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Showing posts from December 31, 2018

A ‘European Silk Road’

publication_icon Philipp Heimberger ,  Mario Holzner and Artem Kochnev wiiw Research Report No. 430, August 2018  43 pages including 10 Tables and 17 Figures FREE DOWNLOAD The German version can be found  here . In this study we argue for a ‘Big Push’ in infrastructure investments in greater Europe. We propose the building of a European Silk Road, which connects the industrial centres in the west with the populous, but less developed regions in the east of the continent and thereby is meant to generate more growth and employment in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. After its completion, the European Silk Road would extend overland around 11,000 kilometres on a northern route from Lisbon to Uralsk on the Russian-Kazakh border and on a southern route from Milan to Volgograd and Baku. Central parts are the route from Lyon to Moscow in the north and from Milan to Constanţa in the south. The southern route would link Central Europe with the Black Sea area and

Expansion has its challenges: Realizing the risks of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

by  Willis Towers Watson ,  December 3, 2018 The cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy provides domestic businesses with an opportunity to expand into new territories and develop new products and services. But there are dangers lurking within the possibilities. It’s a maxim in the insurance industry that with opportunity comes risk. And that certainly holds true for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” or BRI. The cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy, the BRI calls for a new phase of globalization emanating from China, where the countries to the west are bound together by ties of trade. Its mainspring will be huge infrastructure investment in roads, bridges, railways and ports that will create a “belt” of overland corridors from China, through Turkey and into Europe, and a maritime “road” of shipping lanes that will run through southeast Asia, past India to the east coast of Africa and up into the Mediterranean through the Red Sea. Current estimates for turning this project into

Are the wheels coming off China's Belt and Road megaproject?

Analysis by  James Griffiths , CNN Updated at 1827 GMT (0227 HKT) December 31, 2018 Hong Kong (CNN) —  Kenya is the latest country where China is frantically defusing a public relations storm over President  Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road megaproject . In a statement Friday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs  dismissed  as "not true" numerous reports that a key port in Mombasa was at risk of being  seized by Beijing  over unpaid debts. Speaking to journalists  last week, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also pushed back, dismissing as "pure propaganda" reports based on a  leaked letter  from the country's Auditor General warning that assets belonging to the Kenya Port Authority -- including Mombasa's massive Kilindini Harbor, the largest port in East Africa -- were listed as collateral for a  multi-billion-dollar loan  to fund a railway project. "The Chinese government themselves say this (it) is nonsense," Kenyatta said, while

China will resolutely defend sovereignty, push ahead with Belt and Road initiative in 2019: Xi Jinping

Updated Dec 31, 2018 | 21:41 IST | PTI President Xi Jinping is regarded as the most powerful leader of China after Mao Zedong as he was declared a core leader by the ruling Communist Party. He heads the party, the presidency and the military. Photo Credit: AP, File Image Chinese President Xi Jinping Beijing:  Presenting an upbeat picture of China's achievements in 2018 amid the ongoing trade war with the US, President Xi Jinping on Monday said China will remain resolute in defending its sovereignty and push ahead with his pet project the Belt and Road initiative (BRI). In his annual New Year eve address to the nation telecast live all over the country, Xi played down concerns about the slowing down of Chinese economy, saying China's economy stayed within a "reasonable" range in 2018. China's economy grew at 6.5 per cent in the third quarter posting slowest growth since 2009 as it grappled with the intensifying trade war with the US and the mounting local go

Rural Pakistan voices dissatisfaction over Belt & Road

Province home to Gwadar Port says $62bn project not evenly distributed ADNAN AAMIR, Contributing writerDECEMBER 31, 2018 17:19 JST Pakistani soldiers stop traffic outside the heavily protected port town of Gwadar in southern Pakistan.   © AP QUETTA, Pakistan -- Dissatisfaction is growing in rural Pakistan regarding $62 billion-worth of China-led infrastructure projects, as the plans are not generating equal opportunities for growth in relatively poor parts of the South Asian country. The southern province of Balochistan has become increasingly critical of the Beijing-led projects, with the region's assembly recently adopting a resolution demanding the formation of a national commission to show that there has been an "injudicious distribution of projects and funds under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor" -- a signature project of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative. The Balochistan assembly demanded the disclosure of agreements signed betw

CPEC: Not burden but an opportunity

Editorial January 1, 2019 AS voices are raised against the CPEC with some describing it as a burden on Pakistan while others associating it as the one having military dimensions, there is a need to undertake an in-depth review and realistic analysis as to what Pakistan has gained in economic terms by addressing its power crisis and developing modern road infrastructure ever since the launch of this mega project.  If we go back five years ago, the country was faced with serious energy crisis and nobody was ready to invest in Pakistan due to poor security situation. It was China which while reposing confidence on the potential of the country came forward to help the country wriggle out of the energy crisis and develop state of the art infrastructure in order to bolster trade within the region. Since then, 11 projects have been completed while another 11 projects are under construction. The total investment of these 22 projects is around 18.9 billion dollars. There are 20 more project

CPEC liabilities and repayments

By  Hasaan Khawar Published: January 1, 2019 The writer is a public policy expert and an honorary Fellow of Consortium for Development Policy Research. He tweets @hasaankhawar Recently, a news item appearing in The Express Tribune highlighted that the CPEC investments of $26.5 billion would eventually lead to $40 billion of outflows over 20 years. The government was quick to issue a rebuttal and claimed that government liabilities related to CPEC are only limited to $6 billion. This is not the first time this controversy has been raised and there have been various conflicting reports on CPEC-related liabilities. It is, therefore, important to objectively look at this issue and unpack this discussion. There are three intertwined issues that must be looked at separately. Firstly, the CPEC investments include both government-to-government borrowing and commercial loans and investments. The government’s direct liability of $6 billion may be a small part of the overall CPEC portfolio

CPEC moves on despite criticisms, doubts and protests

By  MANOJ KUMAR MISHRA DECEMBER 31, 2018 The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was the flagship project proposed within the larger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2015 involving capital investment of US$46 billion in the beginning and later enhanced to $62 billion toward constructing roads, ports, electricity production and industrial zones and other connectivity and infrastructural development work in Pakistan. The project was intended to establish connectivity between China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox The CPEC mega-project has received intensive scrutiny from Western and Indian observers because of its alleged strategic dimensions. However, both Pakistan and China, despite occasional hiccups over issues such as debt burdens and corruption, arguably have a common stake in defending the project. First, Islamabad’s ability to

Resistance Pictures of 2018: Father and Son

The Chosen Arrows

Written by: Zamur T Baloch From news desk of *(The Balochistan Post)* For the last many decades, Balochistan has been under the shadows of war, poverty, misery, and genocide. Today, hardly a place exists in Balochistan that the wars have spared, in other words, for years Balochistan has been standing on the verge of chaos. In these years thousands of Balochs have been lost, thousands of voices prisoned and thousands of dreams burnt. Disappointingly, the world did not even shed a single tear, not even in the name of sympathy. In these dark days, far in the hot and sweltering mountains, there is a glowing galaxy of brave and courageous guerilla fighters. General Aslam Baloch and his companions; Commander Kareem Marri, Comrade Akhtar Baloch, Comrade Fareed Baloch, Comrade Sadiq Baloch, and Sardarho were one of the most daring and heroic guerilla fighters of this glowing galaxy. General Aslam Baloch has been affiliated with the Baloch freedom movement for last twenty-five years. As a y

Taliban crossing points in Balochistan

Taliban crossing points in Balochistan. 1. Bahram Chah 2. Nushki 3. Shorawak 4. Badini. Pakistan permits Taliban bases with recruitment, training, logistics, R&R and medical treatment in Pakistani clinics. Pakistan’s military allows the Taliban free movement across the border. By Lawrence Sellin

This week’s top BRI news

Belt and Road Advisory   AIIB approves 6 new members; total now 93:  The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced that its Board of Governors has approved the membership applications of six more countries, bringing AIIB's total approved members to 93.   China to further reduce tariffs from 2019:  Starting on January 1 2019, China plans to  remove  import and export duties on a range of goods, including zero tariffs on ingredients for livestock feeds and certain medicines, according to the finance ministry.   China releases negative list for investment:  China has released its first nationwide “negative list” for investment applying to both domestic and foreign investors.  NDRC and the MofCOM specified 151 areas that are either banned to non-state businesses or require government approval for entry.   Silk Road visa to launch in early 2019:  As part of ongoing efforts to introduce a single visa for all Central Asia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan agreed to launch a

Belt and Road Top 10 of 2018

 Belt & Road  Advisory  and Road Top 10 of 2018