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Showing posts from February, 2019

Cancer in Balochistan

Nadil BalochMARCH 1, 2019Following his ascension to the post of Prime Minister (PM), Imran Khan visited Quetta and announced that he would build a cancer hospital there for the people of Balochistan.Cancer has ravaged many lives in Balochistan. According to reports, there were 10,924 cancer patients in Quetta from 1998 to 2009. From 2014 to 2017, 10,000 cases were reported in the city, most of which were cases of women with breast cancer.Currently, most of Balochistan’s cancer patients visit Karachi for treatment because it is the nearest city with the kind of medical facilities they require. However, no statistics are available as to exactly how many people from Balochistan are treated for cancer in Karachi every year.As a result of socioeconomic problems, many cases go unreported. However, the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University states that 40,000 women die in Pakistan every year because of breast cancer, whereas 90,000 women are diagnosed too late. This means out eve…

Provinces submit 100 projects to Chinese experts for grants under CPEC

Fawad YousafzaiFebruary 27, 2019
ISLAMABAD - Provinces have submitted around 100 projects to the Chinese experts to secure grant for the socioeconomic development under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).READ MORE: PM Khan to chair National Command Authority meeting todayThe provinces have submitted their recommendations to 13 Chinese delegates who are currently visiting Pakistan. The Chinese delegation is headed by Du Zhenli, comprising of experts from socioeconomic development field.The expert group is discussing implementation of newly introduced sector of socioeconomic development under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).The experts held a meeting with federal, provincial government officials and Pakistani experts to identify pilot projects and its implementation mechanism.The expert group will discuss the finalization of action plan with Pakistani experts, said the source. The finalization of action plan will help the government to launch pilot projects in the selective …

Job creation under CPEC: a myth

Faizan RasoolFEBRUARY 27, 2019CPEC has been hailed as a game changer for Pakistan’s development as it brings a massive dose of Chinese FDI and assistance in the overall context of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The developments and the governmental policies around CPEC therefore, get huge traction in the public opinion. The CPEC narrative hinges on the governmental assertions that it would, directly and indirectly, result in higher output, technology transfer and job creation. There is no doubt that the energy added to the national grid by CPEC in a record short time has given a significant boost to the country’s output.The anticipated technology transfer and the creation of a large number of jobs are dependent on the positive outcome of the industrial cooperation between the two countries under CPEC. The technology transfer hypothetically is being given high importance by policymakers. Regarding jobs, the government presented it as a trade-off vis a vis the incentives being gi…

China’s Belt And Road Initiative In Flux – OpEd

China's new Silk Road OBOR (One Road One Belt) project


 February 27, 2019Emil AvdalianiBy Emil AvdalianiChina’s economic and political ascendancy is a topic for almost every Eurasian state – and Georgia is no exception. However, before proceeding to China’s geopolitical role in and around Georgia, keep in mind those major routes which make up the famous Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): China to Europe through a new Eurasian land bridge; the China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor; and Central and West Asian countries. The 21st century maritime Silk Road mainly relies on Chinese coastal ports and consists of the China-Indochina Peninsula corridor linking China with the South Pacific Ocean through the South China Sea; the China-Pakistan trade corridor; and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar trade route.Georgia does not feature in the list, nor does the South Caucasus. This, however, does not preclude China from forging closer relations with the South Caucasus countries. This signals one of the…

The Dawn of Eurasia and the Belt and Road Initiative

CIW Public LectureSpeakerBruno MaçãesVenueAuditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANUDateWednesday, 6 March, 2019 - 18:00 to 19:15In this public lecture, Bruno Maçães will weave together themes from his two recent books, The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order and The Belt and Road Initiative: A Chinese World Order. Combining history, diplomacy and vivid reports from his six-month overland journey across Eurasia from Baku to Samarkand, Vladivostock to Beijing, Maçães argues that the best word for the emerging global order is 'Eurasian', and shows why we need to begin thinking on a super-continental scale. As he demonstrates, we can already see the coming Eurasianism in the success of cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, in Turkey's increasing global role and in the fact that, revealingly, the United States is redefining its place as between Europe and Asia. But it is most vivid in China’s Belt and Road Initiative — a bold infrastructur…

IN DIGITAL DIPLOMACY, HOPE TRAVELS FURTHER THAN HATE

Feb 25, 2019by
Ilan ManorRecent years have seen ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) adopt a strategic approach to their digital communications. As part of this approach, MFAs create narratives, or frames, through which digital publics can make sense of events shaping their world. Scholars such as Ben O’Loughlin, Alister Miskimmon and Laura Roselle argue that narratives are powerful as they shape people’s expectations about the world, influence people’s behavior and reduce anxiety about where the world is headed. The Cold War was a strategic narrative that helped people make sense of rapidly changing events. This narrative stated that the world was comprised of two ideological blocks that competed with one another over global hegemony. It was through this narrative that events such as the Spring of Prague, or the Cuban Missile Crisis, could be explained.Recently, Dr. Rhys Crilley and I examined the strategic narrative used by the Global Coalition Against Daesh on Twitter. The Coalition…

Naela Quadri Baloch on the Indian Airforce Jets striking JeM training camps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWBWF (World Baloch Women Forum)Vancouver, Canada(26/02/2019) - Below is the statement of Prof. Naela Quadri Baloch, head of WBWF (World Baloch Women's Forum) on the Indian Airforce Jets striking JeM training campsin Pakistan."Pakistan has long been an exporter of terror across the world. After observing restraint for nearly three decades, India, a longstanding victim of cross-border terrorism sponsored by the Pakistani state, has at last targeted terrorist camps in Pakistan. As a responsible nation India has exercised its right to self-defence within the bounds of international law. The Baloch people wholeheartedly welcome this development. ""We also sincerely hope that regional powers such as India will widen the scope of their anti-terror strikes and cover Balochistan as well because Pakistan has used Balochistan as a base for training terrorists who are not only used to suppress the indigenous Baloch nation, but also target other countries i…

Odil Gafarov: Chinese Private Military Companies Rise Alongside Belt and Road

Odil Gafarov: Chinese Private Military Companies Rise Alongside Belt and RoadOdil Gafarov is a Scholar residing at Yenching Academy of Peking University. He is one of the only two researchers in the world investigating the development and progress of Chinese private military companies. Recently in cooperation with Chatham House he published a pioneering piece on activity of Chinese private military companies in Central Asia.On this podcast, Odil Gafarov talks about the developments regarding China’s usage of private security forces in protecting Belt and Road projects in Africa and Central Asia.Read Odil’s piece on Chinese private security companies’ activity in Central Asia: Click hereListen to the Podcast below in English or Chinese!Click below linkhttps://beltandroad.ventures/podcasts/odil-gafarov-chinese-private-army-military-belt-and-road

This week’s top Belt and Road news

Source: Belt and Road AdvisoryBRI BriefingOur BRI Briefing summarizes and analyzes key news related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the last week.

Trump lessens prospect of Huawei ban:Trump tweets: “I want the US to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.” His comments struck a noticeably more dovish tone than many others in his administration, who have been lobbying US allies not to use Huawei

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan sign portmega deal: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on Sunday signed with Pakistan eight agreements worth $20bn. One of the agreements is on Saudi Arabia's Aramco-run $10bn refinery in the Pakistani port of Gwadar, one of the world's largest refineries.

China releases Greater Bay Area Development Plan: China’s reveals details of Greater Bay Area plan to turn Hong Kong and 10 neighboring cities into economic hub. Years in the making, the scheme embodies President Xi’s ambition to build innovation …

Uighurs: U.S. DNA expertise helps China crackdown

AXIOS FUTURE Steve Levine
An Uighur woman holding the Chinese flag. Photo: Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesFrom Mike Allen's indispensable Axios AM newsletter (sign up here) ..."Chinese authorities turned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control," the N.Y. Times Sui-Lee Wee reports.Details, per NYT:"China wants to make the country’s Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, more subservient to the Communist Party.""Collecting genetic material is a key part of China’s campaign ... [A] DNA database could be used to chase down any Uighurs who resist conforming.""[S]cientists affiliated with China’s police used equipment made by [Massachusetts-based] Thermo Fisher [and] relied on genetic material from people around the world that was provided by [Yale geneticist] Kenneth Kidd."Go deeper:US company Thermo Fisher to stop selling China equipmen…

Ban not fully enforced

* Operators at banned FIF ‘outlets’ express their feelings that the government and security apparatus are on their side* Daily Times Investigation team visits the newly renamed kiosks, offices and fund collection centres of banned outfits, operating with impunity
FEBRUARY 24, 2019Despite the ban imposed on Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) by the government, the same are operating throughout Pakistan using new names. These two organisations have recently been banned again, as a part of the government’s other initiatives to accelerate anti-terrorism operations and re-establish the writ of the state. JuD and FIF have existed in Pakistan with other names before, most prominently Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Even today, they continue to operate merely by changing names.Very few, publically visible offices of the FIF, which are mostly built as encroachments on footpaths and other public places, have actually been shut. At most locations, these ‘outlets’ have…

Chinese debt trap :An Interview with Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong

The Chinese debt trap :An Interview with Barry Sautman and Yan HairongFebruary 23, 2019, 9:02 pm *  Sri Lanka the ‘ground zero’ in Chinese debt trap discourse
*  The phrase ‘Chinese debt trap’ coined by RAW academic
*  Chinese govt. initially wary about further involvement in Hambantota
*  Public diplomacy not China’s strong point
*  Djibouti port doing well under China Merchant Co.
*  China Merchant Co upbeat about prospects of Hambantota port
by C.A.Chandraprema
Two Hong Kong based academics, Professor Barry Sautman of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Prof. Yan Hairong from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University were in Sri Lanka last week on a case study of Sri Lanka as a prime example of a country caught in a ‘Chinese debt trap’.
Since 2004, the duo had specialized in studying the economic relationship between China and Africa. Their special focus was on Zambia where China had heavy involvement in the mining industry and to a lesser extent in retailing and agriculture …

South Asian filmmakers seek cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-24 00:05:52|KATHMANDU, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Asian filmmakers and experts on Saturday stressed the need for cooperation in the region in the art and film sector under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).During a discourse held in Kathmandu as part of the ongoing Nepal International Film Festival, the film makers and critics said new exchanges in the areas of art, culture and film making is possible under the China-proposed initiative.Tsering Ritar Sherpa, a film maker from Nepal, said cooperation in the film industry is highly beneficial and can take the cinema market of the region into a new height."There is a possibility of co-production of movies, funding, joint ventures and many more between China and South Asian nations. We should grab the opportunity of BRI and move forward together," Sherpa said.He added that the creative team including director, writer, cinematographer and technicians of different countries can work together for the best ou…

Will the Chinese Belt and Road change the geopolitical game?

Book Review: Will the Chinese Belt and Road change the geopolitical game?PublishedFeb 23, 2019, 2:54 am ISTUpdatedFeb 23, 2019, 2:54 am ISTThe Belt and Road is more a concept than a legal or economic blueprint signed and sealed by its conceptualisers, according to the author.  Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, which was built with Chinese collaboration as part of the Belt and Road Initiative;China’s Belt and Road Initiative (referred these days simply as “Belt and Road”) is possibly the most discussed issue in global circles today. It not only poses the big question of whether China will dominate the world soon but also how different countries in it will be shaped by this giant economic and geopolitical initiative.Bruno Macaes, Portugal’s former Europe Minister and currently a senior fellow in China’s Renmin University, has written a book that not only takes a look at the project but also traces its implications for the global order. It is a book that needs to be read in today’s geopoliti…

This map shows a trillion-dollar reason why China is oppressing more than a million Muslims

ALEXANDRA MAFEB 23, 2019BI GraphicsChina is assembling a massive trade project - the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - which aims to connect the country with new infrastructure.Many of these projects pass through Xinjiang, a region in western China home to the beleaguered Uighur Muslim people.Beijing has been cracking down on Uighur life in on Xinjiang. Officials say its repression is a necessary counter-terror operation, but experts say it's actually to protect their BRI projects.The Uighurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority in Xinjiang, western China, are living in one of the most heavily-policed and oppressive states in the world. This map helps explain why.People in Xinjiang are watched by tens of thousands of facial recognition cameras, and surveillance apps on their phones. An estimated 2 million of them are locked in internment camps where people are physically and psychologically abused.China's government has for years blamed the Uighurs for a terror, and say they saying…

International workshop on CPEC in April to highlight opportunities, challenges

FEBRUARY 23, 2019The National Defence University (NDU) and Obortunity, Pakistan’s premier CPEC-focused firm, are organizing an international workshop to highlight opportunities and challenges of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).The two-and-a-half week international learning and networking event will be held in Beijing, Islamabad and Gwadar from April 17 to May 3.With the completion of the first phase of CPEC by year-end, activities related to the second phase – industrial cooperation – are gaining momentum. The second phase encompasses public and private special economic zones (SEZs), industrial relocation from China, attracting FDI into Pakistan, and growing opportunities for trade through new products and markets.The event will acquaint the participants with key areas and challenges of CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to a point where they can conceive and implement solutions. The participants will get an opportunity to build a network of key public and privat…

Iran's revenge won't be limited to 'bunch of terrorists': IRGC

Fri Feb 22, 2019Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) (Photo by IRNA)A senior Iranian general says the country will definitely avenge the recent terrorist attack on IRGC forces in Sistan and Baluchestan, but the revenge will not be limited to "a bunch of terrorists".Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told IRNA on Friday that the recent deadly attack on Iranian border guards will not be left unpunished."We cannot disclose the way in which we will respond to the terrorists, but no act will remain unanswered," he said."The scale of Iran's revenge is not limited to clashes with four terrorists; we rather will track the terrorists and find who they are linked to," the top general said."Our responses are strong, and those who receive it will get familiar with them," General Salami warned.The top commander also s…