The Great Game continues only now it is no longer confined to Central Asia. As if it ever was. Nevertheless, in today’s global world it is much easier to connect the dots and when we do it is a global great game that becomes apparent.
China is concerned about the recent disputes between Sudan and South Sudan. After all, it is the biggest oil investor for both countries. However, with the news that the South Sudan is already bending over backwards to accommodate Israel, one indication of which is the Juba government’s decision to establish its embassy in Jerusalem and not the political capital of Tel Aviv, and with an not inconsiderable Anglo-American presence in the new country, we can see that the Chinese investment is already at risk. That investment is,of course, wholly in oil.
Nevertheless, these developments in Sudan, South Sudan and in Africa in general, like those in Central Asia, are only part of the now, very transparent, great game and when we read of riots in China’s most westerly province, Xinjiang, we might suspect that, however, valid people’s grievances there might be, there might just be someone orchestrating events behind the scenes. Of course, not only are Xinjiang’s natural resources, especially oil and gas, crucial to China, but the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline also ends there and, according to the Kazakh energy ministry, Sauat Mynbayev, out of 80m tonnes of crude oil which Kazakhstan produced in 2010, 25.7m went to China. Furthermore, this pipeline is is used also for the transportation of oil from Russia’s western Siberia.
However, despite Chinese concerns regarding the developments in South Sudan, the rumblings in Xinjiang, and the fact that some Kazakhis view their powerful neighbour with suspicion, these all remain future battlefields and while the remain so, they also remain hypothetical. The real war, however, has been fought and is being fought elsewhere; overtly in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to some extent in Libya, and covertly in Syria and, through Syria and a concerted media campaign, against Iran. It might be that the game is still being played out in Africa, and in Kyrigstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and elsewhere, but the oil wars have long since begun.
This is madness for, if the belief is that, by securing most of the word’s oil reserves, it can be business as usual, and that is what the politicians in the West do believe, the reality remains that in a world where resources are finite a system built on continual economic growth, and, subsequently, exploitation of the planet, is doomed. The sums don’t tally and even if a third world war doesn’t usher in, what will be for many of them, their Armageddon, the whole shebang is bound to collapse anyway sooner or later.
Of course, in the kingdom of the blind where Mammon holds sway cool, clear, heads, good souls and common sense will not prevail. There will be no sitting down at tables and trying to work out a solution for mankind. The catastrophe will come. Therefore, if any of you out there do survive, ….. well try and do things a little bit differently and a little bit better next time.