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#Russia – #China Relationship Leap as a result of Joint Vostok-2018 Drills (#Putin #Shoigu)

The largest military exercise in the history of modern Russia, Vostok-2018, has concluded. The participants in these maneuvers are returning to their home bases. Almost 300,000 soldiers and more than 1,000 airplanes, helicopters, drones, and armored vehicles, as well as about 100 ships, took part in the exercise.

 

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What a Contrast! Russo/Japanese Relations Have Become Absolutely Stellar in Last Years

Despite various attempts by the US to sabotage the process, Japan is making consistent steps to slowly decouple from the US, and get closer to Russia! This is happening thanks to the wise policy of Putin and his team, who in the past several years invited Japanese business to establish joint ventures in a multitude of fields. And thanks to the common sense attitudes and sovereign policies of the Japanese PM Abe. 

We also have to ‘thank’ Obama’s and Trump’s anti-Russian sanctions. If not for them, Japanese business wouldn’t be able to get its foot in the door. The space for the Japanese, S. Korean and Chinese business was very ungraciously freed-up by the sanctioned Western businesses, as a result of the US/UK/EU sanctions and trade war against Russia.

As I predicted in 2014:

1. ‘If the West hits Russia with sanctions, off to the EAST Russians go before anyone can blink!’ 

2. Russia benefits from sanctions!

AND THAT’S WHAT WE CALL THE GREAT EARTH SHIFT!

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The presidents of Russia, China, and Mongolia, as well as the Prime Ministers of South Korea and Japan, are to attend the Vladivostok Far Eastern Forum next week. Ahead of the forum, Sergei Mengazhin, Russian correspondent in Tokyo, was invited over by the individual responsible for the new Japanese policy towards Russia. This topic is of primary concern to Siberia and the Far East, but it’s a point of interest for all Russians and beyond, largely due to the striking contrast between the islanders from Japan and those from Great Britain.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a Mazda plant in Russian far-eastern city of Vladivostok on Monday (September, 10). The leaders of two countries attended the launch of an assembly line of engines at ‘Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus’ company’s plant. Putin and Abe inspected the plant and watched the presentation by the company experts. ”Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus” is a joint venture of Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan and the Sollers company of Russia, established on the principles of equal partnership.

 

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Eastern Shift! Vladivostok and Other Russian Far East Ports to Become International Free Trade Hubs

First ever East Russia International Economic Forum (Vostochny Economichesky Forum), aka, Eastern Economic Forum, is taking place in Vladivostok, Russia. Vladivostok is Russia’s port and international hub in the Far East, located very close to Japan.

During Soviet days Vladivostok was a closed city, where foreigners were not allowed. After the breakup of the USSR it became a hub for trade with Japan, sometimes illegal.

However, as Russia continues its historic pivot to the East (as I predicted since the beginning of 2014) more and more interest in free and legal country-to-country trade is developing. What a turn around from the Soviet days!

During the East Russia Economic Forum Putin announced that Vladivostok would become first Free Trade Port in the Far East, a development eagerly awaited by Japanese, Korean and Chinese business and investors. Putin also announced that following Vladivostok, other Russian Far Eastern ports will become Free Trade zones. He didn’t specify which ones, but I believe we are talking primarily Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, but also probably Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Komsomolsk-na-Amure and a few others.

Why is this announcement being made now:

This proposal had been on the table for the Japanese investors for some years. Russians promoted it as a way to make peace with old Japanese claims for Kuril Islands and Sakhalin (the latter has been withdrawn, as far as I know). However, Japanese, due to the internal politics and American pressure were unwilling to move the issue along. The elegant solution of the free trade zones, while Russia keeps the political, administrative and military control over its strategically important islands is a very wise solution of the old dispute.

The free trade ports issue stalled until China and Russia were literally pushed towards a very close alliance after the blatant intervention of the US and West in Ukraine and after the anti-Russian sanctions. The multi-faceted Russia-China alliance is making new leaps forward, the latest being Putin’s trip to Beijing for the Chinese parade (I’ll have a separate post about that).

As the trade between Russia and China is making these giant leaps, Korean and Japanese investors have to scramble to catch on while they can. The alternative is losing the lucrative Russian market, which is now opening up. But this rare opportunity will only last until the market is taken.

Japanese interest in the East Russia Forum is overwhelming, same as Chinese, S. Korean, Singaporean, etc. The organizers said that they planned for 1000 participants, while they got over 5000 participation requests. The interest from Europeans is just as huge.

The systematic Russian pivot to the East is continuing. It is helped by the short-sighted and silly policies of the West (recall my many predictions!).

Japan, usually identified as part of the West, is seeing the writing on the wall and is trying to shift towards the East as well. Japanese businessmen declared during the forum their desire to keep politics and business separate.

Read related:

Pro-US and Anti-Russian Japan: Eyewitness Overview and Predictions

Video: Vladimir Putin proposes to create free trade zones in Vladivostok and other Far East ports.

Владимир Путин предложил распространить режим свободного порта на гавани Дальнего Востока

Video: Putin guarantees complete support for investors in the Far East:

Putin: Rosneft will invest 1.3 trln rubles in the Far East projects:

Putin: The Far East is welcoming to anyone who is ready to cooperate:

Full video speech by Vladimir Putin at First Eastern Economic Forum (Rus)

Synchronicity in action:

As I was getting ready to publish this post, I received three tweets from my Japanese friend Akaida. Here they are:

:

Japanese companies consider participation in Silk Road Economic Belt

Even Japan going ? Sanctions could lead to Russia-Japan currency swaps hmm! 🙂

Japan dumps the DOLLAR! Russia-Japan join Teams

These are all positive signs, at least on the economic front. I spoke in my article Pro-US and Anti-Russian Japan: Eyewitness Overview and Predictions about Japanese business interests diverging from Japanese politics. Dependence on the US and habitual political confrontationism with the neighbors will continue putting the brake on Japan’s integration into the new model of development. I think US will keep its influence over Japan for another 5 or more years.

But cracks are showing, and they are showing on the business side. Japan, still being 2nd largest Asian economy and 3rd-4th largest global economy, plus possessing advanced technologies, is a very valuable business partner. Meanwhile, the ongoing weakening and collapse of the West is causing Japan to reconsider its tight economic alliance with the West. Japanese business has no choice but diversify in order to survive.

Japanese business is eager to set politics aside and set up alliances with the growing world and Asian powers, where the future development is, but old Japanese political allegiances are holding this process back.

This is my summary analysis of the most important features of the slow, ongoing shift of Japan’s position on global arena.

  1. It has to be remembered that while Japan has no global political power, serving basically the US Trojan Horse in the region, it is an economic powerhouse, which at one point was the engine of the global economy. Also, Japan’s regional political and military ambitions are on the rise. All this together means that when Japan switches allegiances, it will be a huge blow to the US empire.
  2. We should expect Japanese switch in conjunction with the EU switch, of which I briefly wrote in the above-linked article. This will be a slow and tedious process, to be sure.
  3. Because Japan has built walls of confrontation and animosity against so many countries in Asia, it is difficult for them to reintegrate. Many in Asia distrust Japan utterly, based on history and present policies.
  4. My prediction is that Japan will be able to re-integrate into Asia economically through the unifying factor of Russia. Generally, Russia will serve as the bridge and peacemaker for re-creating understanding and cooperation not only in Asia,  but also in all of Eurasia, including Europe. The Middle East will take longer, but that will also happen eventually (not for a while, the wounds are too deep). Eventually, Russia’s role will be to re-establish the principles of cooperation and friendship on our entire planet.
  5. Fro the time being, we should have no illusions about Japan politically and militarily. The confrontational approach will persist for as long as Japan’s best buddy is USA. The new Japanese military doctrine for the first time since WWII allows Japanese troops to be deployed oversees. This, understandably, makes everyone in Asia jittery, as people still remember the destructiveness of the Japanese militarism in the past.
  6. There is a clear bifurcation (and rift?) forming between Japanese economic interests and its political direction. This will have to be resolved eventually. I give it 5-7 years. As USA empire weakens, Japan will gradually shift away from the West and closer to the East and Russia. Eventually, economic interests will prevail over politics. Japanese business must now scramble to catch up to China. Incidentally this applies to S. Korea and Singapore as well. If they don’t, in the shifting global economic landscape Japanese companies will start losing out to competitors, weakening the country’s economy.
  7. On some level, Japanese government understands this gloomy scenario. This is why they quietly allow their business to disregard politics. Make no mistake, there is clearly a secret understanding between Japanese big business and the ruling elites (some might say they are one and the same). This is why publicly there is support of the US-Japan alliance, and behind the scenes, economic integration with Russia and the BRICS.
  8. Incidentally, the same is happening with S. Korea, Singapore and other countries. In the next post I will have a telling story about the pressure applied by the US on S. Korea to prevent it escaping US clutches. Same kind of situation is applicable to Europe as well. Everyone sees the writing on the wall. But for the time being, US is still strong enough keep its ‘allies’ in its clutches.

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Russia’s NEW Ambitious Anti-Dollar Move: $150 bln Investment in Baikal-Amur Railroad

Everyone in the world knows the famous Trans-Siberian Railroad (Trans-Sib), built in the 19th century and connecting Europe through the expanse of Siberia, along the southern shore of Lake Baikal, to the Pacific Ocean and China.

Circum-Baikal railroad

Old rails along the shore of the pristine Lake Baikal

old railroad tunnel near Lake Baikal

Old railroad tunnel, Baikal

A scenic landscape at the Baikal lake

Beautiful Baikal

But few abroad know about another, equally famous in Russia, railroad called the simple abbreviation, BAM. BAM means Baikal-Amur Railway, or in Russian: Байкало-Амурская магистраль.

It is also called Baikal–Amur Mainline. “The Baikal–Amur Mainline is a 1,520 mm broad gauge railway line in Russia. Traversing Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East, the 4,324 km long BAM runs about 610 to 770 km north of and parallel to the Trans-Siberian railway.” Wikipedia

 Map of BAM and Trans-Siberian Railroad. BAM is in green and orange. Trans-Sib is in red.

The construction of BAM began 40 years ago today, July 8. It was dubbed the ‘construction of the century.’ Many young enthusiastic people moved to Siberia to build this railroad. The excitement was tremendous, reminiscent of the earlier Soviet industrialization years. The young people formed many of the so-called ‘stroy otriad,’  which means a ‘construction band’ as in ‘a band of brothers and sisters,’ and would go together to the cold Siberia. After they had completed the construction, they would often stay there, start a family and man the railroad they had helped build.

I remember some pretty awesome songs that were written especially for BAM. Here is one of them. It is called Яростный стройотряд, 1979 – The Roaring Construction Band. This video contains some authentic photos from that period. Performed by the legendary Alexander Gradsky and well-worth listening to! Gradsky has one of the best voices you would ever hear – I promise; and the song is cool, too. I’ve translated a couple of verses:

I’m the fresh wind, the soaring flame,

And it’s our time, my friends.

I wish us luck on our quest

To save ourselves from the indifference.

The joyful tune of the guitars,

A roaring construction band,

As if a fire in the steppes,

The campfires of songs ablaze.

Have a listen:

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire had plans to build the railroad covering the northern part of Lake Baikal and Eastern Siberia and running parallel to the Trans-Siberian. This was a super-ambitious project as such railroad would go through the wild permafrost lands that no man had ever traversed. The project never materialized.

Only in the second part of the 20th century USSR dared it again. On July 8, 1974 the very first rail was set into Siberian permafrost, and BAM was born. Baikal-Amur Railroad went parallel to the Trans-Siberian, but much further north, by the northern shore of Lake Baikal and further into the Far East, towards the Amur River.

BAM was finished before 1991. At that point, USSR collapsed and the new rulers decided BAM was a waste of time and money. The ambitious project was criticized and maligned. BAM was neglected and its enthusiastic, but aging population was forgotten.

However, the times have changed. On July 8, 2014 Russia has celebrated the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the famous construction by starting a new, even more ambitious, line of the BAM railroad.

Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia will spend over $150 bln in order to add another 7,000 kilometers of rails to BAM by 2030. This will complete the railway coverage of the entire Far East. The money for the new mega-project comes out of the Russian reserve fund (specifically, the Russian Commonwealth Fund), which until recently Russia invested in the US Treasuries.

This effectively signals 3 very important things:

1. Russia’s ambitions are back  – this is the signal that the country expects growth and robust development.

2. Russia is confirming its Asia pivot – as I’ve been predicting since February 2014. BAM connects Trans-Siberian and Baikal with the Far East/Pacific Ocean and various points in Asia and Siberia. This includes the resource-rich points of the north, as well as potential hard-to-reach tourist destinations.

3. Russia re-affirms that it will stop the silly practice of financing US dollar (which is a form of economic slavery) and will instead use its hard-earned reserves to finance projects inside the country. Finally – it’s about time!

This is a massive shift, and yet another confirmation that the US dollar is approaching its point of no return!

Below is Putin’s Skype with BAM engineers and railroad workers for the 40-year anniversary of BAM. He congratulates them with the anniversary and talks about the $150 bln investment at 13:10. Towards the end, the new leg of BAM is symbolically initiated:

What BAM looks like today – report from the BAM capital, Tinda starts at 0:30 (includes some historic footage from 1970s). Map of BAM starts at 1:34:

Another map of BAM and Trans-Siberian Railroad here.

More awesome pics of Sacred Lake Baikal: THE EARTH SHIFTER Mystical Setting: Lake Baikal, Siberia

Shaman treeSpeaking of Siberia and Baikal, check out

Excerpt 4: Siberian Shaman Tengis 

from THE EARTH SHIFTER

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