One topic we’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing is the rise of the PLA navy.
2015 was the year Xi reasserted China’s maritime might – and not just in the South Pacific.
By now, the entire world is well versed in the story of Beijing’s land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea. China has effectively created more than 3,000 acres of new sovereign territory in the Spratlys by piling sand atop reefs. The new ‘sand castles’ – as the US calls them – are now home to an airstrip capable of landing military aircraft, ports, cement factories, a lighthouse, gardens, pigs, soldiers, and Xi only knows what else.
Suffice to say Washington’s regional allies aren’t amused and the Spratly archipelago has been a major foreign policy stumbling block for The White House since at least April.
But the PLA navy’s activities weren’t confined to dredging up sand in 2015. China also showed up unexpectedly at the besieged Yemeni port of Aden to evacuate civilians as the Houthis advanced on the city. That was a rare move for the Chinese. So rare in fact, that it took newswires hours to verify who exactly the soldiers were.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/31/2015.