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Showing posts from September 29, 2019

Belt and Road reaches out to the world

2019-09-30 09:00:56 China Daily Li Yan1/6Workers walk along a steel girder at a construction site of the China-Laos Railway, a Belt and Road project, in Pu’er, Yunnan province, in April. (Photo/Xinhua)Initiative marks progress among key nationsEditor's note: In "Footprint", a series of stories recalling important examples of China interacting with the rest of the world, we follow the path the country has taken in the past seven decades. This story is the fifth in the series.Six years on, Marzuki Alie, the former speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, remembers well the day he hosted President Xi Jinping in Jakarta.During his speech on Oct 3, 2013, Xi first proposed jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road along ancient sea routes that have borne goods and friendship among people from different countries."President Xi is the only foreign leader to give a speech in front of the chairperson and members of the Indonesian parliament," Marzuk…

Two Asian powers and an island

T. Ramakrishnan30 SEPTEMBER 2019 00:15 ISTUPDATED: 30 SEPTEMBER 2019 00:30 ISTUnlike China, India has not accomplished much in Sri Lanka in the Sirisena years.The imposing Lotus Tower in Colombo, which was opened to the public recently, is considered to be the latest symbol of Sri Lanka-China ties. An agreement to build this structure, which is to serve as a multi-functional telecommunication tower, was signed by the two countries in 2012.It may look ironical that much of the project’s execution took place under a regime which came into office at a time when there was a “strong anti-China mood”. In the run-up to the 2015 presidential election, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was backing Maithripala Sirisena, had assured people that another Chinese project, the $1.4 billion Colombo Port City, would be scrapped. Soon after Mr. Sirisena became the President, work on the Port City came to a grinding halt. Then, there was also uncertainty over the fate of the Hambantota port, the development of …

The Khorgos Hype on the Belt and Road

Despite lofty ambitions, Khorgos is less transformative than its proponents believe – and yet it does illustrate some of the promise of the BRI.By Henry RuehlSeptember 27, 2019Credit: Henry RuehlADVERTISINGSince its announcement at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan in 2013, what has become known as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has prompted a host of analyses and critiques from academics, reporters, and pundits worldwide. Its boosters trumpet the massive potential benefits to nations across the developing world — and to the global economy — from improved infrastructure and connectivity; its skeptics cast the program as a cynical way for China to gain leverage and influence in a host of often small and impoverished states. The vague but grand scale of the BRI only intensifies speculation around the initiative. China has promised to spend $1 trillion on projects, but it is difficult to calculate how much has already been spent or what projects fall under the BRI umbrella. (CS…

Belt and Road Journalists Network

The Belt and Road Journalists Network and its first presidium were founded at the 2019 Belt and Road Journalists Forum in Beijing on Saturday.The BRJN, a platform for exchanges and cooperation, was jointly initiated by the All-China Journalists Association and other journalist groups in the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.The purpose of the BRJN is to promote the Silk Road spirit of "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and win-win results", to deepen exchanges and cooperation with journalist groups in the countries and regions involved in the BRI and to facilitate friendly people-to-people exchanges between different countries.Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the rapid development of information technology and new media has changed the media landscape and modes of communication, making exchanges and cooperation between jo…

The Belt and Road Initiative Adds More Partners, But Beijing Has Fewer Dollars to Spend

Publication: China Brief Volume: 19 Issue: 17By: Cecilia Joy-PerezSeptember 26, 2019 12:09 PM Age: 4 daysImage: Workers engaged in the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Railway, a major BRI project in Indonesia. (Source: Youtube / Xinhua)In October 2013, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) unveiled the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an ambitious plan to build infrastructure and improve transport connectivity in more than 60 countries across Asia and beyond. Since that time, the BRI has become so key to China’s national grand strategy that it has been codified in the country’s constitution (Xinhua, October 24, 2017). To date, the PRC has signed BRI agreements with 137 countries. However, while memorandums of understanding between Beijing and BRI countries have ramped up—with 62 deals being signed with new partner countries from June 2018 to June 2019 (BRI Portal, undated)—the increase in political partners has not led to a comparable increase in c…

CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

September 20, 2019By Dr. Rebecca Harding, CEO, Coriolis TechnologiesAttitudes towards the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have changed since the programme was first announced in 2013. At first, it was seen as an opportunity for global businesses and finance to invest alongside Chinese financial interests and create a trade route that would bring economic development and prosperity to the region. More recently, the initiative has been questioned as a means of China extending its power and influence— although, given the analysis of its foreign policy, China is only protecting its domestic interests, including its energy security. In essence, it is a domestic policy—not only is China exporting its trade surplus, but it also has stockpiles of cement and iron and steel that it can use to, in its words, further the economic development, peace and prosperity of other nations.So, since 2013, China has had ambitious plans to build trade infrastructure and connections throughout Eurasia …

 Diplomacy Pakistan gives kudos to China for building top infrastructure while US wages ‘futile war’ in Afghanistan Imran Khan offers praise for Chinese focus on first-world facilities Topic | Belt and Road Initiative  Liu Zhen Published: 9:23pm, 28 Sep, 2019 Updated: 10:59am, 30 Sep, 2019 A key partner in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative has applauded China for building world-class infrastructure while accusing the United States of squandering billions on the war in Afghanistan.   In New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made the assessment during an interview with US broadcaster MSNBC.   “While the USA was pouring money in Afghanistan in this futile war, the Chinese were developing first-world infrastructure and you just have to go to China to see where the infrastructure is,” Khan said when asked what advice he would give US President Donald Trump about the conflict in Afghanistan.   Earlier this month, Trump cancelled planned secret talks with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. “You knew this was going to be a war that would not achieve any results,” he said. “If I was an American I would ask, US$1.5 trillion at least has been spent on Afghanistan, what have we achieved in this? That money was wasted.” Beijing gives Pakistan its backing amid rising Kashmir tensions Pakistan is home to the flagship project under the belt and road banner – the US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The corridor consists of a number of ports, airports, and power plants, as well as road, railways and pipelines to connect China’s far western region of Xinjiang to Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, right outside the exit of the Persian Gulf and the world’s most important oil route. The former cricket superstar is not as enthusiastic about the initiative as his predecessor Nawaz Sharif or Beijing, and has slightly backed away and scaled down some of the projects since he took office last year. SUBSCRIBE TO US CHINA TRADE WAR Get updates direct to your inbox SUBMIT By registering for these newsletters you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Pakistan amid tensions over Kashmir But work on the economic corridor has continued despite debt concerns, local resistance and some security incidents.   Khan visited China a few months after being sworn in and reaffirmed the “all-weather” friendship in Beijing. The ties were underlined again as tension escalated with India this year over disputes in Kashmir.

Pakistan gives kudos to China for building top infrastructure while US wages ‘futile war’ in AfghanistanImran Khan offers praise for Chinese focus on first-world facilitiesTopic | Belt and Road InitiativeLiu ZhenPublished: 9:23pm, 28 Sep, 2019Updated: 10:59am, 30 Sep, 2019A key partner in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative has applauded China for building world-class infrastructure while accusing the United States of squandering billions on the war in Afghanistan.In New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made the assessment during an interview with US broadcaster MSNBC.“While the USA was pouring money in Afghanistan in this futile war, the Chinese were developing first-world infrastructure and you just have to go to China to see where the infrastructure is,” Khan said when asked what advice he would give US President Donald Trump about the conflict in Afghanistan.Earlier this month, Trump cancelled planned secret talks with the Taliban an…

China’s massive Belt and Road initiative builds global infrastructure — and influence

World Sep 27, 2019 06:45 PM EDTBy — Nick SchifrinBy — Dan SagalynTranscriptChina’s Belt and Road Initiative is the most expensive infrastructure project in history. Chinese companies are constructing roads, pipelines and railroads across the globe. But they are also building China’s influence, and critics in the U.S. and Asia worry Belt and Road projects can reduce countries’ sovereignty and grow Chinese power. With the help of the Pulitzer Center, Nick Schifrin reports.Read the Full TranscriptJudy Woodruff:China's Belt and Road Initiative is the most expensive infrastructure project in history. Chinese companies are building roads, pipelines, and railroads around the world. But the initiative is also building China's influence.With the support of the Pulitzer Center, Nick Schifrin has the second installment in our series "China: Power & Prosperity."He begins this report in Indonesia, a recipient of Belt and Road investments.Nick Schifrin:In the middle of West Ja…

South Asia: Message from World Community loud and clear

September 30, 20190By Prasad NallapatiWith dust settling down after a weeklong blitzkrieg at the UN, it is time for a proper assessment of the net result of the efforts by Pakistan and India to get their voice heard and acknowledged by the world community.Both the Prime Ministers returned home claiming success, but there is no discernible advantage gained by either of them.  ✔Only two countries, Turkey and China, spoke in favour of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue in their speeches at the General Assembly.  Outside the UN, President Donald Trump remained noncommittal despite the two sides pressing him hard to take sides. He just reiterated the stated American policy of mediation if the two sides ask him to do so. The OIC Foreign Ministers issued a statement out of diplomatic nicety to Pakistan but no one takes it seriously including many of its own members.India too did not find any vocal support for branding Pakistan a “terrorist state”.  Trump belittled it by stating that Iranian terro…