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Showing posts from August 21, 2018

Noatum Ports to boost China-Spain maritime cooperation

By CGTN’s Su YutingChinese company COSCO Shipping has acquired a 51-percent stake in Spain's largest maritime terminal operator, Noatum Ports. The operator manages a pair of maritime terminals in the cities of Valencia and Bilbao, as well as dry terminals in Zaragoza and Madrid. CGTN has visited the ports of Valencia and Bilbao to find out how they're benefiting the regional logistic and transport networks and the people of the Mediterranean Sea Basin.Valencia Port is an open gateway to the trading world. Its hinterland reaches deep into the country, an area which accounts for half of Spain's GDP and its workforce.The Port of Valencia is one of the busiest seaports in Europe. It’s also the largest in Spain, and the Mediterranean Sea Basin. Currently, nearly half of the traffic that Valencia port manages has its origin and destination in Asia and China stands as the main commercial partner of the site.Last year, Chinese company COSCO Shipping acquired a controlling stake i…

Why countries might want out of China’s Belt and Road

By Adam Taylor
August 22 at 12:59 AM

Why countries may want out of China's Belt and Road (Gulshan Khan)China has never spared any effort to portray its “Belt and Road Initiative,” a grand trillion-dollar-plus global investment plan, as a positive vision for the world. Last year, China released cringeworthy videos featuring children who were, somewhat unrealistically, excited by the idea of infrastructure investment.“The future’s coming now,” a group of children sang in one clip. “The Belt and Road is how.”But not everyone is convinced that Belt and Road is such a great plan — either for China or the countries in which it’s investing. And with Malaysia announcing Tuesday that it has shelved two major infrastructure projects being built by Chinese companies because of high costs, many more leaders around the world may be wondering whether Chinese investment is actually a good deal.It may be simpler to start with a more basic question: What is the Belt and Road? Given the vague way th…

Trade war, day 47: ‘No time frame’ for end of dispute, Trump says

On August 23, a second tranche of $16 billion in tit-for-tat tariffs is set to activate, bringing the total of taxed goods in the U.S.-China trade war to $50 billion.At the same time, the Trump administration is holding public hearings in Washington, D.C., on plans to tax another $200 billion in Chinese imports later this year.Companies overwhelmingly said the tariffs would “cripple their businessesand raise prices on everything from bicycles to car seats to refrigerators,” the New York Times reports (paywall), adding that the common message from companies was, “The United States is no longer equipped to produce many materials that they depend on for their products.”“Opening witnesses from the bags, textiles and apparel industries were unanimous in their praise for Chinese workers’ craftsmanship in a sector that has virtually no bearing on matters of national security, one of the Trump administration’s buzzwords in justifying the aggressive tariffs,” the South China Morning Post repor…

How to describe what's happening in Xinjiang?

August 20, 2018By Jerome CohenEarlier this month, Josh Rogin wrote in the Washington Post­, Ethnic cleansing makes a comeback — in China, which provoked quite a lot of discussion, especially with regard to Rogin’s use of “ethnic cleansing” in describing China’s continuing campaign to abuse hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in “re-education camps“ in the Xinjiang region as well as other efforts to destroy the social and religious life of Uyghur communities.  Police patrolling the old town in Kashgar, Xinjiang. Photograph: Tom Phillips for the GuardianShould we use ethnic cleansing to describe this horrendous situation? It is important to “rectify names” (zhengming), but there are so many aspects to this repression that it is not possible to find words that can adequately encapsulate it. What, for example, about reports that large numbers of Uyghurs from certain areas are being displaced and sent elsewhere outside of Xinjiang?I personally believe, despite the views expressed otherwise, …


Lawrence Sellin | Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve 
11:37 AM 08/21/2018 the Autumn of 2001, a small group of CIA operatives and Special Forces teams working with the Afghan Northern Alliance and supported by massive U.S. airpower overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan.At that time, the Taliban and its infrastructure were completely exposed in Afghanistan, and its sponsor, Pakistan, was forced by the United States to help destroy what Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, had helped create and sustain.On September 13, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage presented Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, a religious hardliner and then ISI Director with a list of non-negotiable demands that Pakistan:Stop al Qaeda operatives at your border, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan and end ALL logistical support for bin Laden.Grant blanket overflight and landing rights.Permit ac…

TRIVIUM CHINA: Know China better

HEARD IN BEIJING"SMEs account for 50% of taxes, 60% of GDP, 70% of technological innovation,...and 90% of all businesses."
- Liu He, Vice Premier
Some context: That's not an exact quote, but Liu did rattle off those stats at the latest meeting of the leading small group for SMEs on Monday. Chinese policymakers are trying hard to funnel money to those cash-strapped small businesses, but it's just not working. More in the Tip Sheet below.

THE TIP SHEETFINANCE & ECONOMICS1. Ramping up local government bonds
Financial regulators really want more local government bonds to be issued.Some context: The State Council mandated faster local bond issuance as part of the package of economic support measures in late July, and the Ministry of Finance followed up recently with more detail (See August 15 Tip Sheet).The reason: Infrastructure spending has been dismal in recent months – even contracting for the first time ever in July, on a y/y basis.But thanks to the fina…

‘We Cannot Afford This’: Malaysia Pushes Back Against China’s Vision

Melaka Gateway, a set of artificial islands in Malaysia, is a joint project between a Malaysian group and Chinese companies.CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

A country that once courted Chinese investment now fears becoming overly indebted for big projects that are neither viable nor necessary — except to China.By Hannah BeechAug. 20, 2018153KUANTAN, Malaysia — In the world’s most vital maritime chokepoint, through which much of Asian trade passes, a Chinese power company is investing in a deepwater port large enough to host an aircraft carrier. Another state-owned Chinese company is revamping a harbor along the fiercely contested South China Sea.Nearby, a rail network mostly financed by a Chinese government bank is being built to speed Chinese goods along a new Silk Road. And a Chinese developer is creating four artificial islands that could become home to nearly three-quarters of a million people and are being heavily marketed to Chinese citizens.Each of these projects is b…

Xi Jinping thought and China’s future foreign policy: Multipolarity with Chinese characteristics

DOWNLOAD PDFFIIAPUBLISHED 08/16/2018BRIEFING PAPER 24SUMMARYXi Jinping Thought is aimed at guiding China both domestically and internationally. The goal is China’s national rejuvenation, which will break the global dominance of Western civilization. The revival must allegedly be led by a strong ideology guided by a strong and charismatic leader: Xi Jinping.Based on the ancient Chinese ideal of “great unity under Heaven”, Xi’s long-term goal for China is the creation of a “community of a common destiny for Mankind”. So far, this idea has no concrete manifestations on the global scale.Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China is building a regional community of common destiny in Central and Southeast Asia. This is both an indirect challenge to the existing “Western” system, and a step in delineating China’s sphere of influence.From the Chinese perspective, the principal contradiction in international relations may be between Chinese and universal values. In the future, ideological com…