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Showing posts from August 26, 2018

China’s Risky Play for Global Power

A colossal infrastructure investment program could make Beijing a lot of friends around the world—or a lot of enemies.by Joshua KurlantzickMAGAZINEOver the past year, Chinese officials reportedly have been surprised by how quickly the Trump administration has undermined U.S. influence in East Asia, creating a leadership void that could potentially be filled—by China. But even before Trump alienated many Asian partners with a mix of harsh trade rhetoric and a general disinterest in South and Southeast Asia, Beijing had launched a strategy to establish itself as the dominant power in its neighborhood. This strategy coincides with the rise of Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao, and a man with a desire to make China, shall we say, great again. While the Xi administration appears to have global ambitions, China has made South and Southeast Asia its current top priorities. Its efforts there could become a template for how Beijing will expand its influence worldwide.High-…

German city revives through Silk Road initiative

August 27, 2018
Ren Ke, Zhu ShengDuisburgFOR decades, the city of Duisburg lying at the heartland of Germany’s industrial Ruhr region, had struggled with a depression just like other heavy industry cities around the world that were experiencing a structural transformation.
But nowadays the world’s biggest inland port is changing — the sites once used as steel mills have been turned into transport terminals. Trucks come and go around the cities and crane operators unload containers from freight trains and pile them up one above another.
“The freight services from China are really important for us,” said Amelie Erxleben, a staff member with the Duisburg Intermodal Terminal (DIT), the biggest of the nine terminals of the Port of Duisburg, told Xinhua.
As Duisburg is ambitious to become the hub of logistics in the center of West Europe, it is grasping a chance for revival as China is to revive the ancient Silk Road. “Take a look around, Chinese containers are everywhere here,” said George,…

Factbox: Belt and Road Initiative in five years

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- In just five years, the Belt and Road Initiative has grown from a concept to a key platform for building a community with a shared future for humanity and a well-received international public goods.The following are some key facts about it.-- In the autumn of 2013, respectively in Kazakhstan and Indonesia, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.-- The initiative's top-level design has been completed, with basic structures set up. Important resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and Security Council contain reference to it.-- As of July 2018, more than 100 countries and international organizations had signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China, extending the initiative's scope from the Eurasian continent to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific region.-- On Nov. 8, 2014, China announced contributing 40 billion U.S. dollars to…
AFPPublished : Aug 26, 2018, 11:22 am ISTUpdated : Aug 26, 2018, 11:22 am ISTDuring a recent visit, AFP correspondent saw corrugated steel container marked China Shipping being unloaded on an otherwise deserted dock. For the moment, evidence of Beijing's economic might is light on the ground at Aktau, more than 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) from the China-Kazakhstan border crossing that is a key entry point for goods bound for Europe overland. (Photo: AFP)Aktau: With the outlines of its six idle cranes obscured by thick fog and pouring rain, Kazakhstan's Caspian seaport Aktau seems an unlikely stop on China's much-hyped new silk road.But the sleepy port, which has been badly hit in recent years by new oil routes, is vying for a slice of the pie as competition for Chinese trade warms up on the shores of the world's largest inland sea.China's trillion dollar Belt and Road initiative has been a buzz-phrase in Kazakhstan ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping unveiled t…