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Showing posts from April 18, 2019

14 people, including nine navy men, shot dead in Balochistan

BY STAFF REPORT –Baloch insurgents claim responsibility for attack, claim they targetted navy, coast guard personnel  –Media reports claim 9 Pakistan Navy men among those gunned down after being identified through IDs QUETTA:  At least 14 people were killed in an ambush on several buses travelling between Karachi and Gwadar in the remote Ormara area of Balochistan province on Thursday. According to reports, the unidentified assailants intercepted the buses in Buzi Top area on the Coastal Highway around midnight and offloaded 16 of the three dozens people, after checking their identity cards. The attack took place as the bus was traveling on the Makran coastal highway between the port city of Karachi and the Gwadar port in the southwest, local official Jehangir Dashti told The Associated Press. Dashti said the passengers targeted in the attack were killed after the assailants checked their identity cards but he could not confirm if all the slain were Punjabis. The travellers we

IMF may delay bailout package to cash-strapped Pakistan: Report

PTI Islamabad | Updated on April 15, 2019  Published on April 15, 2019 The IMF’s bailout package to cash-strapped Pakistan could be delayed as the global lender is pressing it to be transparent on the CPEC project and wants a written guarantee from Islamabad that its assistance will not be used to repay the loans to China, a media report said on Monday. Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy. Article Continues Below With the generous Chinese assistance, Pakistan has so far received a total of USD 9.1 billion in financial aid packages from friendly countries during the current fiscal year. Finance Minister Asad Umar said earlier this month that a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would visit Islamabad soon after the spring meetings of the World Bank Group, which includes the IMF, and an agreement should be signed by the e

Analyst: CPEC a Debt Reliever, Not a 'Debt Trap' for Pakistan

OPINION The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, has been making remarkable progress, yet some countries and observers are trying to belittle its enormous potential benefits by labelling it a "debt trap". Yasir Masood — Since the CPEC is entering the next phase of its development, those opposed to it are trying to impede its progress using a two-pronged strategy-first, deceiving the public by misquoting the CPEC's financial figures and achievements in the media, and second, raising the specter of past militancy in Pakistan to mislead investors into believing the country is still a volatile investment destination. CC0 Pakistan Withdraws Key Power Project From CPEC - Reports Despite Pakistani government departments issuing innumerable clarifications, along with the real facts and figures about the CPEC, the international CPEC cynics are bent upon calling it a "debt trap". Let us solve this puzzle by analyzing the CPEC&

More nations value importance of Belt and Road Initiative

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/17 20:03:41 Wednesday witnessed the world's biggest single-day election - the 2019 Indonesian general election. During campaigns, topics over Chinese investment were put under the spotlight. While incumbent President Joko Widodo stressed on Indonesia's thirst for foreign investments, including from China, his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, vowed to review the China-invested railway project linking Jakarta and Bandung. The Chinese-relevant topic that emerged in the Indonesian election is not an isolated case. Among developing countries which underwent elections or military coups, China's economic and trade relations with them have become a hot issue, especially since the  Belt and Road  Initiative (BRI) was first proposed by China six years ago. BRI has brought about an inevitable boost in China's influence. An increasing number of Chinese topics show that BRI is of great significance to their economy and people's livel

The Belt and Road Initiative 2019 Survey – A new driver for globalisation?

The second Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Survey of 28 central banks reveals that they view the BRI as a major driver of globalisation, with a high percentage of respondents expecting the initiative to provide a significant boost to GDP. So far, political interference by ‘major countries’ has had little effect on BRI projects, but this could change in the future. By Zhang Jizhong and Christopher Jeffery, with research by Rachael King Yamdrok Lake, Tibet Christopher Jeffery Zhang Jizhong 18 Apr 2019 This article is part of The IFF China Report 2019 The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been a beacon in the past five years as a China-led effort with the aim of supporting global economic growth and development. For this reason, the BRI stands out at a time when many existing multilateral efforts are facing significant problems.  The Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks has been stalled for some time, and progress to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions – the World

CPEC has made Pakistan key destination for global trade, investment: Alvi

APP April 19, 2019 ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project had made Pakistan an important destination for global trade and investment. Talking to a delegation of International CPEC workshop organised by National Defence University at the Aiwan-e-Sadr Thursday, he said the government attached great importance to the socio-economic development of country. He said development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) was an important part of the Phase-II of CPEC such as; industrial cooperation, for which public-private collaboration must be enhanced. The president underscored the importance of skilled human resource for SEZs and CPEC-driven industrial activities in Pakistan. He underlined that million jobs would be created over the next 10 years, and workforce was required in this connection. Pointing out the latest developments that CPEC and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are bringing in the region, he emphasised that such conferences and wor

People-to-people exchanges boost BRI development

Su Yuting As the ancient Chinese saying goes, "amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states." The bedrock of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is interconnectivity, especially the connection of people's hearts. The Belt and Road Initiative has gained strong support thanks to enhanced people-to-people exchanges, particularly, tourism and study abroad programs. In 2017, two-way tourism between China and Belt and Road countries totaled 60 million trips. Compared to 2012, outbound and inbound tourism increased by 2.6 and 2.3 times respectively. Tourism along Belt and Road routes has become a new growth engine for global tourism.  The BRI has also greatly boosted sister-city relationships. Data shows that the number of sister-city ties between Chinese cities and Belt and Road counterparts reached 1,023 by the end of April 2018, accounting for over 40 percent of the world's sister-city connections. In addition to developed countries and region

Seeing what you want in Belt and Road

NICK BISLEY China’s sprawling infrastructure program has become a test of attitudes that tells us more about the analyst than BRI. The Belt and Road has become a Rorschach test telling what you think about China and its place in the world (Photo: Narcis Sava/Flickr) Published 18 Apr 2019 14:30    0 Comments    China       Follow @NickBisley China’s Xi Jinping recently completed a high-profile trip to Europe. In Italy, Xi and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte last month  signed  a non-binding memorandum of understanding linking the struggling Italian economy to Belt and Road Initiative, the sprawling infrastructure program that is China’s signature international policy move, as well as a range of agreements worth a little short of €3 billion. Yet it was the signature of the legally worthless Memorandum of Understanding that captured the  headlines  at the time. Based on some  reactions  one might have thought that Conte had sold Italy’s birthright to the Chinese Communist

European Union must ‘play offence’ to offset China’s rising influence in Africa, Asia, insiders say

Diplomacy Brussels has to move away from its defensive strategy if it wants to compete for global infrastructure deals, promote its ideals, MEPs sayTwo sides ended their summit last week with an agreement to increase cooperation on infrastructure development Topic |  China-EU relations Keegan Elmer    Published: 4:00am, 18 Apr, 2019 The European Union must adopt a more attacking strategy if it wants to compete with China on infrastructure development projects and promote its values in Africa and Asia, according to two of the bloc’s leading authorities on Beijing policy. Reinhard Bütikofer, a member of the European Parliament and deputy chairman of its delegation for relations with China, said that after the promises made at last week’s EU-China summit the time was ripe for Brussels to push ahead with its global “connectivity strategy”. The bloc had been playing “defence” to check China’s influence in its own backyard, he said, citing the introduction of anti-dumping measures

'Time to take difficult decisions': Asad Umar steps down as finance minister, will not hold any portfolio Updated April 18, 2019 Asad Umar, who stepped down as finance minister on Thursday, addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV PTI stalwart Asad Umar — an hour after announcing that he is stepping down as finance minister on Thursday — told a press conference that it was time to make some "difficult decisions" to stabilise the economy and that he hopes his replacement would be supported in their efforts. Umar, via Twitter, announced earlier that he has obtained the prime minister's consent "to not take any cabinet position" days after reports of a reshuffle in the cabinet were  rubbished  by the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. "As part of a cabinet reshuffle, [the] prime minister desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance," he said. "However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position." Umar ended his tweet by saying: "I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the best hope for P

Belt and Road Initiative: An opportunity or risk for Africa?

Ruchita Beri Ruchita Beri is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi.  Click here for detail profile . More from the author April 15, 2019 The forthcoming Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum meeting, scheduled to be held in Beijing in late April, has put the spotlight on the growing engagement of China with African countries. In the last two decades, China’s engagement with African countries has grown by leaps and bounds. The Belt and Road Initiative, launched by China in 2013, with the focus on funding infrastructure development projects, provides an opportunity for African countries to address the infrastructure deficit on the continent. African leaders have in turn prioritised infrastructure development as the main pillar underpinning national as well as regional development. This task requires significant financing and Chinese support in this regard will no doubt help them achieve their infrastructure goals. However, it also lea

BRAS claims responsibility for Gwadar attack killing fourteen

Baloch Raaji Aajohi e Sangar (BRAS), has claimed responsibility of attack in Ormara near Gwadar that killed at least 14 early in the morning on Thursday. Earlier, according to local administration, around 15-20 armed assailants in camouflage gear stopped a bus on Makran Coastal Highway. They offloaded at least 16 passengers after checking their id cards. At least 14 were shot dead, while two persons managed to escape the massacre and made it to the nearest Levies checkpost. According to latest updates, BRAS, an alliance of Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch Republican Guard (BRG), has claimed responsibility for the attack. Baloch Khan, BRAS’s spokesperson, in a statement said that those killed in the attack were personnel of Pakistani armed forces. He claimed that they were only killed after their identities were ascertained through their service cards. While government officials confirmed that some of the deceased were members of Pakistan

CPEC to enter ‘new era’ after PM Khan’s visit to Beijing: envoy

By Mian Abrar April 17, 2019 🔊 Listen to Article ‘All countries are welcome to join the development of Pakistan’s economy’ ISLAMABAD:  Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said on Wednesday that the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China would take the relations between the two countries into a ‘new era’ of development and prosperity. Addressing the participants during the launch of a book, ‘CPEC – A Precursor to Regional Economic Growth and Stability’, published by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), Ambassador Yao Jing said that Pakistan and China are entering a ‘new stage of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’ under which the areas of cooperation would be expanded. He said the leadership-level discussion on the next phase of CPEC would take place during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China, where he would attend the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum next week. The book contained chapters written by both Pakistani and Chinese scholars. It highlights the opp