Tuesday, July 04, 2006



The Fourth World War is as much a 'war' about securing future energy supplies as it is about destroying terrorists and terrorists networks. In reality, beyond the spin and spittle, of course, WWIV is all about energy supplies.

Terror can destroy half a city for a few months, as in New York City on 9/11.

But whole countries can go out of business in mere weeks once the flow of energy - oil and gas - is cut off. China's spectacular growth will crumble in barely a few years if energy supplies stagnate or reverse.

The influence of China on Africa through its mammothic investments will determine Africa's place in the world over the next decades. And because of the investment China is making into African companies, and the number that Chinese companies are now buying up, it will then be in China's interest to secure these corporate claims in Africa with military backing. They will also need to protect the millions of Chinese citizens who will follow the investment road into African nations.

Where huge corporations go and do business, so goes security teams or, in the case of energy companies, so goes detachment's of military forces, uniformed and/or covert.

This story from the The Times of London is included here because China's buying up of energy supplies and corporate interests in Africa will see China securing those interests with military and security force and weapons sales to 'friendly' regimes, therefore expanding China's military influence across Africa and the world :

"China is moving into Africa on a grand scale. Still a developing nation itself, it has nonetheless now overtaken Britain to be the continent’s third-biggest trading partner after the United States and France. Its inroads into the world’s poorest continent are the the most striking sign of the biggest shake-up in patterns of world trade in a generation.

"The pace of change is startling: in the first four months of this year, Chinese imports from African countries totalled nearly $9 billion (£4.9 billion) — a small figure by world standards, but up by more than 50 per cent from the same period a year ago. In 2005 total trade flows reached $39.8 billion, a doubling in volumes in just two years, and nearly four times the level of trade in 2001.

"For the world’s fastest growing economy, Africa is first and foremost a supplier of oil. In Sudan, state-owned oil companies have been investing since Western companies left in the mid-1990s. In 1996 China bought a 40 per cent stake in two oilfields and since 1998 it has helped to build a 930-mile pipeline from the fields to the Red Sea. Last year it bought 50 per cent of Sudan’s oil exports, accounting for 5 per cent of its needs.

"China has stakes in extraction in Nigeria, Angola and Algeria, among others. Its biggest deal so far came in January when CNOOC, the state-owned energy company, announced it would buy a 45 per cent stake in an offshore oilfield in Nigeria for $2.3 billion.

"If Western nations were to intervene so widely it would be decried as colonialism. But China’s success is partly because of its willingness to ignore politics and focus on what makes business sense.

"Its firm policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries, born out of its dislike of foreign interference in its own affairs, makes it a popular player in the eyes of many African governments...

"The International Monetary Fund now estimates that Africa’s growth is edging towards 6per cent, its highest in 30 years, partly because of Chinese investment and its soaring demand for raw materials.

"In oil-rich, war-torn Angola, Chinese companies will build railway lines, schools, roads, hospitals, bridges, offices and a fibre-optic network, thanks to a $2 billion loan deal in which Beijing can secure a stake in the country’s offshore oilfields. Last week it pledged a further $2 billion loan to the country.

"Another worry is weapons sales: according to the US Congressional Research Service, Chinese arms sales made up 10 per cent of all conventional arms transfers to Africa from 1996 to 2003. China has faced allegations of providing weapons used by the Islamic government in Khartoum to terrorise civilians in Darfur, and of selling fighter jets and radio-jamming devices to Zimbabwe.

"Alarm is greatest in the US, where a recent Energy Department report argued that China’s tolerance of despotic regimes could undermine Washington’s strategic goal to spread democracy and free trade.

"Deutche Bank Research....forecasts China’s annual demand for oil to rise by 20 per cent a year, from 91 million tons in 2005 to a staggering 1.9 billion tons in 2020. "

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