“One Belt, One Road” – Spreading the network of control over Eurasia
“One Belt, One Road” is a concept whereby China spreads an economic network over land and sea that they control. “One Belt” refers to the land that they will potentially dominate and unite from western China to central Asia and Europe. “One Road” refers to the maritime lanes that China plans to control, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the Arabic Peninsula and the East Coast of Africa.
The plan is to make Gwadar Port in Pakistan the place where the “One Belt” and “One Road” meet.
But what exactly is China doing there?
China is building roads, railways, ports, and airports, as well as infrastructure needed for electricity and telecommunications. Chinese citizens have been immigrating to the Chinese autonomous regions of Tibet and Uyghur on the pretext of infrastructure maintenance. There is a high chance that these are preliminary arrangements for the admission of the Chinese army.
Strengthening military dominance in the South China Sea
Recently China has been building artificial islands in the South China Sea, particularly at the Fiery Cross reef at Spratly Islands. China began building a man-made island in 1988, and now they are planning to build an airfield there. One such airfield has already been built on Woody Island of the Paracel Islands chain in the South China Sea.
Vietnam and the Philippines have been resisting and opposing China’s plans. The one China is weary of, however, is the U.S. military. In order to stymie them, China is attempting to make the South China Sea into a ‘Chinese sea’. They have already built a huge naval base on Hainan Island facing the South China Sea that acts as a base for submarines. If aircraft carriers are deployed, and they complete the man-made airfield island, the South China Sea, which is a vital sea lane for Japan, will be under Chinese control.
Promoting the image of a responsible superpower while preparing for war
Is it true that China is contributing to countering piracy?
Since January 2009, China has been contributing internationally to combat pirates in the Gulf of Aden. This is, however, a strategy to create their image as a dependable and responsible superpower. In addition, it has been said that these pirate countermeasures are treated as military training for war; it is the perfect chance to practice in the open sea. To underscore this point, China has dispatched nuclear submarines despite the fact that they are unnecessary for countering pirates. This training is preparing them to advance into the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
China’s construction of ports in various locations around the world is because they need military bases. In fact, it is possible that they will build one in the Western Hemisphere. China is building a canal in Nicaragua to replace the Panama Canal, and when complete, China will send military vessels to “protect” that asset.