The above article is written by Pinko and I was not planning to post it. until I saw the three photos taking during a parade
China Testing Its Big Power Options In South America
Hong Kong (UPI) Nov 19, 2008
disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
Most of China's dealings with Latin American countries are motivated by its pursuit of oil and other resources.
This is only partly true in the case of Cuba, however. The country has unique political, strategic and intelligence value for China. Interestingly, China's military contacts with Cuba bear the secretive characteristics of Soviet-Cuban engagement in the 1960s.
In 2006 the commander of China's People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Corps visited Cuba. His message to the United States was a softer version of the one that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev intended to send when he attempted to put nuclear missiles therein 1962 -- Cuba is not the backyard of the United States.
Since China's current strategy is to reduce friction with the United States, it is unlikely to export missile technologies to Cuba. But should the situation in the Taiwan Strait deteriorate to where China is ready to take military action, it is possible that Beijing may attempt to deter U.S. intervention by playing the Cuban missile card.
On a visit to Cuba in 2000, this author was surprised to find the country's economy already dominated by Chinese goods. From trains and bicycles to household goods, almost everything was made in China. China is Cuba's second-largest trading partner, and total trade between the two countries in 2006 was $1.8 billion.
In 2001 the People's Liberation Army's Chief of General Staff Gen. Fu Quanyou visited Cuba and signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation with Cuba. In recent years, exchanges between the top leadership of the Chinese and Cuban militaries have been very frequent.
Regional intelligence analysts believe that these moves are evidence of close intelligence cooperation between the two countries. Cuba has acquired communications and telephone production technologies from China; almost all of Cuba's telephones are made in China. The possibility cannot be excluded that the Third Department of the People's Liberation Army Headquarters of General Staff has established a secret communications monitoring base in Cuba.
In addition, the political commissar of China's National Defense University, Zhao Keming, headed a Chinese military delegation to Cuba in 2006, indicating that China has been helping Cuba to train military commanders. In 2007, China's then-Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan once again appeared in Havana.
All these activities suggest active military exchanges between China and Cuba. Yet so far there is no indication that China has shipped to Cuba intact ground forces, navy or air force systems.
China also has a keen interest in Cuba's natural resources, especially nickel. The Chinese military industry has a huge demand for stainless steel but does not have sufficient nickel for the production process. China's eyes have turned to Cuba, which has the world's second-largest nickel reserves.
Further south, Chile is a key transfer station for Chinese military weapons in South America. Chinese ammunition enterprises regularly attend the Santiago Air Show every two years. In recent years China has been using this air show to promote to South American countries a series of weapons systems, including A-100 rocket guns, a variety of satellites and launch vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, P-12 SSMs and other weapons systems.
A source from the Chilean air force confirmed to United Press International that in the course of purchasing A-50 AWAC aircraft, China sent high-level military officers to visit Chile and study its Israeli-made early warning radar systems.
Beijing courts Argentina
China has been stepping up its military contacts with Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, in addition to its existing ties with Cuba and Venezuela.
The engagements between the militaries of China and Chile are already quite frequent.
In 2004, Chen Bingde, who was commander-in-chief of China's Jinan military region at the time, visited Chile and inspected the Chilean Ground Force Warfare Academy and Campaign Tactics Training Center. In May this year, Chilean air force Chief Ricardo Ortega visited Beijing. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Jeria had visited China one month earlier.
China has been placing emphasis on its relations with Chile because of its economic and political strength relative to other Central and South American countries. By demonstrating the benefits of the China-Chile relationship, Beijing hopes to influence those South American countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan to switch allegiance.
China signed a free trade agreement with Chile in 2006 and surpassed the United States as Chile's top export market last year. In 2007 Chile's exports to China exceeded $10 billion, with copper the main China-bound export item.
China also has an eye on Bolivia's rich natural resources, and relations with that country have been warming. In early 2006, while still the president-elect, Bolivia's current President Evo Morales visited Beijing and invited China to jointly develop Bolivia's natural gas reserves. Bolivia is the second-largest producer of natural gas in South America and has confirmed reserves of 1.38 trillion cubic meters.
Around the same time the international intelligence community began to speculate that China planned to sell Bolivia portable HY5A surface-to-air missiles. In 2007 China transferred 42 vehicles to the Bolivian military free of charge, including 34 trucks, five passenger buses and three crossovers.
In recent years, political and military cooperation between Bolivia and Venezuela has been very close. On May 22, 2008, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation. Both consider themselves ideological allies of China.
China has been trying to win over Argentina since 2004. Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the country that year, and China announced it would invest $5 billion to develop crude oil in Argentina. Soon after that China began military overtures to the country as well.
In May 2007 Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan visited Argentina and signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation. China began to supply military trucks to Argentina free of charge at that time. It seems that China's military penetration of South America invariably started with the provision of free military trucks.
Argentina also expressed an interest in acquiring China's Z-9 serial helicopters and in reinforcing cooperation with China on the exploration of Antarctica. China has also been assisting Argentina in training military commanders.
To sum up, China is now actively striving to acquire oil and natural gas resources in Central and South America. It is accomplishing this through the sale of weapons, with the added advantage of strengthening its political and military influence in the region, particularly among left-leaning regimes.
(Andrei Chang is editor in chief of Kanwa Defense Review Monthly, registered in Toronto.)
The above article is written by Pinko and I was not planning to post it. until I saw the three photos taking during a parade
Why are they dressed old-style German?
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.
Where was the parade - Chile, Argentina?
Also, if China is looking to partially take over the Soviet role in Cuba, imagine they would be very interested in the old Soviet listening post there, that the Russian's closed down in 2002/2003(?).
Any info there?
ROC funded developments are somewhat common in Guatemala and of out the 23 countries that still recognize ROC, most of them are located in South / Central America.
Taipei - President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala, one of the 23 countries which recognize Taiwan, is set to arrive in Taipei Tuesday evening as the island is trying to cement ties with its allies. Colom will visit for four days and attend Taiwan's National Day celebrations on October 10. He will hold talks with President Ma Ying-jeou on strengthening ties and receive an honorary degree from the Chinese Culture University, the ministry said.
Colom will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Roger Haroldo Rodas and other Guatemalan officials and reporters.
Coinciding with Colom's visit, a Guatemalan trade delegation arrived in Taipei Monday.
The delegation consists of representatives of the Central American country's wood processing, chan seeds, medicine, seafood and coffee industries. Guatemala is one of Taiwan's leading suppliers of coffee beans.
On Wednesday afternoon the foreign ministry will hold a seminar at the Grand Hotel in Taipei to promote investment in Guatemala, attended by the trade delegation and they will also meet with potential Taiwan investors in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung.
Guatemala is one of the 23 mostly-small nations which recognize Taiwan, and half of these allies are in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Colom is the only foreign head of state attending Taiwan's National Day celebrations.
Taiwan has invited 171 foreign guests, including vice foreign minister of Honduras, Eduardo Federico Rosales Ramírez, to the celebrations.
Guatemalan delegation has arrived
The China Post news staff
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 9:31 am
TAIPEI, Taiwan –– A Guatemalan trade mission arrived in Taiwan Oct. 6 on a 12-day visit
to forge new commercial relations. Amongst the delegation are representatives of the Central American country’s wood processing, chan seeds, medicine, seafood and coffee industries — Guatemala is one of Taiwan’s leading suppliers of coffee beans.
A MOFA- and MOEA-sponsored seminar on Guatemala Trade & Investments takes place tomorrow, Oct. 8 at The Grand Hotel at 3:30 p.m. Additionally, open meetings with business leaders are planned in the cities of Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung during the visit, on Oct. 7, Oct. 13 and Oct. 16, respectively. The seminar and meetings are open to interested parties wishing to import from Guatemala, or seeking partners for joint ventures.
The mission’s arrival will coincide with a diplomatic visit by Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom, who will participate in Double Ten celebrations in his first diplomatic trip to Asia since taking power January 14 this year. Accompanying him is Guatemala’s economics minister, Romulo Caballero.
Guatemala is one of Taiwan’s key diplomatic allies, signing a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan that was ratified earlier this year. For more information, contact the Central America Trade Office (CATO): (02) 8789-1592 Ext. 24.
Vehículo ligero 4x4 de ½ tonelada Zhanjiang Kingstar Vehicle Co BAW pertenciente al Tercer Cuerpo de Ejército. Su origen es Chino
here is the foto
Hard to imagine Cuba ever recognising a US backed regime in Taiwan over a communist China...
Had heard a bit about the Taiwanese efforts elsewhere, though, & China's counter efforts.
Didn't Paraguay reverse their recognition from Taiwan to China recently?
And 'Bilbao Rioja':
Bernardino Bilbao Rioja (1895-1983) was a Bolivian officer who served during the Chaco War (1932-35). He pioneered the use of air forces in combat (the first to be used in this capacity in South America).
Bilbao had already made enemies among his cohorts when he refused to participate in the 1930 coup against President Siles. This enmity led him to be vetoed for most major promotions within the military, both during the war and after. One of the reasons for the 1934 military uprising that toppled the Constitutional President Daniel Salamanca was the latter's desire to replace the ineffective current commanders with Generals Lanza and Bilbao Rioja at the head of the army.
After the war, Bilbao's popularity converted him into a potential enemy to the aspirations of the likes of Col. David Toro Ruilova and Gen. Enrique Peñaranda. In particular, it was rumored that Bilbao would present himself in the 1940 elections against Peñaranda, a prospect that obviously troubled Peñaranda's supporters in the "Concordancia" (the agglomeration of most of the oligarchic, old-style parties united behind one candidate). Thus, Bilbao was promptly detained and then flown to exile in Chile. But he eventually returned, and indeed, ran for President in 1951 and 1966, both times representing the right-of-center Falange Socialista Boliviana. Despite losing both elections, he remained popular and universally respected.
Bilbao Rioja died in La Paz on May 13, 1983, at age 88.
Last edited by snowhole; 08 Dec 08, at 19:43.
Paraguay rolls out red carpet for Ma
ASUNCION -- President Ma Ying-jeou, on arrival in Paraguay around 11:30 p.m. local time, was given a high-level state welcome, with a red carpet, a guard of honor and hundreds of overseas Taiwanese waiting to greet him.
Before he disembarked from the charter plane, Ma was greeted by director general of the Paraguayan foreign ministry’s Department of Protocol and by David Hu, Taiwan’s ambassador to Paraguay. He then disembarked and walked along a red carpet with a military honor guard lined up on both sides, to be received formally by Paraguayan Interior Minister Libio Florentin and his wife.
The minute Ma stepped off the Miami Airlines charter flight, around 300 hundred Taiwanese expatriates, who were lined up along the red carpet, began waving national flags of the Republic of China and calling out, “Greetings, President Ma.”
Lin Shih-wei, first secretary of the Republic of China’s Embassy in Paraguay, told the Central News Agency that many of the expatriates were from nearby countries such as Chile and Argentina, and that some had traveled to Paraguay a few days earlier just to greet Ma.
The purpose of Ma’s first state visit since he took office May 20 is to attend the inaugurations of Paraguayan President-elect Fernando Lugo on Aug. 15 and Dominican Republic President-elect Leonel Fernandez on Aug. 16.
After acknowledging and shaking hands with the Taiwanese expatriates, Ma delivered a three minute speech at the airport, saying that he was deeply moved by the warm welcome, especially in light of the fact that he had arrived close to midnight.
“Taiwan and Paraguay have had 51 years of deep and solid friendship,” Ma said. “I would like to take this opportunity to consolidate our diplomatic relations and further develop the existing bilateral cooperation.
Noting that the outgoing Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte had visited Taiwan twice and that former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and former Vice President Annette Lu had also visited Paraguay, Ma said the links between the two countries are “very close.”
Lugo had said many times that he would like to switch diplomatic recognition to China — a statement that spurred speculations that Taiwan might lose its only diplomatic ally in South America.
Media reports from Paraguay said that the country’s Vice President-elect Federico Franco has requested US$71 million in foreign aid from Taiwan and has threatened to sever ties with Taiwan before Lugo’s inauguration if it did not receive the funding.
Lugo, however, told the Asuncion-based ABC Color daily news Tuesday that his government will maintain ties with Taipei — a message that was welcomed by Taiwan.
Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office on May 20, he has sought an end to the longstanding diplomatic tug-of-war with China, in which both sides compete for recognition by giving large sums of money to developing countries desperate for funds, a practice that critics call checkbook diplomacy.
Speaking to reporters on the charter flight from Los Angeles to Paraguay after making a refueling stop in Panama, Foreign Minister Francisco H.L. Ou said he did not know what made Lugo change his mind, adding that Taiwan nevertheless welcomed the assurance.
“The foreign ministry’s stance is that any new bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and its allies must be project-oriented, and the ministry will make evaluations before deciding whether to approve foreign aid,” Ou said.
From now on, Ou said, he will ask the ministry to monitor all foreign aid and will grant funds depending on the efficiency with which these projects are implemented.
However, “it is the transfer of technology and experience that is most effective in helping these countries,” Ou added.
Soldados del Destacamento Conjunto de Empleo Inmediato (DECEI) desfilando con carabinas Norinco CQ-M4 de 5,56 mm. Son copias de la Colt M-4A1 fabricadas en China y equipadas con visores de modelo desconocido. El DECEI depende del Comando de Tropas Especiales del Ejército.
The HJ-8A is believed to have entered service as a ground-mobile system around 1988 and the air-to-surface helicopter-launched version is thought to have entered service in 1991. The missile is in production and exports of the ground-launched version have been reported to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Pakistan and Thailand
The uniform is not a dead giveaway. I know Chilean Army's got German-like uniform, but look at this.
Soldiers take part in a parade to mark the 183th anniversary of Bolivia's founding in Cochabamba August 7, 2008. (Reuters Pictures)
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