Published on June 5th, 2017 | by Christopher Wright0
Is China’s Goal World Domination?
Something strange is happening on Saipan. Residents report being approached by Chinese intermediaries offering to buy their houses for fantastic sums. The Zoning Board then spot-zones properties as mixed residential-commercial, allowing the property to be classified as business accommodations. As one resident said:
There are Americans being kicked out of their homes left and right, with apartment complexes and houses being purchased and converted into barracks for illegal construction workers, schools being purchased for additional development.
The resident also reports that Saipan’s sole hospital is teeming with Chinese birth tourism. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is the only place in the United States that doesn’t require a visa for Chinese entry into the country. Per our source on Saipan:
Anyone can come here from China (often 8 months pregnant) without any sort of normal visa process, and then decide to stay indefinitely, or simply give birth and return back to the mainland. In the case of the casino, they enter under the visa waiver program as tourists, and are then taken to workers barracks (often just retro-fitted warehouses). The construction sub-contractors confiscate their passports, and by the time they’ve overstayed the normal tourist stay, they are essentially indentured servants/slaves.
Some U.S. citizens are leaving due to the creeping Sinification. Some businesses are shutting down, starved for employees because of the priority given to Chinese construction projects:
These developments are overwhelmingly voted down by U.S. residents, leading to emergency sessions in the legislature where the law is amended overnight and bills fly through. There are a small handful of individuals who are manipulating all branches of local government, and using ties in DC to apparently exempt the CNMI from federal policies that are implemented everywhere else in the U.S.
Our source might join the exodus:
The Northern Marianas is one location where I felt like [Trump’s] rhetoric concerning "America First" really made sense. I guess I was hoping the Trump administration policies would prevent the Chinese from purchasing my home, and the news of the Governor’s meeting with Trump [April 4, 2017 apparently signaling the continuation of the Chinese visa waiver program] crushed some of that hope. The next time a Chinese translator walks onto my property and asks me how much his associate will have to pay for the house, I will need to seriously consider abandoning this patch of U.S. soil.
What motivates these strange goings-on and why does it matter?
The Central Pacific is a strategic linchpin. Through its forays in the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia in World War II, Japan quickly gained control of much of the Pacific, from North Asia down to Oceania and across from the Indian Ocean towards America.
One explanation for China’s current interest in the Central Pacific is financial. Saipan relaxed restrictions on casinos in 2014 and granted exclusive rights to open casinos there to Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. (formerly a frozen foods company). CEO Mark Brown is a Trump protégé and the company has ties to many other power players in the U.S., including a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and three former U.S. governors, including past chairmen of both the Democratic and Republican National Committees.
Imperial Pacific operates the Best Sunshine Live casino on Saipan known for catering to China’s super-rich flocking there after China’s crackdown on corruption in Macau. Best Sunshine does more business than Macau’s most storied casinos; high-rollers wager an average $39 million apiece. But observers say ordinary gamblers would have no interest in Best Sunshine’s dowdy storefront operation on an island not known as a major tourist destination. Therefore, observers suspect, Best Sunshine must be facilitating criminal money-laundering or capital flight out of China. A former executive sued the company accusing it of money-laundering violations. For its part, Imperial Pacific unfailingly says everything is above board. The company pays $20 million a year into a community fund and another $15 million a year to the Marianas pension fund. A one-time $10 million sweetener covered the electricity bills of all Saipan residents. Corruption of local officials has been alleged.
Imperial Pacific is building a $550 million 400-room resort on Saipan. In April, the company received extensions on the completion of construction and the operation of Best Sunshine. Imperial’s further $7 billion expansion plans on Saipan call for 20 more hotels, 11 more casinos, 300 villas, a 600-seat theater, 10,000 square-meters of retail, and a theme park. In April 2017, the FBI searched the resort construction site and made an arrest relating to the workplace visa system. Hundreds of undocumented Chinese workers and other arrests relating to the unlawful employment of aliens have been made in the CNMI. An April 2017 GAO report indicates that foreign workers are half of CNMI’s workforce and thousands more are needed at least through 2019. The report recommends raising the cap on the number of work permits allowed. Given the number of overstayed visas in the U.S., one may reasonably ask whether the entire exercise constitutes back-door colonization by the Chinese to displace the U.S. from a strategic part of the Pacific which has been under American protection for decades.
So the first explanation for the strange happenings on Saipan – financial – may feed into the second – military and strategic. Chinese expansionism may account for the influx of Chinese money and workers. Prizes to be won include control of the Gateway to the Pacific, the conquest of Taiwan, domination of commercial shipping in the South China Sea, flipping the Philippines to the Chinese sphere of influence, tipping the balance of power in the region, and a stepping stone to world domination (more on the latter in the next issue of The Truth).
In Anti-Access/Area Denial: The Evolution of Modern Warfare, Major Christopher J. McCarthy, U.S. Air Force, argues that China has acquired significant capability to frustrate American military superiority and deny safe deployment in the Pacific theater, things America unquestionably enjoyed in recent wars. Chinese missiles can disrupt U.S. military operations from Okinawa to Guam (which is near CNMI). Air defenses and submarines also give China the ability to attack aircraft carriers and prevent other U.S. ships from safely entering the theater. “Attempts to deploy into theater and to gain air and maritime superiority likely will result in loss of life and materiel to levels not experienced since World War II,“ McCarthy writes.
Another report – CHINA’s A2/AD STRATEGY IN THE HEART OF THE SECOND ISLAND CHAIN – asserts that China is successfully projecting power through commercial and diplomatic activity in the Central Pacific. While the U.S. is endeavoring to redistribute military assets long held on Okinawa throughout the Central Pacific, China hints that an escalating U.S. military presence in the area would be counter-productive to Chinese investments there. China is acquiring large tracts of land for golf courses and – none dare call them – ghost hotels. It is purchasing fishing rights, building ports, coddling local officials and awarding college scholarships to their offspring. These activities are just a hop, skip, and a jump from U.S. naval facilities on Guam and U.S. missile sites on Kwajalein in the Marshalls.
In 2016, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued a report entitled “China’s Expanding Ability to Conduct Conventional Missile Strikes on Guam”. Through multitudinous means, China is aggressively trying to squeeze the U.S. out of the Central Pacific, the report asserts. One consequence of losing influence in the Central Pacific is Micronesian leaders playing the China card in dealings with U.S. officials.
Part of the backdrop to this story is China’s aggressiveness in building artificial islands and airstrips in the South China Sea. Beijing invariably issues vehement and bellicose statements when challenged by the U.S. for these activities – the U.S. is sowing “chaos”, “war is inevitable”, etc.
The game has clearly changed. The question is just how far Chinese ambitions extend – regional power? World domination?