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Is China Secretly Building a Navy Base in Africa?

Plus, more on China-Africa relations, China’s anti-corruption tsar, and CCP factionalism. 

Friday China links.

By Shannon Tiezzi
March 28, 2015

Friday China links to round off the week:

Writing for Real Clear Defense, Robert C. O’Brien explores reports that China is looking to build an overseas naval base in Namibia.

 O’Brien notes the historical strategic importance of Walvis Bay, Namibia’s sole deep water port, adding that the South Atlantic is generally “below the radar of most policy makers today.” 

If the PLA Navy does construct a base at Walvis Bay, he writes, “It would have the ability to patrol the critical Cape of Good Hope around Africa and Cape Horn around South America. The approaches to the key North Atlantic sea lanes linking the Americas, Africa and Europe would be nearby.”

The question of PLA overseas bases in general was explored more fully last year in a report from National Defense University. 

Report co-author Christopher Yung summarized the findings in a piece for The Diplomat.

Yung argues that a “dual-use” model, where ports serve both for commercial and military interests, would be China’s most likely blueprint for setting up bases overseas. 

I also previously explored China’s investments in Africa and how they relate to the Maritime Silk Road project.

China-Africa relations were in the headlines for an entirely separate reason this week, when a Chinese restaurant in Nairobi was accused of refusing to admit African patrons after 5 pm.
“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shebab and who isn’t,” a restaurant manager told journalists, referencing the Al-Qaeda linked militant group. AFP has the story.

In other news, China announced a new phase of its attempts to pursue corrupt Chinese officials who have fled abroad. 

Operation “Sky Net” will involve cooperation from China’s party disciplinary commission as well as law enforcement, the central bank, and “diplomatic services.” 

The most important question may be how much cooperation China can get from overseas counterparts. Reports indicate the top official in charge of anti-corruption, Wang Qishan, will visit the U.S. later this year.

Speaking of Wang, The Economist did a feature on Wang, calling him the second most powerful leader in China.
“Fear is Wang Qishan’s favored weapon,” the piece begins.

In military affairs, China and Pakistan pledged deeper cooperation between their navies.

 Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff Muhammad Zakaullah was in China for a visit on Thursday, and talked with his counterparts about strengthening maritime security cooperation.

Finally, your long-read for the weekend: Alice Miller of the Hoover Institution wades into the discussion of factionalism in the Chinese Communist Party. 

What sets Miller’s piece apart is that it seeks to analyze not the factions themselves but the discussion of supposed “factions” in Western media. 

The takeaway? In general, factional approaches offer “little insight into policy-making and observable policy outcomes.” 

As for Chinese politics, Miller argues that because Xi’s policy agenda was set forth at the 18th Party Congress, in a document shaped by his predecessor Hu Jintao, Xi is actually “pursuing a mandate” given to him by other CCP leaders.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…