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Chinese Sand Mining Company Builds Houses in Mozambique And NK Military and Delayed Taiwan Arms Deal

April 28 - May 4, 2022 | Issue 5 - PACOM

Francesca Cavazzuti, Giorgio Tiberio, Ashani Wijesuriya, PACOM Team

Maisie Beavan, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



Sand Mining[1]



Date: April 28, 2022

Location: Chinde District, Zambezia Province, Mozambique

Parties involved: China; Jinan Yuxiao Group; Jinan Yuxiao’s representative Dong Hefeng; Zambia

The event: The Chinese sand mining company, Jinan Yuxiao Group, concluded constructing 68 settlement houses in the Chinde district as part of a contract signed with local authorities to create alternative housing for residents affected by its mining operations. The contract allegedly includes additional construction projects, such as churches, soccer fields, and schools. According to company representative Dong Hefeng, the resettlement program calls for the construction of over 300 houses in the Zambezia province.[2] Mozambique is among the 43 Sub-Saharan African countries involved in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • China will very likely pursue further investment projects in Mozambique as part of the BRI, like railroads and ports. A solid infrastructure network will very likely allow more Chinese companies to export and direct their products and investments to Mozambique, almost certainly affecting local economic competition and very likely causing revenue losses for local producers. Dependency on loans from China is very likely to worsen standards of living in Mozambique as money that could be invested in healthcare and education will very likely be used to pay loans. China is very likely to capitalize on Mozambique’s dependency on its loans to expand its influence as a relevant political actor in neighboring countries, like Zambia, where China has investment projects.

  • China will very likely capitalize on Mozambique’s reliance on foreign investment to secure political support among policymakers. Sino-African relations will very likely strengthen, likely allowing China to diversify its international allies and spread communist ideals. China will likely seek to alter the political systems of African allies in the future, such as Mozambique, to mirror a more authoritarian model of decision-making.

Date: April 30, 2022

Location: North Korea

Parties involved: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; South Korean government; US government; Chinese government; Japanese government

The event: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stated his willingness to continue strengthening his nuclear military arsenal so North Korea could preemptively use its nuclear weapons if threatened. This statement comes after Kim personally congratulated his military officials for the military parade held on April 25. The parade showcased powerful nuclear weapons, including ICBM Hwasong-17 missiles and shorter-range solid-fuel missiles that could be fired from land vehicles and submarines.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • New types of weapons showcased at the military parade very likely suggest North Korea’s capability to conduct a simultaneous missile attack from the air, ground, and sea against South Korea and Japan. These weapons are likely in the development and testing stages, so it is very unlikely North Korea will conduct a preemptive attack. North Korea will very likely continue to conduct missile tests to provoke the US and force it to consider lifting economic sanctions to start negotiations on halting North Korea’s nuclear program.

  • Kim’s statement and the showcase of the new weapons will likely lead the US to strengthen its military cooperation with South Korea via weapons trade and joint drills. The drills will likely focus on defensive operations from ground and sea attacks. South Korea will likely increase sea patrol operations near North Korea. South Korea is very likely to use reconnaissance aircraft to monitor the North Korean army and naval units.

Date: May 2, 2022

Location: Taiwan

Parties involved: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense; US; China; United Kingdom; Ukraine

The event: According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, the US delayed the planned 2023 deadline of an arms contract with Taiwan for the sale of the Paladin M109A6 155mm cannon to 2026. The delay is due to the US increasing deliveries of self-propelled howitzer (SPH) guns to Ukraine. The US has offered other precision-strike artillery systems, such as the long-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). Taiwan is evaluating this alternative.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • There is a roughly even chance the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense will not agree to the proposal, as the long-range striking capacity of the HIMARS will unlikely fit the defensive strategy of a small island. Mobile artillery systems with a shorter effective range, such as the Paladin M109A6, will very likely be better suited to the country’s strategic needs. Taiwan will likely seek to acquire equivalent versions of SPH cannons from other countries, like the United Kingdom.

  • China will almost certainly view the sale of weapons to Taiwan as a provocation, and will very likely oppose or seek to block the export of arms. China will likely try to deter other potential sellers by threatening to cancel diplomatic contacts and official visits and reduce trade relations. If the sale happens, China will very likely close its market and halt sales to the companies involved. This will likely negatively impact these companies, especially if they need Chinese-provided materials or mechanical components to produce technologies for civilian purposes in addition to weapons and military technologies.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Open Pit Mining” by Rita E licensed under Pixabay

[2] China mining company Jinan Yuxiao Group builds 68 settlement houses in Mozambique, Club of Mozambique, April 2022, https://clubofmozambique.com/news/china-mining-company-jinan-yuxiao-group-builds-68-settlement-houses-in-mozambique-215503/?utm_source=The+Mozambican+Investor_&utm_campaign=f02047705f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d3b369a42d-f02047705f-237813274

[3] “Countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” Green Finance & Development Center, 2022, https://greenfdc.org/countries-of-the-belt-and-road-initiative-bri/

[4] Kim warns N. Korea could ‘preemptively’ use nuclear weapons, AP News, April 2022, https://apnews.com/article/south-korea-nuclear-weapons-north-pyongyang-56eaaad53cd646d581cf71daae0ee7b6

[5] Taiwan considers alternatives after U.S. informs of howitzer delay, Reuters, May 2022 https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taiwan-considers-alternatives-after-us-informs-howitzer-delay-2022-05-02/

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