Sunday, June 11, 2017

Henchman of Chhota Shakeel held in Delhi, cops claim plot to kill Tarek Fateh and Chhota Rajan

http://m.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/henchman-of-chhota-shakeel-held-in-delhi-cops-claim-plot-to-kill-tarek-fateh-and-chhota-rajan/story-Xb5lM4MDb7F5xHgzrwDbCM.html


Police said Shakeel was allegedly heard directing Junaid Chaudhary to assassinate Fateh, known for his controversial remarks, and Dawood’s former aide and rival Chhota Rajan, presently lodged in Tihar jail.

 

    

Junaid Chaudhary, 21, a resident of northeast Delhi, was caught late Wednesday night with a pistol and four cartridges near Gagan Cinema in Nand Nagri, MM Oberoi, joint commissioner of police (special cell), said.

Updated: Jun 09, 2017 23:12 IST

By Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times

Delhi Police on Friday arrested gangster Chhota Shakeel’s aide Junaid Chaudhary, who was allegedly planning to assassinate Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fateh and jailed underworld don Chhota Rajan.

Shakeel is deputy of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, believed to be in Pakistan.

Chaudhary, 21, a resident of northeast Delhi, was caught late Wednesday night with a pistol and four cartridges near Gagan Cinema in Nand Nagri, MM Oberoi, joint commissioner of police (special cell), said.

Special cell sleuths were looking for Chaudhary after they intercepted telephonic conversation between him and Shakeel.

Police said Shakeel was allegedly heard directing Chaudhary to assassinate Fateh, known for his controversial remarks, and Dawood’s former aide and rival Chhota Rajan, presently lodged in Tihar jail.

“Chaudhary said he was directed by Shakeel to target the writer in Delhi. He claims Shakeel asked him to collect information about Chhota Rajan’s visits to hospitals from jail and kill him whenever he gets an opportunity. We are verifying his claims,” said Oberoi.

Chaudhary received R1.5 lakh in four installments through hawala and other money transfer means from Shakeel to execute the assassination plan, Oberoi said.

Of the amount, Chaudhary claimed he spent R1 lakh to buy the pistol and cartridges. The firearm and ammunition were delivered to him by a Uttar Pradesh-based illegal arms dealer, who is now on the radar of the police.

Even though Fatah, a secularist and liberal activist, was not in Delhi, Junaid was directed to carry out a recce and look for opportunities to kill him, said an officer.

Chaudhary was last arrested in May-June last year with three others for allegedly plotting to assassinate Ghaziabad-based godman Swami Chakrapani, chief of Hindu Mahasabha. Their interrogation had revealed that the assassination plot was hatched by Dawood and Shakeel.

They said Dawood was angry with Chakrapani because he bought an old car allegedly belonging to the don in 2015 and later publically burning it in Ghaziabad.

Chakrapani was provided Z-category security cover after threats from ‘D-company’.

Chaudhary was bailed out in less than two months. His bail was then cancelled on the request of the investigating officer. In October, he was again released on bail and he once again established contact with Shakeel, police said. Special cell sleuths kept their surveillance on him and his activities.

Unlike the previous time when he was contacting Shakeel through phone calls and text messages, Chaudhary this time used internet calling and messaging options to avoid detection. He often used WhatsApp, Viber and other mobile applications to communicate with Shakeel. He also used emails.

“Choudhary claimed that he met Shakeel’s around two years through his aide in Delhi,” said the officer

Xi Jinping snubs Nawaz Sharif by skipping bilateral meet after murder of Chinese nationals

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/xi-jinping-snubs-nawaz-sharif-by-skipping-bilateral-meet-after-murder-of-chinese-nationals-4697772/



By: PTI | Beijing |Updated: June 10, 2017 9:05 Pm

Xi's unprecedented snub followed deep disappointment and grief over the slaying of two Chinese citizens at Quetta in Balochistan. (Source: AP photo)

In a rare snub to all-weather ally Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping skipped a customary meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the SCO summit in Astana after the murder of two Chinese teachers in Balochistan. Sharif returned from Astana after attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on the sidelines of which he met Presidents of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Russia. Conspicuously absent was a meeting with Xi. Chinese state-run media highlighted Xi’s meetings with Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Xi’s unprecedented snub followed deep disappointment and grief among Chinese public over the slaying of the two Chinese citizens who were kidnapped last month from Quetta in Balochistan.

The two were brutally murdered reportedly by Islamic State (IS) militants. The news of their murders was made public ahead of the SCO summit held on June 8-9 in which India and Pakistan were admitted as members.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying explained that the murders were no way connected to the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was opposed by the Baloch nationalists.

The CPEC is part of China’s ambitious multi-billion Belt and Road intuitive (BRI).

“This incident will not have any necessary connection with the BRI,” nor with the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, meeting being held in Astana, Hua had said.

China has deployed hundreds of Chinese workers to work for the CPEC which connects Gwadar port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Hua said Pakistan pays great attention to the protection of Chinese citizens in the institutions there and made great efforts for their security.

“As per BRI we should be prepared for risks if want to go global. Since the three years after the BRI,” she had said

The Southern Theater Command and China’s Maritime Strategy

https://jamestown.org/program/southern-theater-command-chinas-maritime-strategy/



By: Nan Li

June 9, 2017 09:42 AM Age: 3 days

Vice Admiral Yuan Yubai (袁誉柏)

In January 2017, a long-anticipated reshuffle of the leadership of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) took place. The PLAN and its three fleets each received new commanders. Less noticed, but more significant, was the replacement of General Wang Jiaocheng with Vice Admiral Yuan Yubai (袁誉柏), former commander of the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet, as commander of the Southern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) (Global Times, January 22; Global Times, January 22). This is the first time in PLA history that a naval officer has been appointed to command the multi-service forces of one of its regional combatant headquarters (China Brief, March 31). Most importantly, his appointment is indicative of the shift in China’s military posture from continental defense to maritime security, and the importance of the Southern Theater as a predominantly maritime arena for PLA operations (China Brief, July 22, 2016).

Evolving Maritime Strategy

A major rationale for appointing a naval officer to command the PLA’s Southern Theater has to do with the evolution of China’s maritime strategy. From the late 1960s to mid-1980s, the PLA was required to prepare for an “early, total, and nuclear war” against a possible Soviet invasion from the North (China Brief, May 15). In this continental defense-centered military strategy, the role of the PLAN, with its limited capabilities, was relegated to supporting a land-based war through coastal defense operations to slow down a Soviet invasion.

In 1985, as China’s relations with the Soviet Union began to improve, Deng Xiaoping tasked the PLA with making the “strategic transition” from preparing for a major war against Soviet invasion to preparing for a “local war” over contingencies on the China’s borders. As a result, the notion of “near-coast defense” (“近岸防御”) was replaced by a “near-seas active defense” (“近海积极防御”) strategy. Rather than primarily supporting land operations, the PLAN is required by the new strategy to build itself into a “strategic service” that can operate independently and effectively in its own maritime space, the three seas near China, namely, the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. [1]

Since the early 2000s, China’s maritime strategy has integrated the concept of “far seas protection” (“远海护卫”) that requires the PLAN to develop capabilities that can safeguard the security of expanding Chinese interests overseas, including “security of overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lanes, overseas Chinese investment, and overseas Chinese citizens and legal entities.” While “near-seas active defense” and “far-seas protection” underlie the expansion of China’s naval capabilities, near-seas security is considered the priority in the near term largely because of their proximity and centrality to the physical security of China. [2]

The reorganization of the PLA that began in late 2015 is largely an attempt to change the army-centric nature of the PLA, the result of the dominance of a military strategy centered on continental defense. The changes accommodate the expanding PLA naval and air capabilities to provide security to China’s newly defined maritime domain and interests, particularly in the near seas. A PLA Army (PLAA) headquarters, for instance, was established to take over the responsibility of running army units from the PLA’s regional combatant headquarters, so that the latter can become genuinely joint by integrating more officers from the non-army services. [3]

Unlike the abolished military region (MR) system which was dominated by army officers, the commanding officers of the three newly established PLA theaters with a maritime strategic orientation (the Southern, Eastern and Northern Theaters), are more balanced in service backgrounds, with PLAA, PLAN and PLA Air Force (PLAAF) each occupying one third of these positions. As the pool for selecting future PLA senior officers becomes more mixed in service backgrounds, so will the senior officer corps of the PLA, to the extent that positions for theater chiefs may be held by non-army service officers. [4] The appointment of Yuan to command the Southern Theater has cemented this trend.

Why the Southern Theater Command?

A major objective of reorganizing the PLA regional combatant headquarters from seven MRs to five theater commands is to reduce the overlap of missions among these headquarters. With this reorganization, “safeguarding sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea has become the most important mission that the Southern Theater shoulders” (“维护南海权益是战区肩负的最重要使命”) (People’s Daily , February 28, 2016).

There are several major reasons why the Southern Theater became the first PLA regional combatant headquarters with a naval officer appointed to be its commander. Frist, the South China Sea straddles the vital sea lanes that connect East Asia with the Indian Ocean, on which major East Asian economies, including China’s, depend heavily on shipping energy, raw materials, and traded products. The security and control of these sea lanes are not only indispensable for the normal functioning of these economies in times of peace, but also of great importance to “gaining initiative” in times of crisis and war. [5] Although the Yellow and East China Seas constitute the maritime operational space of the PLA’s Northern and Eastern Theaters respectively and have important sea lanes, they are not comparable to those of the South China Sea in strategic vitality.

Second, Chinese analysts also regard the South China Sea as the ideal site to deploy China’s strategic ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). In comparison with the land-based nuclear deterrent, its sea-based counterpart is believed to be more credible because it is more concealed and more likely to survive the first nuclear strike. The deeper these “boomers” dive in the ocean within their safe limit, the more concealed they are against the opponent’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities.

The average depth of the Yellow Sea is only 40 meters—too shallow to conceal China’s SSBNs. The average depth of the East China Sea is 350 meters, and it can be as deep as 2,000 meters near the Okinawa Trough. Such a depth is quite appropriate for SSBN deployment. The numerous shore-based air and naval bases of the PLA’s Eastern Theater can also offer protection for SSBNs. However, the Yellow Sea’s proximity to Japanese and U.S. bases and their effective ASW capabilities make the area unsuitable for SSBN patrols. These capabilities, for instance, can diminish the credibility of China’s SSBNs by keeping them exposed and vulnerable. In comparison, the average depth of the South China Sea is 1,200 meters. The countries that form the first island chain are relatively weak and do not possess highly capable ASW platforms against Chinese submarines. In comparison with the Yellow and East China Seas, South China Sea is clearly a more secure site to deploy China’s sea-based, retaliatory nuclear capabilities (The Paper, July 21, 2016).

Chinese analysts also believe that South China Sea is deep, wide and open enough to accommodate PLAN’s heavy surface warships. Besides its relative depth, South China Sea encompasses an area of around 3.56 million square kilometers. The sea is also quite open to transit into and out of the Western Pacific because the countries that constitute the first island chain lack effective intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and naval blockade capabilities over the transit straits. [6] In comparison, the Yellow and East China Seas are much smaller in scope, covering 380,000 square kilometers and 770,000 square kilometers respectively. These seas are generally narrow and partially enclosed. The transit straits to the Western Pacific, for instance, are closely monitored by the robust ISR capabilities of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in peace time and can be effectively blocked by JMSDF in times of crisis and war.

New thinking in the PLA about how to conduct operations may also shed light on why the PLAN regards South China Sea as an ideal site for its operations. PLA operations, for instance, are now guided by the new concept of “information system-based system of systems operations” (“基于信息系统的体系作战”), which highlights the integration of various service forces into a PLA “system of systems” capable of multi-spatial and variable distance deployment and presence. [7] Latterly networked and enhanced by a common information system or C4ISR architecture, this operations system should achieve battlefield transparency-based “information superiority,” which allows for synchronized, parallel operations by multi-service forces, thus enabling “battlefield initiative” against the opponent. [8]

Reflected in the maritime domain, this concept may explain the PLA’s ambitious effort to develop its maritime operations system of systems (海上作战体系) by constructing and deploying a large number of major surface ships, including aircraft carriers. PLA analysts believe that a carrier-based battle group is an ideal maritime operations system of systems. With escorts such as guided missile destroyers, frigates, and nuclear attack submarines, this system of systems is capable of air operations, surface strikes, submarine and ASW warfare, air and missile defense, and electronic and cyber warfare. If well integrated by a common information system, all individual weapons platforms together can not only constitute operational synergy against the opponent but also offer support and protection to reduce each other’s vulnerabilities. [9]

An isolated surface ship or submarine, for instance, may be vulnerable to air, missile and submarine attacks. However, if integrated into a carrier-based system of systems, this vulnerability may be reduced. An aircraft carrier, for instance, provides air capabilities that can compete for air superiority and provide air cover for surface operations. These air capabilities can also be deployed against the opponent’s air ASW capabilities, thus protecting one’s own submarine operations. Moreover, a carrier’s air ASW capabilities can be deployed against the opponent’s submarines, thus providing protection for one’s own surface ships and submarines. In the meantime, the surface and subsurface escorts of the battle group can work to reduce the vulnerability of the carrier itself. The deep, wide and open South China Sea, with its vast strategic depth, is a desirable location for conducting such “maritime system of systems operations.”

Finally, for the past few years, China has undertaken extensive dredging and building of artificial islands on the reefs that China controls in the Spratlys, and construction and upgrading of airfields, helipads, ports, radar and communications facilities in the Spratlys and Paracels. At the same time, China’s claims in the South China Sea remain opaque. The seeming change of status quo due to these activities has already triggered countermeasures from the U.S. Navy such as freedom of navigation and overflight operations near China-controlled islands and reefs in the South China Sea. The Spratlys are about 1,000 km away from the southern tip of Hainan Island, and Paracels are about 340 km. To provide security for these so far-flung maritime frontier outposts and facilities that face major challenges from the U.S. Navy clearly requires substantial naval and air power projection and sustainability capabilities. The long distance, U.S. challenges and lack of clarity of Chinese claims have made the South China Sea situation unpredictable and volatile. In comparison, the Yellow and East China Seas are relatively close to China’s mainland. When there are tensions over Taiwan and Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the “red lines” against major escalations also remain relatively clear, making these tensions more predictable and manageable.

These reasons may explain why when meeting U.S. Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson in July 2016, then PLAN commander ADM Wu Shengli stated that “we will never sacrifice our sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea. It is China’s ‘core interest’ and concerns the foundation of the party’s governance, the country’s security and stability, and the Chinese nation’s basic interests … We will never stop our construction on the Nansha Islands halfway” (Xinhuanet, July 18, 2016).

Similar reasons may explain why ADM Yuan Yubai, a nuclear submariner who also has extensive experience in commanding PLAN’s surface combatant flotillas, replaced an army officer to command the PLA’s Southern Theater, a strategic and operational arena that is predominantly maritime in nature and has become more contentious with maritime issues. [10]

Major Challenges

Appointing a naval officer to command the Southern Theater has also presented major challenges. The appointment is clearly based on the institutional lens of the PLA, which regards South China Sea as a maritime arena of strategic and military competition for “gaining control and initiative,” particularly in the worst case scenarios of crisis and war. Such a narrow institutional lens may be a major driver for activities such as the building of artificial islands in Spratlys and construction and upgrading of facilities in Spratlys and Paracels. These activities have already caused alarm among China’s maritime neighbors in Southeast Asia and triggered U.S. countermeasures such as freedom of navigation operations. The increased tension clearly contradicts China’s foreign policy goal of creating a benign external environment for the continued development of China’s economy. Mitigating the narrow institutional perspective of the military by strengthening civilian control of foreign policy has apparently become a major challenge for China’s leadership.

Finally, the dominance of a theater command by naval officers is unprecedented in PLA history (The Paper, March 27). In addition to ADM Yuan, other senior theater commands from the navy include South Sea Fleet Commander Wang Hai who also serves as deputy commander of the Theater, and Rear Admiral Dong Jun, deputy commander who possibly acts as chief of staff of the Southern Theater Command. This may cause discontent among PLAAF and PLAA officers, and heighten inter-service rivalry. There is, therefore, a need to integrate these services into the primary missions of the Theater Command to alleviate the prospect of such a rivalry.

PLAAF has already been conducting long-range patrols of Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal with H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighter-bombers, air-refueling tankers and early-warning and reconnaissance aircraft (Xinhuanet, August 6, 2016). However, integrating PLAA into primary missions of the Southern Theater may be more difficult. Southern Theater Army headquarters is located in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province, indicating that the theater’s army forces are primarily deployed to handle contingencies on the land borders with Vietnam and Burma. [11] At the strategic level, this deployment can generate pressure or diversion from the land flank if China’s dispute with Vietnam over reefs in the South China Sea escalates. Integrating the theater army forces at the operational level may prove to be a major challenge for the Theater Command’s commanding officers.

Conclusion

Appointing a naval officer to command a theater in unprecedented in PLA history, further confirming the shift of China’s military posture from continental defense to maritime security. Moreover, ADM Yuan’s position as commander of the Southern Theater Command indicates the relative importance of South China Sea in the eyes of the PLA, particularly as a suitable bastion for its growing SSBN force and as an ideal operational space for its expanding surface fleet.

Nan Li is Visiting Senior Research Fellow at East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.

Notes

See Nan Li “The Evolution of China’s Naval Strategy and Capabilities: From “Near Coast” and “Near Seas” to “Far Seas,” Asian Security, Vol. 5, No. 2 (May 2009).See Nan Li, “China’s Evolving Naval Strategy and Capabilities in the Hu Jintao Era,” in Roy Kamphausen, et al., eds., Assessing the People’s Liberation Army in the Hu Jintao Era (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College Press, 2014).See Nan Li, “Xi Jinping and PLA Restructuring,” East Asian Policy, 8, No. 4 (October & December 2016).IbidConversations with Chinese naval analysts in Beijing in August 2016IbidFor an in-depth study of “System of Systems,” see Kevin N. McCauley, “PLA System of Systems Operations: Enabling Joint Operations,” The Jamestown Foundation, January 2017, available here: https://jamestown.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/System-of-Systems-Enabling-Joint-Operations.pdfSee Li, “China’s Evolving Naval Strategy and Capabilities in the Hu Jintao Era.”Chinese analysts cited in Li, “China’s Evolving Naval Strategy and Capabilities in the Hu Jintao Era.”For Yuan’s nuclear submarine background, see citation of Yuan in “Chinese Nuclear Submarines Sets Sail from Here” (“中国核潜艇从这里起航”), Xinhuanet, October 27, 2013.For an exercise by Southern Theater’s army forces on Sino-Burmese border, see “PLA Conducts Live Fire Exercise on Sino-Burmese Border” (“解放军在中缅边境实弹演习”), Global Times, March 29, 2017.

After OBOR gets ready, Pakistan will become China’s colony: S Akbar Zaidi

http://m.economictimes.com/news/defence/after-obor-gets-ready-pakistan-will-become-chinas-colony-s-akbar-zaidi/articleshow/59100114.cms

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | Updated: Jun 12, 2017, 01.09 AM IST


The most dangerous implication of the CPEC would be that Pakistan’s foreign relations, especially those with India, will be determined by the Chinese.

NEW DELHI: Pakistan will become a colony ofChina once the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) -- flagship project under the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is operationalised, contended top Pak political economist S Akbar Zaidi on the very day the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit praised Beijing’s mega connectivity plan. 

In a lecture titled “Has China taken over Pakistan” organised in Kolkata by think tank ‘Calcutta Research Group’ on Friday night Zaidi noted that the CPEC initiative is the most discussed but the least transparent among all the foreign initiatives in Pakistan. 

“It is indeed a game changer, but not in the way our ruling classes have projected it to be. It will enslave Pakistan and undermine its sovereignty,” alleged Zaidi author of pioneering books --‘Military Civil Society and democratisation in Pakistan’ and ‘Issues in Pakistan’s Economy’. 

“CPEC is a part of China’s OBOR initiative to expand its influence in the world and Pakistan is just the geographical space used by Beijing to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. But in the process, Beijing blueprint will ensure complete control over Pakistan,” Zaidi further alleged. 

Incidentally Zaidi’s comments came on the very day when SCO praised China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India, which went to the Summit as an observer and became a member, however, was not party to the final Summit document on this occasion. CPEC is the very project that has irked India as it passes through PoK besides the fact that OBOR or BRI initiative lacks transparency and is being implemented in a unilateral fashion. 

Speaking at SCO Summit PM Narendra Modi took a dig at connectivity projects that infringes on sovereignty. Zaidi quoted Pak Senator Tahir Mashhadi, chairman of the standing committee on planning and development, who had described the CPEC corridor as the advent of “another East India Company is in the offing.” China has announced to invest whopping $ 62 bn in CPEC. 

The most dangerous implication of the CPEC would be that Pakistan’s foreign relations, especially those with India, will be determined by the Chinese, the Pak scholar warned. “Pakistan’s obsession with China and CPEC will prevent any rapprochement between India and Pakistan unless the Chinese themselves initiate such a process and that they would do only if that fits into their grand design in the region. With China taking over Pakistan, providing it with undisclosed amount of investments, any argument of increasing trade and economic cooperation between India and Pakistan lose out completely.” Zaidi blamed the Pakistani ruling elite for leading the country down the path of enslavement. 

Our ruling classes, especially the military, have first lived with the influence of US imperialism, then allowed unusual degree of Saudi intrusion in domestic, cultural and social affairs. Now they have prostrated themselves before Chinese imperial designs.

BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE BRINGS OPPORTUNITIES TO MACAU

http://macaudailytimes.com.mo/belt-road-initiative-brings-opportunities-macau.html


 JULIE ZHU MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2017 - 5 HOURS AGO NO COMMENTS 522 VIEWS

Participants attend the International conference on Belt and Road and Macau’s development

On the second day of the International Conference on the Belt and Road and Macau’s Development, several participants voiced their opinions regarding the construction of the Belt and Road project in cooperation with the Portuguese-
speaking countries.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

Lai Xiaomin, Party Committee Secretary and Chairman of the China Huarong Asset Management, on Friday said, “Macau can expand the asset management cooperation […] and greatly develop the financial leasing business.” Lai noted that the latter grows the quickest among the world’s financial businesses.

Fu Jianguo, Managing Director of Nam Kwong Group, talked about how his company can contribute to the construction of the Belt and Road initiative with respect to the Portuguese-
speaking countries.

According to Fu, Nam Kwong has a long history of communicating and working with the Portuguese-speaking countries, culturally and economically. Furthermore, he said that as a leading Chinese company in Macau, the Nam Kwong Group has also conducted a great number of interactions with Portuguese governmental departments.

Fu believes that Macau needs to find the right door through which to build itself as a communication platform serving the countries involved in the Belt and Road project.

Lei Heong Iok, president of the Macau Polytechnic Institute, pointed out that the relations between China and eight Portuguese-speaking countries have become closer following the trend of globalization.

Lei remarked that the Portuguese-speaking countries are mainly developing countries, and like the merging market, they all hope to have a good cooperative relationship with China.

In the professor’s view, the key area in which Macau should play a strategic role is in creating the necessary conditions and services for the economy and trade development between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries to prosper.

Lei suggested that the region should “coordinate well Macau’s higher education institutions, […] developing a respectable Portuguese teaching.”

According to Zhang Shuguang, Rector of the City University of Macau, the city can also act as a “think tank” encouraging all Portuguese-speaking countries and regions to participate in Belt and Road cooperation.

Mok Chi Wai, the president of the Macao Youth Federation, noted that Macau has a big development space in terms of cultural exchange, especially in regard to human resource communication between the youth and youth associations.

Sitou Tek lam, founder of the Belt and Road Scholarship Fund of Indonesia, explained what Macau can do to contribute to the Belt and Road strategy in terms of education.

“Macau has many universities and high level education institutions. They can recruit more Asian students to study in Macau and provide job opportunities for the students when they graduate from these Macau institutions,” said Sitou, adding that “Macau can settle job displacement institutes to help Asian graduate students find jobs in Macau.”

MAINLAND, MACAU TO UPGRADE CEPA

The Chinese mainland and Macau are negotiating on comprehensively upgrading the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangements (CEPA), which are expected to be completed at the end of this year, a senior official confirmed during the Conference on the Belt and Road and Macau’s Development. A meeting was held between representatives from China’s Ministry of Commerce and the local government’s Economy and Finance officials to negotiate on the terms and content of CEPA, especially those concerning guaranteeing investment, and deepening economic and technical cooperation, according to a press release on Friday. The mainland and Macau signed CEPA in 2003 in order to forge closer ties. In both 2014 and 2015, new agreements were signed under the framework of CEPA between them with the aim of further liberalizing trade in services. 

HELPING THE MSAR TO ‘GO GLOBAL’

The Belt and Road initiative will promote Macau’s industrial diversification and help it go global,” Hao Yufan, dean of Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Macau, told Xinhua.

Hao said Macau was an important stop along the ancient Maritime Silk Road and it will continue to play an important role in the development of Belt and Road: the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in particular.

Macau has unique geographical and language advantages, and it can take advantage of the “one country, two systems” principle in the development of the Belt and Road initiative he added.

The region should assume the role as the communication center as it is a place where eastern and western cultures meet, Hao suggested

China’s Belt and Road Hits A Snag In Myanmar

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/06/11/chinas-belt-and-road-hits-a-snag-in-myanmar/


China has been placing big bets on Myanmar recently, as it seeks to build crucial energy infrastructure for its Belt and Road initiative and regain influence after the country cozied up to Washington during the Obama years. As Reuters reports, however, China’s best-laid plans have been running into all kinds of opposition. The latest controversy is a much-delayed Chinese oil pipeline that has sparked protests and demands for compensation from local fishermen:

The pipeline is part of the nearly $10 billion Kyauk Pyu Special Economic Zone, a scheme at the heart of fast-warming Myanmar-China relations and whose success is crucial for the Southeast Asian nation’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. […]

China’s state-run CITIC Group [CITIC.UL], the main developer of the Kyauk Pyu Special Economic Zone, says it will create 100,000 jobs in the northwestern state of Rakhine, one of Myanmar’s poorest regions.

But many local people say the project is being rushed through without consultation or regard for their way of life.

Suspicion of China runs deep in Myanmar, and public hostility due to environmental and other concerns has delayed or derailed Chinese mega-projects in the country in the past.


The Kyauk Pyu pipeline is just the latest Chinese project in Myanmar to hit a snag. Earlier this year, China suggested it would back out of a $3.6 billion dam project that had triggered large protests.

Similar problems are popping up in Pakistan. Beijing’s schemes there have sparked local unrest, and its early efforts have exposed the Chinese to attacks from local insurgencies and guerrilla groups. This very week, two Chinese nationals working on a Pakistani infrastructure project were killed by ISIS terrorists, in what could be an eerie sign of things to come.

China is often credited with far-seeing strategic vision for its ambitious development initiatives like One Belt, One Road. But Beijing’s early track record on these projects show that they are more likely to turn into boondoggles than success stories—and China will inherit a host of headaches as it seeks to turns its aspirations into reality

Gwadar people in urgent need of potable water, Fehmida Jamali

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/06/11/gwadar-people-in-urgent-need-of-potable-water-fehmida-jamali/

Karachi13 HOURS AGO BY AGENCIES

KARACHI: Balochistan’s Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) women wing President Fehmida Jamali has said that the people of Gwadar are in urgent need of water.

Clean drinking water is a constitutional right of every citizen and the government has failed to provide it. “Transforming Gwadar into a Pakistani Dubai, New York, or Shanghai can wait. Drinking water for the people of Gwadar cannot,” she said.

🔴Though it is hard to imagine going without clean drinking water for 15 to 20 days consecutively, for the citizens of Gwadar, it is a fact of life. Residents of this coastal city get clean drinking water for just one hour, every two to three weeks.

Fehmida advised, “If you come to Gwadar, bring clean drinking water”.

Fehmida, while criticising the federal government, said that the centre thinks the multibillion CPEC projects will somehow transform Balochistan and free it from the dual scourges of poverty and insurgency that have plagued the province for years.

Politicians and the military establishment initiate ambitious projects with great fanfare, claiming that they will turn Pakistan into the next Asian tiger but Gwadar has yet to gain anything from all these projects, she said.

Over the years, many people have sought to draw attention to the gravity of the water supply issue in Gwadar. The problem is not new, she added.

Why does this untenable situation persist year after year? It’s not too difficult to comprehend. It can be stated in a single sentence: Over 200,000 people in this port city are in desperate need of access to clean drinking water. And yet for some reason, a solution to this very basic problem has not been forthcoming, she concluded

Balochistan budget to be announced on June 15

https://www.dawn.com/news/1339000/balochistan-budget-on-15th


The Newspaper's CorrespondentUpdated 33 minutes ago

QUETTA: Adviser to the Chief Minister on Finance Aslam Bezenjo will present Balochistan budget for the facial year 2017-18 in the provincial assembly on Thursday (June 15).

The budget outlay will be Rs325 billion, while Rs86bn would be allotted for development. It will be a deficit budget.

Finance Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told a pre-budget seminar that the development budget would be Rs16bn more than the current year’s allocation. He said that there would be a gap of Rs48-86bn between receipts and expenditures in the next financial year. He said Rs52bn would be allocated for education, Rs33bn for maintenance of public order, Rs23bn for public health, Rs21bn for public health engineering, Rs17bn for energy projects, Rs19bn for communications, Rs11bn for agriculture and Rs7bn for irrigation.

He said that Rs10bn would be allotted for setting up the Balochistan Bank.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

Additional Chief Secre­tary, Planning and Develop­ment, Dr Omer Babar told newsmen that out of Rs86bn development budget, 35 per cent fund would be spent on social sector projects, including education, health and water resources, and 30pc on agriculture, mines and minerals, fisheries and other productive sectors, while remaining 35pc would be spent on infrastructure, energy, irrigation and communications.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2017

Three policemen gunned down in Quetta

http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/392341-Three-policemen-gunned-down-in-Quetta-



  Last Updated On 11 June,2017 About 16 hours ago

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

QUETTA (Dunya News) – At least three police officers were shot dead and a passerby was injured in a shooting incident in Quetta today (Sunday).

Reportedly, two attackers on a motorcycle opened fire on a police post near Chaki Shahwani on Saryab Road, killing one officer on the spot and wounding two others before fleeing. The critically wounded policemen succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.

Law enforcement personnel have cordoned off the crime scene and launched investigation into the incident.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Law and order situation in Balochistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, remains disturbed as the province has been plagued for decades by terrorist attacks and sectarian killings. 

Balochistan is a key region for China s ambitious $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project linking its western province of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan

CPEC: Socio-cultural impact

http://nation.com.pk/columns/12-Jun-2017/cpec-socio-cultural-impact



June 12, 2017

The opportunities offered by the CPEC project are undeniable and manifest but can we ignore its socio-cultural impact? The influence of Eurocentric concepts on our society is evident today, which is a result of an era of colonialism and white supremacy.
Globalisation has already resulted in the diffusion of cultures to some extent.
The new Chinese rhetoric is the free trade and globalisation.
Similarly, cultural friction due to Chinese influx in Pakistan might occur as a result of the CPEC Project.

We see that day by day the Chinese people are seen more often in malls, restaurants and other places.
This is just the beginning of a grand cultural change.

Presently, English appears to be the dominant language when it comes to acquiring good jobs.
One has to be proficient in this language in order to cope with the society, and we have already seen urdu losing its significance.
Soon, the Chinese language would further lessen the value of Urdu.
We, as students, are often told that we would have to be good at Chinese in order to communicate and reach higher status positions as new companies and firms would be opened as a result of the project.
Premier Li Keqiang also made the promise to send 1000 teachers to Pakistan to teach the Chinese language in 2013 and today there are abundant Chinese teachers in Pakistan.

Chinese and Pakistani culture are utterly different when it comes to religion.
China has the biggest irreligious population; while our culture has strict religious values, norms and mores.
The CPEC routes will not only provide a means for the carrying of goods and other materials but also for the transfer of social customs, languages and beliefs among other things.
People to people contact would rise.
The Silk Road in the ancient world led to the transmission of Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and Islam.
Buddhism itself reached China through the Silk Road.
The travellers experienced different religions and then carried them back to their own native lands.
Diverse societies were formed throughout Eurasia.
The present era Silk Road is the revival of the ancient Silk Route.
At the same time, the positive aspect of the collaborations could be the imminent transmission of knowledge and new innovations which is indubitably a source of progress and growth.
Inter-cultural communication results in an increased commerce, technological growth and cooperation.
Chinese have made phenomenal progress in the past few years.
Hence, they stand as the finest example for us.

The ‘Shan masala’ advert showing a Chinese woman in Pakistani clothes bringing Biryani to a Pakistani home went viral.

In the near future, we can anticipate the vice versa to happen as well.
Earlier a photo showing a Pakistani woman marrying a Chinese man became a source of interest for many.
Some of you might have taken it as a joke but that is a real possibility.

The major transmitter of culture is the media.

The CPEC master plan revealed the plan to broadcast Chinese content on Pakistani televisions through Digital Television Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcasting (DTMB).

It was even reported that these services would be extended to the mountainous areas of Pakistan where you still find people living the traditional life.
For the past few years, Turkish and Indian drama series have been popular among people of almost all age groups.
They are intelligibly exhibiting unethical values having the tendency to influence people especially the youth, but there is nobody to be held accountable for.
Same could be the case in the context of CPEC.

A Chinese actor has already made appearance in the upcoming film ‘chalay thay saath’.
Likewise, there is much more to come.

China will be gaining a new business market in Pakistan.
One of the driving reasons behind the Belt and Road initiative was the saturation in their own markets or the overproduction.
China was determined to explore new markets in other countries.
Chinese products have already made their reputation in the previous years and are likely to become dominant in the coming ones as there has been a free trade agreement between the two countries.
This is a threat to the local markets and manufacturers.
Markets might become even more flooded with inexpensive Chinese products as they already are.
This will lead to the transmission of materialistic culture.

However, there is no harm in adopting valuable ethics.
For instance, Chinese work ethics are much more desirable than ours.
They strongly believe in the importance of hard work, dedication and commitment and this is one of the reasons for China’s fast economic growth.
While, a number of people here have poor work ethics particularly a lack of commitment which hinders the country’s progress.
Additionally, strong cooperation can ensure the success of the project.
If not, Chinese and Pakistanis, in their effort to compete and excel against one another, could bring on undesirable competition.

We as a nation have to understand the fact that progress lies in adopting and preserving one’s own culture rather than falling prey to the influence of other cultural values which are contrary to that of theirs while picking only the beneficial practices.
Otherwise, there is a threat to our centuries old preserved culture.
We are the guardians and defenders of our own culture

KP budget lacks funds for CPEC

http://pakobserver.net/kp-budget-lacks-funds-cpec/




Peshawar

Opposition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on second day of budget debate rejected the provincial budget for financial year 2017-18 and termed it a deficit one and said no direct relief was provided to poor segment of the society.
Parliamentary Leader of ANP, Sardar Hussain Babak, started debate and said that it was a horse trading budget adding that there was nothing new in the budget for the people of Khyber Pakhunkhwa.
He said that budget can be defined as a compilation of income and expenditures but the KP government did nothing for the poor people and the province. He said that the provincial government was taking the credit of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but there was nothing regarding CPEC in the budget.
Babak said that despite the government had announced educational emergency, not a single step had been taken for the regularization of National Testing Service (NTS) teachers adding that the government should provide details of 151,000 students enrolled from private to government schools in the province.
He said that Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project was presented in ordinance form and did not take the house into confidence. He said that the government has kept silent for the rights of the province adding the CM should raise voice in Council of Common Interest for the rights of KP.
The Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who was sitting in the House, took the floor and made it clear that they have talked to the donors to invest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and certainly with the investment the province will progress rather it would create any hardship for the people of KP.
The CM in his address to the house clarified that they have not levied any additional tax, adding that “we talked about collection of taxes and it would be made more transparent so that the collection of taxes would be increased.”
He said that the KP government mega project of Swat Motorway which cost Rs 38 billion, would facilitate the general masses after completion.
Qurban Khan of PTI said that there were huge corruptions in Billion Tree Tsunami Project adding that it will degrade Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chief Imran Khan in future.
Taking the floor Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Environment and Forest, Ishtiaq Urmar rejected Qurban’s speech and said that Billion Tree Tsunami Project was need of the hours and it was continueing transparently.
Mahmood Bettani of JUIF said that there was aproblem of clean drinking water in his constituency (Tank) adding that animals and human beings were drinking water from the same pond.
In response, Minister for Public Health Engineering, Shah Farman told that he personally will visit southern district in first week of July to resolve the issue. Mufti Said Janan of JUIF complained KP government for avoiding southern districts in developmental schemes.—APP

Head of VBMP chairman Nasrullah Baloch missing

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), a non-profit rights group.

Head of VBMP chairman Nasrullah Baloch missing


Pakistani forces arrested Nasrullah Baloch, chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, from his tailoring shop in Quetta.




Alert


BalochMissingPersons Nasarullah Baloch arrested by Pakistani security

Retweeted بلوچستان (@bnymn786):

Chairmain of Voice for #BalochMissingPersons Nasarullah Baloch arrested by Pakistani security forces in Quetta frm his shop @UN @hrw @BBC https://t.co/Gjd0FNmZkQ

China-Pakistan's dam projects in Gilgit-Baltistan should worry India

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/china-obor-cpec-gilgit-baltistan-indus-water-treaty-pakistan/story/1/17750.html


One of the solutions is to renegotiate the Indus Waters Treaty


 |  5-minute read |   11-06-2017

CLAUDE ARPI

 

---

Total Shares

On the occasion of the opening of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) forum in Beijing, President Xi Jinping urged countries across the globe to join hands with China in pursuit of globalisation: “We have no intention to form a small group detrimental to stability. What we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence.”

India has some doubts about the "big family". Take the example of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an OBOR offshoot; it crosses Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), considered by India an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir.

×

Not only has China pushed Islamabad to make GB a fifth province of Pakistan, but according to CNN-News18, “Information and interviews exclusively accessed by CNN-News18 showed that the land was procured mostly by force by Pakistani generals for the CPEC and those resisting are either killed off or incarcerated without a trial.”

Wajahat Hasan, chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan Thinkers Forum, told the same channel: “Thousands had their land snatched and occupied by the military authorities and their agencies. Under this black draconian rule, nobody can raise their voices against the CPEC.”

Issue

Another worrying issue: when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited China to attend the forum, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to fund and build five mega hydroelectric power (HEP) projects. The Pakistani press spoke of an Indus cascade of dams, two of them costing $27 billion (Rs 17,000 crore), being located in GB.

The Pakistani newspaper, The Express Tribune had earlier claimed that Pakistan and China would develop the North Indus River Cascade with an investment of $50 billion (Rs 32,000 crore) to generate up to 40,000 MW hydro power.

According to Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the Indus cascade will start from GB to reach the existing Tarbela dam downstream, not far from Islamabad.

At the MoU-signing ceremony, Nawaz Sharif affirmed: “Development of the North Indus Cascade is a major focus of my government and the construction of Diamer-Basha Dam is the single most important initiative in this regard.” He added, “Water and food security are of paramount importance for Pakistan keeping in view the challenges posed by climate change.”

A 7,100 MW HEP project will be built at Bunji on the way to Skardu, the capital of Baltistan. Though described by WAPDA as a run-of-the-river (RoR) project, it is clearly not one, as it will have a 22-km-long reservoir which will inundate 12km of the road between Gilgit and Skardu.

The next dam is the Diamer-Basha HEP with a potential of 4,500 MW. The Diamer-Basha reservoir will submerge some 104km of the Karakoram Highway and displace about 30,000 people, admits the WAPDA. It will cost $15 billion (Rs 965 crore). Both projects follow the Karakoram Highway in GB.

Joydeep Gupta, a water expert, explained in a news portal: “The Diamer-Basha dam is being promoted by WAPDA as a sediment trap and therefore good for downstream hydropower projects. But the same sediment — mainly silt — rejuvenates the soil downstream every year and has been the main reason why agriculture has been sustained in the Indus valley for millennia.”

But this does not bother the Pakistan politicians.

Projects

The other projects (the 4,320 MW Dasu HEP, the 2,200 MW Patan HEP, the 4,000 MW Thakot HEP using four headrace tunnels to divert waters and generate electricity) are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A "lost" Saraswati river in the making?

It has now been scientifically proved that big dams are not sustainable for several reasons; the first one being the amount of silt retained behind the dam, which stops nourishing downstream areas. Interestingly, there is a movement in the United States to progressively decommission all large dams which "kill" the river, with many species of fishes unable to migrate upstream.

Another important factor is the strong "dam lobby" in China which smells the billion dollars; it has been active since the time of Premier Li Peng and his mega Three Gorges dam. Nepal too seems to have fallen prey to this lobby. Nepal’s ministry of energy recently signed an MoU with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of a 1,200 MW Budhigandaki HEP, which will be the biggest hydro project in Nepal.

The agreement was signed at the prime minister’s residence, with the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal in attendance. The dam will be built under the "engineering, procurement, construction and finance" model. It means that CGGC will help arrange soft or commercial loans from China.

Warning

Already in August 2010, warning bells have been ringing in the corridors of South Block in Delhi.

The well-informed journalist, Selig Harrison, then wrote in The New York Times that according to “a variety of foreign intelligence sources, Pakistani journalists and Pakistani human rights workers”, two important new developments in Gilgit-Baltistan were taking place: “a simmering rebellion against Pakistani rule and the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army”.

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of Chinese workers (17,000 for the Daimer-Basha HEP only) will come to GB; a decade or so later, when the work is completed, many will "buy" land from Pakistan and settle for good in the area. Further, China is bound to develop GB as a "special" tourist destination (once the basic infrastructure is in place for the dams) and ultimately hordes of Chinese tourists will pour in to visit the "last paradise on earth".

How will India react? The time has perhaps come to think about this. Does New Delhi want a China Town in Skardu or Gilgit?

One of the solutions is to renegotiate the Indus Waters Treaty, signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan. With the latest developments, it seems completely outdated today.

(Courtesy: Mail Today.

Hong Kong needs youth power in its role as a belt and road super connector

http://m.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2097617/hong-kong-needs-youth-power-its-role-belt-and-road-super

Paul Yip and Yuan Ren say the expanding younger generation in belt and road countries can bring ‘population dividends’ with rightly channelled education and training. Hong Kong’s pledge to increase funding in these areas should be welcomed

Paul Yip  Yuan RenUPDATED : Sunday, 11 Jun 2017, 11:39AM

 2

Most of the discussion on China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” has tended to revolve around trade and business opportunities. Very little has been said about demographic dynamics – fundamental for the development of any country.

Over 62 per cent of the world’s population lives in the 65 countries along the belt and road, but these nations have only a 30 per cent share of the global GDP. This represents enormous development potential.

The initiative should be promoted under the framework of globalised moral integrity

However, some nations doubt China’s intentions, and its ability to manage and implement this ambitious strategy, or assume it is a covert attempt to transfer excess manufacturing capacity. Amid rising protectionism around the world, how should China position its initiative and guide itself?

ADVERTISEMENT

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

We believe the initiative should be promoted under the framework of globalised moral integrity, never as “neocolonialism in the 21st century”. It should be based on equality and respect, under the philosophy of “coexisting, co-creating and co-sharing”.

Watch: Belt and Road: what, when, why, how?

Discussing population and development along the belt and road at the recent Shanghai Forum, experts highlighted the pressures of an expanding youth population in Central and South Asia. This “population dividend” could create huge opportunities, with the necessary infrastructure and policy support. But we must also invest in young people’s education and skills training. If we fail to create high-quality and local young talent to enhance productivity, or the market is unable to absorb the extra labour force, this potential advantage may instead increase the chance of social instability due to high youth unemployment, as seen in some Western countries.

Economic development won’t solve all geopolitical problems, but it can eliminate poverty, improve schooling levels and promote well-being. Countries can achieve long-term sustainable growth only if people’s livelihoods are stable.

Chief executive highlights Hong Kong’s advantages under ‘One Belt, One Road’

The Hong Kong community is still largely sceptical of the belt and road due to a lack of understanding of the countries involved. There is much work to be done to serve as an effective “super connector”, as the chief executive has suggested.

 

We need to strengthen our role as a hub for labour, professional services, logistics, capital and information flows. How best to position Hong Kong is a challenge that needs our urgent attention.

It is pleasing to see the next administration allocating more resources to research and development, youth education and skills training.

Paul Yip is chair professor in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Yuan Ren is a professor in the School of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University. Haiyue Shan and Mengni Chen also contributed to the article

China links Belt and Road plans with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/china-links-belt-and-road-plans-with-shanghai-cooperation-organisation/story-yJerxFqASfY4zFpOlUsveJ.html


 

    

World leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday.(AP)

Updated: Jun 11, 2017 16:33 IST

By Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing

Beijing has linked last week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit with the “spirit” of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying President Xi Jinping’s visit to Astana will give impetus to the ambitious connectivity project that aims to link China with Europe and Africa.

The attempt to link the SCO to BRI — in a post-summit speech by foreign minister Wang Yi and in state media articles — could make new member India uneasy.

New Delhi became a member of the Beijing-led SCO at the end of the summit last week but that was preceded by the high-profile boycott of the Belt and Road Forum just last month. India cited “sovereignty” issues over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — a key component of the BRI — passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as the reason behind the boycott.

India was easily the most notable absentee at the forum, attended by nearly 30 heads of state and hundreds of international delegates, where Jinping pledged billions of dollars for projects under the BRI.

But the attempt by China seems to be to link all major mechanisms and initiatives under the BRI, including the SCO, a security bloc launched by Beijing in 2001.

Foreign minister Wang Yi said on Saturday that Xi’s trip to Kazakhstan added “…impetus to the building of the Belt and Road” besides strengthening the “community of shared future and opens up broad prospects for peace and prosperity in the region”

“This is Xi’s first foreign visit after he presided over the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and also a major diplomatic activity of China in the Eurasia region,” Wang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

“This tour embodies the ‘Silk Road Spirit,’ which features peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” Wang said, referring to two components of the BRI – the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.

Xi first talked about the Silk Road Economic Road in Kazakhstan in 2013.

“Four years later, when Xi returned to Astana, the initiative has been translated from a proposal into actions, and from a concept into practice,” Xinhua wrote.

The state media also quoted scholars linking the two.

“It is necessary for the SCO to further strengthen economic cooperation, and Central Asian countries welcomed the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which gives more impetus to the economic cooperation among SCO member states,” Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua.

“While China holds the rotating chair of the SCO, it needs to make more efforts in promoting and implementing the concept of common economic development, which is the core of the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Alexey Maslov, head of the Oriental Studies Department at the Russian Higher School of Economics Research University

Xi's Kazakhstan trip carries on 'Silk Road Spirit,' charts new chapter for cooperation

http://www.china.org.cn/world/2017-06/11/content_41005513.htm



Xinhua, June 11, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping, other leaders and guests pose for a group photo before the opening ceremony of the Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, June 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

The just concluded trip of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kazakhstan adds impetus to the building of the Belt and Road, cements the bond among countries for the community of shared future and opens up broad prospects for peace and prosperity in the region, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.

Xi left Astana on the same day for home after a state visit to Kazakhstan, where he attended the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

"This is Xi's first foreign visit after he presided over the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and also a major diplomatic activity of China in the Eurasia region," Wang told the press.

"This tour embodies the 'Silk Road Spirit,' which features peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit," he noted.

ELEVATING CHINA-KAZAKHSTAN TIES TO NEW HEIGHT

The relationship between China and Kazakhstan has witnessed rapid development since they established diplomatic ties 25 years ago.

In Astana, Xi held talks with his old friend, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, to take stock of the achievements the two countries have made and to chart the course for future cooperation.

This trip marked Xi's third state visit to the Central Asian country and it has been the 16th meeting between the two leaders since 2012.

Noting that the political mutual trust has reached an unprecedented height, Xi said China is willing to build "a stronger community of shared interests and shared future" with Kazakhstan, and hopes the two countries can be "good neighbors, friends and partners forever."

Xi and Nazarbayev agreed to maintain close high-level and institutional exchanges, respect the two country's choices of development path and policies in accordance with their respective national conditions, support each other's efforts in safeguarding their core interests, and jointly address the challenges to regional security and stability.

On Thursday, Xi, accompanied by Nazarbayev, visited the Chinese national pavilion of the Expo 2017 in Astana and attended the opening ceremony of the Expo. Xi's attendance shows support not only for the Kazakh side in organizing the event, but also for Central Asia countries in pursuing development and seeking growing international standing.

LEADING SCO TOWARDS NEW DEVELOPMENT

Over the past 16 years since its establishment, the SCO has developed into a significant platform for enhancing mutual trust, deepening good neighborliness and friendship, expanding pragmatic cooperation and maintaining regional security and stability between the member states.

The SCO summit accepted India and Pakistan as its full members in its first expansion since its founding in 2001, making it the world's most populous regional cooperative organization and the largest by area.

Welcoming the new members, Xi called on the SCO to "carry forward the fine tradition of solidarity and coordination."

"All member states, old and new, should work in close coordination, deepen mutual trust and increase mutual support in their endeavor to build a community of shared future featuring equality, mutual support, solidarity and sharing of weal and woe," Xi said while addressing the annual gathering of the SCO heads of state.

Xi also proposed that the SCO draw up a five-year outline for implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation and formulate a three-year program of cooperation to fight the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

OPENING UP NEW CHAPTER FOR BELT AND ROAD BUILDING

Back in 2013 in Kazakhstan, Xi first proposed the initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt, starting the process of Belt and Road cooperation.

The Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

Four years later, when Xi returned to Astana, the initiative has been translated from a proposal into actions, and from a concept into practice.

In their talks, Xi and Nazarbayev agreed to further integrate the Belt and Road Initiative with Kazakhstan's development strategy of "Nurly Zhol," or "Bright Path" in the Kazakh language.

Kazakhstan is a major country located along the Belt and Road routes. Xi's visit facilitates the joint efforts of China and Kazakhstan in building the Belt and Road and in their capacity cooperation.

The Chinese leader urged concerted efforts of both countries to make the new Eurasia land and maritime routes linked by Lianyungang and Horgos pilot projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to promote peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and exchanges of civilizations along these paths.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.

Pakistan scrambles to protect China's "Silk Road" pioneers

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/pakistan-scrambles-to-protect-china-s--silk-road--pioneers-8937202

Chastened by the Islamic State's claim to have killed two kidnapped Chinese teachers, Pakistan is beefing up security around Chinese citizens streaming into the country on the back of Beijing's "Belt and Road" infrastructure splurge.

Pakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif and his wife Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif pose with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan during Belt and Road welcome ceremony in Beijing

11 Jun 2017 07:10PM

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Chastened by the Islamic State's claim to have killed two kidnapped Chinese teachers, Pakistan is beefing up security around Chinese citizens streaming into the country on the back of Beijing's "Belt and Road" infrastructure splurge.

China has often urged Pakistan to improve security after pledging around US$57 billion to build power plants, railways, and roads that will cross the Himalayas to connect western China with Pakistan's Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.

Pakistani officials have outlined to Reuters extensive security plans that include thousands-strong police protection forces, tighter monitoring of Chinese nationals, and in the province of Baluchistan - where the two teachers were kidnapped on May 24 - a review of security arrangements.

The protection forces will buttress a 15,000-strong army division set up specifically to safeguard projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, which has been credited with rejuvenating Pakistan's US$300 billion economy.

"We are already alert, but this incident has made us extra vigilant over Chinese security," said Amin Yousafzai, deputy inspector general of police for the southern province of Sindh, which is home to about 50 million people.

Advertisement

Sindh is raising a protection unit of about 2,600 police officers to help safeguard 4,000 Chinese working on CPEC projects, and another 1,000 working in other businesses.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which signed billions of dollars in contracts with Chinese companies, is also conducting a census of Chinese nationals and raising a force of about 4,200 officers to protect foreigners.

Baluchistan would "review the whole security arrangement" and Chinese nationals who come in a private capacity should inform the authorities about their activities, said Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, spokesman for the provincial government.

The number of militant attacks in Pakistan has fallen sharply in recent years, but violent Islamist groups still pose a threat, and in Baluchistan separatists opposed to CPEC also carry out attacks.

The Islamic State killings were a rare attack on Chinese nationals in Pakistan, but the incident has unnerved Islamabad and the growing Chinese community.

Miftah Ismail, a state minister involved in CPEC planning, said Pakistan had devoted huge resources to improving security and Chinese investors should not be put off by a one-off attack.

"The country's security situation has improved," Ismail said.

The scale of the task facing security agencies is increasing by the day as more Chinese entrepreneurs arrive to set up businesses. Most stay in big cities, but some venture into riskier areas.

The challenge for authorities will increase in 2018, when the corridor is due to become operational and trucks ferrying goods to and from China cross more than 1,000 km (620 miles) of road in remote Baluchistan areas currently off-limits to foreigners.

PROTECTION FORCE

The two Chinese-language teachers were kidnapped by gunmen pretending to be police, but little else is known about how the they ended up in Baluchistan's provincial capital, Quetta.

Baluchistan's government afterwards evacuated 11 other Chinese nationals based in the city. "There are no more Chinese living in Quetta", said Ahsan Mehboob, Baluchistan's inspector general of police. It was not clear why the 11 were there.

The new Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa forces resemble the Special Protection Unit (SPU) recently established by Punjab, Pakistan's biggest province, which has attracted most Chinese investment.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was already working on plans to set up the force, but after the Quetta kidnappings the process was "accelerated", according to one regional official. Sindh was also planning to set up a force before the Quetta attack, and was now expanding it, another official said.

Punjab's SPU, dedicated to protecting Chinese nationals and other foreigners, has more than 6,000 officers and is set to grow to 10,000.

Raja Jahangir, Punjab secretary for information, said SPU chiefs hold daily meetings with intelligence agencies and police chiefs to ensure Chinese nationals stay safe, while a database has been set up to track foreigners from their arrival, to their hotels, and their departure.

Jahangir said security has been stepped up since the Quetta attacks.

"Almost all personnel are on alert and they are on their toes," he said.

(Additional reporting by Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi and Gul Yousafzai in Quetta; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Source: Reuters
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/pakistan-scrambles-to-protect-china-s--silk-road--pioneers-8937202

Connetions between Afghan Situation and CPEC

http://www.asiantribune.com/node/90563

Sun, 2017-06-11 08:18 — editor

By Zaheerul Hassan

Since 1st June 2017, in four blasts more than 140 killed and over 500 individuals were injured in Afghan Capital “Kabul”. Security elements, women and children were the victims of terrorism. In the first blast more than 90 killed and 400 people injured. On the very next day, the funeral of the same individuals was hit by three consecutive suicidal attacks that led to 24 deaths and more than 100 injured.

In these blasts Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of Afghanistan, foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and several senior Afghan officials and politicians were present for the funeral of Salim Ezadyar, the son of a senior Afghan senator Mr. Alam Ezadyar (the deputy speaker of the upper house of Afghanistan’s Parliament) was among the protesters shot dead by police at violent demonstrations in Kabul on 1st Jun 2017.

Including Pakistani, many foreign diplomats were also injured in addition to missing of many Afghani citizens. The local inhabitants showed anger and felt mourn over the killing of their loved ones at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. Kabul’s residents are increasingly angry at the chronically fragile security situation. Unfortunately, these unlucky people went to fetch a loaf of bread for their children and later that evening, their dead body is sent back to the family.

Anyhow, just after the blast, the Taliban issued a statement in which they categorically denied to take the responsibility and also condemned the excessive loss of civilian life. On the other hand, Afghan establishment just started molesting Pakistani supreme intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) instead of tightening and beefing up Kabul’s security, tracing out culprits behind the attacks and taking care of Injured persons. In this context, Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency has alleged that with the help of ISI, the Haqqani network, an affiliate group directly integrated into the Taliban has executed planned blasts in Kabul city. But it was denied by the Pakistani foreign ministry and also strongly condemned the suicidal attacks in Afghan capital. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa openly condemned the terrorists’ attacks against innocent Afghan people.

Even on 6th June 2017, Pakistan Army Chief has shown solidarity with Afghan nation in a special Corps Commander Conference in GHQ headed by him. According to Inter Services (ISPR) press release, the conference reviewed regional security environment in the backdrop of recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan. Forum expressed solidarity with the Afghan people and Security Forces on loss of precious lives and vowed to continue its support and cooperation with Afghanistan in fight against terrorism and militancy.

The forum took exception to the unwarranted accusations and threats against Pakistan in the aftermath of Kabul blast. The forum also concluded that instead of blaming Pakistan, Afghanistan needs to look inward and identify the real issues. The conference also very clearly conveyed the message to her adversaries that the interior and exterior boundaries would be defended with full strength and also reaffirmed to continue supporting regional peace and stability. According to South Asia Terrorist Portal (SATP) since 2003 to 4 June 2017 Pakistan lost 21760 innocent civilians and 6742 security sacrificed their lives in elimination of more than 62136 terrorists.

Moreover, Pakistan is suffering foreign sponsored terrorism whose bases are very much located inside Afghanistan. Despite all this, for the last 37 years Pakistan has looked after over five million Afghan Refugees. Out of these in the last two years around 4.2 million Afghan refugees have returned back voluntarily under the UNHCR-funded Voluntary Repatriation programme. But UNHCR and Pakistani officials have stated that some 1.34 million registered refugees still live in Pakistan. Estimates say there are a further half million undocumented refugees in the country. In short, instead of acknowledging favours and sacrifices of Pakistan they start alleging its supreme intelligence agency ISI for deteriorated security situation in Afghanistan.

Earlier, on the same day, Mr. Alexey Yurevich Dedov, Russian Ambassador to Pakistan called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ and discussed the matters related to regional security and enhanced military cooperation particularly in defence and training areas.

However, various observers, analysts and opinion makers all over the globe have given many opinions about the recent Kabul’ blasts. Some believe that insurgent groups like Daesh or ISIS were behind the high-profile attacks and some stated that Kabul was knocked down as revenge for the execution of 11 Taliban militants ordered by President Ghani on 31 May 2017. But before reaching to the conclusion and giving any final verdict one must evaluates and take the over view of likely objectives behind terrorists’ activities in the holy month of Ramadan, prevailing security and political environment of the country.

Politically speaking, land locked Afghanistan being governed by various tribal heads and groups, those are culturally, ethnically and religiously do not have any cohesiveness and unity amongst them. Major Afghan portion of population are forced to spend the life below the poverty line. Lack of jobs, illiteracy, less medical and civic facilities are common features of society. Anyhow a ray of hope to for the inhabitants’ lives was felt in May 2017, when delegation consists of Pakistani ruling and military elite and Chinese officials visited Kabul and tried to convince Afghan counterparts for joining CEPC project. According to sources Afghan government has shown positive signal of joining to the said project. Likewise, Taliban groups although fighting against Americans’ troops and ruling Afghan establishment were indeed willing, not to create any hindrance in trade corridor in addition to guarantee the safe transit of goods from Central Asian States and Russia via CPEC.

In this regard, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan agreed to “advance practical cooperation” in various areas of mutual interests, mutual benefit and regional economic integration under the framework of the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative. Purpose of holding talks was to have cooperation among Troika for conducive peace, stability and developing Afghanistan and region. Here, in Pakistan and China everybody is convinced that The CPEC is expected to be a “game-changer” in South Asia that was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping 2013. for being the flagship project of the ambitious OBOR initiative, also called as BRI.

This multimillion project was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The project is going to connect china’s Xinjiang region to Pakistani Gwadar Port It will help in developing infrastructure, establishing of Industrial zones. The CPEC is a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development project that aims to connect China’s Xinjiang region to Pakistan’s Gwadar port. Therefore, due to heavy influx of money CPEC has drawn regional and global attention. Almost more than 54 countries going to get benefit from CPEC. Thus, poor Afghan nation will be one of the major beneficiary since trade routes to Russia and Central Asian states has to connect through Afghanistan to main CPEC route to Gwadar Port. The remunerations due to provision of transit facility, establishment of factories and development of infrastructures will help Afghanistan to bring fortune for its inhabitants. Therefore, government decision of joining CPEC is absolutely correct and will definitely lead to prosperity and help in getting rid of Indian and American influence.

These ruling elite only has effective control over one fourth of the country while the rest of the Afghanistan is being run by local Taliban commanders. Around 8,400 US military staff and 5000 soldiers from NATO ally countries are currently based and operated in only in major cities. In March, Pentagon pressed President Donald Trump to send fresh reinforcement troops to deal with the deteriorating security situation. The purpose of continuity in deployment and reinforcing of troops is to look after future US interest in the region and counter growing Russian, Chinese and Pakistani influence in Afghanistan.

Indian intelligence RAW in collaboration to CIA is also active in Afghanistan. Its major task is to support those militant and separatists’ groups who are fighting against Pakistan and also covertly keep on taking steps in further deteriorating Afghan security environment. Regrettably, most of the high ranks of The National Directorate of Security (NDS) including top brass of civil Afghan’s government are playing in the hands of CIA and RAW to operate against Pakistan and damage local and regional Afghan interests. Nonetheless, USA is not feeling comfortable since then. Afghanistan and Russian accepted to join CPEC feeling direct threat to American regional interests.

Therefore, factually stating CIA, RAW and NDS are responsible for the recent Kabul blasts, continuous deteriorating security situation, creating instability and making efforts to stop Afghan government from joining CPEC. Regardless to the past, now Afghan government has to realize that prosperity of its nation lies in restoring peace, political stability, securing region, good relations with neighbors, stop anti-Pakistan elements to use its territory against neighbors and last but not the least has to say Goodbye to Trump forces. Let the nation to select their representatives through free election.

- Asian Tribune

Anticipating opportunities under CPEC, Chinese students learning Urdu

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/209984-Anticipating-opportunities-under-CPEC-Chinese-students-learning-Urdu


APP

June 11, 2017


BEIJING: Urdu may be a bit more challenging than other languages, but a growing number of Chinese students are choosing to learn it anticipating opportunities to be offered by Chinese companies carrying out development projects in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The history of Urdu teaching started with establishment of first Urdu Language Department at Peking University in 1951. Later, the universities in the Chinese cities of Xian and Guangzhou also set up Urdu departments.

Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) has been teaching Urdu since 2007 and till now two batches of its students have completed their degree, Head of Urdu Department, School of Asian and African Studies, Zhou Yuan said in an interview.

Out of total rolled-out students, a few have got admissions on scholarships in foreign universities for higher education while some joined different companies. At present, the third batch of 20 students is studying Urdu, she added.

The BFSU will send its students to National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad and Government College University, Lahore for six months during third year of their studies to get a better chance to improve their speaking and writing skills.

In this regard, the university gets financial support from the government of Pakistan and Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing, Zhou Yuan, who has adopted a Pakistani name ‘Nasreen’ told APP here.

She informed besides, teaching language to the students of Urdu department, the university organizes competitions of Urdu calligraphy, speech contest and cultural activities to aware the students about Pakistan and its people.

“Such activities not only increases interest of Urdu learning but it enhances standard of Urdu language among Chinese students,” Yuan Yuhang (Shabnam), who is teaching Urdu at the University for the last one year after quitting her job from a bank.

Zhou Yuan said many Chinese students are learning Urdu at different universities and institutes around the country, including Beijing.

The reasons for learning Urdu vary. Some have been romanced by Pakistan’s culture, food and landscape; other by the beauty of the language itself. Yet, others see learning Urdu as a practical means of eventually working with Chinese companies carrying out different projects under CPEC framework in Pakistan.

To cope with the demand, several universities in Shanghai, Tianjian, Kunming, Urumqi and Inner Mongolia are considering setting up Urdu departments, Zhou Yuan said.

Today, the Urdu department of her university has a batch of 20 Chinese students. They are attracted by the prospect of an affordable education and a job.

Some of them hope to get a job with a Chinese company in Pakistan.

Others will go on to further studies in foreign countries and chance of good jobs in Chinese universities, diplomatic service, banks, hotels and airlines etc, she added.

A Chinese student having a Pakistan name ‘Rabia’ said she intends to become an Urdu teacher after completing her study. “I have a passion to learn Urdu and teach this language of our deep-rooted friendly country to my countrymen.”

To a student Zhang Yi (Afia), Urdu is an interesting and beautiful language. She admitted although it is difficult to learn Urdu, but it is imperative as she wants to learn more about Pakistani culture.

The Chinese students, Mehtab, Mehrin and Alizeh also spoke about their interest in Urdu and vowed to play important role in enhancing Sino-Pak friendship and economic cooperation.

Other Chinese students, Moosa, Junaid and Amer said they are learning Urdu to further promote cultural and people to people contact.

They said the number of students is increasing with the passage of time because of job opportunities for Chinese who can also speak good Urdu. Students can see the tides changing and expect that knowing Urdu would mean more job opportunities, in Pakistan and in China.

This is reflected in many students’ responses when asked about their interest in learning the language. Another student said while he is interested in learning different languages, ‘choosing Urdu is aimed at starting my own import and export business”.

The increased interest in learning Urdu means that more students from around China are interested to enlist in the University, hence, we are considering for launching a new batch to accommodate more students, Zhou Yuan concluded