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Showing posts from August 15, 2018

Chinese infrastructure in Latin America: A new frontier

Ariel Armony Enrique Dussel Peters 14.08.2018 中文版本    0 comments Authors of a new book on Chinese investment in the continent predict economic prosperity with an environmental price tag  Chinese billionaire Wang Jing was granted authority to build a canal through Nicaragua but the project has been met with opposition. (Image:  MRS Movimiento Renovador Sandinista ) Over the past decade, China has become a leading lender and builder of infrastructure projects in the developing world. With extraordinarily high savings and a  slowdown in investment at home , China has reached out to invest in a diverse array of infrastructure projects from West Africa to the Amazon. One of the major drivers of this investment is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, funding for the initiative has increased over time (it’s aiming for US$1 trillion), and its scope spans projects in over  70 nations . This investment abroad constitutes an ambitious foreign poli

Trade war, day 41: China undecided on next move?

SupChina On day 29 of the U.S.-China trade war ( covered on SupChina Access ), when China responded to a threatened additional $200 billion in tariffs from the American side, some observers were surprised that China backed away from a dollar-for-dollar retaliation and chose to only announce $60 billion in reciprocal tariffs. Of course, China only imports a bit more than $150 billion in U.S. goods a year, so the initially promised full reciprocation wasn’t possible, but the point is that China sort of hedged its bets with a measured response. The New York Times counts that as the first instance where China really did “shift course” since the trade war began, and  suggests  (paywall) that we may be approaching another turning point in China’s strategy: “In recent days, officials from the Commerce Ministry, the police and other agencies have summoned exporters to ask about plans to lay off workers or shift supply chains to other countries.” “Confronting the possibility that the tariff

Propaganda about Xinjiang re-education camps

SupChina On Monday, China said there were “no such thing as re-education centers” in Xinjiang,  denying all the abuses alleged  at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) last Friday and in written reports submitted by civil society organizations. Now, the propaganda machine is creaking into gear: “Some anti-China forces  have made false accusations against China for political purposes…The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang cherish their happy and peaceful life… All rumors and slander will be futile.” That’s what one foreign ministry spokesperson’s response to allegations heard at CERD,  according to Xinhua . “Why deradicalization education is ineffective in Europe”  is the title of a  piece in nationalist rag Global Times . Like  last week’s op-ed  — titled “Protecting peace, stability is top of human rights agenda for Xinjiang” — the new piece justifies rather than denies the existence of the camps: “The impact of extreme religious tho

Propaganda about Xinjiang re-education camps

SupChina On Monday, China said there were “no such thing as re-education centers” in Xinjiang,  denying all the abuses alleged  at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) last Friday and in written reports submitted by civil society organizations. Now, the propaganda machine is creaking into gear: “Some anti-China forces  have made false accusations against China for political purposes…The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang cherish their happy and peaceful life… All rumors and slander will be futile.” That’s what one foreign ministry spokesperson’s response to allegations heard at CERD,  according to Xinhua . “Why deradicalization education is ineffective in Europe”  is the title of a  piece in nationalist rag Global Times . Like  last week’s op-ed  — titled “Protecting peace, stability is top of human rights agenda for Xinjiang” — the new piece justifies rather than denies the existence of the camps: “The impact of extreme religious tho

'Five years ago there was nothing': inside Duqm, the city rising from the sand

Oman’s sparsely inhabited coast of fishing villages and Bedouin camps is being transformed into an industrial city with port, luxury hotels and housing for 111,000 by  Wade Shepard  in Duqm Main image: Potential investors examine a map of future plans for Duqm. All photographs: Wade Shepard Cities is supported by About this content Mon 6 Aug 2018 07.00 BSTLast modified on Mon 6 Aug 2018 17.40 BST “Five years ago there was nothing here,” says Hamad Said Al Rawahi as he drives fast along a stretch of freshly paved highway in Oman’s coastal desert. He just picked me up from the side of the road in his shiny black Mercedes. I am hitchhiking – the closest thing to public transport out here. We are in Duqm, a nascent city about 300 miles (480km) from the capital, Muscat, that was a fishing village prior to 2011, when  Oman  reimagined it, along with a stretch of uninterrupted coastline and Bedouin camps, as a new special economic zone. “It has totally changed,” says Al Rawahi, who h

The making and unmaking of a star

BY  LAXMI MURTHY 26 July 2018 On the life and times of Qandeel Baloch, Pakistan’s first social-media celebrity. Photo: Qandeel Baloch Official / Twitter Researching the life of ‘Pakistan’s first social-media star’ is sufficient to induce an acute attack of ‘Qandeeliya’, an obsession with Qandeel Baloch, model and actor, who set the internet ablaze with her raunchy videos. She gathered fans and courted controversy in equal measure, until she was strangled to death by her own brother to preserve the family’s ‘honour’. “ Mama ko Qandeeliya ho gaya hai! ” declared police investigator Attiya Jaffrey’s children, describing their mother’s preoccupation with Qandeel after her murder on 15 July 2016. Writing this review was not confined to merely reading a book – albeit an excellent one – but led to days and nights of being glued to videos and Facebook Live clips, and scouring the internet for anything and everything on the mesmerising Qandeel Baloch. In  The Sensational Life and Death o

TRIVIUM CHINA: The Tip sheet , Know China Better

TRIVIUM CHINA HEARD IN BEIJING "We will never let any person, at any time or in any form, split Taiwan off from China." - Wu Qian , spokesman for the Ministry of Defense Some context:  That was the Chinese military’s response to America's passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill calls for improving Taiwan’s defense capability. Any ramped-up action to defend Taiwan will make the trade war look like child’s play. More in the Tip Sheet below. The Tip Sheet is anything but child’s play. Help your friends and colleagues stay informed on the most critical issues in China every day by forwarding today’s edition so they can  click here to subscribe. And as always – keep the great comments, tips, questions, and complaints coming.   THE TIP SHEET DRIVING THE DAY 1. Sino-US tensions heating up The Chinese government is closely tracking the latest defense legislation out of the US,  which looks geared toward containing China (Reuters): “Monday’s legisla

How Debt Traps From China’s Belt and Road Initiative Could Upend the IMF

Daniel McDowell  Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 No stranger to political controversy, the International Monetary Fund may soon find itself embroiled in one that pits China’s interests against those of the United States. Beijing’s hugely ambitious international development project, known as the  Belt and Road Initiative , is raising fears of debt crises in the developing world, and the IMF may be called in to clean up the mess.  The U.S. is poised to oppose any IMF deal providing funds that would ultimately go to pay off Belt and Road-related tabs. How the IMF handles this situation could give clues about how the institution will deal with competing American and Chinese interests in an increasingly multipolar world.  Launched in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is an international investment program that promises to pour $8 trillion in Chinese money into infrastructure and other development projects across nearly 70 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Despite a  clear need  for infrastr

Country banking on CPEC to revive economy

By  APP Published: August 15, 2018 A truck moves along the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway before the Karakoram mountain range near Tashkurgan in China's western Xinjiang province. PHOTO: AFP BEIJING:  The new Pakistani government has a major agenda of bringing the economy back on track. Imran Khan, whose political party PTI emerged victorious in the country’s recent election, appears ready for some drastic moves, and building on China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of them. Bhootani for including Gwadar in CPEC projects The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship BRI project, is the largest Chinese investment in Pakistan to date. Often termed a game changer, the $62 billion mega-project involves a massive financial inflow into Pakistan to promote infrastructure, energy and trade development and create many jobs. Imran has promised continued support to CPEC involving all sectors of Pakistani society, according to an article published by Chin

What next for China–Pakistan relations?

BY  Ghulam Ali 15 August 2018 12:00 With Imran Khan poised to form a government in Pakistan, the policy his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party will adopt towards China, especially the US$62 billion China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is a focus of intense discussion.     China’s interests have special resonance following setbacks to its investment in Sri Lankaand Malaysia, where new governments publicly demanded revision of some projects signed by their predecessors. Although China managed the situation, the resulting controversy dented its image internationally. The CPEC also generates scepticism in some quarters, and China’s stakes in Pakistan are higher than those in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has a different vision and governance style and would like to advance the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor according to its priorities, which means changes can be expected. For a long time, many in China had a muddied image of Imran Khan. From opposition, Kh