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Showing posts from July 4, 2018

China’s Belt and Road initiative, explained by Kazakhstan

By  Georgi Gotev  | reporting from Astana  Jul 4, 2018 Roman Vassilenko with map, 4 July 2018. [Georgi Gotev]         This article is part of our special report  The New Silk Road . Roman Vassilenko, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, met on Wednesday (4 July) with a group of international journalists from around the world to field questions about his country’s development and the China-promoted Belt and Road initiative. This week Astana is hosting a number of international events and has attracted many journalists. Vassilenko, who is a career diplomat, having served in the UK and in the US, spent two and a half hours with reporters and answered many questions. The diplomat said he had received many questions in advance concerning the Belt and Road initiative, and made use of a map to offer explanations. Map Kazakhstan Region He argued that it is that map that gives a sense of why Kazakhstan is among the strongest supporters and  key participant

Hambantota: “the Chinese port”

BY   Aarti Betigeri In early 2011, I was in Hambantota, southern Sri Lanka, looking for the new port. After hours of driving, from the southern beaches through kilometres of wetlands featuring water buffalo, ibises, and the odd elephant, through vivid green jungle as far you could see, the wilderness eventually gave way to sparse development, then to a small town. This was Hambantota: at that stage nothing more than a few streets, a bus terminal, some squat government buildings, and concrete apartment blocks. Stopping at a checkpoint, my driver asked the way to the new port that had recently opened – the purpose of our visit. “The Chinese port? It’s that way,” said an armed man, cocking his finger. It wasn’t clear whether he was government or private security. As we drove further, we encountered more and more road signs in Chinese characters. As we drove further, we encountered more and more road signs in Chinese characters, then asked again for directions. “The Chinese port is o

Kiev hosts Ukraine-China economic forum on Belt and Road cooperation

KIEV, July 4 (Xinhua) -- A Ukrainian-Chinese economic forum on the Belt and Road Initiative was held on Wednesday, attracting more than 200 participants. During the event, Chinese and Ukrainian officials and representatives of business and industrial circles discussed ways to deepen the economic relations between the two countries within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The forum was jointly organized by the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). Speaking to Xinhua during the forum, Valeriy Korol, vice-president of the UCCI, highlighted the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative to Ukraine, which lies at the crossroads between the East and the West. "I'm sure that it has a great future, first of all, for the Ukrainian business," Korol said. Ukraine and China have made a series of steps toward closer partnership under the Belt and Road Initiative, which included a mee

The Environmental Challenges of the Belt and Road Initiative

Photo Credit: Greenpeace BY GREGORY COUTA Jul. 05, 2018  |   Ever since China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was first proposed in late 2013, it has increasingly attracted worldwide attention with its massive scale and immense potential economic impact. Described as the “ project of the century ” by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the initiative, which seeks to strengthen trade and investment partnerships across Asian, European and African markets, could affect over 4.4 billion people in some 70 countries and generate a GDP of over USD 21 trillion once completed.   The size of the proposed investments is truly unprecedented. Estimates vary, but China could invest up to USD 1.25 trillion in various infrastructure projects over the next decade or so. While many governments and businesses have unsurprisingly welcomed the implementation of the BRI for the lucrative opportunities that are likely to be provided and have already planned to act in order to extract the greatest benefits

Belt and Road Initiative cooperation a new highlight in Sino-Singapore ties: Teo Chee Hean

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the China Lanzhou Investment and Trade Fair, on July 5, 2018.ST PHOTO: CHONG KOH PING Chong Koh Ping China Correspondent   LANZHOU - Singapore and China are old friends who have been able to nurture and evolve bilateral ties over time to meet their needs and national interests. And today, 40 years after China opened up to the world, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an area which both countries can work on together, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday (July 5). "Historically, Singapore has been a key node along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and remains globally-connected today," Mr Teo said in a speech at the 24th China Lanzhou Investment and Trade Fair, in Lanzhou, provincial capital of northwestern Gansu. "As globally-connected countries, Singapore and China are natural partners for the long-term development of the BRI," added Mr Teo, who is on a nine-day visit to China. The ambitious plan init

China’s Debt-Trap Diplomacy

By  THE EDITORS July 3, 2018 6:30 AM Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party in Beijing, October 18, 2017. (China Daily/via Reuters) To understand China’s geopolitical ambitions, look to Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected president in 2005 after making ambitious campaign promises to rebuild his country’s infrastructure. When he came to office, he struck a deal to develop the Hambantota port — located in the south of the island — with a Chinese state-owned enterprise called China Harbor. The contract with China Harbor was expensive; Sri Lanka is not exactly awash in cash. So its government had to borrow money to put up its share of the cost. Sri Lanka first borrowed $307 million from the Chinese Export-Import bank, then $700 million (this time with a higher interest rate), and, finally, $1 billion. By the time Rajapaksa was out of office, the port was a commercial failure and the country owed more than $3 billion to China. After negot

Where are the solutions?

It is that time when once in five years all political parties highlight the problems of Balochistan. In political gatherings, press statements and social media posts, these parties decry the suffering of Balochistan’s people. It is that time when an ordinary citizen of Balochistan is made to believe that all political parties care for his problems and wish to resolve them. But no political party proposes any concrete or precise solutions to the province’s enormous problems. Ever since the creation of Balochistan as Pakistan’s province, power politics in the area has revolved around a vicious cycle that has benefitted the ruling political elite, not the people. The cycle starts when a political party is in the opposition or is out of power. This party then becomes the biggest champion of the rights of Balochistan’s people and uses the support of the public to make its way to the government. Once there, it forgets about the people’s problems and concocts excuses about how it is helple

CPEC – A vital doorway for Exports from Azerbaijan to China

Sunaa Ansari  On  Jul 4, 2018 ISLAMABAD: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plays an essential part for improvising the exports from Azerbaijan to China. The developing project CPEC, opens up many doors for neighboring countries to enhance their trade relationships with China and others too. Sajid Khan Mohmand, Ambassador of Pakistan to Azerbaijan briefed the route for transportation of goods  to China from Astrakhan via Azerbaijan, Iran and Pakistan. He said, “We are also expanding the main seaport of Gwadar. By 2025, the port can accept more and more large vessels, and there are transport corridors within the Lapis Lazuli project and the Ashgabat agreement that connect Azerbaijan with Pakistan and Central Asia, all of which can be of great importance for Azerbaijan.” CPEC is an anthology which comprises of massive infrastructure projects, which are under construction all over Pakistan. CPEC provided a passage for improvisation of imports & exports of the country for econ

Ahead of elections, China's ambitious CPEC project faces backlash by locals

| Times Now Digital| Ahead of the general elections in Pakistan, the most ambitious project of China - China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is facing dissent by Pakistani locals who claim the heavy military presence in the civilian life disrupts their daily routine. Photo Courtesy:  AP Representative Image Beijing:  The locals in Pakistan are not happy with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor's (CPEC) development in the region because of the issues of not enough employment and the heavy presence of the military in the life of civilians, according to the International Crisis Group. The Director of policy in the group Richard Atwood told the Times of India that Gwadar people have borne the "aggressive action of the military" in the past.  He said the group was worried about the presence of the Army in large number. The Gwadar port is a significant position because China is expecting to access the Arabia Sea and also use a different sea route for its export. Gwarda port

Balochistan National Congress (BNC) rejects the Pakistan’s elections

Washington, DC— Balochistan National Congress (BNC), the premiers Baloch body, based in Washington, D.C., rejects the upcoming Pakistan’s elections that are being held in July 25, 2018 and ask the Baloch people in the occupied Balochistan to boycott them as these elections are aimed to strengthen the Pakistan’s illegal and unjust occupation of Balochistan and exacerbate their exploitation of Balochistan’s natural resources by the Punjabi occupying forces. “These Punjabi elections that are being held are aimed to justify an illegal occupation that was wrong, unjust and immoral and to create rift, division and animosity among the ordinary Baloch people, to pitch them against each other and to pitch brothers against brothers”, said Dr. Baloch, the President of BNC. He asked Baloch people in Balochistan to boycott the Pakistan’s election to register their protest peacefully without resorting to any violence. He said Balochistan is an occupied territory and holding pro-Pakistan election

China's massive 'Belt and Road' spending spree has caused concern around the world, and now it's China's turn to worry

CHRISTOPHER WOODY REUTERS/Jason LeeChinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, May 15, 2017. China's sprawling Belt and Road Initiative has spread development funding around Asia, Africa, and Europe. But foreign governments have warned the terms of BRI deals could pose risks to the countries signing them. Now officials in Beijing appear to be acting on their own concerns about unsustainable spending and unwieldy debt. Since announcing its Belt and Road Initiative five years ago, China has spread billions of dollars around Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, supporting a variety of infrastructure projects and stoking concern about Beijing's growing global sway. But China appears to be pumping the brakes on lavish BRI-related spending, and it could be a sign it's worried about the scale of its commitments. The Chinese government itself does not have a comprehensive picture of the investments involved, and sources close to Chinese economi

Recent UN General Assembly Debate on R2P and perversive discrimination with Baloch.

Your Excellency,                                                      António Guterres, Secretary-General of United Nation           Recent UN General Assembly Debate on R2P and perversive discrimination with Baloch. Pakistan security forces have been seriously breaching and committing with mens rea as part of a widespread or systematic attack direct against baloch innocent civilian population,committing unimaginable atrocities namely substantive international crimes like genocide, crime against humanity and war crime. We have approached and knocked all the international regional and national institutions in respect of aforesaid heinous crimes. It would be pertinent to mention here that the wilfull-killing and arbitrary arresting, maiming, liquidating, enforced disappearing, custodial killing and forcefully deporting acts are the order of the days. More than 20,000 innocent baloch people including children and women where women are facing sexual harassment and violence, lawyers

China’s Belt and Road: Exporting Evangelism?

A Chinese man prays during a mass on Christmas eve at the South Cathedral official Catholic church in Beijing, China (Dec. 24, 2014). Image Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan Aided by the networks created by the Belt and Road, Chinese missionaries are heading abroad, much to Beijing’s dismay. By Jeremy Luedi July 04, 2018               At a time when their compatriots back home are  dynamiting churches  that have mushroomed across the country, Chinese construction companies are winning contracts to build churches across Africa. The economies of scale and other logistical advantages which Chinese firms enjoy in other sectors are being carried over to church construction. “China is now winning contracts to build churches because its corporations out-bid those from elsewhere,” notes Jesse Mugambi, professor of religious studies and philosophy at the University of Nairobi. Not only is officially atheist China building houses of worship across Africa, its mega-corporations are also

Guns And Debt On The Belt And Road

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter.  Subscribe for free JEREMY GOLDKORN JULY 3, 2018 0 Xi Jinping’s signature  Belt and Road Initiative  and hype about it keeps on growing — last week, the People’s Daily even  tweeted  that a new direct flight between the U.K. and Chengdu is launching, “boosted by China’s Belt and Road.” But that does not mean that other Belt and Road projects are not real, even if they had already begun before Xi’s slogan team coined the B&R moniker. Here’s an update from a few regions and projects where the Belt and Road will be defined: SRI LANKAN NAVY MOVES BASE TO CHINESE-CONTROLLED PORT “Sri Lanka is shifting a naval base to a port built and controlled by China, it said on Monday, a move that will strengthen security at a harbor that foreign powers fear China could use for military purposes,”  reports Reuters . “The base currently in the tourist district of Galle  will be moved 125 km (80 miles) east along Sri Lanka’s southern coast to Hambantota,”

Stronger Legal Cooperation for Sound and Steady Development of the Belt and Road Initiative

Stronger Legal Cooperation for Sound and Steady Development of the Belt and Road Initiative --Speech by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi 2018/07/03 Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, 2 July 2018 Mr. Chair of the Forum, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning! First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government, I warmly welcome all of you to Beijing for the Forum on the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation. In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) based on a keen understanding of the broad trends of development in China and the world. It is a major initiative for international cooperation that aims to promote the common development and prosperity of different countries and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. Over the past five years, guided by the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, the BRI has been committed to promoting common d