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Showing posts from May 25, 2017

Quantifying One Belt One Road may be a fool’s game Quantifying One Belt One Road may be a fool’s game Turloch Mooney, Senior Editor, Global Ports |  Mar 22, 2017 7:58AM GMT China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) programme continues to generate high levels of interest in the global shipping community. Its unprecedented scale and heavy focus on trade and transportation infrastructure make it a front-runner among policies that will affect the industry the most over the decades to come. The potential impact of OBOR is closely related to its scale and getting an accurate picture of the real size of the programme in terms of projected investment levels and the eventual reach of its development projects is a focal point of watchers of the key global trends that are shaping the future of shipping.  For many, beyond the headline numbers of multibillion dollar investments, OBOR is an opaque concept, and industry actors from port operators to ta

How the Silk Road plans will be financed

Jin Liqun, AIIB president © AFP    Financial Times May 9, 2016 9:00 pm by  James Kynge “If you want to develop, build a road,” runs the Chinese phrase. Beijing’s grand design to construct transport links between China and Eurasia represents the export of this simple philosophy. Beijing believes that building roads, railways and other infrastructure will help create a market in Eurasia for its goods. $890bn Beijing’s estimate of investment in the ‘New Silk Road’ strategy “The Chinese experience illustrates that infrastructure investment paves the way for broad-based economic social development, and poverty alleviation comes as a natural consequence of that,” says  Jin Liqun , president of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). But potential problems abound with financing the  planned $890bn  in investments. The payback period is often long, construction delays are common and political instability is widespread in the 64 countries embraced by the “New Silk Road” strateg

Where Will China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative Lead? Mar 22, 2017   As advertised by Beijing, the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, China’s grand scheme for knitting a network of roads, ports, railways and other links from East China through Southeast and South and Central Asia all the way to Europe exceeds both in scope and ambition the Marshall Plan used to rebuild Europe after World War II. The “belt” of land-based links is paired with a 21st century “Maritime Silk Road” stretching from Australia to Zanzibar. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the OBOR initiative in 2013, two years after then-U.S. President Barack Obama initiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trading bloc across the Pacific region. Now that Obama successor Donald Trump has carried out his pledge to withdraw from the TPP, the expectations are that Chinese-backed strategies like the OBOR will gain momentum. China experts say that this is a positive deve

Historic treaties and engagements relating to Baluchistan

Part 4 of the PDF link below contains treaties and engagements relating to Baluchistan : Download Alternative link An historic overview of the region and its districts, including British involvement in Baluchistan, organised by the Kalat [Kelat] Agency , Sibi Agency , and British Baluchistan and its territories;The treaties and conventions listed for Kelat, agreed between the years 1839 and 1925, include: an engagement between the British Government and the Khan of Kelat (1839), the Khan of Kelat’s allegiance and submission to the British Government (1841); various agreements for the protection of the Indo-European telegraph line; cession of lands for the Kandahar Railway (1880), Mushkaf-Bolan Railway (1894) and Nushki Railway (1906); demarcation of the boundary between Persian Baluchistan and Kelat (1896);The treaties and conventions listed for Sibi and British Baluchistan, agreed between the years 1884 and 1897, including: cession to the British Government of rights to petroleum a

Moodys cut China's credit rating debt condern A team of window washers descend on ropes as they clean the titanium dome of the National Centre ...more Andy Wong, AP The Chinese government criticized the downgrade, calling it "inappropriate," according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua. "These viewpoints, to some extent, overestimate the difficulties facing the Chinese economy and underestimate the capabilities of China to deepen supply-side structural reform and expand overall demand," China's Ministry of Finance said. Moody’s last cut China’s sovereign rating in 1989 when the country’s economic momentum was stunted by the government’s violent reaction to the Tiananmen Square protests. " The downgrade reflects Moody's expectation that China's financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows," sa

China’s Navy Can’t Beat US Navy in Combat; Won’t Become World’s Most Powerful Navy By  Arthur Dominic Villasanta  | May 22, 2017 11:24 PM EDT J-15 fighters on the Liaoning. (Photo : PLAN) Given their current capabilities, there is little doubt the U.S. Navy will easily defeat the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) should there be wars over the South China Sea and East China Seas, according to Chinese military experts. Like Us on  Facebook   The qualitative and quantitative inferiority of the PLAN is the most marked in the weapon that will dominate all future sea battles -- the aircraft carrier. The experts conclude PLAN can't beat the U.S. Navy even decades into the future and will never become the world's most powerful navy. PLAN currently operates one obsolete aircraft carrier -- the CNS Liaoning (CV-16) -- which it considers a training carrier unfit for combat. PLAN last month launched its second carrier, CNS Shandong (CV-17), which is expected

Ahead of 'Modern Silk Road' build, China credit downgrade worrisome Ahead of 'Modern Silk Road' build, China credit downgrade worrisome GETTY IMAGES BY ARTHUR DONG, OPINION The recent announcement that Moody’s Investors Service, one of the leading global credit ratings agencies,  downgraded China’s credit rating , contradicts the official narrative promoted by China that things are great, and its economy is on solid footing. Chinese policymakers have consistently justified the high debt-to-GDP level arguing that its economic model can both safely and reliably service such large amounts of debt, so long as the economy continues growing at a healthy pace. For Moody’s, the assumptions on which China is predicating its growth has it most concerned. For roughly the past 10 years, China’s growth has come by way of two areas — investment in infrastructure, commercial and residential real estate and exports of manufactured goods. Wi

Debunking myths on CPEC By  Ahsan Iqbal Published: May 25, 2017 Recently, quite a few stories have appeared on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in both local and international publications. A lot of traction was gained by the cynics of CPEC by reporting factually incorrect information. Consequently, myth spurring on CPEC is on the rise. I am going to take this opportunity to debunk these myths by stating the facts. A pointless controversy was created on the Long Term Plan (LTP) by a recent article featured in a local English-language newspaper. The report published as ‘LTP’ in that article was an initial draft by the China Development Bank (CDB) and not a part of the agreed LTP. That article basically cherry-picked information from different sources to present a distorted picture of the LTP. The fact is that the government of Pakistan has prepared its own plan after multiple stages of consultation with provinces, federal ministries and

Pakistan operationalises Naval Station in Balochistan KARACHI:  Pakistan  Thursday operationalised a Naval Air Station which will provide the navy with the much needed depth, flexibility and reach to counter emerging challenges of deterring terrorism at sea, curbing piracy and carrying out maritime security operations, according to a statement Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was the chief guest of the ceremony that was also attended by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and other officials.   Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja  Asif highlighted that this major Naval facility will boost Pakistan Navy’s capability for the defence of motherland, enhancing the Naval power over the Arabian Sea and especially its strategic reach westwards. He said that the dua l utilization of Naval Air Station Turbat will accrue dividends both for the maritime defence and in the economic sector by yielding best value for money. The defe

China Hits Speed Wobbles Driving the Silk Road through Sri Lanka Dániel Balázs Dániel Balázs is a recent graduate of International Relations at Tongji University in Shanghai. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of his affiliated institution.   Why you need to know 🔴 ' Beijing has already burnt itself in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, where the public is becoming hostile to Chinese projects. Like a chain, the Belt and Road is as strong as its weakest link and public perceptions toward China can become an existential issue for Beijing’s ambitious initiative.'    China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) sets the bar high. It strives to connect Asia, Africa and Europe with the aim of achieving mutual development. Sri Lanka, with its valuable geographic position in the heart of the Indian Ocean, is a crucial participant in Beijing’s newest endeavor. But China–Sri Lanka ties seemed to reach a low point when in January 2017 violent protests  erupted  in

China says new Silk Road not about military ambitions REUTERS BEIJING:, MAY 25, 2017 15:11 IST UPDATED: MAY 25, 2017 15:11 IST China’s ambition to build a new Silk Road is not about seeking to expand its military role abroad nor about seeking to set up foreign bases, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday. The new Silk Road, formally known as the Belt and Road initiative in China, is President Xi Jinping’s signature policy to expand links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. At a summit in Beijing this month, Mr. Xi pledged $124 billion for the plan, promising to forge a path of peace, inclusiveness and free trade. But China’s ambitions have caused nervousness in some countries, particularly India and in some European capitals, which suspect Beijing of using the plan to promote Chinese influence globally, pointing to investments in ports in places such as P

Balochistan: Houses burnt, villages sieged, four dead bodies dumped by Military

(Sangar News)Awaran is once again under massive military siege by Pakistani Security Forces. On 19 May 2017, Pakistani Security Forces besieged Gazzi, Kohadó, Surgarr, Taraji, Tar Mah, Shash Banti and Nali areas of Jaho, district Awaran, Balochistan. The siege continues till date. All the exits and entries are blocked. There are reports of heavy military operation in the besieged villages of Awaran, this time again. On fourth day of this military operation, security forces dumped four dead bodies in front of a local Hospital in Badhi, district Awaran, on 22 May. The deceased have been identified as Hidayatullah, Sadam, Majid and Hussain, who, security forces said, were killed during battle. Awaran has been one of the most affected areas of the ongoing stream of military operations by Pakistani Armed Forces in Balochistan. Many houses have been burnt, hundreds of live stocks looted and alarming numbers of civilians abducted or killed during the continuous military operations. Most

Four killed as coalmine caves in Balochistan By  Our Correspondent Published: May 24, 2017 QUETTA :  Four coalminers were killed when the mine they were working in caved in on them in Sor Range Coalfield, located some 16 kilometres east of Quetta, on Wednesday. Bakht Nawab, the president of the Pakistan Mines Workers Federation told media that rescue teams of the Balochistan mines and minerals development department reached the site shortly after receiving the information and pulled the bodies out. They had been buried under three feet of debris, he said. ADVERTISEMENT The deceased miners were identified as Abdul Qayyum, Muhammad Irfan, Ali Rehman and Kashmir. 43 dead in Sorange mine blast, no survivors According to Nawab, the incident took place in mine 98 where about 100 people were working at the time. The mine is run by the state-owned  Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation . The bodies were sent to their native towns following medico-l

Spotlight: Belt and Road Initiative boon for socio-economic development in Mideast, Africa Source: Xinhua |  2017-05-25 13:28:07 | Editor: ZD BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has helped boost the overall social welfare in the Middle East and Africa, and is highly anticipated to facilitate the overall economic and social development there. The initiative, proposed by Chinese President  Xi Jinping  in 2013, comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes. A BOON TO GROWTH According to Suleyman Sensoy, head of the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM), the Middle East, despite "all the richness and strategic position," has been confronted with the fundamental "weakness in the institutional infrastructure." "The lack of qualified human resources, of relative competitive advantage, o

Japan Inc sees better opportunities beyond China's 'Belt and Road' REUTERS/TORU HANAI Journalist take pictures outside the venue of a summit at the Belt and Road By Tetsushi Kajimoto | TOKYO A vast majority of Japanese companies have no interest to participate in China's sweeping "Belt and Road" initiative, seeing greater business opportunities in other international economic co-operation, a Reuters poll shows. Only 5 percent of 220 respondents in the monthly Reuters Corporate Survey said they would participate in the Chinese project, which aims to build infrastructure and trade links between China, central Asia, Europe and beyond. Instead, they thought a free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and the United States, proceeding with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States or economic cooperation with Russia, among others, represented better business opportunities. "Japanese businesses basically have no clear idea about the 'Belt and Road' pr

The Boosterism Behind China's Silk Road Story CHINA Beijing is downplaying certain facts to sell a heroic narrative at home and abroad. By  Virginia Postrel 13 May 25, 2017, 3:30 AM GMT+5:30 How myths are made.  Photographer: VCG via Getty Images Sitting in my Hangzhou hotel room one evening last September, I caught a helpfully subtitled Chinese TV show about  Song Dynasty inscriptions  carved on a mountainside near  Quanzhou  -- the city Chinese media invariably call “ the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road .” With prayers for good winds and safe returns, the carvings bore witness to China’s far-flung commercial relations during the European Middle Ages. The report was a perfectly legitimate travel feature. By calling attention to the Silk Road, however, it also served the Chinese government’s purposes. QuickTakeChina's Silk Road The Chinese “Belt and Road” program is more than an ambitious infrastructure drive