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Showing posts from September, 2018

American Warship Sails Near Disputed Islands, Challenging China

USS Decatur conducts 10-hour patrol in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-held outposts in Spratly island chain  The USS Decatur operates in the South China Sea in October 2016. PHOTO: PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS DIANA QUINLAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES 72 COMMENTS By  Gordon Lubold in Washington and  Jeremy Page in Beijing Updated Sept. 30, 2018 3:49 a.m. ET A U.S. Navy warship patrolled near at least two Chinese-held outposts in the disputed Spratly island chain in the South China Sea on Sunday, challenging Beijing’s maritime claims amid growing tensions between the two countries. The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur navigated past Gaven and Johnson reefs over the course of a 10-hour patrol in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nautical miles of both features in what amounts to a freedom of navigation operation, or FONOP. The two outposts are among seven where China has built heavily fortified artificial islands since 2013, raising

Fearing debt trap, Pakistan rethinks China's Belt and Road projects

The cooling of enthusiasm for China's investments mirrors the unease of incoming governments in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Maldives, with administrations wary of Chinese deals struck by their predecessors.PHOTO: REUTERS PUBLISHED 2 HOURS AGO ISLAMABAD (REUTERS) - After lengthy delays, a US$8.2 billion (S$11.2 billion) revamp of a colonial-era rail line snaking from the Arabian Sea to the foothills of the Hindu Kush has become a test of Pakistan's ability to rethink signature Chinese "Silk Road" projects due to debt concerns. The rail mega project linking the coastal metropolis of Karachi to the north-western city of Peshawar is China's biggest Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Pakistan, but Islamabad has balked at the cost and financing terms. Resistance has stiffened under the new government of populist Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has voiced alarm about rising debt levels and says the country must wean itself off foreign loans. "We are seeing

BNC Strongly condemns Pakistan’s foreign minister’s hypocritical remarks at the UNGA

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BNC Strongly condemns Pakistan’s foreign minister’s hypocritical remarks at the UN Gen Assembly session. Washington, DC—  Balochistan National Congress (BNC), a Washington, D.C based Baloch body, Strongly condemns the Pakistan’s foreign minister, Mr. Mahmood Qureshi, for his hypocritical remarks at the UN General Assembly Session. Mr. Quraishi was speaking at the UNGA’s 73rd Session in New York, calling the Indian atrocities against the Kashmiri people unjust and unacceptable but at the same time he fell short to mention the Pakistan’s illegal and unjust occupation of Balochistan and the Pakistan’s army’s atrocities against the innocent and defenseless Baloch people in the occupied Balochistan. “On one side Mr. Qureshi is shedding crocodile tears for the Kashmiri people but at the same time he has closed his eyes over the Pokistan’s illegal, immoral and unjust occupation of Balochistan and Pakistan’s army’s atrocities against the innocent and

Europe prefers market driven connectivity over Belt and Road

Eurasian infrastructure projects will have a better chance for success if they are market-based rather than state-led developments, says Ioana Kraft from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China By  EMANUELE SCIMIA SEPTEMBER 29, 2018 2:32 PM (UTC+8) 0 0 A China Railway Express train running from Weihai, China, to Duisburg, Germany in 2017. Freight trains have made more than 9,000 trips since the line opened in 2017. Photo: AFP/Imagine China The  European Union’s proposal  to enhance connections between Europe and Asia is a welcome development for European businesses in China. Many parts of the Asian continent still have a great need for basic infrastructure and improved connectivity is a major contributor to economic growth. The EU plan is a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is aimed at boosting trade and infrastructure integration across Eurasia. Eventually, the two frameworks could be connected. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly t

These tourist spots in Balochistan are perfect for a weekend getaway

September 29, 2018   Zaheer Zarf Photo: Courtesy Moola Chotok Waterfalls/Facebook Are you sick of wasting your weekend sitting at home in front of the TV or going to the mall? Well we’ve got some good news for you: there are loads of places in Balochistan where you can experience nature at its best. SAMAA Digital has compiled a list of places in Balochistan where you can go for the day or the whole weekend. Photo: Courtesy Destination PK Kund Malir The four-hour drive from Karachi to Balochistan may seem daunting but we promise it’s worth it. The clear blue sea at Kund Malir is unlike anything you’ll see in Karachi. You can spend a lazy day relaxing at the beach or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go scuba diving or cliff jumping. Photo: Courtesy Muhammad Sharjeel Ashraf/Facebook Princess of Hope Driving a mere 15 minutes ahead and you will find yourself in front of the iconic Princess of Hope. With her arms wrapped around herself, the Princess of Hope stands tall

Awaran: BLF claims attack on forces during operation

September 29, 2018 From news desk of *(The Balochistan Post)* brought to you by *(Current Balochistan)* BLF has claimed to attack forces and death squad (local militia) conducting a military operation in Mashkay Area of Balochistan’s Awaran District. According to details received by The Balochistan Post, Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) a pro-freedom militant group, has taken the responsibility of an attack on Pakistani forces during the military operation in Mermasi Mashkay area of Awaran district, on Saturday. Gohram Baloch, spokesman to BLF stated: “we attacked the forces with heavy weaponry, which resulted in killing 3 army personnel and injuring two more. The clash started when forces were trying to cordon off the area on the fourth day of ongoing military operation in Mashkay area of Balochistan, but our fighters successfully broke the siege“. “Military operations in other areas of Awaran are continued by Pakistani forces and there are reports of shelling on civilians”, h

Current Balochistan: Conflict updates from ground

28/9/2018 HERNAI:- According to recent updates today Pakistani forces started a military operation in sharag, Hernai, Residents told us Pakistani army is  bombarding the  Mountainous areas of Hernai. 28/9/2018 PANJGUR:- According to our updates today Pakistani local death squads raided in house of Baloch activist Dr Essa in Washbod, Hammal Abad, Panjgur, Residents informed social media activists that Workers of death squad bulldozed the entire house of Essa and threatened the family members. 28/9/2018 KECH:- On 19 of October 2016 occupying army abducted Shahdor S/o Aslam R/o Gomazi in a military operation in Tump, According to updates today he was released From Main military camp of Kech and reached his home. 28/9/2018 AWARAN:- According to updates today morning occupying army started a search operation in Buzdar Kulli, Mandi Parag and other nearby places of district Awaran. 28/9/2018 MASHKEY:- According to our updates it been 6 days since occupying army started military

Saudi Arabia must refrain from partnering Pakistan China in Baloch

Saudi Arabia must refrain from partnering Pakistan China in Baloch - Allah Nazar Baloch Sangar News Baloch nationalist leader Dr Allah Nazar Baloch in a statement has strongly condemned Saudi Arabia’s announcement of partnership with Pakistan and China on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), calling it a major violation of international laws and direct participation in the genocide of the people of Balochistan. “Balochistan is an occupied land, any economic investment in such disputed territory is against the spirit of international laws.” he said. “There is an ongoing war for freedom in Balochistan and the people are defending their homeland. Saudi Arabia must refrain from partnering with Pakistan and China here, otherwise they will be seen no different than enemy” the statement said. Dr Allah Nazar said that Saudi’s participation would not only promote religious extremism in the region but also pose a serious threat in destroying the secular values of the Baloch society. A

Belgium Sign Pact to Connect via Diamond Silk Road Railway

BUSINESS 19:17 28.09.2018(updated 21:21 28.09.2018)Get short URL Brussels and Beijing have inked a major bilateral agreement alongside organizations and institutions to initiate a passenger train service between port cities in the Old Continent and Middle Kingdom, challenging even Russia's Trans-Siberian Railway. Officials from both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Antwerp alongside the World Free and Special Economic Federation, Brussels-based Diplomatic World magazine, and Antwerp-based European Federation of Traditional Chinese Culture (EFTCC), Xinhua  reported  on Friday.  The Diamond Silk Road would allow passengers to travel via rail from Antwerp to Shanghai and back, linking 10 global cities including Brussels, Moscow, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing, and creating the world's largest free trade and manufacturing space.   READ MORE:  Gwadar to Become the Next Dubai, Vital for CPEC, Investment Company Says   Currently, only one freight rail service op

China’s Belt and Road Is Buckling

By: Yuen Yuen Ang | Sep 27 2018 at 06:00 PM |  International Trade    Like most Communist Party campaigns, the initiative is sprawling, chaotic and confused. (Bloomberg Opinion)  —Strategists in the West fear that China’s Belt and Road initiative is a vast, well-laid and finely orchestrated plan to extend Chinese hegemony over much of the developing world. They should be afraid of something else: It’s nothing of the sort. What many outsiders have missed is that the Belt and Road is a vision, not a plan. When Chinese President Xi Jinping laid out the scheme five years ago, he proposed an ambitious transcontinental effort to link the economies of some 80 countries, covering two-thirds of the world’s population, through improved trade and transportation links. How to translate Xi’s vision into concrete deals was left to other parties, both within and beyond the Chinese government. This modus operandi is typical in China, where the central government often issues broad directives and

Legislators urge construction of more dams

QUETTA, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Sep, 2018 ) :Lawmakers emphasized that potential measures should be taken to establish dams on emergency bases in order to address  water  issues as its underground levels are deepening across province after approving unanimously  resolution  in session of  assembly . Deputy Speaker  Balochistan   Assembly Sardar Babar Musakhel chaired the  assembly  session on Friday. Lawmaker of Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Nasrullah Zeray tabled a  resolution  which read that  Balochistan  is experiencing  drought   from  prolong times owing to this  water  levels is becoming alarm situation in the province. It said 75 percent population is dependable on agricultural and  agriculture  of province is at the verge of damaging position, therefore the provincial  government  should take necessary steps to establish big dams and small dams after consultation of legislators and experts engineers. "The provincial  government  in consultati

Women, children in Balochistan suffering from malnutrition due to drought-like situation

REPORT from  DAWN Group of Newspapers Published on 27 Sep 2018 — View Original Syed Ali Shah | September 27, 2018 Nearly 52 per cent children have reportedly become the victim of stunting as result of severe undernourishment due to the drought-like situation in the province, Dr Ali Nasir Bugti, the coordinator for Balochistan nutrition cell, told DawnNewsTV. “Child mortality rate in the province is high as compared to other provinces of the country owing to chronic malnutrition for mothers and children,” Dr Bugti said. Dr Bugti, however, said that 16 per cent children in the province faced acute undernourishment while 40 per cent were underweight, terming it an alarming situation. Balochistan government, in collaboration with World Bank and Unicef, has formed a nutrition cell to overcome chronic malnutrition crisis in the province, he said. Moreover, Balochistan Rural Support Programme chief executive Nadir Gul Bareech said, “The access to safe drinking water, sanitation, hea

Balochistan CM vows to end poverty

Bahram Baloch September 29, 2018 GWADAR: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani said on Friday that his government was committed to tapping the vast natural resources of the province and using them for poverty alleviation in the province. Speaking at an exhibition of mineral resources titled ‘Marble and Mineral Expo 2018’ in Gwadar, the chief minister said that through international investment in projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Balochistan’s natural resources could be explored. He said the province’s resources would be used for betterment its people. Mr Alyani said after becoming fully functional the port in Gwadar would turn this city into a hub of international trade and boost trade activities in the country. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD The chief minister said his government was giving due importance to Gwadar and trying to provide all basic and modern facilities to it. The government was taking keen interest in developing Gwadar as a m

IMF request for CPEC contract details declined

By  Shahbaz Rana Published: September 29, 2018 CPEC route. PHOTO: AFP ISLAMABAD:  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is looking for contract details of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects amid the West’s deepening interest in the strategic arrangement between the two “all weather” friends. The visiting IMF delegation raised the issue of CPEC deals during a meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Planning and Development, according to the sources. The Pakistani side was led by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar. “The ministry gives an overview of the macroeconomic outlook and progress on the CPEC initiative to the IMF team,” said the sources. Proposing Saudi Arabia as CPEC partner The IMF staff-level delegation is visiting Pakistan to assess the country’s macroeconomic situation. Its Washington-based Mission Chief, Harald Finger, is leading the delegation that comprises officials from the fund’s Lending Poli

CPEC debts: China concerned after change in government?

  HARSHA KAKAR The best bet for China is to keep the Pakistan army happy. Photo: Wasif Malik — © Flickr/CC BY 2.0 The recent visit by the Pakistan army chief, General Bajwa, to Beijing and his comments there indicate a desperate attempt by both countries convincing the other that all is well in the continuation of the CPEC. This comes after multiple statements in the Pakistani media about the present government seeking to revisit the terms and conditions of the CPEC considering the debt burden which Pakistan has begun to face. The Pakistan commerce minister had even suggested suspending all projects for a year, thus enabling the government to regain fiscal control. Simultaneously, Pakistan is seeking options for a bailout but is hesitating to approach China as it is already in deep debt. General Bajwa’s visit is the first after the new government, supported by the army, assumed office. His visit came concurrent to the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Axios China: Newsletter By Bill Bishop 

·Sep 28, 2018 Happy last Friday of Q3. China is on vacation for the National Day holiday, also known as "golden week" next week so unless there is big news there may be no newsletter next Friday. Thanks for reading, and if you want a daily and deeper look at China, please check out my daily  Sinocism China Newsletter  and follow me on  Twitter @niubi .   1 big thing: A rough week for U.S.-China relations Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios   This last week may rank among the worst few days in U.S.-China relations in recent memory: On Monday the latest round of reciprocal tariffs took effect and China rejected the U.S. invitation for trade talks in Washington.In response to U.S. sanctions on a department in the People's Liberation Army and its head over Russian weapons purchases, China recalled its navy commander from his U.S. visit and  postponed military talks  scheduled for Sept. 25–27.The U.S. approved a $300 million arms sale to Taiwan.China denied a U.S. request