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
More proof that the Hong Kong transfer was a colossal loss for Great Britain, and a massive gain for China
Hong Kong has overtaken New York City to become the city home to more super-rich people than any other metropolis on the planet, according to a study published on September 6 by the Wealth X research firm.
The study tallies the number of individuals worth $30 million or more, labeling them ultra-high net worth individuals. In recent years, the number of these individuals living in Hong Kong has risen to about 10,000. Continue reading
WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.
China remains the darling of western, particularly American, intellectuals and academicians even though under President Xi Jinping it’s reverting to the dictatorial habits of the era of Mao Zedung.
The system is not only incredibly corrupt but also authoritarian. We hear constantly about suppression of free speech, of the arrests of those speaking out against the regime or against particular policies, while serious dissent and political opposition is simply not possible.
The same intellectuals who once berated the U.S. for not moving closer to China, for remaining suspicious of Chinese motives and intentions, for objecting to the role of the Communist Party in a system masked in secrecy, have little to say about the real nature of the regime of Xi Jinping.
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
Beijing says facility needed for anti-piracy operations but rivals expected to be alarmed
China has taken a decisive step towards establishing a maritime force that can reach across the Indian Ocean with its first deployment of troops to its military facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.
China has presented the facility as a support base to run anti-piracy operations in waters along Africa’s east coast as well as peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in the region.
But given it sits at the shipping choke point of the Gulf of Aden which opens to the Suez Canal and beyond, China’s regional neighbours including Japan, India and Vietnam were likely to view the deployment with alarm, mainland experts said.
The large-scale buildup of China’s naval forces is the most visible part of a major rearmament campaign that has been under way for more than a decade. But Chinese development of modern and increasingly quiet submarines poses one of the more serious strategic challenges for the United States and other nations concerned about Beijing’s growing hegemony in Asia.
The increasing size of the People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet of surface vessels captures most international attention, based on the sheer numbers and advanced weapons on an array of new warships. Continue reading
In May 12, 2017 statements, Gen. Ahmad Mousavi, commander of a special forces unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, set out the IRGC Navy’s strategy for attacking American aircraft carriers in the Gulf. Gen. Mousavi was speaking on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Mohammad Nazeri, senior official and founder of the IRGC Navy commando unit, who had trained many top IRGC commanders. The text implies that Nazeri’s death may have resulted from the use of chemical weapons, in contrast to other reports which claim that he died of a heart attack. Continue reading
A Pentagon report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti.
The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded $180 billion. Continue reading
Geography is determinate in military plans, a fact that planners understand at all levels, from tactical to strategic. While tailored combat elements may traverse difficult environments on land and at sea, heavily laden logistics craft that follow and enable them can rarely do the same. This is what pushes armies and fleets toward certain immutable routes, resulting in battles occurring at the same locations, over and over, throughout recorded history. Much as the ridge at Megiddo, better known as “Armageddon,” played witness to strife no less than 13 times since the 15th century B.C. because it stood astride the route from Mesopotamia to Egypt, key maritime straits such as the waters of the South China Sea and the Sunda and Malaccan Straits will provide the backdrop for future naval battles. Geography and geopolitics are intermeshed and unavoidable. Unfortunately for China, they sit upon the wrong side of the former and are rather poor at the latter. Western advantages in both must not be squandered. 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
China has organized an alliance of Asian universities to compete with western educational institutions. The alliance will share resources and increase exchanges of students and teachers.
The new organization is called the Asian University Alliance (AUA). It was launched in late April at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Chinese university was elected as chair of the group that includes a total of 15 universities from 14 countries and areas. Continue reading
Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.
The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.
The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.
China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. Continue reading
The Chinese military is developing ships, submarines, aircraft, intelligence systems and foreign bases in a bid to be a global military power: report
China’s military is developing ships, submarines, aircraft, intelligence systems and foreign bases in a bid to become a global military power, according to a forthcoming congressional China commission report.
The late draft of the annual report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission contains a chapter on Beijing’s power projection development and warns that once fully developed, the weapons and forces could contribute to a regional conflict in places like the South China and East China seas. Continue reading