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Showing posts from December 14, 2018

Infographic of “China’s economic governance,”

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard has produced a useful new  infographic of “China’s economic governance,” which shows the people and organizations that control the Chinese economy. At the center, of course, is the red sun of General Secretary Xí Jìnpíng 习近平! Here’s a  blog post  exp

Maldivian people will suffer most without Chinese investments: China Daily contributor

A construction worker looks at the China-funded Sinamale bridge, in Male, Maldives, on Sept 18, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS PUBLISHED DEC 14, 2018, 6:36 PM SGT Liang Haiming BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - After newly elected Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih accused China of raising his country's debt by investing in it, some media outlets have been sensationalising the issue of China creating "debt traps" in the countries along the Belt and Road. How much debt does the Maldives have? The data of the CIA and the International Monetary Fund are apt reference sources to get a clearer picture. ADVERTISEMENT The CIA's official website says the Maldives' national debt accounted for 68.1 per cent of its GDP in 2017 - 53rd highest in the world but lower than that of neighbouring India and Sri Lanka, which respectively had national debts of 70.2 per cent and 79.4 per cent. The Maldives' GDP was US$4.505 billion (S$6.20 billion) in 2017, to which t

Balochistan govt cracks down on 'ghost', absentee teachers as education sector flounders

Syed Ali Shah Updated December 14, 2018 Children sit on the floor at an open-air school in Balochistan. — Asmatullah Khan/File The Balochistan government has stepped up action against 'ghost' employees and chronic absentee teachers to improve the woeful state of education in the province, where over a million children remain out of schools. At least 1,800 state-run primary, middle and high schools in the province have been found to be non-functional. Another 2,200 schools are without shelter and 5,000 primary schools across Balochistan are being run by single teachers, according to documents of the education department obtained by  DawnNewsTV . "We have suspended 179 teachers, ordered inquiries against 97 and issued show-cause notices to 82 during the past one month," said Balochistan Education Secretary Tayyab Lehri while talking about the government crackdown on ghost and absentee teachers. See:  Schools without roofs: the state of govt-run schools in Balochi

SC forms commission on water scarcity in Balochistan

APP Fri, Dec, 18 ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday set up a two-member commission on water pollution in Balochistan, which will provide an initial report in 2 weeks. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also directed authorities to install the water purification plant within a month in Bhagnari Bolan . The chief justice remarked that the Balochistan government should saw the video of a runway on which donkeys and people are watering from same place. He said people are drinking poison instead of water, the matter is serious, if I have to call the chief minister Balochistan or whole cabinet then I will, he added. The video of a dirty water pool in Bolan Bhagari was played in Supreme Court's Room Court No. 1. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked the Additional Advocate General Balochistan that the government should see Balochistan that what kind of water available to people, who are your masters? Why did not the Chief Secretary come? Chief Minister Bal

Balochistan is within itself a corridor, says Sana Baloch

QUETTA : Balochistan National Party (BNP) Central Leader and Member Balochistan Assembly, Sanaullah Baloch has has said that Balochistan is within itself a corridor which needs not any interference by other countries. He expressed these views in a seminar on Geographical importance of Balochistan here in Quetta on Thursday .   Students Action Committee had organised the event at Bolan Medical College (BMC) Quetta.  Dr Deen Mohammad Buzdar participated as guests. Most of the academic staff members and a large number of students from BNC participated in the event. Mr. Sana Baloch briefly described the Geography of Balochistan. He said that Baluchistan was homeland of Baloch and Pakhtoon and due to its geographical position it has got great importance. “ Balochistan is within itself a corridor which needs not any interference by other countries. The total area of Balochistan is approximately about 10 lac squares kilo meter (including its sea and land) make it a corridor within itself

‘Gwadar and Chabahar won’t compete, but complement each other’

December 14, 2018 IPIS president says relations between Iran and India were never and will never be a bond against Pakistan ISLAMABAD:  Stressing on fostering and fortifying bilateral relations between the neighboring Iran and Pakistan, Dr Sayed Kazem Sajjadpour, the president of Iranian think-tank Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), identified economy and diplomacy as two key areas to immediately focus upon. Sajjadpour was sharing his views while addressing a session titled ‘Current Geo-Strategic Dynamics: A Perspective from Iran’ which was held at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad on Friday. He was heading a delegation from his institution while visiting IPS as part of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two think tanks in 2016 with a view to carry out joint studies and conferences on regional issues and fostering dialogue among scholars, experts and policy makers of the two countries. Sajjadpour, who termed strong ties between

Mufti says Kashmir’s inclusion in CPEC will be good for the state

EVENT REPORTS Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir and President, J&K People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday claimed that there is total distrust and disconnect between people of Kashmir and Delhi. Delivering a talk on “Kashmir: The Way Forward” at Observer Research Foundation, Mumbai, on 14 December, Ms. Mufti referred to the 2002-05 era of joint diplomacy, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and her father Mufti Muhamed Sayed was the Chief Minister and said it was the “golden period of Kashmir.” Ms. Mufti expressed her displeasure about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inability in restoring peace in the Valley. In the talk, Ms Mufti addressed all dimensions of the Kashmir issue and its impending future. She called her party’s alliance with BJP in 2014 a “suicide”, which was done in the hope that Modi will pick up where Vajpayee left. Mufti expressed uncertainty over the PDP’s role in the proposed grand alliance against the BJP

No progress made on Balochistan component of CPEC’s western route

Rafiullah Kakar Updated December 15, 2018 The Gwadar-Hoshab-Surab road road is neither part of the western route nor is it a CPEC project at all. — File photo The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is once again in the spotlight as one of the founders of the ruling party in Balochistan, Saeed Ahmed Ha­­shmi, has  expressed concerns  regarding the existence of its western route. While there are several dimensions to CPEC that merit debate, the focus in this article is on an evidence-based update on the status of the western route of CPEC. Explore:  CPEC —Hopes and fears as China comes to Gwadar According to the Long-Term Plan of the mega-project, CPEC comprises one corridor and mul­­­tiple passages, including eas­­­t­ern, central and western alignments. These passages are joi­n­­ed together by common ali­gn­ments in the north and south. The southern common alignment starts at Gwadar and terminates at Basima. From Basima onwards, the corridor breaks into eastern, central and w

IMF to check Pakistan's debt sustainability before loan: Official

By PTI | Dec 14, 2018, 01.55 PM IST China is making huge infrastructure investments as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The  IMF  will conduct a proper debt sustainability analysis of  Pakistan  before granting it any loan, a senior official has said, amid concerns that Islamabad is seeking a multibillion-dollar bailout package from the global financial body to pay back Chinese creditors. ADVERTISEMENT Cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country's economy. A recent meeting between the IMF and Pakistan ended in a stalemate. "Clearly debt transparency is essential to conduct a proper analysis of the sustainability of a country's debt. That's what the IMF does when we are going into a programme with our member countries. So that will be the case in Pakistan," IMF Director Communications Gerry Rice told repo

Impact of CPEC on Pakistan

BY  AMNA JAVED  , Moving from geo-politics towards geo-economics There is no repudiating of the fast paced changes which are taking place in the international arena. Without a doubt a multipolar order is on the horizon and has both benefits as well as visible vulnerabilities which must be taken into consideration by each state which could have stakes in it. Pakistan is in the middle of a quagmire concerning its policies regarding powerful states and stabalizing economies. In such a time for Pakistan perhaps CPEC has come as a blessing in disguise. CPEC is perhaps the most awaited spectacle in the international arena at the moment. In this century it has the potential to be a deal breaker for not only international relations but also for regional dynamics. These new realities will then shape and re-shape global scenarios—not only for China or other states which might benefit—but massively for Pakistan. We see that at the same time it provides enough oppurtunities to Pakistan’s othe

‘No urgency’ for Pakistan to enter IMF program: Finance minister

Previous Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar speaks exclusively to Arab News in an interview in Islamabad on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AN photo) Next Reviewing CPEC contracts “not at all” off the table$1 billion received of $6 billion Saudi bailout package Updated 14 December 2018 MEHREEN ZAHRA-MALIK December 14, 2018 16:50 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is in no rush to strike a deal with the International Monetary Fund to deal with its balance-of-payments crisis, Finance Minister Asad Umar has told Arab News. He added that funding from “friendly countries” would help shore up the economy over the remainder of the current financial year. Pakistani officials have been in talks with the IMF since October, and have formally requested Islamabad’s 13th bailout since the late 1980s to help settle the economy while the new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power in July, struggles to implement reforms.  “I have no urgency right now to get into an IMF program,” Umar told

JCC may grant permit other countries in CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have decided to consider establishment of joint working group in upcoming Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) next week at Beijing under CPEC for devising mechanism to grant permission to other countries involvement into different projects. “The upcoming JCC will consider establishment of new working group for seeking international cooperation for CPEC projects on December 20, 2018 in Beijing,” China’s Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing confirmed to The News after addressing PIDE conference here on Friday. To another query about increasing possibility of size of CPEC projects into upcoming JCC meeting, the Ambassador said that different projects would be considered but there was no need to analyse mutual cooperation in the context of figures only. When asked about finalisation of Mainline (ML-1) project to upgrade rail line from Peshawar to Karachi, he said the design and financing modalities would be considered to ascertain that how much financing would be

Joint Working Group of CPEC and Quest for “Shared Destiny”

Majority of Pakistani farmers are engaged in subsistence farming. Therefore, government should not go for fancy plans or plans favorable for big landlords. It must be devised according to the need of small farmers Shakeel Ahmad Ramay DECEMBER 15, 2018 All efforts are now being geared up to make the joint working group meeting a successful event. Government of Pakistan is busy in devising proposals which can ensure sustainable development in the country. The new government is trying to make it more beneficial for Pakistan without compromising on interests of China. JWG meeting is also important in the context of second phase of CPEC in which its scope will be expanded to areas like social development and skill development. China is now focusing to make CPEC a holistic program and include the most pressing areas according to the needs of Pakistan. This is in line with the commitment of China to help Pakistan survive through difficult times and make it a strong ally, a friend and a br

Six FC personnel martyred as convoy attacked in Kech district

Fourteen others wounded; no group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far By  reuters  Dec.14,2018 QUETTA:  Six security officials were killed in an attack in Balochistan’s Kech district on Friday when their convoy came under heavy firing near the border with Iran. The province has been hit by a number of attacks on security personnel but the number of large scale incidents has decreased significantly since 2016. The provincial information minister Zahoor Ahmed Buledi told Reuters that six members of the Frontier Corps paramilitary force in charge of security in the region were martyred in “heavy” firing along a mountainous stretch of road in the district. Fourteen others were wounded. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Militants linked to the Taliban, al Qaeda and Islamic State have been operating in the province, which borders Iran as well as Afghanistan. Last month, three militants from the separatist Baloch Liberation Army stormed the Chinese emba

The new U.S.-China brinkmanship

AXIOS FUTURE Steve Levine Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios   The escalation of the U.S.-China trade war into tit-for-tat arrests suggests a new stage of hostility in their rivalry for economic and technological dominance in the coming decades. Everyone is a potential target  in this brinkmanship as nerves fray, the global order erodes and the old rules of international engagement are thrown out. The big picture:   In recent days, China has detained two Canadian citizens — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — for "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China, a  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said . In interviews with  Axios' Erica Pandey and me , U.S. experts interpreted the detentions as direct retaliation for an arguably provocative new American approach toward China. In October, Belgian police arrested  Yanjun Xu, a Chinese intelligence officer  accused of economic espionage in the U.S. , on the request of American authorities. He h

Balochistan: Six forces personnel died in militant attack BRAS

December 14, 2018 (From news dest of The Balochistan Post) Six Pakistani forces personnel died in an armed attack in Turbat area of Balochistan, officials confirmed According to details received by The Balochistan Post, Pakistani official reports stated that an armed attack on Pakistani forces killed 6 and injured 16 forces personnel in Tigran area of Turbat on Friday. Early morning on Friday unknown armed men ambushed a Pakistani forces convoy in Tigran area of Turbat city, which caused heavy damages to Pakistani forces. As per the local reports, the casualties are higher than official reports say. Responsibility of this attack has been accepted by Baloch Raji Ajoi Sangar *(BRAS)*, an alliance of three Baloch armed groups, *BLA, BLF and BRG* Baloch Khan, spokesperson for BRAS has stated that “ *BRAS* fighters attacked the Pakistani forces convoy in Tigran area, which resulted in killing of 12 forces personnel including two officers and injuring more than a dozen”. Spokespers

Trade war, day 161: Are U.S.-China relations beyond repair? Other than the nasty Canada-China hostage situation, described above, which is officially not related to the trade war (though Trump  couldn’t help himself  but connect the two issues), there is no major news directly about the trade war today. A small thing to note is that no plans for trade delegation visits in either direction have been reported (Liú Hè 刘鹤 was originally supposed to come to Washington this week, but that was, we assume, delayed by the hostage situation), though the Chinese commerce ministry has  publicly invited  the Trump team to visit. Meanwhile, several pieces have been recently published that get at the all-important question of how U.S.-China relations have deteriorated as far as they have, where they might go in the next year, and whether we are headed towards a “cold war” of some type. These are all excellent articles to read for anyone following U.S.-China relations (read the whole articles): From doves to hawks: why the US’ moderate China w

China takes revenge on Canada As Huawei CFO and scion Mèng Wǎnzhōu 孟晚舟 adjusts to a life of limited freedom in Vancouver,  this video  from nationalistic rag Global Times promises that “China will take revenge if Canada does not restore Meng’s freedom.” The revenge has been going on for several days now. Reuters  reports : Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who worked with North Korea, is being investigated on suspicion of harming China's security, China said on Thursday, days after a former Canadian diplomat was detained in an escalating diplomatic row. The state security bureau in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, which borders North Korea, has been investigating Spavor since December 10, an official news site for the Liaoning province government  said  [in Chinese]. There are profiles of Spavor,  who was behind Dennis Rodman’s trips to North Korea, in the  South China Morning Post  and  Macleans . China’s Foreign Ministry  “confirmed Thursday that the two Canadians were detained