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China, Russia, and South Africa Completed Military Drills

China, Russia, and South Africa Completed Military Drills

March 02, 2023566 view(s)

China, Russia, and South Africa finished ten days of joint naval drills off the South African coast. The three nations are all members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), which is committed to overthrowing the Dollar’s hegemony over international trade. The trilateral naval exercise was the second between the three nations, with the first in 2019. Before the trilateral training, the international community asked South Africa why it would host Russia and China. "All countries conduct military exercises with friends worldwide. It's the natural course of relations," said South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.

The test's three main strategic components were China's navy, Russia's advanced weaponry, and the waters off South Africa’s coast. The Chinese navy is the largest in the world. China has approximately 340 battle force ships, whereas the U.S. has 294. China has plans to expand its fleet to 400 by 2025 and 440 by  2030. Russia developed a hypersonic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missile can travel more than 600 miles at nine times the speed of sound on a trajectory challenging to detect by radar. South Africa is strategically located on nautical trade routes. South African ports are used for refueling, ship repairs, maintenance, and an alternative to conflict area

The drill's timing has the world intelligence community deliberating about its significance. The exercise overlapped the first anniversary of the Russian Ukraine invasion and a meeting of the G20 in India. The drills were scheduled after a surge of Western weapons and tanks was promised to Ukraine in January. Also, the tension between the U.S. and China escalated rapidly over the last few weeks. Are China, Russia, and South Africa preparing for war, beating their chests, or is it a routine military drill between friends, as the South African Foreign Minister said? 

Russia has repeatedly warned about nuclear escalation over Western involvement in Ukraine. Here is a summary of the rapid escalation of U.S./Chinese relations over the last few weeks and the backdrop of the trilateral naval drill.

1.  A memo from a 4-star U.S. Airforce general was leaked on social media. The memo instructed his commanders to prepare the U.S. troops for war with China before 2025.

2.  Three days later, the balloon appears over the Montana missile depot for the world to see. The balloon had similar surveillance technology as their low-flying satellites. The balloons didn’t give China data it couldn't get from its satellites, so it appears China wanted the balloon seen. It was a non-subtle statement to the world that China can enter our airspace anytime it wants, and the U.S. can't do anything about it. The payload could have been anything like a nuclear bomb, emp, drones, toxic gas, a biological weapon, or other bad things. After the balloon navigated the entire U.S. and stopped over sensitive military sites for prolonged periods, the U.S. shot the balloon down over the ocean. China condemned the U.S. for violating international norms and customs, shooting down the balloon.

3.  China called Iran and invited the Iranian delegation to Beijing. Twenty-four hours later, the Iranian delegation is in Beijing. It was the first Iranian visit to Beijing in 20 years and was planned in less than 24 hours. Whether it was or wasn’t, it looked like an emergency meeting. They signed at least 20 new economic and security agreements. The day after the delegation returned to Iran, the state-run Iranian newspaper said Iran had been accepted into the BRICS . The Chinese newspaper said Iran would support the electric grid supply chain of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). 

4.  President Biden went to Ukraine unannounced, promised $500 million in additional aid that day, and promised that the U.S. would support Ukraine financially “as long as it takes”. Two days later, Janet Yellen pledged another $10 billion to Ukraine.

5.  When Biden visited Ukraine, the Chinese ambassador made an emergency trip to Moscow.

6.  The U.S. threatened China, Chinese businesses, and Chinese oligarchs with sanctions if China offered any military assistance to Russia.

7.  China immediately posted a manifesto on its government website detailing U.S. crimes and power abuses against countries on every continent, including allies and foes. The point of the manifesto was to rub salt in some international relations wounds and essentially called for a global revolt against the Dollar and the U.S. being head of the international table. The manifesto was published on February 20, 2023. Read the manifesto here.

Russian and Chinese forces have a common enemy, the U.S. Since they both believe that an enemy of an enemy is a friend, the two countries conducting joint military drills is logical. However, the real question about the training is figuring out why South Africa is getting involved. South Africa has been neutral about Russia’s activity in Ukraine and refused to condemn Russia for the invasion. South Africa hosting the drill questions South African neutrality and risks international backlash and sanctions if the drill helps Russia in Ukraine. 

South Africa risking all trade with the West is a potentially devastating, high price and was indeed considered before inviting China and Russia for a military drill. South Africa’s risk-to-reward ratio seems out of balance unless there is something hidden from our eyes. The BRICS is supposed to be an economic alliance of developing countries like the G7 for established economies, not a military force like NATO. South Africa is mixing some business with pleasure by betting on the logical end game for China and Russia. Despite the Foreign Minister’s words, this was not “just a normal exercise among friends.”

Suppose the BRICS are trying to build a military coalition against NATO, not just an economic one against the G7. In that case, it is almost guaranteed that Egypt will be accepted into the BRICS later this year. Egypt and twelve other nations have applied to join the BRICS. The BRICS nations will have three meetings this year to discuss the applications and entrance requirements. If you look at the map, Egypt is  very strategic. It controls the Suez Canal. 

The Suez Canal is the fastest crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and the most used shipping channel in the world. Suppose Egypt became a port for BRICS naval forces. U.S. access to Middle Eastern oil could almost be turned off like a faucet by a Chinese naval blockade in the Suez Canal. 

If I were China and wanted to shut America off, the first I would do is control the Suez Canal. Then, I would stop selling rare earth minerals to the U.S.. Within six months, the U.S. could not produce electricity without cranking up the coal mines to overdrive. The environmentalists would go insane, and there would be intense domestic division. After the U.S. went black and the food melted in everyone’s freezer, I would attack the tired, weary, malnourished, divided nation living on gasoline generators. It’s a scary scenario, but China nearly has all the pieces to make it happen. 

Where is the Wisdom?

The U.S. depends on Middle Eastern countries for oil and China for rare earth minerals necessary to produce electricity, operate airplanes, and precision weapon targeting systems. China controls 90% of the world's rare earth minerals. There are very few places on earth where rare earth minerals can be found in large deposits; unfortunately, China is one of those places. There are deposits in the U.S., but it would be years before a mine could produce any. The U.S. has less than six months of rare earth minerals in reserve and a very unfriendly political climate toward domestic oil production. Not being self-sufficient gave our enemies leverage. 

The world is moving toward the uncertainties of war. Governments are de-dollarizing their economies, and markets are in turmoil. Although there are many reasons to think so, there are no guarantees that the world will end up at war or that the market will crash. However, it could, and you should have a financial plan if they do. The way to protect yourself is to remove the leverage against you and conceal your wealth. As they say, an invisible target is hard to hit. Precious metals are vital to becoming financially self-sufficient if the worst happens. 

Why not create your strategic stockpile of precious metals, just in case? 

Call the U.S. Gold Bureau for a free consultation.

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Ryan Watkins, Op-Ed ContributorbyRyan Watkins, Op-Ed Contributor
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