Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A "Great Game" Development: Iran and China Restart the Silk Road will Pipelines be Next?

It seems the Red Chinese are moving in quick now that sanctions have been lifted on Iran.
The first cargo train from China to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday, marking a milestone in reviving the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The 32-container train passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran, taking 14 days (30 days less than a typical sea voyage between Shanghai and the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas) to complete the 6,462 mile journey from China’s eastern city of Wiyu.

The Silk Road – envisioned as a rail and sea route – is part of China’s “One Belt, One Road,” an economic development strategy, which has opened a new chapter of win-win cooperation between China and Iran, Xinhua reported.
That is kind of a long haul but the idea of a long pipeline bringing Iranian oil to Chinese refineries and then sold directly into China might be a smart play. It would have to cross through several countries but I'm sure the Red Chinese can grease a few palms to get the thing going.

It would be a perfect "Great Game" strategy. China gets away from American/Saudi oil coming by ship and moves toward a fairly stable pipeline coming from Iran. In return Iran gets a stable market for their oil and also gets the Red Chinese to move into their sphere of influence. Israel or the US would be loathe to bomb nuclear sites when it could raise the ire of Red China. Even if sanctions were threatened on Iran the Chinese would vote anything down because they have an economic dog in the game. Very canny by both players.

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