Adding to our world-wide web of worries: Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran — not to mention North Korea; China has now added to our already large pile of China-related concerns.
It’s not bad enough that China’s manufacturing industry is out of control and trying to poison our children with toxic toys (and who knows what else will turn up); we now learn that they are supplying weapons to the Taliban. It may or not be a Chinese government sponsored effort but we learn now through a BBC report that the Taliban has, for some time now, been using “surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, landmines, rocket-propelled grenades and components for roadside bombs” — all made in China.
That BBC report quoted an Afghan government official who explained (or was perhaps attempting to justify China’s involvement in the Middle-east) that “China is worried about the presence of the US in the region”.
Now why would that be? What do you suppose is China’s big interest in Middle-Eastern conflicts? Could it be because the British and American presence in the area is threatening to interfere with their sales of arms to Iran (who is, in turn, supplying those same sophisticated and deadly toys to the Taliban and others)? Or perhaps China’s concern is about that favorite rallying cry of the American Left — oil! According to The China Institute China’s interest in Middle-Eastern oil is intense and growing. China has financial interests in Iranian oil fields, the Middle-eastern state of Bahrain has business interests in China tied to its oil industry and Syria and China are also in the ‘oil bed’ together.
You could gather from all this that China, at least from the U.S. and British points-of-view, can’t be trusted; but that’s not even close to being news. Realistically, when ‘push comes to shove,’ not even our closest allies can be trusted. Every nation, with very few exceptions (such as the U.S.), will look first to its own interests and we should expect nothing more or less. Britain is our ally the vast majority of the time because, at least in most cases, what’s good for the U.S. is also good for Britain — the Middle-eastern conflict and the common-interest of squashing terrorism is a perfect case in point.
What then should be done about China? Whatever we do it has to be done diplomatically — and very carefully. China, from all evidence, may be a ‘bomb’ that is ready to explode.
NOTE: “Taleban” is the anglicized spelling for “Taliban”
BBC News: Taleban ‘getting Chinese weapons’
China Institute China-Middle East Energy Relations
International Herald Tribune (Opinion Piece): The mother of all conflicts; The China threat
From the Blogs:
Secular Blasphemy: China arms to the Taleban
Lawyers, Guns and Money: Oh, so it’s Chinese Weapons Now….