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Showing posts from May 24, 2018

The New Silk Road Is Old: Why You Should Ignore Belt and Road Initiative Maps

The caravan traveling to India Image Credit:  Public Domain / Abraham Cresques, 1375 Looking for good publications on the Belt and Road Initiative? Ignore the ones with maps. (Well, maybe not all.) By  Krzysztof Iwanek May 25, 2018 Each conference should have at least one brain-disabling paper. You know, the one during which you doze off to recharge your mental batteries, prepare your own paper which will be in the next panel, or check out your mobile phone (don’t forget to sit behind somebody, ideally somebody tall). Recently, the most brain-disabling presentations have been the ones that focus on maps of the Belt and Road Initiative (once referred to as the “New Silk Road”). I am obviously exaggerating here, but this plague has become so widespread that countering it requires strong language. PowerPoint Instead of Points of Power Enjoying this article?  Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month. My beef is with the “Xinhua maps” – the rather ridiculous maps

TPP’s Regulatory Capitalism and China’s Belt and Road Challenges

The Secretary of Economy of Mexico Idelfonso Guajardo, left, jokes with Japan's Trans-Pacific Partnership minister Toshimitsu Motegi during the signing ceremony of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CP TPP, in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, March 8, 2018. Image Credit: AP Photo/Esteban Felix The revived TPP 11 operates as a significant alternative to China’s approach, embodied in the Belt and Road Initiative. By Richard B. Stewart May 25, 2018   The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — now back from the dead — is more than a trade agreement. While its geopolitical significance and security undertones have been severely affected by the U.S. withdrawal, TPP’s project to establish U.S.-style regulatory capitalism as the dominant mode of international economic ordering in the Asia-Pacific lives on. TPP will operate a significant alternative to China’s state-centered approach, exemplified in the hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). W

CPEC unites Federation of Pakistan: Mushahid

ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has said that CPEC is a unique feature of Pakistan China friendship that all political forces, the government and parliament, the armed forces and civil society were united on this one issue. He said the balance of economic and political power is shifting from the West to the East and China is a pillar of the Asian Century. He said this while heading delegation of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee held a detailed and substantive dialogue with their counterpart Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The meeting was held at the Parliament House and attended by the Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Yao Jing as well as the Director General (China), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms Ayesha Ali, says a press release. Warmly welcoming the Chinese delegation, Mushahid said that Pakistan and China have a strategic relationship based on a track record of supporting each other on their respective “core i

Judiciary backs CPEC, CJP tells China’s top judge

BEIJING: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and the President of the Supreme People’s Court of China Zhou Qiang during a meeting on Thursday.—APP ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said on Thursday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a flagship project of One-Belt One-Road Initiative and the country’s judiciary fully supported it and was committed to taking measures to ease out commercial disputes for smooth implementation of the CPEC projects. He said this during a meeting with President and Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court of China Zhou Qiang in Beijing, according to the press release. The CJP is on an official visit to China to attend the 13th meeting of the presidents/chief justices of the supreme courts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s member states. The CJP said relations between Pakistan and China were supported by the peoples of both countries. He apprised Mr Zhou of the implementation of a memorandum o

SupChina— Newsletter by Jeremy Goldkorn

SupChina —Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief 1. Trump cancels meeting with Kim Jong-un, citing ‘open hostility’ With an  oddly emotional letter  to Kim Jong-un and a  tweeted speech , Donald Trump upended the news cycle again by canceling his planned meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12. Trump’s letter blames Kim for the “tremendous anger and open hostility in your most recent statement.” Here is a roundup of reactions to the news: “Mr. Kim may have already earned enough good will  among his neighbors — especially his country’s main trading partner, China,”  says Jane Perlez of the New York Times (paywall), that sanctions will be softened despite the cancellation of the Kim-Trump summit. Perlez also sees a win for China:  “The cancellation of the meeting allows Mr. Xi to use his influence with North Korea — including his ability to tighten or weaken enforcement of economic sanctions against it — as leverage while Beijing negotiates a trade deal with Washington.” “I am very perplex

Pakistan turns to China to avoid foreign currency crisis

© Bloomberg Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad and Kiran Stacey in New Delhi MAY 23, 2018 17 Pakistan has again turned to China for help in avoiding a foreign currency crisis, deepening the two countries’ economic ties by borrowing $1bn from Chinese banks in April, Pakistan’s central bank governor has revealed. In an interview with the Financial Times, Tariq Bajwa confirmed the loans were made by Beijing-backed banks, at what he said were “good, competitive rates”. The money strengthens the financial, political and military ties between the two countries and underlines the increasingly assertive role Beijing is playing in south Asia and beyond. With Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves dwindling due to falling exports and rising imports, officials in Islamabad hope the cash will help Pakistan avoid having to go to the International Monetary Fund for another bailout, having done so 12 times previously since 1988. Pakistan had $10.8bn in foreign currency on May 11 — the most recent figures a

BNM leader presents Balochistan’s case in front of US Congressmen

A Baloch National Movement (BNM) leader has presented case of Balochistan to a crowd that included US Congressmen. According to details received by The Balochistan Post (TBP), Nabi Baksh Baloch, a member of BNM Foreign Committee, was speaking during an event in US organised by Free Karachi, a group run by former MQM leader Nadeem Nusrat. The event was attended by US Congressmen Scott Perry and Tom Garrett, who also spoke at the event. Mr. Baloch told the US Congressmen that it is incomprehensible that a country like USA which stands for freedom and human dignity continues supporting Pakistan militarily and economically. In his speech Mr. Baloch said: ‘Since 2001, thousands of political activists have been enforced disappeared in Balochistan. Most of the time their dead bodies are being thrown in the wilderness.’ Commenting on China funded multi-billion dollar project China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Mr. Baloch said: ‘With the so called inception of the China Pakistan Eco

A  new BRI road map?

(File pix) Military manoeuvres and warships should be discouraged in the region as they could be a magnet for opposing vessels. Pix by Ghazali Kori By  SUMATHY PERMAL May 24, 2018 @ 9:23am THE recently concluded 14th general election and the formation of a new coalition government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad signify new directions, not only politically, but across all spectrums, as the country continues its trajectory towards developed nation status. According to Dr Mahathir, the government will pursue sound and sensible economic development policies to address, among others, the nation’s current high levels of foreign debt. Among the first questions posed by the foreign media to the prime minister was the former government’s approach to Chinese investments, in particular the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Dr Mahathir’s initial response was that the government will review all commitments by the previous administration to ensure that the benefits will accrue equally to both p

India would never want a relationship of dependence on US: Expert tells Congressmen

By PTI | India's growing voice in regional security dialogues is a welcome development since it vocally supports principles such as freedom of navigation and deep respect for international law, said the think tank. WASHINGTON: Observing that India is different from traditional American allies for whom the US was the key security provider, a think-tank expert today told the lawmakers that New Delhi would "never" want a relationship of dependence or one in which the US has to incur all costs. "India would never want a relationship of dependence or one in which the US has to incur all costs," Aparna Pande, Director, Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia at the Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank, told the US lawmakers during a Congressional hearing. Testifying on 'Asia's Diplomatic and Security Structure: Planning US Engagement' at the hearing, organised by the sub-committee on  Asia Pacific  of the House Committee on Foreign Aff