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Showing posts from January 19, 2019

Birthing a new world

Sandeep Dikshit 
Posted at: Jan 20, 2019, 7:06 AM
Last updated: Jan 20, 2019, 7:06 AM (IST)
The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan.Bloomsbury.Pages 336.Rs 699Sandeep Dikshit Peter Frankopan’s first offering, The Silk Roads, was packaged differently. The book itself was in the shape of an elongated tourist guide with a stunning jade blue Persian motif as the jacket. The content was far from the Euro-centric visions of the Silk Route, which is not any particular avenue but the numerous pathways that connected one end of Asia to another, and then looped over the seas to connect other continents. The Mediterranean, for him was not the crucible of modern civilisation. It was a far more complex affair involving the transfer of goods, ideas and technologies and the bulk of the churning took place in the swathe from Persia to China with India and the stans in between.His follow-up effort, The New Silk Roads, again has a stunning cover, is more contemporary a…

The Biggest Problem Between China And The United States Isn't The Trade War

Panos MourdoukoutasContributor

GETTYThere are many problems between China and the United States, including the potential trade war that has unsettled global financial markets. This isn’t the biggest problem between the two countries though. That would be the growing antagonism between the countries and the South China Sea and Africa. This problem could last for years, if not decades, and it could lead to military confrontations between the two countries.The South China Sea is at the forefront of the economic and political agenda in Beijing. It marks the opening of the maritime Silk Road for China, a project that aims to make China the next major economic leader in the world. Roughly $5 trillion of merchandise moves through the sea each year.Then there are the claims Beijing has made that it owns “historical” rights to the South China Sea. Every single inch of it. Beijing defends those rights using intimidation, which bolsters Chinese nationalism, which helps to further propagate the Ch…

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Nigeria’s Memorandum of Understanding on the BRI

By editor - 4 mins agoToday, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria holds a Forum to discuss the Belt and Road Initiative and Production Capacity Cooperation between China and Nigeria. On the sidelines of this discussion forum, the Chinese community in Nigeria is also celebrating the Lunar New Year in China. Our main focus in this column is on the issue to be discussed by the Forum: the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is to serve as a prolegomena to the seminar.The BRI is not only referred to as the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR), but also as ‘Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.’ The use of belt covers the overland routes, that is road and rail transportation, and therefore called the Silk Road Economic Belt. On the contrary, the use of ‘road’ is to describe the sea routes or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.Three factors are noteworthy in understanding the subject. First, it is a project initiated under the Xi Jinping administration an…

China’s belt and road initiative may have its flaws, but some critics are taking it too far

Detractors of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ have adopted a shrill tone that smacks of vulnerabilityRivalry should take the high road and not sink to constant attacks on debt trap diplomacyAnthony RowleyUPDATED : Sunday, 20 Jan 2019, 1:05PM 2The charge of “debt trap” diplomacy has been levelled so often against China in connection with its “Belt and Road Initiative” infrastructure lending policies that it has stuck like soiling mud. Yet, as often seems to be the case with China bashing, such charges may be misdirected in many cases.As some would have it, Beijing has crafted a cunning strategy to lure countries along the belt and road route into borrowing more on projects than they can afford to repay. They are then forced to hand over ownership of the project to China, along with valuable assets such as land or ports.Taken to its logical (or illogical) conclusion, this would suggest that China could end up owning and controlling potentially thousands of miles of strategic highway,…

Reeducating’ Xinjiang’s Muslims

James MillwardFEBRUARY 7, 2019 ISSUERadio Free AsiaUighur detainees listening to a “deradicalization” presentation at a reeducation camp, in a photo posted to the Xinjiang Judicial Administration’s WeChat account, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang, 2017In a courtroom in Zharkent, Kazakhstan, in July 2018, a former kindergarten principal named Sayragul Sauytbay calmly described what Chinese officials continue to deny: a vast new gulag of “de-extremification training centers” has been created for Turkic Muslim inhabitants of Xinjiang, the Alaska-sized region in western China. Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh, had fled Xinjiang and was seeking asylum in Kazakhstan, where her husband and son are citizens. She told the court how she had been transferred the previous November from her school to a new job teaching Kazakh detainees in a supposed “training center.” “They call it a ‘political camp’…but in reality it’s a prison in the mountains,” she said. There were 2,500 inmates in the facility where she h…