OBOR – Strategic irrelevance

Some Asean countries are still thinking of wrestling with China for barren rocks and reefs in the South China as their national priorities, and wanting to buy more weapons for a military contest, China is moving along with the One Belt and One Road strategy that would change the way trade will be conducted in the region and the whole world. The strategic importance of the Straits of Malacca and the Isthmus of Kra would become strategic irrelevance when China completes its international high speed train network across Europe, to Africa and to the Americas. There would be no more needs for a large sea going ocean fleet to transport goods to and from Africa and Europe to China and even to the Americas. The efficiency and cheaper cost of going by land in high speed train, cutting time and distance, would make transportation by ships obsolete. China could move goods to and from Europe and Africa by passing South and South East Asia completely.

The little consolation and consideration for the One Belt portion of OBOR is to cater for the needs of countries like Indonesia and the Philippines that trains could not reach them. The game of trade through sea ports would be totally changed.

What about Singapore becoming irrelevant in the game plan? If Singapore and Malaysia would play the game right, both could be playing a new role as the new trading centres and the terminals for high speed train. All goods from and to Indonesia could land in Singapore and go forth by land to Asia and Europe in double quick time. The caveat, if the high speed train terminal landed in Singapore. Missing this boat will mark the end of Singapore as a trading centre for the region.

China is playing on a chess board that is as big as the whole world while the Asean countries are bickering over the South China Sea and thinking that it could hold China to ransom by choking up the Straits of Malacca. The Chinese have thought through their strategic interests and have mapped out their plans, on land, by land and minimizing the need for sea transportation to a minimum.

The OBOR and the high speed train and road network across Asia to Europe and Africa are game changers to a new world of global commerce.


Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

Meritocracy rules the day.

China is on the rise. Therefore it's a reasonable and obvious move on China's part to want to aid commerce and communications, and build infrastructure and engage in "partnerships".

We are all going to be better off as a result. I can't understand the folks who are not on board with this (USA excluded).

Anonymous said...

As a banana, I have to applaud China's OBOR initiative.
It's bold.
It's game changing.
The success will rest upon execution.

Land locked countries seem to benefit most from OBOR.
And the "founding" members of ASEAN are not land locked countries.
Meaning, the founding members of ASEAN will never be as excited as a land locked country over OBOR.

Do you think OBOR will be like a PAP style Chinese lantern?
Bright and beautiful when viewed from a distance.
But upon close inspection, we see that it's all hollow inside.
With plenty of hot air coming out from the top.

Anonymous said...

The direct land links btw Europe and China, Middle East and China by land will cut travelling time by more than half and cost even more. Many ships would no longer be ploughing through Singapore and the Straits of Malacca when the trains to Europe and Middle East are in full operations. The trains already reached Brussels, Czechs and Turkey.

NOL the first to become irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

In that case Singapore is habis lar. Better be on board and also build up the airlink

Anonymous said...

Liken to one long dragon body or snakelike body slithering on dusty ground and eating dust

Anonymous said...

The role of Singapore will change. If Singapore can be the southern most tip of Asia's train terminal, it can serve as the main distribution point to and from Indonesia. It's role to serve Africa, India and the Middle East would be grossly changed.

Anonymous said...

Hey idiot, China and the other countries are not fighting over barren rocks or sea lanes. They are fighting over oil & gas under the sea. China has already said so, in no uncertain terms.

Anonymous said...

Oh, only know. So clever.

Anonymous said...

Singapore has relevance in OBOR??? Have a look in any map abt this obor, there is no singapore in it. China is not friendly to Singapore. 1 read reason is: the high speed rail is broken in the south. Thailand military govt first said it gave up the idea in 2014, then said it does on its own funds to exclude China. So the High speed rail is not likely to connect from Laos. Tankuku.

OBOR is not for all Asean countries. If my guess is correct, the high speed rail will end in 2 Asean countries: Lao and Cambodia. The main aim for Xi is to have access on resources in Germany, and sell china goods to Europe. China bought the rights on a port in Greek, using Cocos as vehicle. This is a real step forward for OBOR.

The first rail connect from China to middle east was really fast. After Iran s sanction got lifted, the train reach Teh ran station, this month or lost month i forgot. The next route will be africa. China has good business orders from middle east, aircon for the hot weather is a must have. Heard of gree brand?

Singapore will not have the high speed rail link. This is the conclusion: except may be link to KL. If Umno loses in coming election, the high speed rail will stop at KL only.

What high speed rail linking to singapore? Dont even think of it in our life time.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

This is how precarious Singapore's situation is if the high speed train is blocked by Thailand or Malaysia. Then Singapore's role will be very much diminished. The sea route would be a pale shade of its past, serving Indonesia and southern Asia and the Ppines.

The southern train terminal is crucial for Singapore to continue to play a significant role. Missing this it would have to rely on Changi, the air route and air suitable cargoes.

Anonymous said...

If China ranks priority to help Asean in high speed rail, Singapore is the last. China will assist Cambodia as first, second Laos. May be Brunei inclusive as it did not challenge China on Spralty islands claims. The rest are supporting philippines and US. China holds the cash and technology to build cheaper cost speed rails.

Singapore relies on Changi may be affected by Indonesia s claiming back on control of airpace of riau batam bintan and natuna island. Indon transport mister said, in 4 to 5 yrs from 2015, Jokowi has ordered Indon to take over. There is no way Singapore can stop Indon as they have the airforce plane to stop flights over their air space. Only talk in Singapore. The same kind of talk in Singapore, the Indon vice president said there are fugitives stole Indon money living in Singapore. Nothing was done to resolve this kind of dark image in state relations. So by 2020, Singapore is likely to lose the air control on Riau, Batam airspace, essentials for Changi flights.

Citizens are very good in closing their eyes and let the politicians bluff their ways. But it seems China are not interested in Singapore. Indonesia is closing the gaps. NO more open borders. Even a leisure boat fished in Indon water was detained ( just last week). Dont play play with Indon Jokowi. Better watch the development ourselves.

Look at this for Singapore s future: China has 500000 innovation patents, S Korea has 70000, Singapore has???
People need to go China or S Korean factories, not go to Singapore. For tour may be. This is the future of what the world highest paid politicians have led Singapore to: where is the bright spot/ tourism only if there are visitors paying high S$.

Anonymous said...

Singapore maxed out in everything except minister salaries.
Now running out of ideas except to raise minister salaries.

Anonymous said...

U are very correct. Increase minister salaries is the only way the ministers would want to do. The salaries are not high enough for the working ex generals.

1. the ceo of mrt gave pressed conference that mrt company adhered to safety procedures before the 2 malay engineers were killed by the moving train at 60mph.
The findings of experts and mrt safety committee said: NO safety procedures. Auto speed was not adjusted to 0 mph for train and not sentry to look out for moving train to warn workers at site.
This is a sign of ceo and senior staff are poorly paid, correct or wrong? Last ceo drew $4millions bonus correct?

2. the white papers has approved to increase population to 4 millions foreigners, 1 millions more than citizens, for 7 millions. The ex hdb chief pushed govt to quickly increase population to 10 millions.
The water level at Lingui reservoir JB shows cracked soil, insufficient water stock.
That is a sign ministers and sr civil servants are no enough paid. Planning to drink 1 sip water a day for 10 millions population: a time for riots for water. Got stand by anti riot force may takes days to arrive at the site. Little india riot they took only 1 over hours, fast movement. No water will not move even the motor vehicles, correct?

patriot said...

Sin is on it's last leg.

What can visitors see in Sin?
Old folks washing toilet and cleaning table?
Who wants to come here to see artificial garden when the Real Stuff are everywhere in other countries.
Atr the Italians coning here to eat pizza and pasta, Ozzies here to taste beef steak and drink milk imported from Australia?

At most, some filthy rich shenanigans maybe here to wash their dirty wealth; money laundering. But with Wiki Leak and Panama Revelation, Sin has lost much of its wealth generation.

As for physical trade in goods, airport and airfreight have been diminishing the Importance of Sin as a seaport for sometimes and as time progresses, it becomes even less impotant. Imagine if Thailand, Malaysia and China go ahead to build the Isthmus Of Kra.

State Assets had been sold, however, there are some left that may keep Sin afloat for a while. The Only Question is
where did the Money go or are going to?

As for Sinkies, many with Second home abroad or have Green Card should not be too worried. The 80% who own Public Housing, about 70% or there-about have no worry too, base on last GE Result.

So, as a whole, Sinkies are NOT worry and can afford to care less about whatever China or any nations do.

Sin punches above it's weight in the Past and Sinkies, at least the Majority seem to have the Confidence they are able to do better with the Pappies leading them.

Good Luck Sin.


b said...

Many countries are not involved in this OBOR and thus they will form a second trade road between themselves which can rival the chinese one. Two better than one lah. Competition means consumers will have more choices.

Anonymous said...

More people in Sin will also
mean more vibrancies and

Is this what You are saying ?

Anonymous said...

No need to build another road lah. They don't have the money to do so. The goods would flow from the factory of the world to the consumers of the world. Raw material and resources would have to move to the factory of the world.

Anonymous said...

wah lau!

Providing armed escorts for almost every ship or a group of ships is impossible already.

Getting the train to pass through Middle East and Africa through the ? taliban territory? religious fanatics or just common bandits? with just simple blowing off the tracks?

Who is suppose to provide security? and insurance premium? Not just cargo but oil supply as well. Tankers would still need to be around . You cannot just build pipelines across the globe as you need to build numerous valve stations/ pump stations and guard them. In the event of one station kaboom, then the reliability is at stake?

By pass US, now the trade deflicit of China to US this year is 500 billion USD. The excess goods sell where?

And you cannot chose 2 options (sea and land) coz the other country also not stupid. Also you would force other countries not in wagon to find their big brother and cry.

不要聪明反被聪明误? Maybe it is not bad to be cut off from China and then stick with US. At least there wont be huge influx of chinese coming into Sg to compete for jobs? There will be some kind of protection. Globalization is only good to the very rich people. Maybe i am wrong.

Anonymous said...

Globalization is only good to the very rich people. Maybe i am wrong.
April 25, 2016 6:04 pm

No, you are not wrong.
The Singapore Millionaires.
Do you think they spend 24 hours a day thinking about how to make us rich?
Or do you think they spend 24 hours a day thinking about how to make themselves rich?

Anonymous said...

Speaking like the Falungong. Betrayed China to kiss the Americans' backside and say smell good.

Anonymous said...

Chan Chun Sing in China praising China and how important the OBOR projects were and how Singapore can cooperate with China to benefit from such cooperation.

Back home, Ong Keng Yong and Bilahari Kausikan whacking China for trying to divide Asean but praising the Americans for dividing Asean.

And Singapore thinks it can get away with this kind of double talks in dealings with China.