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Showing posts from March 30, 2017

Silk roads and chilled beef: how China is trying to fill a Trump vacuum in Australia By Jane Wardell and Jonathan Barrett | SYDNEY It was almost a major faux pas in sports-mad Australia - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived at an Australian Rules football match in Sydney wearing the blue, black and white scarf of interstate rival Port Adelaide Power. But Li quickly donned a red and white scarf of the hometown Sydney Swans to match that of his host, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Li later confessed wearing both team scarves on a balmy autumn evening made him "really hot", but the broad smiles of the two leaders provided a telling contrast to a bad-tempered telephone call between Turnbull and a freshly-elected Donald Trump that made international headlines. Australia and China found unprecedented common ground on trade during Li's recent five-day visit Down Under, with a clear agenda of rejecting the "America First" protectionism touted by the new U.S. president. "The cooperati

Will Central Asia Water Wars Derail China's Silk Road? China needs to be wary of a looming water crisis in Central Asia. By Nishtha Chugh March 24, 2017   It wasn’t until the second century BC that ancient China arguably discovered the true potential of Central Asia’s geostrategic golden ticket. As the then-reigning Han Dynasty set out to formally establish a network of trade routes crisscrossing the region, later christened as the Silk Road, it realized that the Eurasian gateway was the perfect conduit to carry its political, economic, and cultural influence to the eastern frontiers of the Roman Empire, the present day Middle East and South Asia. Combined with marine routes of the time, the Silk Road not only became an important passage for subsequent Chinese rulers to trade in spices, silk, and slaves but also helped them exchange news ideas in science, arts, religion, literature, and crafts. Almost 700 years after the decline of the ancient trade

The Belt, Road: New Opportunities for China-Nigeria Cooperation ON  MARCH 28, 2017 7:20 PM In 2013, China’s president, Xi Jinping, proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (The Belt and Road). Essentially, the “Belt” includes countries situated on the original Silk Road through Central Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The “Road” is a complementary initiative aimed at investing and fostering collaboration in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Africa, through several contiguous bodies of water – the South China Sea, the South Pacific Ocean, and the wider Indian Ocean area.“the Belt and Road” Initiative comprises more than physical connections. It aims to create the world’s largest platform for promoting Policy Coordination, Facilities Connectivity, Unimpeded Trade, Financial Integration and People-to-People Bond. Since then, the Initiative has made good progress in various cooperation and won warm response and activ

NZ can play part on Silk Road Tuesday, 28 March 2017 The New Zealand Herald Professor Siah Hwee Ang Bank of New Zealand Chair in Business in Asia at Victoria. By Siah Hwee Ang The One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative may well be one of the most ambitious development plans of the last few decades. The initiative, most commonly referred to by our Chinese counterparts as BRI (Belt-Road Initiative), capitalises on infrastructural and logistical developments to facilitate world trade. There are two components to the OBOR:  the Silk Road Economic Belt initiated in September 2013 and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiated in October 2013. The five major goals of the initiative are: policy co-ordination, connectivity of facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds. An early conceptualisation of the initiative involved more than 64 countries, with an estimated 38 per cent of global GDP, and covered

Some power firms stuck in slow lane on China’s Silk Road By Drazen Jorgic, Reuters/Lahore Thursday، 30 March 2017 09:05 PM Kamal Amjad Mian thought China’s decision to invest $36bn in the Pakistani power sector would benefit his electricity cable business, and, anticipating increased demand, his family spent nearly $30mn on a second plant to double output. But Mian’s Fast Cables and some other Pakistani manufacturers have yet to reap rewards from Beijing’s huge “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) project, a modern-day “Silk Road” network of trade routes across land and sea. Power stations built as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $57bn project involving energy, road and rail infrastructure, are being kitted out with Chinese cables exempt from import duty and sales tax. Such exemptions, more generous for CPEC projects than others, threaten to undermine local industry, according to Mian, one of a growing number of executives now question

CPEC & Pak-China military cooperation March 31, 2017      Saima Ali THE $46b mega project CPEC is a flagship project of Chinese broader vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). It has been rightly termed as “Economic Game and Fate Changer”. CPEC will not only bring prosperity to Pakistan and China but also benefit the region at large. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has started with dozens of projects under implementation in all regions of the country. CPEC will open doors to immense economic as well as strategic opportunities for the people of South Asia and connect China to promote trade in Asia, Europe and beyond. The CPEC land route up to Gwadar will shorten the existing circuitous sea route of almost 16,000 kms to about 3,000 kms, greatly reducing the travelling time and economic cost. Despite of the debates being aired in opposition to CPEC, successful realization of CPEC will result in meeting the energy shortfalls, in addition to building the deve

Why China is pressuring India to join OBOR meeting Saibal Dasgupta | 9 hours ago   BEIJING: China is putting pressure on India to participate in an international conference on its One Belt, One Road or Silk Road programme next May after realizing that showcasing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would not be enough to sell the OBOR idea. This is evident from several comments from Chinese officials and experts about the Indian reluctance to join the OBOR program that involves creating road, rail and port infrastructure connecting China to the world. A Chinese expert has now accused India of taking a "biased view" of the OBOR program. The expert, Lin Minwang of the  Institute of International Studies  at Shaghai's Fudan University, even tried to shame India by citing some reports about Russia expressing interest in it. "New Delhi may also feel embarrassed as Moscow has actively responded to

Nepal follows Russia into the Silk Road project Nepal to soon ink a “deal’ with China to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative—a project India has been opposing and has refused to join NH Political Bureau Mar 30th 2017, 07.25 PM  SHARE Just when it seemed that India and Nepal relations were getting back to the previous level of friendship, after the apparent misunderstandings over the Madhesi issue, China has wooed the Himalayan nation into the Silk Road project. Nepal will soon sign a “deal” with China to be a part of the Belt and Road (BR) Initiative—also known as the Silk Road project. “I expressed commitment on behalf of the Government of Nepal that we would like to become the part of the Belt and Road Initiative during my meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing recently,” China's official  Xinhua  news agency quoted Nepal’s Prime Minister Pr

Balochistan might not get quality judges for next 25 years’ ‘ The province's judicial system is reeling 7 months after the bombing in Quetta's Civil Hospital killeed 56 and wounded 89 lawyers March 30, 2017, 10:09 pm It’s a busy Monday morning in Quetta Katchery. There are hundreds of people present in Katchery for their cases and other official work. Security is stricter than normal routine. Chief Justice Balochistan High Court is on a surprise security inspection visit. He pointed out several loopholes and reprimanded the concerned security staff of the premises. Seven months have passed since the deadly civil hospital blast of 8th August which resulted in death of 56 and wounded 89 lawyers, most of them senior and regarded as cream of legal fraternity. Still, security is a major concern for courts and a sense of insecurity is dominant. Chief Justice paid a visit after

Balochistan: An Insight Into the CPEC and its Consequences for the Baloch March 30, 2017   Map by  The NorthLines The two main parties in Balochistan describe the reasons why the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will lead to negative consequences for the region. The agreement has caused demonstrations among minorities in Balochistan and the topic has also been brought to the attention of the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by Mir Suleiman Ahmedzai , Khan of Kalat and Abdul Nawaz Bugti, representative of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP). According to them, the CPEC could lead to the extinction of the Baloch people’s cultural identity. On 16 March 2017, during the 34th UNHRC, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization ( UNPO ) held  a side-event on human rights violations in Balochistan  with a focus on the CPEC.    Below it is an article published by  The NorthLines :  Sana Baloch, who belongs to a moderate Balochistan National Party warns that if the CPEC leads to ‘Balochis

Balochistan: Military Operations and Enforced Disappearances by  Claudia Waedlich on 31 Mar 2017 1 Comment The United Nations offers different mechanisms against the Enforced Disappearance of people, but not all of them lead to efficient results. For example, because of the need of ratification on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED) - a legally binding Convention for States - it is ineffectual in the case of the state of Pakistan.   Although, Pakistan was recommended to ratify it, there are well-known reasons why this has not yet happened - the Convention obliged states to fight against Enforced Disappearances. Compliance with the Convention is monitored by the Committee against Disappearance and the Committee and a Working Group operate closely together. This Body could be effective, but at present, there is no possibility of implementing it.   The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, founded in 1980 and

India using Kashmir to oppose Silk Road project: Chinese Media From K J M Varma  Beijing, Mar 30 (PTI)  India sees China's Silk Road initiative as a geopolitical competition and is using the Kashmir issue as an "unfounded excuse" to oppose the ambitious project, Chinese state media today alleged and asked New Delhi to "abandon" its "cliche mentality". "The official reason the Indian government rejected the offer to join the initiative (Silk Road) is that it is designed to pass through Kashmir. However, it is just an unfounded excuse as Beijing has been maintaining a consistent position on the Kashmir issue, which has never changed," one of the two articles on India by state-run Global Times said. "India sees the Belt and Road initiative as a geopolitical competition," the article said, criticising India for hindering Beijing's push into South Asia and the world with multi-billion Silk Road project

From String Of Pearls To Head Vice: Is China Squeezing A Strategic Advantage Over India? Syed Ata Hasnain - Mar 27, 2017, 11:05 am       SNAPSHOT The Chinese Defence Minsiter General Chang Wanquan recently visited Sri Lanka and Nepal even as the state-owned media in China issued veiled warnings to India. Is China’s wariness of India’s relationship with the US forcing it to move beyond the ‘String of Pearls’ strategy. Asia Pacific is quiet at present awaiting President Donald Trump’s true strategic emergence; uncertainty about rebalancing and pivot reinforce the belief that the US is yet unprepared to seriously address the issues concerning China. West Asia still steals the march in terms of glamour news such as the ongoing battle for Mosul and discussions on the future strategy of Islamic State (IS or Daesh). However, a reading of 2017 thus far gives indicators of a bolder China, preparing itself for all options that the US strategy may adopt to