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Showing posts from August 2, 2018

Two essays, six years of Xi In 2012, Deng Yuwen  邓聿文, commentary writer and deputy editor of the Central Party School’s journal,  Study Times , published a three-part essay titled “The Political Legacy of Hu-Wen” (胡温的政治遗产 hú wēn de zhèngzhì yíchǎn). The second part was called “The Ten Grave Problems” (十大问题 shí dà wèntí) — a critical list of 10 major socioeconomic and political problems left behind by the administration of Hu Jintao 胡锦涛 and Wen Jiabao 温家宝 (2002–2012). You can read an English translation of it  here , with an introduction by scholar Geremie Barmé. I was working with Geremie at the time on a series of yearbooks about China, and the essay struck us as something to be remembered. Naturally, Deng lost his job  at Study Times shortly after the essay was published, although he continues to publish widely. Reading Deng’s essay today with the benefit of hindsight, I think it remains a cogent critique of the decade under Hu and Wen era. The Ten Problems are, in summary: No breakthroughs in

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Is Changing the World

by  Baker Donelson In 2013, China announced its plan to fund and construct a global transportation and infrastructure network known as the Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”). Since that time, BRI projects have helped China to become a rival to the United States and European Union on the geo-political scene. They have also allowed Chinese companies to close the gap with their western counterparts in the global construction, engineering, advanced manufacturing, and logistics sectors. Western companies and governments need to take notice or risk being left behind. What is the Belt and Road Initiative? China started the BRI to replicate and expand the old Silk Road trading route, and to expand global markets for Chinese goods and China’s global influence. While the name is a bit confusing, the “belt” refers to rail, road, and other land transportation projects, and the “road” refers to sea transportation projects. Despite the confusing name, the scope and pace of BRI projects is simply a

Dying For Democracy: Balochistan’s Fallen Political Workers

Wahab Zahid Remembering Wahab Zahid, a political activist and victim of the election day blast in Quetta. By Adnan Aamir August 02, 2018               On July 25, the day of Pakistan’s general elections, Wahab Zahid woke up early in the morning. He was excited to take part in the general elections for the first time in his life. He took his vehicle, a Suzuki Bolan, from his home in Muhammad Shahi town of Quetta to transport voters to polling stations. He was a supporter of the Balochistan National Party (BNP)-Mengal and was driving voters from his neighborhood to the nearest polling station in the eastern bypass area of Quetta. This area is part of NA-266 constituency of the National Assembly and the PB-31 constituency of the provincial assembly. Wahab parked his vehicle outside Tameer-e-Nau Educational Complex polling station and dropped off the voters. He was sitting in his vehicle waiting to take them back to their homes. Safar Khan, his neighbor and also a supporter of

Iran halts supply of 80MW electricity to Balochistan coast

August 2, 2018 ISLAMABAD:  Briefing the Senate Committee on Power on Thursday, federal power ministry officials said, Iran had halted the supply of 80 megawatts of the 100MW electricity it is contracted to provide to Pakistan’s coastal areas. Underlining the cause for the suspension of electricity supply, the power ministry officials said, the heatwave and the load-shedding it spawned in Iran had exacerbated the situation the situation there. As a consequence, the Makran coast, including Gwadar, Panjgur, and Pasni had suffered. The committee was further apprised that K-Electric was being supplied 650MW, and also that all outstanding issues between the federal government and K-Electric have been resolved. And also that from here on, everything will be discussed with the Shanghai Cooperation post the Abraaj Group handing over the company to the new management. Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) officials updated the committee on power theft situation in the area. Of the total of

Launch of SDPI’s China Study Center is timely, Chinese envoy

Islamabad: Inappropriate planning, lack of capacity and consolidated information at one platform generate controversies around China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Caretaker Minister of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.  She said Pakistan should take maximum advantage from one time opportunity of CPEC, which could open up more corridors of cooperation in the region and the world. While speaking at the launching ceremony of Sustainable Development Policy Institute’s (SDPI) China Study Center at Islamabad, Dr Shamshad said the Center is a welcoming initiative, which could help bridge the policy-research gap. She hoped the Center will produce high quality research for informed policy making.  Dr. Shamshad said China is the country which is systematically moving toward achieving sustainable development and Pakistan can learn from their experience. She said China is a major player in global economy, being member of G-20 countries.  Pakistan can benef

PTI nomination for Balochistan CM slot hits snags

Party confirms Imran to take oath as PM at Aiwan-i-Sadr Imran Mukhtar ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Wednesday dropped the idea of a public oath-taking ceremony for prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan and said the party had decided that a simple, but a dignified ceremony would be held in the President House. A meeting of the senior PTI leadership held in Bani Gala decided the oath-taking ceremony of prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan would be held in a “simple, but dignified manner,” the party said in an official statement. The meeting also discussed as to what relief the masses could be provided soon after assuming power at the Centre. Earlier, PTI had said the party had a plan that Imran Khan should take oath of his office at Islamabad’s famous Parade Ground in front of the Parliament House to facilitate participation of the general masses in the ceremony. A senior PTI leader wishing anonymity said the party had also decided that no foreign dignitary, including pr

China Affairs: Tip sheet from Trivium

TRIVIUM CHINA HEARD IN BEIJING "[Intellectuals] must...earnestly strengthen their spirit of patriotic struggle" - Excerpt from announcement of a new patriotic study campaign Some context:  There are increasing signs that the Chinese intellegentsia are not on board with Xi Jinping's political program. So the Party's Organization and Propaganda Departments are launching a new campaign to boost patriotism among intellectuals. More in the Tip Sheet below. THE TIP SHEET DRIVING THE DAY 1. PBoC on board with Politburo’s plan   Financial regulators wasted no time getting in line with the latest Politburo directives (see yesterday's Tip Sheet). On Wednesday,  top central bank (PBoC) officials held a meeting to assess priorities for H2 2018. The primary goal:  follow the Party’s leadership. Other priorities flow almost verbatim from the Politburo statement on Tuesday.  The PBoC wants to: "Implement prudent monetary policy, control the money supply

U.S. To Squeeze China Through Pakistan

Aug. 2, 2018 1:29 AM Summary Pakistan external balance is deteriorating and it has external debt servicing needs. US officials see the debt primarily to China through its infrastructure initiative. The US could block new IMF assistance, if/when it is requested. The US often struggles to convert its economic power into political outcomes, though President Trump has ramped up efforts to do precisely that.  In the fight against terrorism, the US Treasury has greatly expanded its efforts to cut off financing and through the experience and the Great Financial Crisis, access to the US dollar market, including for funding, is not simply a utility but is a privilege that the US could deny its adversaries. Advertisement There are other ways in which the US can use its financial acumen to impose its will.  Here is a drama that is unfolding, though it has not percolated into the public's consciousness yet. It begins in Pakistan, which has been party to at least 13 IMF programs since

CPEC projects to create 1.2m jobs by 2030: Study

APP August 02, 2018 ISLAMABAD - China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has a potential to create a total of 1.2 million direct jobs through its currently 42 agreed projects by 2030. With the inclusion of new projects under the CPEC long term plan in sectors like agriculture, tourism, mineral processing, oil and gas and services, the job portfolio is likely to be enhanced many fold, a study conducted by Center of Excellence for CPEC said. The study revealed that out of actual jobs created under  CPEC projects  so far, 29,674 jobs have been created in three road projects, while 1,294 employees were engaged in the 820 long optical fiber project. Similarly 22,900 direct jobs have been created in five energy projects and 1100 jobs were created in one project of Gwadar.  Further, according to estimation projected by the study, 1800 jobs are expected to be created in two road projects. , while 14,400 direct jobs would be generated in upgradation of railways Mainline-1 project. Accord

“Understanding China’s Global Ambition” 

“Understanding China’s Global Ambition”  SESSION DETAILS DATE Wednesday, August 8, 2018 TIME 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (Registration: 04:30 PM ) LOCATION Deputy Speakers Hall, Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg, New Delhi:  110001 SPEAKERS Dr. John Fitzgerald,  Professor Emeritus, Centre for Social Impact-Swinburne, Melbourne, Australia Dr. Maiko Ichihara,   Associate Professor at Hitotsubashi University, Japan Dr. Seungjoo Lee ,  Professor of Political Science and International relations, Chung –Anh University, South Korea   Dr. Andrew Nathan,   Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, USA CHAIR Mr.  Shivshankar Menon,   Former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary of India ABOUT THE EVENT  China’s rapid economic, political, and strategic rise has implications for the existing world order. Two decades ago, China’s influence barely extended beyond its borders. Few predicted its emergence as an economic powerhouse with global reach. Its $1 trillion One