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Showing posts from August 27, 2018

Strait of Malacca Key Chokepoint for Oil Trade

file photo BY  MAREX  2018-08-27 19:27:19 More than 90 percent of crude oil volumes flowing through the South China Sea in 2016 transited the Strait of Malacca, the shortest sea route between suppliers in Africa and the Persian Gulf and markets in Asia, making it one of the world’s primary oil transit chokepoints, reports the EIA.  In addition, a significant amount of crude oil (about 1.4 million b/d) passes through the strait on its way to Singapore and the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, where it is refined before transiting the South China Sea in the form of petroleum products. The South China Sea is a major trade route for crude oil, and in 2016, more than 30 percent of global maritime crude oil trade, or about 15 million barrels per day (b/d), passed through the Sea. The South China Sea is a major trade route for the Middle East, which accounted for more than 70 percent of total South China Sea crude oil shipments in 2016. Saudi Arabia is the largest source of crude oil,

BRI could be a Silk Road for the drug trade

28 Aug 2018| John Coyne  and  Rebecca Moore The Talking Heads’ 1985 hit ‘ Road to nowhere ’ provided a rather entertaining, if somewhat bleak, perspective on the futility of life: we are born, we live and we die. While we don’t necessarily agree with the song’s sentiments, it does appear to be an apt metaphor for the one-dimensional thinking of those responsible for delivering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s  Belt and Road Initiative . The BRI involves the construction of land routes (Silk Road Economic Belt) and sea routes (21st Century Maritime Silk Road) that will provide global economic opportunities, including access to markets, through faster, more secure and more affordable transportation. While the BRI is rapidly taking shape, little is being done to understand the unintended consequences of the greater regional and global connectivity it will bring. Those involved in illicit drug markets, for example, also look set to enjoy the BRI’s benefits. These actors will leverage B

China Defends 'New Silk Road' Against Debt Complaints

August 27, 2018 7:11 PM Associated Press FILE - A man stands underneath the pillars displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature "China Dream" and "One Belt, One Road" foreign policy plan during an event in Beijing, June 29, 2018. Share BEIJING —  Chinese officials on Monday defended Beijing's initiative to build a "New Silk Road" of railways and other infrastructure across Asia against complaints it leaves host countries with too much debt after Malaysia canceled two high-profile projects. The officials said President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative is creating assets that are needed by developing countries but might take time to pay off. The deputy chairman of the Cabinet planning agency, Ning Jizhe, rejected what he said were foreign news reports that blamed the initiative for debt problems. "People's livelihoods and economic development have been boosted," Ning said at a news conference. "

Xi Jinping says belt and road plan isn’t about creating a ‘China club’

The remarks came after new Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called off a major China-backed railway project last week Catherine Wong    Lee Jeong-ho UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 Aug 2018, 5:39AM  52 President Xi Jinping on Monday defended his new Silk Road plan, saying it was not about creating a “China club”, while calling for balanced trade with partner countries amid a growing backlash against his global infrastructure push. Analysts said Xi’s remarks – made at a seminar in Beijing to mark the five-year anniversary of his signature “Belt and Road Initiative” – indicated that China was adjusting its tone and strategy to address rising concerns over its global ambitions and fears of “debt trap diplomacy”. The comments came after new Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called off a major China-backed railway project last week. The recent change in leadership in Pakistan could also see a potential pullback on agreements for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a fl

Shift in Imran’s stand on China may ‘expose’ CPEC rhetoric

Huma Yusuf Published :  Aug 28, 2018, 12:36 am IST Updated :  Aug 28, 2018, 12:36 am IST PM Khan’s populist politics will necessarily take him down a rocky path to Beijing’s doorstep.  Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focus on widening the tax net will also bump against CPEC planning. (Photo: AP) Since coming to power, Imran Khan and his team have repeatedly acknowledged Pakistan’s myriad foreign policy challenges. But while tweets and statements focus on reviving talks with India, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government’s greatest challenge arguably comes across a different border — from friend, not a foe: China. Do not be fooled by the $2 billion post-election bailout. If anything, this timely intervention betrays China’s recognition that Pakistan’s new Prime Minister will struggle to reconcile his populist politics and Islamabad’s current relationship with Beijing. Indeed, China’s anxiety about Sino-Pakistan ties in the Imran Khan era was betrayed the moment his vic

Members of Balochistan cabinet take oath of office

By APP Monday Aug 27, 2018 QUETTA: As many as 10 members of the Balochistan cabinet took oath of their office on Monday at a ceremony held at Governor House Balochistan. Members of Balochistan Assembly, the speaker, heads of political parties, notable persons from different walks of life and secretaries of various government departments were present on the occasion. Governor Balochistan Mohammad Khan Achakzai administered oath to the newly inducted provincial ministers at Governor House in Quetta. Those who took oath included Mir Mohammad Arif Mohammad Hassani, Noor Mohammad Dumar and Sardar Sarfaraz Chakar Domki. The provincial cabinet also included Nawabzada Tariq Khan Magsi, Zmarak Khan Achakzai, Zahoor Ahmed Buledi and Mir Ziaullah Lango. Mir Nassebullah Marri, Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani and Saleem Ahmed Khosa also took oath of their office at the ceremony

CPEC – The Way Forward seminar held at KSBL

By Staff Report August 27, 2018 The Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) along with Pehle Aap (Pvt) Ltd welcomed high-profile Chinese Delegates at a seminar on ‘CPEC –The Way Forward’. The seminar was held at the KSBL campus and was attended by leading members of Karachi’s intelligentsia and representatives of the agricultural industry. It introduced a nationwide Agricultural Export project, promoted by Pehle Aap (Pvt) Limited. This project was conceived to uplift, source and trigger the export of agricultural products from Pakistan to China and other countries. In this event, the discussion revolved around services of CPEC and the evolution of China from an economic condition similar to where Pakistan stands today, towards prosperity by ultimately focusing on export. Pehle Aap Ltd CEO Amar Zafar Khan and Dean at KSBL Dr Zeeshan Ahmed hosted the auspicious visit of Chinese Delegates across Pakistan. They explained that through this project Pakistan’s agricultural, f

China seeks to delink India ties and contentious CPEC

India hasn’t joined the BRI as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of its flagship projects, passes through PoK. The project became another irritant between the two countries since it was unveiled in 2013. CPEC aims to connect Xinjiang in China with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan (pictured), allowing Beijing access to the Arabian Sea.(Reuters file) Updated: Aug 28, 2018 08:36 IST By Sutirtho Patranobis China on Monday sought to delink the contentious economic corridor it’s building through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir from Sino-India ties, saying recent meetings between the leaders of the two sides have given the relationship “fresh impetus”. “We are neighbours, we are partners. Historically we were together and in the future, I never believe that anybody can separate India and China,” Zhang Jun, assistant minister of foreign affairs, said while describing ties between New Delhi and Beijing. Zhang was among senior leaders who addressed the media on five years o

A community of shared future with Pakistan

By Yao Jing | China Daily | The Port Qasim Coal-fired Power Plant started commercial operation in Pakistan on April 25. [Photo/powerchina] China-Pakistan relations are a model of state-to-state relations. As President Xi Jinping put it, China-Pakistan relations should be a model of good-neighborly friendship, a pillar of regional peace and stability, and a benchmark for international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative. No matter how the international and regional situations change, China-Pakistan friendship will remain unbreakable and grow from strength to strength. Successive Pakistani governments have made Islamabad's relationship with Beijing as the cornerstone of their foreign policy. The support for China-Pakistan friendship and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has become an across-party, across-regional and across-board consensus in Pakistan. Thanks to the largest number of ongoing projects with the fastest progress, the CPEC has become a major pilot projec

China for securing peace

Editorial The Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui has on more than one occasions suggested that a trilateral summit involving India, China and Pakistan can be organised to find a solution to the stalemate in India-Pakistan relations. The summit can be organised under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), he suggested. Both India and Pakistan have recently become members of the SCO. However, reacting to Zhaohui's observations, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has said that India-Pakistan ties are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for the involvement of any third party. China's keenness to help India and Pakistan resolve all outstanding matters emanates from its engagements with Pakistan, which figures prominently in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative under which China has committed to invest $62 billion in developing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). India has been opposing the Chinese project in Pakistan arguing that th

China-Pakistan agro ties can address trade imbalance

By Daniel Hyatt Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/27 21:23:39 Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT   For some time now, Pakistani traders have been talking about the trade imbalance with China. Pakistan has developing industrial potential but it can't match China. However, in November this year, an opportunity is coming that might shift the balance of trade into a more mutually beneficial situation. China has come up with a novel plan for encouraging imports from its trading partners - the China International Import Expo (CIIE). The expo, which will be held from November 5 to 10, offers a chance for global manufacturers and producers to showcase their products in order to gain access to China's market. The expo is also an opening for countries participating in the  Belt and Road  (B&R) initiative to boost their infrastructure upgrading and reach wider markets. Pakistan is one such country, which is undergoing massive infrastructure development to align itself with global tr

Current Balochistan: Conflict updates from the ground

25/8/2018 TUMP:- Last night Around 11AM Baloch freedom fighter attacked on pakistani military forces check'post located in a school in Phullabad with rockets & automatic weapons due to which heavy losses occurred to occupying state forces. 25/8/2018 MASHKEY:- According to residents of keelkour an area of Mashkey, That last night Baloch freedom fighters successfully attacked on military camp of keelkour for long time. 25/8/2018 PANJGUR:- According to updates in Gichk Karke Dall, an area of Panjgur Local death squads of Pakistan are operating the entire area by foot, comrades & civilians must be alert. 25/8/2018 KHUZDAR:- According to sources last night unknown man raided in a house in Greshag Jarego an area of Khuzdar, Where Unknown men Rushed in house of Merdad Rehman Sajdi, Where unknown men killed wife of Merdad, On the other side Merdad Successfully escaped from house. 25/8/2018 KECH:- According to updates Pakistani forces abducted three Baloch civilians f


HEARD IN BEIJING "China's downward economic trend...has nothing to do with the trade war. " - Liu Shijin , Deputy director of the CPPCC's economic committee Some context:  Liu – a respected senior advisor on the economy – said that in a recent speech. He thinks the economy is slowing because infrastructure and property peaked a few years ago, and no new growth drivers have emerged to replace them. We couldn't agree more – and we made a similar argument in our Bloomberg op-ed over the weekend. More in the Tip Sheet below. THE TIP SHEET FINANCE & ECONOMICS 1. A worrying stat for infrastructure investment Why are regulators so keen to address weak infrastructure investment?  Because the worst may be yet to come. That's according to a report issued today by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The critical finding of the report was around  “intended infrastructure investment"  –  it contracted by a whopping 35% y/y in the first

With Eye on China’s Belt Road Initiative, India to step up economic partnerships with Eastern, Southern Europe

By  Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury , ET Bureau The Eastern European bloc and India historically enjoyed close relations and now Delhi is keen to penetrate flourishing markets, seek technology and funds as opposition to BRI rises in Europe. NEW DELHI: Amid Chinese inroads in Eastern Europe as part of its  Belt Road Initiative , India is putting in plans in place to boost its  economic partnership  with the erstwhile Communist States and Southern Europe. The upcoming back to back visits by President  Ram Nath Kovind  to Cyprus, Bulgaria and Czech Republic (Sep 2-9) followed by visit by Vice President Venkaih Naidu to Malta, Serbia and Romania (mid-September) will bring India's growing role in the region in the limelight. This will be Kovind’s second visit to the region earlier being to Greece few months back where he outlined India’s Europe policy. The Eastern European bloc (during the period of Soviet Union) and India historically enjoyed close relations and now Delhi is keen to penetr

What does China want from CPEC?

The history of China and the United States and how it explains what Beijing is doing pouring so much money into Pakistan By Farooq Tirmizi August 27, 2018 Drive around any major Pakistani city these days and you can see the subtle signs. There is the logo of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on top of the tallest building in Karachi. There are the Chinese engineers having lunch at restaurants in Lahore. There is the proliferation of new Chinese small businesses in Islamabad. And, of course, there are the massive Chinese machines and armies of Chinese managers and workers that you can see across worksites throughout Pakistan, if you happen to get close enough to any one of the dozens of Chinese-funded projects that dot the entire country’s landscape. Whether we like it or not, Pakistan’s economic fate has now been tied to that of China, though how firmly – and for how long – may still be up for debate. What that means, however, is anybody’s guess as of right now.