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Showing posts from June 29, 2018

Western route of CPEC to be completed earlier than eastern route: Chinese envoy

ISLAMABAD: Acting Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Zhao Lijan has said that under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), western route of the project would be completed earlier than the eastern route. Speaking at the National Press Club Islamabad about CPEC Project, the Chinese envoy dispelled rumors about the Western Route and said that western route of CPEC would be completed earlier than the eastern route. He said work on various project under the CPEC was going with full speed and ▶ 22 projects would be completed during the current year while 18 projects would be completed next year. He said around 70,000 Pakistanis had got employment in these projects. The Chinese envoy said under the CPEC, the government had plan to complete a total of 200 projects till 2030 which would provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of people. He expressed the hope that the next government in Pakistan would also continue the pace of progress on CPEC projects. About Gwadar Port,

International day in support of victims of torture in perspective of Baloch victims

A rejoinder to the Secretary-General of United Nations on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by Ali Kachcol former speaker of Balochistan Assembly I, would like to draw the attenion of excellency on the International day in support of victims in respect of hundreds of thousand Baluch are in illegally custody of of security forces of Pakistan including children and women,in torture cells and internment camps. United Nation convention against torture came into force on June 26th 1987, the purpose was to effectively counter torture, which is the most painful and most irremediably by its nature, a secret art practiced with the rulers and banana states. Historically, the ancient rulers and deep states tortured people and starved them to death, the same is still practiced today as well. All to frequently, even in this age of enlightenment and rule of law, the state, mafia and law enforcement agencies can’t stop violations; The convention against torture implementati

China and the Mekong: Future Flashpoint?

Brijesh Khemlani Commentary , 25 June 2018 The mighty Mekong river is a vital lifeline for Southeast Asia, a major source of trade, transport and sustenance for millions. However, the world’s twelfth longest river is emerging as an ecological and geopolitical flashpoint. ENVIRONMENTAL TINDERBOX On 16 June, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam agreed to establish a  regional infrastructure fund  at the eighth summit of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy. While regional leaders sought to focus on enhancing connectivity and sustainable development, the overarching objective is to lessen reliance on their the commanding common neighbour to the north. In recent years, China has inexorably expanded its influence in the Mekong sub-region. Beijing has poured millions of dollars into building new hydroelectricity dams on the river, endangering the economic bloodstream of the region. A cascade of Chinese-led dam projects – both upstream and downstream –

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan: Moving From the Personal to the Strategic Domain

Kamal Alam and Ibrahim Al-Othaimin Commentary , 18 June 2018 On many fronts, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are working to deepen and formalise ties that have historically been determined by the quality of relationships between kings and prime ministers Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the former head of the General Intelligence Directorate, Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency,  once described the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as ‘probably one of the closest relationships in the world between any two countries without any official treaty’. Prince Turki himself was at the helm of Saudi decision-making for over three decades and oversaw the close cooperation between the two countries during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the first Gulf War, the Afghanistan campaign, and in post-9/11 defence diplomacy. There were difficulties in the relationship. The Pakistani parliament’s  opposition  to Islamabad’s military involvement in the Saudi-led coalition in the ongoing war in Ye


By Ubong Mark Akpaninyie | Jun 21 2018 6,000 Miles Across 13 Countries According to the European Commission, China and Europe trade over €1 billion a day on average. With more than  61 routes traversing 43 Chinese cities and 41 European cities across 13 countries, new direct rail linkages are connecting the more than 6,000 miles between China and Europe and transforming the way cargo moves on the Eurasian continent. By rail, European trade with China can move more quickly than by sea, and more cheaply than by air. Cargo shipped from Shanghai, China to Hamburg, Germany takes  32 days  over 12,000 nautical miles. A freight train will cost more, but can complete the 7650-mile trip over land in just  16 days . Enthusiasm among freight forwarders and major retailers for the new routes is high. China’s largest internet retailer,, books entire trains, using them as “mobile warehouses” to service European customers. Nippon Express, Japan’s top international freight forwarder, signif

An Interview with Jonathan Hillman

On  June 28, 2018 By  Jacob Mardell In  Belt and Road ,  Featured ,  Interview Jonathan Hillman on the challenges facing the Belt and Road – we talk Asia’s needs, BRI’s branding, and how other actors should respond to Beijing’s advances on the Eurasian supercontinent.      Jonathan Hillman is a fellow with the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy, and, crucially for us, the director of the  Reconnecting Asia Project . If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably already come across the great work of ReconAsia. If not, then I highly recommend heading over to their interactive database and bookmarking it post-haste. CSIS’s Reconnecting Asia project has been mapping infrastructure projects on the Eurasian supercontinent for several years now. They’re not limited in scope to China’s efforts, but the  Belt and Road , as the most ambitious Eurasian infrastructure initiative, clearly features prominently in their work. In fact, Jon is one of the world’s go-to experts on the Belt and R

Mapping the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s Environmental Impacts

The  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor   (CPEC) includes projects ranging from western China to the southern tip of Pakistan. Energy projects account for more than  60 percent  of CPEC’s roughly $62 billion in investment. Of these projects, about 70 percent of their planned energy capacity will be generated by coal-fired power plants. The rest is hydro (20 percent), solar (7 percent), and wind (3 percent). Pakistan’s energy needs are great, and its government aims to increase access to electricity from  67 to 90 percent  of the population by 2025. However, decisions about increased energy output also need to be carefully weighed against potential environmental risks, including potential impacts on local protected species. Below, a geographic analysis suggests that CPEC power plants have the potential to greatly increase access to electricity for Pakistan’s population, but they could also pose serious risks to surrounding wildlife, including some endangered species. Specifically, three

Australia and Germany should work together on China

22/06/18 Lucrezia Poggetti,   Frances Kitt As political elites In Berlin and Canberra have woken up to the challenge of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence, they should work together to address it. The next edition of the biannual meeting of their foreign and  defence  ministers later this year should put the issue of CCP influence on top of the agenda. Efforts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence Australian politics have made headlines since 2017. In recent months, similar attempts have been at the centre of German debates. While geographically distant, Australia and Germany are well suited to address this challenge jointly, and have started to compare notes through a biannual meeting of their foreign and defence ministers. Germany has been keen on expanding links with like-minded countries in the Asia-Pacific. For Australia, it is a kind of pairing only usually seen with partners in its region, and with the US and UK. Australian intelligence agencies are  con

What Would Happen if China Started Selling Off Its Treasury Portfolio?

Just how important have foreign inflows been to the Treasury market?   Blog Post by  Brad W. Setser June 21, 2018       The trade war between the U.S. and China is starting to get serious. President Trump is now threatening tariffs on  up to $450 billion of Chinese imports , or about 90% of what the U.S. imported in 2017. Tariffs have now been imposed on around $35 billion of Chinese goods, so the threat isn’t entirely hypothetical either—even though the administration has yet to go through all the legal hoops needed to implement the full $450 billion in tariffs. As the Trump administration  has emphasized , China  cannot match  the U.S. by putting tariffs on $250 billion, let alone $450 billion in U.S. exports. The U.S. just doesn’t export that much to China. China reports goods imports from the U.S. of $150 billion, and if you add in  goods exports to Hong Kong , the U.S. data would suggest no more than $170 billion in exports (the reported $130 billion in exports is clearly a

CJP Nisar admits failure to put his house in order

Nasir Iqbal  |  Naeem Sahoutara/ ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar conceded on Thursday that being head of an institution he had failed to put his house in order. “I admit openly that I have been unable to put the house in order,” t he chief justice acknowledged while heading a four-judge bench that had taken up a petition seeking fresh rules for lower courts to decide suits, petitions and appeals within a stipulated time limit. The petition was jointly moved by Umeer Ijaz Gilani, Attaullah Hakeem Kundi, Muhammad Haider Imtiaz, Raheel Ahmed and Hadiya Aziz, all legal practitioners. During the hearing, the chief justice referred to a recent incident that happened during his inspection visit to Larkana district courts as a result of which Additional District and Sessions Judge Gul Zamir Solangi tendered his resignation letter. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD KBA resolution expresses dismay over resignation tendered by Larkana Judge Gul Zamir Solangi The