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Showing posts from March 27, 2015

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 Diplom…

Here Are the Countries With the Most Gold Reserves, and the Ones That Have Been Buying It the Most

It's not the big holders buying
Lorcan Roche Kelly

7:34 AM PDT
March 27, 2015

Gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Courtesy: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

At the turn of the millennium, it seemed that gold was starting to go out of fashion with the world's central bankers as a reserve asset.

Between January 2000 and March 2009, central banks reduced their reserve holdings of gold by more than 114 million troy ounces.

 Since then—possibly driven by the recovery in gold prices and the global financial crisis—central banks have steadily been increasing their holdings.

The International Monetary Fund publishes data monthly on its website, with the latest figures this week showing central bank holdings to the end of February 2015.

The biggest holder of reserve gold is by far the U.S. with 261.5 million troy oz.

The top four between them hold more than 50 percent of all global gold reserves.

Note: We have not included data for China in the above chart as there is considerable un…