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Showing posts from February 13, 2018

Has China Bought Brunei’s South China Sea Silence? ASEAN BEAT Image Credit:  MINDEF Singapore The questions raised on the issue reflect broader concerns about how the sultanate conducts itself at home and abroad. By  Luke Hunt February 14, 2018   An abundance of oil has supported the extravagant and famous lifestyles of Brunei’s royal family and their coterie of well connected elites for decades. But it now appears the tiny sultanate has fallen on hard times, a situation that has been setting off alarm bells not only among some within the country, but also in Southeast Asia and beyond. In particular, recent reports of growing investment from outside actors – particularly China, though also from other sources like Saudi Arabia – have led to speculation that this could affect the conduct of Brunei’s foreign policy. The South China Sea is one particularly troubling case. Brunei has long been a quiet claimant in the disputes, with much more limit

Two Belts, Two Roads BRUNO MAÇÃES The emergence of the Indo-Pacific concept shows how our mental maps are being redrawn in Asia—with geopolitical implications that are only beginning to come into view. The recent National Defense Strategy of the United States opens by describing a strategic environment of growing competition with revisionist powers. Revealingly, the first example is how China is using its military and economic power to coerce neighboring countries to reorder the “Indo-Pacific region” to its advantage. China, it adds, is pursuing “Indo-Pacific hegemony.” Later the document stresses the capacity to deploy military force in three key regions. Two of them are, unsurprisingly, Europe and the Middle East. The third—and in fact the first one mentioned in this context—is the Indo-Pacific. Our mental maps are being redrawn. One of the most striking examples of this process is the emergence of a new concept: the “Indo-Pacific

‘No Need to Hide the Ambition’: China Hints at Plans for Global Military Bases AFP STR by  FRANCES MARTEL 13 Feb 2018 17 China’s state-run  People’s Daily  published a defense of expansive maritime military plans on Sunday grounded in the need to protect the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) program, which uses infrastructure to grant Beijing a foothold in nearly every region of the world. The  Global   Times,  an English-language Chinese government newspaper, cites an article by Liu Jixian, former head of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Science in Beijing, in the  People’s Daily  this weekend unavailable on that newspaper’s English-language site promoting exponential Chinese military expansion. “It is reasonable and necessary for China to strengthen its maritime power as it is becoming stronger,” Liu and other “experts” reportedly argued, according to government-controlled media. “With the development of the Belt and Road in

Behind the Scenes / How advanced are Chinese nuclear subs? 8:58 pm, February 13, 2018 By Kojiro Tanikawa and Tatsuya Fukumoto / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersIn mid-January, a submarine of the Chinese Navy entered the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. The Japanese government released a photograph and concluded that the submarine was a Shang-class nuclear-powered attack submarine. Chinese submarines are becoming more active in waters near Japan, but how advanced are their capabilities? We examined the submarines’ current state and strategy, as well as the challenges they pose for Japan. A veil of secrecy  “What is this?” A Japanese security expert was surprised when he saw a photo of the Chinese submarine, which was taken by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and released by the Defense Ministry on Jan. 12. The shape of the vessel was unlike any Chinese submarine they had encountered before. Between the protruding superstructure called the “sail” and the vertica

Shipping Finance: China’s New Tool in Becoming a Global Maritime Power Publication: China Brief Volume: 18 Issue: 1 By:  Virginia Marantidou February 13, 2018 05:01 PM Age: 4 hours China began 2018 by making important strategic moves in the shipping industry. On January 10, COSCO Shipping Development, COSCO Shipping’s leasing finance arm announced a plan to establish a shipping fund with state-controlled China Cinda Asset Management Co., Ltd. to finance ship assets ( Splash24 /7 , January 10). COSCO Shipping, the product of a gigantic merger of Chinese shipping behemoths, China Ocean Shipping Company and China Shipping Company, last summer acquired Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas International, becoming the world’s third-largest container ship fleet. These strategic moves to become dominant in the shipping industry are reflective of the industries’ broader importance to China’s economy. Around 90 percent of global trade travels by sea ( International Chamber o

China’s ‘own courts’ for BRI rows raise eyebrows By  Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury , ET Bureau | Feb 14, 2018, 07.33AM IST NEW DELHI: China’s recent announcement that it would establish courts under its own judicial system to handle international disputes arising from projects under the  Belt and Road Initiative  (BRI) has triggered apprehensions that this would lead to dispute settlement on its unilateral terms and conditions. The courts, which are to be based in Beijing, Xi’an and Shenzhen, have been established under the authority of the Supreme People’s Court of  China , ET has learnt. The Xi’an court will manage commercial disputes for the  Silk Road Economic Belt , which connects China, West Asia and Europe. The Shenzhen court will manage commercial cases for the  Maritime Silk Road , which connects China, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. Chinese media has reported that the country will seek to promote the

Gwadar Vs Chabahar Imran Shahani Pakistan’s signing of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with China is a milestone of economic cooperation between the two countries. It is expected that this Corridor would boost Pakistan’s ailing economy in the years to come. Gwadar, a strategic warm water deep sea port located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan in the Baluchistan Province is the geographic center of gravity of the CPEC.The strategic location of Gwadar located at the junction of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman can be defined by its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz; a key maritime route to the oil producing region. Gwadar is located about 700 km from Karachi and about 75 km from Iranian port Chabahar. It is connected to Chinese city of Kashgar with land distance of about 2000 km through the Karakorum Highway in Pakistan. China is heavily dependent on Gulf oil; about 60% of the oil comes from the Gulf for which the ships have to traverse a dis

CPEC has enhanced Pakistan’s regional importance: FPCCI   PARVEZ JABRI   FEB 13TH, 2018   0  VIEWS: 25 LAHORE: Pakistan offers tremendous opportunities for businesses and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have increased Pakistan’s regional importance. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Regional Chairman and Vice President Chaudhry Arfan Yousaf expressed these views on the inauguration of Flynas Airline, according to Federation’s spokesman here on Tuesday. Chaudhry Arfan said, “We live in the world of connectivity, and airline industry is rapidly changing. The growth of this industry is strongly associated with the phenomenon of globalisation; therefore, addition of Flynas to our air connectivity will robust our cooperation.” He said that Saudi Arabia was the largest trading partner of Pakistan in the Middle East and most of the Pakistani overseas labourer worked in Saudi Arabia, which

Pakistan: CPEC-A Connectivity Promoting Project   Feb 14, 2018   Sri Lanka Guardian   The CPEC would bring a new era of affluence and prosperity to the people of Balochistan. by Ali Sukhanver Views expressed in this article are author’s own (February 13, 2018. Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) Let me introduce to you a very unique type of war in which the commanding warriors have never entered the battle-field. It is the war being fought in the name of the Liberation of Balochistan; a war in which warriors are simply sitting in luxurious rooms, smoking precious cigars, riding the most comfortable limousines and enjoying a lot of VIP protocol in European countries. Seems their masters are taking a good care of them for their services in the so-called war of ‘Liberation of Balochistan’ from the ‘cruel clutches of Pakistan.’ It is also noteworthy they have been doing this difficult ‘assignment’ without any moral or political support of the local people of Balo

PTDC plans to construct motels along CPEC route Listen Islamabad: Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) would plan to construct motels at China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) silk route to facilitate tourists in a better environment. Managing Director PTDC Abdul Ghafoor Tuesday said, " PTDC wanted to acquire land at CPEC silk route for the construction of motels to accommodate tourists both domestic and foreign. "The MD PTDC said tourism was one of the important sectors for the growth of the country’s economy. Abdul Ghafoor has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would improve quality tourism services between the two countries with having lasting impacts on socio-economic development. In this regard PTDC has approached all four provinces to join hands in the promotion and uplifting of tourism sector he added. He said that PTDC need to get space on the entry and exit points of the China-Pakistan Economi

Cabinet decides to get detailed briefing on CPEC National 9 HOURS AGO BY STAFF REPORT Meeting in Islamabad ratifies cabinet body’s decisions on China-backed projects ISLAMABAD :  The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to get a detailed briefing on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and ratified the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on the economic corridor taken during its meeting held on January 12, 2018. The cabinet, which met here with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair at the PM Office, also directed that the process of filling up vacant positions of the heads of organisations in various ministries be expedited. During the meeting, the cabinet members offered Fateha for the departed souls of renowned lawyer, human rights activist and former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Asma Jahangir and Sindh minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani. In its meeting, the cabinet accorded approval for signing of an in

From defence to space, Oman, India sign a clutch of MoUs February 11, 2018 | 10:37 PM By ONA The MoUs have been signed to enhance the Omani-Indian historic relations, which are growing. -ONA Sharelines From defence to space, Sultanate, India sign a clutch of MoUs From defence to space, #Sultanate, #India sign a clutch of MoUs Muscat:  The Sultanate signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on Sunday with India to consolidate the strategic relations between the two countries, within the framework of the visit of Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, to the Sultanate. The MoUs have been signed to enhance the Omani-Indian historic relations, which are growing. The first agreement represented the mutual exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic, official, private and service passports. It was signed on behalf of the Sultanate’s government by Sheikh Hilal bin Marhoon Al Ma’amari, Head of the West Asia Department at the Foreign Ministry while it was signed on behalf of the Indian gover

China's failure behind Pakistan move? BS Web Team | Agencies | New Delhi | Last Updated at February 13 2018 17:48 IST Has Pakistan turned over a new leaf when it comes to aiding, harbouring and turning a blind eye to terrorist organisations operating from its soil? Has it finally heeded India's warnings or US President Donald Trump's threats? One might be inclined to believe so, to some extent, given the ordinance promulgated by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain last week will reportedly lead be the proscription of Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). The truth could be that Islamabad is facing a tough situation that its friend Beijing has been unable to bail it out of.    However, even as the ordinance was promulgated and signed, Pakistan-backed terrorist organisations attacked military installations in India -- an I

Pakistan declares 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed a terrorist Hamza AmeerIslamabadFebruary 13, 2018UPDATED 01:32 IST Hafiz Saeed, the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organisation, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters) HIGHLIGHTS New ordinance brings all individuals, groups banned by UNSC under Anti-Terrorism ActTop sources confirmed the signing of the ordinanceThe move enables Islamabad to seal offices of concerned individuals and groups, freeze their bank accounts Pakistan's President on Monday signed an ordinance that brings all individuals and organisations banned by the UN Security Council (UNSC) - including 26/11 attacks mastermind  Hafiz Saeed and his group, the Jamaat - ud - Dawa  (JuD) - under the ambit of the country's stringent Anti-Terrorism Act. Sources in the Pakistani National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) confirmed the signing of the