Mackinder in Beijing
A long, but insightful look at the planetary strategic environment puts recent developments in theoretical context:
After decades of quiet preparation, Beijing has recently begun revealing its grand strategy for global power, move by careful move. Its two-step plan is designed to build a transcontinental infrastructure for the economic integration of the world island from within, while mobilizing military forces to surgically slice through Washington’s encircling containment.
The initial step has involved a breathtaking project to put in place an infrastructure for the continent’s economic integration. By laying down an elaborate and enormously expensive network of high-speed, high-volume railroads as well as oil and natural gas pipelines across the vast breadth of Eurasia, China may realize Mackinder’s vision in a new way. For the first time in history, the rapid transcontinental movement of critical cargo — oil, minerals, and manufactured goods — will be possible on a massive scale, thereby potentially unifying that vast landmass into a single economic zone stretching 6,500 miles from Shanghai to Madrid. In this way, the leadership in Beijing hopes to shift the locus of geopolitical power away from the maritime periphery and deep into the continent’s heartland.
As a trivial point of perspective, it might be worth noting that this blog’s ferocious Atlanteanism completely overwhelms its Sinophilia in regard to this question. If the emergence of a diasporic-maritime China, attuned to its Pacific Rim ethnic offshoots, is to be forestalled by a revival of dreams of dominion on the world island, the 21st century is about to take a peculiarly unfortunate turn.