China opens world’s longest gas pipelineJanuary 9, 2013
“He who controls the Rimland rules Eurasia; he who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world.” – Nicholas Spykman
China officially began natural gas shipments through its East-West Gas Pipeline, transferring gas from the resource-rich western regions to the energy-hungry coastal production areas. The 5,400 mile long pipeline is the longest in the world.
The East-West Pipeline also links to the network of China-Central Asia Gas Pipelines completed late in the last decade, which bring gas from the various Central Asian republics to Western China. The longest section of those pipelines are over 1100 miles, with a combined total of well over 2000 miles.
A century ago, Halford Mackinder worried that the advent of railroad technology would interconnect the vast Eurasian Heartland and create a dominant world power to any nation that could achieve hegemony over the region. Spykman, in the epigram quoted above, modified Mackinder’s original thinking. A century later, it is not so much about controlling the Heartland as it is about accessing its resources, and it is no longer trains vs. steamships, but rather pipelines vs. tankers.