"A Victorian historian said that Britain “conquered... half the world in a fit of absence of mind”.Somehow I do not expect the usual protesters who protested at everything the USA did under George Bush to say a word.
Chinese Communist Party leaders are not normally associated with absentmindedness, but rather with cool, calculated, long-term strategic thinking. Yet China might well now be building a mixture of influence and obligation - the modern version of an empire- in quite a British way, and one that promises to cause increasing tension with its giant neighbour and regional rival, India.
Events in Sri Lanka, as that nation finally brings an end to a quarter-century-long civil war, are the latest example of China's growing overseas reach. The victory of the Sri Lankan Government was assisted by the supply of arms from China, especially fighter jets, as The Times revealed on May 2, while the Chinese are also building a spanking new port on the southern coast of the country, which the Chinese Navy will be able to use for refuelling and repairs.
This is part of a broad move by China into the Indian Ocean, which India has traditionally considered its sphere of influence. Chinese engineers are building another port at Gwadar in Pakistan; roads are being cut or improved through Burma to help trade routes between Yunnan province in China and the Indian Ocean; ties are being improved with island nations such as the Seychelles; surveillance stations are being sited or upgraded on Burmese islands. "
Monday, 25 May 2009
The Evil Empire
The Times reports that: