Skip to main content

New entrants in Xi’s Belt and Road dreams

Atul Aneja

SEPTEMBER 15, 2018 19:58 IST

Later in September, Hong Kong’s first high-speed train will head for Guangzhou, a port city and industrial power house. Its 200-km-an-hour sprint will finally end in nearby Shenzhen, the crucible of China’s reforms. The high-speed train will cover a short span of 141 km between Hong Kong’s West Kowloon station and Guangzhou South station in 47 minutes flat.

By linking up with Guangzhou, Hong Kong will be physically connected, and integrated, with China’s vast web of high-speed rails. The world’s biggest, and still expanding, steel network of high-speed tracks already covers 25,000 km. Once Hong Kong is connected to the mainland through bullet train, Beijing will be just eight hours and 56 minutes away.

Symbolically, the rail link represents Hong Kong’s firmer economic and people-to-people integration into the mainland. However, Chinese planners have made it plain that closer Hong Kong-mainland ties will not infringe the “one-country-two systems” political formula, which guarantees the island’s distinct identity, autonomous business-friendly rules and unique laws of governance.

Quake-resistant bridge

Inauguration of the Zhuhai-Hong Kong-Macau bridge later this year is also a much-awaited event on China’s 2018 calendar. This mega project will expand the mainland’s connectivity with the former British and Portuguese colony. The 56 km bridge has been built to withstand super-typhoons, a magnitude s8 earthquake, as well as hits by supersized cargo ships.

A 6.7 km underground sea tunnel to allow uninterrupted flow of shipping above, along the super-busy Pearl River Delta, is also part of the bridge’s design. In the end, it will cut the travel time between the three cities from three hours to just 30 minutes.

Chinese planners aim to bring Hong Kong and Macau closer to the mainland through better rail and road links. They also believe the connectivity will act as a boost for the Belt and Road initiative

Apart from an expected surge in business, an exponential rise in tourism is also anticipated. The number of visitors to Macau, known for its dense concentration of glitzy casinos and night life, is expected to spiral. In Zhuhai, fresh infrastructure is cropping within its leafy surroundings for family tourism to bloom. China’s ambitious connectivity projects are fusing into its much larger plan to establish a regional Greater Bay Area (GBA). That would mean seamless integration of 11 major cities in China’s coastal Guangdong province with neighbouring Hong Kong and Macau. As a result, the giant GBA of 68 million people will rival the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S., as well as the Tokyo Bay Area of Japan.

China’s mandarins say that the once the GBA takes root, it will boost President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road connectivity initiative for Eurasia. “Hong Kong, as one of the major international financial centres, has advantages in a wide range of areas, including investment, risk assessment, finance, insurance, accounting, legal services and arbitration,” says Jin Liqun, head of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The former British colony — a global financial centre as well as a world class port — can also pitch-in with badly needed funds to develop infrastructure in the Belt and Road space. “Hong Kong’s capability in allocating global financial resources could help reduce the bottleneck of financing for these projects,” Chen Siqing, president of the Bank of China, has been quoted as saying.

Yet, funding gaps could still remain as a massive $1.5 trillion per year may be required to cover the costs of infrastructure development to fulfill Mr. Xi’s soaring Belt and Road dreams.

Atul Aneja works for The Hindu and is based in Beijing.


https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/new-entrants-in-xis-belt-and-road-dreams/article24956345.ece

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Historical relationship between Kurd and Baloch.

The Kurds are the ethnical group living in a region known as Kurdistan which is divided into Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They  are struggling for an independent region since decades and they are famous for their female guerrilla fighters.        On 25 September 2017, the referendum for an independent Kurdish region  was held in Iraq with a turn out of 72 %.   On this important occasion, the historical relation between Kurd and Baloch people is worth discussing.       When it comes to history, every nation tends to find its roots and origin. Same goes with the Baloch people. The Baloch people are always curious  about  finding their roots in history. Even if you  talk to a shepherd in Balochistan, he will be curious to talk about his  tribal or ethnical roots.      The Balochs have always conveyed the history to the next generations in different mediums like poems etc. No Baloch before 20th century had written books on  history  or origin of the Baloch nation .
        Balochs…