made the Germans look to Kuwait as the next port for German trade with the Middle East and India by-passing the British-owned Suez Canal.

Deutsche Bank, founded by Siemens, funded the railway and it had a subsidiary called British Petroleum - later sold to Burmah Oil for their Anglo-Iranian business.

This story has a lonmg heritage and the 1914-1918 World War posed threats to empires other than Austria-Hungary and Ottoman, namely the British Empire which the US wanted to expropriate and Germany wanted to rival

Seek_Truth's picture

True. Here is a worth watching, witty presentation of what you stated and more:

Robert Newman's History of Oil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DCwafIntj0

 

Sandmann's picture

Well US media selected a black swan and the collapse of the US became inevitable

raywolf's picture

ironic that they choose the name of the (FU Govt.) website that used to sell arms, drugs and other illegal substances....

Motasaurus's picture

The only way London lets this happen without insane fireballs is if London finds a way to put down their now mange-ridden dog that is the USA. 

Too many US oligarchs with too much to lose for this to happen peacefully. 

datura's picture

yes, but it is obviously inevitable....almost all non-Western countries are thrilled by this and want to join...even including the South America. All of them are already working on it and they wont back down. And if you look more closely, you will see that most of them are also arming themselves up - mostly buying weapons and military systems from Russia like crazy. In Europe, Germany, France and Italy will join, because the USA has nothing left to offer except for threats. But sorry, you cant eat threats and you have to eat to live. As I already said somewhere - it is beginning to look like the USA will have to fight the rest of the world. And that - even with all that military - is not in their power. People are even beginning to ask: and.... what if we just all join and gang up on the USA? I told some American friends a warning about two years ago: "Make that revolution in the USA happen now. Or the world will make that revolution for you." Because this is nothing else than a GLOBAL REVOLUTION. People in the world are simply too tired of the USA rule, which brings nothing. And they also start to realise that this is about their survival. Because you cannot be ruled by someone, who will leave you hungry. It is as simple as that. 

Oldwood's picture

When delusion fades it seldom is replaced by bright eyed idealism driving a new vigor for truth and productivity. Typically anger and vendictiveness replaces delusion and this means war will be America's choice. Someone has to pay.

lakecity55's picture

If we can wake enough people up, we won't have to Play.

What does military confrontation with either Russia or China get the US?

Nothing!

Produce! Make Money, not War!

withglee's picture

For those that get us into them, wars make money.

petkovplamen's picture

a cornered animal is most dangerous. Expect a major false flag involving Russia within the next few months. I have spoken.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

you mean ANOTHER false flag. MH17 was supposed to do the trick, except it was executed so badly no-one except zombie westerners beleive russia had anything remotely to do with it

datura's picture

nobody believes these stupid false flags anymore, because there have already been too many....we are already even making fun of it, like: "Hey I lost my keys. Russia did it." It is the same thing with color revolutions: mostly they dont work anymore. As we say here: "A joke repeated too often is not a joke anymore." 

KuriousKat's picture

Pepe has been way ahead of the curve on this. Great article..

lakecity55's picture

Reading Pepe is what gave me the idea, actually.

Thanks, Pepe, from LC.

lakecity55's picture

The US is but a blip in history versus Eurasia.

Four years ago, I began making my living there and have not looked back.

suteibu's picture

China figures being the antimatter to US hegemony would be a hit in a world growing tired of American exceptionalism.  Just do the opposite of what the US does/proposes.

Kind of low hanging fruit thanks to American hubris but a sure winner if they can pull it off. 

williambanzai7's picture

Update: just ate late breakfast. Still no indications of terrorism...

kchrisc's picture

Isn't the better term "De-Zionization?"

As it appears to me that they are more cutting themselves free of the Zionist controlled West's banksters and debt more than anything else.

The banksters need to repay us.

 

What does one call a bankster hanging in a tree? An ornament.

DOGGONE's picture

Lie to them. Don't stop. They have their heads so far up their asses ... they don't even know which way is out.

"Stop whoring for Wall Street"
http://www.showrealhist.com/yTRIAL.html
http://patrick.net/?p=1223928

Soul Glow's picture

The dollar's been fucked for years.  I can't believe it made it above DXY 90 let along 100.  Good job dollar bulls but you better take your positions off the table for soon all fiat will die in a fire that has proved gold the lasting standard for thousands of years.

Totentänzerlied's picture

No real argument here, but ... what exactly will they be trading? Sounds to me like they all they want to do is copy western productivism-cum-consumerism, bringing together resources from all around the globe to produce ... worthless shit no one needs and fewer and fewer can afford.

Joenobody12's picture

China and Russia are only doing things in their own backyard to make things better for themselves and their neighbors. Unfortunately, the West look at that as a threat. May be it is time for the West to put their own houses in order instead of minding others business.

10mm's picture

 

Too Late. We no longer adhere to advise spoken long ago.  Beware Of Foreign Entanglements.  George Washington

10mm's picture

Everybodys got a plan, till they get knock out. Mike Tyson

WTFUD's picture

That would be ' a punch in the face ' 10mm.

10mm's picture

My bad. Punch in the face it is.

CHX's picture

how about a "9mm whole in the head" ...  ?

WTFUD's picture

The UK and the EU will be far too distracted by discord at home and slowly but surely their disengagement with Vichy DC becomes reality. When it comes and it can't come quick enough MANY of us will SETTLE OLD SCORES.
Any Trolls around here should get that message to your Bosses now and jump ship.

You Paedos at the BBC ( ministry of propaganda ) are top of the LIST.

escapeefromOZ's picture

add to the list the " Tribe from Hell " 

q99x2's picture

That's what I'm talkin about. Rootin Tootin Putin has it all. Long Russia bitchez. Fuck the NWO.

Leszek's picture

De-dollarization... Is it bad or good for U.S.?

roddy6667's picture

Wow. Banking and investments without Jews. No wonder the NeoCons want war with Russia and China.

cwsuisse's picture

The catalogue of Russian / chinese activities also comprises of the recently signed 240 billion high-speed rail connection between Bejing and Moskov. All these activities in the first place do not necessarily point to a de-dollarization but to the strengthening of economic activities in a part of the world where it will be difficult if not impossible for the US and the EU to get their share of the business. The sanctions against Russia earmark the US and the EU in the eyes of Asia not as business partners but enemies. Consequently it has been recently decided that not Siemens but Southern Chinese Railways shall supply the engines for the new high-speed rail connection. The more deals are done under the exclusion of the US and the EU the more likely is it that the US-Dollar will not at all be used in the transactions. 

Monty Burns's picture

"That implies a powerful China even more enriched by its environs, without losing its essence as a civilization-state."

Not if the Tribe get the kind of control over there that they have in the West.  They don't like civilization-states at all.

Apart from their own of course.

roddy6667's picture

The Chinese arre onto the Hebes. They have already blocked Bloomberg.com, BusinessInsider.com, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other Zionists nests.