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Showing posts from November 21, 2018

In China’s debt, Malaysia and Pakistan pledge to help each other

DIPLOMACY New Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad say they face similar situations of ‘unprecedented debt’ Tashny Sukumaran UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018, 8:27PM  6 In a deal that may raise eyebrows in Beijing, Pakistan and  Malaysia  have pledged to help each other tackle ballooning levels of national debt. The announcement came as Pakistan’s new prime minister, Imran Khan, wrapped up his first visit to Kuala Lumpur since coming to office in August. The move by the two Muslim-majority nations follows concerns over growing levels of Chinese-linked sovereign debt, which became a hot-button issue in elections in both countries earlier this year. On coming to office Malaysian Prime Minister  Mahathir Mohamad  cancelled some US$22 billion worth of Chinese projects, saying they were unnecessary and too expensive, while Khan has asked Beijing for significant shifts in the infrastructure projects agreed to as part of the US$60 billion China-Pakistan

An end to European naivete? Reuters  reports : “The European Union on Tuesday provisionally agreed on rules for a far-reaching system to coordinate scrutiny of foreign investments into Europe, notably from China.” “Under the plan , developed in the wake of a surge in Chinese investments, the European Commission would investigate foreign investments in critical sectors” such as ports and energy networks to stop the security of vital infrastructure being compromised, or “innovations that have had years of expensive research [being] lost to foreign hands.” “Aerospace, health, nanotechnology , the media, electric batteries and the supply of food” are other critical sectors mentioned. “It will mark the end of European naivete.  All the world powers — the United States, Japan, China — have a method of screening. Only Europe does not.” So said Franck Proust, an EU official. Reuters notes that the draft law “does not name China, but its backers’ complaints over investments by state-owned enterprises and fo

Seminar: 'Human Rights In Baluchistan : European Perspective'

You are invited  to the seminar on 'Human Rights In Baluchistan : European Perspective' organised by Asian Eurasian Human Rights Forum (AEHRF) in collaboration with Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) on 24th November at 1100hrs. Chair : Alok Bansal Secy General AEHRF Speaker : Fransesca Marino, Editor in Chief, Stringer Asia At NMML Seminar Room on Saturday, 24 November 1100-1130 Tea 1130-1300 Seminar 1300          Lunch Brief on the Speaker : Ms. Francesca Marino Editor-in-Chief , Stringer Asia , is an Italian journalist who has covered South Asia extensively. She writes regularly for Limes-Italian Review of Geopolitics and some of the most prestigious Italian and Swiss media. She won the Italian journalism prize, Il Luigiano d’oro in 2010. You are requested to join us for lunch after the seminar.Kindly confirm your participation. Regards Ms Shakti Munshi Secretary AEHRF. Mumbai mobile : +91-9867423880 / 9967967555

Picture of the Day: Students taking their final exam in Balochistan

Students taking their final exam in Balochistan

Xi and Duterte sign 29 agreements

TRIVIUM CHINA Xi Jinping arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday for a two-day visit. It was the first visit by a Chinese head of state since 2005. Relations have been on the upswing in recent years  (Time): “Beijing’s relations with Manila stagnated over long-seething territorial rifts in the South China Sea until Duterte won the presidency in mid-2016 and rebuilt ties with China.” “Duterte’s rapprochement has fostered a new era of warming relations with the Asian economic powerhouse, with which he has sought trade and investment, infrastructure financing and weapons to fight insurgents.”  Xi and Duterte got down to business, overseeing the signing of 29 bilateral agreements. This will make Xi happy: The two signed an MOU to cooperate on the Belt and Road. But the most important agreement  was one to jointly explore for oil and gas in disputed areas of the South China Sea. Why it matters:  It could potentially serve as a template for cooperation with other countries with which Chi

CHINA: Daigou clampdown

TRIVIUM CHINA Authorities are clamping down on the  daigou  trade. Some context:  Daigou  is the practice of hiring someone to buy goods overseas on behalf of a Mainland resident and then ship them back through the mail. The advantage of  daigou :  It avoids import tariffs, sales tax, and other restrictions on imported products. But new regulations seek to regulate  daigou  more stringently  (FT): "A new law…requires all daigou who advertise online to register with the government and pay full import taxes." Authorities are already being more stringent: “In recent months, customs have stepped up airport checks, while Chinese courts have jailed several merchants for up to 10 years for tax evasion.” The big winners are the e-commerce platforms: “The clampdown is deterring daigou traders and channelling customers towards cross-border ecommerce sites, which allow sales of imported goods at lower tax rates.” International e-commerce is set to enjoy at least another year of pre

China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavio

China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident. The capital city will pool data from several departments to reward and punish some 22 million citizens based on their actions and reputations by the end of 2020, according to a plan posted on the Beijing municipal government’s website on Monday. Those with better so-called social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will find life more difficult. The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be “unable to move even a single step,” according to the government’s plan. Xinhua reported on the proposal Tuesday, while the report posted on the municipal government’s website is dated July 18. China has long experimented with systems that grade its citizens, rewarding good behavior wi

CHINA: Business , Tech, Political development

Source: BUSINESS AND TECH: 1.3 billion mobile internet users China has more than one billion 4G subscriptions: MIIT  / TechNode “The MIIT also noted that mobile internet users — which include users of both 3G and 4G — reached 1.3 billion at the end of October.” Toy retail Toys ‘R’ Us Asia aims to expand in the region after divorce from American parent  / SCMP “Proposed expansion could see two new stores in Hong Kong and more than 60 more across Asia.” Overseas personal shoppers to pay tax China crackdown on overseas shoppers boosts ecommerce  / FT (paywall) An ecommerce law due to take effect in January requires all agents who buy goods overseas for other people — dàigòu 代购 — and “who advertise online to register with the government and pay full import taxes. In recent months, customs have stepped up airport checks, while Chinese courts have jailed several merchants for up to 10 years for tax evasion.” See also  New law brings structure, discipline to the willful

Xinjiang and talk of ‘concentration camps’ ngton University is organizing an event called  Symposium on China’s Mass Incarceration of Uyghurs  on November 27. Speakers include leading scholars of Xinjiang and Uyghur culture. Since we published our  compendium of information on the internment camps for Uyghurs and Kazakhs , awareness of the issue has grown way beyond the China-watching world. Megha Rajagopalan, the BuzzFeed journalist who was among the earliest to write about the camps,  tweeted a thread , from which this is an excerpt: This Saturday I was fortunate to attend the Stockholm China Forum, a gathering of American, European and Chinese foreign policy professionals from government, think tanks, universities & the private sector. Going to tweet a few takeaways on the Xinjiang issue in particular. As context — this event touched on a broad range of issues ranging from trade to diplomacy to national security. But the Xinjiang issue came up in different contexts in discussions about China's role i

Trade war, day 138: Fast track for new tech exports restrictions The Trump administration has stepped up the high-tech side of its trade fight with China with the publication of a  request for public comment on tightening export controls  by the Commerce Department. The request  seeks input on identifying “emerging technologies that are essential to the national security of the United States.” The current list covers 14 broad categories of technology that have dual civilian and military applications, including artificial intelligence, biotech, microprocessors, advanced computing, and robotics. Political risk consultancy  Eurasia Group’s Paul Triolo  commented on Twitter : “Huge…while this is only call for comments on reference list of technologies, the vast majority are likely to stay on the list…clearly directed primarily at China.” Deutsche Bank  predicts a “profound and long lasting adverse impact” on U.S.-China relations if the measure goes forward,  according to Bloomberg (porous paywall). U.S. Commerce Department  officials call

Washington’s Isolationism vs Beijing’s Expansionism

Publications Study Papers Introduction The People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the twentieth century endured political upheaval and unrest, famine, a crippled economy, stagnation, and bloodshed. The imperialist empire, which prior to the twentieth century had always been known as a rich and prosperous civilization witnessed its end. In the twentieth century, as China’s population suffered large numbers of death and oppression, China faded into the background of world dominance and faced isolationism. The West, in the late twentieth century and early years of the twenty-first century, led by the United States (US), embarked on what it saw as a mission to revive the PRC, otherwise known as the  “China Fantasy” . This  China Fantasy  was in hopes that if the economy of the Asian nation was to grow, exposed to capitalization and the free market, political liberalization and democracy would only naturally ensue.  “Trade freely with China, and time is on our side” , said President George