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Showing posts from July 12, 2019

Russia to build new ‘Silk Road’ linking China

The ancient Silk Road was not a single road but a collection or network of tracts and sea routes on which goods were shipped by merchants. File photo. Meridian highway will stretch over 2,000 km from the Belarus border to the Kazakhstan frontier ByDM CHAN Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the construction of a new tolled motorway across Russia designed to significantly shorten cargo routes, RT.com reported. The massive infrastructure project, the Meridian highway, has won the support of the Russian government, Vedomosti business daily said, citing government officials. The highway is set to stretch over 2,000 kilometres from the Belarus border to the frontier with Kazakhstan, and it is expected to become part of the fastest trucking route between China and Europe. The motorway will reportedly cost around 600 billion rubles (US$9.5 billion). According to the report, the project’s operator has already bought out around 80% of the land required for the constructi

BRI and China’s International Commercial Courts

9 July 2019 SOME COMPARISONS CAN BE MADE BETWEEN THE OLD SILK ROAD  and China’s modern Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has been dubbed “the New Silk Road”. Some interesting comparisons – revealing both similarities and differences – can also be made between the traditional and modern systems of dispute resolution in China. This column examines the impact of China’s new international commercial courts on disputes arising out of the BRI. China has undertaken a number of significant reforms in recent years to improve the professionalism of its court system and, in particular, to increase the independence of the courts from local governments and local interests. Despite these reforms and the increasing professionalisation of courts generally, the courts in China still face many challenges. For example, there is still a significant gap between the professionalism of courts in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and those in other parts of China, particularly in the rural are

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: status report

PETER MCCAWLEY Some projects will succeed. Others will fail. And in the end, China will likely find the political gain is quite mixed. Models of Chinese-made bullet trains on exhibition in Jakarta (Photo: Bay Ismoyo via Getty) Published 10 Jul 2019 06:00    0 Comments    Asia   China   Southeast Asia China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to  attract much comment . To some, it is a threat – proof that China’s aim is to extend Chinese global influence. To others, it is a useful contribution to global capital flows. Where does the balance lie between these two views? Just as the US and Australia are critical of China’s BRI program today, during the 1970s and 1980s it was common for Western countries to complain about the political and commercial influence that Japan seemed to be building up across Asia. Three issues, particularly, are worth considering: the size of the BRI program; the place of BRI in capital flows to developing countries; and the li

Where Is Indonesia on China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

Image Credit:  Flickr/Eduardo M.C. Jakarta continues to seek ways to manage the opportunities and challenges stemming from the BRI. By  Prashanth Parameswaran July 09, 2019 Last week, reports surfaced of discussions between Indonesia and China to set up a new special fund under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The reports reflect a broader reality where Jakarta, while wary of the challenges inherent in engaging BRI, still remains open to realizing the opportunities within it as well as the initiative continues to evolve. As I have noted before in these pages,  Southeast Asia in general and Indonesia in particular have been important to the advancement of the BRI since it was first unveiled in 2013  – indeed, the “Road” component was initially rolled out by President Xi Jinping during a visit to Indonesia. In part, China has perceived that it can build on several advantages it has with the subregion that it does not enjoy in other areas to the same degree, be it geograp

BNM holds a demonstration in UK against the deportation of political activist Rashid Baloch from UAE to Pakistan

BNM holds a demonstration in UK against the deportation of political activist Rashid Baloch from UAE to Pakistan . 2019-07-12 Baloch National Movement’s central spokesperson in a media statement said BNM UK zone conducted a zonal cabinet meeting, chaired by zonal president Hakeem Baloch. Various agendas were discussed in the meeting, including the grueling human rights violations, enforced disappearances of political workers and dumping of the innocent abductees' dead bodies by hands of Pakistani intelligence agencies and its local death squads.     He said that Rashid Baloch's extra-judicial arrest and his subsequent deportation to a terrorist state like that of Pakistan is condemnable. The United Arab Emirates has trampled the dignities of human rights laws and ethics in siding with Pakistan by taking this action. No law of the world permits of such acts. If anyone is accused of a crime, they have the universal right to speak in their defense but UAE didn’t follow any le

EMIRATI AUTHORITIES UNLAWFULLY DEPORT RASHID HUSSAIN BALOCH TO PAKISTAN

URGENT ACTION EMIRATI AUTHORITIES UNLAWFULLY DEPORT PAKISTANI NATIONAL On 22 June 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) forcibly returned Rashid Hussain Brohi to Pakistan. Emirati security forces had taken him into custody on 26 December 2018 without an explanation. They held him incommunicado for seven months. Prior to moving to the UAE, Rashid was an activist in the Baloch National Movement in Pakistan. The deportation places his life in danger in Pakistan, due to his ethnicity, and is therefore an unlawful forced return. On 22 June 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) deported Pakistani national and Balochi activist Rashid Hussain Brohi to Pakistan after seven months of incommunicado detention. His family has been unable to obtain information about his whereabouts in Pakistan, where his life is in danger due to his ethnicity. Rashid had moved to the UAE after members of his family and colleagues, all from the Balochi community, were killed in Pakistan between 2010 and 2016, in une

Gwadar: Economic prosperity of Pakistan

Imtiaz Rafi Butt July 06, 2019 Gwadar. a deep sea port city, located at South-western Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan, has opened up its arms, asking the world to come and invest. READ MORE:  IHC requests to remove accountability judge Arshad Malik over 'video leak' controversy The charm of this city is gradually gaining momentum. Gwadar to Pakistanis is a game changer, with its strategic location, it is destined as the economic hub that will not just cater the locals but will also come off as a key factor for the economic prosperity of Pakistan. Gwadar, being an ideal site of future raised its bar as China, our friendly neighbouring country positioned itself under their flagship mega infrastructural initiative, “China Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC). CPEC is a paramount enterprise of China, under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), commonly known as One Belt One Road, which covers around 65 countries, 4.4 billion people and 40% of the global Gross Domestic Product. Chi

Fatima’s election

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar July 12, 2019 The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. THERE is an election happening in this country in a few short days, and an extremely historic one at that. The people of the region formerly known as Fata will go to the polls for the very first time since formal integration into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. After more than seven decades, the more than three million people of the tribal regions are finally being given a modicum of democratic rights, the barely disguised colonial statute known as the Frontier Crimes Regulation, or FCR, finally being thrown into the dustbin of history.   There is no direct link but the impending electoral exercise in the ex-Fata districts takes me back to the 1965 presidential election, which, in many ways, was similarly historic. In recent days, many people have commemorated the death anniversary of one of the participants in the 1965 contest, Fatima Jinnah (July 9). Effusive praise for the Madar-i-Millat ha

Fatima’s election

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar July 12, 2019 The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. THERE is an election happening in this country in a few short days, and an extremely historic one at that. The people of the region formerly known as Fata will go to the polls for the very first time since formal integration into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. After more than seven decades, the more than three million people of the tribal regions are finally being given a modicum of democratic rights, the barely disguised colonial statute known as the Frontier Crimes Regulation, or FCR, finally being thrown into the dustbin of history.   There is no direct link but the impending electoral exercise in the ex-Fata districts takes me back to the 1965 presidential election, which, in many ways, was similarly historic. In recent days, many people have commemorated the death anniversary of one of the participants in the 1965 contest, Fatima Jinnah (July 9). Effusive praise for the Madar-i-Millat ha

U S terror designation for Balochistan Liberation Army will be welcomed in Pakistan—and China

10 Jul 2019| Claude Rakisits Last week, the US State Department designated the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a  Specially Designated Global Terrorist . The Pakistani government officially declared the BLA a proscribed entity in 2006 following a number of terrorist acts against civilians and security personnel. Notwithstanding the blandness of the official statement, Washington’s decision to put the BLA on the global terrorist list would have been welcomed by Pakistan. Also the timing of the announcement would not have been fortuitous. Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to make a state visit to Washington next week, during which he will meet US President Donald Trump. Ironically, and rather uniquely, this American decision puts Pakistan, China and the US on the same page, at least with regard to counterterrorism in the region. The BLA, which was  formed in 2000 , is a terrorist organisation whose targets—civilian and military—are limited to the Pakistani province of Bal

German diplomat visits Gwadar

Behram Baloch July 12, 2019 GWADAR: German Consul General Eugen Wollfarth, based in Karachi, visited the port city of Gwadar. During his three-day stay, Mr Wollfarth held meetings with Gwadar Port Authority chairman Naseer Ahmed Kashni and Gwadar Development Authority director general who briefed him on the port and the master plan of the city. Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2019 https://www.dawn.com/news/1493554

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has a weak link, satellite images show

The road through Gojal Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir remains a problem for through traffic on the CPEC. COL. VINAYAK BHAT (RETD) Updated: 12 July, 2019 1:08 pm IST Satellite images show that the CPEC has a weak link — the road through Gojal Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of the Karakoram mountains | Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.) Text Size: A- A+ New Delhi:  Ever since China cut funding for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over corruption allegations, work on the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, President Xi Jinping’s dream project, has been progressing slowly. India has also raised objections to the project a number of times, since the corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. But now, satellite imagery shows that the CPEC has a weak link — the road through Gojal Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of the Karakoram mountains. ThePrint takes a closer look at why it could be the Achilles Heel of the CP

Chinese businesses plan $1 investment in CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD: Chinese businessmen on Thursday expressed desire to invest around one billion dollars in Pakistan as China’s funded economic corridor projects entered into their second phase with focus on industrial and agriculture cooperation and Gwadar development . The 50-member business delegation apprised Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Khusro Bakhtyar of its investment plan during a meeting. They are keen to invest in various sectors, including automotive, textile, agriculture-related, information technology and telecom industries. Bakhtyar said the ministry of planning would facilitate investment to further the economic cooperation between the two countries. “The government is focusing on promoting export-led industry and import substitution for sustained economic growth,” an official statement quoted the planning minister as saying. “China can help increase Pakistan’s exports by relocating export-oriented industries and initiating joint ventures in various fields. T