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Showing posts from July 19, 2018

China Extends One Belt, One Road to Libya, Vowing to Offer Security

Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg via Getty Images 19 Jul 2018 175 China’s state-owned  Global Times  praised Beijing this week for convincing the United Nations-backed government of Libya to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to join the Asian giant’s massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), claiming the project will fill the security vacuum left behind by the West. Last Wednesday, the  Libya Observer announced  that the U.N.-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, agreed to sign up for the multi-billion dollar BRI, also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR), which is expected to establish a gigantic network of land and sea links from China to more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America along one route. Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Sayala signed the MOU memo with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, the African news outlet reported. It explained: This came during a meeting held on Wednesday [July 11]

Mastung suicide bomber identified, prime suspect behind Bilour attack arrested

By GEO NEWS   ISLAMABAD: The suicide bomber behind the horrific Mastung attack has been identified as Hafiz Nawaz a resident of Abbottabad, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was informed on Friday. A total of 149 people including election candidate Nawab Siraj Raisani were martyred in a suicide bombing at an election meeting in  Mastung on July 13 . Briefing the committee, IG Balochistan Mohsin Hassan Butt said the suicide bomber had traveled from Abbottabad to Sindh where he linked up with a banned organisation.  Siraj Raisani laid to rest in Mastung The suicide bomber was part of Daesh and had been affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi as well, he added. “The facilitators of the attack have also been detected,” Butt informed senators. The IG Balochistan further told the committee that Daesh had established a strong presence in Afghanistan and was carrying out terrorist attacks in Balochistan.  According to the official, Mufti Haider and Hafiz Naeem were local comm

Revolving account for CPEC projects: MoF may extend Rs 20 billion credit facility

 MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN  JUL 18TH, 2018  ISLAMABAD Ministry of Finance (MoF) has reportedly expressed willingness to extend Rs 20 billion credit facility for establishing revolving account for CPEC projects, well informed sources told Business Recorder.China maintains that eight energy projects have been completed but are facing financial crises due to non-payment of dues. Infrastructure projects are in a better position and the payment of loans taken for these projects would become due in ten years for which good financial planning is needed. The Finance Ministry, sources said, gave its consent to a letter of Ministry of Energy (Power Division) dated July 13, 2018. According to an ECC decision of February 18, 2016, Finance Ministry is required to give GoP guarantee up to 22 per cent monthly invoices of CPEC related energy projects if Central Power Purchasing Agency Guaranteed (CCPA-G)/ power purchaser fails to place or maintain the required amount in the revolving account. Accordingly, F

All roads lead to China: Russian gas from Arctic & Siberia to flow east at full capacity

Published time: 19 Jul, 2018 10:19 © Chen Aizhu / Reuters 601 Gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline or the ‘Eastern Route,’ will reach the contracted level in six years, according to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). “Supplies via the ‘Eastern Route’ are expected to start by the end of next year, initial volumes are 5 billion cubic meters, which will reach 38 billion cubic meters per year by 2024,”  the CNPC representative said on Thursday. One of the world’s longest gas pipelines, the Power of Siberia, aims to deliver Russian natural gas to China. It is one of the major projects between the two countries and analysts say it could help Russia become one of China's main providers of natural gas as demand in the country increases. The 3,000km (1,900 mile) pipeline will be longer than the distance between Moscow and London. The deal on the eastern route took more than a decade to negotiate. In May 2014, Gazprom and CNPC signed a $400-bi

China Built an Army of Influence Agents in the U.S.

BETHANY ALLEN-EBRAHIMIAN 07.18.18 4:49 AM ET PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ELIZABETH BROCKWAY/THE DAILY BEAST In May, a classified Australian government report  revealed  that the Chinese Communist Party had spent the last decade attempting to influence every level of that nation’s government and politics. “Unlike Russia, which seems to be as much for a good time rather than a long time, the Chinese are strategic, patient, and they set down foundations of organizations and very consistent narratives over a long period of time,”  said  the author of the report in March. “They put an enormous amount of effort into making sure we don’t talk about what it’s doing.” Commissioned by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the wake of a series of Chinese influence scandals that rocked Australian politics last year, the report, compiled under the auspices of an intelligence agency, examined Chinese attempts to influence politicians, political donations, media, and academia. But such a r

The trade war, two weeks in: No compromise in sight

Source: It has now been 14 days since the opening shots of the U.S.-China trade war were  fired (Access paywall). As we  noted yesterday , neither side seems to have any confidence that the other will negotiate in good faith — the Chinese Communist Party’s official paper  called the Trump administration  (in Chinese) “rude and unreasonable, selfish and headstrong” a month ago already, and yesterday, Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow  compared  local Chinese officials to “ mafioso dons ” for their role in pressuring American firms to hand over technology. Kudlow indicated he thought some officials wanted a compromise on trade, but President Xi Jinping was “holding the game up.” From reports today, the prospects for a de-escalation of the conflict continue to seem poor: “China's Foreign Ministry said it's ‘bogus’ and ‘shocking’  for White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow to blame Chinese President Xi Jinping for blocking a U.S.-China trade deal,” the

Full text of Chinese President Xi's signed article on UAE media

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday published a signed article titled "Working Hand in Hand for a Better Future" on Al Ittihad and The National, two mainstream newspapers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ahead of his state visit to the Middle East country. The following is the full text of the article: Working Hand in Hand for a Better Future Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China I will pay a state visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on July 19th at the invitation of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE will be the first stop of my first overseas trip this year and also the first Arab state I will visit since my re-election as President of the People's Republic of China. The friendship between the peoples of China and the UAE dates back to ancient times. Our ancestors started trade through the ancient  Silk Road  well over 2,000 years ago and forged a friendship that remains vibrant to this day. With the opening of

Chinese ‘zombies’ feast on new Silk Road projects to ease layoff fears

The Belt and Road Initiative is proving a boon for struggling SOEs, safeguarding jobs for a sector ravished by redundancies By  GORDON WATTS JULY 19, 2018 5:45 PM (UTC+8) 9 1 The new Silk Road superhighways have proved crucial for China's sprawling steel sector. Photo: iStock   They survive on a drip-feed of state subsidies and can suck the lifeblood out of a bloated workforce. Zombie companies live in the twilight world of China’s corporate jungle. With heartbeats that can barely be detected, most of them lurk in the shadows of the sprawling state-owned enterprise sector, which employs more than 20 million people, and is the largest in the world. Last year, a report compiled by the  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development , or OECD, showed there were 51,000 SOEs in China valued at US$29.2 trillion. To put that into perspective, at the end of 2017 the country’s  corporate debt  was 159% of gross domestic product. Tackling the problem has become a priority fo

Chinese president visits UAE amid push to increase influence

July 19, 2018 (Mainichi Japan) In this July 18, 2018 photo, a sign reading "UAE Chinese Week" in Chinese and Arabic is projected onto the Bus Al Arab luxury hotel to celebrate the UAE Chinese Week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping was to arrive Thursday in Abu Dhabi on his first trip to the United Arab Emirates as the leader of China at a time when the two countries look to strengthen trade ties and expand investment. 【Related】Analysis: Trade rocks already unstable US-China relations 【Related】Editorial: As Xi cements power, time to watch China's next foreign policy moves It is Xi's first trip abroad since he was appointed to a second five-year term as president in March when he made a historic power grab by moving to abolish presidential term limits, allowing him to rule for as long as he wants. The visit also comes as China pushes to expand its influence in a region where i

DP World to set up 'Traders Market' to boost China's Belt and Road initiative

The agreement will help China-based manufacturers trade across the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent, according to the company. The Traders Market will include clusters of traders from around the world, offering a wide range of products at one location. By Bernd Debusmann Jr Thu 19 Jul 2018 10:29 AM Ports operator DP World has penned an agreement with the Zheijiang China Commodities City Group to build a new 'Traders Market’ at Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone, in a move the companies say will help boost China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative. The Traders Market will include clusters of traders from around the world, offering a wide range of products at one location. According to DP World, they will be divided by sector, ranging from household goods, building materials and food and beverage to cosmetics, healthcare products, energy and power, engineering and technology. Additionally, the project will help Chinese manufacturers benefit from Dubai’s location by enabling t


Environmental experts warn that many of these projects could cause irreversible damage in highly biodiverse areas. BASTEN GOKKON Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive with other leaders for a family photo during the Belt and Road Forum. (Photo: Damir Sagolj/AFP/Getty Images) As governments in Southeast Asia target economic growth through infrastructure development, China, the world's second-largest economy, has emerged as a ready funder for some of the most ambitious and expensive projects. Regional leaders have been quick to seize the opportunity offered by Beijing, but environmental experts warn that many of these projects could cause irreversible environmental damage in highly biodiverse areas. The infrastructure push has come in two waves this past decade, both aimed at establishing new roads, ports, and railways across the region in pursuit of improved trade and logistics. In 2010, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) an

Election being engineered in Balochistan: Gazain Marri

Marvi Sirmed JULY 19, 2018   The upcoming elections are far from free and fair. They are being managed openly, and the results have been decided already. These views were expressed by Gazain Marri, son of legendary Baloch politician Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, popular for his Marxist leanings, in a telephonic interview with Daily Times from a house in Kohlu where he claims to be ‘held illegally’. Gazain is contesting the national assembly election from NA 259 Sibbi against Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate Dostain Domki. He is also contesting on a provincial assembly seat in Kohlu, PB 9, where his major rival is his brother Changez Marri. Gazain Marri, who claims to be under house arrest since July 13, told this correspondent that the entire machinery of the state, including security personnel, was busy in manipulating the electoral process in Balochistan. Marri said that a few days before his detention he was contacted by a civil bureaucrat who told him that a senior secu

In Balochistan, Dying Hopes for Peace

Increasing attacks by the Islamic State in Balochistan are connected to Pakistan’s failed strategy of encouraging and using Islamist militants to crush Baloch rebels and separatists. By Malik Siraj Akbar Mr. Akbar is a journalist from Balochistan. Pakistani troops in Quetta carry the coffin, wrapped in the national flag, of the provincial candidate Siraj Raisani, who was killed in Friday’s suicide bombing in Mastung.CreditArshad Butt/Associated Press On Friday, several hundred tribesmen and students from religious seminaries gathered at a public meeting in Mastung, a town in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, to hear Siraj Raisani, a 55-year-old politician from the Balochistan Awami Party. As he appeared on stage wearing dark sunglasses, the crowd cheered, whistled and raised their hands, in a gesture affirming their loyalty to him. “O! Brave people of Balochistan!” said Mr. Raisani, who was  known and feared  for his strong ties to the Pakistani military. Before he co