Skip to main content


Showing posts from October 10, 2017

What China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” means for the Western Balkans

By  Vanora  Bennett 11 Sep 2017 Romania is one of the countries that will benefit from the "Belt and Road Initiative". Independent report  for EBRD analyses impact of “Balkan Silk Road” China ’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, is a Eurasian grand strategy that seeks to expand and secure maritime routes and land infrastructure networks from China connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. Also known as ‘One Belt, One Road’, it presents a range of opportunities as well as challenges for the countries involved. The blueprint includes a mosaic of trade deals, energy cooperation and financing agreements taking China westwards. The aim is to establish China’s political economy on a global scale. Seen from a European perspective, Chinese forms of soft power are already on display along what has come to be known as the Balkan Silk Road, a Belt and Road Initiative route running from Beijing to Athens and connecting with Belgrade, Sarajevo, Skopj

China’s Footprint In Southeast Europe: Constructing The “Balkan Silk Road” TOPICS: 16+1” Initiative Balkan Silk Road Belt And Road Initiative COSCO Greece Greece Chinese Investments Balkan silk road POSTED BY:  THE CORNER  11TH OCTOBER 2017 This is the first of three articles in which the author will analyze China’s investment, lending and infrastructure initiatives in Southeast Europe for Macropolis .   The first contribution focuses on China’s ‘Gateway to Europe’ via the Port of Piraeus in Greece. The second contribution will look at China’s emerging footprint in neighboring countries such as Serbia, FYR Macedonia and Bosnia- Hercegovina . The final piece will place China’s activities in the region in the wider strategic context of challenges for the European Union, multilateral lenders such as the EBRD and European Investment Bank as well as Russia. The three contributions are based on a report which the author has written for the EBRD in Lon

Gwadar: look and feel BR Research Oct 11th, 2017 0 Seeing is believing! As a follow up to our field trip in January this year, BR Research made a short rendezvous with Gwadar last week amid growing fears that developmental work might have slowed down if not stopped in the wake of political wrangling going on in Islamabad. What we saw was entirely different! Once a sleepy fishing village, it now has the signs of a pre-boom town. Two out of every five people spoken to for the purpose of journalistic Vox Populi were new to Gwadar; some serving in construction, some in the service sector such as roadside food shacks, and others as retailers or traders. This shouldn’t be construed as if the city has become Dubai or Shenzhen, nor can it be expected to become one overnight, as this column had already noted earlier (See Gwadar: Look and feel, January 18, 2017). Gwadar’s road to Shenzhen depends on a host of developments that need to take place

Awareness Rising Seminar Conducted on Nutrition for Mother & Children By: Azam Jan Marri KOHLU : Awareness rising Seminar on Nutrition Program conducted by PPHI DSU Kohlu in collaboration with Balochistan Nutrition Program for mother & children was held in Government Model High school Kohlu 8th October. District Health Officer Kohlu, Incharge NADRA Office Kohlu, Meer Baz Muhammad Marri, Ameer Jamate Islami district Kohlu (The Chief Guest), Dr Yaqoob Khan Marri, Malik Akbar Khan Zarkoon, Haji Mazar Khan Marri, Khan Hashim Khan Zarkoon, Hafeez Marri Principal Model High school Kohlu with staff and many other notables of different areas participated in the seminar. Then M&E Officer PPHI DSU Kohlu Rafiq Buzdar shared that PPHI was started working in the district in 2007. “From that period to till date PPHI had repaired more than 20 Health Facilities and also provided furniture, medical equipments, and sufficient quantity of medicines to all BHUs an

”CPEC will end sense of deprivation in Balochistan”   RECORDER REPORT   OCT 10TH, 2017   ISLAMABAD Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Ahsan Iqbal Monday said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a masterpiece of ties between the two countries, was meant to connect the regional nations. "The CPEC is not against any country but is aimed at promoting regional trade, development and prosperity," he said, while addressing a luncheon ceremony held here in honour of outgoing Ambassador of China to Pakistan Sun Weidong. Ahsan Iqbal,, said those, who were opposing the CPEC, wanted Pakistan as a fragile economy, according to a press release issued on Monday. He said the CPEC was playing a key role in overcoming energy crisis in Pakistan, besides investment and new technologies were coming to the country because of it. The minister said the CPEC would end sense of deprivation in Balochistan while the Gwadar port would play a key role in the development and pros

Pakistan's anti-India stance on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor S.C. Kohli 10 October, 2017 Since China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) came into existence in Pakistan in mid-2015 with Chinese help, Pakistani civil and military leaderships have regularly been leveling unfounded allegations against India for sabotaging the project. CPEC is an infrastructure and energy related US$ 60 billion worth project, which would also connect Balochistan's Gwadar Port in Pakistan with Kashgar city in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, through a 2395 kilometer long network of roads. This would enhance China's global trade as well as reduce cost of transportation of raw material, especially crude oil. In Focus But,  India  vehemently opposes the CPEC as it is being executed illicitly on Indian territory under Pakistani occupation.   India has also other convincing strong objections and concerns over it. India has

The Economic Benefits of the Modern Silk Road – CPEC’ The Economic Benefits of the Modern Silk Road – CPEC’ Business readiness for change ACCA surveyed 500 finance professionals across Pakistan. 79% believe that the changes due to CPEC would be incorporated into their business strategy within five years and the way their businesses work would adapt to the expected growth and change. Changes identified:  Organisations need to consider and analyse the impact of B&R initiative globally and its impact on the way business is conducted in PakistanEfficient allocation of resources to compete globallyOrganisations in the IT and communications industry will need to consider major investment in human and organisational development, to enable them to compete globally and facilitate collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese technology companiesGeo-political influences should be included in the scope of business risk ass

Pakistan must fill skill gap to exploit CPEC: report Business October 11, 2017 Listen LAHORE: Pakistan’s manpower, whether professional, skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled must either match or be better than China’s if the country wanted to ensure that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) long-term benefits don’t start heading South, a report said on Tuesday. “Investment in people, for example, learning Mandarin, understanding Chinese business culture and increased networking i.e., the people-to-people contact which is one of the pillars of CPEC, must be embedded in the long-term mission of the private and public sectors,” a report by ACCA Pakistan, and Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) said.  Commenting on the report titled ‘ The Economic Benefits of the Modern Silk Road – CPEC ’, Arif Masud Mirza, regional head of policy at ACCA, said for the last almost 3 years the business community and finance professionals have been talking about th

Planning required to enjoy CPEC’s returns: experts 11-Oct-17by  Staff Report KARACHI :  The country's business community needs to seriously plan about the impact of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the strategies, long term benefits, and business preparedness for the new opportunities and challenges. This was said by business leaders after report of a survey was published. The survey, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), was conducted amongst 500 finance professionals and business stakeholders. The report also took into account the outcomes from 5 SWOT workshops in Balochistan, KP, Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad. It would be vital to ponder where the businesses need to invest or allocate resources to capitalise on the future, businessmen said. Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) Regional Head of Policy Arif Masud Mirza said that almost 70 percent people surveyed agreed that new skills would

US’ coercion & Pakistan October 11, 2017 The only thing surprising about US Secretary of Defense General Jim Mattis’ controversial policy statement on the CPEC passing through Gilgit- Baltistan (GB), “so called disputed territory”, is that it took so long in the coming. It almost seemed overdue. It dutifully echoes India’s vile disinformation mantra on the subject - a pathetic travesty of the political history and geography of the region, callously disregarding the repulsive HR situation in Indian Held Kashmir. The General’s statement not only challenges his and his Government’s credibility but also portends serious strategic connotations for the region. Pakistan, in particular Balochistan, is thus very likely to become the next battleground for super power rivalry and geopolitical machinations which may lead on to asymmetric warfare, deadly conventional and potentially nuclear war! This statement consummates the polarisation of the South Ce

CPEC is project of economic connectivity for Pakistan, entire region: Adviser  FAWAD MAQSOOD  OCT 10TH, 2017 0 VIEWS: 31 ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a project of economic connectivity with an aim to boost the progression and prosperity not only of Pakistan but for the entire region. He was talking to Ambassador of Poland Piotr A Opalinski here on Tuesday. Matters pertaining to promotion of bilateral relations particularly in the areas of economy, energy, military cooperation and defence production came under discussion. The two sides agreed to work together at all levels to promote cooperation and cordial bilateral relations. Janjua said Poland is an important country and Pakistan highly values its relations with it. He stressed the need to enhance cooperation in multiple areas to strengthen these ties more. The Polish Ambassador said there is a vast s

Why US is wrong to see China as next big threat: China Daily columnist Flags of US and China are placed for a meeting in Beijing, on June 30, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS Doug Bandow WASHINGTON (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) The collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States alone at the pinnacle of power. That was good for world peace but bad for the Pentagon. Since then, much of the US foreign policy establishment has searched for a new enemy to justify a military build-up. President Donald Trump does not appear to think much about geopolitics. But there are many hawks in the US who are presenting China as the next big threat. In its report, "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2017", the US Department of Defence noted that China had improved its capacity to undertake joint operations and fight short conflicts further from the mainland. Moreover, the report said that "China has le

Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties

Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties , October 10, 2017, 08:47:17 AM EDT    Even before the OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts took effect in January 2017, Russia had already  beaten  Saudi Arabia to become China’s single largest oil supplier for 2016. Since then, Saudi Arabia has sacrificed still more of its market share in the prized Chinese market, while Russia has  dominated  Beijing’s top suppliers’ list for most of this year. Now Russia’s oil giant, Rosneft—whose chief executive Igor Sechin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin—is reportedly aiming to further increase its crude oil deliveries to China, as Russia looks to boost energy ties with the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top driver of global oil demand growth.    Since the OPEC/Russia oil production deal began, the U.S. has  stepped up sanctions  on Russia, which made Western banks and companies even more cautious in dealing with Russian firms. Considering this, it’s not a huge surprise that Rosneft

Modern Silk Road in the making CREATED: 09 OCTOBER 2017 BUSINESS Robin Li, CEO and founder of Baidu delivers a keynote speech in the opening ceremony of 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road in Dunhuang.   One of the most important projects in the history of the world economy is silently making the world even an smaller place. Golden sand dunes and a clear blue sky fill the landscape as far as the eye can see. A caravan of camels is taking riders up the hill. This is the Mingsha Shan mountain in Dunhuang, in western China. You may have never heard of Dunhuang before, but this city was one of the most important transit points along the ancient Silk Road. Gantsu province, where Dunhuang is situated is a must travel path from China to Eurasia. Today, 280 journalists form more than 170 countries have gathered here to learn and discuss about reincarnation of the Silk Road, a modern version of the trade route which made an esse

There Was a Man Who Wasn’t Mad By: Dur Bibi Ishaque Twenty one minutes film narrates all irregularities of society. The film, There Was a Madman, is directed by Sharjil Baluch, the man who plays the character of ordinary member of society, and written by Zahir Lahri, the person who plays the character of a mad man, Shah Jee. Attractive dialogues and incredible expressions of the characters attract the audience in meritorious status. It is a fiction short film which is based on different issues of our society which includes invalidated and elite class based politics, dis-respectfulness of law by the higher class of society, cleanliness, dependency of our country on the western countries. Entire film is shot at the railway station during the last portion of night with no public dealings. Film starts with a close-up shoot of the madman whose name is Shah Jee (The King). Shah Jee addresses the empty chairs as if he is addressing a public gathering. He sa

Three Hazaras among five killed in Quetta target killing QUETTA: Five people were killed, including three Hazaras, when unidentified gunmen targeted a vehicle carrying members of the Hazara community on the Kasi Road on Monday. The victims were heading to the Sabzi Mandi from Mariabad when they were targeted by unknown assailants riding a motorcycle. The deceased also included the vehicle’s driver and a passer-by.  Narrating details of the incident, Quetta Police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema said, “The police were escorting the vegetable sellers convoy to the Sabzi Mandi as per daily routine, when one of the vehicles was attacked after it took a separate route from the rest of the convoy.” The attack appears to be an act of sectarian nature, the police officer said. Police and personnel of other law-enforcement agencies reached the crime scene and started investigations. The police recovered spent shells of 9mm pistol from the crime spot. The bo

Bangladesh: The rise of OBOR The China-Pakistan Friendship Highway runs over 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the far western Chinese city of Kashgar through the world's highest mountain pass and across the border. PHOTO: AFP Syed Mansur Hashim Bangladesh has formally joined the China-led One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative a day after the Trump administration joined India in its opposition to OBOR. Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque explained at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Delhi on October 5 that this has everything to do with regional economic integration. Needless to say, much thought must have gone into getting on to OBOR especially in light of the fact that India boycotted the OBOR forum in May this year but which was attended by our representatives.  The forum meeting was attended by 29 heads of state and government and representatives from 130 countries and 70 international organisations and India's absence was fe

Shehbaz terms OBOR vital for shared development outcomes 19     Save     LAHORE  : Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that an initiative like One Belt & One Road and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that aims to end poverty of over 800 million people through shared prosperity should be welcomed and not rejected by a developed country like the USA.   He said that ill-founded opposition aimed at creating uncertainty about the grand project was no service to the global peace and development. He said that poverty, inequality and underdevelopment were shared challenges of the whole South Asia, adding that OBOR and CPEC promise to address these questions by creating a community of shared prosperity.   According to a statement here Monday, the chief minister said that it is important to avoid raising doubts about these global initiatives that seek empowerment of the people.   Highlighting the significance of the OBOR initiative, C

Taking sides on CPEC Editorial Updated October 10, 2017 The comments were incendiary and call into question whether even the so-called adults in the administration of US President Donald Trump understand the extent to which their words can cause damage. The strategic rivalry between the US and China means the latter’s Belt and Road initiative is unlikely to be looked on with great approval by any US administration. But US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has  controversially waded into the CPEC debate  by claiming that the “One Belt, One Road also goes through disputed territory”, an obvious reference to CPEC’s route through Gilgit-Baltistan. The astonishing comment has seemingly aligned the US with India on CPEC and possibly even the Kashmir dispute — a potentially shocking development with far-reaching consequences that the Trump administration appears oblivious to. Indeed, for a US administration that has remained studiously silent about the atrocities by Indian f