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Showing posts from November 12, 2018

Belt and Road rethink in Southeast Asia: Will India change its mind?

Updated Nov 12, 2018 | 13:57 IST | ANI Indonesia's first high-speed rail project which connects its capital Jakarta with its third largest city Bandung was won by a consortium consisting of Indonesian companies and the China Railway Corporation. Photo Credit: ANI Representational Image Singapore:  From the gleaming new city of Khorgos sprouting out of the desert in Kazakhstan to the kilometres of shinny steel rails being laid in the countryside in Laos, China's trillion-dollar signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is making an impact around the world. President Xi Jinping announced BRI, formerly known as "One Belt One Road" to the world in visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2013. BRI is China's gargantuan infrastructure project for the developing world by helping countries build roads, railways, pipelines, ports, power plants and even cities. The aim is to replicate the ancient silk road by connecting the world via overland routes mirroring the silk r

Chinese Silk Road; Debt Peonage for Nigeria?

Source:  Ken Chendo & Oseloka H. Obaze China is out to conquer the world, and many countries have unwittingly fallen victim to its geopolitical strategic agenda. Yet there is an emergent corollary; worries about rising global indebtedness to China. As a superpower, China continues to assert itself on the global stage, underpinning a campaign that commenced well over a decade ago, with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) also known as the “Silk Road”. Undergirding the Belt and Road Initiative, is a trillion-dollar loan subvention that seeks to connect countries across continents on a trade trajectory, with China at its core. The ambitious plan involves the building of railway and road infrastructure to connect China with Central and West Asia, the Middle East and Europe (the “Belt”)and creating a 6,000km sea-route connecting China to South East Asia, Oceania and North Africa (the “Road”). Beneficiaries of China’s goodwill are many. So too are the countries, mostly African nation

China's Silk Road is Laying Ground for a New Eurasian Order

Both Kazakhstan and Russia look at China’s economic power with a mix of awe and alarm. The China-Kazakhstan border. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Moritz Pieper 33 interactions WORLD 12/NOV/2018 Kazakhstan sees itself as the linchpin of Eurasia and has long been a staunch supporter of cross-border initiatives that help alleviate its disadvantages as a landlocked country. So it was no coincidence that, in September 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping chose the country’s Nazarbayev University to  announce the creation of new economic corridors across Eurasia as part of China’s ambitious  Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) . The project could have direct economic benefits for Kazakhstan, but an increasingly powerful China is also playing its own long game with an eye on creating a new Eurasian order. Russia has plans for the region, too – Kazakhstan is also a member of the Russian-led  Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) . The EAEU theoretically reduces customs duties and eliminates non-tar

The Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN: Cooperation or Opportunism?

November 12, 2018 | 10:11 pm Blueboard By Diana J. Mendoza It is more than five years now since China’s President Xi Jinping introduced the Silk Road Economic Belt in Kazakhstan in September 2013 and the 21 st  century Maritime Silk Road in Indonesia in October 2013. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or the One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) officially became China’s national development strategy in November 2013 and was included in its 13 th  five-year plan in March 2016 as part of the strategy to deepen China’s reform and opening as well as to establish new mechanisms for economic development. Given the huge infrastructure investment needs of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) to implement its Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, the BRI or OBOR offers an opportunity for both mainland and maritime ASEAN. Based on the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) data, the region’s infrastructure investment needs will total US$2.8 trillion (S$3.68 trillion) between 2016 and 2

China, Fiji ink MoU on Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

Source: Xinhua |  2018-11-12 22:14:51 | Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo (L) and Yogesh Karan, Fiji's Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister, attend the signing ceremony in Suva, Fiji, on Nov. 12, 2018. China and Fiji signed here on Monday a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). (Xinhua/Zhang Yongxing) SUVA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- China and Fiji signed here on Monday a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The initiative, which was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo said that though originating from China, the BRI, which refers the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, brings opportunities and fruitfu

Gwadar port attracts more businessmen by offering numerous opportunities

BUSINESS & ECONOMY Parvez Jabri November 12, 2018 BEIJING: Once a small backward fishing town off the Arabian Sea in the southwest Balochistan province, Gwadar now is rising fast in the economic landscape of the country and is attracting more businessmen by offering numerous business opportunities. The deep-water port became fully functional in late 2016 under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and welcomed its first liner in March 2018, China Daily reported on Monday. According to the port’s operator, China Overseas Ports Holding Company, some 20 companies in different businesses have already joined the Gwadar free trade zone with direct investment of around $460 million. Planning to open a fast food chain restaurant in Gwadar, Muhammad Umair, an American of Pakistani origin, heard about the rise of Gwadar a lot from media as well as from his friends in Pakistan. “So, I conducted a survey and decided to establish an international fast-food chain restaurant in Gwadar,” Um

Pakistani investors urge political unity and transparency for CPEC

Internews/Islamabad Monday، 12 November 2018 11:30 PM The Pakistani business class aspires for better integration and greater transparency but dreads the derailment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the multi-billion dollar investment initiative, which has infused new life in the country’s flagging industrial sector. The inclusion of both PPP and PML-N in the economic team, tycoons believe, can help the ruling PTl better manage the country`s relationship with China. They were keen to know the details of greater market access recently promised by the Asian giant. Since their return from China visit last week, the PTl hierarchy seems to be in a defensive mode, trying to counter the perception of a change in the attitude of the Chinese government that is read to be less warm than it was under previous governments. The finance minister reacted strongly and dismissed the impression of any kind of reluctance from the Chinese side to support Pakistan. He stressed that during

China-Afghanistan-Pakistan dialogue stresses connectivity for regional development

Source: Xinhua |  2018-11-13 09:05:13 | ISLAMABAD, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- The participants of the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Dialogue have vowed to enhance connectivity among the three neighbors for peace, stability and economic development in the region. Chairman of Pakistan Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee Mushahid Hussain, who inaugurated the dialogue on Monday, said China, Pakistan and Afghanistan should increase cooperation on multiple fronts for peace, stability and development. The senator, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute, said, "Realizing the importance of the trilateral relationship between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, especially in light of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), we have organized the trilateral dialogue between the three countries." Hussain said Pakistan's position has become vital with the successful implementation of CPEC which has been changing its infrastructural landscape massively.

Twitter warns Pakistan rights activists over government criticism

Saad Sayeed   The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID/FILE PHOTO ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Two Pakistani rights activists said on Monday they had been warned by Twitter about objectionable content on the social media network, a move that signals an ongoing push by authorities in the South Asian country to rein in free speech online. The warnings come a week after the social media company suspended the Twitter account of an ultra-right Pakistani cleric who issued threats to the government and judiciary over the acquittal of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. But a civil rights advocate said the activists' tweets were not the same as those of the cleric since they did not advocate violence, adding that the complaints appeared to be part of a campaign to suppress peaceful criticism within Pakistan. ADVERTISEMENT "Warnings sent out by Twitter are an

Dead body discovered from Jhaoo

November 12, 2018 Dead body of a man has been discovered from Jhaoo area of district Awaran. According to details received by The Balochistan Post, a dead body was discovered from Larandari area of Jhaoo on 10th October. Deceased has been identified as, Khuda Bakhash s/o Sulaiman, resident of Sorgar. Khuda Bakhsh was missing since 4 October 2018. The reason of the killing has not been ascertained yet.

Baloch poet has gone missing

A Baloch poet has gone missing after he was arrested by Pakistani security forces in a raid. According to details received by the Balochistan Post, Pakistani security forces raided Soladaan in Zamuran. A person was arrested during these raids. He was later identified as Baloch poet Akram Zakir s/o Atta Mohammad. Akram Zakir, who is a resident of Panjgur, worked as clerk in a local Oil depot. Since his arrest, Akram has not been heard, raising concerns about his whereabouts. It was also not clear why he was arrested at first place. Balochistan is plagued by the enforced disappearances of Baloch youth and activists. However, recent instances of ‘women and children abductions’ have also been reported. International campaign groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International accuse Pakistani security forces as the perpetrators of ‘illegal abductions in Balochistan’.

Another family of missing persons joins VBMP protest

November 13, 2018 Missing Naseer Baloch’s family has also joined the protest camp of missing persons. According to details received by The Balochistan Post, family of Naseer Baloch has joined the protest camp of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) in Quetta capital city of Balochistan. The camp was initially set up by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, an organization of family members of the victims of enforced disappearances, ten years ago. Seema Baloch, sister of missing Shabir, and Zarina Baloch, Shabir’s wife, joined the camp 9 days ago and they plan to stay there until their loved ones are not released. In a press conference today, Zubaida Baloch, wife of Naseer Baloch said, “my husband along with Hassam Baloch, Sanaullah and Rafiq Baloch were abducted from University road in Karachi city by Rangers and intelligence agencies personnel on 15 November 2017”. VBMP camp was visited by a leader of Balochistan National Party, Agha Hassan, Baloch National Movement’s Doctor Hay

Every 8th person executed in the world is Pakistani: report

Pakistan accounts for 13% of all global executions despite a shrinking death row population. Updated Oct 05, 2018 03:06pm Pakistan sentences people to death eight times more than the world average, Justice Project Pakistan finds Since December 2014 the Supreme Court of Pakistan has overturned a whopping 85 percent of death sentences. However, despite a significant drop in the death row population, Pakistan still accounts for 13 percent of all global executions since December 2014. In their latest report named  Counting the Condemned , Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), a non-governmental organisation working for prisoner's rights, analyses Pakistan's use of the death penalty and underscores the need for reforms Read more

Current Balochistan: Conflict updates from the ground

12/10/2018 KECH:- According to sources last night pakistani army raided a house in Zamuran Soladan, violent military personnel tortured women & children  & abducted a Balochi Poet namely Akram Zakir S/o Atta Mohmad R/o Paroom. 12/11/2018 KECH:- According to sources last night around 12Am pakistani military forces conducted an operation Dasht Bahot'Chat, violent military personnel tortured women & children & abducted 4 Baloch Civilians namely Akhtar S/o Umeed, Khalil S/o Umeed, Rashid S/o Ibrahim & Akram S/o Sayad.

One man killed, another abducted in Balochistan

- November 11, 2018 From News disk of *(The Balochistan Post)* brought to you by *(Current Balochistan)* A man was killed in Panjgur district and another was abducted from Awaran district on Sunday According to the details received by the Balochistan Post, unknown motorcyclists killed a man in Washbood town of Panjgur district on Sunday. Sources claimed the attack was targeted but the motive behind the killing remains uncertain. Later, the deceased was identified as Ikraam. In another news, Pakistani forces allegedly abducted a person during a raid in Peerandar town of Awaran district. The raid was carried out on Sunday at a house in Peerandar, and a man identified as Abdul Ghafoor S/O Nazir Ahmed was picked up from the house by the forces. The term abducted is often used for the arrests made during military actions as the arrested persons are not produced before the court of law but kept at undisclosed locations for years without any trials.

Lashkari Raisani and Tahir Hazara visit VBMP camp

November 11, 2018 From News disk of *(The Balochistan Post)* brought to you by *(Current Balochistan)* Balochistan National Party’s leader Lashkari Raisani and Tahir Hazara of Hazara community visited the VBMP(Voice For Baloch Missing Persons) camp on Sunday. According to the details received by the Balochistan Post, after the emotional scenes emerging at a protest two days ago of Baloch women crying for the safe release of Baloch Missing Persons, political leaders and civil society members continue to visit the VBMP camp, set in front of Quetta press club, to show solidarity. Lashkari Raisani, a leader of Balochistan National Party, visited the camp and raised several questions for the higher authorities. He said that people in the camp were not sitting for something illegal but for legal rights, and they want a fair trial for their loved ones under Pakistan’s constitution. “Country is facing a crisis, but they are busy crowd-funding for a dam, if they cannot produce our missing

Bill Shorten defends Vic Labor’s China Belt and Road Initiative deal

GREG BROWN   SAMANTHA HUTCHINSON 12:58PM NOVEMBER 12, 2018 177 Bill Shorten has defended Premier Daniel Andrews for joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arguing the deal was part of the “normal day to day work” of state politicians. The Opposition Leader said he was not surprised Mr Andrews released the memorandum of understanding over the weekend, after facing pressure from Scott Morrison and State Liberal leader Matthew Guy to make the document public before the November 24 election. Mr Shorten, who also called for Victoria to release the MOU “over time”, said the contents of the agreement showed the concern of Victoria joining the controversial program was “much hyped”. The MOU did not commit Victoria to any specific projects and talked in general support of Xi Jinping’s global infrastructure program. “I wasn’t surprised that he did release it and I think it was much hyped in terms of the Liberal conspiracy theories and now they are going to have to go back to talkin

Shorten backs Victoria signing China deal

3:40pm Nov 12, 2018 The much-anticipated release of Victoria's secret infrastructure deal with China has prompted federal Labor leader Bill Shorten to label the agreement as the everyday business of state politicians. Premiers of many political colours tried to woo China into business deals, and Victoria's Labor leader Daniel Andrews was no different, Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Monday. "Premiers of both sides of politics have taken delegations to China trying to interest investment in their particular part of Australia," he said. "That is the normal day-to-day work of our state politicians." The Victorian government released the terms of its memorandum of understanding with China on its Belt and Road Initiative late on Sunday. It was revealed that Victoria was the first Australian state to sign up to the initiative on October 8. Premier Daniel Andrews first mentioned the deal on October 25. The premier said it had been the intention to

Why did Daniel Andrews go it alone with his China deal?

By  Amanda Vanstone 12 November 2018 — 2:21pm The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative is breathtaking in its vision. Chinese co-funded projects extending from Kazakhstan to Africa, through south-east Asia and into the Pacific. China's Belt and Road Initiative plans to connect south-east Asian countries with the south-west region of Yunnan province through a series of high-speed railways.  CREDIT:BLOOMBERG Two wise people sitting at the same table might disagree as to whether it's all about friendship and co-operation or about spreading China’s already significant influence. I think it’s both. The simple fact is it is the biggest initiative in China’s foreign policy. So in your wildest dreams can you imagine NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian heading off and doing a Belt and Road deal without telling Scott Morrison or Marise Payne? Of course not, because she understands that the Commonwealth has responsibility for foreign affairs and national security. She understands the feder

China's 'One Belt, One Road': What has Victoria signed up to?

Daniel Andrews and Chinese Ambassador to Australia Source: Supplied: Chinese Embassy The Victorian state government has released the details of a controversial agreement with China on its Belt and Road initiative. By Samantha Beniac-Brooks The 'One Belt, One Road' plan has been heralded by the Chinese government as the "21st-Century Maritime Silk Road". It seeks to revive the ancient road and ocean network by creating two modern transit and trade corridors between China and Europe. READ MORE What is China's Belt and Road Initiative? Now,  a memorandum of understanding between China and Victoria has been released , showing an agreement made by the two parties linking the state to the initiative. The release comes more than a month after the secretive deal was signed on October 8. When it was later announced at a formal ceremony on October 25, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the agreement would benefit Victorians. “We have a very strong, very im