This is coolbert:
NOT FOR SIX HUNDRED YEARS HAS THERE BEEN SUCH A PRESENCE!
Thanks to Jungle Trader for the tip. CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO SEE AN ENLARGED VIEW.
"Foreign Minister: China to Build Navy Base in Djibouti"
"JOHANNESBURG — China is to build its first naval base in Djibouti, the Djiboutian foreign minister said Friday, in the latest sign of China's growing international security presence.
. . . .
A former French colony, Djibouti guards the entrance to the Red Sea and, ultimately, the Suez Canal, and has been used by international navies as a hub in the fight against piracy from neighbouring Somalia."
DON'T THINK PIRATES, SUEZ CANAL OR RED SEA!
Rather think Admiral Zheng He and the String of Pearls!
"Voyages of Zheng He 1405-1433"
"The ships of Zheng's armada were as astonishing as its reach. Some accounts claim that the great baochuan, or treasure ships, had nine masts on 400-foot-long (122-meter-long) decks. The largest wooden ships ever built, they dwarfed those of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Hundreds of smaller cargo, war, and supply ships bore tens of thousands of men who brought China to a wider world."
"The String of Pearls theory is a geopolitical theory regarding potential Chinese intentions in the Indian Ocean region. It refers to the network of Chinese military and commercial facilities and relationships along its sea lines of communication, which extend from the Chinese mainland to Port Sudan."
"The emergence of the String of Pearls is indicative of China’s growing geopolitical influence through concerted efforts to increase access to ports and airfields, expand and modernize military forces, and foster stronger diplomatic relationships with trading partners."
See other web sites and also from the blog regarding the String of Pearls: