China’s Strategy to Control World Trade

The fulfillment of a vital prophecy is a telling indicator of where the world is heading.

Panama cut ties with Taiwan last summer to establish diplomatic relations with China. Panama’s government made this decision for economic reasons. China is expanding its political and commercial clout through Central America. Already, China is the second-biggest user of the Panama Canal, after the United States. A Chinese company now operates the ports on each end of this strategic waterway.

Controlling the Panama Canal is part of China’s strategy to become a superpower. According to the United States’ Energy Information Administration, the world’s most important trade routes pass through the Strait of Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Turkish Straits, the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. Whoever controls these choke points controls world trade!

Why Is This Important?

Digging the Panama Canal was part of a strategy to make the U.S. the most powerful nation on Earth. President Theodore Roosevelt authorized construction on the canal in 1904. The canal allowed U.S. industry to quickly move ships between the East Coast and West Coast. It also allowed the U.S. military to project power across two oceans. The United States leased Guantánamo Bay from Cuba to protect trade routes to and from the Canal Zone. It established a system of naval bases and refueling stations spanning from Cuba to the coasts of Asia via the territories of Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines.

But the United States withdrew from Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines in 1992. It returned the Panama Canal Zone to the Republic of Panama in 1999.

Now China is militarizing the South China Sea and courting Panama. It is trying to gain control over critical trade choke points. If China is successful, the Philippines and Panama will be the newest additions to its system of naval bases and refueling stations spanning from Africa to Latin America.

What Does the Bible Say?

At one time, the English-speaking peoples controlled virtually every maritime choke point and sea gate on the planet. How did these nations grow to dominate global trade to such an extent?

In his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert W. Armstrong explained that it all began with a promise made to the patriarch Abraham. God promised to give Abraham’s descendants control over the “gates” of their enemies (Genesis 22:17). A gate is a narrow passage of entrance or exit. When speaking nationally, a “sea gate” is a narrow choke point like the Panama Canal. God gave Britain and America those commercial gates, ensuring that they would become economic and military superpowers.

But God also warned that if America and Britain did not obey Him, then not only would those sea gates be taken away, but they would be used against them (Deuteronomy 28:52).

The fulfillment of this prophecy is a telling indicator of where the U.S. and Britain are heading. To learn why this prophecy applies to the American and British peoples, in particular, request The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong.