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Showing posts from September 12, 2018

China hasn’t changed belt and road’s ‘predatory overseas investment model’, US official says

DIPLOMACY China is just partnering with other countries on infrastructure projects ‘to grab their assets’, says US agency that oversees financing for international development Owen Churchill UPDATED : Thursday, 13 Sep 2018, 12:42PM  133 The head of the US government’s international finance development agency has stepped up criticism of China’s overseas investment strategy, dismissing Beijing’s efforts to give it greater legitimacy by partnering with other countries on infrastructure projects and accusing China of being “in it to grab their assets”. Pushing back against international criticism that China’s finance model is predatory and smothers recipient countries in debt they cannot pay, Chinese officials and state media have recently scrambled to play down the geopolitical nature of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, instead focusing on sustainable development and job creation for recipient economies. But Ray Washburne, president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corpora

BRI offers UK opportunities

2018-09-13 11:12:47 China Daily Li Yan Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the United Kingdom, speaks at the launch event of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the BRI and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. (Photo/Xinhua) China's ambassador to the United Kingdom told an audience at the House of Commons on Monday that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the BRI, is a "chorus" rather than a "one-man show," a platform for win-win cooperation rather than a tool to "put one's own country first." Speaking at the launch event of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Liu Xiaoming said: "The Belt and Road Initiative is not about one country having it all to itself. It is about making the pie bigger and sharing it among all the BRI partners." This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past five years, more tha

China, Pakistan agree to open economic corridor to investment from other countries

DIPLOMACY Deal comes as Beijing tries to adjust its approach amid backlash over global infrastructure strategy Catherine Wong UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 Sep 2018, 10:46PM  2 China has moved to ease concerns about the strategic intent behind its vast infrastructure push by agreeing to invite third-country investors to be part of its US$62 billion economic corridor project with Pakistan. The agreement was reached during a meeting in Islamabad between Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Pakistan’s Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khursro Bakhtiar. In a statement released after the meeting on Sunday, Pakistan’s planning and development ministry said the country had introduced new socioeconomic targets for the project, and agreed to establish a mechanism for third-party participation. On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang confirmed the decision, saying the two sides would open up the China-Paki

Pakistan Pushes China to Realign Goals in Its Belt-and-Road Initiative

New government, led by Imran Khan, presses Beijing to take on poverty-alleviating initiatives and building factories Why China and the U.S. Are Vying for Dominance in Pakistan In Pakistan, China and the U.S. are clashing over China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. To understand what’s at stake, it helps to take a look at why China is in Pakistan in the first place. By  Saeed Shah Sept. 12, 2018 1:34 p.m. ET ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s new government is pushing China to establish factories and poverty-alleviation initiatives in Pakistan instead of solely the big infrastructure programs that so far have dominated  Beijing’s high-profile overseas investment program , Pakistani officials said after talks with Chinese officials. Pakistan has been the showcase for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” to build and finance transport and other infrastructure across the globe. The Pakistani move to broaden that effort comes as Beijing experiences rising criticism and  pushback on its program ac

China, Pakistan firm on CPEC

BEIJING: China and Pakistan will remain strict on implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, said spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang. We appreciate the firm commitment of the Pakistani nation and the government towards the smooth implementation of the CPEC that is a considered as a game-changer project for the well-being of the people. While commenting on the Financial Times’ report about the CPEC, the spokesman said “ We have noticed the relevant reports and also noted that the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce issued a statement saying that the Pakistani officials quoted by the Financial Times were out of context and distorted the original intention, and the Pakistani side refused to acknowledge the report. The statement had also pointed out that during the recent visit to Pakistan by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the Pakistani side clearly stated that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a priority for Pakistan. The Pakista

Foreign investors seek review of CPEC, free trade deals

By  Our Correspondent Published: September 13, 2018 Businesses in Pakistan have been constantly complaining about the disadvantages of FTAs, particularly the China-Pakistan FTA. PHOTO: REUTERS ISLAMABAD:  An advocacy group of multinational companies working in Pakistan has advised the government to review the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and free trade agreements (FTA) in order to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders. The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has made these recommendations to Finance Minister Asad Umar. Foreign investors have also linked future investment plans with consistency in economic policies. “There has to be a level playing field and wherever there is discrimination it should be addressed,” said OICCI President Irfan Wahab Khan on Wednesday while responding to a question on CPEC during talk with the media. He said the foreign investors’ chamber also sought a review of free trade deals and bilateral investme

CPEC is Pak’s economic future, security not to be compromised: Army chief

ANI Published :  Sep 12, 2018, 3:20 pm IST Updated :  Sep 12, 2018, 3:20 pm IST It was reported on Tuesday that the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government was reviewing the agreements under the CPEC project.  The statement came amid reports that the newly elected government, led by Imran Khan, is reviewing the deals in the Belt and Road Initiative seeking renegotiation on the trade pact with China. (Photo: File) Islamabad :  The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC is the economic future of Pakistan and its security will never be compromised, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said in a meeting with Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing in Rawalpindi. The statement came amid reports that the newly elected government, led by Imran Khan, is reviewing the deals in the Belt and Road Initiative seeking renegotiation on the trade pact with China. A statement on the official twitter account of the Pakistan government read, "Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reiterated tha

Imran Khan government’s fresh thinking on CPEC may spring an interesting turn

Kamlendra Kanwar Bengaluru  | Updated : 13 September 2018, Imran Khan government’s fresh thinking on CPEC may spring an interesting turn It is heartening to see that the new  Imran Khan  government in Pakistan is beginning to apply its mind to the threatened loss of sovereignty and prospect of a debt trap that China’s ambitious Belt and Road (BRI) initiative could land Islamabad into. That the new government is planning to renegotiate the agreements reached under BRI which seek to connect Asia and Europe along the ancient silk road as they “unfairly benefit Chinese companies” is a measure of fresh thinking. The projects concerned are part of the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan launched in 2015, which is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. Read Opinion |  Parallel education system of coaching plods quality improv

Jang Economic Session: Call to make public CPEC project details

LAHORE: The government should immediately make public all details of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project so that it could not be politicised. The media should also play it role responsibly in CPEC project, otherwise, it will adversely affect Sino-Pak ties and increase distrust between the two countries. These views were expressed by the discussants in Jang Economic Session on “CPEC should not be Politicised.” The panelists were Dr Qais Aslam, Imtiaz Cheema, Iftikarul Haq, Rana Sajjad, Mian Fazal Ahmad and Pervaiz Hanif. The event was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi. Dr Qais Aslam said that CPEC project was a golden lake. He said Pakistan did not work for the last five years to improve the efficiency of the workers to benefit from the project while transparency in the project was required for its success. He said everyone should be taken on board on CPEC while focus should be laid on employment generation and end the concerns of local business community. Imtiaz Cheema said

Current Balochistan: Conflict updates from tge ground

12/9/2018 MASHKEY:- Pakistani military forces raided in a house in Jebri and abducted a Baloch civilian namely Abdeen S/o Hamza. 11/9/2018 MAND:- According to source, yesterday pakistani military forces conducted a military operation in Maheer, violent military personnel tortured women & children & looted houses while no news of any abduction reported yet. 12/9/2018 SURAB:- According to updates unknown armed man raided in a houses in Marap & opened fire due to which a man namely Ghulam Sarwar Mohmad Hassani got killed while his son Zakir Husain got injured. @Be alert@ 12/9/2018 KECH:- A Convey of pakistani army & FWO with large number of vehicles &  Belduzar have been seen in Gebun going towards Tump, comrades & civilians must be alert. 12/9/2018 KECH:- According to source yesterday pakistani military forces raided a house in Hoshab an area of Kech & abducted a Baloch civilian namely Ali Murad S/o Allah Baksh. 11/9/2018 TUMP:- According to

China's political influence and Interference activities in US universities

A Preliminary Study of PRC Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education WILSON CENTER Over the past two decades, PRC diplomats stationed in the United States have infringed on the academic freedom of American university faculty, students, administrators, and staff by: ● Complaining to universities about invited speakers and events; ● Pressuring and/or offering inducements to faculty whose work involves content deemed sensitive by the PRC authorities (hereafter,“sensitive content”); and ● Retaliating against American universities’ cooperative initiatives with PRC partner institutions PRC diplomats have also infringed on the personal safety of people at American universities by: ● Probing faculty and staff for information in a manner consistent with intelligence collection; and ● Employing intimidating modes of conversation A small number of PRC students have infringed on the academic free-dom of American university faculty, students, administ

Trade war, day 69: More talks proposed, but no signs of structural change The U.S. Treasury Department, led by Steven Mnuchin, is again attempting to find a deal with China on trade. “The Trump administration is reaching out to China  for a new high-level round of trade talks, in an effort to give Beijing another opportunity to address U.S. concerns before it imposes new tariffs on Chinese imports, said people briefed on the matter,” the Wall Street Journal  reports (paywall). The Journal says that “President Trump has authorized  Mr. Mnuchin to try to get trade talks with Beijing back on track,” and that Mnuchin is joined by chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow in his intention to find “a near-term settlement out of concerns that a protracted battle with China could batter financial markets.” But “the U.S. trade representative’s office  headed by Robert Lighthizer, which is in charge of tariffs, wants to hold off on negotiations, arguing that additional levies would give the U.S. more bargaining power in the dispute.” The invitation  by Mnuchi

Increasing Uyghur activism abroad against abuses in Xinjiang The South China Morning Post  says : “Emboldened by international scrutiny, the American Uyghur diaspora is increasingly willing to publicly condemn China’s re-education programmes, despite the risk to loved ones in Xinjiang.” Owen Churchill interviews  a wide range of Uyghur exiles and activists in the U.S., including Tahir Hamut, the poet who fled Xinjiang a year ago and gave testimony about the intensifying repression of Uyghurs to the Wall Street Journal. That December 2017 report  — “ Twelve days in Xinjiang: How China’s surveillance state overwhelms daily life ” — was one of the first to document the startling extent of the government’s  social engineering program to subjugate the Uyghur population and other Muslims in China’s far west . Hamut tells the SCMP  that he and his wife were “torn” about the decision to speak to media, but eventually decided that it was now or never, saying that “after a while, the things that we know about will gradually become old news.

Xi eats caviar, downs vodka with Putin, and smiles at Abe   One view among China-watchers is that Beijing was unprepared for the change in mood in Washington, D.C. Xi Jinping and his advisers had not realized the depth of anti-China sentiment across party lines, nor the hostility to Beijing common to Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, and American politicians of almost every ideological hue. But if all of Xi’s men really were unaware of how Washington’s feelings have changed, they certainly know by now. A recent commentary ( original Chinese , or see the  SCMP summary ) by a senior official in the People’s Daily made it clear: “The trade war is not just a measure for the US to gain more economic benefits, it is also an important strategy to contain China.” I believe we are starting to see how China will adapt to this new reality. Doubling down on the  Belt and Road  is one predictable and rational response: China will want to ensure that its communications and logistics are not controlled by the U.S. Another reaction

Malaysia won’t abandon Belt and Road Initiative, says Kian Ming

Bernama  - September 12, 2018 5:38 PM 95Shares Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming says the Belt and Road Initiative will open up more opportunities for investors. NANNING: Malaysia has no intention of abandoning China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and will continue to forge a closer relationship with the world’s second-largest economy. Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming said the new government’s approach had been misunderstood following the recent decision to cancel China-Malaysia related projects. Responding to a question from the Chinese media on rumours of Malaysia quitting the initiative, he said: “An important reason for my visit is to reassure China that Malaysia welcomed its investments. “What I am emphasising is also that the postponement of a number of large-scale projects was due to the need to safeguard Malaysia’s financial position and not because we doubt investors from any country, including China.” Ong

SECP opens facilitation center at Gwadar

By Staff Report September 11, 2018 ISLAMABAD:  The registration of business is a primary requirement of investors and in order to meet this demand, the SECP has opened a fully-equipped and state-of-the-art facilitation center in Gwadar. The SECP – one of the pioneer government departments that has facilitated local as well as the foreign business community at their doorstep in Gwadar Free Zone – has taken many steps to facilitate the business community. The CPEC is a mega project, and exceptionally attractive for the local and foreign investors. The SECP – being a vibrant and proactive organization, says SECP press release – claims to extend utmost facilitation to all investors, registering a company within four hours of filing complete documents, which is in line with the government’s initiative to provide ease of doing business in Pakistan. The SECP has also provided online and physical filing facility for incorporation of companies. The standard documents, including Memorand

CPEC is Pakistan’s economic future, says Gen Qamar

By  Kamran Yousaf Published: September 11, 2018 PHOTO: ISPR ISLAMABAD .:  A day after a controversial interview of a key government adviser cast doubts over future of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa assured the Chinese envoy that the CPEC is Pakistan’s economic future and its security will not be compromised. The assurance came during Gen Qamar’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador, who visited the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Chinese envoy discussed matters of mutual interest and regional security. The ambassador appreciated the conduct of successful visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Pakistan, the military’s media wing statement added. Pakistan set to review CPEC: FT report The meeting between the Chinese envoy and the army chief came against the backdrop of a recent report by  Financial Times  which quoted the Prime Min

TRIVIUM CHINA: Tip Sheet China, Know China Better

TRIVIUM CHINA HEARD IN BEIJING "We have similar or identical positions on international matters" - Xi Jinping , President Some context:  That's what Xi said about Sino-Russian relations yesterday in Vladivostok. Relations between the two countries are becoming ever closer, while relations with the West are becoming ever more frayed. Those two trends are not unrelated. More in the Tip Sheet below. If you have similar or identical positions with the Tip Sheet, pull some friends or colleagues into our orbit. Forward them this email and tell them to  click here to subscribe.  Trivium is looking for interns!  If you love Chinese politics and economics, send us your C.V. and a short note on why you would like to work with us. Interns can work remotely, so don't worry if you are not in Beijing or London. We look forward to hearing from you. THE TIP SHEET DRIVING THE DAY 1. China and Russia promise to stay tight   Xi Jinping arrived in Vladivostok

The future of U.S.-China tech fiefdoms Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios The U.S. and China often seem to be in a cutthroat technological race, but their rivalry may ultimately produce two geographically separate commercial fiefdoms where they rarely if ever cross swords directly, according to Beijing venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee. The big picture:  In a scenario that conflicts with what most experts foresee, Lee, a former executive at Microsoft, Apple and Google, paints a largely bloodless future: American and Chinese tech titans remain thoroughly entrenched at home, retaining the loyalty of their consumer base.In terms of business abroad, they carve out their own geographical spheres of technological influence that mostly do not overlap. Show less "China and the U.S.  are in parallel universes," said Lee, speaking at the O’Reilly AI Conference in San Francisco. What's next:  Commercial and tech history suggest that U.S. and China's giants will fight for business. But Lee argues that each

China and Russia promise to stay tight   Xi Jinping arrived in Vladivostok Tuesday  for the Eastern Economic Forum, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Xi’s attendance is a signal of deepening ties between the two countries.  It’s his first time to attend the forum since it was launched in 2015. Xi and Putin held talks on Tuesday.  It was a bit of a lovefest. In an increasingly tumultuous world,  Xi and Putin promised that their two countries will stay tight (Xinhua): “Regardless of the changes in the international situation, China and Russia will unswervingly promote their ties and steadfastly safeguard world peace and stability, said the two heads of state.” That’s because the two countries have convergent interests, according to Xi  (Kremlin): “We have similar or identical positions on international matters, [and] broad common interests.” “China-Russia cooperation…is gaining ever more importance against a backdrop of growing instability and unpredictability on a global scale.” One area wh