The South China Morning Post reports that Beijing is planning “to build its second offshore naval base near a strategically important Pakistani port following the opening of its first facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa last year.”
- The base will be located near the civilian port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, and will be used “to dock and maintain naval vessels, as well as provide other logistical support services.”
- The Gwadar port is already a key part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of China’s projects that has been shoehorned into the Belt and Road Initiative.
- An analyst quoted in the article says that the new port’s function is necessary to supply and maintain the Chinese “naval flotilla patrolling in the Gulf of Aden and other warships escorting Chinese oil tankers in the Indian Ocean.”
Meanwhile, on New Year’s Day, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted:
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
- The U.S. suspended security assistance on January 4, citing a failure by the Pakistani government to sufficiently crack down on terror groups within its borders, according to CNN.
- The Times of India says “Trump’s pressure on Pakistan may push it closer to China.”
Fake Chinese documents in D.C.
Ryan Manuel, a seasoned observer of Chinese politics and intrigue, published an article about a recent media story alleging a secret Chinese program to supply North Korea. Read the following excerpt in an Australian accent dripping with sarcasm to understand it properly:
Bill Gertz, senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, specialises in scoops. But even by his high standards, his 2 January story that states a ‘(s)ecret Chinese Communist Party document reveals covert support to North Korea, including missiles, increased aid’ was a major coup.
If true, Gertz had succeeded where nearly all before him had failed: he had managed not only to access a top secret Chinese internal document but also to prove that China had a secret North Korea strategy contrary to its public declarations.
Gertz uploaded the “internal document” he obtained. Manuel explains why the document is almost certainly a fake. This, he says, “leaves us with other, perhaps more troubling questions,” such as: Who would fake a document of this kind?
EARLIER THIS WEEK:
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Xi Jinping addressed around 7,000 soldiers at a military base in Hebei Province, near Beijing, and ordered the military to be ready for war, a show of strength in anxious times.