Skip to main content


Showing posts from February 15, 2018

Japanese investment on the rise in Turkey By  ALTAY ATLI FEBRUARY 13, 2018 6:09 PM (UTC+8) 106 1 Manisa, a vibrant industrial town in Turkey’s Western Anatolia region, has had a lot of visitors from Japan recently. On February 8, the Japanese multinational electronics and electrical-equipment manufacturer Mitsubishi inaugurated a new air-conditioner factory on the outskirts of the city, which came with an investment of US$100 million. Only a few kilometers from this factory site continues the construction of another production plant, undertaken by the Japanese firm GS Yuasa, which has invested $65 million to produce automotive batteries. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox In the meantime, another Japanese company that calls Manisa home, Toyo Ink, recently announced that it would expand its Turkish venture with a new investment of $30 million. These are only a few examples of the recent Japanese investment wave in Turkey, which is n

Revisiting Chinese neocolonialism BY  JEAN-MARC F. BLANCHARD THE DIPLOMAT FEB 11, 2018 ARTICLE HISTORY PRINT SHARE The debate about Chinese neocolonialism is long standing but has re-emerged with new force for two reasons. One is China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR), which anticipates billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure projects and resource investments in dozens of countries, many economically and politically weak. Then there were the dramatic events that took place in Sri Lanka last year, pursuant to which it turned over its Hambantota port and a massive amount of land in Colombo port to Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) in return for debt relief. To top it off, we are seeing Chinese military bases (in Djibouti) and security “advisers” (in Pakistan) in places where China has strong economic interests. Indeed, the general features of China’s relations with many countries tod

Vassal States? Understanding China’s Belt and Road MoU Posted on  February 8, 2018 by  Silk Road Briefing Reading Mode The recent announcement by China that it intends to establish  Belt and Road arbitration courts  to resolve trade and related disputes along the Belt and Road routes – in China – has raised eyebrows as this goes against the generally accepted principal of utilizing an independent, third party as arbitrator. It is unusual for arbitration cases to be heard in a jurisdiction that has laws governing just one of the conflicted parties for obvious reasons of conflict of interest. To establish how China may be able to pressure other countries to use its courts, we have examined a number of the MoUs China has signed with foreign governments, principally over the past 18 months to examine what has been agreed to or implied. Some of these, but not all, have been released as a matter of public record onto the public domain, and whil

HSBC: Belt and Road projects will have tangible impact on Asean economies Sangeetha Amarthalingam / February 13, 2018 19:13 pm +08 - A + A KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 13): Belt and Road projects will have a tangible impact on Asean economies over the next five years, especially Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, said HSBC's chief Asean economist Joseph Incalcaterra. "In each country, we estimate there are projects worth c10-15% of GDP in the pipeline — and we are confident that many of them, especially the railway lines, energy generation plants, and port facilities, will eventually be realised, given their strategic nature for China," Incalcaterra said. He noted that these projects are neither free aid nor equity investments but are instead largely debt-financed projects, built by mainland Chinese contractors with a high degree of import content that will put some pressure on current accounts. "Given that

The growing backlash to Chinese power As China presses ahead with its controversial Belt and Road initiative, international attitudes towards the country harden by Shashank Joshi / February 13, 2018 /  Leave a comment Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Theresa May with Chinese President Xi Jinping during her recent trip to Beijing. Photo: Liu Weibing / Xinhua News Agency/PA Images Theresa May returned from her January trip to Beijing on a sour note. Her visit is part of a larger pattern of hardening European attitudes towards China’s economic and geopolitical ambitions. Officials in the UK and China have spent recent years heralding a supposed “golden age.” In March 2015, George Osborne and David Cameron took the surprise decision to make the UK a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), prompting an  apoplectic response  from American officials. A lavish state visit to the UK by Xi Jinping followed l

China's road to influence in Europe can't be a one-way street 08/02/18 Chinese media reports dismiss the current debate in Europe over Chinese political influencing. At the same time, their government is telling Western institutions, companies and organizations not to meddle in China’s affairs. China could be more persuasive if it allowed  open transnational exchanges   and debate - rather than using opaque channels and financial leverage to broaden its influence. Image by European Council President via flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) The debate over Chinese political influencing has raged in Australia and New Zealand for some time, but it has only just spread to Europe. A  new report by the Global Public Policy Institute ( GPPi ) and MERICS  has compiled many examples of China’s overt and covert attempts to gain political influence and to shape public opinion. The  European Council on Foreign Relations  has also drawn attention to the issue in a study last December.

Why Is China Buying Up Europe’s Ports? State-owned port operators are the aggressive leading edge of Beijing’s massive Belt and Road project. BY  KEITH JOHNSON  | FEBRUARY 2, 2018, 10:27 AM The Greek port of Piraeus on Jan. 31, 2015. (Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)  China’s trillion-dollar signature foreign-policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative, is often lampooned as just a fuzzy concept with little to show for it on the ground. But in bustling ports from Singapore to the North Sea, state-owned Chinese firms are turning the idea into a reality with a series of aggressive acquisitions that are physically redrawing the map of global trade and political influence. A pair of deep-pocketed Chinese behemoths, Cosco Shipping Ports and China Merchants Port Holdings, have gone on a buying binge of late, snapping up cargo terminals in the Indian

China’s ‘New Silk Roads’ reach Latin America Beijing is turbo-charging its infrastructure connectivity across the region and the Caribbean By  PEPE ESCOBAR FEBRUARY 15, 2018 1:26 PM (UTC+8) 186 10 Illustration: iStock   A sharp, geoeconomic shift took place last month in Santiago, Chile at the second ministerial meeting of a forum grouping China and the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.  The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told his audience that the world’s second-largest economy and Latin America should join efforts to  support free trade . This was about “opposing protectionism” and “ working for an open world economy, ” he said. After encouraging Latin American and Caribbean nations to participate in a major November expo in China, Wang delivered the clincher – Latin America should play a “ meaningful” role in the ‘New Silk Roads’, known as the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese media duly  highlighted  the invitati

China to build CPEC Institute in Gwadar Islamabad The maritime department on Wednesday revealed that China would build Pak-China Technical and Vocational Training Institute at port city to fulfill the required technical and skilled manpower of maritime for the deep-sea port. “ The institute will help fulfilling maritime technical and skilled manpower requirements of the port after the development of industrial projects including the Gwadar Port Free Zone, Export Processing Zone and other industrial and port-related projects,” an official in the ministry of Maritime Affairs told APP. The provincial government has allocated land for the project which is scheduled to be completed in a period of 3 years. He added that the local people are main stakeholders of Port City of Gwadar and their participation in operation and management of the deep-sea port, participation in industrial and commercial businesses, and in urbanization processes is key to the all long-term dev

Negativity being spread about CPEC Listen Analyses and discussions over the CPEC have a Pakistan-driven perspective -- and rightly so. We have to safeguard our national interests and ensure the maximum benefits for the country. The Chinese have voiced concerns regarding negative CPEC talk, security and red tape. Under the umbrella of OBOR Initiative announced in 2013, China is planning to invest in 60 countries more all over the world to establish corridors. The receptivity in other countries to this initiative has been enthusiastic; however, some Chinese friends are puzzled by the skeptical and negative reactions from certain quarters in Pakistan expressed in the media, particularly on social media. This comes to them as a surprise because of the long uninterrupted record of strong bilateral relations between the two countries that were not even affected by changes in political leadership in either country. CPEC is the first project of its ki

A geopolitical storm in the Indian Ocean Ravi Velloor PUBLISHED FEB 9, 2018, 5:00 AM SGT FACEBOOK78 TWITTER WHATSAPP EMAIL The Maldives, better known for its tranquil seaside resorts, is in the throes of a vicious domestic power struggle. But its troubles also reflect what happens when bigger foreign powers join the fray. Covering the South Asian summit held on Addu atoll of the Maldives in November 2011, I walked into the breakfast room of my hotel on Gan, an island that used to be a secret airbase for the British Royal Air Force during World War II, and spotted a Chinese-looking man alone in a corner. Ignoring the beckoning calls of my Indian and Pakistani friends, I walked over to this person and asked to share his table. It turned out that he was a junior Chinese diplomat from the embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and as we chatted, he let slip with a grin that in Male, capital of the Maldives, China was opening a brand new embassy that very

Pakistan seeks UK investment in PIA, PSM Listen ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday sought investment from UK in loss-making Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) listed in the government early privatisation program. Minister Privatisation Daniyal Aziz, in a meeting with UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Pakistan Rehman Chishti, acknowledged UK’s interest for investment in Pakistan and appreciated the long-standing bilateral relations between both the countries. “He also appreciated the British companies doing business with, and in, Pakistan, terming their active role a huge contribution to Pakistan’s economic development,” a government statement quoted him as saying. Aziz apprised the delegation of Pakistan’s privatisation program and welcomed UK investment in the companies listed for early privatisation. “Pakistan is not always viewed as an investor-friendly country due to its security challenges,” he said. “(H

U.S. is mostly uninformed about Balochistan

The British favor Pakistan and in 1947 probably felt that an independent Balochistan would be out of its control or sphere of influence. Many Brits may still feel that way. The U.S. is mostly uninformed about Balochistan and, therefore, has no opinion. The geopolitical situation is changing , which creates an opportunity for a secular, independent Balochistan, which needs to be pursued.

BALOCHISTAN: International dimensions

Download BRIEFING PAPER Number 6106, 2 January 2018 * Balochistan: Pakistan's forgotten conflict* House of Commons UK 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 International dimensions Although from time to time it has raised concerns relating to human rights issues and called for action to address the causes of instability in the province, successive US Administrations have taken the view that Balochistan is an internal security matter for Pakistan. The US has consistently provided support for Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, despite sometimes feeling that its partner is not doing as much as it could do to tackle the jihadi armed groups on its territory – including the Afghan Taliban, many of whose leaders are based in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Since taking office, US President Donald Trump has often been critical of Pakistan’s counterterrorism performance; he isthreatening to significantly reduce funding to the country. US security personnel have in the past be

Afghanistan is like Vietnam, but not in a way you might think

Afghanistan is like Vietnam, but not in a way you might think Lawrence Sellin The Vietcong were proxies of North Vietnam, whose leaders were ideologically motivated by communism and the unification of Vietnam. The Taliban are proxies of Pakistan, whose leaders are motivated by religious extremism. Pakistan justifies interference in Afghanistan by claiming that it is defending its national interests from interference by India in Afghanistan. It is a nationalistic argument based, in reality, on their religious differences. Reconciliation between Vietnam and the United States has been largely driven by geopolitical factors, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of China, a traditional enemy of the Vietnamese. Likewise, the conflict in Afghanistan has geopolitical roots, which have been largely overlooked in the formulation of a narrow U.S. policy based on counter-terr