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Showing posts from January 11, 2019

Success of BRI Port Paves Way for Future China-UAE Joint Projects

20 Dec 18Inauguration of new Khalifa Port terminal seen as likely precursor to new tranche of Middle East BRI developments.The expanded Khalifa Port: Welcomed as geographically strategic and somewhat timely.Earlier this month, the official inauguration of the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal marked the successful completion of yet another major Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project. Representing a significant expansion to the existing facilities of the Khalifa Port – the principal marine cargo-handling facility serving the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – this new semi-automatic terminal was jointly developed by COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP), the port-operating division of Shanghai-headquartered China COSCO Shipping, and Abu Dhabi Ports.The new terminal will be operated by CSP in line with a 35-year agreement signed with Abu Dhabi Ports in 2015. The Chinese developer is estimated to have spent about US$300 million on the terminal's construction, as well as having invested a further $130 million i…

New Silk Road milestone: more traffic eastbound to Chongqing in 2018

Published on 08-01-2019 at 08:00Rail freight traffic from Europe to Chongqing in China exceeded traffic in westbound direction in 2018. The number of trains travelling from Europe to the southwestern Chinese city reached 728, out of a total of 1,442 freight trains in both directions. This is the first time that eastbound traffic was more than westbound movement.Westbound traffic between China and Europe has traditionally accounted for the majority of the volumes on the New Silk Road. The return of empty containers to China has been a dilemma for operators, as it is a costly procedure, pressing the optimal use of Chinese funding tools. Creating a balance between east- and westbound traffic has been one of the main aims of operators active on the New Silk Road.117 per cent growthThe number of trains traveling back to Chongqing surpassed the number of outbound trains for the first time in 2018, said Yuxinou (Chongqing) Logistics Co in a Xinhua report. In general, traffic between the Chin…

The new US Africa strategy is not about Africa. It’s about China

BYCornelia Tremann

20 December 2018 06:00President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton outlined the US administration’s new Africa strategy in a speechlast week at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC. The main tenets of the strategy, including the prioritisation of trade and investment, combatting of terrorism, and better-targeting of US foreign aid in Africa, are on the whole sensible. The US has already increased the promotion of private sector engagements in Africa as a key lever for development and should continue to support US investment in Africa.Unfortunately, the positive aspects of the strategy were a little lost in the speech because the new US Africa strategy is not really about Africa. It’s about China.According to Bolton, the greatest threat to the US in Africa comes not from migration or extremism, but from China (and to a lesser extent, Russia). Through its “corrupt” and “predatory” business practices on the continent, Ch…

Belt, Road, and Sword

BERLIN POLICY JOURNALJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019SHARE    THOMAS S. EDER , JANUARY 3, 2019China is steadily expanding its security presence and infrastructure in Asia and well beyond, a strategy shaped by Beijing’s global power ambitions. It‘s a reality that the West cannot afford to ignore.© An Yuan/CNS via REUTERSThe attackers only managed to get as far as the gate to the Chinese consulate in Karachi: on November 23, 2018, three militants pulled up in front of the building and advanced, opening fire. Two police and two civilians were killed before Pakistani security forces shot dead the assailants. They were separatists from the restive province of Baluchistan, and they said they had a clear goal: to stop Chinese investments in the western part of their country.Such militant attacks in Pakistan are nothing new to Western governments, who have been targets for decades. But the fact that Beijing, too, is now in the crosshairs signals a troubling new reality and shines a light on China’s grow…

Managing Connectivity Conflict: EU-India Cooperation and China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Jagannath P. Panda and Maaike Okano-HeijmansASIA PAPER  December, 2018, pp. 51READ FULL TEXTExecutive SummaryConnectivity initiatives are the latest geopolitical tool for advancing influence in international relations and diplomacy. Against the backdrop of an emerging connectivity conflict, the responsibility is on likeminded countries and organizations to promote initiatives that embody transparency and universalism in connectivity projects and that benefit citizens in the long term. The EU and India are two important actors in this regard.This paper analyzes the scope of cooperation in the field of connectivity between the EU and India, arguing that they are two important strategic poles of the current world order with shared interests. Europe and India are key actors of the western and non-western democratic liberal, both aiming to strengthen an “open, transparent and rules-based system of international politics and economics.” Realizing this potential requires candid and engaged s…

Kahan: Pakistani forces attacked by BLA

January 11, 2019
From news desk of *(The Balochistan Post)*Pakistani forces patrolling team attacked in Kahan area of Balochistan on Wednesday, BLA claimed the responsibility of the attack.According to details received by The Balochistan Post, Pakistani forces patrolling team was attacked on Wednesday afternoon in Loli area of Kahan.Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a Baloch militant organisation, later claimed the responsibility of the attack.Jeehand Baloch, spokesperson for BLA has said “BLA fighters attacked the Pakistani forces motorcycle patrolling team while they were heading from Kahan to Loli. Two forces personnel killed and several injured in the attack”.“General Aslam Baloch’s caravan will be carried on until the independence of Balochistan” said Jeehand Baloch.Whereas another attack on a Pakistani forces picket in Sibi area of Balochistan on Tuesday was also claimed by BLA.Jeehand Baloch stated that “BLA sniper team attacked the Pakistani forces picket in Jalari area of Sibi. …

China’s 1MDB Bailout Offer Raises BRI Concerns

The Wall Street Journal has discovered that in 2016, China offered Malaysia bailouts and surveillance of Hong Kong journalists to alleviate the ongoing scandal surrounding its 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund. The fund was created in 2009 by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak, involved an alleged $4.5 billion of misappropriated funds flowing across multiple countries, and prompted probes in at least 10 countries. Through reviewing meeting minutes and interviews, Tom Wright and Bradley Hope report on how Beijing’s assistance was contingent upon advancing its Belt and Road Initiative:Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try to get the U.S. and other countries to drop their probes of allegations that allies of then-Prime Minister Najib Razak and others plundered the fund known as1MDB, the minutes show.[…] In return, Malaysia offered lucrative stakes in railway and pipeline projects forChina’s One Belt, One Road program ofbuilding infrastr…

The Belt and Road Initiative Still Afloat in South Asia

Publication: China Brief Volume: 19 Issue: 1By: Sudha RamachandranJanuary 5, 2019 07:00 AM Age: 6 daysChinese and Pakistani workers at a Belt and Road construction project in northern Pakistan.On November 23, three militants of the Balochistan Liberation Army attacked the PRC consulate in Karachi, the latest in a series of assaults by Baloch militants on PRC projects and personnel in Pakistan (Global Times, November 24). Baloch opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a primary motivating factor for these attacks, with many Balochis alleging that CPEC, a flagship component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), exploits Baloch resources while only benefiting the Chinese and non-Baloch Pakistanis (Express Tribune, December 17, 2015).South Asian governments are becoming increasingly discontent with BRI projects. In August, Pakistan’s new government expressed interest in reviewing the CPEC contracts that they perceive to be over-priced, unnecessary, or excessively…

Belt and Road's purposes differ in different regions

Thursday, January 10, 2019China's Belt and Road uses foreign investment as an instrument to achieve diverse region-specific goalsSource: Oxford AnalyticaOutlookThe Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) suggests that China believes it can no longer achieve rapid economic development using reforms and investments within its borders alone, and must now also shape the outside world to create conditions favourable to its continued development.This includes developing new foreign markets where none exist and improving connectivity across land borders so China’s inland regions can develop like the coastal trading cities already have. The BRI's security dimension lies foremost in diversification -- reducing dependence on particular markets, suppliers and trade routes.ImpactsBeijing prefers to exploit vacant niches and gradually undermine the established international order rather than challenging it head-on.China’s leadership believes that economics determines politics: establish the right e…

Pakistan’s army is to blame for the poverty of the country’s 208m citizens

It has fostered the paranoia and extremism that hold the country back

Jan 12th 2019IT HAS FOR so long been a country of such unmet potential that the scale of Pakistan’s dereliction towards its people is easily forgotten. Yet on every measure of progress, Pakistanis fare atrociously. More than 20m children are deprived of school. Less than 30% of women are employed. Exports have grown at a fifth of the rate in Bangladesh and India over the past 20 years. And now the ambitions of the new government under Imran Khan, who at least acknowledges his country’s problems (see Briefing), are thwarted by a balance-of-payments crisis. If Mr Khan gets an IMF bail-out, it will be Pakistan’s 22nd. The persistence of poverty and maladministration, and the instability they foster, is a disaster for the world’s sixth-most-populous country. Thanks to its nuclear weapons and plentiful religious zealots, it poses a danger for the world, too.Many, including Mr Khan, blame venal politicians for Pakistan’s p…