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Showing posts from March 19, 2020

Balochistan and Sindh on Thursday reported 27 new cases of coronavirus, taking their provincial total to 45 and 213 respectively.

Balochistan and Sindh on Thursday reported 27 new cases of coronavirus, taking their provincial total to 45 and 213 respectively. This takes the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan to 331.Pakistan on Wednesday had reported its first death from the virus. Both the deaths were reported from Khyber Pakhthunkwa. The first victim was a 50-year-old from Mardan who had recently returned from umrah.“The patient had developed fever, cough and breathing difficulty and tested +ve for corona virus. Contacts are being screened," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said. The second was a resident of Hangu. "Sadly, a second patient in LRH Peshawar, a 36-year-old, from Hangu, has also passed away, from the Corona Virus," Jhagra said. Earlier, the government of Gilgit-Baltistan retracted its statement regarding a patient dying in the region from the coronavirus, saying the provincial spokesperson had not confirmed the news before breaking it. Multiple news

Health Silk Road:’ China showers Europe with coronavirus aid as both spar with Trump In the battle for European hearts and minds, China seems to be winning, at least for the moment. BY  ALAN CRAWFORD, PETER MARTIN AND BLOOMBERG March 19, 2020 8:00 AM EDT Last month, Beijing’s ambassador to Estonia accused the Baltic nation’s intelligence service of having a “Cold War mindset” for labeling China a threat, warning that its “distorted” conclusions damaged bilateral relations. Four weeks later, Estonian officials took part in a video conference hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which the Asian country’s health officials shared their experience in  fighting the novel coronavirus . The Estonians found the materials “very professional and targeted” and sought to distribute them widely, according to  an account of the call  posted by China’s embassy in Tallinn. “Estonia hopes to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China to fight against Covid-19,” it said. Estonia, a member of the European Union, is far from alone in its conflicted relatio

China sends doctors and masks overseas as domestic coronavirus infections drop

As countries struggle to respond to the pandemic, China portrays itself as a global benefactor Lily Kuo  in Shanghai Wed 18 Mar 2020 21.00 EDT In the last few weeks, China has donated coronavirus  testing kits to Cambodia , sent planeloads of ventilators, masks and medics to Italy and France, pledged to help the Philippines, Spain and other countries, and deployed medics to Iran and Iraq. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has offered comforting words, telling the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, that “sunshine comes after the storm”, and adding that the two countries should step up cooperation and exchanges after the outbreak. As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and countries struggle to respond, China has positioned itself as a leader and benefactor in public health, building the kind of  soft power  Beijing needs at a time of intensifying US-China rivalry and scrutiny of

The coronavirus will not be fatal for China’s Belt and Road Initiative but it will strike a heavy blow

Opinion Projects face delays as the coronavirus prevents Beijing from supplying goods and people. And project resources will be diverted as China focuses on its own recovery. But the biggest casualty may be a loss of faith in Chinese-style connectivity Topic | Coronavirus China Daniel Russel Published:  8:30am, 19 Mar, 2020 Updated:  3:37pm, 19 Mar, 2020 Suddenly, a highly infectious virus has become China’s most prominent export. What began on January 3, when China  reported  44 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, has become the Covid-19 global pandemic. Wuhan, the manufacturing centre that helped to power China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative, has become the epicentre of a health crisis  shutting down  many of those projects.   The corridors that facilitate the flow of goods can be conduits for pathogens and disease. As Covid-19 spreads, is the Belt and Road Initiative at risk of becoming an infection thoroughfare?   Chinese officials have been at pains to assure the world that, as Fore

Gov’t releases Rs 12.13 bn for CPEC projects under PSDP 2019-20

March 19, 2020 22 ISLAMABAD, Mar 19 (APP):The government has so far released development funds of over Rs 12.13 billion for various development projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20. According to latest data issued by the ministry of Planning on Thursday, the government had allocated Rs 18 billion for around 20 projects of CPEC for the year 2019-20. For construction of KKH phase-II Havelian-Thakot (118.057 M) part of CPEC, the government released Rs 2 billion out of total allocation of Rs 2.238 billion. The government has also released Rs 1.8 billion for preliminary design for up-gradation of main line (ML-1) and establishment of dryport near Havelian under the CPEC. For improvement and widening of Chitral-Booni-Mastuj-Shandur road, the total allocated amount of Rs 1 billion has been released, whereas for Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway, an amount of Rs 2.8 billion was released out of total allocated funds of Rs 6.5 b

Pak rejects India''s remarks on joint statement issued by Islamabad and Beijing

Outlook, India PAK-INDIA-REMARKS By Sajjad Hussain Islamabad, Mar 18 Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India''s remarks on a joint statement issued by Islamabad and Beijing after President Arif Alvi''s visit to China. The Kashmir issue figured in the talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Pakistani counterpart Alvi in Beijing on Tuesday during which the Chinese side "underscored that it was paying close attention to the current situation". "Both sides exchanged views on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments, including its concerns, position, and current urgent issues," said the joint statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website. Reacting to it, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Tuesday asserted that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and issues related to it are the country''s internal matt

Could China’s Messaging on CPEC Prompt a Rethink in Pakistan’s External Outreach?

19 MARCH 2020   Tridivesh Singh Maini, FDI Visiting Fellow  Download PDF Key Points China’s Ambassador to Pakistan stated that Beijing is not averse to other countries investing in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. He also stated that the next phase of CPEC would emphasise sectors such as agriculture, industrial development and scientific research, which would help not just the South Asian nation’s economic growth, but also in creating a diverse and capable labour pool. His remarks are interesting for two reasons. First, China wants to send out an unambiguous message that its Belt-Road Initiative (BRI) – and that project’s crown jewel, the CPEC – which has drawn criticism, is not exploitative in nature. Second, Pakistan has the opportunity to pursue economic relations with other countries using CPEC’s assets. An important question that arises is whether the current coronavirus crisis could be utilised by South Asia as a catalyst for greater economic co-operation in t

CPEC and the future of China–Pakistan ties

18 March 2020 Author: Siegfried O Wolf, South Asia Democratic Forum China–Pakistan bilateral interactions have reached an unprecedented peak with the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). But China’s rapidly  expanding leverage  across all spheres of Pakistan’s state and society has raised questions of whether Pakistan is still the ‘master in their own house’. The increasing number of occasions where Islamabad and Beijing are  obviously not on the same page  justifies asking whether China is master or friend of Pakistan despite the shared  official rhetoric  of an ‘all-weather friendship between iron brothers’. The implementation of CPEC and the increasing  Chinese presence  in South Asia are matters of concern, and not only for regional decision-makers. CPEC is the most complex and advanced development scheme of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and has increasingly become an influencing factor in the power dynamics of South Asia and beyond. CPEC  consists of a program to promote ec