Jim’s Mailbox

Posted at 5:41 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

The Chinese operate the Panama Canal, which is about 80 km.  This new canal would put China in control of two of the most important canals in the world.  An interesting economic projection of power to the USA’s blue water navy presence in SE Asia.

Wonder when China will start operating the Suez Canal??

CIGA Craig

China to bypass Malacca Strait by Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand
Posted by chankaiyee2 March 16, 2014

The trade route to the Indian Ocean through the Malacca Strait has the problems of pirates, shipwrecks, haze, sediment and shoals.

Its rate of accidents is twice as high as the Suez Canal and four times higher than the Panama Canal.

An alternative shorter route is to build a canal at Kra Isthmus, Thailand. It will save shipment costs and time as the route is shortened by 1,000

China’s huge state-owned LiuGong Machinery Co. Ltd and XCMG, and private Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd have taken the lead to set up a preparations group for the construction of Kra Isthmus Canal.

The 100 km artificial link to the Indian Ocean will benefit not only China and ASEAN, but also Japan and other countries’ world trade.

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Jim,

I wonder how many weeks/months after Pakistan is in receipt of the $1.5B for it to renege on its promise to block the IP…

Saudi grant kills Iran-Pakistan pipeline
By Syed Fazl-e-Haider

A US$1.5 billion donation to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia is hotly being debated in the country’s parliament, political circles and among the analysts. The main question being under what deal Riyadh disbursed the crucial amount to help the cash-strapped country make short-term economic gains? What has Pakistan guaranteed or promised to do in return? Many believe Saudi Arabia killed many birds with one stone.

Saudi Arabia did what the US could not do to keep Pakistan away from a $7.5-billion gas pipeline project with Iran. In a tit-for-tat deal, Saudi Arabia might have persuaded Islamabad to cancel the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline project, which is vital to end energy shortages that are crippling Pakistan’s economy.

Pakistan’s oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, after receiving funds from Saudi Arabia last month, reportedly said work on the pipeline was not possible because of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union on Iran over its nuclear program. Iran has warned that Islamabad is contractually obliged to complete the project which would allow Tehran to export gas to its southeastern neighbor.

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Jim,

To me Putin’s demands seem very reasonable and very conciliatory as they would allow Ukraine to be independent, but be a buffer zone between Russia and the EU. I strongly suspect there is a Gazprom carrot as well as financial aid in the Russian Easter basket.  If the illegitimate interim government and the west resist these demands, then they are bloody fools and deserve the harsh consequences.

CIGA Craig

Moscow Demand

The government in Moscow is demanding that its neighbor adopt a federal constitution that guarantees political and military neutrality, grants powers to the regions, and make Russian a second official language. There’s no indication it would be acceptable to the Ukrainian government, which took power after Yanukovych was toppled amid protests last month, or to its Western supporters.

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