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Showing posts from October 12, 2018

17 attacks killed 34 in Balochistan and KP in September 2018

By  PIPS  on October 10, 2018 17 attacks killed 34 in Balochistan and KP in September 2018 No act of terrorism reported from Punjab, Sindh, AJK, and GB: PIPS monthly security review of Pakistan Islamabad (PR) – Two less than previous month, 17 terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan in September 2018, which claimed 34 lives.  Out of the reported 17 attacks, 10 happened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 7 in Balochistan; no terrorist attack was reported from any other region of the country. Those 34 killed in these attacks included 18 personnel of security and law enforcement agencies (9 army soldiers and as many Levies), 7 civilians, as well as 9 militants, who were killed in retaliatory fire following some attacks. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaatul Ahrar and local Taliban groups were involved in reported 10 terrorist attacks from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), which claimed 22 lives – compared to 6 in the month before – and injured 9 others. In Balochistan, Baloch national

SCO Summit: Sushma Swaraj takes aim at Pakistan, China over terrorism and CPEC

Updated Oct 12, 2018 | 17:59 IST | PTI In an apparent reference to the CPEC, Sushma Swaraj said that all connectivity initiatives must be based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. SCO Summit: Sushma Swaraj takes aim at Pakistan, China over terrorism and CPEC Dushanbe:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday urged the SCO members including Pakistan to assume their national responsibility and cooperate with each other, saying terrorism remains the most overwhelming threat to development and prosperity. In an apparent reference to the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Swaraj said that all connectivity initiatives must be based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consultations, good governance, transparency, viability and sustainability. India has opposed the CPEC projects and protested to China as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Swaraj, who is in Tajikistan&

For China, a Bridge Over the Adriatic Is a Road Into Europe

Image A major new bridge will link a disconnected sliver of the Croatian coast with the rest of the country. There is an overland route now that runs through Bosnia.CreditCreditZoran Marinovic for The New York Times By  Marc Santora  and Barbara Surk Oct. 11, 2018 KOMARNA, Croatia — As a quirk of history and the Balkan wars, a corner of Croatia is cut off from the rest of the country by a 12-mile interruption of land belonging to neighboring Bosnia. It is a rift that Croatia has long wanted to repair with a bridge that would unite the disconnected sliver of its coast with the rest of the country. For decades — foiled by war, corruption, political bickering and global financial turmoil — work never got much further on the bridge than abandoned concrete pylons and two bronze angels overlooking the glittering waters of the Adriatic Sea. That is, until the Chinese arrived this summer. With drills churning and its engineers arriving daily, a state-owned Chinese construction firm, th

U.S. indicts PRC intelligence officer

AXIOS, Bill Bishop The indictment and extradition from Belgium of a serving Chinese Ministry of State Security officer for economic espionage is a very big deal. Driving the news:  From the Department of Justice  announcement ... A Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui, has been arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.  Xu was extradited to the United States yesterday... Yanjun Xu is a Deputy Division Director with the MSS’s Jiangsu State Security Department, Sixth Bureau. The MSS is the intelligence and security agency for China and is responsible for counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence and political security. MSS has broad powers in China to conduct espionage both domestically and abroad. Why it matters:  This appears to be the first time a PRC intelligence officer has been brought to the U.S. to face charg

China's "influence" vs. "interference" on midterms

AXIOS, Bill Bishop Former CIA Director John Brennan. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images   Axios' Joe Uchill reports  ... John Brennan, the former CIA director and homeland security adviser, believes the debate over what China may be doing to influence or interfere in the 2018 midterm elections hangs on the meaning of those two words. "The term 'interference' is loosely used. But there's a difference between 'interference' and 'influence.'" — John Brennan tells Axios at SecureAuth event Why it matters:  At the UN,  President Trump declared , "China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming election." Pence  made a similar case  a week later at the Hudson Institute, saying that China was trying to influence the election. We don't know whether either executive was using "interference" and "influence" to mean separate concepts, as Brennan does, or as a single mushy idea, they way he fears the public us

PRC reactions to U.S. pressure

AXIOS , Bill Bishop As we mentioned in  last week's newsletter , Pence's speech struck a nerve — and the repercussions continued this week. Buzz:  Xinhua published at least 8 responses attacking the speech. The Central Propaganda Department’s Theory Bureau, writing under the pen name "Zhongxuanli 钟轩理," published 2 commentaries attacking Pence's comments in People's Daily this week. The South China Morning Post  reports : The nearly 5,400-word screed by “Zhong Xuanli”, a pseudonym used by the Central Propaganda Department’s Theory Bureau, sought to refute the vice-president’s address point by point, including a remarkable proposal for Beijing to buy four US Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers to help close China’s trade surplus with the US. “The problem is not that China does not buy, but that the United States does not sell,” the piece argued, referencing the escalating trade war between the two countries. “For example, is the US willing to sell its For

Discovering the hidden Dungeness

Written by  Laura Cole  Published in  Discovering Britain On this month's Discovering Britain trail, Laura Cole heads to Dungeness, a landscape of extremes on the south coast For more great walks, trails and viewpoints, be sure to check out the new Discovering Britain Facebook page by clicking here.  Locals call it a separate continent. Romney Marsh, a stretch of fin-shaped land that protrudes into the English Channel, looks different to the rest of the country for two main reasons. First, it is flat. The pastures look ironed for miles and are devoid of the hedgerows and stone walls that usually divvy up the British countryside. Second, the skies take up an extraordinary amount of the view. ‘Romney Marsh, where the roads wind like streams through pasture and the sky is always three-quarters of the landscape,’ wrote poet John Betjeman. These are the kind of skies in which you can see rain approaching from miles away. The kind where you could hope to see tomorrow’s weather. 

China's great wall: The mysterious case of the missing Interpol Chief

By Vikram Sood    @Vikram_Sood  |   Meng Hongwei was reportedly detained over corruption. But Beijing is steadily 'vanishing' dissidents and diaspora Chinese from around the world.    Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of Interpol and a vice minister in the Chinese Minister of Public Security, had mysteriously  disappeared  in the last week of September while on a visit to his country. The mystery surrounding this disappearance was solved on October 7. The Chinese Communist Party announced that the Interpol President was  under investigation  for having violated the law and was under the supervision of an anti-corruption unit of the party. Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, also received Meng’s letter of  resignation  the same day. The mystery of the missing Meng. (Photo: Reuters) The arrest may seem startling for many — but not in China. Meng has many more powerful predecessors who have been imprisoned by the Chinese in recent years. Zhou Yongkang, the once powerful Se

US, Philippines tacitly realign against China

While Filipino forces will not participate in America's expected massive show of force next month in the South China Sea, it's increasingly clear which side they are on By  RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN MANILA, OCTOBER 11, 2018 6:42 PM (UTC+8) 481 7 A US navy personnel (L) gives instructions to his Philippine counterpart during drills at a naval base in Sangley point, Cavite City, west of Manila on June 28, 2013. Photo: AFP/Ted Aljibe If and when the United States sails warships and flies fighter planes in a massive and potentially provocative show of force near China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the Philippines will be there in spirit though not in force. The US Navy’s Pacific Fleet recently drew up a classified proposal to carry out several missions over a week in November as a warning to China and a demonstration of America’s resolve and capacity to counter Beijing’s recent militarization of the contested waterway. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asi

Pakistan’s costly ride on Chinese road initiative

A lesson for all economies which were hoping to gorge on China’s largesse By Mihir Sharma 11:22 October 12, 2018 Pakistan’s government has finally admitted it needs help. Finance Minister Asad Umar said he was meeting officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the sidelines of its annual meeting in Bali. There, he’ll try and work out the terms for a bailout that would cover a $10 billion (Dh37 billion) hole in Pakistan’s financing needs. The decision has to be a little humiliating for new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan — an anti-Western firebrand who’s had to turn to the West for help, just like virtually every other Pakistani leader before him. More importantly, the process is likely to be a window into what’s wrong with China’s globe-spanning Belt and Road infrastructure initiative (BRI). On the one hand, this is a familiar situation: Pakistan has had to seek bailouts 10 times since 1990 and still owes money from the last time it needed a handout. Khan was wis

France Sounds Cautious Note on China's Belt and Road Initiative

By  William Horobin October 11, 2018, 7:21 PM GMT+5:30 Questions over stability, access for EU, Treasury says Italy, France differ on taking part in massive Chinese program China’s Belt and Road initiative raises questions about economic stability for recipient countries and access for European businesses, the French Treasury said Thursday in a report , highlighting diverging European views as Italy  seeks  to participate in the massive spending program. The report  said the sustainability of finances provided by China is “uncertain” and economic benefits for Europe will depend on how open China is. The  infrastructure initiative  aims to boost trade and transportation throughout Eurasia. “The strategy of the Belt and Road Initiative raises several challenges for the countries where it is deployed, but also for the European Union and France,” the Treasury said. France’s caution contrasts with the change in approach of the Italian government, which is drawing up a memorandum o

Separatist BLA Fighters Overrun Pakistan Army Outpost

first published on October 11, 2018 by  Will A video originally uploaded by the BLA documents a successful raid against a Pakistan Army outpost, reportedly taking place on Sept. 18, 2018 near the town of Shahrag, Balochistan. A spokesperson for the Balochistan Liberation Army claimed that  four Pakistani military personnel were killed in the Meshdaari outpost raid and that several other government troops were injured. No report from the Pakistani government could be found regarding the incident. However, on the day of the attack,  Pakistan Today published an article  claiming that 265 Baloch militants of the Baloch Republican Party (BRA) surrendered their arms and swore allegiance to the government, which may have been their response. The following footage was shortened from their original ~16-minute upload, which was heavily edited as well, so keep that in mind while watching. From the footage we can gather that the separatists engaged a hilltop Pakistan Army outpost with small

The Islamization of Balochistan

Qambar Malik Baloch  October 6, 2018 Opinion Bordering Iran to the west, Afghanistan to the north and laying at the Strait of Hormuz to the south, Balochistan is generally known for its strategic importance, prodigious riches, an ongoing nationalist insurgency, and human rights challenges. Underneath this lies a systematic and diabolic subversion triggered by the military establishment of Pakistan which, as a consequence, is eroding the socio-political foundations of a secular and tolerant Baloch society and giving way to the fundamentalist Islam to take roots. Having been eclipsed by the war on terror in neighboring Afghanistan and northern areas of Pakistan for nearly two decades, the situation in Balochistan not only went largely unnoticed by the world but with a sophisticatedly controlled media, it also remains the least comprehended in Pakistan. If remained unchecked, the impact of this shortsighted policy of the ruling establishment of Pakistan would be disastrous not only for

China Economic Review: Daily Update

China Economic Review, Newsletter TRADE WAR  1. Trump and Xi to meet at G20 summit in November Officials in Washington and Beijing have agreed for US President Donald Trump to meet with Xi Jinping at the end of November, the  Wall Street Journal  reports, with hopes that fresh talks will take the heat out of recent trade tensions. The meeting will take place during the G20 leaders’ summit in Buenos Aires next month. The White House had previously cast doubt on whether or not talks would go ahead, calling on Beijing to provide preliminary trade concessions before reaching any agreement. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow are reportedly backing the meeting, whilst the administration’s China hawks Robert Lighthizer and trade adviser Peter Navarro are sceptical that any talks could bring a premature end to the trade war. “The plan is to get Trump in a room with Xi, get a small win and declare an end to the whole thing,” one source told the Jo