The Hybrid War On Zambia Is All About China’s Silk Roads
In light of Zambia's recent imposition of a state of emergency to quell a spree of sabotage, arsons, and terrorism, we are transcribing Andrew Korybko's Context Countdown analysis from August 2016 to explain the geostrategic importance of this state and why it's being targeted for Hybrid War destabilization.
To bring you all up to speed, Zambia is a landlocked country in South-Central Africa that’s internationally known for its copper reserves and historical stability, even during the Cold War. It was led by the anti-imperialist and socialist Kenneth Kaunda, one of the greatest names in African history whom barely anyone has ever heard about before. But the reason I’m talking about this Zambian election isn’t because of the country’s proud past, but because of its promising future, and how the vote for President and the aftermath of this event impacts the country’s ‘land-linked’ opportunities within the region. But first things first, here’s what happened. Incumbent President Edgar Lungu was running for reelection after entering office last year during an extraordinary vote following the death of his predecessor, Michael Sata. Lungu narrowly won by a razor-thin margin of 28,000 votes over the opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema and was allowed to serve out the rest of Sata’s term. During this election, Lungu won again, but this time by a more comfortable margin of over 100,000 votes and just narrowly crossed the new 50% threshold to avoid a runoff vote. Hichilema and his supporters cried foul, as could have been expected, and said they don’t recognize the results.
The reason why this is even worth talking about is because Zambia is an irreplaceably crucial component of the New Silk Road networks taking shape in this part of Africa. In fact, it connects five separate projects, some of which are already created and others which are planned, in order to become the ultimate transportation junction for South-Central Africa’s bicoastal corridors. Before going further, I’m going to suggest that you folks pause this program and pull up a map of Zambia so you can follow what I’m saying.
Okay, assuming that you have one in front of you by now or know the region very well, I’m going to start by going clockwise. The first multipolar transnational connective infrastructure project one is the TAZARA railroad that China built between Zambia and Tanzania in 1975, while the second is the proposed Zambia-Malawi-Mozambique railroad which would diversify Zambia’s Indian Ocean access routes. Looking due south, we have the existing railroad infrastructure through Zambia and South Africa, most of it constructed during the apartheid period but now applied for obvious multipolar uses, and then there’s the projected Walvis Bay Corridor through Namibia’s thin Caprivi Strip and out to the Atlantic. The last project is Zambia’s connection to Angola’s recently Chinese-refurbished Benguela Railway, with the northern route going through the Congo to reach that interconnection, and the southern one being a proposed project to cut through Zambia’s Northwest Province and reach it directly.
Remember, all of these projects intersect through Zambia, making it one of the ultimate New Silk Road locations in the entire world, so it’s little wonder to see why the opposition wants to seize control the country and exert influence over reach of these routes. If democracy won’t work, a Color Revolution might.
Andrew KORYBKO -Political analyst / Moscow
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.
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