Hillary Clinton arriving at the Elysée Palace in Paris to be greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

For her Jan. 29 speech at the Ecole Militaire in Paris [1], Mrs. Clinton was evidently wearing that stylish new French perfume from the House of Sarkozy called Chantage – meaning blackmail. Mrs. Clinton gloats because she thinks she has the Chinese leadership in a bind.

As she stated, she knows that China increasingly depends on oil from the Gulf. She demanded that China vote for crippling sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council this month, while Sarkozy — the craziest of all western leaders against Iran — controls the presidency of that body.

For China, approving crippling sanctions against Iran means in all probability the loss of 10% to 12% of its oil imports, the aborting of some $80 billion in development projects by Beijing in Iran, the sacrifice of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil which the Chinese have locked in via futures contracts, and, above all, a farewell to the best chance of getting a secure overland oil pipeline far away from the US-UK fleets — the pipeline from Iran via Pakistan into China.

If the Chinese fail to captitulate on this point, Mrs. Clinton darkly hinted, the US would no longer restrain the Israelis, who might then launch their long-threatened air attack on Iran, which the US has emphatically vetoed over the past two years. At that point, the Iranians would try to interdict Gulf maritime traffic and close the strait of Hormuz, meaning that about a third of China’s oil could be cut off. (The other 20% comes from Saudi Arabia.)

The US-UK elite is in a state of collective hysteria about the growth of Chinese economic power. China is now the largest exporter in the world, and officially about to become the second largest economy, passing Japan to challenge the US.

The US is way behind China in fast rail, and will soon fall behind in modern nuclear energy production. China is clearly aiming to put astronauts on the moon, but the Obama-Orszag NASA budget makes clear that the US is going nowhere when it comes to manned space flight. If US elites really want to keep pace, they should put aside their feckless attempts to contain China by subversion, economic warfare, and fomenting conflicts in the Guif and on the India-China border. Match the Chinese programs in nuclear reactors, fast rail, and manned space flight, or prepare for the status of has-been.

But for right now, the Iran attack scenario, which had been pushed to the back burner by the US National Intelligence Estimate of December 2007 — which stated that there was no Iranian nuclear weapons program — is once again operational, this time as a means at striking at China’s oil supply.


See our China country file for other related articles.

[1Hillary Clinton’s Speech on Future of European Security, Voltaire Network, 29 January 2010.