China continues to look inland:
China will contribute $40 billion (25.20 billion pounds) to set up a Silk Road infrastructure fund to boost connectivity across Asia, President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday, the latest Chinese project to spread the largesse of its own economic growth.
China has dangled financial and trade incentives before, mostly to Central Asia but also to countries in South Asia, backing efforts to resurrect the old Silk Road trading route that once carried treasures between China and the Mediterranean.
The fund will be for investing in infrastructure, resources and industrial and financial cooperation, among other projects, Xi said, according to Xinhua.
I'm all on board this Chinese development effort. Where trade goes, an interest to defend it with military power follows. That's been their reason for expanding their navy, after all. So I'm good with a new front.
Given our problems with Chinese expansionist attitudes in the western Pacific, this is a potentially valuable distraction from the sea focus China has had.
Go west, young Han.