Mining assets scenario in Myanmar post COVID-19 and growing Chinese influence

    27-Sep-2020
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Ravi Sinha
Amplified US - China trade war calls matches the shrills of dependence on China for strategic goods and its raw material in the present day World order which is heavily Dragon centric. Trump administration has talked about pulling out supply chain back home from China or to a group of friendly nations in Asia that could help produce essential goods. But it will be extremely difficult to dismantle the entrenched system when on one hand the companies are struggling to survive and on the other China is digging itself deeper & stronger into the abiotic and biotic resources of the not so affluent nations spread across the globe.
This, along with its unleashing of biological warfare and war of perception will ensure that the Dragon moves ahead on the economic growth scale tilted towards it and some S.E. Asian nations. Thus a change in World Order looks a distinct possibility and in this transition the resource rich smaller nations of S.E.Asia in particular, may pay the price through infringement upon their Sovereignty by China directly or in clandestine way.
Before quoting examples of the clandestine Modus-Operandi of China it would be prudent to place on record that whatever China did and does, is not happenstance and in process, it raced towards self-sufficiency in all technological matter. In addition, the nature has bestowed upon China large deposits of critical materials like Titanium, REM, Lithium, Tin, etc., needed for the technology and industries of future and this is prompting China to prolong the trade war with the U.S. Post COVID-19, at the core of this fast changing geopolitical drama lies the technology of semiconductors chips that measures less than five nano-meters that are the brains to all our electronics, from mobile to cards to fighter jets in which the U.S and China are nearly evenly matched but the latest 3-nano-meter semi conductors (NSP) being introduced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has revolutionized the scenario, as this will feature the world's highest transistor density and the fastest performance.
But the most complex input in this war of wits related ultimately to artificial intelligence; is the semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) where US & its allies, Japan and the Netherlands hold 90 % of the SME global market share.
This is the point which pinches the Dragon the most. It is at this place that the significance of broad assertiveness of the Dragon across the Indo-Pacific region comes into play because the many of the raw materials of the Single Element Semiconductor chips, Oxide Conductor Chips & Dopants are hosted in countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia, Thailand, Etc.
At this stage it would be prudent to say that some minerals of As, Sb, Ga, Ge are key raw materials in those said semiconductor chips apart from Silicon being the main. With the aforesaid reason in view, it is abundantly clear that China's power and influence will continue to spread into Indian Ocean, South Asia, South East Asia through the South China Sea. Only the smaller countries must be watchful against the Dragon to safeguard their sovereignty, integrity, natural resources, people, and their entire ecosystem for which the Dragon has got scant regard.
A classic case of the lust of China for having access to the resources and the ecosystem of smaller countries is also reflected in the changing morphology of South China Sea where it has made a number of artificial islands which affect the marine ecology, and marine processes that is crucial for the welfare of countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Brunei, Etc. Though Myanmar is not directly under SCS ( South China Sea) but this  country too, would be under the expansionist onslaught of China because it is very rich in mineral resources that form the raw materials of green energy, military hardware, artificial intelligence, high tech machinery, Etc. This text incorporates some of the projects from Myanmar, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea that may be detrimental to the overall Ecosystem including the livelihood of the local commune and the primary forest cover, some of which are endangered. At the onset, we should look into the entry of PANAUST, which is a junior partner in a China State owned company that is registered in Australia with 90% share and known as Guangdong Rising Asset Management Company that was established in 1999 with Registration capital of 10 million RMB () through its subsidiary Guangdong Rising H.K (Holding) Ltd. Mining is the primary sector of operation while other 4 are Electronics, Hospitality, Tourism, Real estate & finance.
(To be contd)