It is going to be an interesting observing how Japan decides to work with Russia and China in the coming years as China’s “dream” begins to materialize in the form of a “new silk road” linking China with Iran. According to analysis on Japan-China trade in 2014, based on import data from “Trade Statistics of Japan” by the Ministry of Finance and the “China Customs Statistics Yearbook”, total trade remained at almost the same level as that of the previous year at US$343.7 billion with a 0.2% increase. The breakdown in 2014 is exports (referred to as China’s imports from Japan hereafter) increased by 0.3% to US$162.7 billion and imports also rose by 0.1% to US$181.0 billion. As a result, Japan’s trade balance marked a deficit for the third consecutive year at US$18.3 billion. Japan’s exports to China remain largely based on automobiles, machining parts, frozen fish products, communications products, semiconductors, chemicals and organic compounds. It is in Japan’s best interests to remain on peaceful terms despite the Abe LDP power click exaggerating China’s military expansion.
The New Silk Roads and the Rise of the ‘Chinese Dream’
By Pepe Escobar
Earlier last week, the first Chinese commercial train, with 32 containers, arrived in Tehran after a less than 14-day journey from the massive warehouse of Yiwu in Zhejiang, eastern China, crossing Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
This is a 10,400 km-long trip. Crucially, it’s also no less than 30 days shorter compared to the sea route from Shanghai to Bandar Abbas. And we’re not even talking about high-speed rail yet – which in a few years will be installed all along from eastern China to Iran and onward to Turkey and, crucially, Western Europe, enabling 500-plus container trains to crisscross Eurasia in a flash.
When Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei, president of Iran Railways, remarked that, “countries along the Silk Road are striving to revive the ancient network of trade routes,” he was barely touching the surface in what is an earth-shattering process.
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