History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Friday, May 21, 2004


    My last piece, Colonization, detailed steps taken by the People's Republic of China to colonize Siberia, and eventually wrest it away from Russia's control. Rob, of the blog Crushing Dissent, wondered what steps could be done to thwart the Chinese plan. I had been thinking of that for a while, and have found no good solutions from the Russian side of things. They really can't afford to move enough people over to Siberia to counter-act the problem, and even if they do, it only delays the inevitable.

    One possible step to take would be for Russia to sell Siberia to the Chinese. If Russia can't hang onto Siberia anyways, it might as well get some profit off the loss. There is precedent, the Louisiana Purchase being most prominent of all. By selling Siberia to China, Russia can at least make something out of a bad situation. However, China will most likely not agree to such a deal. In the eyes of the Chinese leadership, Siberia is as good as theirs already. Simple numbers dictates that sooner or later they will exercise greater control there than Russia, and annexation is just a matter of time. Why buy now what you will get just a little into the future? China will most likely save the money and let the current plan precede apace.

    Russia could do its best to try and get people in Europe or elsewhere to migrate to Siberia, but that is something that will probably achieve little. For one, Siberia isn't exactly the nicest place to live. And neither is Russia proper. The government doesn't have the money to pay for enough people to move there, or to provide the jobs and services necessary to support those people. Insufficient incentives exist. Not now, and by the time it might be able to, it will be too late. Russia's hands are tied. The only way that Russia could possibly prevent China from taking Siberia from the Russian Federation would be to attack and cripple China. However, given Russia's current military state, that could only be accomplished with nuclear weapons. And China has enough nuclear weapons to ensure that Russia would be mortally wounded in such an exchange. A pyrrhic Victory, if you will. Not something I expect to occur.

    There is another option that Russia has, one that could possibly prevent China from taking over Siberia, and helping it on its path to super-powerdom. China in possession of Siberia would pose a mortal danger to Russia, and therefore something must be done to prevent China from possessing Siberia. That something is to sell Siberia to the United States of America.

    Why, you ask, would Russia be so crazy as to sell Siberia to America? Why not? The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 was worth 15 million Dollars US, and the area purchased was 2 million square miles. 15 million dollars worth of gold back then would have bought 300 million dollars today, at roughly 15 dollars per ounce of gold in 1803 and roughly 300 dollars per ounce of gold today (Interestingly, the US dollar was originally pegged against the silver Spanish 8-real peso, more famous as the "piece of 8" ). So the Louisiana Purchase was quite a deal. Alaska, by the way, was sold for 7 million dollars by Russia. So Russia selling Siberia to the USA isn't completely crazy, Russian territory has been sold to the US before. And not all of it has to be sold, only the easternmost parts, in fact. And plenty of precedent already exists. And selling Siberia to the US has a lot of benefits to Russia. First off, it will likely be sold for more than 300 million dollars, or even 3,000 million dollars. Russia could likely get billions for the deal, billions of dollars that it desperately needs to rebuild infrastructure ruined by decades of communist imposed socialism. A deal worth tens of billions of dollars could literally be a G-dsend to the Russians. Also, selling Siberia to America would turn the issue of eventual Chinese control of Siberia from a Russian problem to a US problem. Indeed, Russia could use it as a clever ploy to increase tensions between the US and China. With both focused on each other, Russia could improve its economy, military and world position.

    Why would America agree to this? Well, first of all Siberia is full of natural resources, many of which aren't being efficiently used by the Russians. Proper access to Siberian resources, whether lumber, oil or natural ores could provide a nice boost to the US economy, primarily in the long term. People could emigrate from the US to Siberia to benefit from new economic opportunities. Russians would also likely immigrate there as well, as the opportunities present under Siberia as US territory would be far greater. Also, the US controlling Siberia would be a big check against Chinese imperialist ambitions. China's leadership has been encouraging nationalist sentiment inside the nation in order to help cement their hold on power, and part of that nationalism hinges on recovering lost territory. Siberia, in Chinese hands, could provide resources that would help Chinese plans, including military ones. As a matter of strategic interest, the US can't let Siberia fall into Chinese hands. It would result in a massive shift in the current balance of power in China's favor, something that is decidedly not good for the US. In fact, parts of Siberia are very close to Alaska, and would allow the Chinese to possibly make moves against Alaska in a future conflict. The US has the military means of preventing China from taking Siberia from force, whereas Russia most likely doesn't at this point.

    Both Russia and the United States have an interest in preventing Siberia from falling into Chinese hands, and the best, and probably, only means of doing so is to sell Siberia to the US. And so the answer to Chinese attempts at colonizing Siberia is simple: Retro-Colonization. The United States of America must colonize Siberia first, before Siberia becomes part and parcel of the People's Republic of China.

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