Why are Pompeo’s warnings about Georgia trusting China so important?

14-06-2019 12:54:11 Viewpoint ,Viewpoint ,Analysis ,Comment

We all know about Russia’s bullying activities that have rumbled the Republic of Georgia in the preceding decades ever since its strife for independence in the late 1980s.  It’s a bully that is unsuccessful because of gluttonous habits of its leaders and elite and doesn’t like nations that used to be its inferiors to have superior lifestyles and prosperity than Russia itself, just because Russia simply can’t under such backward governance.

But why would Pompeo mention China itself?  China is an up and coming country with immense wealth and power capable to spread its investment into multitude of markets, and it’s doing so.  It has invested massively into important international ports in nations which simply didn’t have the finances to build their own.  It then has charged interest onto those nations, which were unable to pay the construction loans back and now have usurped the ownership of their ports.  Those nations were the struggling nations that desperately needed cheap investment such as Sri Lanka, whose main port is owned by China; Tanzania, whose port is owned by China, Djibouti, whose mega port, which is servicing the massive landlocked Ethiopian market of 100+ million, is owned by China,; and port of Luanda, which is under the threat of Chinese ownership because Angola didn’t have enough money to pay it back despite high oil revenues.  What do these four nations have in common?  They were amongst the most ransacked and poorest nations in the world at one time and still remain somewhat poor to be indebted to greedy Chinese debtors because they still are corrupt enough to fail to amass the funds to pay this insatiable Asian monocracy that has descended upon their prey.  

There is a Chinese saying:  “To be rich is to be Glorious”.  The saying is also backed up by achieving such wealth at any cost possible, whether through chivalry, trickery, deceit, or plain fair business wit, if nothing else works.  In these cases, the Chinese have taken advantage of the impoverished nations inability to lift the financial weight that they are bestowed, and are forced to give it away for relatively tax free to their debtors, China.  Again, 20 years ago, Djibouti was the world’s poorest nation, Angola was just coming out of a decades long civil war, Tanzania was a legendary sea faring nation in Strife, whose more than half of the population was uneducated and malnourished, and Sri Lanka was waging a decades old conflict that ended some decade later.

Now it’s Georgia’s turn.  It has had similar conflicts in the near past, whether it’s an interethnic or international.  These conflicts have devastated the country economically and have forced millions to flee the nation, further robbing it from population driven economic potential.  While the country had experienced a decade of rejuvenation and slight repopulation for about a decade, the new government proves to be detrimental in Georgia’s survival as a wielder of any kind of leverage.  In comes the Chinese tiger, drunk on expanding trade through land rather than the much longer and expensive sea route, and eyes a relatively safe nation of Georgia etched in the Caucasus to offer a cheap cash for a massive mega port that would support a massive trade route between the world’s largest factory and population and the world’s most prosperous continent and beyond.  The ability to avoid the depot of Singapore for refueling and further avoiding the dangers of potential Somali pirates and financial payments to Suez will be beneficial for trains running through the deserts of Takla Makan and kara Kum on cheap and plentiful electric power, which will ultimately feed the luxury oriented European and Eastern American markets.  Russia doesn’t want it, but china may make this feasible to save costs on fuel and delivery times by a large margin.   

What this means to Georgia?  Becoming a world corridor along with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as a viaduct between two richest continents.  This will make Georgia Eurasia’s Suez or Panama.  Along with China, chances are that Korea and Japan may choose those routes as well since they are in the same latitude and also are major exporters of manufactured goods.  Potentially, more than half of the revenue may come to Georgia by trade.  Need I mention that much of it already does by Georgia being a major car dealer for Azerbaijan and central Asia since they’re relatively landlocked.  

So far, china has infiltrated Georgia by helping build a major autobahn between East and West Georgia and is helping to build a major railroad link between east and west as well.  The problem is that Chinese companies have a bad record in Georgia by abusing their Georgian work power by underpaying them and physically abusing them if they’re met with resistance.  Lately, even media got the taste of  Chinese cynicism.  Another incident happened when another Chinese company secretly sought gold mining through sifting the Enguri river in Svanetia without a permit while closing the mined area with fake Georgian signs about dangers of falling rocks.  They were also found out about.  Georgia does have a small population, but it is also a small country, where everyone finds out about everything unlike the boundless China, where some areas have populations of 0 people per square km.  

Now what may happen to the Georgian Anaklia deep sea port may be the same fate which happened to those poor nations.  Chinese will probably offer good money to build a massive port, but take ownership of it upon Georgia failing to pay for it since the nation is already mired in corruption and the budget has a massive leak.  Now Georgia is weaker than it was a decade ago and may not sustain the pressure of Chinese money.  Not if, but when China claims the port for itself, Georgia will lose the financial revenue not just for its workforce, but for its tax budget as well.  And the fees for ports of such magnitude are potentially so great, that it can turn such a small nation into an economic powerhouse such as Singapore or Hong Kong, which lack any other type of natural resource.

This is why Mike Pompeo has alluded to the fact that China and Russia should be avoided when it comes to construction of the ports and other European Nations, United States, Canada, and Japan should be considered instead as a partner in port construction.

/Irakli Kechkhuashvili

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