Submitted by: Thorgils Tarjeisson
SHIREKEEP (Shireroth) – News of the Blackrock Pact, signed on the 28th of March this year but only announced to the world on the 7th of April, came to the attention of the Shirerithian government only latterly and provoked a low level discussion between the Kaiser, his ministers and interested parties amongst his advisers.
The Blackrock Pact, an eleven point programme regarding mutual defence and collective security between the Brettish Commonwealth, Calbion, Gerenia, and Jingdao, is seen by observers in Shirekeep as a thin screen covering a projected expansion of Jingdao interests into regions of Northern Apollonia. This being the same area covered by the failed Sper Conference that Jingdao militarists sabotaged in objection to Shirerithian participation. The engagement of Jingdao with the Brettish Commonwealth and Calbion creates the potential for Jingdao to establish base facilities for naval and air assets in Maraguo (Calbion) & on Madison Isle (Brettish Commonwealth). These bases would increase the number of potential attack vectors for a Jingdaoese strike on the Benacian mainland that comprises the Imperial Republic of Shireroth’s territorial core.
The announcement of the Pact coincides with the announcement of a dramatic expansion of the firepower of the Jingdaoese Navy, which is seeking to lose its Brownwater status and become a proper Blue Water Fleet.
The Imperial Government of Shireroth has however proven itself remarkably sanguine about the new security pact that has allegedly been formed in opposition to itself. In a statement prepared and issued by Shirerithian Minister of the Exterior, Hallbjörn Haraldsson, the Imperial Government declared that it was “not in the habit of commenting on any and all treat[ies] that may be concluded” and moreover that it had every confidence that “the Heavenly Light [Emperor of Jingdao] will slaughter his own populace long before we ever have to worry about the intentions of Jingdao’s very own YAMO [Yet Another Micronational Organisation], which also happens to be known as the Blackrock Pact.”
Jingdao is noted for periodically conducting what may be best described as a ‘hard reboot’ – destroying itself and abandoning territory only to reappear on a completely different portion of the map of Micras, the simulated map wherein most of its shenanigans are conducted.
Some analysts suggest that the Blackrock Pact is a rehash of the old diplomatic strategy of a failing state reaching out to potential partners to buttress itself and give the illusion of potential strength, such as was followed by Babkha with the Raspur Pact in its final years of existence.
In contrast for the scorn reserved for Jingdao, the Shirerithians had more favourable comments reserved for the other members of the Pact, noting that “the Imperial Shirithian Government has nothing but warm regards and hopes for fraternal friendship with the Brettish Commonwealth, Calibon and Gerenia”, emphasising the fact that Shireroth does not perceive a military or diplomatic threat from the three aforementioned.
Separately from the announcement of the Pact, the Imperial Shirerithian Navy has stepped up its patrols in the Central and Northern Seas as part of a force reorganisation that was first announced on the 2nd of April.