News that the Chinese and the Iranians have been in the process of forming a major alliance is just one more indication that China is increasingly at the fulcrum of much that is happening in the world.
NewsMax reported "a major growing alliance between 'axis of evil' member Iran and communist China. The relationship which has been nurtured by both countries for decades, is growing exponentially now, primarily out of China's insatiable energy needs and Iran's increasing hunger for consumer goods, as the economies of both countries continue to expand . . . What it could mean for the long haul is a stronger, more menacing Iran and China, each buoyed by needs being met by the other . . ." (November 18, 2004)
"Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the growing Iran-China alliance is the Islamic republic's access to the improving technology being developed, deployed and utilized by the People's Liberation Army. Nowhere are U.S. concerns greater than in the area of ballistic missile technology" (ibid.).
At the same time, German Chancellor Schroeder is now making a strong bid to broaden Germany's trade with China. The Financial Times recently reported that "China's weight in global trade is so great that even a hiccup could shake some markets" (Dec. 7, 2004).
China's increasing global influence is even reflected by the supposition that "rising tensions with China may add impetus to Japan's gradual shift to a more assertive military" (Newsweek, Nov. 29, 2004). Add to that EU readiness to end the ban on weapons sales to China, threatening to cause a transatlantic rift with the United States.
It would be wise to watch events in China and Southeast Asia in general. (Sources: NewsMax, International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, The Financial Times [London].)