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Showing posts from August 17, 2018

BLA disassociates itself from a particular egoistic person and his tiny group

August 18, 2018Jeehand Baloch, spokesperson of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), said in the statement that BLA completely disassociates itself from a particular ‘egoistic person and his tiny group’ from today.The statement, which was released on behalf of BLA’s ‘Senior Command Council and Operational Core Committee’, also condemned a ‘so-called’ statement released by Azad Baloch.BLA in its today’s statement said that ‘It is quite obvious that the particular faction and its so-called high command does not have the capability and will to carry out such attacks against the enemy. However, their condemnation of Rehan Jan’ssacrifice confirms that the faction is at the same page with the enemy.’Jeehand Baloch said in today’s statement that the founder of BLA Majeed Birgade and its commanders are still part of BLA and are performing their duties as per organisation’s policies. “The attack by Majeed Birgade on Chinese engineers confirms that the Birgade has continued its activities. Similar atta…

TRIVIUM CHINA: Tip Sheet on China

HEARD IN BEIJING“We should step up reform, pay attention to emerging problems, plan ahead, and fine-tune policies as necessary to make sure that the economy performs within a proper range.”
- Li Keqiang, Premier
Some context: The State Council is taking measures to boost private investment in order to shore up the economy. But private companies are unimpressed. More in the Tip Sheet below.

THE TIP SHEETDRIVING THE DAY1. National market regulator sacked for vaccine scandal
We told you that heads would roll for the vaccine scandal that has consumed the country for much of the past month (see July 24 Tip Sheet)On Thursday, heads rolled.The Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) announced the firing of four senior officials:Bi Jingquan, Party Secretary and Deputy Director of the State Administration of Market RegulationJin Yuhui, Vice Governor of Jilin overseeing food and drug regulationLi Jinxiu, Deputy Chairman of the Jilin People’s Political Consultative Conference and former Vice Governor of…

Pakistan, China to deepen maritime security ties

The Pakistani delegation was represented by the Additional Secretary of the Foreign Office, Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad while the Director General of Asian Affairs and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wu Jianghao led the Chinese side.
Mateen HaiderAUGUST 17, 2018ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to further deepen practical cooperation in maritime security, science and technology and their respective naval forces.The agreement emerged during the third round of Maritime Dialogue between Pakistan and China held in Beijing.The Pakistani delegation was represented by the Additional Secretary of the Foreign Office, Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad while the Director General of Asian Affairs and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wu Jianghao led the Chinese side.According to a communique issued by foreign office in Islamabad on Friday, both sides held comprehensive discussions on the entire gamut of maritime cooperation between Pakistan and China.The areas which were covered during the tal…

Along the New Silk Road – Piraeus: China’s gateway into Europe

Written by  Charles Stevens Published in DevelopmentThe Port of Piraeus(Image: Port of Piraeus)As part of our monthly series of reports looking at the impact China’s BRI project is having on the local infrastructure situated along its route, explorer and China scholar Charles Stevens visits the Greek port that marks the point where the Road meets the BeltTHE NEW SILK ROAD PROJECTCovering 10,000 miles and 18 countries The New Silk Road Project is an exploration of China’s emerging Belt and Road Initiative. Having departed from London in June 2018, it will travel along the full length of the world’s next great trade route – a nexus of power, culture and commerce that now sits at the heart of China’s foreign policy.• Follow the project (and track the journey) here!Nektarios Demenopoulos sweeps his palm as smoothly as a sailing ship across a glass encased model of the Port of Piraeus, indicating its expansion plans and ambition to become ‘the number one port in the Mediterranean area’. He…

Pakistan’s New Leader Faces a Bailout Conundrum

Does Imran Khan approach the IMF or China? Neither option augurs well.By Yigal ChazanAugust 17, 2018The next government in Pakistan, saddled with mounting debts and a severe foreign currency shortage, is facing a dilemma over whom to turn to for critical financial assistance. Both the main options could undermine some of Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan’s social and economic goals.One funding option for Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) won the most seats in elections last month, is to look to the IMF. But under pressure from Islamabad’s former ally, the United States, the Fund might impose tough conditions, limiting Khan’s plans for an Islamic welfare state and the capacity to repay Chinese loans supporting the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A second option, an approach to China, may reduce Khan’s leverage in seeking greater transparency over CPEC projects.CPEC is the flagship of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $900 billion investment in …

Pakistan’s Economic Turmoil Threatens China’s Ambitions

The balance-of-payments crisis and likely IMF talks could undermine China’s investments.BY JAMES SCHWEMLEIN | AUGUST 16, 2018, 8:09 PMChinese engineers work on the bridge and friendship tunnel connected to the Karakoram highway in Pakistan on June 30, 2015. MIAN KHURSHEED/WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES“There’s no rationale for IMF tax dollars—and associated with that, American dollars that are part of the IMF funding—for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or China itself” warned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about a potential IMF bailout of Pakistan, which Pakistan has contemplated requesting as it stares down another balance of payments crisis. Pompeo’s brash remarks on July 30 captured the concerns of Americans across the political spectrum about China’s increasingly assertive behavior throughout Asia. They also reflected Washington’s exhaustion with Pakistan.As Pakistan’s new government, led by legendary cricketer-turned-rookie Prime Minister Imran Khan, is seated on S…

Fitch warns of CPEC ‘curtailment’ under IMF programme

Khaleeq KianiUpdated August 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The US pressure could lead to ‘stricter’ conditions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bailout Pakistan, including curtailment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and greater transparency in its financing, according to Fitch Rating.The “US pressure could lead to stricter programme conditionality, including the curtailment of CPEC projects and greater transparency in CPEC financing”, said the New York-based rating agency. It said US backing was not strictly required to secure an IMF programme, but the IMF board emphasised consensus decision-making.Read: Pakistan will be going to the IMF for the 13th time. Will PTI’s Asad Umar fare better than past ministers?It said Pakistan’s incoming PTI-led coalition government will be under immediate pressure to arrest the deterioration in external finances and address fiscal challenges, as well as to attract the external funding necessary to meet its financing gap.“The new government has more …

Pakistan should ‘renegotiate’ some CPEC terms, agreements

By Bilal MemonPublished: August 17, 2018

CPEC route. PHOTO: AFPKARACHI: Islamabad should renegotiate some of the terms and agreements under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the country’s business community says, as the new government prepares to tackle economic challenges and the pressure to reap benefits of the multi-billion dollar project.CPEC is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and involves billions of dollars worth of energy and infrastructure projects including the development of Gwadar Port in Balochistan, arguably Pakistan’s most neglected and underdeveloped province. While the previous government hailed and sold the project as a ‘game-changer’, onlookers as well as stakeholders feel details of the agreements under CPEC remain opaque, raising questions on the extent of the benefit to Pakistan and the simultaneous debt burden on the South Asian economy.Country banking on CPEC to revive economyWith the country’s economic managers now facing a headache ove…

Why Chinese banks are turning wary of Pakistan loans

By Reuters | Updated: Aug 17, 2018, 04.55 PM IST

"As a commercial bank we will of course use extra caution when considering new loans to Pakistan," one Beijing-based banker said.HONG KONG: Chinese banks are increasingly wary about lending to Pakistan as emerging markets currency volatility threatens the incoming coalition government's efforts to close an external financing gap, amid mounting US opposition to a possible IMF bailout.China's banks have already extended tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to support the $57bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a centrepiece of Beijing's Belt & Road Initiative which seeks to increase its geopolitical influence.Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves are dwindling and it is expected to seek a bailout of more than $10bn shortly from the IMF and further funding from allies, including China and Saudi Arabia, to avoid a currency crisis.ADVERTISEMENTHowever, the newly elected Prime Minister Imran K…

Dr. Allah Nazar’s letter to Yao Jin, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan

To: Yao JinChinese Ambassador to PakistanSubject: Chinese involvement in BalochistanRespected Sir,China emerged as one of the most outstanding examples of Asian resurgence after two centuries of Western dominance. But, unfortunately, China is misusing its newfound power and wants to colonize other countries. It is implementing self-serving infrastructure and mining projects in various countries at an enormous cost to indigenous people and environment.The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, your flagship infrastructure project, is being built through Baloch territory. This project fails three key tests. It does not enjoy the prior approval of the Baloch people. It is not based on a sound assessment of its impact on Balochistan’s fragile ecosystems. It is not based on a sound assessment of the economic viability and environmental sustainability of projects from the Baloch perspective.We understand that your country needs resources for your economy and access to and through the rest of the…

Balochistan is not Xinjiang, Baloch leader warns China

Allah Nazar

ANI | Updated: Aug 17, 2018 14:34ISTUndisclosed location, Balochistan(ANI), Aug 17: Warning Chinaagainst exploitation of Balochistan's mineral wealth and occupation of Baloch territory, Baloch pro-independence leader Allah Nazar Baloch asserted that the people of Balochistan would not tolerate their attempts to trample upon their human rights as "the Baloch are a freedom loving people. And, Balochistan is not Xinjiang or Tiananmen."In a letter addressed to Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Allah Nazar Baloch said the people of Balochistan have no reason to put up with Chinese oppression. "All Chinese are, therefore, legitimate targets, including tourists, fishermen, and labourers insofar they are an integral part of Chinese state's overseas outreach. We can assure that your Punjabi stooges will not be able to protect you from the wrath of the Baloch people."The Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) commander began his letter with praise for C…

TRIVIUM CHINA: Tip sheet on China

TRIVIUM CHINAHEARD IN BEIJING"The ministry lacks enough expertise."
retired MofCom official
Some context: Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive and insistence on rigid political orthodoxy are driving top officials to leave the government – including at the Ministry of Commerce. The exodus could leave Beijing short-handed as it prosecutes a trade war with the US. More in the Tip Sheet below.Don't leave your friends and colleagues short-handed as the try to understand China. Forward them the Tip Sheet and tell them they can click here to subscribe.We want your feedback on the Tip Sheet. If you've got any thoughts for improvement or comments on the content, please send it on!THE TIP SHEETDRIVING THE DAY1. A glimmer of hope in trade talks
US-China trade talks are officially back on, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.Bloomberg has the details:“China said Thursday that Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen will be traveling to the U.S. for trade talks in late August,…