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Showing posts from March 1, 2019

China’s Vision for the Belt and Road in South Asia

Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurate CPEC projects in April 2015.Image Credit: Pakistan Prime Minister's Offce

What progress has the BRI made in South Asia thus far?By Antara Ghosal SinghMarch 02, 2019As China celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Belt and Road Initiative, South Asia has clearly emerged as a “priority zone” in the Chinese scheme, particularly, with the highest density of early harvest projects. Given South Asia’s strategic location at the intersection point of the China-proposed Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Chinese policymakers are of the opinion that having a foothold in South Asia or securing economic integration with the region is not only crucial to consolidate China’s strategic presence in the Eurasian hinterland but also to thwart any future attempt by its adversaries to confine China in the East Asia. Therefore, despite many challenges, China remains steadfast in carrying…

The Seventh Corridor of the Belt and Road Initiative

Friday, March 01, 2019China – Iran – Armenia – Georgia - Europe route within the Greater Eurasian Partnership

By Dr. Benyamin PoghosyanExecutive Director, Political Science Association of Armenia
Since the launch of Chinese “One belt, One Road (OBOR)” initiative in September 2013 later renamed as "Belt and Road initiative (BRI)" the bulk of academic research has been devoted to the evaluation of the suggested land and maritime routes of this gigantic project. In recent years the main focus of the Western and especially American expert community was the link between BRI and Chinese foreign policy strategy with more emphasize of possible negative ramifications of the project for the states involved. The terms such as “Debt diplomacy” or “Debt trap” were disseminating more and more in both academic and political circles.  Meanwhile, the Chinese and into some extent Russian experts were seeking to delegitimize the Western claims and to accentuate the mainly positive results of the…

50 Years Later: How the Soviet Union Called China's Bluff in 1969

Feature | 50 Years Later: How the Soviet Union Called China's Bluff in 1969
by David Gitter[Chinese and Soviet Border Guards in Pushing Match at the Ussuri River, 1969]The Sino-Soviet border clashes of 1969 resulted in the world’s two communist giants coming to the brink of nuclear war—both put their strategic forces on high alert during different points of the year. The crisis passed in fall of 1969, but the poisonous ideological climate of the broader Sino-Soviet Split had almost resulted in disaster.On 2 March 1969, Chinese forces conducted an ambush on Soviet border guards on Zhenbao Island. The ambush was part of a larger endeavor to deter future Soviet provocations and perhaps force Moscow to recognize that the current Sino-Soviet border was settled through “unequal treaties,” justifying a re-negotiated settlement. Moscow knew well that such an admission would raise into question large tracts of its territory and rejected Beijing’s assertions.Though Beijing never actually pr…

The Rise Of Chinese Student Power Casts Further Uncertainty Over Canada-China Ties

Petitions and aggressive protests of two activists in Canada.NG WENG HOONGFEBRUARY 25, 20191Chemi Lhamo and Rukiye TurdushCanadians’ opinion of China, on a downward trajectory over the last few years, may have hit a new low in the wake of the angry displays of Chinese student power at two university events in the province of Ontario early this month.A group of Chinese students campaigned aggressively to oust Chemi Lhamo, a Tibetan Canadian, shortly after she was elected student president of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (USTC). Days later, on February 11, another group tried to intimidate Uyghur activist Rukiye Turdush as she was giving a talk at McMaster University in Hamilton city on human rights abuses inflicted on her people in China’s Xinjiang region.Lhamo is a Tibetan Canadian with pro-Tibet political leanings while Turdush is a former president of the Uyghur Canadian Society who studied international development and social work in Canada. Tibetans and Uyghurs, tw…

The Blue Belt and Road

China’s Belt and Road and the World’s Water ResourcesFeb. 6, 2019|By Scott MooreSTR/AFP/GettyImagesOfficially, a central purpose of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is to promote sustainable development. According to Chinese state media portrayals of the BRI’s objectives, “China is building a green ‘Belt and Road’ to protect the green mountains throughout the countries along the line,” and that “through the ‘Belt and Road,’ China and its partners share the clean dream of ‘blue water and blue sky.’” The on-the-ground reality, though, appears to be quite different. Virtually all BRI power sector projects, for example, have employed highly-polluting fossil fuels. But one of the BRI’s biggest environmental impacts may come from its impact not on the world’s energy, but rather its water.The significance of the relationship between water and the BRI has not gone unremarked by Chinese analysts. A 2017 study published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences concluded, for example, that “wate…