Why communist China’s first foreign military base? Location, Location, Location

Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy troops march in Djibouti’s independence day parade on June 27.

 

UNITED NATIONS — Nearly six hundred years ago, huge Chinese fleets plied the Indian Ocean sailing as far as Arabia and the East African coast.

The epic seaborne expeditions carried out between 1405 and 1432 under Adm. Cheng Ho and during the glorious Ming Dynasty were larger and far more encompassing than subsequent Portuguese and Dutch voyages almost a century later. China’s Imperial Court sought trade, tribute, and exotic treasures, not formal colonization nor religious conversion. Continue reading

Austerity or Democracy

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – At Berlin’s insistence, Greece will not receive debt relief and will be forced to submit – contrary to the Greek population’s “No” last Sunday – to Germany’s austerity dictate, or exit the Eurozone. This is what the Eurogroup decided at its summit yesterday evening. Debt relief, as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls had been still considering yesterday afternoon, is out of the question, announced German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the meeting in Brussels. Athens will also have to present detailed austerity proposals by Thursday. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker explicitly declared, “if the Greek government is not doing what we expect” a “Grexit” will be initiated. According to insiders, cash will be available at Greek banks only for another two days. By withholding ECB emergency funding, Greece can be driven into collapse, at any time. Just prior to the summit, leading economists signed an appeal to Chancellor Merkel, asking her to stop the “never-ending austerity” – to no avail. In the meantime, even Washington has intervened in the debate. A special EU summit, convened for Sunday, will take the final decision on Greece’s future.

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Spain to become major logistics platform for southern Europe and northern Africa

The Spanish Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá, said that, “Spain aims to become the major logistics platform for southern Europe and northern Africa, serving the global east-west trade routes, as well as the emerging north-south.”

To achieve this goal, which is part of the Logistics Strategy, Spain can offer “its geostrategic position and its credentials in infrastructure and transportation systems,” stressed Catalá.

The official also said that Spain has the largest motorway network in Europe and the world’s fifth best rail infrastructure, as well as the second most extended high-speed network in the world and a port system characterised by its excellent management and results. Continue reading