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Showing posts from April 22, 2019

Pakistani media a “priority target for the country’s deep state’’: 2019 World Press Freedom Index

News DeskAPRIL 21, 2019Newly appointed Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and the information ministry are choosing to stay silent on the news that Pakistan has fallen three places on the World Press Freedom Index due to increased establishment pressure on media houses in the country. Despite several attempts by Daily Times to get the government’s take on the worsening state of media freedom, only unfulfilled promises to “get back” were received.The annual report from Reporters Without Borders, published right after the removal of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, paints a bleak picture of the state of press freedom in Pakistan.New information advisor Firdous Ashiq Awan and info ministry choose to stay quiet on the news

The report cites “numerous cases of brazen censorship in which the military exercised pressure on the media,” using examples such as the interference with a private TV channel’s broadcasting signals and disrupt…

PM Imran, Iranian President Rouhani express joint resolve to combat terrorism in border areas

Dawn.comUpdated April 22, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani address a joint press conference after talks. — Photo by Iranian Presidency / AFPPrime Minister Imran Khan met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Presidential Palace in Tehran on Monday.During their meeting, Prime Minister Imran — who is on a two-day official visit to Iran — discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and ways to further ties in diverse fields with President Rouhani, Radio Pakistan reported.PTI@PTIofficialPrime Minister @ImranKhanPTI meets President Hassan Rouhani at Saadabad Palace in Tehran.#PrimeMinisterImranKhan#Pakistan#Iran2,55712:02 PM - Apr 22, 2019

463 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyPrime Minister Imran later held a joint press conference with President Rouhani, during which he stated that he fears terrorism could become "a divisive part of the two countries' bilateral relations and increase differences between the cou…

Dominance or development? What’s at the end of China’s New Silk Road?

Diplomacy
Beijing’s global infrastructure drive will be in the spotlight this week when dozens of heads of state converge on the Chinese capital for the second Belt and Road ForumIn the first of a four-part series, we look at what might be the real purpose of the massive programmeTopic |  Belt and Road: 2019 ForumShi JiangtaoSarah ZhengPublished: 6:00am, 22 Apr, 2019By the entrance of the main office in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone is a crimson message from the country’s prime minister, Hun Sen.Written in flowing Khmer and Mandarin is a quote from the China-friendly strongman likening the area to “my own son”.On the opposite wall is a quote from Chinese President Xi Jinping hailing the zone – one of the first industrial estates in Asia funded and jointly run by Chinese investors – as a landmark model of cooperation.The zone is home to dozens of Chinese firms and is just 12km (7 miles) from Cambodia’s only deep-sea port, a facility that was developed with the help of C…

CHINA: Facial recognition payment is about to go big

SupChina.comChinese business news site Yicai reports that Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial's “ubiquitous mobile payment platform Alipay has launched its latest facial recognition tool and said it plans to spend CNY3 billion ($448 million) promoting the new system across China.”Alipay has launched Dragonfly 2 (蜻蜓2代 qīngtíng èrdài), a portable point of sales (POS) device that costs 1,999 yuan ($298), nearly 30 percent less than the previous version. That price is being discounted during a “pre-sale period” to bring the price down to just 1,199 yuan ($179).There are free POS devices from competitors, so Alipay is offering an incentive of up to 1,200 yuan if vendors process a certain amount of payments, which would cover the cost of the device. Yicai says the funds used for these incentives “are included in the product's 3 billion yuan promotion plan.”Vendors in 300 cities already useDragonfly 1, Alipay’s first-generation facial scanner released last December, according to the comp…

Visa denial toTrump's favourite Chinese Scholar

SupChina Access
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported (porous paywall):As many as 30 Chinese professors in the social sciences, heads of academic institutes, and experts who help explain government policies have had their visas to the United States canceled in the past year, or put on administrative review, according to Chinese academics and their American counterparts.

China is now retaliating, as the Chinese consulate in Washington declined to issue a visa to Michael Pillsbury, according to Axios:Pillsbury was due to participate in a conference in Beijing last Sunday hosted by the Center for China and Globalization. He was also invited to an event at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing hosted by Ambassador Terry Branstad.Pillsbury told Axios he applied for a visa at the Chinese consulate in Washington three weeks prior to his trip but the Chinese sat on his application, and he has not yet received his passport back. (The visa was neither approved nor denied, but the result was the s…

China’s belt and road plan helping foreign firms and hurting mainland exporters, say Canton Fair exhibitors

The Belt and Road Initiative is China's plan to grow global trade along the Silk Road trading routes to Europe, Africa and the Middle EastThere are now a growing number of foreign exhibitors from belt and road countries at the country’s biggest export fair that is currently underway in Guangdong provinceTopic |  China economyHe HuifengPublished: 1:45pm, 22 Apr, 2019China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” has created unexpected, and often unwanted, challenges for China’s small and medium-sized exporters, according to veteran Chinese traders attending the Canton Fair.While traders pay lip service to the government plan to recreate the Silk Road trading routes to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, some also worry that the initiative is generating new competition for the already embattled export sector.“China’s top leaders went to belt and road countries and promoted big infrastructure projects. But in our actual trading process, the national strategy doesn’t help much for small and mediu…

Belt and Road Initiative is not 'Marshall Plan'

Wang Wen

Editor's Note: Wang Wen is the executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.Despite the remarkable achievements made over the past five years, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is still faced with some skepticism and misunderstanding at home and abroad. Some people regard the BRI as China's Marshall Plan. However, the two are essentially different in terms of intention, content, and additional conditions.Politically, the Marshall Plan was highly ideologically motivated to serve the Truman Doctrine at that time. The purpose of the U.S. was to hold control over Western Europe through the Marshall Plan so as to fight against the Socialist camp led by the Soviet Union, the ultimate intention of which was to establish a U.S. hegemony.In contrast, the BRI is neither politicized, nor targeting a third party. It is open to all members of …

Greener Power Projects for the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)

April 22, 2019Han ChenThis post was co-written with Jessica Norris, Lily Hartzell and Feng XiaochangChina is hosting its second Belt and Road forum in Beijing from April 25-27, convening high-level representatives from around the world. The event will be a chance for China to evaluate the first five years of President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a trillion-dollar international investment project, and provide more specific targets and roadmaps for future projects.Source: UN Environment Management GroupA "GREEN" BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVEIn the lead-up to the first Belt and Road forum in May 2017, China published its “Guidance on Promoting Green Belt and Road,” “Belt and Road Ecological and Environmental Cooperation Plan,” and “Vision and Actions on Energy Cooperation in Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road,” emphasizing that its investment projects will be used to promote the Paris Agreement and 2030 Sustainable…

Catching China by the Belt (and Road)

How Washington can beat Beijing’s global influence campaign.BY ETHAN B. KAPSTEINJACOB N. SHAPIRO | APRIL 20, 2019, 6:45 AMChinese workers construct a shopping mall at a retail and office complex, part of a Chinese-backed building boom in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November 2018. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) Will the developing world fall under China’s sway? Many policymakers in Washington certainly fear so, which is one of the reasons they have created the new International Development Finance Corp. (IDFC), which is slated to begin operating at the end of this year. Like the Marshall Plan, which in the post-World War II years used generous economic aid to fight the appeal of Soviet communism in Western Europe, the IDFC aims to help Washington push back against Beijing’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative.The new institution should allow the United States to better align its commercial and development goals with its foreign policy in the developing world. But the IDFC will start at a si…

China: ‘Belt and Road’ Projects Should Respect Rights

Commit to Transparency, Public Consultation at Upcoming Forum
Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman speaks during the inaugural Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing Sunday, May 14, 2017. © 2019 Lintao Zhang/Pool Photo via AP(New York) – The Chinese government should ensure the projects it finances or engages in under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) respect human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 25-27, 2019, President Xi Jinping will host heads of state and international organization leaders at the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. The BRI, announced in 2013, is China’s trillion-dollar infrastructure and investment program stretching across some 70 countries, linking China to the rest of AsiaAfrica, and Europe via land and maritime networks.Under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese government should set out requirements to enable meaningful consultation with groups of people potentially affected by…