China / Pacific Rim – the Future

Those who have been observing the posturing of the US and China over the Pacific will have seen the political temperature and rhetoric increasing over the last year or so. Australia is a massive supplier of commodities to China, and has always been nervous about Oriental politics. A few days ago I commented on reports about Australia banning Chinese components from their web infrastructure. Now Agence France Presse is reporting that the US is planning to fly UAVs (drones) from Australian Territory – specifically the Cocos Islands.

In ‘Gate of Tears’ I explored ‘Bab el Mandab’ – one of the major world shipping ‘Straits’ – there are 38 defined in international treaties. The Straits of Malacca are one of the most significant, being a major oil and trade conduit. This Strait might be one of the key areas for US drone activity, though they are used mainly for close in tactical operations – satellites are not optimal for that. I shall be looking at this region in ‘Malacca Mission’, the next in my series of Steve Baldwin adventures. Grist for the mill. First, though, Baldwin has some tidying up to do in ‘Sicilian Channel’, which is now in pre-production.

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