Not many people are aware of it this side of Europe, especially mid the general population of Ireland, but China might just be the influential factor in current Ukraine affairs. Before anyone thinks they would automatically side with Russia on the ongoing “invasion” issue, they need to think again after looking at cold hard facts.
China has a massive interest in the Ukraine. The Chinese government has to date made big financial allocations through a body known as OBOR (One Belt One Road) into an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to the tune of $100 billion and with another setup, the Silk Road Fund, has further invested an additional $40 billion in the state. Further private investments push the allocation of China money towards a total reaching $1 trillion. The current Russian army antics could seriously affect this and the Chinese government are very concerned.
China’s interests in the Ukraine don’t end with just money. As a strategic geographic location, China looks upon the state as an asset it would rather have on it’s side and one with stability – not an area sure to be a constant location of unrest. Additionally, many Chinese students attend third level colleges in the Ukraine. In fact, some colleges maintain a 55+% attendance of daily Chinese students – who in turn with the money they too bring in various ways, also aids both China with further highly educated people and to the Ukraine, a further source of serious income. Then there is the natural mineral aspect…
Ukraine holds the largest titanium resource in the whole of Europe. There are at least 17 known deposits in different parts of the country (14 in the Kirovohrad region, 2 in the Nikolaev region, 1 in the Dnipropetrovsk region). China is very interested in these. They have again put serious business money, feet on the ground along with mineral extraction setups (just like they are quietly increasingly doing in Ireland. What? FF/FG parties haven’t told you this?) that are further looking to maintain an increasing monopoly over the extraction of titanium and other minerals, when it comes to having a tight grip of subsequent supplies to the rest of the world!
When it comes to minerals alone, within the Ukraine, there are more than 20,000 deposits and forms of 200 different minerals there. Of these, 7,807 deposits of 94 types of minerals are of serious industrial importance. Some growing critical as other world locations dwindle. Ukraine is one of the worlds leading places in the reserves and extraction regarding iron, manganese, titanium-zirconium ores and other non-metallic raw materials. Coal, oil and natural gas, iron and manganese ores, native sulfur, rock and potassium salts, non-metallic building materials, mineral waters and more are all there – of which many states beyond Ukraine borders eye with some jealousy. In all this, China has heavily invested it’s people, time and finances on a massive scale.
The last thing China therefore wishes to see, is the Ukraine become either a battle ground or a region of political and economic instability. China might be on friendly terms with Russia care of a number of vested interests but at heart, China looks after itself always first. So, when it comes to matters being made unstable, the world can be sure that behind closed doors, China is asking it’s Russian friends about what is going on! They will do this quietly, if only to ‘save faces’ of their Russian friends but the serious concern will still be there.
It’s through this quiet political backdoor that there is a modicum of hope. A message of “Let’s calm things down and talk” will be sent from one China capital to a Russian one, one leader speaking to another through back channels. The EU and Nato are the face of irritation for Russia and indeed, China, to some extent – but even Chinese representatives know that if their own long term interests are to be preserved and expanded, then they too must pay their part in influencing matters regarding the Ukraine. Most assuredly, political heads of the EU and USA, will know just how much China has invested into the now trouble state. Each will be hoping China will play it’s quiet part in getting things back to some semblance of normality within a reasonable time-frame.