Analysis that the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project is unlikely to start Analysis that the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project is unlikely to start

Analysis that the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project is unlikely to start

Analysis that the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project is unlikely to start

Since the military coup in Myanmar, the country's economy has been in serious decline. In addition to the scarcity of jobs due to foreign investments one by one, the government's income is decreasing due to the devaluation of the kyat and inflation. Due to the sanctions of most western countries, the sources of income of the military council are closed.

In this situation, the columnist concluded that the military leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, is trying to implement the BRI projects as soon as possible with the help of China and to revive the economy with the money that will come from these projects.

Last August, General Min Aung Hlaing urged China to complete the Kyauk Phyu Deep Sea Port and Special Economic Zone project as soon as possible, and is also trying to restart the railway project that will connect Kyauk Phyu and Muse. The railway project, signed in 2011, is part of the Chinese government's $1 trillion BRI projects.

The BRI project's 10th anniversary ceremony and conference will be held in Beijing this month, but China is not sure whether to invite General Min Aung Hlaing due to the poor progress of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project, the columnist concluded.

Projects being built with Chinese investment loans in Myanmar have been facing various problems since before the military seized power in 2021. After the coup, military conflict and attacks have worsened due to insufficient electricity and transportation difficulties.

The construction of the Shwe Gas Pipeline, which will export gas from the Shwe Natural Gas Project in Kyauk Phyu, Rakhine State, to China, was completed in 2017 at a cost of $2.5 billion. Within a year, a large oil refinery was opened in Kunming, China, which would produce seven percent of China's national needs.

China is trying to strategically establish the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project as a BRI project to avoid having to transport the necessary energy fuel through the Straits of Malacca.

At the moment, all the projects in this China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project are at a standstill.

Seven months after the military coup, the military council tried to restart the Kyauk Phyu deep sea port project, but it was stopped due to local protests and regional unrest.

Another problem to restart these projects is the lack of electricity. VPower, a company based in Hong Kong, is responsible for generating and distributing electricity for projects being implemented in Myanmar, including the Kyauk Phyu project.

The company, which signed a 60-year contract, shut down a 200-megawatt power plant built for the Kyaukphyu project in mid-2021 after the military coup. Then another power plant was shut down in 2022, and both are now being shut down.

The reason for the closure was that the factory could not be supplied with the gas needed to run the plant on a regular basis, and the military council was unable to pay the electricity bill in US dollars. Currently, only one 135MW plant remains among VPower's power plants, and this last remaining plant has recently been shut down. Without electricity, Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port cannot be implemented effectively.

Meanwhile, the military council last March signed a contract with a Chinese company to implement wind power and electricity extraction projects near Kyaukphyu. These projects will be completed by 2025. The environmental impact of these wind energy projects is still being measured, but depending on the outcome, the Military Council is likely to continue with the projects next year.

There are also transportation difficulties for the Kyauk Phyu project. On the Chinese side, the construction of the railway from Kunming to the Myanmar border has been completed, but the construction of the railway from Muse to Mandalay has been delayed due to the fighting in northern Shan State.

At present, when 32 months have passed since the coup, the possibility that the Kyaukphyu project and other large-scale projects will actually continue to be implemented is low.
The columnist analyzed that the military council and the military leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, who are in a tight spot, not only to make enough electricity and improve transportation, but also to pay back the millions of dollars borrowed from China, but only hope to continue the military rule with the money coming from Chinese projects.

What will happen if you go to ‘Reagan’ and come to ‘Washington’ equipped with F-35C

We will seek a path to peace by accurately understanding the current state of the military standoff on the Korean Peninsula. This is Kim Jin-guk, hosting the 'Encyclopedia of New Weapons on the Korean Peninsula' delivered from Washington DC, USA . We connect with Lee Il-woo, Secretary General of Korea's ' Independent Defense Network ' .

Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier returns to the coast near the Korean Peninsula after repairs

( Host )   It is the U.S. strategic asset most feared by North Korea and China. The 7th Fleet's forward-deployed aircraft carrier 'Ronald Reagan' has completed repairs and begun its patrol mission in the Western Pacific ?
( Lee Il-woo )   On September 29 , the Nimitz-class nuclear -powered aircraft carrier 'Ronald Reagan' departed for a routine patrol mission from Yokosuka Naval Base , the headquarters of the US 7th Fleet near Tokyo, Japan .
The Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier is named after the 40th President of the United States , Ronald Reagan. Unusually, it was launched while the namesake president was alive, and at the launch ceremony, President Reagan's wife, Nancy Reagan, held a ceremony by breaking a champagne bottle.
This aircraft carrier is the force deployed closest to the Korean Peninsula in peacetime and is the strategic asset that North Korea and China fear the most.
This aircraft carrier , which boasts the world's largest size at 332m in length and 77m in width , is equipped with at least 40 and up to 60 high-performance 4.5 generation F/A-18 Super Hornets , and about 20 support aircraft such as early warning aircraft and maritime operation helicopters. It is mounted and literally used as a moving air force base .

The news of this departure is especially welcome because the 7th Fleet has been without an aircraft carrier for nearly two months . Originally, the United States was preparing to mobilize two aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific region , but problems arose when the budget for aircraft carriers was drastically reduced under the 'sequester' measure during the Obama administration . General maintenance of an aircraft carrier takes several months , and nuclear fuel replacement and overhaul work, which must be done once every 20 years, takes at least three years .

Most recently, the George Washington aircraft carrier completed nuclear fuel replacement and overhaul work, and the John C. Stennis arrived in 2021. The Nimitz , Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Carl Vinson have already completed nuclear fuel replacement work and are due for retirement . As the need for repairs increases due to aging, the overall operating rate of aircraft carriers has dropped significantly .
For this reason, for about a month and a half while the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was in Yokosuka, there was no backup aircraft carrier in the western Pacific region, so a situation arose where the USS, an amphibious assault ship, had to take charge of the South China Sea and all of North Korea alone. The American ship can carry F-35B fighter jets and perform light aircraft carrier duties , but a situation arises where there is no real aircraft carrier , so China sends the Shandong aircraft carrier to the Philippine Sea in a show of force , and also sends the repaired Liaoning aircraft carrier to the West Sea. During training, he showed signs of strength for a while .

5th failure , 6th success , what's wrong with the Reagan aircraft carrier ?

( Host )  Is there any little-known news related to Ronald Reagan's departure? They say there seems to be a problem with the aircraft carrier , but is it possible that the 7th Fleet aircraft carrier replacement schedule may be accelerated because of this problem ?
( Lee Il-woo )   Japan is a very sensitive country about nuclear weapons or nuclear-powered ships, so the number of naval bases through which American nuclear-powered aircraft carriers or submarines can enter and exit is limited to only three . One is Yokosuka near Tokyo , the other is Sasebo in the Kyushu region , and the third is White Beach in Okinawa . Each local prefectural office and the Japan Nuclear Safety Authority receive reports in advance about the arrival and departure of all ships using nuclear power and disclose related information. Ronald Reagan's scheduled departure date, as originally notified to Japan, was September 18 .
However, the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier left the port 11 days late from its scheduled departure date , and as of October 3 , when the broadcast was recorded, it was loading fighter jets and preparing for patrol operations in the sea near Hachijo, about 250 km south of Shizuoka, Japan. There is .
According to the original schedule, it should have already entered the East China Sea or South China Sea and been performing patrol missions, but it is very late.

According to the 7th Fleet and Yokosuka administrative authorities , Ronald Reagan successfully set sail after attempting to set sail six times since September 18 . He tried to set sail five times but was unable to do so . The problem was the desalination device, one of the key components installed on this aircraft carrier .
With a crew of over 5,000 people, the Ronald Reagan requires a huge amount of drinking and domestic water each day . Since it is impossible to supply this water every day through a supply ship, a desalination device , also known as a 'water generator', is installed under the aircraft carrier's hull , which sucks in a huge amount of sea water, removes salts, filters it, and makes it usable as drinking water .
The Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier's headgear malfunctioned while patrolling the South China Sea in late 2020 . The cause of the malfunction was a swarm of jellyfish that were sucked into the water generator . At that time, the swarm of jellyfish neutralized the external filter of the sea water inlet pipe of the water generator and was then sucked into the water generator, disabling the aircraft carrier itself .

At the time, after Ronald Reagan returned to Yokosuka, he had to spend more than three months tearing out and replacing the water heater and water supply system. The damage suffered during this time was so severe that it was known to cause occasional problems afterwards .
At the time, when this news became known, Chinese state media ridiculed, saying, “Jellyfish in cold jelly fish, which Chinese people often eat as a side dish, brought down a 100,000-ton aircraft carrier . ” There was probably time to replace 100% of the damaged equipment at the time. It is presumed that the delay in departure may have occurred due to the lack of a ship .
The extent of the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier's technical problems can only be estimated by looking at this patrol period, but since it ultimately requires major construction to replace all internal piping and steam generators, the replacement schedule for the 7th Fleet aircraft carrier , scheduled for the first half of next year , does not meet Reagan's schedule. It may be faster depending on aircraft carrier conditions .

An upgrade comparable to reincarnation , ‘ Washington ’ is coming

( Host )  There is a saying that if the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier is replaced with another aircraft carrier, North Korea and China will be in more trouble. So, what kind of aircraft carrier will be forward deployed to the 7th Fleet in place of the Reagan aircraft carrier ?

( Lee Il-woo )   When the U.S. Navy established its aircraft carrier power operation plan last year, it designated George Washington as the next aircraft carrier to replace the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier . This ship was a 7th Fleet forward-deployed aircraft carrier just before the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier , and was active in the 7th Fleet from 2010 to early 2016 .
George Washington underwent nuclear fuel replacement and overhaul for a whopping 5 years and 10 months from August 2017 to May 2023 . Overhaul is literally a major construction project that completely rebuilds a ship by completely tearing out the hull and replacing all internal parts and wiring . Through this repair, the George Washington is an older ship that predates the Ronald Reagan, but all of its equipment is up-to-date and is in excellent condition, allowing it to return to sea .
George Washington is currently undergoing training and testing at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, where the U.S. Fleet Forces Command is located. The George Washington aircraft carrier will operate the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jet , as well as the US Navy's ambitious F-35C fighter jet and MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling tanker .
George Washington underwent an F-35C fighter operation evaluation before overhaul work began , and is currently equipped with all the support facilities necessary for F-35C fighter operation through internal hangar and partial remodeling work on the runway .
The F-35C has a longer range of 300 km than the existing Super Hornet and its electronic equipment is more powerful . Above all, it is a stealth fighter , and because it is equipped with various weapons internally, it is very useful not only in air-to-air combat but also in long-distance air raid operations .

The F-35C can carry two 2,000 -pound precision-guided bombs and two AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missiles at the same time , and if the George Washington carrying this fighter jet enters the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula, the United States may be detected by North Korea or China's air defense networks. As a stealth fighter jet , it possesses a surprise strike capability that can literally reduce Kim Jong-un's official residence or the Workers' Party headquarters to ashes without anyone knowing .
The United States plans to carry out an additional performance improvement project called F-35C Block 4 during the forward deployment of the 7th Fleet of the George Washington aircraft carrier , which operates the F-35C. Block 4 is a complete upgrade of radar, electronic equipment , and armament from the existing F-35. Since the updated model is scheduled to be equipped with the ability to operate stealth anti-ship missiles , the George Washington will pose a very big threat to North Korea as well as China in the future .

In addition, the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker mounted on the George Washington is an aerial refueling tanker that greatly expands the operational radius of the F-35C , and the combination of the F-35C and MQ-25 prevents the George Washington aircraft carrier strike group from coming near the Korean Peninsula. Even so , it is expected to significantly destabilize the North Korean regime because it provides the power to strike Pyongyang .

US military forces on the Korean Peninsula will be fully upgraded by 2024

( Host )  The United States is planning to significantly strengthen its naval and air force in the Western Pacific region, judging by the growing military threat from China and North Korea. In that sense , 2024 will be a very meaningful year. It will happen ?
( Lee Il-woo ) In   2024 , starting with the George Washington aircraft carrier armed with the F-35C , not only the United States but also America's key ally Japan will begin to be equipped with aircraft carriers armed with the F-35 .
First of all, in 2024, in addition to the George Washington aircraft carrier, light aircraft carriers equipped with the F-35B, a vertical takeoff and landing fighter version of the F-35 fighter jet, will appear one after another . The 121st Marine Fighter Attack Squadron and the 242nd Marine Fighter Attack Squadron, the U.S. Marine Corps' F-35B fighter units dispatched to the USS America, which is currently performing light aircraft carrier missions, will receive all scheduled F-35B fighters and become a full-fledged system . Currently, the two squadrons have a little over 10 F-35Bs , and a total of 24 F -35Bs, 12 for each squadron, will be completed in 2024 .
Delivery of the F-35B fighter jet ordered by Japan will also begin in 2024 . First of all , 6 units are planned , and starting with these 6 units , 42 F-35Bs will be introduced and the Izumo multipurpose carrier aircraft carrier modification will be completely completed by 2027 . Izumo and Kaga have already completed evaluation of F-35B landing ships , and the first stage of modification has been completed, so they will be able to perform some functions as light aircraft carriers starting next year .
If this happens, the number of F-35-equipped aircraft carriers in Northeast Asia will be four , which is a level that completely overwhelms China's existing aircraft carrier force , and is a force that China will not be able to catch up with for the time being . It is expected that the United States and Japan will exert pressure on China and North Korea by demonstrating their overwhelming power superiority starting in 2024, when the F-35- equipped aircraft carrier power begins to take shape to some extent .
( Host ) Lee Il-Woo, Secretary General of Korea's Independent Defense Network. This is Kim Jin-guk of RFA in Washington, USA .  

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