- Attain the time-urgent transmission of critical intelligence, with regard to disease propagation, through the creation of new organizational structures within government.
- Create the capacity to cope with biological, chemical, and nuclear threats as well as EMP and black-sky events.
- Require that production of our medicines, medical supplies, and equipment be returned to the United States or to countries that are our allies, which possess secure sources of supply and transport; propose multiyear tax cuts and other incentives to speed change.
- Establish the capability, based on our World War II experience, to facilitate public-private management structures in times of emergency, which may be buttressed by preferential allocations of critical materials, to enable the production of essential medicines, machinery, products, or other needed articles.
Concomitant with the PRC’s insertion into our system of higher education, our economy, our media, and our core businesses, China has embarked on a global strategy that constitutes a new imperialism. The PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seeks to shape connectivity and alliances on a global scale, which may include 65 other countries that comprise 30% of global GDP and 75% of established energy reserves. China’s aggressive parlay in the construction of various types of power plants throughout the developing world is recognized as being inextricably tied to the BRI and is, therefore, inherently imperative.
China and Russia appropriate national assets worldwide as a result of loaded energy and development deals. This drive is only enhanced by the pandemic if no countervailing action ensues. In Djibouti, China holds 77% of the debt. In Venezuela, Russia received 49.9% of Citgo in 2016 as collateral for $1.5 billion in cash. Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, and Zambia were all on the cusp of asset appropriation before the present crisis.
Estimates are that China lent African nations $124 billion from 2000 through 2016. Presently, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy values Chinese loans to developing nations at $520 billion, an extraordinary sum. Yet, as destabilizing as these acquisitive loans are, the true situation may be far more dire.
Dr. Christoph Trebesch, author of the Kiel study, contends that a tremendous amount of Chinese lending is “hidden.” This may amount to an additional half trillion dollars or more of indebtedness to China by impoverished countries. If so, these amounts may, indeed, dwarf the funds lent by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The largest portion of each loan made by the PRC may not be provided generally to the borrower, but spent in China to finance Chinese-made inputs and trained labor. The recipient country is, in effect, financing jobs and manufacturing in China. Worse still, the ultimate reward for targeted countries is to have their assets appropriated, due to loan non-performance, which China may purposely contrive as the hidden tenet of each transaction.
Given the PRC’s actions in this domain, its loans to developing nations must, as a matter of U.S policy, be turned from being a pillar of coercion into an albatross. Great Britain and India are leaders of the 54-member-state Commonwealth of Nations: this constellation of countries, which stretches across the globe, should be mobilized into a powerful alternative to China’s exploitative model of development.
- Undertake determined efforts to deny China’s Belt and Road Initiative, especially in Africa.
- Inform the governments and the elites of developing nations as to the nature and the extent of Chinese and Russian predatory lending.
- Turn the colossal extent of the PRC’s loans to developing countries against the Communist Party of China.
- Extend alternate terms to key nations on the brink of asset appropriation due to China’s rapaciousness.
- Advance a substitute to the BRI; cooperate in this endeavor with Britain and with India.
-Marshal support for these initiatives from the member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The production, distribution, and use of electricity, during the next several decades, will undergo a transformation more profound than any experienced since the time of Edison. Power, information, and communications will fuse; power lines will be transformed to be channels that move energy and information multi-directionally. New power stations, coupled with smart electric grids, will be foundational to this transformation.
The real-time delivery and use of electricity and information, encompassing all data related to supply and demand, will permit optimality in resource allocation and investment. Such efficiency is impossible without a spectrum of newly developed technologies. These technologies, taken as a whole, constitute the smart grid, an intelligent electricity distribution network, designed to meet the precise needs of system participants. The information layer of the smart grid will contain business process data that will be critical for industrial competitiveness in the 21st century.
Of special concern is China’s and Russia’s building of nuclear power plants internationally, which may be coupled with smart electric grids. China has 45 nuclear power reactors in operation domestically and 12 under construction; the nation’s plans call for the building of 30 more plants in key countries and regions in the next 20 years. Russia has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation at home and has contracts or plans to build at least 20 in foreign countries.
According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, China is responsible for more than half of new investments in nuclear power. If China transitions to fast-neutron reactors, which recycle large quantities of plutonium fuel, their potential for worldwide dominance increases.
The leadership of China understands fully that for a world in search of low-carbon energy, fission power represents the chief viable avenue, for at least the next forty years. This constitutes a potential market opportunity that will, almost certainly, exceed one trillion dollars.
Nations in the Middle East, in Africa, in the Indian subcontinent, and in Asia should be offered a multinational, free-market alternative to nuclear plants built by China or by Russia. Invigorated efforts, by a consortium of allied powers, in the provision of fission plants to interested countries must be part of a new strategy that enshrines low-carbon energy and joint security in an alternative form to Chinese or to Russian designs.
The safety of new plants must be a primary concern: project technology, quality, fuel-cycle protection, maintenance, education, and defense should be peerless. These are attributes that Chinese or Russian technology and operation can never provide.
Nuclear power generation occurs in a tripartite world of plant construction: China constitutes one dominion, as does Russia. The last dominion is made up of every other country that builds or is capable of building nuclear power plants.
Failure to combine and to use the multifaceted abilities of corporations and institutions in allied nations will doom each individual nation’s nuclear power industry to failure, over time, in being able to compete against the state-sponsored enterprises of China or Russia. Only through a concerted, new offensive, which will deploy a multinational, business framework that will engage and link participating states, and private companies within such states, into an international consortium, may such a new enterprise be able to leverage and combine each nation’s strengths to support the award of new plant contracts, despite China’s and Russia’s mobilization of many forms of national power in support of their nuclear industries.
China’s and Russia’s Loan, Build, Seize development model for national projects such as nuclear power plants is disreputable. The acquisitive development strategies shortchange stakeholders outside China or Russia. Projects built by China or Russia are dependent on rigid supervision from afar, suspect safety regimes, inferior technology, and lack of quality control and proper administration.
China and Russia offer limited educational and training opportunities for the citizens of purchasing nations. The defensive systems for nuclear plants built by China or Russia are backward and subject to failure or defeat. The fuel-cycle management for these projects is exploitive and locks purchasing nations into unalterable, life-of-plant terms.
During the British Raj in the Indian subcontinent, which lasted from 1858 to 1947, Britain built cantonment churches, which resembled normal places of worship, but were, in fact, dual-use structures that could be transformed into forts during periods of insurrection. Chinese and Russian power plants, built all over the world, inherently have the ability to be employed as redoubts for Chinese and Russian military forces. They are thus tools for instability and suzerainty.
World population will grow to 8.2 billion by 2025; this addition of almost a half-billion persons makes precise resource management a necessity. This is particularly so in developing states in which birth rates are very high. Median estimates for world population are 8.6 billion in 2030, and 9.8 billion in 2050.
With such unprecedented increases, only abundant electricity and information may dampen the inculcation of enmities between peoples, which feed on perceptions of waste and inequality. Indeed, intelligent governance will have better prospects to take root in enriched environments; this will promote conflict resolution and the adoption of non-violent means of intercession.
- Lead in the creation of low-carbon sources of energy and smart grids, which will carry electricity and information precisely to meet emergent needs.