Tag Archives: Silk Road

Oil in the family

This is not exactly new, it is a stage that evolved in the last week. To see that we need to take a look at ASPI (Australian Strategic Policy Institute) which hands us (at https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/opec-production-cut-has-washington-questioning-the-value-of-its-saudi-alliance/) a mere three weeks ago ‘OPEC production cut has Washington questioning the value of its Saudi alliance’, in itself the question is not invalid. Every nation assesses its value towards services delivered, but in that same stage, the direction can be inverted and as such the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is questioning the value that the United States brings to the table. President Biden asked to make Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud a pariah. It has stopped deliveries of defence equipment to the KSA all whilst the KSA was under attack by terrorist forces who were receiving aid from Iran. And when we see “Critics of the OPEC decision say it will increase the price of oil at a time when US consumers are already feeling the impact of high energy prices. A higher oil price will also provide a significant boost to Russia’s struggling economy.” All whilst the US exports 90% of its oil, as such they are sitting pretty as well. But the article does not mention that, it is increasingly one sided. Then we get the second setting and it is seen with “Saudi Arabia has lost much of its prestige and is in damage control to rebuild its image internationally and shore up its relations with the US. To reset the relationship in Washington, Saudi-backed lobbyists have spent millions of dollars. Biden responded by visiting Saudi Arabia, presumably as a gesture of goodwill and to attempt some recalibration.” It is the ‘lost much of it prestige’, by what standard? The KSA gained massive silent prestige with Neom and the line, two stages never seen before and the US has nothing in opposition to that. It will be relying on the coattails of Saudi achievements for the next 20 years. A nation that is so broke it cannot fix its support structures, and that all before we see the damage the ultra right is making in the US. And where is the so called hypocritical ‘honest’ media? When did you see any clear article on the line or Neom? The mainstream media is steering clear of it, no doubt due to the (my speculative view) word from stakeholders. 

This is in contrast to the Vox a week ago where we see “Biden “wants to be able to reevaluate in a methodical, strategic, effective way,” clarified national security adviser Jake Sullivan, “rooted in his fundamental interest in making sure that the relationship the United States has with Saudi Arabia serves the American people effectively.” Sullivan in essence suggested that things so far had not been going well.” We see this (at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/11/17/23423031/why-america-cant-seem-to-quit-saudi-arabia), it is showing us a stage set. We are given “Now that the Biden administration re-evaluates its approach a third time, will it come to a new conclusion? It will be tough to change much. The US, after all, relies on the kingdom as a major oil producer and economic power with important shipping lanes, a close partner in countering Iran and terrorist organisations, and a significant trading partner and number-one purchaser of US weapons.” But that stage is not entirely true, that WAS the stage, but as China moved in, we see a spiralling US economy. Lets not give food to the speculator’s there. China increased exports and services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 24 billion in 2019 to 30 billion in 2021, some views give us that it is now approaching 33 billion and as Neom and the Line grows, China will gain more. That is 9 billion the US and Europe lost, more importantly China is now getting more oil and the talks implying that Saudi Arabia is in active talks with Beijing to price some of its oil sales to China in yuan gives us the indication that this will not halt any day soon, it also implies that the US is partially done for. Its games are now backfiring, should oil deliveries decrease by as little as an additional 1 million barrels US economy could implode with all the nightmares and trimmings that come with that. I personally do not care, I warned the US and the UK that there will be a price to pay soon enough and I made that prediction in 2020, now that this is about to happen, President Biden can play its games and let the media decide how much they hate the KSA and Muslims, or he can fold the game. The UK with its CAAT is in a similar position. They had the upper hand towards 2-3 billion in weapon sales, predominantly the Typhoon, now that money is most likely to go towards the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, China will be extending its arms for extended services towards Saudi Arabia.

The players wanting to keep Saudi Arabia on some kind of leash are now forced to fold their game. They lost to China and the damage is increasing. It is a fair assessment that the Russian – Ukrainian stage did not help, but that is how the cookie crumbles at times. As some stakeholders encouraged anti Saudi sentiments, they forgot that they weren’t the only players and what is coming now is hurting their long term policies in the Middle East and in the Far East. Did you think it was a fluke that the Silk Road was investing in Indonesia? It has over 200 million Muslims and that opens up new commerce borders and Saudi Arabia is ready to collect. I saw part of this last year and I tried to bank on it, but alas the KSA was not assisting (poor me), now that we see this evolving stage, players like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Company will make increasing profits in new areas, all whilst the US and EU are given their walking papers. In the next two years their share will decrease by well over 40%, all whilst their political power in that region is most likely to be a trivial one. One ego driven stage led to the larger loss on influence in the Middle East and soon the Far East as well. A stage that China is happy about, the others? Not so much.

But I saw parts of this a year ago, so why did the media not see this? I am not more intelligent than them, but I can read raw data and that was where a lot was all along. But feel free to disagree with me, it is your right, yet when the oil valve closes a little more, just watch the chaos unfold. When you create a mobile industry you need to be weary of essential parts you need, fuel being one of them and the other solution is not as fast as people keep on slapping Elon Musk with his Tesla. All elements in a game where the people who have oil in the family will have the last laugh. Which remind me, how much longer will the US export 90% of its oil? Is there no shortage in the US? 

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The opposite point of view?

That was the setting I looked t when I saw the article in the New Arab (at https://english.alaraby.co.uk/analysis/saudi-arabias-line-neom-project-too-ambitious) where we see ‘Is Saudi Arabia’s ‘The Line’ NEOM project too ambitious?’ The title gives us a handle and my first question is should that not be the case? Now we take the Empire State Building for granted, but in 1930, people thought the same regarding the Empire State Building. Things need to be too ambitious. The entire setting of Neom and the Line is too ambitious, because this has NEVER been done before. And even if people write it into the ground calling it a ‘gazillion dollar project’ the truth is that they are writing fear, because I personally guarantee you that they would not write that if it was a US project. Two architectural projects and both as in Saudi Arabia. But back to the article. We then get ““In the aftermath of the pandemic, economic rehabilitation is at the forefront of all countries’ political agendas. This is why Saudi Arabia will have no issues in filling any labour gaps with regards to construction and investments in the project itself,” Siddiqa explained.” This is a fair point and every nations has this hurdle, as such I do not see a real problem, a hurdle, not an obstacle. Again a fair point is seen with “NEOM is not without its challenges, some of which Riyadh has addressed and others which remain an obstacle. Financial challenges are the biggest obstacle for mega projects like NEOM and The Line. Research shows that Saudi Arabia has not been able to achieve much success in attracting financial resources and investment from foreign governments and companies.”, what I would like to add is that these companies were eager to invest when oil was their fortune, but investing in something that they at present do not understand is somewhat understandable, greed needs assurances and they have an image (of greed) to uphold. Then the article throws a reality our way. With “While the initial plan was to complete NEOM by 2030 with an allotted $500 billion, some reports claim that the city may not be completed until 2050, which will likely increase costs significantly. For this reason, it is predicted that the entire project, including The Line, will cost the Kingdom $1 trillion.” And here we see the first larger hurdle. With ‘the city may not be completed until 2050’ which is true, but now we also see the essential need to hold onto the larger need for perfection and precision. Any party that cuts corners will become the foundation of failure for the entire project and even if only one phase is ready in 2030, the KSA will show to be a global game changer. And lets fave it, on this day and age that delay is not the biggest one. The line is a city for 9 million people. Rome was not build in a day and that is a fair notion to take. If it helps, I reckon that my IP for Augmented Reality could optionally make an optional larger difference there. But the larger truth is that the Empire State Building took a year to make, the Line is over 200 times larger and as such getting it all ready by 2050 is still an amazing feat, more important it is a building no one else has been able to build as well as a first building to allow nature to restore. That setting is a larger achievement. More important I reckon that the side development in material waste and sewage will have larger repercussions for the internal development of any city and such part have never been this centralised before. A place where pollution stops. Consider London where we would suddenly halt ALL car traffic for a week. The impact of cleaner air would be seeable and sense by all, a city 50% smaller and it has that impact, so what spin will the KSA receive when others offer their version of complexities? Then we are given a part that I found debatable. It is “The financial viability of PIF is highly dependent on the Kingdom’s oil exports, a market that has proven volatile in recent years. In 2020, Riyadh faced a significant fiscal deficit of more than $79 billion. In a country where around 60% of its financial resources came from oil and just 9% from non-oil exports in 2021, the financing of the NEOM project is likely to face financial ups and downs.” So, yes we get ‘In 2020, Riyadh faced a significant fiscal deficit of more than $79 billion’ this is true, but what about 2022? The guardian gave us (months ago) ‘Largest oil and gas producers made close to $100bn in first quarter of 2022’ and two weeks ago we got “Aramco had a 90% year-on-year increase and marks the biggest earnings for the world’s largest energy exporter since its public listing three years ago.” As such the 2020 point of view for a 2022 article makes a lot less sense. And the reference of “around 60% of its financial resources came from oil” might sound fair (or at least correct) but both Neom and the Line show us that this could change, a city with no cars means 4,000,000 less cars creating pollution, needing no gasoline are clear markers in that change. And when the achievement is established other nations will want the same event (especially in Texas where they now start to have energy problems). A stage that could export Saudi skills in other ways too. One significant hurdle is shown with “the biggest technical problem that Saudi Arabia will face in NEOM is the reliance on foreign skilled workers, an issue that is unlikely to be resolved in the short term.” This was true and yes it was a problem, but I illuminated that with “there is now a decent chance that the small hidden engineering texts will be Arabic/Chinese and not Arabic/English. A station that was always likely to happen, but now it seems it is becoming the passing of a fact” a side I saw solved on August 11th 2022, a week before this article was written. I set that in ‘Stirring the soup’, a stage I saw coming a mile away and that too is the larger defeat for the west, especially as China has both the upper echelon and lower echelon of workers, workers Saudi Arabia will need and a job market that is now closing for Europe and America. A longer set of issues that hd been out and open for all to see, now the Silk Road gets the chance to build whilst fuelling itself with oil and revenue, both at the same time. I reckon that Strasbourg never considered that. How interesting that I had done that.

In the end my point of view is that there is no ‘too ambitious’, it comes with the terrain of creating something never done before, as long as the decision makers realise that 2030 is not a static point of completion, they will end up being in a good place. Even completing Phase one by 2030 is an achievement not found anywhere else in the world at present and that completion takes the project crown away from America, not a bad first result. And in all this the redesign of world powers might also be a first, with the chance that China becomes the worlds first power and America? Well they will have to content with the number 6 slot, that is also a consequence of catering to Wall Street, the larger view is lost when the spreadsheet users were all set on next quarter, not next decade. In this I will shown to have been correct yet again. I wonder what else I could see in the near future.

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Stirring the soup

Things are afoot in the Kay es Ah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), but to see this we need to reflect on a few items. The first one is (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-10/twitter-former-employee-convicted-of-spying-for-saudi-arabia/101318490) and gives us ‘Former Twitter employee convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia’, the simple setting is that this happens, If Jack Dorsey had played a few items over to the NSA, no one would hear if it, but when a non-American agency gets the key to the Twitter Data Kingdom, it becomes news. So when we see “Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen and former media partnership manager for Twitter’s Middle East region, was charged in 2019 with acting as an agent of Saudi Arabia without registering with the US government.” And then someone slips, the text becomes “used their positions to access confidential Twitter data about users.” It is ‘their positions’ which is plural, so how many were caught? We get it with “This included their email addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses, the latter of which he used to identify a user’s location. A third man named in the complaint, Saudi citizen Ahmed Al-Mutairi, was alleged to have worked with the Saudi royal family as an intermediary.” So was the second man? We see that in the end when we get “The FBI still lists Ali Alzabarah and Ahmed Al-Mutairi as wanted.” Well, this is 3 years ago, so the other two are optionally celebrating their success in Riyadh. Espionage happens, it can happen where ever we see this much user data. The fact that this had gone on, and we do not see HOW LONG this had been going on should also be reflected on all this, it should see us accept the larger Elon Musk discount for data copied into other places. Transgressed data loses values and as stated “This included their email addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses, the latter of which he used to identify a user’s location.” And nowhere do we see for how long this was going on before the alleged culprit was arrested. I state alleged, because we do not know (or we are not told) what spy one did and what spy two did. The court-case might shed light on this, but he was acquitted of several points, so there.

Then it is time to add vegetables to the soup in the form of a story (at https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2022/08/10/china-saudi-arabia-announce-massive-strategic-partnership-energy-agreement/) there we see ‘China, Saudi Arabia Announce Massive Strategic Partnership Energy Agreement’, it was what I said months ago, they might drill more but that does not mean it goes to the place we hope/expect/wish it will go and now we see this, a larger gain for China and the agreement between Aramco and Sinopec, which showed a fear I expected to come for almost two years, with “The two companies will join hands in renewing the vitality and scoring new progress of the Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Vision 2030” we see a larger gain for Chinese construction and a loss for western ones. This was the setting I feared, because it means that there is no relief for western construction. The little tidbits thrown at them like scraps are the only ones they are likely to have. In a place that I about to invest well over $1,000,000,000,000 for new buildings in Neom, as well as the line, there is now a decent chance that the small hidden engineering texts will be Arabic/Chinese and not Arabic/English. A station that was always likely to happen, but now it seems it is becoming the passing of a fact. 

The third ingredient in any soup is the stock and water. That is given to us through an article (at https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-egyptian-investment-co-invests-13-bln-four-egyptian-firms-2022-08-10/) by Reuters. There we see ‘Saudi Arabia invests $1.3 bln in four Egyptian firms’. It is not the amount, when you invest 0.1% in companies after you set in motion  building bill, we see the appearance of dwarfism. It seems like a speck, but you would be wrong. This event will give larger rise to the final ingredient and here we see “The companies are Abu Qir Fertizilers and Chemical Industries (ABUK.CA), Misr Fertilizers Production Company (MFPC.CA), Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling (ALCN.CA), and payments firm E-Finance for Financial and Digital Investments (EFIH.CA).” And we see nothing weird here, not when you consider the larger building needs, this makes absolute sense and “Saudi Arabia has already provided billions in support since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2014. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait this year all promised to increase their investments in Egypt” does not change that. But the water and stock are mere building blocks for the vegetables to connect to, it is the beef, the beef completes the picture. This is seen (at https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/mobily-signs-mou-with-telecom-egypt-to-build-submarine-cable-from-saudi-arabia-to-egypt/) and you might think that it does not make sense. How does ‘Mobily signs MoU with Telecom Egypt to build submarine cable from Saudi Arabia to Egypt’ imply beef? Well this started for me at least a little over three years ago, 3 years ago, before the Covid started hitting us that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had, with Neom an uncanny option to become the large (optionally largest) 5G powerhouse of the Middle East, stretching into Egypt and becoming the 5G powerhouse in the Mediterranean with larger options towards stretching into Europe. Now, I do not fear it, telecom powerhouses are often awesome, but this states that the larger players (like Vodafail) are seemingly asleep at the wheel and the KSA has nothing opposing Huawei, it is the foundation of Saudi 5G, so now the 100,000,000 Egyptians will fuel the 35,000,000 5G users all over the KSA and as Neom becomes a 5G hub for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia becomes the one powerhouse no one saw coming, and those who did were awfully quiet about it. 

A stage that I saw coming 3 years ago is now gaining momentum and optionally they will get a lot more over the next 2-3 years. And Europe with their promises will go nowhere, as someone ones said, a promise and an empty sack are worth the empty sack and with the beef giving fragrance and texture to the soup. 

I will offer you the position of the fifth element in an image, it is the soul of tastebuds and it matters, because the place and ownership of the fifth element are not a given, not even how they will become part of the equation, but they are there, not in the tall grass, but out in the open. Someone has a double role to play and I honestly do not know who, where or what they represents, but when you make soup, you can add your own ideal mix, or rely on people to grab the fifth element, and that is what I did. I added little of the spices, so the consumer of soup will add it themselves opening the field for player number five.

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The first coin drops

I have stated it a few times in the past. The US is basically bankrupt, it can merely feign activities and merely resort to financial pressures, as such the Canadian CBC gives us ‘After Biden and Xi speak, U.S. warns China could face sanctions if it aids Russian invasion’ (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/biden-xi-call-china-russia-invasion-ukraine-1.6390235), yes, yes, yes. We all heard it sanctions. It is what the opposing parties see and expect. You see a paper tiger only looks menacing to those who cannot see that it is merely only a paper one. So when we get “President Joe Biden warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday there would be “consequences” if Beijing gave material support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, I wonder what President Biden expects to happen? I think that President Xi Jinping understands really well that the longer the Ukraine situation takes, the weaker the US looks, the less he gets involved the better China stands. If I were to move this into an old saying, for China it is better to watch the two junkyard dogs slug it out (US and Russia) and walk away with the bone when they are too tired to move. And there is a lot to be gotten. There are increasing indications that the US is done in the Middle East and when China gets their military contracts, when more Chinese firms get options towards building Neom, the US will have lost. In the Ukrainian setting, President Xi Jinping merely has to wait. The US royally screwed up too many options and they are now at the end of the options tether. In addition, with China winning options in Saudi Arabia, they will get a foot in the Egyptian door as well. A station that the EU feared for a while. Whilst they are shouting options and opportunities opposing the silk road. As the US goes, so does the EU, too deep in debt and no real options remain. For a quarter of a century they refused to overhaul the tax laws (both US and EU) and now the stage becomes too uncomfortable for both as you are about to find out. 

This takes us to the second article that the BBC gives us ‘War in Ukraine: America is learning the art of humility’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-60799659), well actually they haven’t. They shouted ‘Money talks, bullshit walks’ and now that stage is in play. The US basically shows that it cannot afford too much anymore. So now we get treated to “The US’s leverage over China is limited, and readouts from both sides suggest the call didn’t achieve much. But it was part of an orchestrated diplomatic strategy that contrasts with much of the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency.” There is a problem here. You see ‘Inaction through inability’ is different from ‘orchestrated inaction’, when a nation is unable to fund what is needed they will desperately look towards “This was genuine alliance building”, I personally believe it to be incorrect. You see, we were given all the actions of a nation who (sort of) bullies others into complacency, but the credit card is no longer working, the US method cannot be afforded and some administrations (read: CIA and NSA) have played the wrong Trump card and now credibility is in the basement. They pissed off France, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the UK (to some extent). So when we see “US diplomacy helped win German support” we merely get a partial story, we merely get half the teacup and not that much tea. The US will not be opposing any German needs in several places, they are now that much in a state of ‘inaction through inability’. Feel free to oppose this view and that is your right, but consider what the US has actually achieved since their departure from Afghanistan. That list is short. Very, very short. 

And you do not need to consider me the problem, the problem is out in the open. It is not really President Xi Jinping, it is the fact that he realises more than ever that he gets the shielded threats from a paper tiger and that makes him giggle (I expect that he is giggling). He knows he is about to win a global war without ever firing a bullet, China is showing orchestrated inaction (as I personally see it) and when the silk road comes to the doors and windows of Europe, they know they have won. The largest win will be a direct connection to Neom, which gives them a massive boost into Saudi Arabia and most of Africa as well. That is the point the EU and the US have lost and at present neither have any option to counter the engineering path China is on. So when President Xi Jinping stated “War is not in anyones interest” He was right, it slows down his Silk Road and that takes precedence for China, so their inactions are orchestrated and as the US (EU too) show inactions towards an active field in the Ukraine there are a few reasons, a full fletched war in Europe being one of them, but their inability to afford a war is another. If only that USS Zumwalt worked, it would be a great pressure point, but wait, it was a failure on many levels and now it is useless. The United States is losing options and Russia knows this, they are also learning (the hard way) that the Ukraine is more of a threat than the US has been in close to half a decade, so cheers all around.

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