Enter the Dragon: China’s Belt and Road Rising in the Middle East

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

REVEALED: 10 bombshells the EU is hiding until AFTER the referendum

As the UK gears up for a historic vote on whether to leave the EU in just nine days, it has been claimed that a series of bizarre and costly decisions are being shelved until after the poll.

The issues have been highlighted by MEP Daniel Hannan, author of Why Vote Leave, and detail weird and occasionally sinister proposals, which have apparently been put on the back burner until after the vote. Continue reading

Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year

U.S. cut warheads by 57 in same period

Russia deployed 153 strategic nuclear warheads over the past year under the New START arms treaty while the U.S. military pared its nuclear forces by 57 warheads, according to State Department figures released last week.

The increase in warheads by Moscow appears to be part of Moscow’s large-scale strategic nuclear forces buildup.

Defense officials disclosed last week that Russia is doubling the number of strategic nuclear warheads and remains over the 1,550 warhead limit set by the 2010 New START arms treaty. Continue reading

CHINA SECURITY: Are China’s New ‘Floating Islands’ Being Built for the Indian Ocean?

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A concept for a “Very Large Floating Structure” mobile sea base is shown in a Chinese promotional video, which was posted online by naval defense industry magazine, Navy Recognition. The mobile base project was recently unveiled at the National Defense Science and Technology Achievements exhibition in Beijing. (YouTube screenshot)

 

The project is a “Mobile Sea Base” concept, using the fitting name of “Very Large Floating Structures” (VLFS). According to an Aug. 9 report from naval defense industry magazine, Navy Recognition, the Chinese regime’s VLFS project was publicly revealed at the National Defense Science and Technology Achievements exhibition in Beijing.

I poked fun at this project in a previous report, but its implications are actually rather serious. Continue reading

Once stable, Iraq will look to China for help rebuilding

“Although Iraq is still a fragmented country, sooner or later, it will need to rebuild infrastructure, including roads, hospitals, schools, ports, railway lines, and so on,” said Samir Sumaida’ie, who served as Iraqi ambassador to the US from 2006 to 2012, in an interview with Xinhua this week in Beijing.

“China will have the opportunity to play a big role when Iraq is able to welcome foreign contributions,” said Sumaida’ie, who is also an “old China hand,” having spent a lot of time in the country since 1991. Continue reading

Australia for sale: Investment bankers cashing in on Tony Abbott’s infrastructure push

You don’t necessarily sell your farm to finance building a road that won’t produce revenue leading back to the very same farm that is now not yours unless times are extremely hard. This compromise of Australian national security is likely a good buying opportunity for the Chinese who would love to purchase more influence in Oceana. The implications of this will span generations — all for a short-term gain.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is turning out to be an investment banker’s best friend.

His center-right government is in the midst of an unprecedented push to build public infrastructure — and to finance the program, regional authorities are busy selling off state assets, creating a boon for bankers just as Australian corporate mergers and acquisitions slow. Banks including Macquarie Group Ltd., Morgan Stanley and UBS AG have been hired to sell everything from ports to electricity grids, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Advisory fees from the biggest asset sales may reach about $100 million, almost triple the total haul for government-related work last year, estimates Jeffrey Nassof, an analyst at New York-based Freeman & Co. Continue reading