Cairenes are not modest about their beloved city. It is Umm al-Dunya, they say, the mother of the world. They also call it simply Masr, the Arabic term for Egypt, suggesting, of course, that there is really nothing worth noting in the vast country beyond their grand city on the Nile.
Fifty miles east of Cairo, a Chinese construction firm is giving the aged, crowded, increasingly decaying “mother of the world” a face-lift of sorts. China State Construction and Engineering Company (CSCEC) has broken ground on a new business and administrative district to the tune of $3 billion, mostly financed by Chinese banks. When completed by late 2019, according to projections, much of Egypt’s government will move to this new “capital.” Continue reading
On May 14-15, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Beijing meeting attracted 29 heads of state (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) and representatives of 130 other countries (including the U.S.), plus the leaders of 70 international organizations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Chinese President Xi Jinping gave the keynote address heralding the “One Belt, One Road” initiative (BRI) as a top priority. And well it should be, given that its goal is nothing less than to establish Chinese preeminence (even hegemony) over Eurasia and Africa. Continue reading
COLOMBO — Amid China’s growing assertiveness, Japan has been increasing its focus on Sri Lanka by playing a proactive role in helping develop the island’s maritime capabilities. In June, the Japanese Government granted 1.8 billion Japanese Yen to Sri Lanka to implement the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement project. Continue reading
A fleet of Iranian warships crossed the equator from Sri Lanka on Thursday on their way toward Indonesia as part of a military display meant to show Tehran’s global reach, according to regional reports.
The Iranian Navy’s 33rd fleet of warships, comprised of destroyers and logistical warships, continued its march across international waters to “display the power” of its Navy, according to Iranian military officials. Continue reading
Sri Lanka has signed a deal with a Chinese company to build a $1.4 billion city complex on reclaimed land near the harbour of the capital Colombo, an official said Wednesday.
The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will reclaim 230 hectares (568 acres) next to the new Colombo South port, said SLPA chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama. Continue reading