Think of a small European country where China currently manages a $3.5 billion portfolio of direct investment projects.
And while the hapless Europeans were stirring up more trouble for Greece, last week China completed a $368.5 million deal for a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, with another $350 million slated for investments to create China's largest maritime hub in the Mediterranean.
Piraeus will be the seafaring endpoint of China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road from East Asia to Africa, Middle East and Europe.
The sea route will connect with an overland trading network called the Silk Road Economic Belt from China and Central Asia to Europe's major centers of commerce and finance.
On the North African shores of the Mediterranean, China is building infrastructure facilities in the energy-rich Algeria and a strategically positioned Egypt, which could become one of the key logistics, commercial and industrial centers on the Belt and Road project.