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Showing posts from July 8, 2018

China's Belt and Road Initiative paved with risks, red herrings and rent-seeking behaviour

Rather than getting distracted by criticism and misleading information, a more nuanced conversation about the BRI will do more to help resolve underlying issues, said two observers. China's footprint abroad is growing with its Belt and Road Initiative, with US$1 trillion in investments across Asia and Europe. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas Asfouri)  By Alvin A Camba By and Kuek Jia Yao 08 Jul 2018 02:02PM (Updated: 08 Jul 2018 02:10PM) BEIJING: There is no shortage of sceptics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Indeed, stories about the BRI often include the evocation of "debt traps" and "vassal states". While some concerns merit consideration, popular criticisms of the BRI tend to be built upon incomplete and distorted stereotypes, which only draws attention away from its actual shortcomings that need to be addressed. FLAWED CRITICISM Common criticisms of the BRI are flawed in five important ways. First, they ignore how the impact of the BRI on a partici

Yanbu's joint venture refinery shines as example for beneficial China-Saudi energy cooperation

RIYADH, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Situated on Saudi Arabia's western coast of the Red Sea, Yanbu is famous for its advanced petrochemical industry, featuring three major refineries lining up along the beautiful beach. Among them includes the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF), jointly established by China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Saudi Aramco, which is the most advanced, safe and efficient refinery. For the past three years, YASREF has shined as a good example for the energy cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia and the Arab world as whole, with its smooth operation, advanced technologies and high efficiency. "In the past three years, YASREF has earned prestige with advanced processes, fast construction, high quality and safety, as demonstrated by its winning the award of Platts' the Construction Project of the Year," Li Xihong, chief representative of Sinopec's Saudi branch, told Xinhua in an interview. He was referring to the "

What to expect from the 8th ministerial meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum?

File Photo of the sixth ministerial conference of the CASCF (Xinhua Photo) The eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) will be held on July 10 in Beijing. The CASCF, founded 14 years ago, has facilitated China's cooperation and communication with the Arab states as a whole. The ministerial meeting is the permanent mechanism of the forum and convenes every two years, with the option for extraordinary sessions if necessary. Highlight of opening ceremony   The opening ceremony of the eighth ministerial meeting is scheduled for July 10 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the ceremony and deliver a speech, making it his third time to articulate China's policy to the Arab world.   Xi will elaborate on the Chinese side's view on strengthening the top-level design of Sino-Arab relations, mapping out collective cooperation, and instructing the construction of the CASCF, according to Assi

China and Arab states: Natural partners in Belt and Road Initiative

By Wang Yi/Beijing/ The Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Co-operation Forum (CASCF) will be held in Beijing on July 10. It will be attended by Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, representatives from the other 21 Arab countries, and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, and President Xi Jinping will address the opening ceremony. This meeting will be another important event in China-Arab relations, following President Xi’s participation in the sixth CASCF Ministerial Meeting in 2014 and his visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Arab League headquarters in 2016. At the meeting, China and Arab states are expected to have in-depth discussions on how to jointly advance the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and strengthen overall co-operation with a view to drawing up a blueprint for China-Arab relations in the new era. China and Arab countries share a long history of exemplary interactions. The past 2,000 years have witnessed uninterrupted exchange

Social media and elections of Balochistan

On 1st July, President of Balochistan National Party (BNP) Mengal and former Chief Minister of Balochistan Sardar Akhtar Mengal announced a twitter campaign by his party. Through a tweet, He urged his party supporters on Twitter to support #BNPhope4Balochistan hashtag campaign of BNP-Mengal. On 3rd July from 8 PM to 11 PM, BNP supporters flooded twitter with tweets in support of BNP. As a result the hashtag of BNP-Mengal easily made it into top-ten trends on twitter in Pakistan. This was first time in history of Balochistan when a political party leader planned, announced and carried out a twitter campaign. Indeed mechanics of political landscape are changing in Balochistan. Earlier, on 28th June Twitter was once again center stage when Akhtar Mengal engaged in exchange of statements with Balochistan Awami Party Chief and Former State Minister Jam Kamal. It started when Akhtar Mengal warned of strong reaction from his party if polls were rigged in Balochistan. Jam Kamal tweeted in r

Gwadar must be top beneficiary of CPEC, says Bhootani

Saleem Shahid QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly’s former speaker Aslam Bhootani has said that people of Gwadar must be the top beneficiaries of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Speaking at an election gathering and talking to newsmen in Pasni on Sunday, he said if demanding equal rights for people was a sin or treason he was ready to accept this allegation. The former speaker said that the people Gwadar district had many expectations from the CPEC, but unfortunately they had so far received nothing from this mega project. “Even the people of the port city were deprived of drinking water,” he said. Mr Bhootani, who is contesting election from NA-272- Lasbela-Gwadar, said: “We will not allow anyone to turn Gwadar into another Dera Bugti.” He said Gwadar had great strategic importance in the region as it had a deep seaport and many world powers were trying to create disturbance here as they considered the CPEC against their interest. Mr Bhootani said he was not a nat

Pakistan: ‘Deeper than the oceans’, in debt

India Today/ Ananth Krishnan BeijingJuly 8, 2018UPDATED: July 8, 2018 08:09 IST Illustration by Nilanjan Das Chinese and Pakistani officials often like to boast that their relations are "higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the oceans and sweeter than honey". Deeper than the oceans could soon capture the extent of Pakistan's growing financial debt to its 'all-weather' ally. In June, China lent Pakistan $1 billion to arrest its plunging foreign exchange reserves, which have fallen under $10 billion, down from $16.4 billion a year ago. Pakistan had earlier borrowed $6 billion from China, under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The $6 billion under CPEC has been lent at 2 per cent interest and Pakistan "will end up returning $7.4 billion over 20 years", China's deputy chief of mission in Islamabad, Zhao Lijian, said on June 29. Japan's concessional lending, by contrast, is

Staring at Crisis, Pakistan May be Forced Into 2nd IMF Bailout in Five Years

  The central bank is running down its foreign reserves and devaluing the currency in a bid to bridge a yawning trade deficit, and the winners of the July 25 election will have "limited time" to act, Fitch ratings agency said. AFP Updated:  July 8, 2018, 11:13 AM IST File photo of IMF chief Christine Lagarde at a conference in Islamabad. (Reuters) Islamabad:  Pakistan's next government, to be chosen in a July 25 election, faces growing fears of a balance of payments crisis with speculation it will have to seek its second IMF bailout in five years, analysts say. The central bank is running down its foreign reserves and devaluing the currency in a bid to bridge a yawning trade deficit, and the winners of the July 25 election will have "limited time" to act, Fitch ratings agency said on July 2. Together, the economic challenges are "horrendous", said Dr Ashfaq Hassan, an analyst and former financial advisor to Pakistan government. "The most i

Pakistan’s Financial Crisis Puts China’s Belt And Road On The Spot

JULY 8, 2018 by James M. Dorsey Increased Pakistani dependence on China to help it avert resorting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid a financial and economic crisis spotlights fears that the terms of Chinese investment in massive Belt and Road-related projects would not pass international muster. Concerns that China’s $50 billion plus investment in Pakistani infrastructure and energy, the Belt and Road’s crown jewel dubbed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), potentially amounts to a debt trap, compound suggestions that Pakistan increasingly will have no choice but to toe Beijing’s line. The concerns are reinforced by the vision spelled out in a  draft plan for CPEC . The plan envisioned a dominant Chinese role In Pakistan’s economy as well as the creation of a Chinese style surveillance state and significant Chinese influence in Pakistani influence. Pakistani officials, concerned that Chinese loans offer a band-aid rather than a structural solution, hav

Current Balochistan: Conflict updates from the Ground

Source : Baloch Social Media Groups 9/July/2018 KALAT Today Baloch Freedom fighters Attacked on canditates of Balochistan Awami party(BAP) in khalath  While they were working for upcoming So-Called Elections in Balochistan , remember Baloch freedom fighters Recalled the civilians to stay away on confluence of elections 9/July/2018 TURBAT Today baloch freedom fighter attacked the training camp of pakistani army in turbat with Rockets and Automatic weopens , Due to that Heavy losses occured to occupying army 9/July/2018 AWARAN On May of 2017 Pakistani army abducted Ghazi S/O Mando from Sorrgir , area of Jahoo awaran . According to recent updates Gazzi was released today From Hub military camp and reached his home. 9/July/2018 TUMP Members Of Baloch National Movement (BNM) did a wall chalking against Upcoming pakistani Elections in tump. 9/July/2018 MAND Today occupying army built a New military check post in mand ,  Residents Of mand are being abducted and are being shift

At least 22 dead bodies were found, whereas, 109 Baloch have been ‘abducted’ by Pakistani security forces

At least 22 dead bodies were found, whereas, 109 Baloch have been ‘abducted’ by Pakistani security forces from Balochistan in the month of June only, Balochistan’s largest pro-freedom political organisation has accused in its monthly report. The report release by Baloch National Movement (BNM) said these people were ‘abducted’ in at least 64 raids conducted by Pakistani security forces in different areas of Balochistan. According to the details received by The Balochistan Post, Balochistan National Movement, released its monthly report for the month of June on the state of human rights in Balochistan on Saturday. “109 Baloch were abducted during 64 military raids across Balochistan, 70 houses were looted, whereas, two hundred were burnt to ashes, mostly in Awaran district”, Hanif Dilmurad, the Information secretary of BNM, alleged in the report. BNM’s report detailed the incidents of abductions, extra-judicial killings and harassment of women at the hands of Pakistani forces, and

Chinese Projects Lead to Recipient Bankruptcy

President Xi Jinping has embarked on his ambitious “one belt one road” initiative primarily to utilise China’s surplus construction capacity. Published: 08th July 2018 05:00 AM  | Chinese President Xi Jinping (File | AP) By  G Parthasarathy China’s unprecedented, and some would say miraculously rapid, economic growth has been driven not only by rapid industrial progress, but by the manner in which its construction industry has grown over the past three decades . Roads, bridges, railway lines, power plants and residential premises have sprung up virtually overnight. But, this frenetic construction activity is now slowing down , as new demand is relatively limited. President Xi Jinping has embarked on his ambitious “one belt one road” initiative primarily to utilise China’s surplus construction capacity. This has involved building road communications across the Eurasian Landmass, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean and augmenting maritime shipping, ports and power plants, acro