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Showing posts from July 20, 2019

China’s new Silk Road trade expands to over $600 billion in first half of 2019

Published time: 16 Jul, 2019 11:26© Global Look Press / Qiao Xiaochun23042Follow RT onChina’s trade with countries participating in its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been expanding and reached 4.24 trillion yuan ($617.5 billion) in the first half of this year.Customs data showed trade with BRI countries for the period was up 9.7 percent year-on-year. It has outpaced the growth rate of China’s total trade, which remained stable at 3.9 percent.Exports and imports with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were up by 11.5 percent, 34 percent, and 11 percent respectively.ALSO ON RT.COMBelt and Road to boost China’s growth over next four decadesChina’s Ministry of Commerce said last week that the country has inked agreements on BRI cooperation with 18 Arab countries. In 2018, trade turnover between China and Arab states reached $244.3 billion, ballooning 28 percent year-on-year.Dubbed the 21st century Silk Road project, the BRI was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping six year…

Belt and Road Initiative 2.0: ‘Qualitatively’ Different?

By N. JanardhanImage courtesy of nali_wike/PixabayThis article was originally published by the East-West Center (EWC) on 11 July 2019.Following five years of periodic controversies and criticism – some factual, others contrived – President Xi Jinping used the Belt and Road (BRI) Forum in April to set the agenda for the next five years of his hallmark project. At the forum’s second edition, meant to promote a “stronger partnership network,” the Chinese leader pledged to “clean up,” stressed “zero tolerance” to corruption, and emphasized readiness to adopt “internationally acceptable” standards in the bidding process of BRI projects in the future. This language indicates Beijing’s openness to constructive criticism and willingness to objectively tweak some inherent weaknesses in the strategy and implementation mechanisms for the BRI during the 2013-2018 period. It also sets the stage for the start of “BRI 2.0,” where the stress is likely to be on the qualitative, rather than just quanti…

Nexus between population growth and food insecurity-Perspective from Balochistan

Safi Ullah ShahwaniJULY 20, 2019Food insecurity, according to the third quarterly report on state of economy released by State Bank of Pakistan on 14th, July, 2019, hits Balochistan the most. About half of its population faces mild to severe food insecurity. Similarly, the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-18 reveals that stunted growth among children in Balochistan remains at a staggering 47 % while the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) as per Population Welfare Department Projections stands at 66 deaths per 1000 lives. With these dismal figures at hand, the Intercensal Annual Growth Rate for Balochistan remains 3.37 percent against national 2.4 percent whereas the overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in Balochistan is as low as 14 percent against 34% National Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR).This year the report of State Bank of Pakistan almost coincided with the World Population Day that is marked on every 11th July to create a realisation in the file and ranks…

The wild side of Balochistan

Afia Salam July 21, 2019Leave a commentIf you are historically- inclined, or an adventurist or a wildlife lover, this province has a thing for youZiarat Valley with its unique Juniper trees in the summer. — Photo by Azhar Saeed.Share0Last week when I started to write about the tourist spots and other places of interests in Balochistan, I soon realised that it was impossible to cover this beautiful province in the word limit provided by the editor, even though it was a generous one. This is why I had promised a sequel.So, here it is. But let me admit right off the bat, this too doesn’t cover all there is to see and experience.Also, one of the beauties of social media is the instant nature of feedback. Two concerns voiced on Twitter were about security. There was also a question about gender-inclusive the general environment was. How does one tackle that? Each place has its own peculiar environment, and ‘outsiders’ are welcomed subject to it. Security is a relative and fluid term.As far…

Trump’s Bungled Iran Gambit Is Helping China Become a Naval Power With Global Reach

Syed Fazl-E-HaiderUpdated 07.17.19 7:27AM ET Published 07.17.19 5:36AM ET Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastGWADAR, Pakistan—British warships are acting as nervous escorts to British oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, even as Europe tries desperately to find a way out of the escalating crisis with Iran provoked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord last year. But the Chinese role in the background of this escalating crisis has been largely overlooked, and could have enormous strategic consequences. Already, China is positioning itself to act as a policeman protecting its own strategic interests in the Persian Gulf,  the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean beyond.THROWBACKTrump and the Persian Gulf Have a Long, Surprising HistoryChristopher DickeyThe key is the port of Gwadar on Pakistan’s southwest coast about 625 nautical miles east of the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for about a third of the world’s international oil traffic.  China is spendi…

PAKISTAN Railways; Gwadar division

The Newspaper's Staff ReporterJuly 18, 2019
LAHORE: Pakistan Railways on Wednesday announced to create eighth division in a bid to provide rail connectivity to Gwadar deep seaport with the existing network.At present Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Multan, Sukkar, Karachi and Quetta divisions cover several parts of the country.“Gwadar deep seaport has become operational and requires to be provided rail connectivity with the existing rail network at Spenxand (Quetta) and Jacobabad. Gwadar connectivity—ML-4 (main Line-4) is in active phase and acquisition of land for railway corridor, offices and yards from port onwards is in process under PSDP project approved by Ecnec on May 22 last year,” reads a notification issued by the PR chairman.“Therefore, in order to establish a railway division at Gwadar to expedite the work, Hanif Gul is hereby appointed as DS (Gwadar),” The PR admin also ordered for the mutual transfer of Ms Maryum Gillani (Director General — Operations) at the Ministry o…

Balochistan is back in spotlight after ban against Baloch Liberation Army (BLA)

Devasher argues that the proposed Chinese settlement in Balochistan has dangerous implications as this would change the demography of a sparsely populated region.By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | Jul 15, 2019, 06.09 PM ISTBCCLBalochistan is Pakistan’s most neglected region and its elected representatives are not taken on board while executing Chinese projects.NEW DELHI: The ban against Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has brought back focus on the impoverished but resource-rich Balochistan, whose strategic location is being exploited by China for its strategic needs.China plans to settle 500,000 nationals in Gwadar as part of its China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Balochistan, adversely impacting cultural, geographical, economical and historical rights of Balochs, according to people aware of the matter. They said the crackdown on Baloch political activists and separatists by Pakistan Army in recent years has been spurred by China for smooth implementation of the Gwad…

ICJ decision on Jadhav case proved that Baloch are proxy of none. Dr. Allah Nizar

Sangar NewsPro-Independence Baloch leader Dr. Allah Nizar Baloch while commenting on Khulbushan Jadhav case, said that the decision of International Court of Justice, (ICJ) allowing him consular access and a retrial in a civilian court, makes it pretty clear that Pakistani plans had badly failed in its purpose to abduct Khulbushan Jadhav and pronounce him guilty through military courts. Now, this becomes crystal clear to the world that the ongoing freedom movement of Balochistan is proxy of none; in fact, the indigenous people are fighting this war by the dent of their courage.Pakistan has trampled all international ethics and morality underneath its feet by imprisoning Khulbushan Jadhav in jail. Pakistan has been keeping the same attitude in Balochistan for the last seventy years. International Court and world powers have to raise their voice against these atrocities promptly.He said, ”Those who sacrificed their lives in the national liberation struggle of Balochistan are publicly kn…