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Showing posts from November 6, 2018

Belt and Road and the World Bank

By  Michael Igoe   //  02 November 2018 World Bank Group President Jim Kim. Photo by:  Wu Zhiyi / World Bank  /  CC BY-NC-ND WASHINGTON — In the 18 months since the  World Bank  signed on as a partner to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the risks associated with the massive infrastructure investment effort have begun to crystalize, prompting some observers to ask just what kind of a partner the World Bank plans to be. In a handful of countries — including Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and others — concerns about debt sustainability in the face of massive Chinese lending are on the rise. Officials from United States President Trump’s administration have  flatly stated  they will advise U.S. development partner countries against accepting Chinese financing, while other  experts  continue to point to  the potential environmental and social harms this infrastructure-heavy campaign could bring about. More reading: ►  China's new aid agency: What we know ►  USAID adopts a hard line

Belt and Road Initiative puts Islamic economy at the forefront

| 06 November, 2018 | General    White Paper Media Photo for illustrative purposes only. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) president Jin Liqun speaks at an international forum on the "Belt and Road" Legal Cooperation in Beijing, China July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee China’s infrastructure and trade initiative holds massive potential for Islamic finance and multiple other sectors in the Muslim countries along its route The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) announced by China in 2013 will usher in a windfall of opportunities across Islamic economy sectors, as around 27 of the 65 countries that have signed up for the transcontinental economic development scheme are Muslim-majority, said industry experts and academics. “The strategy spans the Chinese mainland region towards the Middle East and beyond to Africa. So, there is no doubt that the opportunity this region unfolds and presents is quite tremendous,” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai

Australia: Scott Morrison slams Victorian Premier over secret deal with China

NOVEMBER 7, 201812:36pm Victoria Govt criticised for 'One Belt, One Road' pledge DANIEL Andrews is copping flack from the Prime Minister and his own party over a secret deal he forged with China — but not everyone is against it. Victoria is now the first and only state to get on board with President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), after the Premier finalised a deal with the Chinese ambassador to Australia on October 25. The Prime Minister lashed out at the Premier, saying foreign policy is the Commonwealth’s domain and that Mr Andrews should have checked with him first. “I mean, I’d like to give him a few tips on how he should be running his police force down there, because if you’re living in Victoria, he hasn’t been doing a pretty crash hot job on that,” Mr Morrison told Sydney radio station 2GB. “If he wants to start going over each other’s lines and giving advice about how we should run each other’s shows, how about having a police force in

Malta: Memorandum of Understanding signed with China on ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’

Tuesday, 6 November 2018, 11:02Last update: about 16 hours ago Malta has signed a memorandum of understanding with China on the One Belt One Road Initiative. The agreement was signed in Shanghai by Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela in the presence of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The agreement provides for further cooperation with China in commerce, financial services and tourism.

Australia: Morrison lashes Victoria over China deal

PM Scott Morrison has criticised Victoria for signing a memorandum of understanding with China. (AAP) Prime Minister Scott Morrison has torn into the Victoria for signing a secret infrastructure deal with China without consulting the commonwealth. UpdatedUpdated 21 hours ago Share Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter Victoria's secret decision to sign up to China's controversial Belt and Road Initiative was made without checking with the federal government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attacked the state for signing a memorandum of understanding with China without checking with Canberra. "I was surprised that the Victorian government went into that arrangement without any discussions with the Commonwealth government at all," Mr Morrison told reporters in Queensland on Tuesday. "Or taking what would seem any advice from the Commonwealth government on what is a matter of international relations. "They're the responsibilities of the Commonwe

Victoria signs up to the BRI: what didn’t they know and when didn’t they know it?

6 Nov 2018| Michael Shoebridge I admire the sophistication and drive of the Chinese state in manoeuvring within Australia’s federal system of government to secure official sign-up to President Xi Jinping’s signature geostrategic and economic initiative—the Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese officials have understood the different dynamics, perspectives, knowledge and motivation at state-level administration in Australia well, and perhaps even exploited the particularly vibrant election period in Victoria. I am stunned that this sophistication and drive haven’t been understood—or, better yet, matched—by Australian statecraft and federal–state government cooperation. We have been outmanoeuvred, outplayed and made to look at least partly naive and perhaps partly just plain greedy. The Australian government has been wary of signing up to the BRI without clarity from Beijing about two big things: what the Chinese state’s motives are in advancing the BRI, and how the multitude of indivi

KSA soon to sign MoU for oil refinery in Gwadar

By Staff Report November 6, 2018 ISLAMABAD:  The Saudi energy minister will soon visit Pakistan to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish an oil refinery in Pakistan, apart from finalizing other major projects in which Saudi Arabia has shown interest. This was said by Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Said Al-Malkiy, who paid a courtesy call on President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday. The MoU is set to be signed between Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Riyadh’s state oil giant Saudi Aramco. Gwadar port is being developed as part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambitious plan to build energy and transport links connecting the western Chinese region of Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea via Pakistan, as part of Beijing’s broader Belt and Road initiative. Welcoming the ambassador, the president underlined the close, cordial and brotherly relations that exist between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and highlighted different areas of the economy where S

Balochistan PA asks centre to declare drought-hit areas as calamity affected

from  DAWN Group of Newspapers Published on 06 Nov 2018 — View Original By Saleem Shahid QUETTA: The Baloch­istan Assembly through a unanimously adopted resolution on Monday demanded of the federal government to declare all drought-stricken areas in the province as calamity affected. It also urged the central government to immediately announce a relief package for farmers in the province who were badly affected by the worsening situation. The resolution was moved by Sanaullah Baloch of Balochistan National Party-Mengal soon after the provincial assembly’s session, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhel, began. Speaking on the resolution, Mr Baloch said that according to international institutions Balochis­tan had been facing drought-like situation for long. In view of the worsening situation the province should be declare calamity affected and the federal government should announce a relief package for farmers of the province. Urges federal governme

Pakistan: Festering Wound In Balochistan – Analysis

Balochistan, Pakistan. November 6, 2018   SATP   By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty* Five construction workers of non-Baloch ethnicity were shot dead while another three suffered injuries in an attack near Ganz, some 15 kilometers west of Jiwani town in the Gwadar District of Balochistan on October 31, 2018. According to official sources, the labourers were working at a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)-related private housing scheme on Peshkan-Ganz road, which links Gwadar with Jewani, when a group of unidentified assailants riding motorcycles appeared on the scene and opened fire. Security officials identified four of the deceased as Naeem Ahmed and Hunzullah, residents of Karachi (Sindh); Irshad Ali of Sukkur (Sindh); and Muhammad Shakir of Multan (Punjab). The identity of the fifth deceased is yet to be ascertained. Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) ‘spokesperson’ Azad Baloch, claiming responsibility for the attack, stated, The site attacked today was part of CPEC project… Today’s atta

‘CPEC, climate change threaten GB’s natural resources’

The Newspaper's Correspondent Updated November 06, 2018 — Photo/File GILGIT: Speakers at a consultative workshop here on Monday cautioned that owing to climate change and mega projects being launched under the CPEC the natural resources of Gilgit-Baltistan were under threat. They urged the local community to support the institutions for better management of natural resources. The event titled ‘customary laws and right use of natural resources in GB’ was organised by World Wide Fund for Natural Pakistan (WWF) in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), a German entity working on managing natural resources. GB forest conservator Khadim Abbas, wildlife and parks conservator Yaqub Ali Khan, a representative of GB Environmental Protection Agency, experts and conservation community members were in attendance. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD The speakers said customary laws and signatory rules needed to incorporate conservation of endangered species and forests in the area. T

First CPEC passenger bus leaves for Kashgar from Lahore

Web Desk  On  Nov 6, 2018 LAHORE: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passenger bus service on the route between Lahore and Kashgar, was launched late Monday. “The initiative to connect Pakistan and China via road under CPEC, passengers will require a valid visa and identity card to travel,” said officials concerned. Press Information Department in its tweet said, that the Kashgar-bound bus had left for its maiden journey from Lahore, which will take 36 hours to reach Chinese province of Xinjiang. View image on Twitter Govt of Pakistan ✔ @pid_gov Kashgar bound bus has left on its maiden journey from the Lahore and will take 36 hours to reach Chinese province Xinjiang. The bus service is part of the initiative to connect Pakistan and China via road under #CPEC and will be a boon for the business community. 11:21 AM - Nov 6, 2018 1,264 282 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy Inaugural ceremony of the CPEC passenger bus service was postponed


Lawrence Sellin | Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve    11:30 AM 11/06/2018   I am not talking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a program of infrastructure and resource exploitation projects linked to a transportation network that connects China to the Pakistani ports of Gwadar and Karachi on the Arabian Sea, the flagship of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Beijing’s blueprint for global domination. I am talking about CPEC’s hard power component, the enormous expansion of dual-use military facilities being established all along Pakistan’s southern Balochistan coast. The purchase of land in Balochistan by the Pakistani Navy and the expansion of naval facilities in the province have occurred in parallel with the onset of Chinese investment in the deep-water port of Gwadar after an  agreement was signed  during the state visit of Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji in 2001. Construction began in 2002 and  subsequent to completion  of Phase 1 in 2007, the first com

Was Imran’s visit to China a failure? Yes. Here’s why

Adnan Rasool Updated November 06, 2018 Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping. — Photo/File As Prime Minister Imran Khan returns from his trip to China, one thing is becoming glaringly clear: the Pakistani state is completely clueless regarding the larger objectives of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). To say that the prime minister’s trip was successful would be a flat out lie at this stage. What happened on this trip is a learning moment for the government of Pakistan that I fear will be forgotten. The purpose of this article is not to simply point out the ineptness of our government but to analyse exactly what happened, what the problems are, the harsh realities and then detailing what needs to be done to address them. In that spirit, we need to understand exactly happened in China on this visit vis-à-vis what the prime minister had claimed before leaving. Editorial :  PM’s China visit Since it took office, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has falsel

Strapped for cash, Pakistan looks to China and the Middle East for help

✔Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan recently traveled to China in hopes of securing funds for his troubled country — but he left without any tangible guarantees. ✔The South Asian state, which recently received a $6 billion aid package from Saudi Arabia, is hunting for more external financing to avert a balance of payments crisis before approaching the International Monetary Fund. ✔"The way Islamabad sees it, the less it needs to ask from the IMF, the more leverage it may have at the negotiating table with the Fund," said Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center. Nyshka Chandran |  @nyshkac Published 12 Hours Ago Updated 11 Hours Jason Lee-Pool/Getty Images Beijing, November 3, 2018: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.  Pakistan's  Prime Minister Imran Khan wrapped up a four-day visit to  China  on Monday without achieving his primary goal of securing Chinese financing. As the South Asian nation scrambles for externa

Coming to grips with CPEC

BY  EDITORIAL  , (LAST UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO) Imran Khan returns as a champion of the Corridor and BRI Imran Khan’s talks during his five day tour of China have led to both sides having a better appreciation of each other’s  concerns. While expectations regarding a hefty financial  assistance were not fulfilled, agreements were reached on vital social and economic issues. There was talk about reviewing  the entire CPEC plan in PTI circles soon after Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister. Khan is returning from China as a fervent  advocate of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its showpiece project, the CPEC. As the joint statement put it “both sides dismissed the growing negative propaganda against CPEC and expressed determination to safeguard the CPEC projects from all threats.” Pakistan and China also  concurred about its being  a win-win enterprise for the entire region and beyond and would bring  prosperity and development through enhanced connectivity The Chinese side  

Bowing to Beijing

China makes it clear to Pakistan that it sets the terms of their ‘all-weather’ partnership. By:  Editorial  |Updated: November 6, 2018 12:46:14 am It is reflected in how China deals with India and Pakistan. India has struggled to come to terms with this growing imbalance in recent years. Pakistan’s problems with China are bigger, given its economic weakness, and could not be masked during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China over the weekend. The dramatic expansion of Beijing’s power — including economic, military and political — over the last few decades has significantly altered equations between China and other major powers including the US. The power imbalance is even more pronounced between China and its neighbours. It is reflected in how China deals with India and Pakistan. India has struggled to come to terms with this growing imbalance in recent years. Pakistan’s problems with China are bigger, given its economic weakness, and could not be masked during Prime Ministe