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Showing posts from July 16, 2020

YEARBOOK 2019: China Dreams

 DOWNLOAD The year 2019 marked a number of significant anniversaries for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), each representing different ‘Chinese dreams’. There was the centennial of the May Fourth Movement – a dream of patriotism and cultural renewal. The PRC celebrated its seventieth anniversary – a dream of revolution and national strength. It was also thirty years since the student-led Protest Movement of 1989 – dreams of democracy and free expression crushed by government dreams of unity and stability. Many of these ‘dreams’ recurred in new guises in 2019. President Xi Jinping tightened his grip on power at home whilst calling for all citizens to ‘defend China’s honour abroad’. Escalating violence in Hong Kong, the ongoing suppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and deteriorating Sino-US relations dominated the headlines. Alongside stories about China’s advances in artificial intelligence and geneticially-modified babies, and its ambitions in the Antarctic and outer space, these issu

From Unorganised Street Protests to Organising Unions

The Birth of a New Trade Union Movement in Hong Kong Written On  15 July 2020 . Posted In  Article ,  Online Only ,  Op-Eds . Author:  Anita Chan For several months in 2019, the world’s news media was front-paging the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement almost on a daily basis. However, towards the end of the year, with the street violence subsiding and the fierce battles at two universities ending in the defeat of the students and their supporters, the international media seemed to lose interest. As global attention shifted elsewhere, one might have assumed that the movement had died a natural death. It did not. It is from here that this essay picks up the narrative. It was at that point that the movement branched off in a new direction, with activists beginning to set up trade unions and transitioning towards a nascent organised movement. Disagreement in Solidarity In the wake of the

Belt and Road: What They're Saying

What They're Saying SHAMISO MUTISI Deputy Director at the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association On the tensions between Chinese bosses and local employees in Zimbabwe " Wages are often very low and in many cases are not paid on time. If someone tries to exercise their right as a worker and demand what is due to them they get assaulted or shot. " MUSHAHID HUSSAIN SYED Chairman of the Pakistani Senate's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’s progress " CPEC, as a flagship of the BRI, is already a success story and has entered its second phase successfully. Energy and infrastructure projects have been completed on schedule, 75,000 Pakistanis have got jobs in the BRI projects and 28,000 Pakistani students are studying in China. " GULLAUME POUPARD Director General of French national cybersecurity agency ANSSI On France’s decision to limit Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks " What I can say is that there w

Gwadar officers face NAB case for causing Rs320m loss to treasury

Saleem Shahid  17 Jul, 2020 QUETTA: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed a reference against revenue officers of Gwadar district for causing a loss of Rs320 million to the national exchequer. The bureau filed the reference in the Accountability Court, Quetta, after conducting an investigation under the supervision of the director general of the Balochistan NAB against former Tehsildar Mohammad Jan Baloch, former Naib Tehsildar Agha Zafar Hussain, former Qanoongo Noor Ahmed and five others. According to a NAB spokesman, during the investigation it was found that the accused had allegedly tampered with the revenue record of the Baloch ward of Gwadar and sold out the land to private persons illegally. The Balochistan NAB is also probing alleged corruption charges in the sale of government land of Gazarwan, Kolgari, Nagori, Mouza Chib Raikani and Mouza Karwar wards of Gwadar district. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD The anti-graft watchdog has filed several references invo

Russia Loosens Its Belt

Russia’s foreign minister bowed out of China’s high-level Belt and Road meeting. Is Moscow finally signaling its discontent over the initiative? BY   ANKUR SHAH   |   JULY 16, 2020, 10:12 AM The Vladimir Rusanov, a liquefied natural gas tanker ship, is seen following its arrival in Nantong City, eastern China's Jiangsu province, on July 19, 2018, following its journey from Russia's Arctic Yamal peninsula.  AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES Last month, China held a virtual conference on the Belt and Road Initiative. Hosted by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the high-level meeting was, in the  words  of Chinese President Xi Jinping, “an opportunity to discuss a collective response to COVID-19, advance Belt and Road cooperation, and strengthen international solidarity.” As a testament to the infrastructure and investment project’s clout, the event was attended by ministerial-level officials from 25 countries. Even the direct

Locals urge Pakistani government to drop CPEC coal mining plans

A National Commission for Human Rights report highlights the huge social and cultural costs of the massive coal project that no money can ever compensate for The Tharis continued their protests for 635 days until the government agreed to take demands seriously [image by: Zofeen T. Ebrahim] Zofeen T. Ebrahim, July 15, 2020 In Tharparkar, 400 kilometres east of the port city of Karachi, the social fabric of the local community is being stripped away, along with the desert soil, to mine the coal underneath. This is the finding of a 68-page  report  commissioned last year by Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), titled: Thar Coal Project and Local Community, Documenting Views and Experiences of Stakeholders. It is grim reading for anyone hoping that the Covid-19 pandemic will help Pakistan make a  green transition  in its economic policy. The report covers the familiar