APEC Was an All-Around China Triumph
- China's vision of an Asia-Pacific free trade zone won-out against the American proposal
- It further promoted the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that will compete with the IMF
- Signed a second gas mega-deal with Russia
- Announced investing the first US$40 billion to start building the Silk Road international infrastructure project
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Asia Times Online
If there were any remaining doubts about the unlimited stupidity Western corporate media is capable of dishing out, the highlight of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing has been defined as Russian President Vladimir Putin supposedly "hitting" on Chinese President Xi Jinping's wife - and the subsequent Chinese censoring of the moment when Putin draped a shawl over her shoulders in the cold air where the leaders were assembled.
What next? Putin and Xi denounced as a gay couple?
Let's dump the clowns and get down to the serious business.
Right at the start, President Xi urged APEC to "add firewood to the fire of the Asia-Pacific and world economy". Two days later, China got what it wanted on all fronts.
- Beijing had all 21 APEC member-nations endorsing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) - the Chinese vision of an "all inclusive, all-win" trade deal capable of advancing Asia-Pacific cooperation - see South China Morning Post (paywall).
The loser was the US-driven, corporate-redacted, fiercely opposed (especially by Japan and Malaysia) 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). [See also here.
- Beijing advanced its blueprint for "all-round connectivity" (in Xi's words) across Asia-Pacific - which implies a multi-pronged strategy. One of its key features is the implementation of the Beijing-based US$50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
That's China's response to Washington refusing to give it a more representative voice at the International Monetary Fund than the current, paltry 3.8% of votes (a smaller percentage than the 4.5% held by stagnated France).
- Beijing and Moscow committed to a second gas mega-deal - this one through the Altai pipeline in Western Siberia - after the initial "Power of Siberia" mega-deal clinched last May.
- Beijing announced the funneling of no less than US$40 billion to start building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Predictably, once again, this vertiginous flurry of deals and investment had to converge towards the most spectacular, ambitious, wide-ranging plurinational infrastructure offensive ever attempted: the multiple New Silk Roads - that complex network of high-speed rail, pipelines, ports, fiber optic cables and state of the art telecom that China is already building across the Central Asian stans, linked to Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Indian Ocean, and branching out to Europe all the way to Venice, Rotterdam, Duisburg and Berlin.
Now imagine the paralyzed terror of the Washington/Wall Street elites as they stare at Beijing interlinking Xi's "Asia-Pacific Dream" way beyond East Asia towards all-out, pan-Eurasia trade - with the center being, what else, the Middle Kingdom; a near future Eurasia as a massive Chinese Silk Belt with, in selected latitudes, a sort of development condominium with Russia.