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Showing posts from June 14, 2017

Blood on the tracks of the New Silk Roads ASIA  TIMES TheBrief China's COSCO shipping has suspended services to Qatar after several Arab countries severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf state. Photo: Reuters CHINA QATAR Qatar chaos sends ripples of economic anxiety across the region By  PEPE ESCOBAR JUNE 14, 2017 6:05 PM (UTC+8) 247 4 China’s cardinal foreign policy imperative is to refrain from interfering abroad while advancing the proverbial good relations with key political actors – even when they may be at each other’s throats. Still, it’s nothing but gut-wrenching for Beijing to watch the current, unpredictable, Saudi-Qatari standoff. There’s no endgame in sight, as  plausible scenarios  include even regime change and a seismic geopolitical shift in Southwest Asia – what a Western-centric view calls the Middle East. THE DAILYBrief Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox And blood on the tracks in Southwest Asia cannot but translate int

Iran, China Team Up on New Silk Road Project Wednesday, June 14, 2017 Saeed Jalili . . Domestic Economy Desk The 926-km railroad linking the capital Tehran to the eastern religious tourism hub of Mashhad is part of China's New Silk Road initiative named "One Belt, One Road", which will cut short a long journey for Iranian passengers and cargo. “All obstacles to the implementation of the project have been removed and, next week, operations for the electrification of Tehran-Mashhad line will begin,” deputy for Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Maziar Yazdani, said. “Previously we had signed a contract regarding the financing of the project–a $1.6 billion cheap loan,” he was quoted as saying by ILNA in a press conference. China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation, known as CMC, is in charge of the railroad's electrification. Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, deputy minister of roads and urban deve

Silk Road in the air' links to Luxembourg 'By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-15 07:07 China supports building a Silk Road in the air between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday. The two countries should deepen cooperation in finance and production capacity within the framework of building the Belt and Road, Xi said when meeting with visiting Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Beijing on Wednesday The airfreight industry has been a highlight of Bettel's official visit to China, which started on Sunday. His country already serves as a key partner of China for financial services in Europe. Observers said there is huge potential for cooperation in air transportation when countries, particularly European countries, are helping build the Belt and Road with China. On Monday, Bettel and Premier Li Keqiang witnessed the signing of a joint investment deal involving airline fre

Exclusive: How Doval drafted "Balochistan plot" to make China bow down to India The truth is that, although Ajit Doval has not been able to control the situation in Kashmir so far, his policy regarding the Balochistan is certainly been successful in increasing pressure on China 14 June 04:44 2017 Deepak Sharma    @deepakIndSamvad New Delhi, June 14:  National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has given a tremendous response to the "conspiracy" through which China had been trying to weaken India taking help of its rapidly growing strength. Doval's aggressive strategy towards Balochistan has compelled China to bow to India. Embroiled in this new master plan of Doval, China's President Xi Jinping was forced to embrace Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Doval grabbed China's sore throat The truth is that for the past few years, China was making an indirect challenge to India by increasing its penetration within Pakis

Russian helicopter to be delivered to Balochistan authorities next week National 9 SECONDS AGO BY  PAKISTANTODAY QUETTA: A Russian-made helicopter purchased by the Balochistan government earlier this year will be delivered to the provincial government next week. The Balochistan authorities had concluded a contract with Russian Helicopters for a Mi-171 civil helicopter. In this regard, finance secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani had visited Moscow last month to finalise arrangements for delivery of the helicopter in Balochistan. The pilot and crew of the Mi-171 have already received their training in Moscow. The helicopter costs  $15.2 million and will be arriving in Lahore by June 21. Thereafter, it will be handed over to the Balochistan government. Durrani told local media outlet that the copter can serve multiple purposes. It can accommodate  14  VIPs and 26 other passengers. In the case of medical emergencies, the copter has a capacity

Battagram locals halt work on CPEC tunnel project protesting non-payment of compensation Umar Bacha Updated about 10 hours ago Almost 100 locals in Battagram's Gajborai area on Tuesday stormed the site of a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, forcing Chinese workers to halt construction, in protest over non-payment of compensation for their land. A photograph of the under-construction tunnel falling under the CPEC. ─ Photo by author. Nearly 1,000 locals have been affected by the construction of a tunnel falling under the CPEC scheme that runs for 60 kilometres from Kas Bridge to Thakoot Bridge. Locals fear that as work on the tunnel progresses, their houses will be demolished and land seized, as the government has already seized the land of some locals without making compensatory payment, members of a local action committee told  Dawn . The 35-member CPEC Affectees Action Committee headed by Haji Anwar Baig, Gul Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Hanif and Altaf Hussain led the protest, which was staged after locals  warned th

CPEC: the need for a second look by India New Delhi should open negotiations with the Chinese to explore if CPEC can be extended west to Afghanistan and east to India Subscribe to our newsletter. Ranjit Singh Kalha China’s Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi. India will be faced with a daunting challenge as the construction and other activities pick up in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the years ahead. Photo: AFP Most narratives on the subject published in India stress that as the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) traverses through Indian sovereign territory in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) which is a part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India is well within its rights to refuse any participation. This stand is a principled one with considerable merit. While this position meets with the short-term tactical requirements it does not answer what should be India’s lon

India, Australia kick off joint exercise Down Under Indrani Bagchi | TNN | Updated: Jun 15, 2017, 06.21AM IST HIGHLIGHTS The first AUSINDEX was held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015.Australia and India are natural partners in maritime security, particularly in the region where India has its greatest strategic interests. NEW DELHI: Weeks after India refused  Australia 's request to join the Malabar exercises, Indian warships began a week-long naval exercise off the coast of western Australia. The second AUSINDEX exercises, the first in the  Indian Ocean , are aimed at increasing interoperability between Australian and Indian naval forces, executing complex naval manoeuvres. The first AUSINDEX was held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015. The bilateral exercises come on the back of two apparently contradictory developments. As the only countries with the largest Indian Ocean coastline, Australia and India are natural partners in mar

Akhtar Mengal in US

Picture of the day

Greatness is not in words, rather actions that comes out from heart.

China-led AIIB boasts rising lending power BY  AGENCE FRANCE - PRESSE ON JUNE 15, 2017 BUSINESS    BEIJING: The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank expects to more than double its lending power for regional projects over the next five years, a top executive said, denying it was an arm of the Communist Party. The brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the multilateral financial institution was launched in January 2016 to counter Western dominance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It has already bankrolled a dozen projects, including a highway in Pakistan, a power plant in Myanmar and a deepwater port in Oman, and AIIB’s vice president Thierry de Longuemar said more will follow. So far none of the projects are part of Beijing’s much-vaunted Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, but de Longuemar said the bank would be prepared to get involved but not as “an instrument” of the government. China is the ba

AIIB to host meeting in South Korea's Jeju island June 14, 2017 9:14 pm JST Beijing, Seoul set aside tensions, as speculation mounts over Xi's attendance KIM JAEWON, Nikkei staff writer President of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Jin Liqun speaks at a news conference in Beijing in January 2016. © Reuters SEOUL -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will host its second annual meeting in the South Korean resort island Jeju over the weekend, as the Beijing-led organization seeks to expand its role and leadership beyond China. About 2,500 participants from 77 member countries will discuss the direction of AIIB, a multinational development bank, under the theme of sustainable infrastructure, South Korea's finance ministry said. The list includes Chinese Minister of Finance Xiao Jie, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as well as Sri Mulyani Indrawati, their Indonesian counterpart. South Korea's new Finance Min

The Contentious International Waltz Over the South China Sea BY  ALESSANDRO URAS  ON  14/06/2017 • For long, South Asian countries have protested Chinese aggressions in the naval region, while a distracted White House shows tepid commitment to back them. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey transits the South China Sea May 6, 2017. Credit: Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters The South China Sea is a volatile place – or rather, its politics are. China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have been fighting over this azure stretch of the Pacific  for more than a century . But tensions increased markedly in recent years as China, claiming the South China Sea as its own, has built on and militarised some 250 islands off the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, along with an  arbitration tribunal , are now  challenging  the legitimacy of China’s presence there. Meanwhile, the

Chinese nationals murdered in Balochistan not ‘preachers’, says South Korea, rejects Pakistan’s allegations Chinese nationals murdered in Balochistan not ‘preachers’, says South Korea, rejects Pakistan’s  allegations  | HT Exclusive The murders of Lee  Zingyang , 24, and  Meng   Lisi , 26, have raised questions about the security of Chinese workers in Pakistan, central to Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.         File photo of the two Chinese nationals who were kidnapped last month from Quetta city of southwest Pakistan. The Amaq agency said on Jun 8, 2017 that the Islamic State had killed the two Chinese nationals.(Twitter) Updated: Jun 14, 2017 20:19 IST By Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing South Korea on Wednesday rejected Pakistan’s contention that  two Chinese nationals abducted and killed by Islamic State in Balochistan  were preaching Christianity under the guis

Baloch protesters demonstrate against Pak atrocities in front of iconic 'Broken Chair' in Geneva

Baloch protesters demonstrate against Pak atrocities in front of iconic 'Broken Chair' in Geneva The protesters accused Pakistan of illegally annexing Balochistan in 1948 and alleged that the Punjabi-dominated state government has, on purpose, kept the region undeveloped. Members of the Baloch Voice Association on Monday protested in front of the iconic “Broken Chair” in Geneva against the atrocities being committed by the Pakistan Army on the residents of Balochistan. The protesters held the demonstration during the 35th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The protest was also joined by the Baloch Kashmiri Pashtoon and Uighur representatives. The protesters accused Pakistan of illegally annexing Balochistan in 1948 and alleged that the Punjabi-dominated state government has, on purpose, kept the region undeveloped. They also alleged that Pakistan is using brute force to suppress  demands of independence being raised in Balochistan. "Balochistan, the

Rethinking Baloch Secularism: What the Data Say

36 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2017  C. Christine Fair Georgetown University Ali Hamza Georgetown University Date Written: April 4, 2017 Abstract Since 1947, Baloch have resisted inclusion into the Pakistan and have waged several waves of ethno-nationalist insurgency against the state. Scholars and Baloch nationalist leaders alike generally assert that Baloch are more secular than other Pakistanis, more opposed to the political Islamist policies pursued by the state, and less supportive of Islamist militancy in the country. However, these claims lack empirical support. We employ data derived from a large national survey of Pakistanis from 2012 to evaluate these conventional wisdoms. Contrary to claims in the literature,we find that Baloch resemble Pakistanis generally with few important exceptions. Download Complete Report 🔴Here is final comment of the report ▶"What does this analysis say about the ongoing conflict in Balochistan? While there is evidence that Baloch are in

China’s dangerous ethnic policies in Xinjiang 12 June 2017 Author: Ben Hillman, ANU In the latest tightening of the screws on China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, authorities have banned the use of several baby names, including Muhammad, Haji, Islam and Imam. According to authorities, the naming regulations are designed to curtail ‘religious fervour’. But the ruling also targets Uyghur nationalism, which is often conflated with Islamic extremism in China. Names with the stem ‘Turk’ — such as Turkizat and Turkinaz — are also banned. But curiously Mehmet — the Turkic (and Uyghur) version of Muhammad and a very common male name in Xinjiang — has not been banned, suggesting that senior Communist Party officials might be unaware of its meaning. If so, this is a reminder of the cultural illiteracy and insensitivity that frequently underlies policymaking in the region. The ruling on baby names follows an earlier ban on ‘abnormal’ beards and

In Pakistan, China presses built-in advantage for "Silk Road" contracts By Reuters | Updated: Jun 14, 2017, 07.17 AM IST In Pakistan, whose geographical position makes it central to Beijing's "Silk Road" plans, contracts have been awarded for projects worth more than $28 billion. ISLAMABAD: Last year,  Pakistan  held informal talks with General Electric, Siemens and Switzerland's ABB to build the country's first high-voltage transmission line. Chinese power giant State Grid committed to building the $1.7 billion project in half the time of its European counterparts - and clinched the deal.  This is a familiar tale in Pakistan and many other countries.  As  China  makes its "Belt and Road" initiative - a massive project to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and maritime routes - a policy priority for the next decade, ▶ Chinese  companies are taking the lion's