Last week, a group of initially unidentified foreign troops disembarked in the Yemeni port city of Aden which is currently under siege by Iran-backed Rebels seeking to capture one of the last remaining major holdouts still controlled by fighters loyal to President Hadi. When the mystery soldiers arrived, the media made the somewhat logical assumption that a Saudi-led ground incursion had indeed begun. Surprisingly, the soldiers turned out to be Chinese and were in Yemen to ensure the safety of more than 200 civilians evacuating the city in an “unprecedented” move that at least according to one Chinese professor, makes China “look really good.”
A Chinese naval frigate evacuated 225 foreign citizens from strife-torn Yemen, its foreign ministry said, marking the first time that China’s military has helped other countries evacuate their people during an international crisis.
A diplomatic source familiar with the operation said it was “very risky” and that fighting had come close to the Chinese warship.
The evacuation of foreigners bolsters China’s image at home and abroad, according to Shen Dingli, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.
“We wouldn’t look very good if we have the capacity to help others but no heart to do it,” Shen said.
“Now we look really good,” he added.
This was a history-making moment for the Chinese and as FT reports, it wasn’t the only time Beijing made military history last week:
A few days earlier, state television showed a satellite photo of three submarines anchored at a top-secret base on China’s southern island of Hainan. The report identified them as the navy’s most advanced Type-093G nuclear powered attack submarines, which experts say will start China’s first patrol by nuclear powered subs later this year.
And to top off a busy week, Pakistan agreed “in principle” to buy eight Chinese submarines in a deal that could be worth up to $5bn — the most lucrative Chinese arms contract ever.
China also announced last month that it is building a second aircraft carrier and that its defence spending would rise this year by 10.1 per cent, marking 27 years of double-digit or near double-digit increases. Over the past five years, China’s arms exports have grown by 143 per cent, making it the world’s third-largest arms trader, according to a new study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
“There is more of everything in China now, there are more cellphones, there’s more air pollution, there are more babies [and] there are also more tanks and one more aircraft carrier.”
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Whatever Beijing’s true military ambitions may be, one thing that is clear is that between China’s efforts to rewrite the global economic order via the establishment of multilateral institutions designed to supplant (or at least to complement) the multinational funds that have for decades presided over the global economy in the post World War II dollar-dominated world and now with the country looking to establish a larger presence for its military on the world stage (whether for humanitarian purposes or otherwise), the global power balance is most certainly shifting due east.
Full article: China Made Military History Three Times Last Week (Zero Hedge)