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Showing posts from September 3, 2018

Seizing greenfield infrastructure opportunities in ASEAN

28 Aug 18      By PwC Foreword Infrastructure development is crucial to improving connectivity and driving sustainable growth in ASEAN. It is important to identify the changing needs of each of these countries in order to leverage future opportunities and trends in infrastructure investments in the region. This report is the second in a three-part Infrastructure Series. In the first report, Understanding infrastructure opportunities in ASEAN (2017), we discuss the existence of a widening infrastructure gap in the region, highlight the potential difficulties faced by countries in mobilising infrastructure investments, and examine measures that could potentially address these challenges. In addition, we introduce the future drivers that we believe will further increase infrastructure spending in the region. In this second report, we take a closer look at how the identified drivers are shaping the pipeline of greenfield infrastructure projects in each ASEAN country. We also assess

The path to a European perspective on China

Sabine Muscat Frank N. Pieke plans to build on MERICS' successful first five years as the institute's new director and CEO. The former head of the Leiden Asia Center and the Oxford China Center sees the Communist Party's transformation as the key to understanding China's global rise. At the helm of MERICS, Pieke and his deputy Mikko Huotari want to facilitate more coordinated information-sharing on China in Europe.   The first time Frank Pieke learnt that China was a moving target as a research object was as a PhD student in Beijing. He had arrived in 1988 to investigate how Chinese citizens coped with the contradictions between a rigid political system and China’s market reforms and opening to the outside world. He soon realized that he had to change his topic. The researcher observed how his peers at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences became swept up in the 1989 urban protest movement, and he found that people in the streets no longer shunned him as a foreign

Mastung: 18 go missing as military operations enters 5th day

 September 3, 2018 At least 18 people have gone missing in the military operation in Mastung and surrounding areas that has entered its 5th day. According to local TBP correspondent, the people, who went missing during the operation, are residents of Guraap, Robdaar and Dilband areas of Mastung. In the operation, which started on Wednesday last week, ground troops of Pakistan Army have cordoned off many areas between Mastung and Kalat districts. Pakistani troops also have aerial support of gunship helicopters during the operation. Now according to latest updates, as many as 18 people have gone missing during the operation and multiple houses have also been set ablaze in different areas. The actual losses could be even higher, however, due to weak communication system in the area the exact details have not been ascertained, few sources claimed. Pakistani forces or the administration have made no media comments about the operation. Many military operations and raids have been ca

IHC verdict in enforced disappearance case challenged

ISLAMABAD: The ministries of defence, and interior as well as the district administration have challenged the verdict of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in an enforced disappearance case. The court in its order declared enforced disappearance an act of terrorism and also imposed a fine on the defence and interior secretaries, chief commissioner, inspector general of police Islamabad and other authorities. A division bench of the IHC would take up the intra-court appeals against the verdict of Justice Athar Minallah next week. The appeals have been filed by the federal government and local administration. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD Justice Minallah on July 11 declared that the ‘enforced disappearance’ creates terror among society therefore persons involved in abducting citizen and keeping them at unknown place may be charged under Anti Terrorism Act. The learned judge made the judgment on the petition filed by Mahera Sajid, wife of missing IT expert Sajid Mehmood. On March 14, 20

China’s Xi pledges $60 billion to Africa, says 'no strings attached'

Latest update : 03/09/2018      Asinent's economic prospects to its own. Speaking to a gathering of African leaders in Beijing,  Xi  said the figure includes $15 billion in grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, $20 billion in credit lines, $10 billion for "development financing" and $5 billion to buy imports from Africa. In addition, he said  China  will encourage companies to invest at least $10 billion in Africa over the next three years. No details were given on specific projects, although Xi said China was planning initiatives in eight areas, including providing $147 million in emergency food aid, sending 500 agricultural experts to Africa, and providing scholarships, vocational training and trade promotion opportunities. The pledge comes on top of a 2015 promise to provide African countries with $60 billion in funding that Xi said had either been delivered or arranged. AFRICAN DELEGATIONS LOOKING FOR 'WIN-WIN' PROJECTS Also Monday, Xi

China supports Africa jointly building Belt and Road: Xi

Source: Xinhua |  2018-09-03 16:51:15 | Editor: ZX Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech themed "walk together towards prosperity" at the opening ceremony of the High-level Dialogue Between Chinese and African Leaders and Business Representatives as well as the Sixth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 3, 2018. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei) BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- China supports African countries in jointly building the Belt and Road to share the win-win outcomes, said President Xi Jinping Monday when addressing the High-Level Dialogue Between Chinese and African Leaders and Business Representatives. China stands ready to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with African countries to build a road of high-quality development that is suited to national conditions, inclusive and beneficial to all, Xi said in his keynote speech at the meeting, also the Sixth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs. Realizin

CHINA: Party addresses the state capitalist accusation

  Senior officials increasingly believe that China is entering a new Cold War with the US  – pitting the two countries’ political and economic systems against each other (See August 30 Tip Sheet). The US says that China’s “state capitalist” system is unfair.So the Party’s top theoretical journal,  Qiushi , took that complaint on in a new editorial. The editorial takes issue with the idea that the US economy is devoid of state intervention , citing US government support for the internet, biotechnology, and shale gas. It goes on to argue that the US’s real goal is to keep China down: “The use of the so-called ‘state capitalism’ …[stirs up] public opinion to contain…developing countries, especially China.” “The fundamental reason why some Western political leaders attack Chinese state-owned enterprises is that Chinese state-owned enterprises continue to be better, stronger, and bigger.” “[China’s SOEs] are better able to serve China's development…and provide a reliable guarantee


HEARD IN BEIJING "After one reaches the summit, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up." - Qiushi Editorial Context:  That's how the Party's top journal  Qiushi makes sense of the United States' decision to launch a trade war. The phrase is pointedly borrowed from the ideas of 19th century German Economist Friedrich List, who advocated for state-led industrial policy. In case it's not obvious, Chinese leaders see the US at the summit, having used industrial policy to get there and now trying to kick away China's ladder. More in the Tip Sheet below. We want all of our leaders to attain greatness through deeper China knowledge. Help your friends and colleagues do the same by forwarding the Tip Sheet and telling them to  click here to subscribe. And by all means – keep the great comments, questions, tips and complaints coming. DRIVING THE DECADE 1. Party addresses the state capitalist accusation Senior officials increasingly believe that

Xi puts time into building Africa ties

Source: TRIVIUM CHINA The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) kicked off today in Beijing.  Xi addressed more than two dozen African leaders, and invited them all to join in building the Belt and Road. The speech came after a busy weekend for Xi,  in which he held bilateral meetings with numerous heads of state and government in town for the forum. By our count, Xi met with: 7 leaders on Friday 17 (!) leaders on Saturday 10 leaders on Sunday That’s quite a schedule. What’s more, six leaders have received official welcome ceremonies: President of Cote d'Ivoire Alassane OuattaraPresident of Sierra Leone Julius Maada BioPresident of Botswana Mokgweetsi MasisiPresident of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian KaborePresident of Ghana Nana Akufo-AddoPresident of Egypt Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi Get smart:  Xi has promised to put more resources into strengthening ties with developing countries. Events like FOCAC and all of the associated bilateral meetings go a long way towards doin

Dead body of a woman found, two others injured in Quetta

 September 3, 2018 Two women were injured in a firing incident and a dead body of a woman was found in Quetta on Sunday. According to the details received by the Balochistan Post, two women, both in their early 20s, were injured when unknown armed men opened fire on them on Saryab Road in capital city Quetta. As a result both the women sustained bullet injuries and were taken to nearby hospital. Both women are sisters and were said to be daughter of a person identified as Mr Laal Bakhsh. Motive behind the attack could not be ascertained immediately. In another news, dead body of a woman was found at her house in Quetta. The body was later shifted to hospital for identification. Similarly, a dead body of a nineteen-year-old boy was found at his house in Kharan. Later, the doctors confirmed that the boy died due to poisoning, and deemed it as a suicide. The boy was identified by the name of Shah Hussain, who used to run a tailor shop in Kharan. Motives behind his alleged suicide

Unity is the key to success

Author: Honak Baloch Unity is the key to success, our great leader Nawab Akbar Bugti gave this message to all pro-freedom parties. To succeed, we must have to be United. Today political needs of national and international politics are changing continuously because every nation thinks for their own national interests and we can see many countries trying to capture national resources of neighbouring countries. International politics has changed now, no one will help us unless we help ourselves, the question arises, how can we help ourselves? In my opinion, to help ourselves we must concentrate on the following two points: 1) Work for National Unity 2) Must start dialogues immediately with our all pro-freedom parties Today we can see Pakistani government pressurising Twitter to suspended many accounts of Baloch leaders, to which Twitter has succumbed. If we were united like Kurds and were working under a single strong social media group, we would not remain victims of social media

BNM protest in Germany attracts large crowds

 September 2, 2018 Protest by BNM in Germany attracted large crowds on Saturday. According to TBP correspondents, large number of Baloch activists and members of general public participated in a protest organised by Baloch National Movement (BNM). The protest was held in Hannover, Germany on Saturday 1st September 2018. A large number of women and children were also seen in the protest, which was held to ‘condemn Pakistan Army’s brutalities in Balochistan’. The local BNM leaders alleged that in recent days Pakistan Army has abducted and disappeared several Baloch women and children from Balochistan. “These women are kept in secret torture cells and we have genuine concerns that these women might have been used as sex slaves just like Pakistan Army did in Bangladesh in 1971,” a BNM leader said while talking to TBP. He told TBP that the aim of the protests in Germany and in other European or American countries is to raise awareness about the appalling human rights tragedy in Baloc

Advocacy groups to raise issue of minorities’ persecution in Pakistan

 September 1, 2018 Voice of Karachi (VOK) and South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation (SAMAF) will jointly hold an event at the United States Capitol Hill on September 5 to highlight the issue of religious freedom and minority rights in Pakistan. During the event titled ‘Day on The Hill’ solidarity will also be shown with the Afghan people, United States troops and their families, as announced by VOK and SAMAF Chairman, Nadeem Nusrat in a statement. Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, representatives of various ethnic and religious groups in Pakistan, members of think tanks and South Asia experts will attend and speak at this event. In the statement, Nusrat said, “Since the 1980s, the restive region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has become a safe-sanctuary for some of the world’s most wanted men, including Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Not many people know that it was a plot hatched inside a cave in Afghanistan that resulted in the 9/11 attacks in the ma

Enforced Disappearances and the Denials 

Author: Shaad Baloch President of BNP, Sardar Akhtar Mengal presented his demands in six points, while joining the federal coalition government. One of these points is regarding the Baloch missing persons. Sardar Akhtar Mengal handed over the list of five thousands to the speaker of assembly and demanded a solution of it as soon as possible. He said the victims, whose beloved are missing for years having no information of their whereabouts, could only feel this pain better. However, the credibility of the cases issuance and solution as accordingly with the growing numbers in Balochistan has brought a new face to refuse the list that Sardar Aktar Mengal proposed. Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, head of Pakistan’s missing persons commission, while talking about the enforced disappearances from Balochistan said that many of the missing persons went missing due to personal enmity. He also negated the numbers and said only around 135 people are missing. He is the Chairman of Commission on Enqu

Balochistan: Security forces handover dead body of arrested 16-year-old to family

 August 31, 2018 Security forces have handed over the dead body of a 16-year-old boy, who was arrested and taken away to undisclosed location only few days ago. According to local TBP correspondent, the 16-year-old boy along with another person was arrested only few days ago during a house to house search. 16-year-old Majeed s/o Ali Jan and Sana s/o Nabi Baksh were then taken to an undisclosed location. Both were under incommunicado detention until today, when personnel of security forces handed over the dead boy of Majeed to his family. Sana is still missing without any trace. Majeed’s family has said that the dead body contains several marks of torture, suggesting he was torture-murdered. However, the security forces did not comment how the young boy died. In Balochistan, campaign groups allege that thousands of activists and others are held in Pakistani detention centers, without having any contact with their loved ones. Scores of these missing persons have appeared dead on ro

Why China may have to rethink its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative

Criticism of the programme by its targeted beneficiaries has surfaced earlier than expected as the shadow of debt begins to loom. by   Philip Bowring Published Yesterday · 08:30 pm Reuters China has launched a new publicity drive to promote the benefits of its Belt and Road Initiative – and the surprise is that a publicity campaign is necessary at all. The initiative was unveiled in late 2013 to build infrastructure in Asia, Africa and Europe, strengthening trade linkages via new versions of old land and sea routes between east and west, showing China as a strong global payer, financing viable projects and not projecting strategic power. Soon afterwards, the initiative was widely seen as a propaganda masterstroke, providing badly needed investment in roads, railways, power and ports to countries in dire need of such infrastructure while showing China’s commitment to open trade. Chinese money was seen as cheap, available and without some of the strings attached to loans from the li

Costa Rica should actively participate in Belt and Road Initiative, says expert

Source: Xinhua |  2018-09-03 SAN JOSE, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rica should take an active part in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and strive to boost ties with China, said political observer and China expert Sergio Rivero. China's Belt and Road Initiative is gaining traction in Latin America, he said, adding that the Costa Rican government should take advantage of China's impetus in developing infrastructure and promoting international trade. Proposed in 2013, the initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. "I think the key point of the Belt and Road is interconnectivity," he said. China is involved in a key infrastructure project which is underway in Costa Rica -- the expansion of Route 32, a major highway connecting the capital San Jose with the port of Limon, one of the country's leading trade hubs. The new Route 32 will influence areas

Billion-dollar question: Is China's 'Silk Road' really worth its cost?

AFP/PTI | Beijing | Last Updated at September 03 2018 08:25 IST China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying recently denied that Beijing was saddling its partners with onerous debt | Photo: Reuters China's massive and expanding "Belt and Road" trade infrastructure project is running into speed bumps as some countries begin to grumble about being buried under Chinese debt. First announced in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, the initiative also known as the "new Silk Road" envisions the construction of railways, roads and ports across the globe, with Beijing providing billions of dollars in loans to many countries. Five years on, Xi has found himself defending his treasured idea as concerns grow that China is setting up debt traps in countries which may lack the means to pay back the Asian giant. "It is not a China club," Xi said in a speech on Monday to mark the project's anniversary, describing Belt and Road as an "open and inclus

China does not have a very competent international bureaucracy in foreign aid " China does not have a very competent international bureaucracy in foreign aid , in expansion of soft power,"* said Ms Anne Stevenson-Yang, co-founder and research director at J Capital Research. *"It brought up political issues like Malaysia that nobody anticipated."* *"As the RMB (yuan) becomes weaker, and China is perceived internationally as a more ambiguous partner, it's more likely that the countries will take a more jaundiced eye on these projects."*

Two miners die in Balochistan coal mine

QUETTA: Two  miners died of suffocation in a coal mine  near Balochistan’s Much tehsil on Sunday. According to details, the incident occurred in a coal mine of a local company in Bolan district, where the workers were digging 300 feet deep when they fainted due to suffocation.  The worker were reportedly  died due to the lack of oxygen. The bodies were recovered after an hours-long rescue operation. The deceased were residents of Quetta, identified as Gul Muhammad and Muhammad Hanif.

CPEC digital information channel fully connected

BEIJING: The “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) digital information channel”, based on China-Pakistan optical cable, and serving the CPEC and global customers and partners were fully connected. Zhang Zhiyong, deputy general manager of China Telecom Group Co., Ltd informed the participants of 6th China-Eurasia Expo in Urumqi that China Telecom will use the opening of China-Pakistan optical cable as an opportunity to expand the field of communication cooperation and jointly promote the construction of a series of core projects of the China-Pakistan Information Corridor with Pakistani partners. Close economic cooperation provides a solid information and communication guarantee, while information technology contributes to the digital transformation of the society and the development of the digital economy. Speaking on the occasion, Tan Yijun, Executive Vice President of China Telecom International Co., Ltd said that on July 13 this year, the 2,950-kilometer-long China-Pakistan op