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Showing posts from September 18, 2018

Maldives' Chinese Debt and Political Risk Could Lead to Trouble in Paradise

  The Maldives, a small economy heavily reliant on tourism, is one of the most at-risk countries of any involved with the BRI to the distress of debt. Reuters Updated:  September 18, 2018, 9:44 PM IST Maldivians travel on the China-funded Sinamale bridge in Male, Maldives September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Ashwa Faheem New Delhi:  A victory for President Abdulla Yameen in a Sunday election in the Maldives could ramp up pressure on its finances, as the government stays the course on a Chinese-backed infrastructure boom that is in danger of swamping the economy. The Maldives under Yameen has grown closer to China - to the alarm of traditional ally India - with China funding roads, bridges and an extension to the international airport as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of infrastructure projects in almost 70 countries from Mongolia to Montenegro.   But a Chinese takeover of a port in neighbouring Sri Lanka and problems in several other countries have led to fears the initia

China's gaze shifts to southeast Asia

By: Elliot Wilson Published on: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 Overlooked during the early years of the Belt and Road Initiative, the region is now central to the entire project. China is shifting its attention south, and it likes what it sees in the Asean zone: lending opportunities, ambitious consumers and fast-growing states and cities. Order @ 2018 Results index When China’s president Xi Jinping floated the idea of a New Silk Road in 2013, eyes turned to the original route that had linked imperial China with India, central Asia and the Mediterranean Sea. Later, Pakistan became the focal point of this century’s first great geopolitical project. The south Asian nation, handily located on both the overland ‘belt’ and the maritime ‘road’, was starved of cash and infrastructure, and China promised both in return for a reliable trade route from its western border to the Indian Ocean. But there’s another region, sometimes overlooked in this conversation, that could become not just an impor

China Must Slow Down and Change Lanes With the Belt and Road Initiative

An unholy combination of unquestioning fervour of Chinese bureaucrats in implementing Xi Jinping’s BRI, poor diligence on all sides in project feasibility and allegations of corruption are creating the perfect storm for China, which it must correct. Construction underway for a Belt and Road-branded train project in Jakarta. Credit: Antara Foto/Reuters Ravi Bhoothalingam These are not happy times for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Just five years after China’s President Xi Jinping  launched his signature multi-billion-dollar scheme  for trans-Asian connectivity and infrastructure, its projects have aroused disquiet in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Malaysia and most recently in Pakistan. The trouble started a year ago with the Hambantota port project in Sri Lanka. With international shipping calls at the newly-built port well below projections and being unable to repay the loans and interest due to its Chinese partner, the Sri Lankan Government decided to  lease the por

Pakistan Army chief holds talks with Chinese counterpart on CPEC, defence ties

Both China and Pakistan’s new government led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan denied reports of differences over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa (pictured) arrived at Beijing on a three-day official visit on Sunday.(Reuters) Updated: Sep 18, 2018 23:45 IST By Press Trust of India, Beijing Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held talks with his Chinese counterpart Gen Han Weiguo on the security of the multi-billion CPEC, defence cooperation, as well as regional and bilateral issues. The meeting of Bajwa, who arrived at Beijing on a three-day official visit on Sunday, comes days after Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to Islamabad during which he held a comprehensive round of talks with Khan and Bajwa among others. Both China and Pakistan’s new government led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan denied reports of differences over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China subsequently annou

TRIVIUM CHINA: Tip sheet China, Know China Better

TRIVIUM CHINA HEARD IN BEIJING "Grassroots Party organizations are the foundation of the Party’s ruling edifice."   - Xi Jinping , CCP General Secretary   Some context:  Xi said that in a speech on July 3, 2018, that was just quietly released. Xi wasn’t praising local officials. He meant they need to do a better job of implementing policies from the center. More in the Tip Sheet below. Tip Sheet readers are the foundation of Trivium’s fanbase. Help us grow the audience by forwarding today’s note to friends and colleagues who can  click here to subscribe. And as always, keep the great comments, questions, tips, and complaints coming. THE TIP SHEET DRIVING THE DAY 1.  Trade war ratchets up He finally did it.  On Monday, US President Donald Trump officially announced another round of tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US. The tax is set at 10% and will go into place on September 24.  The rate is set to jump to 25% on January 1, 2019. The Chi

Trade war, day 75: Trump’s $200 billion to be met with $60 billion retaliation from China As we noted in our  Access newsletter yesterday  (paywall), President Trump issued a statement late on Monday that raised the stakes and narrowed the opening for negotiation in the escalating trade war.  The statement begins : Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China. The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent. Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports. The Chinese Commerce Ministry  said  (in Chinese) that it “deeply regretted” the American action, that it had given “new uncertainty” to the  recentl

An undiplomatic diplomat in Sweden The Chinese ambassador to Sweden is not making friends in that country. The South China Morning Post  reports  that Ambassador  Gui Congyou  桂从友 has “continued his attack on Swedish authorities over the treatment of Chinese tourists in Stockholm, with accusations of arrogance and bias by ‘certain forces.’” Swedish police have denied  any wrongdoing: The Chinese tourists, a family of three, arrived one day early at their Stockholm hotel. The hotel called the police after the family refused to leave when the hotel could not offer accommodation. Judging from  video and eyewitness accounts compiled by Swedish journalist Jojje Olsson , this is a case of badly behaved tourists unwilling to accept local norms, not an incidence of police brutality. Gui blasted Swedish police  in “his second interview in two days with Swedish media, after local police denied wrongdoing in their handling of the incident.” Olsson’s journalism has previously been the target  of a  hit piece press r

Chinese state media now considered foreign agents in U.S. The Wall Street Journal  reports  (paywall) that the American Department of Justice has “in recent weeks told Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network — known as CGTN now and earlier as CCTV — to register under the  Foreign Agents Registration Act  (FARA)”: Such forced registrations are more than symbolic. After its registration, RT lost congressional press credentials, which limited its access to lawmakers and other U.S. officials as members of the media. Xinhua and CGTN also have such credentials, according to a recent congressional list… The FARA law, passed in 1938 to expose covert Nazi-influence campaigns in the U.S., requires anyone doing lobbying or public-relations work for a foreign entity to register and file periodic updates with the Justice Department. This seems sensible: Xinhua and CGTN do sometimes commit accidental acts of journalism, but their main purpose and  stated raison d'être  is propaganda — acting as information agents for t

`UN must act tough against Pak to protect rights of Baloch people`

Baloch activists in Geneva By Ravi Khandelwal (ANI) | Updated: Sep 19, 2018 05:04 IST Geneva [Switzerland], September 19 (ANI): Human rights activists from  Balochistan  have asked the United Nations to act tough against  Pakistan  to protect the rights and lives of the Baloch people. Speaking after the side event on Human Rights in  Pakistan  co-organised by Baloch Voice Association during the 39th Session of  UN  Human Rights Council, a prominent Baloch activist, Mama Qadeer Baloch said, " People in  Balochistan  are being targetted because they are opposing  CPEC (China  Pakistan  Economic Corridor). They are demanding  Pakistan  to leave their occupied territory, which they are not agreeing with. It is because  Pakistan 's survival depends on  Balochistan 's resources. There is nothing in Punjab.  Pakistan  is exploiting resources from  Balochistan  and also sharing it with China." " In Saidak, there are gold and copper reserves and its 90 per cent share

The BRI in Pakistan: China’s flagship economic corridor

by  Thomas S. Eder The plans for an economic corridor between Pakistan and China preceded China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The project was first announced in the summer of 2013, when then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif met Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang in Beijing. The focus was on connecting China with the Chinese-invested Pakistani port of Gwadar through highway, rail and pipeline infrastructure. Project plans had a five-year horizon for implementation, and the sums involved – ranging between ten and twenty billion USD – were moderate compared to China’s current ambitions in Pakistan. These activities were later reframed as part of the so-called “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC), which was only officially launched in April 2015 while China’s president Xi Jinping visited Pakistan. Emphasis shifted towards power generation in Pakistan, and estimated costs ballooned to 46 billion USD. The two governments then drew up a “Long Term Plan,” starting in 2017 and drastically expan


 BY SAMA 20 OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BALOCHI DRESSES THAT YOU CAN TAKE INSPIRATION FROM! Source: Balochi dress for lady is one of the delightful social sides of Balochistan. The balochi dress is appealing, in form, great and extremely rich that a lady from any piece of world can’t deny wearing it. Balochi dress is called “phashik” in balochi dialect. The attire of the general population of Baluchistan, Pakistan comprises of  different styles of kameez and shalwar , turban, shoes and head scarfs. In making of balochi dress glass, various hued strings and a texture is utilized. This texture can be anything of your decision however typically cotton, silk and Jorchad is utilized. Discussing engaging hues in Balochi dress, let us disclose to you that red, green, dark, yellow and blue are the most usually utilized hues in making of Balochi dress, yet as because of prerequisites of plan, the Balochi dress can be comprised of incalculable hues. Their blend will take one’s heart aw

Foreigners Prefer Wearing Balochi Dresses Over Western Dresses!

SARMAD ALI Balochi dresses are taking over the world. First Shabana Azmi, now many international stars are also seen wearing Balochi dresses. Balochi dresses are exquisitely made.  Balochi women are an expert when it comes to needlework. Here are some pictures showing their love for Balochi dresses…

Emerging Powers See Opportunities under Trump Doctrine

OPINION  - September 11, 2018 By  Peter Schechter The rollercoaster ride that has been President Donald Trump’s foreign policy to date has been a source of profound concern for the main players in the postwar liberal international order. From pulling out of carefully negotiated multinational treaties and trade pacts, and showing a rather cavalier attitude toward key security alliances such as  NATO , it should perhaps not come as a surprise when German Chancellor Angela Merkel bluntly observes that “the United States is no longer a reliable partner.” But what about the rest of the world? How do smaller emerging nations who don’t hold security council seats or massive market power feel about the Trump doctrine? Do they see opportunities to advance their interests under these new rules, or are they as just as opposed to the risks of American isolationism as the major powers? When the world’s largest nations bicker over how global relations should be managed,  emerging markets  ten