Yagiellonian University Seminar
Xi Jinping’s Strategic Aspirations
March 25, 2015 Krakow Poland
“England will be the strongest supporter of China in the West”
So proclaimed British Prime Minster David Cameron on December 3, 2013 in Beijing where he led the historically largest business delegation (120 strong) from his country to visit the land of the Opium War which England launched two centuries ago.
This surprising news came on Friday March 13, which in Washington might have been a VERY black one.
As the world was still digesting (reeling off) what the event really meant, on Sunday March 15, three more prominent allies of the U.S. – Germany, France, and Italy – followed suit to the chagrin of Washington.
According to NYT last Saturday, Australia and South Korea may make a similar move this week.
How did all this come about?
What do these events suggest in terms of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s foreign policy?
What geopolitical impact may these events lead to?
-October, 2013 Indonesia Xi Jinping AIIB
U.S. paid scant attention
Two weeks later, British chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, visited Beijing, where the courting began.
Two months later, December, 2013, David Cameron made the historical visit
- May 2013, Kazakhstan, Xi Jinping, the “Silk Road Economic Belt”
- October 2013, Indonesia, Xi Jinping, the “21st century Maritime Silk Road
II FACTORS (explicit)
- China more than $3 trillion foreign exchange
- Excess capacity in steel, concrete and pipes to build up neighboring economies
- IMF, Asia Development Bank, outdated structures
- US Congress sitting on reform bills
III XI’S STRATEGY (implicit)
IV Geoplolitical Impact
●In 1919, Halford J.Mackinder summarised his theory as:
"Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
who rules the World-Island commands the world."
(Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, p. 150)
●In 2015, Chong-Pin Lin paraphrased Mackinder’s adage
"Who commands China dominates the New Heartland;
who commands the New Heartland dominates the World-Island;
who commands the World-Island dominates the world."
●“Whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia.
This Ocean is the key to the Seven Seas.
In the twenty-first century the destiny of the world will be decided on its waters.”
Alfred T. Mahan (1840-1914) cited in Guido Gerosa, “Will the Indian Ocean Become a Soviet Pond?” Atlas 19, 1970