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Showing posts from 2019

Kazakhstan on China’s Diplomatic Silk Road

The Diplomat A new report highlights Kazakhstan as receiving the greatest volume and diversity of Beijing’s public diplomacy activities in South and Central Asia. By  Catherine Putz December 12, 2019 Nazarbayev attending the 2019 Belt and Road Forum in Beijing a month after resigning from the Kazakh presidency. Credit: Jason Lee/Pool Photo via AP ADVERTISEMENT Since its 2013 launch, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has become Beijing’s flagship foreign policy initiative. Sometimes it seems that all things are BRI and BRI is all things.  As the authors of a new report on Chinese public diplomacy writ large note, “Beijing’s diplomacy… dwarfs its other public diplomacy tools in terms of sheer scale and visibility.”  The BRI instigated a growth in the volume of financial diplomacy — encompassing infrastructure projects, budget support, debt relief and humanitarian assistance — particularly in South and Central Asia. Chinese funding of development projects pre-dates the initiative, of cours

A Bump in the Belt and Road: Tanzania Pushes Back against China Posted by  Guest Author By John Hursh China’s Maritime Silk Road ambitions suffered a setback after Tanzanian officials refused to budge over stalled negotiations to build what would be the largest deep-water port in Africa. Initially agreed to in 2013, the terms of the agreement remain a point of contention between Tanzanian President John Magufuli and China Merchants Holdings, the Chinese firm slated to construct the port and adjoining infrastructure. Tanzania  suspended the project indefinitely  in June, and it showed no signs of backing off in follow-up negotiations held in October. Instead, Tanzanian officials offered the Chinese firm a blunt ultimatum: accept our conditions or leave. Although China and Chinese firms remain the  dominant investors in African infrastructure , and especially in ports, the Bagamoyo port dispute demonstrates that African leaders are becoming more demanding that Chinese-funded projects align with African development needs, or at least Afric

Pakistan’s High-Stakes CPEC Reboot Pakistani officials struggle to balance a difficult program against a vital alliance. BY   MICHAEL KUGELMAN   |   DECEMBER 19, 2019, 2:10 PM Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (second from left) attends a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (third from right) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Oct. 8, 2019.  YUKIE NISHIZAWA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES On Nov. 20, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boldly  declared  that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the Pakistani component of China’s broader Belt and Road Initiative—was the country’s “top priority.” Qureshi’s proclamation came just weeks after Yao Jing, China’s ambassador to Pakistan,  announced  that the first phase of CPEC—an infrastructure and connectivity project valued at $62 billion—was coming to a close, and that a second phase would soon begin. Over the last month, Chinese and Pakistani officials have been  strikingly specific  about what this second phase will entail fo

VeChain is Co-Founder of The Belt and Road Initiative Blockchain Alliance (BRIBA)

December 30, 2019, 3:00 PM UTC SHANGHAI ,  Dec. 30, 2019  /PRNewswire/ --  The 3 rd  Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum of Tsinghua University , guided by the People's Government of  Shanghai , Tsinghua University and the China Association for Social Workers, has been successfully held in  Shanghai  from  December 19 to December 20 . At the Forum, VeChain, together with DNV GL,  The Belt and Road Initiative Research Institute of Tsinghua University , Industry Internet Research Institute (under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of  the People's Republic of China ), Tus Data Asset, and China Silk Road Group Limited, established the  The Belt and Road Initiative Blockchain Alliance (hereinafter referred to as "BRIBA") , to spur the development of the BRI by leveraging the blockchain technology. (News source from , a Chinese state owned media) The BRI is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government, involving 136 countrie

Near Disaster: Gwadar’s Little Village Faces a Crumbling Coastline As the climate emergency brings rising seas, Gwadar’s Ganz village is losing the battle after centuries of existence. By  Mariyam Suleman December 27, 2019 Rising sea levels have eroded away the coastline near Ganz village, eating away at this seaside home. Credit: Mariyam Suleman ADVERTISEMENT Abdul Jabbar sits under the porch of his only remaining room. He raises his finger in the air, pointing toward the sea and its waves breaking two to three meters away. “This had fed us for centuries but now we fear for our lives and our homes,” Jabbar says. The boundary wall of his home had already fallen off by the end of October, after  Cyclone Kyarr  hit Ganz village. “If we get a meter or two more – nothing will remain. Not a block of our only room!” says the 60-year-old, before he walks a few steps closer to the waves. As a fisherman, Abdul Jabbar has seen the frequency with which the sea water spills over large boats and hits the village. He has seen the village flood throu

Pakistan’s Gwadar Seaport: An Economic Boom Or A Debt Trap Orchestrated By China? By  Palash Ghosh   @Gooch700 12/27/19 AT 2:47 PM  POINTS CPEC is a $60 billion project designed to link Pakistani seaports and Xinjiang province in western China India claims CPEC is a threat to its sovereignty China has been accused of funding infrastructure deals in foreign countries only to benefit itself Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning and Development has projected that Gwadar, the deep-sea port being built by the Chinese, will contribute $6 billion to Pakistan’s annual gross domestic product by 2025, $24 billion in 2035,and as much as $300 billion by 2050. However, critics charge that by financing huge infrastructure projects, China is actually placing financially vulnerable countries like Pakistan in a hopeless debt trap to increase Beijing’s political influence in South Asia and the Middle East. Gwadar, which is on the coast of the Arabian Sea in the southwestern province of Balochistan, is the crown jewel of the  $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor , also k

GB students protest scholarship cancellation, block CPEC route

Geo News Pakistan Web Desk December 30, 2019 Students protested at Karakorum Highway in Gilgit after they were prevented from sitting for their exams Karakorum International University students protest at the Karakorum Highway. Twitter/Ammar Rashid AmmarRashidT/Screenshot via Hundreds of student from theKarakorum International University (KIU) took to the streets on Monday, boycotting classes and blocking the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route on the Karakorum Highway to protest the government's move to cancel their scholarships. Students from the PhD, MPhil, and the Masters programs blocked the Karakorum Highway's Gilgit-Rawalpindi section and rallied near the Mehsul Chungi at Grand Trunk (GT) Road after some of them were not allowed to appear for exams following an arbitrary cancellation of scholarships. They chanted slogans against the government, saying " Zulm ke yeh zabte, ham nahi maante  [We do not accept these oppressive laws]." In a videoof