Friday, May 26, 2017

Rethinking the Next China

http://www.financialexpress.com/economy/rethinking-the-next-china/688177/

By: Stephen S Roach | New Delhi | Published: May 27, 2017 3:54 AM

Considerable attention is devoted to the risks and opportunities of this rebalancing—and to the related consequences for sustainable Chinese development and the broader global economy.(PTI)

For the past seven years, I have taught a popular class at Yale, called “The Next China.” From the start, the focus has been on the transitional imperatives of the modern Chinese economy—namely, the shift from a long-successful producer model to one driven increasingly by household consumption. Considerable attention is devoted to the risks and opportunities of this rebalancing—and to the related consequences for sustainable Chinese development and the broader global economy.

While many of the key building blocks of China’s transitional framework have fallen into place—especially rapid growth in services and accelerated urbanisation—there can be no mistaking a new and important twist: China now appears to be changing from an adapter to a driver of globalisation. In effect, the Next China is upping the ante on its connection to an increasingly integrated world—and creating a new set of risks and opportunities along the wayA

lso Watch:The handwriting has been on the waor several years. This strategic shift is very much a reflection of the leadership imprint of President Xi Jinping—in particular, his focus on the “China Dream.” Initially, the dream was something of a nationalist mantra, framed as a rejuvenation by which China would recapture its former position of global prominence, commensurate with its status as the world’s second largest economy.

But now the China Dream is taking shape as a concrete plan of action, centered on China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) plan. This ambitious pan-regional infrastructure initiative combines economic assistance with geostrategic power projection, supported by a new set of China-centric financial institutions—the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the New (BRICS) Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund.

For those of us studying China’s economic transformation, this is hardly a trivial development. While the shift remains a work in progress, I would stress three tentative implications.

First, China has not made a full about-face. As an economist, I am prone to placing too much emphasis on models and on the related presumption that policymakers can flip the switch from one model to another. Yet it is not that black and white—for China or for any other country.

China’s leaders have, for all practical purposes, now conceded that a consumer-led growth strategy is tougher to pull off than originally thought. The consumption share of GDP has risen just 2.5 percentage points since 2010—far short of the boost to personal incomes that might be expected from the 7.5-percentage-point increase in the share of services and a 7.3-percentage-point increase in the high-wage urban share of its population over the same period.

This disconnect largely reflects a porous social safety net that continues to foster high levels of fear-driven precautionary saving, which is inhibiting the growth of discretionary consumption. While still committed to urbanisation and services development, China has elected to draw on a new external source of growth to compensate for a shortfall of internal demand.

Second, this global push has many of the features of the old producer model. It enables an increasingly worrisome overhang of domestic excess capacity to be directed at OBOR’s infrastructure requirements. And it relies on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to drive that investment, forestalling long-needed reforms in this bloated segment of Chinese industry.

The flip side of this newfound support for the producer model has been a de-prioritisation of consumer-led growth. In Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s annual Work Report—the official statement of economic policy—emphasis on the consumer-led structural transformation has been downgraded in each of the last two years (ranked third in both 2016 and 2017, as so-called supply-side initiatives have gained higher priority).

Third, China’s new global approach reflects a recasting of governance. Xi’s consolidation of domestic power is only part of the story. The shift in economic decision-making away from the State Council’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) toward Party-based Leading Small Groups is particularly important, as are the anti-corruption campaign, heightened Internet censorship, and new regulations on non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The irony of such power centralisation is unmistakable. After all, Xi issued early promises to break up deeply entrenched power blocs, and the Third Plenum reforms of November 2013 emphasised the promotion of a more decisive role for markets.

But there is an even deeper irony for China’s new global push. It runs against the grain of a populist anti-globalisation backlash that is brewing in many developed countries. As a producer-focused economy, China has long been the greatest beneficiary of globalisation—both in terms of export-led growth and poverty reduction stemming from the absorption of surplus labor. That approach has now been stymied by China’s mounting internal imbalances, a post-crisis slowdown in global trade, and an increase in China-focused protectionism. As a result, China’s new attempts to gain increased leverage from globalisation are not without serious challenges of their own.

A more global China also has important ramifications for Chinese foreign policy. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea loom particularly large, but China’s footprints in Africa and Latin America are also drawing heightened scrutiny. This new strategy raises perhaps the biggest issue of all—whether China fills a hegemonic void created by the isolationist “America first” approach of US President Donald Trump.

In short, the Next China is shaping up to be more outwardly focused, more assertive, and more power-centric than I envisioned when I started teaching this course in 2010. At the same time, there appears to be less commitment to a market-based reform agenda featuring private consumption and SOE restructuring. The jury is out on whether this changes the final destination of Chinese rebalancing. I hope that is not the case. But that is what makes it more interesting to teach an applied course, where the focus is always a moving target.

 

Project Syndicate, 2017


India’s concerns over China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative

http://m.jagranjosh.com/current-affairs/indias-concerns-over-chinas-one-belt-one-road-initiative-1495782464-1


May 26, 2017 12:37 IST

SHRAVAN NUNE

The First One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Summit concluded on 15 May 2017 in Beijing, China. The Summit, showcased China’s plans to build a network of trade routes under the One Belt, One Road initiative to the representatives of 57 participating countries.

As a founding-member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is a financial arm of the OBOR, India is supposed to participate in the summit. However, it has boycotted the summit by raising three concerns, which are related to sovereignty, procedures and leadership.

While boycotting the OBOR, India said, "No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Against this backdrop, it is pertinent to understand the features of One Belt One Road initiative, its scope and benefits and reasons behind India’s concerns over OBOR.

What is One Belt, One Road initiative?

• For the first time, China’s top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), on 28 March 2015 released an action plan for One Belt, One Road initiative.

• Primarily, the initiative seeks to establish new routes linking three continents - Asia, Europe and Africa by 2049.

• As the name, One Belt, One Road, suggests, the initiative has two parts – Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

• Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB): It seeks to link China to Europe by cutting through mountainous regions in the Central Asian Region.

• The word Belt is referred as a planned network of overland road and rail routes, oil and natural gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects.

• This network stretches from Xi’an in Central China, through Central Asia, and ultimately reach as far as Moscow, Rotterdam, and Venice.

• Its focus is on jointly building a new Eurasian Land Bridge and developing China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia and China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridors by taking advantage of international transport routes.

• Though the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor are not part of the OBOR, they are closely related to it.

• 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR): It is the maritime equivalent of SREB and seeks to link China's port facilities with the African coast and then pushes up through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

• It is a network of planned port and other coastal infrastructure projects that dot the map from the South and Southeast Asia to East Africa and the northern Mediterranean Sea.

• It is designed to go from China's coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China's coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.

What is the Scope of the plan?

• The scope of the OBOR extends well beyond infrastructure construction. It also includes efforts to promote greater financial integration and use of the Renminbi, Chinese Currency, by foreign countries.

• The plan will further extend to create an Information Silk Road linking regional information and communications technology networks, and lower barriers to cross-border trade and investment in the region, among other initiatives.

• New regional institutions, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Silk Road Fund (NSRF) are also designed in part to complement and support the OROB initiative.

• Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Its primary objective is to finance infrastructure projects in Asia. Following a 15 month participatory process, the USD 100 billion fund started functioning on 16 June 2016.

• At present it has 53 members, including India, which is a founding-member of the AIIB.

• In June 2016, AIIB approved first loans for projects in four countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Indonesia – which are worth USD 509 million.

• In May 2017, the AIIB approved USD 160 million loan for a power project in Andhra Pradesh, the first credit from the bank for an Indian project.

• New Silk Road Fund (NSRF): The objective of the NSRF is to foster increased investment in countries along the One Belt, One Road. So far, China has pledged USD 40 billion for the fund and it has become operational on 29 December 2014.

What are the benefits of OROB?

Benefits to China

• Many of the infrastructure projects proposed under the OROB run through some of China’s poorest and least developed regions and is expected to provide stimulus to help cushion the effects of the deepening slowdown of China.

• The OROB initiative will improve China’s internal economic integration and competitiveness and spur more regionally balanced growth.

• The construction is intended to help make use of China’s enormous industrial over capacity and ease the entry of Chinese goods into regional markets.

• The plan would strengthen China’s importance as an economic partner for its neighbors and, potentially, enhance Beijing’s diplomatic leverage in the region.

• Increased investment in energy and mineral resources, particularly in Central Asia, could also help reduce China’s reliance on commodities imported from overseas, including oil transiting the Strait of Malacca.

Benefits to the Region

• As per the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Belt and Road Initiative represents a powerful platform for economic growth and regional co-operation.

• It touches the lives of more than 4 billion people in 68 countries, many of whom live in developing countries.

• The augmented infrastructure facilities will also help developing and developed countries in the region in achieving the goals set by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

• Resources of the energy rich countries in the Central Asia Region will help emerging economies like India and China in meeting their energy demands.

• As per the NDRC, the principles of shared interests, destiny and responsibility will help in achieving mutual political trust, economic integration and cultural inclusiveness.

What are India’s concerns?

• As per the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), which is funded by the Ministry of Defence, the OBOR initiative doesn’t pose an open threat to India’s national security.

• However, as per the IDSA, unravelling the details of the OBOR suggests subtle security concerns and challenges for India.

• In terms of challenge from the SREB, the biggest comes from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

• The CPEC project is meant to connect Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang Province with the strategic port of Gwadar in Pakistan. India has always been concerned about the China-Pakistan understanding over the Gwadar Port.

• The CPEC project runs through the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), an integral part of India. It portends that China may emerge as a ‘direct party’ in the Kashmir dispute in future.

• Even though China has maintained a somewhat ‘neutral’ position on the Kashmir issue in recent years particularly since the Kargil war, terming it mostly as a ‘bilateral historical dispute’, the Chinese pursuit of the CPEC project may impel it to revisit its position on Kashmir in future.

• As for the MSR, it poses two broad challenges to India –

• First, to India’s presence as a maritime power in the context of the South China Sea and India’s dominance in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)

• Second, to the maritime understanding evolving in the IOR between India and other powers such as the United States (US), Australia and Japan.

• The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today expects India to play a larger role. The US too has been urging India to pursue a more active policy in the ASEAN region under its Pivot to Asia Policy. The MSR will certainly be testing India’s maritime influence in the region and the Act East Policy in the coming years.

Conclusion

Since 2015, the Chinese president Xi Jinping has made the One Belt, One Road a centerpiece of both his foreign policy and domestic economic strategy. Undoubtedly, China’s efforts to implement this initiative will have an important effect on the region’s economic architecture—patterns of regional trade, investment, infrastructure development—and in turn have strategic implications for other countries including India.

Given the context, the litmus test for the Indian policy makers lies in the ability to ‘get the most out of this initiative’ without allowing any disruption to India’s interests in the region

New Silk Road: China’s global ambition

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Young-Hans/2017-05-26/New-Silk-Road-Chinas-global-ambition/302600


THE HANS INDIA |    May 26,2017 , 10:32 PM IST

     

 China is trying to assume leadership of globalization by taking big initiatives involving many countries in different continents on huge never heard of expenditure. Whereby, Chinese President Xi Jinxing has emerged as the champion of global free trade in his keynote address at the first Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation held in Beijing recently.  

The Forum was attended by 29 leaders and over 100 delegations worldwide where India’s absence made global news.Among the participants were UN Secretary General, IMF Chief, World Bank President signifying the international importance of the event. The US too seemed to be impressed by this extraordinary initiative by China and is watching its progress.

Notably, the BRF represents the New Silk Route connecting Far Eastern and West European countries through land, sea, air and satellite communications.  Dubbed the New Silk Road it intends keeping alive the historic importance of the ancient Silk Road and underscore China’s transcontinental leadership.   

Recall, the original Silk Road was a network of trade routes formally established during China’s Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220CE) which linked various regions of the ancient world via trade. It had a political beginning conceived as a diplomatic move to form alliances against traditional Chinese enemies --- Xiangnu. But instead, developed as a commercial venture to promote international trade.

The original Silk Road was not one road but comprised many routes by land and water.  It started from the present Korean peninsula and Japan and went up to the Mediterranean Sea and had four corridors through India. Trade was carried on in various goods but the road was called the Silk Road because of the popularity and demand for Chinese Silk in the entire route. Trade between the East and the West was officially opened by the Hans in 130 BCE. 

Pertinently, the term “Silk Road” was coined by a German traveller and geographer Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877 CE. However, the road and trade declined when the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) boycotted trade with the West. The routes were closed after the end of World War I and the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire which allied with Germany in the War. Importantly, the Silk Road served a variety of purposes besides trade like providing diplomatic ties, cultural contacts and facilitating religious tours. 

 In India, UNESCO has found 12 sites of the ancient Silk Road across seven States: Bihar, J&K, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and are declared World Heritage Sites. In fact, the idea of reviving the Silk Road was mooted by Chinese President Xi Jinxing in 2013 for promoting international trade.

 Under the project, called the New Silk Road, Beijing provides support for construction of infrastructure, communications and transport network connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa.  The object   is to establish the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation.   

Significantly, rail projects are being given priority under the project wherein some 5,000 annual train links with Europe are expected to be completed by the year 2020. Also on the anvil are various types of projects like a tunnel in Uzbekistan, port in Bangladesh, refinery in Saudi Arabia, power lines, oil and gas pipelines, electricity and telecommunications connectivity etc in many participating countries which are essential for trade and commerce.   

Further, despite its exit from the European Union, Britain has shown an interest in the New Silk Road by accepting construction of an inter-connecting tunnel under the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland directly at the centre of the two great trading routes – New Silk Route via the Channel Tunnel and the Transatlantic Route via the ports of Northern Ireland.

Consequently, with China’s expansionist ambitions visible in several moves in India’s neighborhood, it is but natural for New Delhi to be cautious in its reaction to the New Silk Road.  Its fears stem from a possible strategic encirclement by a “string of pearls” around the Indian Ocean and on land as China is financing and building ports, railway lines, power stations and highways in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Certainly, these cannot be ridiculed as far fetched. 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor planned to run through Pak occupied Kashmir adds to India’s worries. Undeniably, the project cannot be viewed as a purely economic corridor for the benefit of all the users. It is likely to be of used for non-economic movements also.   

Additionally, China has plans to cover Latin America also in a different way. The Ecuadorean hydro-electric power station and Coca Coda Sinclair have been inaugurated by Beijing recently.Clearly, the impact of the New Silk Road has to be assessed in the context of growing voices in many countries against globalization and flagrant violations of global rules by many players   when their national interests are affected. 

 Britain’s exit from the EU and Trump Administration’s support for protectionism in US to “buy America” and “hire Americans” are against the backdrop of this magnum opus venture for free trade from China.  Beijing’s ambition to become the champion of globalization and its President’s appeal to world leaders to give up protectionism therefore, need cautious handling.

 Asian nations have to weigh their options and must examine whether the projects will promote their exports as much as their imports from China. The New Silk Road is not a project of a neutral international organization like the UNO.Undoubtedly, China’s moves to enter and spread over territories of several South-Asian countries like Philippines and Viet Nam and incursions into Arunachal Pradesh remain the backdrop in which international networks are being built for common purposes. Beijing’s moves in the Indian Ocean Region cannot be regarded as friendly gestures by other concerned countries. 

One thing that is certain is that poor countries will find it difficult to repay the debt they incur in having projects much beyond their financial strength. The “debt  trap” awaiting many countries entering into massive infrastructure projects is not an imaginary bogey, but something that will not only falsify  the benefits of a global market but will curtail their freedom and sovereignty in future. Debt is like a mouse trap that has no escape doors. 

Clever creditors do not put down their conditions initially but show their true colours once the victim is trapped and become voiceless and weak. It is common knowledge that no loans are available without strings attached. Economic dependency will pave way for political submission.   India will do well to go within its capacities and not nurture ambitions for overnight growth through grandiose plans.   

In sum, credibility, genuine global interests and faith in goodwill and co-existence are necessary for lasting international friendship. In the world today, geo-politics and geo-economics are intertwined. Every country has to take care of both aspects and cannot afford to lose one for the sake of the other. 

India’s reservations about the Silk Road are on solid ground. It has to take only measured steps though it might betray skepticism and some amount of nervousness over the political and economic dominance exhibited by China in Asia with extension to Europe. Certainly, the New Silk Road represents Beijing’s global ambition. 

By S Saraswathi

(The writer is former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi)
 

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New Silk Road: China Takes A 49% Cut Of Khorgos Gateway, A Major Overland Silk Road Port

https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/05/26/new-silk-road-china-takes-a-49-cut-of-khorgos-gateway-a-major-overland-silk-road-port/#638315c31373

C

Wade Shepard ,  

 CONTRIBUTOR

I travel to emerging markets around Asia and report on what I find.  

COSCO and Lianyungang port signed a deal for 49% of the Khorgos Gateway dry port in Kazakhstan.

It’s now official: China’s COSCO Shipping and the Port of Lianyungang have signed on to take a 49% cut of Kazakhstan’s epic Khorgos Gateway dry port. The deal was signed at the Belt and Road summit in Beijing on May 15 for an undisclosed amount.

Khorgos Gateway sits within the broader Khorgos Eastern Gate SEZ — a massive 600-hectare development area that is strategically positioned in Kazakhstan right on the border with China. Not long ago, the place was about as remote as it gets — being just a tick or two from the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility, the farthest point on earth from an ocean.

🔴So why would the world’s largest marine logistics operator have any interest in a place that literally couldn’t be farther from the sea? The answer is found in the New Silk Road — the pell mell network of various international trade pacts, customs blocs, political endeavors, and mega-projects that are headlined by China’s Belt and Road initiative. The linking up of major players in China’s shipping industry with the Kazakh dry port shows the developing synergy between Kazakhstan’s Nurly Zhol infrastructure building program with China's Silk Road Economic Belt.

Khorgos Gateway has successfully positioned itself as the central station of the New Silk Road. Sitting right at the heart of an emerging network of trans-Eurasian rail lines, which directly connect 27 cities in China with 11 cities in Europe, goods flow in from China to be consolidated and transshipped to destinations all over the Eurasian landmass. After just one year of full-fledged operation, the port is already handling over 1/5 of their 2020 goal of 500,000 TEU per year, and with COSCO and the Port of Lianyungang in the mix, cargo volumes are expected to receive a massive boost.

This deal signifies a monumental next step for Khorgos Gateway, as without investment from an array of international players, the emerging ports and SEZs of the New Silk Road are little more than skeletons of infrastructure. Such investment is what makes these places really come alive.


The Port of Lianyungang is one of the starting points of the central corridor of the overland Silk Road between China and Europe. A rail line and the emerging Western Europe-Western China highway — which will extend all the way to St. Petersburg, Russia when completed — move in tandem all the way across China and directly link in with Khorgos Gateway before moving on to Europe beyond. It is one of the larger seaports in the world, moving 200 million tons of cargo and 5 million containers per year. KTZ Express, the Kazakh logistics empire, also operates a terminal there.

While COSCO is the one of the world’s shipping giants, with over 1,100 ships sailing the seas, moving over 1.6 million containers each year between 254 ports in 79 countries. As a state-owned enterprise, the company has been a very active player in China’s Belt and Road initiative — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy endeavor — with major holdings up and down its various land and sea routes -- including Greece’s Piraeus port. This January, COSCO received a $26.1 billion chit from China Development Bank to further invest in Belt and Road projects.

Next moves?

Watch for DP World, the Dubai shipping giant who currently advises at the Khorgos Eastern Gate SEZ, to finally make good on their long-touted promise to become actual investors in the zone.

In other words, watch for this once obscure shipping hub in the heart of Eurasia to not only come alive but thrive.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Khorgos Gateway, please check out the BBC World documentary about it which is premiering this weekend (May 27th and 28th). Disclaimer: I worked on the film.

I'm the author of Ghost Cities of China. I'm currently traveling the New Silk Road doing research for a new book

Tightening the global belt

http://m.thehindubusinessline.com/blink/know/chinas-ambitious-belt-and-road-initiative/article9712550.ece

Updated: May 26, 2017 11:15 IST | Sukumar Muralidharan

Abridge too far: The ‘Golden Bridge on Silk Road’ an installation art that was set up in Beijing ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in mid-May. China is promoting its multibillion-dollar infrastructure project as the new “golden age of globalisation” | Reuters

China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative signals a new era of imperial ambition

Centuries of history are invoked in China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) — by any measure an audacious effort at creating a new strategic architecture in the Eurasian land mass. Official China has referred back to its age of imperial glory, when the Silk Route to Europe was an artery of flourishing trade. Those of less rosy outlook have flagged the planned Chinese ingress into some of the most sensitive parts of the “World Island” as a serious threat. The eagerness with which some of China’s neighbours have embraced the BRI bespeaks a phase of transformation in the global balance of power. How soon a stable new balance will emerge is an open question.

Seeming coincidences, in the longer reading, could take on a deep historical significance. In 1890, the US Census Bureau recorded the closing of the “American frontier”, which had allowed for an expansion of human settlement with only minor irritants such as the recalcitrance of native populations.

In a technical sense, the US Census Bureau defined an open frontier as a stretch of territory with settlement density of less than two persons to a square mile. It was a standard that allowed much room for intensification of settlement. Yet the closing of the western frontier was a key moment in US history, with repercussions that stretched over decades and included two World Wars.

It was in 1890 again, that Alfred Thayer Mahan, an officer in the US navy, published an extended treatise titled The Influence of Sea Power in History1660-1783. This tract of his retains an influence among naval strategists to this day, though its basic thesis would seem rather like a truism: that control of seaborne commerce and the ability to project naval power in contested territories made the difference between victory and defeat in all major power confrontations since the 17th century.

For a country that had been expanding into limitless frontiers of land, Mahan’s theoretical exercise was an urgent call to a different kind of imperialist exertion. It was an enterprise the US soon put its heart to, taking on the declining imperial might of Spain in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The world power league had a new member, but its two main arbiters felt little immediate threat. Britain and France had advantages that would take many more years to neutralise, particularly in their control over the switchboards — the money and commodity bourses — that directed global trade flows.

The years that followed saw a scaling-up and qualitative transformation of the armaments programme of all major powers. The British remained far ahead in the game, operating on the strategic philosophy of deploying more seaborne firepower and capacity as any two rivals put together. Russia and France were seen in the late 19th century as the main rivals, but following the entente cordiale of 1905, the focus shifted to Germany and the burgeoning naval power of distant Japan.

×

Sea power was the means of creating spaces large enough for the expansion of capital. In the early 20th century, with the division of Africa complete and the American frontier closed, global capital found itself constricted for space. The obvious answer was to intensify the control of land spaces.

Britain pushed aggressively for mastery over the land mass of the European and Asian continents. “World history”, the British geographer and imperial administrator Halford John Mackinder pronounced in 1904, is “a story of constant conflict between land and sea powers”. With the world already divided among European powers, pre-eminence in future years, argued Mackinder, would be reserved for whoever prevailed in “the competition over the old territories”. Pointing the way forward, Mackinder observed: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; Who rules the World-Island commands the World”.

These were the territorial jealousies that drove Britain, France and Russia on one side into a brutal war with the three multinational empires of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. The military victory settled nothing, since in their enervated economic state, Britain and France even in combination proved incapable of knitting together a new hegemony. That had to wait another World War, and the shift of the bourses of global capital to the other bank of the Atlantic.

Sustaining the new hegemonic order was, in its early years, about facing down the challenge from the Soviet bloc, which had a natural constituency among newly independent nations. That ideological contest was won, but only with the US transformed from creditor to the world, to its biggest debtor. A quarter century of globalisation followed, with the US signing out IOUs to the rest of the world. Today, the US national debt stands at $20 trillion, of which roughly $7 trillion is owed to other countries. China alone holds almost half the US foreign debt.

From the early years of dollar accumulation in foreign bank vaults, economic theorists have advocated their recycling, to boost the flagging momentum of the global economy. The US has baulked, citing an inflationary threat and retaining the power of choking the flow of dollars. That threat now no longer works, since the global dollar accumulation has crossed a critical threshold.

Globalisation with Chinese characteristics promises to be just as reckless with the environment and just as unmindful of equity as the prior phase under US overlordship. But a new dynamic of strategic competition has been unleashed and its global impact will be profound.

Sukumar Muralidharan teaches at the school of journalism, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat


NHA working on Rs700bn CPEC projects in three alignments

Business Recorder, pakistan

SHOAIB UR REHMAN SIDDIQUI   MAY 25TH, 2017 19:52  0  VIEWS: 44
 

ISLAMABAD: In order to ensure smooth and efficient movement of goods and services along with passengers in a healthy environment,National Highway Authority (NHA) has started CPEC projects worth Rs 700 billion in the country,said the Economic Survey 2016-17 issued here Thursday.

NHA has been authorized to plan and develop China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) connecting Khunjerab to Gwadar. Western Alignment of the CPEC has 2,463 km length which starts from Khunjrab and passing through Burhan (Hakla), DI Khan (Yarik), Zhob, Quetta,Surab and Hoshab terminates at Gwadar.

Its 615 Khunjrab- Raikot section has been completed,Raikot Thakot is at Planning stage, 188 km Thakot-Havelian section is ongoing,60 km Havelian- Burhan section Ongoing,285 km Burhan(Hakla)- Yarik (D.I.Khan) is Ongoing,235 km Yarik (D.I.Khan)- Zhob 235 Under procurement stage,331 km Zhob Quetta 331 is at planning stage.

211 km Quetta- Surab Existing alignment has been rehabilitated while 449 km Surab-Hoshab section and 193 km Hoshab- Gwadar section has been completed.

Central Alignment of the project which has 1633 km length begins from Burhan (Hakla), passes through Pindigheb,Kot Addu,DG Khan,Rajanpur, Wangu Hills, Khuzdar, Basima and Hoshab and terminated at Gwadar. Burhan (Hakla)- Pindigheb , 355 km PindiGheb- Kot Addu,55 km KotAddu- DG Khan,49 km DG Khan- Rajanpur,336 km Rajanpur- Wangu Hills are at planning stage.113 km Wangu Hills- Khuzdar section will be completed in September 2017 while PC-I of 110 km Khuzdar- Basima section has been approved.  As far as Eastern Alignment of the CPEC is concerned it has total distance of 2,686 km and its starts from Khunjrab and passes through Thakot,Mansehra,Burhan, PindiBhatian,Faisalabad,Multan,Sukkur -Shikarpur,Ratto Dero,Khuzdar,Basima and Hoshab and terminates at Gwadar. About 793 km section of Eastern Alignment from Khunjrab- Burhan is common as Western alignment. Further sections of the eastern alignment having total Length 1908 km include 293 km Burhan- Pindi Bhattian section is at planning stage,53 Pindi Bhattian- Faisalabad section is planned,out of 240 km Faisalabad-Multan section 58 km Faisalabad-Gojra portion has been Completed while work on 126 km Gojra Khanewal section is Ongoing while 56 km Khanewal-Multan 56 has been completed.

It 392 km Multan-Sukkur section is ongoing,37 km Sukkur- Shikarpur section completed,Feasibility Study of 49 km Shikarpur- RatoDero completed and its detail design is in process.

As far as 180 km Rato Dero-Khuzdar 180 is concerned it will be completed next month.

PC-I of Khuzdar-Basima section having 110 km length has been

approved and detail design in process while 361 km Basima-Hoshab and 193 km Hoshab-Gwadar 193 has been completed.

Can Gwadar be like Shenzhen?

http://dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/27-May-17/can-gwadar-be-like-shenzhen

If Gwadar is going to function under the prevailing administrative arrangements — then we should not expect it to look like Shenzhen

By:   

Naveed Iftikhar

27-May-17
 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is poised to boost development in Pakistan. But CPEC can substitute neither the need for institutional reforms nor the importance of domestic investment. However, amid extreme positions taken by supporters and opponents of CPEC, the space for meaningful dialogue on exploiting the project’s benefits has been squeezed.

Henceforth, I aim to highlight an important aspect of CPEC: the newly-planned Gwadar city.

Gwadar city is expected to hold a key position in the CPEC’s trade route and China’s Belt and Road initiative. Many Pakistanis believe that the city will look like Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, and the list of such cities goes on and on. What is missing amid all these comparisons is a dialogue on governance and design of the proposed city.

Why is it important to raise this question now? Because Pakistan has proven incapable of managing its cities as engines of growth. Pakistan is one of the fastest urbanising countries with numerous mega cities, yet these cities are still being governed in a colonial fashion. Federal and provincial governments continue to poorly manage the cities through a top-down approach. Both service delivery and commercial activities are marginalised due to a lack of governance capacity. Furthermore, even megapolises like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Islamabad lack city-based economic development bureaus.

If Gwadar is also going to function under the prevailing administrative arrangements, then we should not expect it to look like Shenzhen. It would not make sense to appoint as executive head of Gwadar city’s government some earlier serving in Lasbela or Loralai. The governance style and challenges in Gwadar city will be different. Whenever it comes to city design, our planners assume that it is all about the demarcation of residential, commercial and industrial areas along with construction of a few bridges, roads and an airport. What is least thought about is who will reside in the city? What will the residents do? What will be the future concentration of industries and firms? How will the societal fabric of the city evolve? Or, what would be the approach for developing public spaces?

 

The concept of a smart city is not about use of information technology only. Rather, it envisages an improvement in the quality of life and livelihood of the citizenry

 


Yes, we are eagerly looking forward to a few Chinese and other international firms to move to Gwadar but we keep ignoring that these firms will need a city governance structure different than that of Karachi and Lahore. In this regard, three challenges will need special attention: First, building new infrastructure — for education, health, and transportation. Second, it will be a tedious task to attract innovative firms and skilled labour force. Third, Gwadar’s local population will need to be integrated into city’s governance. The city administration will have to ensure credible governance, an enabling business environment, and a conducive city design to attract professionals, and above all, ensure prosperity of the local people. The knowledge economy of the city (just like Shenzhen) would need a confluence of talented professionals and innovative firms. Where would both come from?

As parallels are being drawn to Shenzhen and Dubai, let's have a look into a few aspects of governance in these cities. China has developed Shenzhen as a laboratory of urban governance and economic reforms. The governance system and economic rules in the city were different than rest of the Chinese cities. Shenzhen is the first city in China to initiate political competition and public debates for nomination of its mayor. The experimentation to introduce market economy in China also started in Shenzhen. Though federal government started Shenzhen as a special economic zone but the city government was empowered to make decisions and attract suitable investors.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is another relevant example. UAE considered it important to introduce credible and efficient judicial system as a key to attract capital and financial industry. Hence, DIFC is an autonomous region with its own three-fold legal system for civil and commercial matters. The judges of DIFC courts can come from around the world with an international commercial law experience. There was also a partnership between DIFC and London Court of International Arbitration. The alternate dispute resolution system of DIFC has been delivering effective results.

The above models may not be applicable in their entirety to Gwadar city but they inform us about deliberate efforts undertaken by China and UAE to design innovative governance structures for special economic zones of Shenzhen and DIFC, respectively.

Moreover, a unique challenge for Gwadar city is that unlike Shenzhen and DIFC it does not have a large city in proximity. Nevertheless, there is a great opportunity for Pakistan to experiment a customised urban design and governance framework in Gwadar as an island of excellence. This framework can then be followed by other metropolitan cities.

It is appreciable that the process of redevelopment of the master plan of Gwadar, as a smart city, has started. But it is essential to highlight that the concept of smart city is not all about use of information technology. Rather, it envisages an improvement in the quality of life and livelihood of the citizenry. There are also developments regarding engagement with the local people of Gwadar for educational opportunities and social development. These signal cognisance of the federal government to develop Gwadar as a competitive city and to share the dividend of prosperity with local residents.

However, a professional and capable local government will be needed to let Gwadar city thrive. The success of port cities depends on both port operations and city’s competitiveness. Hence, there is a need to bring the governance and city design of Gwadar at the forefront of the dialogue on CPEC.

If Gwadar is going to function under the prevailing administrative arrangements — then we should not expect it to look like Shenzhen

 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is poised to boost development in Pakistan. But CPEC can substitute neither the need for institutional reforms nor the importance of domestic investment. However, amid extreme positions taken by supporters and opponents of CPEC, the space for meaningful dialogue on exploiting the project’s benefits has been squeezed.

Henceforth, I aim to highlight an important aspect of CPEC: the newly-planned Gwadar city.

Gwadar city is expected to hold a key position in the CPEC’s trade route and China’s Belt and Road initiative. Many Pakistanis believe that the city will look like Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, and the list of such cities goes on and on. What is missing amid all these comparisons is a dialogue on governance and design of the proposed city.

Why is it important to raise this question now? Because Pakistan has proven incapable of managing its cities as engines of growth. Pakistan is one of the fastest urbanising countries with numerous mega cities, yet these cities are still being governed in a colonial fashion. Federal and provincial governments continue to poorly manage the cities through a top-down approach. Both service delivery and commercial activities are marginalised due to a lack of governance capacity. Furthermore, even megapolises like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Islamabad lack city-based economic development bureaus.

If Gwadar is also going to function under the prevailing administrative arrangements, then we should not expect it to look like Shenzhen. It would not make sense to appoint as executive head of Gwadar city’s government some earlier serving in Lasbela or Loralai. The governance style and challenges in Gwadar city will be different. Whenever it comes to city design, our planners assume that it is all about the demarcation of residential, commercial and industrial areas along with construction of a few bridges, roads and an airport. What is least thought about is who will reside in the city? What will the residents do? What will be the future concentration of industries and firms? How will the societal fabric of the city evolve? Or, what would be the approach for developing public spaces?

Yes, we are eagerly looking forward to a few Chinese and other international firms to move to Gwadar but we keep ignoring that these firms will need a city governance structure different than that of Karachi and Lahore. In this regard, three challenges will need special attention: First, building new infrastructure — for education, health, and transportation. Second, it will be a tedious task to attract innovative firms and skilled labour force. Third, Gwadar’s local population will need to be integrated into city’s governance. The city administration will have to ensure credible governance, an enabling business environment, and a conducive city design to attract professionals, and above all, ensure prosperity of the local people. The knowledge economy of the city (just like Shenzhen) would need a confluence of talented professionals and innovative firms. Where would both come from?

As parallels are being drawn to Shenzhen and Dubai, let's have a look into a few aspects of governance in these cities. China has developed Shenzhen as a laboratory of urban governance and economic reforms. The governance system and economic rules in the city were different than rest of the Chinese cities. Shenzhen is the first city in China to initiate political competition and public debates for nomination of its mayor. The experimentation to introduce market economy in China also started in Shenzhen. Though federal government started Shenzhen as a special economic zone but the city government was empowered to make decisions and attract suitable investors.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is another relevant example. UAE considered it important to introduce credible and efficient judicial system as a key to attract capital and financial industry. Hence, DIFC is an autonomous region with its own three-fold legal system for civil and commercial matters. The judges of DIFC courts can come from around the world with an international commercial law experience. There was also a partnership between DIFC and London Court of International Arbitration. The alternate dispute resolution system of DIFC has been delivering effective results.

The above models may not be applicable in their entirety to Gwadar city but they inform us about deliberate efforts undertaken by China and UAE to design innovative governance structures for special economic zones of Shenzhen and DIFC, respectively.

Moreover, a unique challenge for Gwadar city is that unlike Shenzhen and DIFC it does not have a large city in proximity. Nevertheless, there is a great opportunity for Pakistan to experiment a customised urban design and governance framework in Gwadar as an island of excellence. This framework can then be followed by other metropolitan cities.

It is appreciable that the process of redevelopment of the master plan of Gwadar, as a smart city, has started. But it is essential to highlight that the concept of smart city is not all about use of information technology. Rather, it envisages an improvement in the quality of life and livelihood of the citizenry. There are also developments regarding engagement with the local people of Gwadar for educational opportunities and social development. These signal cognisance of the federal government to develop Gwadar as a competitive city and to share the dividend of prosperity with local residents.

However, a professional and capable local government will be needed to let Gwadar city thrive. The success of port cities depends on both port operations and city’s competitiveness. Hence, there is a need to bring the governance and city design of Gwadar at the forefront of the dialogue on CPEC.

 

The writer is a public policy practitioner and researcher. He tweets @navift

Beijing raps Pakistan on safety of its citizens after two Chinese nationals are kidnapped in Balochistan

http://m.timesofindia.com/world/china/beijing-raps-pakistan-on-safety-of-its-citizens-after-two-chinese-nationals-are-kidnapped-in-balochistan/articleshow/58852009.cms



Shailaja Neelakantan | TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: May 26, 2017, 12.19PM IST

Security of Chinese citizens casts shadow over CPEC

HIGHLIGHTS

Last year, a militant group said that it was targeting CPEC in a bomb attack it carried out in southern PakistanPakistan has raised a 15,000-strong armed force specifically to safeguard Chinese nationals working in the country for the $50 billion-odd CPEC project

NEW DELHI: Beijing has delivered a stern message to Islamabad saying it needs to improve and enhance the safety of Chinese citizens living in Pakistan.

The message to Pakistan to "take more effective (safety) measures " came a day after two Chinese nationals were kidnapped in restive Balochistan, allegedly by militants. And with the presence of the Chinese in Pakistan only set to increase - by the hundreds if not the thousands - thanks to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), their safety has become a growing concern for Beijing.

As the Chinese state-run news outlet Global Times said in an article, Balochistan "is in the center of" the CPEC project. The article, unambiguously titled "Kidnapping highlights risks along China-Pakistan Economic Corridor", said that the Chinese have often been targeted in Pakistan "despite the friendly relations between" Pakistan and China.

It's no wonder then that as soon their nationals - Chinese language teachers - were abducted Wednesday, China launched what it calls its 'emergency response mechanism'.

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to the safety of overseas Chinese citizens and condemns the abduction of personnel in any form," said China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang yesterday.

In fact, jurisdictional issues aside, the spokesman made it clear that the Chinese government will also participate in efforts to rescue its two citizens.

"The Chinese government will work with the Pakistani side to make the utmost efforts for the early and safe release of the kidnapped personnel," Lu said.

China also made it clear that Pakistan must "take every necessary measure" to rescue the two Chinese nationals.

"We keep close communication with Pakistan, request relevant Pakistani authorities to take every necessary measure to rescue the abducted while ensuring their safety, and take more effective measures to secure the safety of Chinese citizens and organs in Pakistan," said China's foreign ministry spokesman.

Global Times noted that last year, a Chinese engineer was injured in a bomb attack in southern Pakistan and a separatist group, the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were targeting CPEC.

Last December, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told China that Pakistan has raised a 15,000-strong armed force specifically to safeguard Chinese nationals working in the country for the $50 billion-odd CPEC project. There are close to 8,000 Chinese nationals working in Pakistan, several reports have said

Budget 2017: Rs180bn for CPEC projects, Gwadar

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/206794-Budget-2017-Rs180bn-for-CPEC-projects-Gwadar



ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced an allocation of Rs 180 billion for the projects being constructed under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The minister said that Gwadar has assumed importance for the national economy where 31 different projects are under construction.

The government allocated Rs 180 billion for the CPEC related projects and various development schemes in the port city including airport, road network hospitals etc.

CPEC: Khan Kalat in Tokyo , Baloch are repressed

http://www.sankei.com/smp/world/news/170526/wor1705260060-s1.html

Below is online translated text, errors may occur

International Symposium on Peace and Human Rights in Asia" (sponsored by the Asian Forum of Kuretake), organized by the Asian Forum of Asia, was held on May 26 at the House of Councilors in Nagatacho, Tokyo, in an effort to raise interest in repression of human rights by China and Pakistan. Balochistan in Pakistan, Xinjiang Uygur in China, people from the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region (South Mongolia) and related officials appealed the current situation of repression and called for Japan's support. The summary of the main speaker's argument is as follows.

Mr. Suleiman (King of the Balochistan clan King)

 Pakistan invaded Balochistan with the power of weapons and allowed the world. The Balochistan independence campaign is not a conspiracy from the outside, it happened in response to a strong request and continues to fight to regain sovereignty.

 Balochistan's human rights issue inside Pakistan is very serious. Killing and throwing away, it is a daily routine to forcibly be missing. The government of Pakistan refuses to report on the status of Balochistan by journalists.

 Each and every one of them has the right to live by God, the right to do other duty like the right to live a dignity, and so on.

 I want to call attention to everyone. "China Pakistan Economic Corridor" (CPEC) is a military project in China. The people of Balochistan are threatening the right to life.

 The Chinese are not welcomed by Balochistan and strongly oppose the colonization by China. I am prepared to defend my home country firmly.

 Everyone in Japan, please declare Pakistan to be a terrorist state. Furthermore, I would like you to stop financial support for Pakistan. Pakistan survives with your support, but money is used for the Pakistan army and massacre of people in Balochistan is taking place.

 Remember that your money is also being used to strengthen China's strategy for Japan.

Mr. Munir Mengal (Representative of the Baloch-Voice Association)

 The Baloch people enjoyed their sovereignty as an independent state, but in 1948 they were invaded by Pakistanians and became occupied.

 Pakistani military is actually doing massacres. Just by doing what they do to protect human rights with their own words, they are forced to be missing. I was also trapped being kidnapped for two years.

 Balochistan has abundant resources, but it is looted by the Chinese.

 China is investing funds in the centerpa economic corridor. It is building a road in Balochistan, but it is not about doing something for the people of Balochistan, but how to loot it from Balochistan, it's only in their heads.

CPEC an existential threat to Baloch: Khan of Kalat

http://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/cpec-an-existential-threat-to-baloch-khan-of-kalat/688331/


By: ANI | Tokyo | Published: May 27, 2017 8:11 AM

Dubbing CPEC as a ‘Chinese military project’, Mir Suleiman asked the United States and the Indian Government to support an independent Balochistan and called on Pakistan to stop the genocide of Balochs. (Reuters)

Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an existential threat to the Baloch nation and its people and threatens India as well as American interests in the region. Dubbing CPEC as a ‘Chinese military project’, Mir Suleiman asked the United States and the Indian Government to support an independent Balochistan and called on Pakistan to stop the genocide of Balochs. He said only independent Balochistan can help remove the threat of war to India from its western border.

Balochistan under Kalat was independent for nearly seven and a half months until Pakistani military forcefully occupied it on March 27, 1948. There was no annexation agreement between Balochistan and Pakistan.

He further said that the Pakistan Army invaded Balochistan at ‘the point of a barrel’.

“The attack on the Palace of Khan of Kalat is proven fact that the occupation was forceful by the army,” Mir Suleiman said.

Also Watch:

“The Balochs will never stop pursuing the case of illegal occupation and human rights violations in Balochistan. The situation in Balochistan is deteriorating,” he added.

He further said that 25,000 people are missing and over a million people are displaced.

“Pakistan’s rule over Balochistan has never been legitimate, it has no moral authority and now it has lost control over Balochistan. The Indian, American, Afghan, Arab states and others should realize that the future is Balochistan,” Mir Suleiman said.

“Mass graves have been found in Khuzdar Baluchistan and other places, There are other locations which we believe need to be investigated by the international institutions,” he added.

Mir Suleiman said that the CPEC project is meant to fulfill the Chinese expansionist ambitions in the region.

Seeking an international intervention to end the occupation from the ‘barbarian Pakistan army’, Suleiman asked ‘likeminded nations’ including Afghanistan, India and Japan to declare Pakistan a terrorist state as Baloch are the victims of ‘Pakistani sponsored terrorists

Gwadar to become international smart port city soon

https://www.techjuice.pk/gwadar-to-become-international-smart-port-city-soon/

By Ali Leghari on May 25, 2017

Pakistan and China have inked agreements and MoUs to make Gwadar an international smart port city. The signing ceremony was held at Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.

Gwadar being the gateway to CPEC is highly valuable for Pakistan, and the government is using it as a bait to attract foreign investors.

Minister of planning and development Ahsan Iqbal said while talking on the occasion, “Gwadar, a jewel of Pakistan, is being built at par with port cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. As the gateway to CPEC, it has already started attracting the interest of investors, however, Gwadar would become an international smart port city soon”.

Ahsan Iqbal further asserted that Gwadar Eastbay Expressway project has also been initiated in the city. The expressway would be an 18.981 km long 4-lane expressway. He said, “It would integrate Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway as well as with the free zone and future container terminal”.

Due to Gwadar turning into an international port, the economic activity in the country is rising and private investors from China and Turkey are investing in Pakistan. Turkish companies’ investments in Pakistan currently stand at $900 million with Chinese companies even ahead in numbers.

Minister says we are not only targeting investors but also tourists. The government is trying to make Gwadar a tourism hub like Singapore, and for this purpose, the government is enhancing the infrastructure of the city.

Moreover, GDP of Pakistan is expected to rise to 5.2 percent, that will mark the highest GDP growth of the country in the last nine years

Establishment of Halal Food Center under CPEC”

http://pakobserver.net/establishment-halal-food-centre-cpec/

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore organised a meeting on “Establishment of Halal Food Center under CPEC”.

HEC Advisor (CPEC) Lt Gen Muhammad Asghar (retd) and Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha co-chaired the meeting and sought suggestions and technical inputs from the stakeholders about the establishment of Halal Food Center. UVAS faculty members and stakeholders attended the meeting.
Lt-Gen Muhammad Asghar gave a presentation on the vision, mission and planning parameters, 🔴seven pillars of priority of CPEC,
✔construction of an integrated transport system,
✔energy related infrastructure, ✔industries and industrial parks, ✔agriculture development and poverty alleviation,
✔ tourism,
cooperation in the areas concerning peoples livelihood and non-government exchange and financial cooperation, etc.

Prof Pasha gave a presentation on the proposed “Integrated Research Centre for Hilal Food Sciences, Technology and Management.” He said the centre will help exactly estimate the Pakistan Halal potential, challenges and opportunities, produce skilled manpower to meet industrial requirement and needs and will also anticipate, analyze and solve decision making problems, besides conducting various training programmes.

Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that the UVAS is closely working with the industry for quality education and research and solving various industry issues regarding poultry disease, management to enhance poultry production. He said that the UVAS and PPA are equally focusing on eradicating malnutrition issues through a healthy nutrition programme being run in the surrounding area schools of UVAS Ravi Campus Pattoki.
He said that under this programme an egg and drum stick (meat) is being provided to children to attract them to schools to improve their health and with each passing day the strength of students is increasing rapidly. He said Chairman PPA Dr Karim Bhatti appreciated the work of UVAS Business School and said the university is working closely with allied industries in solution to various problems

‘CPEC is industrial revolution’

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/26-May-17/cpec-is-industrial-revolution


By:   

Majid Rajput

26-May-17

KARACHI: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an industrial revolution which will bring prosperity in the region said Senator Mushidullah addressing a press conference at KPC. "Asif Ali Zardari claims that he has initiated CPEC project, tomorrow he would claim the One-Belt One-Road (OBOR) was also initiated by his grandfather", he criticized.

He alleged that PPP and MQM are responsible for the privatization of K-E. They privatized it for their self-centered interests. Many of their party workers are at good posts in K-E department. We reduced 20- hour load shedding to 4-hour". We are giving 2600 Megawatt electricity to the provinces.

The Sindh government criticizes rather than appreciating development projects in this province." Green Line is the project of provincial governments not ours' but we want to see all of Pakistan a prosperous country.

"Where are those who made tall-claims and bombastic speeches for development in the last election? "Where is development?", he asked adding that we have developed Punjab and would develop other provinces as well. People have come to know and they would vote us in the coming election.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will sit in opposition in the coming elections. "They can no longer befool the public as people are better aware of the politics". They have failed to fulfill their promises and could not beat us on political ground. Therefore they are making fruitless efforts to degrade PML-N as it has worked for the people. You cannot beat PML-N and we will reply them in the coming election.

Zardari levels allegations of corruption against Nawas Sharif but who is not aware about the corruption of PPP?" An amount of at least RS.91 billion Rupees in the development work of Larkana has gone into the pockets black sheep. Many Ministers of PPP including Sharjeel Memon and Dr. Asim Hussain have been involved in the cases of corruption." They have established bungalows in posh areas of the country and possess other properties also", he alleged.

To a question related to the verdict of jury about Panamagate scandal, he said that the three judges are right who kept silence over the issue and did not disclose their verdict before the right time.

To a question related to changing of loyalty of party workers of PML-N, he said that it makes no difference as horse trading is the part of politics and people come and go in the party. "We shall make alliance to come in Sindh". We have a list of 11 to 12 good workers of PPP who would join us in coming days. Terrorism is uprooted and development projects are developed in the each PML-N rule", he concluded

CPEC to bring changes in political,economic, cultural levels: president

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/206735-CPEC-to-bring-changes-in-politicaleconomic-cultural-levels-president

May 26, 2017

Addresses 21st convocation of GIK

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday said that landmark initiatives of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and One Belt, One Road would not only change the face of the world but will also bring in massive changes at political, economic and cultural levels and will also benefit the entire region.

Addressing the 21st Convocation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Topi, the president said that CPEC is a blessing from Allah Almighty which has placed great responsibility on our shoulders to make concerted efforts for successful completion of this grand project.

He urged the youth to prepare themselves to gain maximum benefit from CPEC and expressed the confidence that  they will discharge this great responsibility with determination, resolution and strong will.

He said that those nations achieve progress and prosperity which excel in education and modern sciences. He said that present era is an age of science and information technology and asked the youth to gain expertise in these fields for progress and prosperity of the country.

He said that Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute is a distinguished institution of the country which was imparting education and research in science and technology noting that within a short period of time it has not only strengthened its separate identity but has also set an enviable standard in education of modern sciences. He emphasised that the services of this institute will be of great significance in view of the changes which are going to occur in the world of technology in coming years.

He stressed that if we desire to see Pakistan playing a role in the world in future then it is the foremost responsibility of the youth to acquire expertise in modern sciences. The president said that European Industrial Revolution led to widen the chasm between the developed and underdeveloped world but a new world is emerging after the introduction of information technology.

He highlighted that Muslim scientists and social experts, on the basis of their hard work and God given intellect, laid that foundation upon which today’s academic world stands. He noted that though social and political revolutions of the last few centuries and economic realities have weakened this educational tradition but in today’s world the humanity cannot be deprived of the benefits and fruits of sciences by limiting them.

He congratulated the graduating students on completing their education and training and hoped that upon entering practical life they will come up to the expectations of their parents and the country.  Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, Rector GIK, Jehangir Bashar, senior officials and parents of the graduating students were also present on the occasion.

CPEC's major energy plant inaugurates to benefit 10 mln locals

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-05/26/c_136317469.htm

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-26 14:02:30|Editor: Liangyu

ISLAMABAD, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The first generate unit of the Sahiwal power plant inaugurated on Thursday, marking that the first major power plant under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) start to generate electricity for Pakistani people and will meet power demand of 10 million locals.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister of Punjab Province Shahbaz Sharif attended a ceremony held in the power plant which is one of the early harvest projects of CPEC.

The first unit of Sahiwal coal fired power project will generate 660 megawatt of electricity to the national grid of Pakistan and will help in reduction of power shortage in the country. The total capacity of the project is 1,320 megawatt and the second unit is expected to be put online late next month.

The plant, completed in a record period of 22 months, has already been linked to the national grid, officials said.

"This (project) will help overcome the power load shedding in the country. Completion of first Unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant gigantic project in just 22 months is unprecedented," Nawaz Sharif told the inauguration ceremony at Sahiwal.

"The role of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Chinese engineers and Pakistani engineers in the completion of the project is best example of Pak-China friendship and partnership," the prime minister said.

Officials said about 190 Pakistani young engineers trained in China have been employed for plant operations.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong addressed the ceremony, saying that the operation of the first unit of Sahiwal power plant marks that "CPEC ushers in the stage of early harvest from comprehensive implementation and more and more tangible outcomes are on the way."

He added that CPEC begins to benefit the Pakistani people's livelihood as the two units of Sahiwal plant will generate electricity of 9 billion KWH, which could meet the energy needs of 10 million people

The Balochistan narratives

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/206743-The-Balochistan-narratives

Sartaj Khan

May 26, 2017

There are three main narratives propounded by the stakeholders in the conflict in Balochistan.

🔴The first is simple. It involves the aims of the separatist leader Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, an ideologue of the banned BSO Azad and head of the banned Baloch Liberation Front.

🔴The second narrative is that of middle-class Baloch leaders who mostly issue statements from abroad and seek help from imperialist countries and India to pressurise the government. They aim to produce greater benefits by striking a deal.

🔴The third is put forward by political parties -- like the PML-N and the National Party (NP) -- and the business class, which are clearly propelling the capitalist development agenda and supporting paramilitary operations in the province. To hardcore nationalists, these parties represent a great harm. This has resulted in a polarisation between the middle class and the rural poor.

The space between militants and pro-development/pro-military operation groups is occupied by the reformist middle-class leadership. While they have shown concerns disappearances and other excesses, they also want to benefit from projects like CPEC. The ideological lines among the different nationalist organisations have been blurred, making it difficult to draw a clear distinction. These organisations are not only separated by space and time but also in terms of the social groups they represent. Action is the determinant factor here.

On March 26, 2017, I read a few news stories on the website of a local newspaper published in Quetta that drew attention to some interesting aspects of the current situation in Balochistan. In the first news story, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri was quoted as saying that Gwadar would soon be transformed into a shimmering coastal city owing to CPEC and the advantages it enjoyed of being a deep-sea port. Zehri said that Gwadar would become the hub of economic and business activities and that CPEC was accompanied by a large number of welfare projects. He said Gwadar was attracting massive investment and investors’ confidence in the country had been restored. He invited businessmen to invest more in Gwadar and other projects since a business-friendly environment has been created. His “government is committed to protecting…investment and profit”.

In the second news story, IG Frontier Force Major-General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum was cited as saying that Mohammad Ali Jinnah loved the people of the province and that the Baloch would not allow any damage to be inflicted on Pakistan. In the presence of provincial minister Sardar Mohammad Aslam Bizenjo and other officials, he praised the Baloch for their bravery and patriotism. He maintained that unity between the security forces and the people of the province had been fostered and that the people of Balochistan and the military and political leadership had decided to follow the ‘developmentalist’ agenda. He also criticised those elements who want to derail this process. The army commander said: “Instead of guns we have [placed] books and pens in the hands of [the] youth”.

The military and political leadership considers investment a counter-strategy against separatist elements. They feel there will eventually be a significant change in public opinion in the wake of CPEC -- the massive use of natural resources and the resultant emergence of a middle class.

However, there is a prevailing sense of unease about the associated modus operandi of the federal government. Sections of the Baloch political elite lack the political will to promote CPEC. Despite their wishes, the Baloch elite are finding it difficult to make a case for themselves in the strife-struck territories. They are caught between two varying narratives. The Baloch middle class only wants to benefit from the situation and use it to further its class interests.

How will this strategy work? To explain this, we must draw attention to the third news story in which Senator Israrullah Zehri, the central president of the Balochistan National Party (Awami), highlights the conspicuous contradiction of the middle class.

His views are in stark contrast to that of the central government, the military establishment as well as the separatists. On the one hand, he put his faith in parliamentary politics while on the other he rhetorically understood that rights have to be usurped from the clutches of those who have grabbed them.

He says no one should be allowed to plunder the resources of the province and that, in the presence of the Afghan refugees, the census will not be accepted. According to him, under CPEC, Balochistan’s connectivity with other parts of the country is obvious, while there is no planning in sight as far as the economic zones are concerned. He thinks CPEC is designed to benefit only Punjab and there are no plans to develop Balochistan under such projects.

The rapid development along capitalist lines, accompanied by the iron and armed hand of the state has brought a change in the nature of ideology and demands at work in the nationalist politics. This shows the impact of uneven development on political actors and the common people. There is a corresponding change in class interests and narratives and, to a large extent, in politics itself.

Email: sartaj2000@yahoo.com

China's response to UN Report on CPEC

http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1465239.shtml

Q: A UN report said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could add more tension between India and Pakistan and fuel more political instability in the region. How do you respond to that?

A: We saw some relevant reports by Indian media in this regard, but we need to get more information about the report you mentioned, but I can respond to you in principle. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is an important partner for the cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. The 73rd Session of ESCAP was held in Bangkok, Thailand days ago. During the meeting, participating parties appraised the important significance of the Belt and Road Initiative in promoting development in Asia and the Pacific, supported the synergy between ESCAP and the Belt and Road Initiative, and decided to promote connectivity through extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and carry out cooperation in such areas as policy coordination, infrastructure, investment, finance and people-to-people exchanges. This has again demonstrated and spoken to the extensive support for the Belt and Road Initiative from the international community.

Recently, the Secretariat of ESCAP released a report on the role of the Belt and Road Initiative and ESCAP, which commends the positive significance of the Belt and Road Initiative in advancing connectivity and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific and offers views and advice on ESCAP's participation in the building of the Belt and Road Initiative. According to our information, ESCAP did not issue a specialized report on CPEC.

As to your question that CPEC may involve the disputed areas between India and Pakistan, we have reiterated many times that as an economic initiative, CPEC is neither targeted at any third party nor related to territorial disputes. It will not affect China's principled position on the Kashmir issue.