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Showing posts from June 23, 2018

REVIEW: Balochistan: Architecture, Craft, and Religious Symbolism

Adam Abdullah Balochistan: Architecture, Craft, and Religious Symbolism By Mohsen Keiany Prayer mat with the image of a mosque knotted into the design. — Photo from the book Balochistan: Architecture, Craft, and Religious Symbolism By Mohsen Keiany Prayer mat with the image of a mosque knotted into the design. — Photo from the book Balochistan: Architecture, Craft, and Religious Symbolism By Mohsen Keiany VISUAL artist and art critic Mohsen Keiany, in his book Balochistan: Architecture, Craft, and Religious Symbolism, looks into how symbols originate, get associated with contextual connotations, and eventually come to define a people through interaction within their surroundings. In the case of Balochistan, the symbols are few and very simple, conveying basic meaning and emotion, and reflecting the minimalism of a transient, nomadic lifestyle. The architecture and crafts of Balochistan include relics from some of the earliest examples of Islamic arts and architecture, based

Heavenly horses, the four-footed legends of the Silk Road

Han Dynasty bronze galloping horse with sparrow under a hoof, unearthed in Gansu CREDIT: PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY 21 JUNE 2018 • 12:00PM Zhao Xu In ancient China animals, especially horses, did a lot of the economic heavy lifting and made a great contribution to art In Western mythology the most famous horse is that of Troy, the giant wooden ruse that the Greeks used to wrong-foot their enemy. If there is any equine image in the East that can match the stature of its Western counterpart, it is probably that of the “heavenly horses” – horses that once travelled the ancient Silk Road connecting the  Chinese  empire with the vast land lying to its west. And if the Trojan horse embodied military subterfuge, then the heavenly horses,  tianma , represented raw speed and stamina. The latter have also spawned numerous works of art, ones that remind us not only of a powerful ruler’s ambition but also of the transcontinental trade route this ambition eventually gave birth to. That ruler wa

Opinion: The Belt & Road Initiative is bridging China, Nepal and beyond

Wang Li Editor's note:  Wang Li is a professor at Jilin University in China. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN. At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Nepali Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli paid an official visit to China starting from June 19. Internationally, Nepal is not regarded as a major power, but China has maintained good relations with it based on equality and mutual respect since 1955 when the two sides normalized their diplomatic relationship. According to the ambassador of Nepal to China Leela Mani Paudyal, “PM Oli’s visit would focus on building mutual trust on the highest level.” In light of this, the two countries have agreed to enhance bilateral co-operation in infrastructure, trade, tourism and investment under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Historically, China and Nepal have carried out mutually beneficial cooperation in light of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence since t

China, Nepal to build Tibet-Kathmandu railway link

PTI Beijing and KathmanduJune 22, 2018UPDATED: June 22, 2018 20:07 IST Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli shakes hand with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 21, 2018. (Photo: Greg Baker/Pool via REUTERS) HIGHLIGHTS PM Oli sees rail link as alternative trade route for supply of commodities to Nepal.Railway line will connect Xigaze in Tibet with Kathmandu.This is the second significant initiative by Oli, after he signed a transit trade treaty with China. China and Nepal have agreed to build a strategic railway link connecting Tibet with Kathmandu, which Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli sees as an alternative trade route for supply of commodities to the landlocked Himalayan nation. Oli, who is here on a five-day visit, held talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, following which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to build the railway link through the arduous Himalayan

Swiss Time Bank

Time Bank: Swiss Time Bank A student studying abroad in Switzerland observes the country in Switzerland: While studying in Switzerland, I rented a house near the school. The landlord Kristina is a 67-year-old single old lady who worked as a teacher in a secondary school before she retired. Switzerland's pension is very rich, enough not to make her worry about eating and drinking in her later years. However, it is puzzling that she actually found a "work" - to take care of an 87-year-old single old man. I asked if she was working for money. Her answer surprised me: “I did not work for money, but I put my time in the ‘time bank’, and when I couldn’t move at old age, I could withdraw it.” The first time I heard about the concept of "time bank", I was very curious and asked the landlord thoroughly. The original “Time Bank” was an old-age pension program developed by the Swiss Federal Ministry of Social Security. People saved the time of taking care of the elderl

Belt, Road enhances regional benefit of Beijing-Bangkok ties

China Daily Mo Hong'e The synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative and Thailand 4.0 development program can help improve regional interconnectivity, accelerate economic growth and bring tangible benefits to people in East Asia, experts from China and Thailand said at a forum on Friday. The first Sino-Thai Joint Think Tank Forum, held in Beijing by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, included over 80 academics and officials from the two countries. They explored models for synergy between the China-proposed initiative and Thailand's development program. The innovation-driven Thailand 4.0 development program is highly consistent with the aims and goals of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Gao Peiyong, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Both countries have a significant need to boost linkages with other countries and promote industrial upgrading, Gao said. He named infrastructure, telecommunications, digital economy, energy and internet technology as

Current Balochistan: Conflict updates from ground

22/6/2018 KECH:- Baloch freedom fighters have attcked pakistani military forces check'post in Dasht Darachko, with rockets & Heavy weaponry due to which occurred to occupying state army. 23 June 2018 Today in Awaran Pakistani army did a operation, where it looted the valuable materials of houses and tortured women's and children, and abducted Khuda Bux S/o Lashkari, Zafeer S/o Khuda Bux, Sayed Mohmad S/o Allah Bux, Rahmat Ullah S/o Khair Jan, Ghulam Mohmd S/o Eid Mohmd, Shakor S/o Ghulam Mohmd, Najib S/o Sayed Mohmd, Jalal S/o Allah Bux, Rahmat Ullah S/o Din Mohmad, Hameed S/o Rahmat Ullah, Ubaid S/o Rahmat Ullah, Mohmd Shareep S/o Eido, Dad Mohmd S/o Naib, Karim Dad S/o Sher'Mohmd, Hussain S/o Aslam, Sowali, Sher Mohmd, Jan Mohmad, Ali Ahmed, Shareep & Amin. 23/6/2018 GWADAR:- On 18th June 2018 Pakistani army abducted Muslim S/o mohammd Raheem from Gwadar, Today he was released from military camp with critical conditionS and shifted to hospital. 23/6/2018

China's "Underwater Great Wall"

Chinese "optical-fiber hydrophone shore-based array" for submarine detection (CCTV / video still) BY  THE STRATEGIST  2018-06-18 09:23:22 [By Ewen Levick] The news that China has deployed  bombers  and cruise  missiles  to contested reefs and islands in the South China Sea has caused significant concern. The move allows Beijing to target ships in disputed waters with a missile capable of maneuvering around defence systems at Mach 3. It has also placed northern Australia within reach of Chinese warplanes. The deployment has certainly changed the regional strategic picture. Yet modern conflict, as practiced by revisionist states like China and Russia, doesn’t often pit conventional capabilities head-to-head. Instead, those nations change facts on the ground (or sea) and influence opponents’ decision-making while keeping their actions ‘plausibly deniable’, or short of a reaction threshold that might bring superior Western militaries into open conflict. Beijing, for example

Why China's Anti-Air Exercises in the South China Sea Should Spook the U.S. Military

Zachary Keck China’s Navy recently conducted anti-air exercises in the South China Sea. The  drills were reported  by the Hong Kong–based  South China Morning Post  (SCMP), which cited an article in the  People’s Liberation Army Daily , the Chinese military’s official newspaper. The drills simulated defeating an aerial attack, the SCMP said, and including “three target drones making flyovers of a ship formation at varying heights and directions.” The  PLA Daily  report said that the drones were used to “precisely verify the feasibility and effectiveness to ensure a close stimulation of an aerial attack target.” The Chinese military’s paper added that drones had been used during exercises at least thirty times before. As the SCMP pointed out, the Chinese military didn’t release many details about the drills, including the precise timing, location or what Chinese Navy ships participated. As others have noted, these anti-air drills come on the heels of two U.S. B-52 bombers challeng

China and Denmark join forces to further maritime digitalization

As part of the maritime cooperation between Denmark and China, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and China Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA) hold a joint seminar in China on e-navigation. ​“China is an important partner with regard to the digital agenda, including global e-navigation solutions. The Chinese-Danish cooperation enables us to exchange knowledge and experiences,” says Bjørn Borbye Pedersen, Director of e-navigation at the DMA. “We have just expanded our cooperation agreement on e-navigation to also include China, so the seminar comes at an opportune moment.” Aside from Chinese and Danish experiences gained from various e-navigation initiatives, the three-day seminar will delve into issues such as autonomous ships and the role of maritime authorities regarding digitalization. Joining the DMA and China MSA at the seminar will be representatives from China Shipbuilding Information Center, China Classification Society as well as relevant research institutions.

At the heart of the Silk Road

Xinjiang province has the most to offer China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. But with ethnic tensions and a relatively poorer economic position, it could also contribute a lot of problems. Suhasini Haidar on the region that is China’s greatest hope and worry As the horses stomp their hooves, the flames on stage rise up. This is a spectacle like no other, an opera that celebrates all the differences of the the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Xinjiang, formerly known as Sinkiang, is home to 47 ethnic groups, every major religion of the world, and the descendants of four ancient civilisations: Greek, Chinese, Indian and Mesopotamian. Hundreds of artistes bearing Russian, Caucasian, Indian, Central Asian, Tibetan, Han Chinese, and local Uighur features perform together on stage, along with the horses, eagles and even some Bactrian camels, as screens with colourful animations keep shifting. The opera, called Revisiting the Western Regions, recreates the region’s glorious past a

Five-year Balochistan education reforms plan

Alif Ailaan – campaigning for education, released a five-year policy report titled ‘ Five years of education reform: Balochistan Wins, losses and challenges for the future 2018-23’. Alif Ailaan has focused on assessing the impact of these reforms by breaking them down into four key categories, as defined by the BESP—improvement of government schools, upgrading the quality of education, easing access to official data regarding government schools, and better management of education finances. The report states that the reforms put a special emphasis on improving quality, equity and governance. The Balochistan Education Sector Plan (2013-2018) provided a holistic strategy and roadmap for guiding the reforms process over the following five years. Under BESP, the Balochistan government implemented reform initiatives like real-time monitoring, standardized testing of learning levels, restructuring of governance systems through District Education Authorities. Despite these reform efforts

Six injured in Balochistan bomb blast

Bomb blast ANI | Updated: Jun 23, 2018 17:15IST Quetta ( Balochistan ) [Pakistan], June 23 (ANI): At least six people, including three policemen,were  injured  in  blast  in  Balochistan 's  Naseerabad  district on Saturday afternoon. Local police said that the explosion was targeted at a police vehicle. According to the Dawn, the  injured have been admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Dera Murad Jamali, the administrative headquarters of  Naseerabad district. An emergency was imposed in the hospital to treat the  injured . The incident occurred in the Manjo Shori area of  Naseerabad  district. The police vehicle was reported to be on a routine patrol when it was targetted with a bomb planted on its route. (ANI)

PN maintaining high vigil to protect CPEC, Gwadar Port: CNS

Lahore Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi addressed the course participants and faculty of Pakistan Navy War College Lahore . Upon arrival, the Naval Chief was received by Commandant PN War College, Rear Admiral Naveed Ahmed Rizvi. During the address, Chief of the Naval Staff dilated upon volatile security environment at global arena where quest for resources and power struggle is generating competition and new alignments. It was informed that Pakistan Navy is maintaining high vigil and near permanent presence in the regional seas to protect own national maritime interests including CPEC and Gwadar Port. Chief of the Naval Staff appraised the audience about the vision of Pakistan Navy in details. The Admiral also emphasized the need to enhance Maritime Awareness at national level to improve the Blue Economy. While advising the officers, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi emphasized that an officer in the leadership position must be able to face future challenges bold

Chinese investors in CPEC power projects seek revolving fund

ISLAMABAD: Chinese companies which have invested in power sector under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) umbrella have stepped up pressure on the government to set up revolving fund to ensure timely payments and keeping them away from adverse impacts of circular debt causing delayed payments. Circular debt has now swelled to Rs1,044 billion (Rs547 billion payables and Rs497 billion loans of power sector) and in the presence of huge circular debt, the liquidity crisis has hit back the power sector, exposing all electricity generation plants, including power projects installed under CPEC, to delayed payments. “ Yes, there is an incessant pressure by the Chinese companies on the government to keep them away from delayed payments on account of circular debt as the government had extended assurance to China that Chinese investors in power sector under CPEC will not be exposed to delayed payment. The government had also assured to set up the revolving fund to ensure timely payme