Former CIA agent reports Washington is opening new military base in Albania in order to counter Beijing.
Written by Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Science sat the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.
In a recent interview, a former CIA agent reported that his country is opening a military base in Albania in order to contain China. A unit of American special forces in the Balkan country has as its main objective to stop any form of rapprochement between Tirana and Beijing, turning Albania into a mere regional satellite of Washington’s interests.
Last Friday, the US European Command (better known by the acronym, EUCOM) announced that it was establishing a new headquarters in the Balkans – a special operations unit based in Albania, which would form part of an overall US government effort to increase the capacity of Western forces to guarantee stability in that region, commonly strained by various conflicts with historical roots. The unit would be responsible for ensuring the interoperability between US and Albanian forces, as well as the strategic access to key Balkan military centers.
Commenting on the case during an interview with Sputnik, former CIA agent Ray McGovern stated that the US government decided to open a military base in the region “because they [the US] just learned that Albania is a tight ally of the Chinese Communists”. In this sense, the purpose of this new unity would be to undermine Chinese influence in the region and prevent the rapprochement between Tirana and Beijing, with little or no real interest on the part of Washington in guaranteeing stability and peace for the Balkans.
Analyzing the recent history of cooperation between China and Albania, it is really possible to see a significant increase in bilateral partnership. In a recent report by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (a pro-Western Balkan NGO), were identified at least 135 cooperation projects between China and Albania whose value exceeds US$36 million. The projects work in the most diverse areas, including high technology, computing, metallurgy, mining, energy, transport, infrastructure, security, among others. One of the projects that most dislikes the West is cooperation in technology with Huawei, a Chinese company that has been the target of conspiracy theories and fake news promoted by Washington, which accuses it of spying and stealing data in favor of Beijing.
In addition to economic cooperation, Beijing and Tirana have also expanded cultural cooperation ties, with an increase in mutual educational and scientific projects. Indeed, cultural and scientific cooperation is a key element of Chinese diplomacy, with Beijing trying to communicate with other states through the exchange of knowledge and academic professionals – and this is no different in the current Albanian case. In the same sense, it should be mentioned that the Chinese government also invests heavily in health diplomacy with the Balkan country, sending vaccines and medical equipment at low cost, which has been fundamental for Albania to deal with the new coronavirus pandemic.
All these measures are no surprise considering the Chinese project to create a global development platform for emerging nations. The search for acquiring new partners among emerging states has already become a central aspect of Chinese foreign policy, boosting cooperation projects within the scope of the Belt and Road Initiative. China is not doing any “kindness” or “charity” with this type of attitude, but a real investment: for Beijing, it is profitable that as many emerging countries as possible develop, integrating the BRI, so that in the future China can reduce part of its industrial production (fulfilling its ecological goals) and take advantage of foreign goods that will arrive in the country through the platform.
In October, Albanian President Ilir Meta and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met at an important summit in which they emphasized the great potential of bilateral cooperation and agreed to boost international trade, with the aim of integrating Albania more and more to the BRI. It is clear that these ties have increased even more in the last three months due to this summit’s results – and this is precisely what worries Washington: the arrival of the BRI in the Balkans.
Faced with this scenario, the American attitude seems simple: to inaugurate a special forces unit in Albania in order to intimidate the Albanian government to abdicate its ties with the Asian country. The US appears to act hurriedly and is unwilling to deal with any signs of growing Chinese influence, responding at the military level to a peaceful partnership. Washington seems determined to make Tirana to conform to a role of regional satellite of American interests.
On the one hand, the American attitude seems even irrational, as it is not common for a country to open a military base abroad just to undermine economic cooperation between two other states. On the other hand, this is consistent with recent US incursions against China. Washington seems desperate to stop Chinese growth in any way possible. And for that, it is willing even to extreme attitudes like this.
In this scenario, for China, nothing changes. The Chinese international attitude usually ignores political and military factors, focusing on economic cooperation. Beijing will continue to try to integrate Tirana into the BRI and it will be up to the Albanian government to decide whether to accept foreign impositions or limit American attitudes and ensure the fulfillment of its own national strategic interests.
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Yes boys and girls, according to the Einsteins and Kosher chicken hawks in Washington, DC Albania is very close to China geographically and will keep a close eye on any Chinese provocations and preparations for war. The idiots are showing the world once again that they are geography illiterates.
Americans only learn geography when they go to war.
I’m Albanian but this article has no understanding of the country. We are some of the most pro-American people in Europe, with China being a secondary factor which frankly most people in the country don’t trust. Yes, there is economic cooperation but relations with Albania and China have been strained because in general, the world dislikes China.
I’m American Albanian and it’s not that the world dislikes China the US government dislikes China because China is surpassing the US in almost every area imaginable. The US can thank the Zionist’s for this Keep listening to the Zionist’s and the US demise will happen sooner than later.Sad to say but it’s the truth…
They probatly runs where you live and has created You as opposition to legalize it.
Yes, Albanians easily switch their masters but don’t forget that Albania was basically an ultra-communist, fanatical, maoist state. It was Chinese ally, not Soviet. When Mao Zedong died entire Tirana cried for days.
In stead of that babling reflexions, You should wonder why. Thye and the many other muslims was attacked hard and defeated by Mussolini and Hitler even before Barbarossa.
None was communistsat all. Half of the country was a feudal state and the rest mafiosa as in southern Italy. The Osmans has had to leave before that.
They were moderate muslims and nationalistic in very old culture as well as ancient culture.
And the whole Tirana also was demanded to cry. Those Abanians had to go that far away to friend any friends and did.
It can be compared with the Bosniaks. None supported them against Serbs ands Criats even they behaved very nice.
Thier only choise was about 1000 Al kaida hardheaders supported well by private Saudi donations and their version of Islam. That made the first Bosniak Army, which soldiers mainly was relatives to dead familiy.
People in Albania didnt read some little red book and changed side switching masters. I will remind You that Yugoslavia did not choose Master Stalin as well. They tryed Marxisme with a western touch.
According to you, the world in general dislikes China so much that it buys the equivalent of BILLIONS of dollars (USD) in products and allows BILLIONS in investment in the host countries. In comparison what does Uncle Shmuel offer countries? A military base or extremely overpriced military hardware?
They offer none of that. Its a total fake. USA has representatives there too as almost anywhere else.
It would make sense they put in a little more people and ressources for Ukriane and Belarus. Albania is a Nato member.
The chinese might have a few helpers for devellopment programs still runned by them. And thats it.
In your head, you might think that way ofc. But no, if the “world” disliked China, China wouldn’t be attacked in the West’s MSM so much.
Lucas Leiroz seemes to be a real headbanger.
I have one thing to say about Albania, burn.