string of pearls
 n.— «The second event has been much quieter but has more ominous implications, Beijing’s steady expansion of its “string of pearls” strategy. A new phrase coined by geo-strategists’ for Chinese efforts to increase access to global ports and airfields and to develop special diplomatic relationships from the South China Sea to the Arabian Gulf. The most recent and perhaps the most significant “pearl’ emerged earlier this year as China helped Pakistan complete Phase II of the expansion plans for their mammoth deep sea port at Gwadar.» —“Letter from New Delhi” by Atul Dev Mauritius Times May 25, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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