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Showing posts from November 25, 2019

China's commitment to multilateralism vital to world's healthy development, says U.S. scholar

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-25 16:51:05|NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's strong commitment to multilateralism is vital to the stability, security and healthy development of the entire world being threatened by an upsurge of unilateralism and protectionism, a leading U.S. expert on China has said."I am struck by the breadth and scope of China's engagement with the world. There is now no matter of global importance in which China does not participate," said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, in a recent interview with Xinhua.Noting that China needs a "stable international environment to enable its domestic development," the expert said the Asian nation has also recognized and shouldered its global responsibilities as a major country to make this world a better place.Speaking at the UN Office at Geneva in 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, share development opportuni…

Uzbekistan, an enchanting destination on the Silk Road, opens its arms

By Yu Tianjiao in Tashkent Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/25 18:58:410
A tourist takes a selfie in the Amirsoy mountain resort in Uzbekistan. Photo: Yu Tianjiao/GT

The Central Asian country of Uzbekistan is opening its arms to tourists wider by making visits more enjoyable and providing a plethora of attractions nestled in its historical and cultural charms. The flourish of Karnays (long trumpets) and the enchanting beat of drums said it all as beautifully dressed-up girls presented baskets with traditional cuisine. The 25th Tashkent International Tourism Fair "Tourism on the Silk Road" held in the capital Tashkent from November 13 to 15 showcased what the nation has in store for tourists. The fair is the brightest, largest event in the tourism industry of Uzbekistan and the entire Central Asian region. The country ushered in a new era in the 25th year of the event. From next year, Uzbekistan will offer Chinese citizens a seven-day visa-free trip to the country. 
New pr…

Indonesia urged to probe death of Belt and Road project critic

Financial TimesBelt and Road InitiativeIndonesia urged to probe death of Belt and Road project criticActivists say lawyer may have been targeted for opposing China-backed damThe Batang Toru hydropower plant construction project © EPA-EFEOctober 31, 2019 1:51 pm by James Kynge in Hong Kong and Stefania Palma in SingaporeMore than 240 civil society organisations urged Indonesia on Thursday to investigate the “extremely suspicious” death of an activist who opposed the building of a hydropower dam seen as key to China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the country.Environmental groups — including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, as well as several Indonesian and Asian non-governmental organisations — say the $1.6bn Batang Toru dam being built on the island of Sumatra could lead to the extinction of a species of orang-utan.In a letter sent to several Indonesian embassies, the organisations say Golfrid Siregar, an Indonesian environmental lawyer, was found beaten and abandoned on the side of…

What China has in common with Australia, Taiwan and the US: local and national priorities don’t always align

OpinionWhat China has in common with Australia, Taiwan and the US: local and national priorities don’t always alignThe Victorian state government recently took flak for its belt and road deal, which is at odds with Canberra’s position. But local leaders – in countries taking Chinese money, and in China itself – often prioritise provincial economic needsTopic | AustraliaYuan JiangPublished: 11:00am, 26 Nov, 2019Updated: 11:22am, 26 Nov, 2019Since the Victorian state government in Australia released news of the signing of a second memorandum of understanding on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, state premier Daniel Andrews has been criticised for not aligning with Canberra and neglecting the potential strategic and security risks the belt and road plan may bring.Michael Shoebridge, of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, clarified the Victorian government’s decision by highlighting how “the federal government’s areas of responsibility – foreign affairs, defence and national securi…

China’s win-win strategy is paying off: US scholar

Proposed in 2013, the BRI aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. Credit: Handout.

US expert cites the Belt & Road initiative as actions taken by China to back up its commitment to multilateralismByDAVE MAKICHUK
China’s strong commitment to multilateralism is vital to the stability, security and healthy development of the entire world being threatened by an upsurge of unilateralism and protectionism, a leading US expert on China has said.“I am struck by the breadth and scope of China’s engagement with the world. There is now no matter of global importance in which China does not participate,” said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, in a recent interview with Xinhua.Noting that China needs a “stable international environment to enable its domestic development,” the expert said the Asian nation has also recognized and shouldered its global responsibilities as a major country …

Will China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative Boost Luxury in Italy?

Adina-Laura AchimNovember 21, 2019Italy has the opportunity to position itself as the preferred shopping destination for affluent Chinese shoppers. Photo: ShutterstockLast March, Italy (a NATO and EU member and a G7 country) endorsed China’s “Belt and Road” plan, which represents a new level of success for China. As China’s new engagement with the international community is seen as a serious threat to the current world order, some analysts argue that this partnership will help foster a Sino-EU cooperation. However, Italy’s new friendship with China “has angered Washington and alarmed some European Union allies, who fear it could see Beijing gain access to sensitive technologies and critical transport hubs.”Meanwhile, the Italian business community has commended the initiative. Forbes reports that Italian companies have “inked deals with Chinese counterparts worth an initial 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion).” According to Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, these contracts had a feasi…

Belt and Road Initiative The Bridge that Spans the World

The Belt and Road InitiativeThe Bridge that Spans the Worldby Peter Koenig / November 24th, 2019The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also called the New Silk Road, is based on a 2,100-year-old trade route between the Middle East and Eastern Asia, called the Silk Road. It wound its way across the huge landmass Eurasia to the most eastern parts of China. It favored trading, based on the Taoist philosophy of harmony and peaceful coexistence – trading in the original sense of the term, an exchange with “win-win” outcomes, both partners benefitting equally.Today, in the western world we have lost this concept. The terms of trade are imposed always by the ‘stronger’ partner, the west versus the poorer south – the south where most of the natural resources are lodged. Mother Earth’s assets have been, and are, coveted by the west or north  for building and maintaining a lifestyle in luxury, abundance and waste. This trend has lasted for centuries of western colonialism: exploitation, loot, escl…

Plugging into Balochistan and its governance through conflicting geo-political interests

Jan AchakzaiAs Balochistan government is almost 15 months old, there are indications that it has succeeded in reducing levels of corruption, unlike its predecessor government hit by mega scandals of graft and misuse of powers. There are also reports that the government has chased ghost development schemes and discontinued funding for these projects which were only on paper.
Following a successful transfer of power after July 2018 when an elected government completed five years in office, a veteran Politician Jam Kamal put together a coalition government and became the chief executive of the province. Despite rigging claims by parties like the JUI-F and PkMAP, elections in Balochistan are always viewed as a good omen for the long but bumpy ride of democracy in the province's 70 years of history where it has seen several governor rules and abrupt dissolution of assemblies by the Centre.The provincial government has adopted a zero tolerance policy on corruption and nepotism but the cl…

Shifting Ties Boost China's Influence in Iranian, Pakistani Ports

Chabahar, Iran (file image courtesy Diethelm Scheidereit/Flickr)BY THE LOWY INTERPRETER 2019-11-22 16:37:00[By Syed Fazl-e-Haider]In the wake of escalating US-Iran tensions in the Persian Gulf, the geopolitical realities of the Asian region are rapidly changing. New strategic alliances are being formed as old partnerships give way.A good example is the trouble surrounding a three-way transit agreement between Iran, India, and Afghanistan. The deal, signed in May 2016, had promised to open new routes of connection by converting Iran’s Chabahar port into a transit hub.But Tehran has grown increasingly frustrated with New Delhi in recent months over what might be described as a policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds in the wake of U.S.-Iran tensions. After crippling unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S., India also shut down oil imports from Iran, leading to warnings that New Delhi’s future in Chabahar port might be hurt.Iran has instead looked to China. B…

Managing glaciers along CPEC in Gilgit-Baltistan

Belt and RoadPakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan hopes to prosper from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but heavy traffic may also affect the sensitive ecology of the regionChief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman of Gilgit-Baltistan talks to reporters [image by: Peer Muhammad]Peer Muhammad, November 22, 2019

The much touted China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be passing through Pakistan’s beautiful Gilgit-Baltistan province in the north to reach the Chinese operated Gwadar port in the south of the country, leading to hopes that it will transform the economy and help bridge Pakistan’s power shortfall.The idea of a corridor that makes the transport of goods efficient appeals to traders in the GB province, as they anticipate that CPEC  will allow for faster and therefore cheaper transportation of local produce like cherries, apricots and apples. But as locals dream of increased business activity and imagine truckloads of goods being transported locally and from China via the corridor, …

War of words on CPEC

By RASHED RAHMAN on November 26, 2019US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells virtually put the cat amongst the pigeons in a speech at the Wilson Center in Washington on November 22, 2019 in which she cautioned and warned Pakistan about the pitfalls of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The thrust of her remarks about CPEC centred on the risk of Pakistan being pushed deeper into an already stifling debt burden, non-transparent and overpriced projects fostering corruption, and jobs and profits being repatriated to China. She argued that CPEC was not aid but a form of financing that guarantees profits for Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), with little benefit for Pakistan. She advised us to ask tough questions of the Chinese regarding why they were pursuing an economic model in Pakistan that was so different from the model they themselves had pursued to achieve high economic growth. She also touched on the lack of transparency regarding the terms…