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Weilong's Grand Dragon wine
Weilong's Grand Dragon wine

WUWEI — Twilight is falling at the edge of the Tengger Desert, and the vines stretching out row after row are a snapshot of peace and serenity. A towering red castle-like building standing not far from the vineyard displays the name of the property — Weilong (Grand Dragon) Desert Oasis Organic Winery.

“We are about to start the September grape picking,” says Ding Weijie, the manager, after a busy day of work that included the final day of the China Organic Wine Festival.

Wuwei, in the northwest Province of Gansu, has been a key link on the North Silk Road since ancient times. With abundant natural grape-growing conditions, the city formerly known as Liangzhou has also had a very long wine history.

Ding began putting down roots here 10 years ago when he came from the eastern province of Shandong. “Now due to our large grape-planting base, Weilong has become the local government’s best calling card for showcasing a vineyard,” he boasts.

In fact, a decade ago when China’s organic wine market was barely at the cultivation stage, Weilong was already laying the groundwork. Good organic wine needs an optimal grape-planting area, and organic standards call for care and production to be with natural means.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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