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Showing posts from May 10, 2018

WIND IN THE SAILS: CHINA ACCELERATES ITS MARITIME STRATEGY

LIZA TOBINMAY 9, 2018According to none other than Xi Jinping, if Beijing hopes to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by the middle of the 21st century, it is necessary that it become a “maritime great power” (海洋强国). What does this goal mean to China’s leaders, and what are the implications of Beijing’s latest round of institutional reforms to make it so? The Communist Party of China has an all-encompassing strategy to enlarge its maritime power. As I have written elsewhere, this strategy includes several major areas of focus: developing the “blue economy,” preserving marine environments, exploiting maritime resources, and protecting China’s “rights and interests” in near and distant seas.Although the goal of building China into a maritime great power is not a new one, having appeared in authoritative party documents since 2012, the roles of China’s multiple maritime-related departments have been muddled. As a Chinese government-affiliated maritime scholar stated in…

China Enlists U.N. to Promote Its Belt and Road Project

Top United Nations officials are helping sell Xi Jinping’s signature foreign-policy initiative.BY COLUM LYNCH | MAY 10, 2018, 12:53 PMChina's President Xi Jinping greets UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at Belt and Road Forum, in Yanqi Lake, north of Beijing, on May 15, 2017. (Roman Pilipey/AFP/Getty Images). Speaking at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last July, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed suggested a way for African leaders to boost their economies and end decades of strife: sign up to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a plan to invest a trillion dollars or more into the construction of ports, roads, and railways across dozens of countries from East Asia to East Africa.“We must work to take advantage of one of the world’s largest infrastructure initiatives,” Mohammed urged at the summit’s opening ceremony. “This is an opportunity not just to provide alternatives to silencing the guns for our people but one that wil…

The shocking Malaysian election result could hit Chinese investments

A stunning win by the opposition bloc in Malaysia's general election on Wednesday could have implications for the Southeast Asian nation's ties with China, a major investor.Mahathir Mohamad, who led his opposition alliance to victory, said the country could renegotiate several agreements that had been struck with China.Mahathir criticized the previous administration for selling out to China.Cheang MingHuileng TanPublished 18 Hours Ago Updated 16 Hours AgoCNBC.comPLAY VIDEOA stunning win by the opposition bloc in Malaysia's general election on Wednesday could have implications for the Southeast Asian nation's ties with China, a major invsetor.Mahathir Mohamad, a former Malaysian prime minister who led his opposition alliance to victory over the ruling coalition, said Thursday the country could renegotiate several agreements that had been struck with China.Mahathir said he had no problem with China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a wide-reaching infrastructure i…

Sajji, other Balochi delights getting popular

ISLAMABAD: Balochi traditional dishes are gaining popularity in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.A number of restaurants have opened up in the in and around the capital city and the garrison town to serve the culinary taste of foodies.Cooked with minimum spices and oil and sometimes only with salt, the Balochi food is becoming a food-fad.Balochi sajji is becoming an all-weather treat and popular food. Eateries serving delights from the province are attracting significant number of families especially on weekends to enjoy the desi cuisine.Chicken Biryani most ordered food item in 2017Khalid Lehri, a cook at Quetta Hotel in Karachi Company told that after Sajji, Rosh is a Balochi dish that attracts most visitors to their restaurants here.“It is a big chunk of meat, cooked under pressure in animal fat for several hours with secret ingredients and spices; mostly salt and black pepper,” he informed.Lamb is the staple meat of Baloch people, who cook its meat in its own fat, Lehri sai…

Zong 4G extends expansion to Gwadar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s largest telecom network Zong 4G has launched its operations in the port city of Gwadar, the future international business hub which has already seen both local and foreign investment.The launch 4G services in Gwadar implies that foreign citizens from across the globe and local residents who have been pursuing their respective business endeavours in the port city will have unhindered access to the fastest 4G technology against the reasonably affordable tariff. The move is likely to boost online businesses in the fast-developing international city and the adjoining belt of rural Sindh.With its 4G consumer base having exceeded the 6 million mark, Zong eyes to keep expanding its matchless voice and data services.“Zong 4G’s network expansion symbolises our customer-centric approach to ensure that the interests of consumers stay above all the rest by offering the best and affordable network,” the telecom company said in a statement. “We keep expanding our operational p…

The other side of CPEC

Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty will surely be at stake if it defaults on its debt paymentsMoonis AhmarMAY 11, 2018While speaking at the opening ceremony of the 8th Judicial Conference organised by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad, the Chief Justice of Pakistan suggested that, “there must be a consensus among all the stakeholders in going forward and evaluating the legal, social, cultural and economic aspects of the multi-billion dollar Chinese investment. There is a need for a serious dialogue to assess the impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.”Since 2015 when CPEC was inaugurated as a 46 billion dollar Chinese investment project in Pakistan under its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative to seek connectivity for its Western region of Xinxiang to the southern Pakistan port of Gwadar, a lot of change has taken place in terms of Beijing’s role to modernise infrastructure and improve the energy production of Pakistan. While the Chinese investment has go…

Don’t Be Alarmed But China’s Naval Footprint In Pakistan Appears To Be Only Growing

LAWRENCE SELLIN, Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve
  A January 1, 2018 article revealed a plan — later confirmed in two separate reports, here and here — for the construction of a Chinese naval base on the Jiwani peninsula in Pakistan, near Gwadar, a sea port critical to the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).Although initially scheduled to begin in July, work on the Jiwani base was accelerated after the plan appeared in the media. That is consistent with the overall increase in a Chinese military activities in Pakistan, but particularly in regard to its naval presence.According to sources, the decision to advance the schedule for the Jiwani base was likely made in a series of late February meetings held in Gwadar between Chinese and Pakistani civilian and military officials, some who flew into the city from Karachi and Islamabad.As a result of the media scrutiny, the Chinese allegedly insisted that military-related work in Pakistan be either publicly denied or des…

Americans are Dying for China in Afghanistan

by Lawrence Sellin
May 10, 2018 at 5:00 amhttps://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12256/afghanistan-china-usWhile US policy-makers are trying desperately to stabilize Afghanistan, a shift is being orchestrated by China.The Chinese evidently see their role in Afghanistan as the "good cop" versus the U.S. role as "bad cop." Like Pakistan, China seems to view the Taliban as the political opposition, not as a terrorist organization, and has offered itself as an intermediary to negotiate the departure of the U.S. and, thereby, be in a position to reap the economic and geopolitical benefits of Afghanistan as a client state of the China-Pakistan alliance.Control of Afghanistan will allow China to complete transportation corridors, power grids and oil and gas pipelines throughout Central and South Asia. China can then begin to exploit Afghanistan's estimated $3 trillion in untapped mineral resources, in addition to Balochistan's $1 trillion in gold, copper, oil, precious…

Baloch Lok Singer, once a sense of pride for Pakistan is now begging people to help him meet the most basic of his needs

Baloch Lok Singer, once a sense of pride for Pakistan is now begging people to help him meet the most basic of his needs.
On Apr 27, 2018
Balochistan: Once known for his soulful voice, famous Lok singer, Muhammad Bashir Baloch is now seen begging people to help him meet the most basic of his needs. Speaking to ARY News, he asked why do people neglect artists like this, “The ones praising this land, mountains, its waterfalls, rivers why do you let them die out of hunger? Please listen to my appeal.”Baloch has spent the last 40 years of his life serving the country through his music on a provincial and national level. He has won a total of 133 awards, including a Government award. But owing to desperate situations, he is ready to sell his awards for a little bit of money saying that there is nothing else he can do to support himself and his family, “Can I do anything? I cannot even beg on the streets.”Muhammad Bashir Baloch has been among the very few singers bringing a good name to the …

Cultural connect brought Majid Majidi to India

— By PTI | Apr 17, 2018
Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi says India was the “best choice” to shoot outside his country, as the two nations share a lot of cultural similarities. Majidi, who was recently in Kolkatta for the promotion of his first Hindi film ‘Beyond the Clouds’, said it is difficult for a filmmaker to go out of his own country, unless there is cultural connection.“We have a place in Iran called Baloch. It’s very close to Indian culture ? the clothes they wear, the language they speak. I shot my first film (Baduk 1992) there,” he said.
Majidi added that Baloch also feels much like India in terms of the customs and rituals. “All these factors made me think that if I were to make a film out of Iran, India would be the best choice,” he said.‘Beyond the Clouds’, set to hit the screens on April 20, was shot in in Mumbai and centres around a brother-sister relationship. The film, which has original score by A R Rahman, stars Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan in the lead
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Solution to Balochistan problems lies in free & fair polls, SC told

Syed Sabeehul HussnainMay 10, 2018
ISLAMABAD - Former chief minister of Balochistan Abdul Malik Baloch on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the solution to the problems of the province is impartial, independent and transparent elections.Baloch, who was summoned along with another former CM Sanaullah Zehri, told this to Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during the hearing of a suo motu case regarding the shortage of water in the province.A three-judge bench headed by chief justice resumed the hearing of the suo motu case wherein both ex-CMs appeared in the court.The CJ asked the ex-CMs if they are satisfied with the water condition in their province. Observing that the sources of water have been drying, the chief justice questioned as to what steps they have taken to overcome the problem.Baloch responded that he made all-out efforts to make the Balochistan’s state of affairs function adding that nothing could be done better if the law and order situation is out of control.He said t…

Deprived Balochi Film Industry

By: ZN BalochBalochistan,like other provinces of Pakistan has an historical heritage full of messages and teachings. It is a place full of talents but there are only a few who get lucky to showcase their talent.A film, if released, represents the culture, traditions, norms and customs of a relevant nation. It can be called the identity of a nation. In Balochistan, we often watch films of the Indian film industry; Bollywood or Pakistan’s film industry Lollywood but it is a far cry that we still remain backward in film-making.One can find only a few films who were successful, casted by Balochs in the Gulf countries or Iran.The first Balochi film was “Hammal O Mahganj” produced by Anwar Iqbal which was completed in 1976. However,it didn’t make to the cinemas. Considering it against the Balochi culture, many protested its release. In 1989,an Iranian film named “Dadshah”was released in Balochi dubbing which was based on the Mir Dad Shah of Iranian Balochistan.It is mentioned that Balochist…

CPEC has increasingly taken concrete shape since its advent in 2013: Khalid

Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid Tuesday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a natural front-runner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and this flagship project had increasingly taken a concrete shape since it was launched in 2013.“This flagship project has enabled Pakistan and China to translate their time-tested friendship into a strategic partnership with tangible facts on the ground that directly benefit people of both countries,” he said while addressing a select gathering of intellectuals, teachers and students at the Institute of Belt and Road Initiative at Tsinghua University here. Ambassador Khalid said that the CPEC was not a plan about hollow promises in the remote future but it was happening now in a short span of a few years.“The power projects completed under the CPEC have largely alleviated electricity shortfall and as a result, the economic activity has improved manifold in the country,” he added.He said the mineral resources were being…