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China uses Russian-American confrontation to win big in Europe
Material posted: Publication date: 28-09-2017
Today, Beijing's influence in regional energy sector is comparable only with that which was used by Moscow during the cold war.

Oka country is closely following the presidential tweets and discusses shoes the first lady in Europe, there is a geopolitical shift, which we have a hair to stand on end. In recent years China has significantly increased its military and economic influence in Eastern Europe, although very few people paid attention. At stake is a key region from which the United States depend in the trade and geopolitical terms, we are talking about a kind of buffer zone that protects the US from Russia and China.

Not only that, the Chinese are not particularly in a hurry to prevent the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea, they have already acquired a significant stake in the Greek port of Piraeus. As you read this article, the Chinese are working tirelessly in order to assets in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, including contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants.

Meanwhile, in Bulgaria the long-standing efforts of former Secretary of state Hillary Clinton aimed to force the Bulgarians to break the contract with the Russian state company "Rosatom" (one of the leaders in the world market of uranium enrichment), gave the opposite effect: now, instead of Russia in construction of new NPP "Belene" will participate the China.

Rosatom filed on Bulgaria to court and successfully won the case. Bulgaria was required to pay 660 million dollars — an impressive amount for such a small country. To recoup losses, the Bulgarians decided to privatize the project. According to media reports, China is quite aggressive dabavljaet price and is among the leading candidates. If China wins, its state nuclear company will use Russian equipment, but otherwise will have full control over a new nuclear power station.

Unlike Russian, whose nuclear development is usually based on a relatively gentle scheme, which allows for intergovernmental loans to Finance the construction, but leaves the control of local authorities, China insists to have its own share of capital and the right to operational management. As a result, China will get full control over critical infrastructure — in this case a major nuclear facility in one of the key allied countries of the former USSR. Thus, China finds in the region of influence comparable only to that of Moscow's influence during the cold war.

A similar situation is being formed in Poland, where the Chinese managed to intercept the contract for a nuclear power plant that was supposed to build the United States. However, due to the bankruptcy of Westinghouse and General Electric of the inability to raise capital even for their advanced nuclear reactor for boiling water in the more developed countries, the American nuclear industry is experiencing not the best times. The Chinese, on the contrary, money is rife — and a large percentage of these funds brings trade with the United States.

In other words, China uses the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the United States to obtain ownership of the most important components of the energy infrastructure and to take control over them. With this tactic China has created a "power belt" that stretches from the Baltic to the Black sea: he is responsible for key infrastructure projects in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

We cannot allow this continue, and foreign policy leaders in both parties seem to understand this. The Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo and Deputy national security Advisor to President Barack Obama Ben Rhodes agreed that Beijing is today a greater threat than Moscow.

The white house should immediately join the ranks of the state Department, experts on Europe and Asia, as well as to promote talented foreign service officers instead of pushing them into the background. These professionals must consider the growing influence of China in the region.

Our approach must be more nuanced: we must reject the indiscriminate policy of containment in favor of a strategy that gives the progress of the Russian projects, provided that they do not harm European energy security and the security of the United States.

So, we must not succumb to the entreaties of Lithuania to stop the Russian construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus. Russian reactor is made with the latest technology. His project was approved by the independent regulators in more than ten countries, including Finland, known for its high safety standards. Lithuania fears about security do not correspond to the geopolitical risk of further spread of Chinese control over the infrastructure.

The geopolitical chess game requires players to calculate their actions not only on one but on two, three and more moves ahead. Players have to consider different aspects of the economy, geopolitics and military strategy, also in this case we are dealing with several opponents.

Competition in the field of construction and management of nuclear power plants is just one played the geopolitical parties, and the United States should increase their bets in this game.

Mark Pfeifle


Tags: Russia , strategy , USA , Europe , China

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