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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » The sun is rising in the East

SystemSystem Posts: 3,967
edited November 25 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » The sun is rising in the East

Robert Mugabe is probably not a man much amused by historical irony. That’s a shame because if he was he might appreciate the various mirror images between his enforced retirement and the downfall of the Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah of Bengal in 1757. The Nawab – at 24, nearly seven decades younger than Mugabe – was deposed by the East India Company after it bribed his commander with the offer of the crown provided he betray his prince at the Battle of Plassey, which he duly did. That action laid the foundation stone of the British Empire in India. Mugabe, by contrast, led Zimbabwe into independence and in so doing, set the sun on the last large piece of territory in the Empire.

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Comments

  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 7,340
    First.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 15,422
    Louise Mensch is posting some interesting speculation about Farage.
  • Wiiiccccckkkkkketttttttttttttttttttttt.....
  • Wiiiccccckkkkkketttttttttttttttttttttt.....
  • Oh shit....Jimmy has broken down.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 3,937
    https://patribotics.blog/2017/11/24/exclusive-brexit-referendum-may-need-to-be-redone/

    Summary: Zim may belong to China but the UK belongs to Russia, and Farage is about to get his collar felt over euref irregularities.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 25,253
    edited November 25
    If we are to believe that report, Putin backed Corbyn in the GE as well.

    However, its a big IF, as if you look at the site as a whole, it is one massive conspiracy theory e.g. it was China and Russia who stole the US election, Fox News coordinated with them to broadcast their propaganda, etc etc etc.
  • nielhnielh Posts: 847
    edited November 25

    If we are to believe that report, Putin backed Corbyn in the GE as well.

    However, its a big IF, as if you look at the site as a whole, it is one massive conspiracy theory e.g. it was China and Russia who stole the US election, Fox News coordinated with them to broadcast their propaganda, etc etc etc.
    That website does not look like a credible source.

    Edit - But if the stuff on it is true, wow.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 25,806
    Russia has also backed Jeremy Corbyn, in an apparent fit of anger towards Theresa May for the UK’s assistance to the US intelligence community

    Colour me sceptical that the Russians have only just discovered cooperation between U.K. & US Intelligence....
  • RobDRobD Posts: 30,411
    edited November 25

    Russia has also backed Jeremy Corbyn, in an apparent fit of anger towards Theresa May for the UK’s assistance to the US intelligence community

    Colour me sceptical that the Russians have only just discovered cooperation between U.K. & US Intelligence....
    The agreement even has its own name!
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 14,976
    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 1,149
    *If* the report is correct, then of course we would need to re-run the referendum. May would need to suspend Article 50 in order to do so.

    (My instinct is that Brexit would still win - even if what is alleged came fully to light and Farage were arrested and convicted.)

    Fascinating stuff. Where is Yokel? He's long been predicting hot water for Farage and I've never known him to be wrong at least (Mensch, not so much).
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 41,925
    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 41,925
    Oh no :(
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321
    Pulpstar said:

    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
    Doesn't look that way now. One less thing in the world you can count on; Alastair Cook. Not much left.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828

    *If* the report is correct, then of course we would need to re-run the referendum. May would need to suspend Article 50 in order to do so.

    (My instinct is that Brexit would still win - even if what is alleged came fully to light and Farage were arrested and convicted.)

    Fascinating stuff. Where is Yokel? He's long been predicting hot water for Farage and I've never known him to be wrong at least (Mensch, not so much).

    Someone wrote an article about that last week. At the time, it wasn't well received.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 14,976
    DavidL said:

    Pulpstar said:

    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
    Doesn't look that way now. One less thing in the world you can count on; Alastair Cook. Not much left.
    6.2 now.

    Why is Alistair Cook even in the side, he’s not had a decent innings in at least a year now?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321
    Sandpit said:

    DavidL said:

    Pulpstar said:

    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
    Doesn't look that way now. One less thing in the world you can count on; Alastair Cook. Not much left.
    6.2 now.

    Why is Alistair Cook even in the side, he’s not had a decent innings in at least a year now?
    We've not exactly been drowning in reliable openers. The new boys have all looked fragile until that first innings where they all came up with half centuries. I think that has hidden the marked deterioration in Cook. But it may be something we need to think about going forward.

    But this really looks like the Gabba now. England are indeed being tested.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 1,149

    *If* the report is correct, then of course we would need to re-run the referendum. May would need to suspend Article 50 in order to do so.

    (My instinct is that Brexit would still win - even if what is alleged came fully to light and Farage were arrested and convicted.)

    Fascinating stuff. Where is Yokel? He's long been predicting hot water for Farage and I've never known him to be wrong at least (Mensch, not so much).

    Someone wrote an article about that last week. At the time, it wasn't well received.
    Yours was a superb piece (as per usual).

    However, I wouldn't view a suspension of Article 50 as the government "trying to find a way out" as you previously suggested --- but as the only just and legitimate course remaining to the government should the Mensch-report be accurate.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    edited November 25
    Even if there is a case for a re-run, sensible politicians will want to play it long, because public opinion would have to lead on a change of view, being very unlikely to follow.

    And a shame that this story has overshadowed another thoughtful lead from David. That the Chinese are all over Africa isn't news. I saw it myself in Ethiopia seven years ago. But the implications for democracy in Zimbabwe are not good, if they are behind the coup as he suggests.

    Edit/ no-wonder the Russian economy is struggling, the amount they appear to be spending on foreign political campaigning.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    "Tracking the use of Bitcoin" is not a phrase I have seen before?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321
    On topic thanks for a really interesting thread David.

    Power is in large part about money. When we had the capital and economic dominance we painted the globe red looking for more markets and opportunities to exploit. China is now developing huge excess capital through its enormous surpluses and those surpluses will be invested around the world buying influence and opening new opportunities.

    To be honest it doesn't really matter whether we are concerned about this or not because the global economic trends are still well set. This is one of the consequences of running persistent deficits as the west has done with what might with hindsight might prove to have been a delusional belief in the "free trade" that served them so well when they had substantial comparative advantages.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828

    *If* the report is correct, then of course we would need to re-run the referendum. May would need to suspend Article 50 in order to do so.

    (My instinct is that Brexit would still win - even if what is alleged came fully to light and Farage were arrested and convicted.)

    Fascinating stuff. Where is Yokel? He's long been predicting hot water for Farage and I've never known him to be wrong at least (Mensch, not so much).

    Someone wrote an article about that last week. At the time, it wasn't well received.
    Yours was a superb piece (as per usual).

    However, I wouldn't view a suspension of Article 50 as the government "trying to find a way out" as you previously suggested --- but as the only just and legitimate course remaining to the government should the Mensch-report be accurate.
    That wasn't quite what I was suggesting. I agree that if the referendum result is undermined (and that remains a very big if), then a suspension and re-run will be necessary (joy!). However, my point wasn't that the government was looking for a way out; more that a re-run opens that possibility.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828
    IanB2 said:

    Even if there is a case for a re-run, sensible politicians will want to play it long, because public opinion would have to lead on a change of view, being very unlikely to follow.

    And a shame that this story has overshadowed another thoughtful lead from David. That the Chinese are all over Africa isn't news. I saw it myself in Ethiopia seven years ago. But the implications for democracy in Zimbabwe are not good, if they are behind the coup as he suggests.

    Edit/ no-wonder the Russian economy is struggling, the amount they appear to be spending on foreign political campaigning.

    And not just Zimbabwe.
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 33,339
    IanB2 said:

    "Tracking the use of Bitcoin" is not a phrase I have seen before?

    I read an article somewhere that said while each wallet is anonymous, every transaction is recorded in the public blockchain, so it is possible IIRC to track whether the same wallet sent coins to multiple places. It seems to be more like traffic analysis to discern patterns of exchange.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 9,622
    IanB2 said:

    Even if there is a case for a re-run, sensible politicians will want to play it long, because public opinion would have to lead on a change of view, being very unlikely to follow.

    And a shame that this story has overshadowed another thoughtful lead from David. That the Chinese are all over Africa isn't news. I saw it myself in Ethiopia seven years ago. But the implications for democracy in Zimbabwe are not good, if they are behind the coup as he suggests.

    Edit/ no-wonder the Russian economy is struggling, the amount they appear to be spending on foreign political campaigning.

    Agree with Ian - a really interesting piece by David telling us things that I at least didn't realise.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 9,540
    DavidL said:

    Sandpit said:

    DavidL said:

    Pulpstar said:

    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
    Doesn't look that way now. One less thing in the world you can count on; Alastair Cook. Not much left.
    6.2 now.

    Why is Alistair Cook even in the side, he’s not had a decent innings in at least a year now?
    We've not exactly been drowning in reliable openers. The new boys have all looked fragile until that first innings where they all came up with half centuries. I think that has hidden the marked deterioration in Cook. But it may be something we need to think about going forward.

    But this really looks like the Gabba now. England are indeed being tested.
    Cook’s only 33, so his eyes shouldn’t be going, but I wonder if that’s the problem. It was very obvious with Gooch that he really couldn’t see the ball nearly as well ion his last season.
    Cook racked up some decent (!) scores for Essex last year, though.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 25,806
    Did the Russians ignore years of growing disquiet about perceived loss of sovereignty to Brussels?

    Did the Russians fail to implement transitional immigration arrangements unlike most other rich EU countries to the new accession states?

    Did the Russians make Angela Merkel issue her “People Smugglers Charter” with her “Come one come all” declaration then have the EU compound it by saying “You’ll All take some”?

    While the Russians may have interfered at the margins, the fundamentals of what drove the Brexit Vote were put in place by successive U.K. governments and EU commissions.

    In any case, when you include the government leaflet, “Remain” outspent “Leave” by 50%.....
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321

    DavidL said:

    Sandpit said:

    DavidL said:

    Pulpstar said:

    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
    Doesn't look that way now. One less thing in the world you can count on; Alastair Cook. Not much left.
    6.2 now.

    Why is Alistair Cook even in the side, he’s not had a decent innings in at least a year now?
    We've not exactly been drowning in reliable openers. The new boys have all looked fragile until that first innings where they all came up with half centuries. I think that has hidden the marked deterioration in Cook. But it may be something we need to think about going forward.

    But this really looks like the Gabba now. England are indeed being tested.
    Cook’s only 33, so his eyes shouldn’t be going, but I wonder if that’s the problem. It was very obvious with Gooch that he really couldn’t see the ball nearly as well ion his last season.
    Cook racked up some decent (!) scores for Essex last year, though.
    I wondered about his eyes as well. To deal with new ball bowlers at 90mph requires extraordinary eyesight as well as reactions, skill and courage. He won't have faced much of that when playing for Essex.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 17,768
    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.
  • FregglesFreggles Posts: 2,565
    IanB2 said:

    "Tracking the use of Bitcoin" is not a phrase I have seen before?

    What are you referring to?
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828
    edited November 25

    (snip) It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    That is very true. Indeed, I'd remove the conditional: "are doing very well out of China's rise in Africa". Polling - to the extent that it's reliable - suggests that China is very popular across the continent. The West should think about what that means about popular support for different models of government. In essence, the deal being offered is not dissimilar to that they offer their own people: work with us and we will give you prosperity and stability - but don't challenge us.
  • An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    That’s correct to a point - African countries might, Africans less so. Significant issues in Zambia and Angola (although less so Zimbabwe) about money being spent on Chinese labour and going to Chinese contractors. It was the Economist I think that highlighted the propensity for money to go to where the President’s geographic base is rather than where most appropriate.
  • PendduPenddu Posts: 119
    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 17,801
    nielh said:

    If we are to believe that report, Putin backed Corbyn in the GE as well.

    However, its a big IF, as if you look at the site as a whole, it is one massive conspiracy theory e.g. it was China and Russia who stole the US election, Fox News coordinated with them to broadcast their propaganda, etc etc etc.
    That website does not look like a credible source.

    Edit - But if the stuff on it is true, wow.
    I knew Bertie Nix at Cambridge Analytica from school. I'd be very surprised if he is a front for the Russians
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 9,540
    edited November 25
    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Sandpit said:

    DavidL said:

    Pulpstar said:

    Sandpit said:

    Good last wicket stand from the Convicts, but 26 runs ahead much less than they’d like at a ground they’ve not lost at for three decades. England are not out of this yet, value at 4.7 now on Betfair.

    4.7 is a mad price
    Doesn't look that way now. One less thing in the world you can count on; Alastair Cook. Not much left.
    6.2 now.

    Why is Alistair Cook even in the side, he’s not had a decent innings in at least a year now?
    We've not exactly been drowning in reliable openers. The new boys have all looked fragile until that first innings where they all came up with half centuries. I think that has hidden the marked deterioration in Cook. But it may be something we need to think about going forward.

    But this really looks like the Gabba now. England are indeed being tested.
    Cook’s only 33, so his eyes shouldn’t be going, but I wonder if that’s the problem. It was very obvious with Gooch that he really couldn’t see the ball nearly as well ion his last season.
    Cook racked up some decent (!) scores for Essex last year, though.
    I wondered about his eyes as well. To deal with new ball bowlers at 90mph requires extraordinary eyesight as well as reactions, skill and courage. He won't have faced much of that when playing for Essex.
    He was playing in Div I last season. Topped the Essex averages with 667 runs at 58, with a top score of 193, aginst Middlesex. But I agree, there seems to be something amiss.
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 1,370

    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    If they've learned from our historical experience, the Chinese shouldn't expect to be liked for the part they're playing.
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 1,370
    edited November 25
    DOUBLE POST
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    Good morning, everyone.

    Brrr. On-topic, an interesting and astute article.

    There was a bit on the news about Zimbabwe's need for investment, with great mineral wealth but the frequent lack of money on the landowners' part to mine. That's the sort of thing our foreign aid should be ploughed into. It'd help lift Zimbabweans out of poverty, get taxes for the state to provide services *and* provide us with a return on income too. It makes perfect humanitarian and financial sense.

    On that note, the 0.7% foreign aid fund was seemingly untouched by the recent Budget (the term 'Autumn Statement' appears to have vanished). Hacking it down for health or other spending would've gone down well with most people, but where the political class have a consensus the electorate's disagreement doesn't matter for a long time. (Such as the EU. If politicians had bothered to ask us before frittering away vetoes and binding us ever closer, we not only probably would've averted the nuclear option, we wouldn't be chained so tightly anyway).
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 17,988
    RoyalBlue said:

    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    If they've learned from our historical experience, the Chinese shouldn't expect to be liked for the part they're playing.
    The crunch for China will come when a country in which it is highly invested goes against its wishes. That has probably just happened in Zimbabwe, and if the Chinese have been involved, then they have done so skilfully and well.

    However there will eventually be a case where they either have to lose their influence or take more direct measures. When that occurs (and history shows us it is a when, not if), it will be very interesting to see how they respond.

    And BTW, an excellent threader. Thanks, David.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 17,988
    Charles said:

    nielh said:

    If we are to believe that report, Putin backed Corbyn in the GE as well.

    However, its a big IF, as if you look at the site as a whole, it is one massive conspiracy theory e.g. it was China and Russia who stole the US election, Fox News coordinated with them to broadcast their propaganda, etc etc etc.
    That website does not look like a credible source.

    Edit - But if the stuff on it is true, wow.
    I knew Bertie Nix at Cambridge Analytica from school. I'd be very surprised if he is a front for the Russians
    This makes me believe it's highly credible. ;)
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828
    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321

    Good morning, everyone.

    Brrr. On-topic, an interesting and astute article.

    There was a bit on the news about Zimbabwe's need for investment, with great mineral wealth but the frequent lack of money on the landowners' part to mine. That's the sort of thing our foreign aid should be ploughed into. It'd help lift Zimbabweans out of poverty, get taxes for the state to provide services *and* provide us with a return on income too. It makes perfect humanitarian and financial sense.

    On that note, the 0.7% foreign aid fund was seemingly untouched by the recent Budget (the term 'Autumn Statement' appears to have vanished). Hacking it down for health or other spending would've gone down well with most people, but where the political class have a consensus the electorate's disagreement doesn't matter for a long time. (Such as the EU. If politicians had bothered to ask us before frittering away vetoes and binding us ever closer, we not only probably would've averted the nuclear option, we wouldn't be chained so tightly anyway).

    Is this really what aid is for? Surely this is what investment is for as the Chinese are showing. Aid should be for those who have nowt but are in need like refugees. Does this need 0.7% of our GDP? Not so sure. It seems to me that this is more about our image of ourselves than any objective analysis.
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 1,370
    edited November 25

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    The Americans may be forced to decide which oceans they want to have a significant naval presence in, rather than assuming they can blithely pay for one in each.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    Freggles said:

    IanB2 said:

    "Tracking the use of Bitcoin" is not a phrase I have seen before?

    What are you referring to?
    The article that everyone was discussing downthread, after OGH's Twitter post.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    edited November 25

    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    That’s correct to a point - African countries might, Africans less so. Significant issues in Zambia and Angola (although less so Zimbabwe) about money being spent on Chinese labour and going to Chinese contractors. It was the Economist I think that highlighted the propensity for money to go to where the President’s geographic base is rather than where most appropriate.
    Well I can vouch for the fact that Ethiopians will be getting (indeed probably have, by now) a lot of new smooth main roads that don't just consist of packed down rubble, like the old ones did.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 9,540
    Charles said:

    nielh said:

    If we are to believe that report, Putin backed Corbyn in the GE as well.

    However, its a big IF, as if you look at the site as a whole, it is one massive conspiracy theory e.g. it was China and Russia who stole the US election, Fox News coordinated with them to broadcast their propaganda, etc etc etc.
    That website does not look like a credible source.

    Edit - But if the stuff on it is true, wow.
    I knew Bertie Nix at Cambridge Analytica from school. I'd be very surprised if he is a front for the Russians
    That was Philby’s strength, wasn’t it. He was ‘one of us’. Middle class MI5 wanted to turn him over, Upper class MI6 successfully defended him, with the consequences we all know.
    Or at least the older among us do!
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896

    Charles said:

    nielh said:

    If we are to believe that report, Putin backed Corbyn in the GE as well.

    However, its a big IF, as if you look at the site as a whole, it is one massive conspiracy theory e.g. it was China and Russia who stole the US election, Fox News coordinated with them to broadcast their propaganda, etc etc etc.
    That website does not look like a credible source.

    Edit - But if the stuff on it is true, wow.
    I knew Bertie Nix at Cambridge Analytica from school. I'd be very surprised if he is a front for the Russians
    That was Philby’s strength, wasn’t it. He was ‘one of us’. Middle class MI5 wanted to turn him over, Upper class MI6 successfully defended him, with the consequences we all know.
    Or at least the older among us do!
    His first name being so popular in Russia as the acronym for Communist International of Youth was a clue that they all missed.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 14,976
    Scott_P said:

    IanB2 said:

    "Tracking the use of Bitcoin" is not a phrase I have seen before?

    I read an article somewhere that said while each wallet is anonymous, every transaction is recorded in the public blockchain, so it is possible IIRC to track whether the same wallet sent coins to multiple places. It seems to be more like traffic analysis to discern patterns of exchange.
    That’s correct. Bitcoin is many things, but anonymous isn’t one of them. Every transaction is public, so while it’s easy enough to get an account (no KYC regulations here) authorities can easily find transactions between known accounts.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    Incidentally, and utterly OT, a webcomic poll about what people like the most (regular releases, art, dialogue, something else). If you're on Twitter, do please reply:

  • Excellent piece by David this morning. This is something I have been talking àbout with colleagues for a good few years. I almost used the word 'warning' there but of course that is entirely the wrong sentiment. Like Alistair below i tend to regard current Chinese involvement in Africa as a force for good resulting in some quite dramatic improvements in infrastructure and living standards on the continent.

    Of course David is right that it is symptomatic of a failure in the West but of all the possible futures for Africa I do not see Chinese hegemony being any worse than previous European, US or Russian versions.
  • IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    Without wanting to turn this into another Brexit discussion, I see it as having exactly the opposite effect - making us much less parochial and more internationalist.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 27,407
    Good timing - i myself am flying out to China later today. No coups to be green lit though.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?

    The Chinese model of buying up Africa does not require military power, simply economic power and a willingness to deal with local regimes.

    The Chinese are reasonably comfortable with one party kleptocracies like Zim and Angola, but also able to work well in more democratic countries like Zambia. Not always popular, with poor labour practices, but the Zambian Copperbelt is looking prosperous again.



  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    edited November 25

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    Without wanting to turn this into another Brexit discussion, I see it as having exactly the opposite effect - making us much less parochial and more internationalist.
    That is the tosh to which I refer. Withdrawing from participation in international institutions is no way to become more internationalist. And of all the driving forces behind Brexit, desires to be less parochial or more internationalist don't even show. Other than allegedly by taking Russian money, at least.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 27,407

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328
    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    President kle4, my congratulations on your accession to the supreme authority! May your dynasty last a thousand years!
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 10,366
    RoyalBlue said:

    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    If they've learned from our historical experience, the Chinese shouldn't expect to be liked for the part they're playing.
    I can't say I've seen much evidence of China wanting to be liked.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 27,407

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    edited November 25
    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    The actual one, in preference to the hypothetical?
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328
    kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    Military empire building is so nineteenth century. The Chinese simply do not need a military presence in Africa, or on the sea routes. It is a cost financially, and perceived as a threat to local sovereignty, with no upside.

    Modern empires are an economic construct.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328
    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

  • kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    Military empire building is so nineteenth century. The Chinese simply do not need a military presence in Africa, or on the sea routes. It is a cost financially, and perceived as a threat to local sovereignty, with no upside.

    Modern empires are an economic construct.
    19th century ones were as well. Read Robinson and Gallagher on informal empire.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 27,407
    IanB2 said:

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    The actual one, not the hypothetical?
    Alternatively, neither - you really think 'a friend says z' is absolute proof of a lost decade? What nonsense logic. Without knowing anything of the friends in question they might know nothing at all. Anecdotes are interesting but I'm surprised you'd blithely accept one as proof of something.

    A friend of mine has met boris Johnson and said he's an arrogant oaf, but if that was the only account it'd be worth taking with a pinch of salt.

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no ee with you.

    Nevertheless with China and rld.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

    Foreign aid for a start. Regardless it was the maudlin cry of lost decade that stood out not that we'll focus hugely on Brexit. If Charles or someone comes by and says they know an important person and they don't think we're in for a lost decade, that isn't proof either, except to Ian for some rea son.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    The Chinese model of buying up Africa does not require military power, simply economic power and a willingness to deal with local regimes.

    The Chinese are reasonably comfortable with one party kleptocracies like Zim and Angola, but also able to work well in more democratic countries like Zambia. Not always popular, with poor labour practices, but the Zambian Copperbelt is looking prosperous again.
    Yes, it does require a blue water navy (which is precisely why China is building one). Overseas investment on that scale, and the absolute criticality of the products from Africa to the Chinese economy, need protecting. It has to be able to ensure that the goods will arrive. Only a blue water navy can do that.

    It also needs an on-the-ground presence in Africa so that it can, if necessary, intervene to protect its assets and its people. "Buying up Africa" works fine until a regime either decides to do something silly, or loses control. At that point, you need guns.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 41,925

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

    Burmese girls a settin', journalists a training.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 27,407

    kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    Military empire building is so nineteenth century. The Chinese simply do not need a military presence in Africa, or on the sea routes. It is a cost financially, and perceived as a threat to local sovereignty, with no upside.

    Modern empires are an economic construct.
    19th century ones were as well. Read Robinson and Gallagher on informal empire.
    Fascibating stuff. All about getting others to play the game by your rules, because of economic reasons, without the burden of administration. Conquest is such a hassle.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    Mr. Herdson, they'll also need some sort of logistical/military capacity to defend or retaliate against the assorted lunatics in the region, particularly if they go anywhere near the Horn of Africa.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828
    kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    They have moved beyond the stage where they reasonably have an option. To not have a fleet risks the US, India or even a bunch of pirates choking their flow of supplies.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328

    kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    Military empire building is so nineteenth century. The Chinese simply do not need a military presence in Africa, or on the sea routes. It is a cost financially, and perceived as a threat to local sovereignty, with no upside.

    Modern empires are an economic construct.
    19th century ones were as well. Read Robinson and Gallagher on informal empire.
    Certainly our expansion into Africa, Middle East and Latin America was commercially driven at least until the scramble for Africa in 1880's.

  • kle4kle4 Posts: 27,407
    I best not discuss the new empire, since I'm heading to it. Fare thee well, and glory to the communist party of China.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

    Our major foreign policy is to stay as close as possible to the US. This has been our policy since WW2 and it is both realistic and beneficial. It has allowed us to punch massively above our weight in the intelligence sphere, to play a major role in NATO and minor roles in the ME and elsewhere. Of course, it is not perfect, particularly when the US elects someone like Trump or W that we struggle to get.

    On a much lower level we have tried to make a success of the Commonwealth. Whether we have got much out of that to date is open for debate but it may prove useful in the future. We have become a major player in aid which has given us a say in many trouble spots where our military interventions have been negligible. We have tried to promote green policies in respect of both global warming, conservation and now plastics. We have quite a lot to say and many are willing to listen for a variety of reasons.
  • Sandpit said:

    Scott_P said:

    IanB2 said:

    "Tracking the use of Bitcoin" is not a phrase I have seen before?

    I read an article somewhere that said while each wallet is anonymous, every transaction is recorded in the public blockchain, so it is possible IIRC to track whether the same wallet sent coins to multiple places. It seems to be more like traffic analysis to discern patterns of exchange.
    That’s correct. Bitcoin is many things, but anonymous isn’t one of them. Every transaction is public, so while it’s easy enough to get an account (no KYC regulations here) authorities can easily find transactions between known accounts.
    Dark web sites selling illegal stuff have turned away from bitcoin these days as too easy to trace. There are other cyptros that are designed for this like Monero.
  • kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    Military empire building is so nineteenth century. The Chinese simply do not need a military presence in Africa, or on the sea routes. It is a cost financially, and perceived as a threat to local sovereignty, with no upside.

    Modern empires are an economic construct.
    19th century ones were as well. Read Robinson and Gallagher on informal empire.
    Certainly our expansion into Africa, Middle East and Latin America was commercially driven at least until the scramble for Africa in 1880's.

    Sometimes it’s easier to admit that one is wrong.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 8,315

    It also needs an on-the-ground presence in Africa so that it can, if necessary, intervene to protect its assets and its people. "Buying up Africa" works fine until a regime either decides to do something silly, or loses control. At that point, you need guns.

    The recent history of these kind of interventions hasn't exactly been wildly successful.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    The Chinese model of buying up Africa does not require military power, simply economic power and a willingness to deal with local regimes.

    The Chinese are reasonably comfortable with one party kleptocracies like Zim and Angola, but also able to work well in more democratic countries like Zambia. Not always popular, with poor labour practices, but the Zambian Copperbelt is looking prosperous again.
    Yes, it does require a blue water navy (which is precisely why China is building one). Overseas investment on that scale, and the absolute criticality of the products from Africa to the Chinese economy, need protecting. It has to be able to ensure that the goods will arrive. Only a blue water navy can do that.

    It also needs an on-the-ground presence in Africa so that it can, if necessary, intervene to protect its assets and its people. "Buying up Africa" works fine until a regime either decides to do something silly, or loses control. At that point, you need guns.
    Where has the Chinese Red army deployed abroad other than Korea in 1950?

    Where have the Chinese interfered with military force in protection of overseas commercial interests, apart from against Somali pirates?

    The Chinese see the South China Sea as their patch, not unreasonably.

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    Dr. Foxinsox, the Chinese have grabbed a huge swathe of land in international waters and belonging to other nations in the South China Sea. That is not a reasonable action.
  • Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    The Chinese model of buying up Africa does not require military power, simply economic power and a willingness to deal with local regimes.

    The Chinese are reasonably comfortable with one party kleptocracies like Zim and Angola, but also able to work well in more democratic countries like Zambia. Not always popular, with poor labour practices, but the Zambian Copperbelt is looking prosperous again.
    Yes, it does require a blue water navy (which is precisely why China is building one). Overseas investment on that scale, and the absolute criticality of the products from Africa to the Chinese economy, need protecting. It has to be able to ensure that the goods will arrive. Only a blue water navy can do that.

    It also needs an on-the-ground presence in Africa so that it can, if necessary, intervene to protect its assets and its people. "Buying up Africa" works fine until a regime either decides to do something silly, or loses control. At that point, you need guns.
    Where has the Chinese Red army deployed abroad other than Korea in 1950?

    Where have the Chinese interfered with military force in protection of overseas commercial interests, apart from against Somali pirates?

    The Chinese see the South China Sea as their patch, not unreasonably.

    The ICJ disagrees with your legal analysis.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328

    Dr. Foxinsox, the Chinese have grabbed a huge swathe of land in international waters and belonging to other nations in the South China Sea. That is not a reasonable action.

    Surely only doing what all other nations including us have done in the past!
  • DavidL said:

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

    Our major foreign policy is to stay as close as possible to the US. This has been our policy since WW2 and it is both realistic and beneficial. It has allowed us to punch massively above our weight in the intelligence sphere, to play a major role in NATO and minor roles in the ME and elsewhere. Of course, it is not perfect, particularly when the US elects someone like Trump or W that we struggle to get.

    On a much lower level we have tried to make a success of the Commonwealth. Whether we have got much out of that to date is open for debate but it may prove useful in the future. We have become a major player in aid which has given us a say in many trouble spots where our military interventions have been negligible. We have tried to promote green policies in respect of both global warming, conservation and now plastics. We have quite a lot to say and many are willing to listen for a variety of reasons.

    Hopefully, one Brexit dividend will be that leaving the EU causes us to reassess our need to be "heard" by making what we have to say a lot less interesting to people. Our importance to the US outside the EU is bound to be reduced, while the Chinese do not take us very seriously even now. More focus on being a prosperous, mid-size European country and not a global player would do us a whole lot of good.

  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 25,253
    edited November 25
    Donald Trump says he turned down Time's Person of the Year

    Time Magazine is disputing US President Donald Trump's account of how he rejected a request for an interview and photo shoot ahead of its Person of the Year issue.

    On Friday, Mr Trump tweeted that Time had called to say he was "probably" going to be named Person of the Year.

    But Time later said the president was incorrect about how it makes its choice.
    The president was awarded the title last year.

    He has previously falsely claimed that he holds the record for cover appearances on Time Magazine.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828

    Mr. Herdson, they'll also need some sort of logistical/military capacity to defend or retaliate against the assorted lunatics in the region, particularly if they go anywhere near the Horn of Africa.

    Absolutely. And while the Chinese have been notably absent from Somalia, they do have a big presence in Ethiopia. This was the map I used for the figures. I know it's from China Daily but it wasn't the only site I checked when writing the piece and the numbers look reasonable.

    http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2015-11/27/content_22522846.htm
  • RoyalBlue said:

    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    If they've learned from our historical experience, the Chinese shouldn't expect to be liked for the part they're playing.

    The Chinese will not be bothered by that even a little bit. They are entirely pragmatic and have no interest in making friends with anyone, as long as they can get what they need. That said, the Chinese did not conquer Africa by force, divide it up into colonial constructs that bore little reality to tribal boundaries established over millennia or sell millions of Africans into slavery, so maybe have less grounds to worry about being liked or disliked.

  • IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting their interests overseas, retreating into isolationism like Trump appears to want cannot be a sensible reaction. Brexit will probably lead us down the same course, because of the myriad domestic problems it will cause, despite all the tosh about being open to the world.
    Without wanting to turn this into another Brexit discussion, I see it as having exactly the opposite effect - making us much less parochial and more internationalist.
    That is the tosh to which I refer. Withdrawing from participation in international institutions is no way to become more internationalist. And of all the driving forces behind Brexit, desires to be less parochial or more internationalist don't even show. Other than allegedly by taking Russian money, at least.
    We are not withdrawing from international institutions. We are withdrawing from one very parochial and fading bloc and as a result will be rejoining many international organisations where our voice is currently gagged by membership of the EU.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828

    Dr. Foxinsox, the Chinese have grabbed a huge swathe of land in international waters and belonging to other nations in the South China Sea. That is not a reasonable action.

    Like I said in the thread header, the true mark of a superpower is the ability to act contrary to the world’s norms, with impunity, providing that the action does not cross the essential national interests of another superpower.

    That is precisely what China has done.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 9,622

    (snip) It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    That is very true. Indeed, I'd remove the conditional: "are doing very well out of China's rise in Africa". Polling - to the extent that it's reliable - suggests that China is very popular across the continent. The West should think about what that means about popular support for different models of government. In essence, the deal being offered is not dissimilar to that they offer their own people: work with us and we will give you prosperity and stability - but don't challenge us.
    I think that's right, and up to a point I think we should let it happen without trying to disrupt it - a largely benevolent relationship that pulls Africa out of the economic depths is a good thing, and if it makes China friends, that's OK - the world is not a zero-sum game. On the whole, looking at Trump, Putin and Xi, China appears to be a force for stability at the moment.

    In the longer term, we hope Africa and indeed China will move towards liberal democracy, but it's perfectly understandable if someone in a Harare slum doesn't feel that's the immediate priority. To give a parallel, my mother's family were close to Kerensky, Lenin's rival, but they despaired of the way he put Parliamentary democracy and institution-building ahead of what most people wanted - peace and bread.

    I'm in Kenya for the next few days for a UN conference. When I was last there 5 years ago, it felt very friendly but poor and not very dynamic. Interested to see if that's changing at all.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896

    Mr. Herdson, they'll also need some sort of logistical/military capacity to defend or retaliate against the assorted lunatics in the region, particularly if they go anywhere near the Horn of Africa.

    When I was there I did wonder how the Chinese shipped all their people and stuff to Ethiopia? I assumed via Kenya, but the highway in north Kenya is notoriously dangerous.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896
    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no evil in making a profit and doing so by enriching a poorer nation and helping lift its people out of poverty. It's a perfect example of benevolent capitalism.

    And, because it's aid not 'trade', we keep Liam Fox away from Zimbabwe.

    If we didn't have a ring-fenced foreign aid budget I'd likely agree with you.

    Nevertheless with China and Russia actively promoting world.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    The actual one, not the hypothetical?
    Alternatively, neither - you really think 'a friend says z' is absolute proof of a lost decade? What nonsense logic. Without knowing anything of the friends in question they might know nothing at all. Anecdotes are interesting but I'm surprised you'd blithely accept one as proof of something.

    A friend of mine has met boris Johnson and said he's an arrogant oaf, but if that was the only account it'd be worth taking with a pinch of salt.

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Mr. L, the way the aid budget has a floor we need to spend it and, in the past, this means splurging on any old thing to meet the magical target number which means the UK Government can feel self-satisfied about how virtuous it is.

    There's no ee with you.

    Nevertheless with China and rld.
    I was talking to an old friend at the FCO recently.

    We have no Foreign policy other than Brexit. That is how it will be for the lost decade in front of us.
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

    Foreign aid for a start. Regardless it was the maudlin cry of lost decade that stood out not that we'll focus hugely on Brexit. If Charles or someone comes by and says they know an important person and they don't think we're in for a lost decade, that isn't proof either, except to Ian for some rea son.
    Anecdotal evidence from well connected people is always interesting (but certainly not gospel). Hypothetical anecdotes, not so much.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 39,452
    Mr. B2, wasn't aware they were in Ethiopia, but as you indicate, that requires some sort of security provided by the Chinese because the region is less than stable.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 17,321

    DavidL said:

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    .

    .
    And if someone else has a friend who says different, which is right?
    What foreign policy do we have apart from Brexit at present?

    Our major foreign policy is to stay as close as possible to the US. This has been our policy since WW2 and it is both realistic and beneficial. It has allowed us to punch massively above our weight in the intelligence sphere, to play a major role in NATO and minor roles in the ME and elsewhere. Of course, it is not perfect, particularly when the US elects someone like Trump or W that we struggle to get.

    On a much lower level we have tried to make a success of the Commonwealth. Whether we have got much out of that to date is open for debate but it may prove useful in the future. We have become a major player in aid which has given us a say in many trouble spots where our military interventions have been negligible. We have tried to promote green policies in respect of both global warming, conservation and now plastics. We have quite a lot to say and many are willing to listen for a variety of reasons.

    Hopefully, one Brexit dividend will be that leaving the EU causes us to reassess our need to be "heard" by making what we have to say a lot less interesting to people. Our importance to the US outside the EU is bound to be reduced, while the Chinese do not take us very seriously even now. More focus on being a prosperous, mid-size European country and not a global player would do us a whole lot of good.

    I tend to agree. Being a player may be fun and interesting for our political elite but it does next to nothing for the rest of us except cost money and blood.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 12,828

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    The Chinese model of buying up Africa does not require military power, simply economic power and a willingness to deal with local regimes.

    The Chinese are reasonably comfortable with one party kleptocracies like Zim and Angola, but also able to work well in more democratic countries like Zambia. Not always popular, with poor labour practices, but the Zambian Copperbelt is looking prosperous again.
    Yes, it does require a blue water navy (which is precisely why China is building one). Overseas investment on that scale, and the absolute criticality of the products from Africa to the Chinese economy, need protecting. It has to be able to ensure that the goods will arrive. Only a blue water navy can do that.

    It also needs an on-the-ground presence in Africa so that it can, if necessary, intervene to protect its assets and its people. "Buying up Africa" works fine until a regime either decides to do something silly, or loses control. At that point, you need guns.
    Where has the Chinese Red army deployed abroad other than Korea in 1950?

    Where have the Chinese interfered with military force in protection of overseas commercial interests, apart from against Somali pirates?

    The Chinese see the South China Sea as their patch, not unreasonably.

    Those questions are of no relevance. The whole point of the article was that China is now emerging as a superpower, in a way it wasn't even a decade ago, never mind 60 years ago. Its actions in the past are less relevant than the actions of other countries of equivalent power: that very prominence forces intervention.

    China began operations from its first military base in Africa earlier this year.

    http://www.newsweek.com/chinese-military-china-and-us-military-base-africa-644890
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,328

    kle4 said:

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    Depends how much of an empire they truly want to be. It gives them more options at the least.
    Military empire building is so nineteenth century. The Chinese simply do not need a military presence in Africa, or on the sea routes. It is a cost financially, and perceived as a threat to local sovereignty, with no upside.

    Modern empires are an economic construct.
    19th century ones were as well. Read Robinson and Gallagher on informal empire.
    Certainly our expansion into Africa, Middle East and Latin America was commercially driven at least until the scramble for Africa in 1880's.

    Sometimes it’s easier to admit that one is wrong.
    Plenty of the British empire was formed by military conquest, notably in India, but also Canada, West Indies, Burmese wars, Ashanti wars, Sudan, Boer war, Matebeland expedition, Opium wars and Boxer rebellion to pick out a few from around the world.

    Not just us, but the French in Maghreb, West and Equatorial Africa, the Germans in Namibia, the Russians in Caucuses and Central Asia, USA in the West, Phillipines and Caribbean were military ventures, sometimes alongside commercial interests.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 24,874
    edited November 25

    Penddu said:

    Many countries around the Indian Ocean are being quietly colonised by China - I regularly visit Madagascar and whereas EU support is visible on notice boards on small projects, Chinese influence is much more active and extensive. They have taken over gold mines and ports and effectively replaced the old colonial power France.

    It is only a matter of time (10 years) before Indian Ocean becomes the new South China Sea.

    And that in turn requires that China construct a significant blue water navy to police it, and permanent overseas air and naval bases (at least) to operate from.

    However, if you're an American, it won't be clear whether those ships are for the Indian or Pacific Oceans, not least because there can be no such distinction.
    Does it really require a blue water Chinese Navy?
    The Chinese model of buying up Africa does not require military power, simply economic power and a willingness to deal with local regimes.

    The Chinese are reasonably comfortable with one party kleptocracies like Zim and Angola, but also able to work well in more democratic countries like Zambia. Not always popular, with poor labour practices, but the Zambian Copperbelt is looking prosperous again.
    Yes, it does require a blue water navy (which is precisely why China is building one). Overseas investment on that scale, and the absolute criticality of the products from Africa to the Chinese economy, need protecting. It has to be able to ensure that the goods will arrive. Only a blue water navy can do that.

    It also needs an on-the-ground presence in Africa so that it can, if necessary, intervene to protect its assets and its people. "Buying up Africa" works fine until a regime either decides to do something silly, or loses control. At that point, you need guns.

    The Chinese are very unlikely to put troops on the ground anywhere outside their immediate borders. The much more likely scenario is the identification of senior military personnel inside existing national African armies and ensuring they have a direct benefit in ensuring good relations - on a personal level and also to fund more military spending. That seems to be what has happened in Zimbabwe.

    This is the Chinese way and is called Guanxi. It's a word and concept anyone who does any kind of business in China needs to understand.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 8,896

    Mr. B2, wasn't aware they were in Ethiopia, but as you indicate, that requires some sort of security provided by the Chinese because the region is less than stable.

    I can only speak for the position in 2010. There was a lot of Chinese goods in Ethiopia (and Romanian, interestingly, although not nearly so much) and there were Chinese gangs building bits of main road all over the place, plus various other contruction projects on the go in cities.
  • RoyalBlue said:

    An outstanding piece by David Herdson. It's worth noting that African countries may do at least as well out of China's rise in Africa as the Chinese do.

    If they've learned from our historical experience, the Chinese shouldn't expect to be liked for the part they're playing.

    The Chinese will not be bothered by that even a little bit. They are entirely pragmatic and have no interest in making friends with anyone, as long as they can get what they need. That said, the Chinese did not conquer Africa by force, divide it up into colonial constructs that bore little reality to tribal boundaries established over millennia or sell millions of Africans into slavery, so maybe have less grounds to worry about being liked or disliked.

    This is why I do not view Chinese involvement in Africa with horror as some seem to. Looking at their involvement in place like Botswana, Mozambique and Malawi it seems to me to be far more benign than previous colonial and neo-colonial efforts in the region.
This discussion has been closed.