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Showing posts from May 31, 2019

Opinion: Belt and Road May Be a Trap, But for China Itself

By  Yasheng Huang Workers build the China-Russia Trans-River Railway Bridge in Tongjiang, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, in June 2017. Photo: IC Photo Critics often claim that China is using its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a form of coercive “debt-trap diplomacy” to exert control over the countries that join its transnational infrastructure investment scheme. This risk, as Deborah Brautigam of John Hopkins University recently noted, is often exaggerated by the media. In fact, the BRI may hold a different kind of risk — for China itself. At the  recent BRI summit  in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping seemed to acknowledge the “debt-trap” criticism. In his address, Xi said that “building high-quality, sustainable, risk-resistant, reasonably priced, and inclusive infrastructure will help countries to utilize fully their resource endowments.” This is an encouraging signal, as it shows that China has become more aware of the debt implications of BRI. A stu

Five myths about China’s Belt and Road Initiative

No, it’s not driven by military motives. And it’s not the second coming of the Silk Road. Vehicles stand in a parking lot as a large screen shows an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kashgar, Xinjiang autonomous region, China, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Although it represents just 1.5 percent of China's population and 1.3 percent of its economy, Xinjiang sits at the geographic heart of Xi's signature Belt and Road Initiative. (Bloomberg/Bloomberg) By Jonathan Hillman Jonathan Hillman is the director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. May 31 at 6:00 AM Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision for putting Beijing at the center of global economic affairs is about forging new connections of all kinds, from building infrastructure to strengthening cultural ties. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers lofty promises of “win-win” investments that have persuaded some  126 countries  to sign on. But critics caution that

Pakistan envoy urges African countries to apply CPEC to access wider Asian markets

Source: Xinhua 2019-05-31 20:30:43 Photo taken on May 16, 2018 shows the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) during a test run in eastern Pakistan's Lahore. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring a host of economic opportunities for the country's southwest Balochistan province, local reports said. (Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed) ADDIS ABABA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can help African countries to access wider Asian markets with much-reduced time and economic cost, Pakistan's envoy to the African Union (AU) said Thursday. Asghar Ali Golo, Pakistan's Ambassador to the AU, made the remarks during the Belt and Road Dialogue for China-Africa Cooperation, which was jointly organized by the AU and the Chinese Mission to the AU in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Thursday. Golo said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will offer the shortest route to China and beyo

Will Balochistan Blow Up China’s Belt and Road?

Violence in the Pakistani province is on the rise—and now Chinese nationals are the target. BY  MUHAMMAD AKBAR NOTEZAI  | MAY 30, 2019, 4:10 PM Pakistani naval personnel stand guard near a ship at the Gwadar port on Nov. 13, 2016. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES In 2015, when Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plane entered Pakistani airspace, eight Pakistan Air Force jets scrambled to escort it. The country’s leadership warmly welcomed the Chinese leader—and his money. On his two-day state visit, he announced a multibillion-dollar project called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would form part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and would revolve around the development of a huge port in the city of Gwadar. Gwadar, a formerly isolated city in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, boomed. As soon as the CPEC was announced, tourists, including journalists, started visiting Gwadar. The Pearl Continental, the only five-star hotel in the area, had been on the brin

Decolonise now

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar Updated May 31, 2019 The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. MOST Pakistanis, at least of the formally educated variety, have a limited understanding of colonial rule in the subcontinent and how significant a legacy it left behind. Perhaps it is because we are taught virtually nothing about the British Raj in school, and believe that we were subject to Hindu Raj before 1947 rather than the wide-ranging coercive and consent-generation mechanisms of British rule. That so many of us are wilfully ignorant is the most disturbing aspect of our colonial inheritance. The British ruled the subcontinent for almost 200 years, and in that time established formal legal, administrative and coercive apparatuses that we inherited in 1947. They enumerated populations, mapped and codified land, and integrated what we now know as Pakistan into an imperial economy that spanned the globe. It is impossible to understand where we are today, and particularly the cris