The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria

Authored by Pepe Escobar via Asia Times,

China and Syria have already begun discussing post-war infrastructure investment; with a 'Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction' held in Beijing

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over.

The New Silk Roads, or One Belt, One Road Initiative (Obor), will inevitably feature a Syrian hub – complete with the requisite legal support for Chinese companies involved in investment, construction and banking via a special commission created by the Syrian embassy, the China-Arab Exchange Association and the Beijing-based Shijing law firm.

Get me on that Shanghai-Latakia cargo

Few remember that before the war China had already invested tens of billions of US dollars in Syria’s oil and gas industry. Naturally the priority for Damascus, once the war is over, will be massive reconstruction of widely destroyed infrastructure. China could be part of that via the AIIB. Then comes investment in agriculture, industry and connectivity – transportation corridors in the Levant and connecting Syria to Iraq and Iran (other two Obor hubs).

What matters most of all is that Beijing has already taken the crucial step of being directly involved in the final settlement of the Syrian war – geopolitically and geo-economically. Beijing has had a special representative for Syria since last year – and has already been providing humanitarian aid.

Needless to add, all those elaborate plans depend on no more war. And there’s the rub.

With the demise of Daesh (ISIS), or at least its imminent loss of any significant urban center, no one knows in what manner a fragmented, phony Caliphate “Sunnistan” might be manipulated into cutting Syria from its New Silk Road future.

Qatar has already provided a game-changer; Doha has gotten closer to Tehran (common interests in South Pars/North Dome gas-field oblige), as well as Damascus – much to the despair of the House of Saud. So, unlike the recent past, Qatar is not engaged in regime change anymore. But still there are the diverging interests of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and, of course, Washington, to accommodate.

A possible scenario out of what Putin and Trump negotiated in Hamburg – that was not relayed by either Lavrov or Tillerson – is that the ceasefire in southwestern Syria, assuming it holds, could mean US peacekeeping forces in effect sanctioning the creation of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the Syrian Golan and the rest of the country.

Translation: the Golan de facto annexed by Israel. And the “carrot” for Moscow would be Washington accepting Crimea de facto re-incorporated into the Russian Federation.

That may sound less far-fetched than it seems. The next few months will tell if this is indeed a plausible scenario.

The other big sticking point is Ankara against the YPG Kurds. Contrary to the ominous and quite possible Balkanization scenario, Washington and Moscow might well decide, in tandem, to let them sort things out by themselves. Then we will inevitably have the Turkish army occupying al-Bab for the foreseeable future.

The bottom line: that Saudi Arabia gets nothing. And Israel and Turkey get political/military “wins”. It’s hard to imagine how Moscow could possibly sell this arrangement to Iran as a victory. Still, Tehran may not have a free flow Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah route totally back in action, but it will maintain close relations with Damascus and be engaged in the expansion of the New Silk Roads.

The key question from now on seems to be whether Washington will follow the deep state “Syraq” policy – as in “Assad must go” mixed with support or weaponizing of non-existent “moderate rebels”; or whether Trump’s priority – to eliminate Daesh/ISIS for good – will prevail.

Beijing, anyway, has made up its mind. It will work non-stop for the Iran-Iraq-Syria triumvirate to become a key hub in Obor. Any bets against a future, booming Shanghai-Latakia container route?


Lynn Trainor rejected Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:07 Permalink

And the U.S deserves to suffer for it, all the suffering we have inflicted on the region, and the world!  The largest refugee crisis since WWII lies at our door!  We had no business in Syria and we oft-times supported ISIS, the warmongering Neocons deserve NOTHING but defeat. Now we have to pay the bill for it all.

In reply to by rejected

garcam123 The Burden Sat, 07/15/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

Deep Down......under this cess-pool of scum that has us  ALL by the neck there are MILLIONS of common American people who will rush to your aid and help lift you up, regardless of your COLOR, your RACE or your RELIGION or your CIRCUMSTANCES in times of true need! MILLIONS................hat ix who WE Americans ARE!  I'm the stupid slug who gives  random money to people who look poorer then me. Not a lot, but it reinforces my inclination to do good, I'm an American!That we are oppressed by a criminal enterprise calling itself "government" is all the more clarian call for revolt.  The hucksters are scheming to reduce the population stat!  That means me and you, especially if you are aged.We've been, in our honest trust of our neighbors, robbed and raped by those greedy pieces of shit in Shitington DEC who ALL the deserve a gallows! 

In reply to by The Burden

fleur de lis Lynn Trainor Sat, 07/15/2017 - 10:02 Permalink

The Neocons do deserve something.They deserve to be stripped of every penny of their financial assets, every inch of property and every item of property therein, and all of it auctioned and the proceeds donated to the terrified and impoverished civilian survivors of their violent and thieving psychopathy.After which they should be reduced to begging on the streets as they have done to so many others for looting and sport.And the same for all their rotten spawn. Anything those sniveling brats have came from scheming, mass murder, and stolen property, thanks to the malevolence of their accursed parents and ancestors.Anyway they all carry the serial killer gene for which there is no cure, so they should actually be rounded up and live out their days in confinement.There is no sense in allowing their sickness to sicken everyone else. 

In reply to by Lynn Trainor

garcam123 fleur de lis Sat, 07/15/2017 - 13:26 Permalink

Man, you gotta quit stealin my shit!  This looks like I typed it!  What's up with that? You sneakin around up in my loft gettin real about things?Have at it Sir, we speak in volumes!The colonists figured out that the Brits were here.........the motherfuckers never left! DEATH TO TYRRANY and it's minions!Like that fucking cop who beat the fuck out of the homeless black woman........he needs his ass fucking BEAT....ya fucking punk! What kind of sorry motherfucker is it that has to beat a frail woman with a club? 

In reply to by fleur de lis

fleur de lis garcam123 Sat, 07/15/2017 - 15:02 Permalink

I think that many ZHers and other Americans have figured out that we have all been played like pianos, and owing to our generally similar senses of right and wrong we want to see the criminals  rounded up and punished.Being sane as opposed to our criminally insane "leaders," and thanks to the exchange of information at lightning speed, it is abundantly obvious to anyone with a lick of sense how the fake .gov system works.Contrary to what we have been taught about the justice system, we now know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there are in fact several parallel justice systems, with our DC Swamp dwellers being the biggest abusers and the most favored beneficiaries.Given that they are too deeply intertwined into the system to be fleshed out, have paid off traitors at the Deep State level to do their twisted bidding, and have the goods on anyone with clout, they will probably get off the hook as usual.Only look at how they constantly nip at Trump's heels without fear of a swift kick in the teeth.How's that for a severe sense of omnipotence.But sunshine is the best disinfectant.As their half baked, amateur schemes reach the surface they are upended and dismantled one after the other.It is becoming an internet hobby.For in spite of all their connections they have no brains, so their lies keep getting busted.Eventually the sheer weight of the Swampites and their ignorant MSM allies will wear down the system.The question is who will replace them.    

In reply to by garcam123

redmudhooch fleur de lis Sat, 07/15/2017 - 14:03 Permalink

 Specially the Clintons and Bushs. Every nickel they've ever seen was stolen from Americans. I do not use the word stolen lightly. They deserve nothing less than forfeiture of every penny they have stolen and long agonizing death. I also do not use the word agonizing lightly. I just hope Trump doesn't do the same, we can't go on like we have been.  

In reply to by fleur de lis

fleur de lis redmudhooch Sat, 07/15/2017 - 15:07 Permalink

If we had a funtional justice system the Clinton/Bush gang could be taken down for narcotics alone.Their participation in 9/11, all the vile wars, the deaths of American servicemen/women and the grief inflicted upon their families, the bank scams and theft of American prosperity -- these things are too well protected and would take more money than we have.Those two families are not worth their weight in dog poo.

In reply to by redmudhooch

ironmace Fri, 07/14/2017 - 21:52 Permalink

little by little, chipping away at US hedgemony.Unless the Chinese fuck up, and start a war by waving their cock at the Japanese and Korea.

montag Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:00 Permalink

This is the nascent realization of the new silk road/belt, the same economic artery that runs through the supercontinent of Asia that Zbig fretted about in the Grand Chessboard, right?  His thesis was that America was basically fucked if central asia were to unify, which according to a mysterious black gentlemen I met in LA in the early nineties, a retired intelligence operative, will culminate in the "devil EC/EU, lead by Germany and France, to a preemptive nuclear strike on the US." Farfetched?

07564111 finametrics Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:25 Permalink

True but..

Another way to look a this is that Syria stands to gain considerable _long term_ wealth from the OBOR.

Israel on the other hand will, in this scenario, gain no access to the water and land they need, and, will have to pay out of their own pocket for any shipping/pipeline for the oil/gas now that the pipeline through Syria will not be theirs. Nor can they now gain a kick off point to any attack against Iran ;)

I think that Assad may have the winning hand,,much to the dismay of the jizrael scum.

In reply to by finametrics

HowdyDoody 07564111 Sat, 07/15/2017 - 04:51 Permalink

Israel has used its vassals, the US and UK, to create and train a very effective proxy mercenary military force - ISIS/whatever. The Syrians and their allies have have learned to fight these people in urban settings, the hardest form of combat. The IDF - all it can do is kill women and children, and then only after the IAF has done the hard work. All Israel has is the IAF. IAF, I raise you S-400 systems as a priority investment by Syria.

In reply to by 07564111

Yog Soggoth finametrics Fri, 07/14/2017 - 23:23 Permalink

Just like Africa, everything that we messed up is closely watched by the Chinese. I have been telling everyone about the new silk road for years and all I get is yawns and yeahs. They bought the mining rights to Costa Rica with a soccer stadium! That is USA losing! I personally will try to invest in any way I can along this silk road to try to bring some money back to the USA. As far as the Irsraeli fear comments, I can guarantee that Assad will control the southern border more closely next time. Most Americans do not even know that Syria shares a small, but important border with Israel and that was the origin of the initial terrorism.

In reply to by finametrics

just the tip Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:08 Permalink

pepe briefly mentioned the key.  but ignored the most important three details.  there has been war in this region for 5000 years.  the CIA will last forever.  and with it the american foreign legion.let 'em build what they will.  what'll it take?  twenty years.  just enough time for ISIS part deux.actually, the ISIS number will probably be about the same as the QE number by then.

sinbad2 Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:15 Permalink

Translation: the Golan de facto annexed by Israel. And the “carrot” for Moscow would be Washington accepting Crimea de facto re-incorporated into the Russian Federation. I don't believe that for an instant, Trump might honour the agreement, but the next President would renege on the deal.The number of times the US has broken contracts with Russia is monumental, nobody would trust the US.

HowdyDoody sinbad2 Sat, 07/15/2017 - 04:58 Permalink

Israel and Syria are still at war, technically. Currently the IDF can use the IAF with impunity, but not so once Syria gets its own S-400 systems. Once that happens, and the IAF fly boyz realize they may not come back, their ardour for murder will dampen.

The idea that Russia would sign away something it has no legitimate legal claim over in exchange for Crimea is laughable projection. Crimea is Russian. If the Yanks want, they will have to pry it from Russia's cold dead fingers.

In reply to by sinbad2

navy62802 Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:29 Permalink

The Clinton Foundation is a massive money laundering operation that is used to fund various leftist black operations. The fact that Syria will be the new Silk Road is no surprise, given the level of Clinton Foundation involvement. After all, how are they to recoup their investment?

Herdee Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:41 Permalink

Same thing will happen with Afghanistan and Libya. The American influence of continual war will be forced out and friendly investment from the Chinese/Russian/Iran will move in with infrastructure spending and education,medical spending along with vital design of society. The old American/European bombing days are ways of the losers. You can never win the hearts and minds of people by destroying their societies. Pay back's a bitch ain't it Washington while you go bankrupt? You tell me, who in the world has any confidence in the old gang of turkey gobblers in D.C.? Nobody, they're assholes.

40MikeMike Herdee Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:50 Permalink

We are talking about Arab Muslim subhumanism.They only understand force. The culture is too primitive for democracy as long as the gutter death cult of allah is prevalent. As if ANYTHING built out of anything but mud in Afghanistan will remain intact?Good luck China with those dreams. They'll  be at war in no time with no clue how to deal with such animals. Though communism does approve of mass slaughter of civilians. See Mao and his many failures. See Soviet Union for Stalin's butchery and Afghan War of 79-88.America's way was the best and it will take a bit more time to secure it after Obama The Weak fucked it up. But again, they are 7th century subhuman and only understand death. Just ask their cult leader allah?

In reply to by Herdee