Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The New Cold War?

Although Russia still has the potential to revert to its old ways, communist China continues to extend its tentacles around the world in search of military allies (or is it pawns) and oil. The latest stab at U.S. influence strikes at oil rich Nigeria that has announced that it will seek military hardware from China since America has allegedly failed to protect Nigeria oil assets from rebel attack.

Today's Financial Times reports that, "Nigeria last year signed an $800m deal to supply PetroChina with 30,000 barrels a day of oil. This year, CNOOC, China's largest offshore producer, agreed to pay $2.3bn for a share in an oil block owned by a former defence minister. Oil industry officials say China is looking to increase its interest in bidding for off-shore oil acreage in Nigeria."

FT also reports that China has allowed the Avon lady to return, thus opening the potential for more direct sales for a variety of firms. It has also issued statements defending intelectual property rights.

The question remains: Is China simply an economic competitor or is it a global military threat that is using economics now to weaken the United States in the long run? The Bush Administration needs to cease being a reactive force. The Harriet Miers nomination, the recent port fiasco and, now, the Nigerian oil and military issue has the Administration reeling. Rove needs to focus on real problems and let the party hacks worry about Hilary's potential run for president in '08. Our economic and national security demands an Administration that knows what it is doing and is proactive. The last few months have shown us that the second-term quagmire syndrome seems to be sucking down W.

Can he change in time to address the growing China issue? Only time will tell.

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