According to the U.S. Treasury Department report announced on November 16, in September China added holdings of creditor’s rights in U.S. with $15.1 billion, and now remains the largest U.S. creditor. In September China’s holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds amounted to 883.5 billion U.S. dollars; Japanese holdings of U.S. Treasury amounted to $ 865 billion, representing an increase of $ 28.4 billion to that of August; UK holdings of U.S. government bonds amounted to $459.1 billion, representing an increase of 9.6 billion to that of August.
At the same time, China as the largest creditor country still has to accept the large-scale U.S.–South Korean navy military exercise led by the U.S. aircraft carrier “George Washington” on the Yellow Sea with the nearest distance of 170 km away from China. The attack radius of any U.S. ship and carrier-based aircraft that participated in the military exercise can be deep into the hinterland of China.
Also, according to the report of Japan’s Kyodo News agency, in the afternoon of the last day in November, after a cabinet meeting, Japanese Minister of Economy and Industry Akihiro Ohata said to Japanese media that there were two rare earth carriers that obtained China’s customs access license. In addition, two rare earth shipments bound for Japan are about to leave from the port. As before this, six rare-earth carriers had obtained a license in China, coupled with four confirmed yesterday, after Japan claimed that China stopped the export of rare earth after September 23. In fact 10 Japanese ships have acquired the import of rare earth. On November 29, three rare earth carriers of major Japanese trading company Sojitz Corporation started from Tianjin and Shanghai to Japan on the 27th and 28th, of which the fastest ship will arrive in the destination on the 30th. Sojitz Corporation did not disclose the type of rare earth on board and discharge ports in Japan, but made it clear that the total rare earth on the 3 ships weighed 66 tons.
On the same day Akihiro Ohata spoke on Sino-Japan rare earth trade, on behalf of the Japanese government, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara clearly expressed opposition to China’s new proposal to hold an emergency meeting between North Korea and related countries. Unless the relevant participants of the six-party talks achieved substantial progress, if only because North Korea made a frantic move, the six-party talks would be held, this is unacceptable to Japan. He also said Japan must first see a sincere effort of North Korea on its uranium enrichment program and the recent events.
In fact, even if China suddenly goes back to its words, it is too late to cut back the 10 rare earth ships exported to Japan, because now, on China and Japan’s sea-lane, Japan’s allies, the United States and South Korea truly grasp the strategic initiative, and their ships’ military exercises are being carried out there- the image of this can be described as, how rare earth, which is such an important strategic resource for all countries in the world, run off from China to the outside, even to countries against China. Not long ago I wrote an article in my blog Japan-Mongolia’s successful rare earth cooperation is the most serious strategic failure for China, in which I said that China is facing strategic dangers of defeat in the international contest for rare earth resources, but I did not expect in such a fast time, China has indirectly proved its inability to fully grasp this strategic resource.
This also proved that, even if China sold such a strategic resource cheaply, it would not bring greater benefits to China.
China is the largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds, while the United States want to only show force at China’s gate. In any case I do not see the strategic good will of U.S. government on the country that holds the largest bond, nor do I see its fear on the country. In other words, more than $ 800 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds now turn to be the blackmail on China. For instance, the United States has just announced a program with the number of printed dollar almost close to the U.S. debt held by China. If completed, this more than $ 800 billion Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasuries, that is to say, China’s assets, will be greatly devalued.
But, I still feel that what really allows U.S. to print money and China cannot act rashly is the large-scale U.S.-South Korea military exercise on the yellow sea. According to statistics, the total tonnage of U.S.-ROK ships conducting military exercises on the Yellow Sea 170 km away from the Shandong Peninsula in China is almost close to the total tonnage of the Chinese Navy.
That is, in fact, for 30 years the Chinese navy is now consuming the achievements of the past, especially the self-limited development achievements in the first 20 years before the reform and opening to the outside world. Although possessing vast territorial waters, China actually did not and does not know how to build an aircraft carrier battle group that can deter the enemy, which now makes the Chinese navy speechless facing the 170 km-away military exercises by the US-South Korean forces.
Therefore, who, and what reasons are making self-limit in China’s maritime strategic ability? This is particularly worth considering.
In addition to China’s second largest total GDP in the world, in fact, in reserve capacity of resources, national defense capacity, and the capacity of financial security, are not only facing the biggest strategic threat of the United States – its strategic rival, but also are being threatened by U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea, and in a way, China is so helpless on such a threat.
This at least gave rise to discussions in China’s mainstream media that the China’s rapid economic expansion can create a “great nation” and “great revival”. Viewed only from the two pairs of economic and strategic events, which are referred here and have close relations with each other, at this moment, China is still in a rapidly growing economy, the fastest possible result is to attract a group of “wolf”, with bloody mouth and excellent biting ability. They are coming for China, a piece of fat meat.
The so-called “China Rise” is not having any strategy to attack, even in a defensive sense; while China’s political and military policies do not seem to support this strategic defense and attack.
So, just as China’s rare earth will sell cheap in Japan, and China’s national debt will be devalued by additional dollar printed, China’s economic rise may inevitablely lead the siege of the wolves, and now, the deluge is being pulled open.
Whether it is China’s rare earth sold to Japan, or China’s buying U.S. treasury bonds from the United States, it is in fact no longer in line with China’s national interests, but China itself now appears to have no ability to stop it. The reason is very simple here: the international trade under the banner of “China” is now likely in the control of one or some interest groups; so China’s so-called national interests may actually have been kidnapped by certain or some interest groups. Interest groups are in pursuit of maximum local (individual and groups) interests while stripping maximum benefits of the weak and the country (the people).
This is the true inside story under the cover.
If this trend continues, the so-called China’s national interests – a macro-strategic security, the overall economic interests, and the metaphysical national dignity will inevitably become empty and vague discussions, and then such empty words and nonsense will in reality turn to be a pile of garbage and foot cloth.
About the Author: Sima Pingbang is a Chinese Columnist. He also owns a Blog.
The article originally written in Chinese was translated into English by Wang Wenxia.
Editing by Manzie Vincent Doh