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Showing posts from May, 2019

Opinion: Belt and Road May Be a Trap, But for China Itself

By  Yasheng Huang Workers build the China-Russia Trans-River Railway Bridge in Tongjiang, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, in June 2017. Photo: IC Photo Critics often claim that China is using its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a form of coercive “debt-trap diplomacy” to exert control over the countries that join its transnational infrastructure investment scheme. This risk, as Deborah Brautigam of John Hopkins University recently noted, is often exaggerated by the media. In fact, the BRI may hold a different kind of risk — for China itself. At the  recent BRI summit  in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping seemed to acknowledge the “debt-trap” criticism. In his address, Xi said that “building high-quality, sustainable, risk-resistant, reasonably priced, and inclusive infrastructure will help countries to utilize fully their resource endowments.” This is an encouraging signal, as it shows that China has become more aware of the debt implications of BRI. A stu

Five myths about China’s Belt and Road Initiative

No, it’s not driven by military motives. And it’s not the second coming of the Silk Road. Vehicles stand in a parking lot as a large screen shows an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kashgar, Xinjiang autonomous region, China, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Although it represents just 1.5 percent of China's population and 1.3 percent of its economy, Xinjiang sits at the geographic heart of Xi's signature Belt and Road Initiative. (Bloomberg/Bloomberg) By Jonathan Hillman Jonathan Hillman is the director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. May 31 at 6:00 AM Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision for putting Beijing at the center of global economic affairs is about forging new connections of all kinds, from building infrastructure to strengthening cultural ties. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers lofty promises of “win-win” investments that have persuaded some  126 countries  to sign on. But critics caution that

Pakistan envoy urges African countries to apply CPEC to access wider Asian markets

Source: Xinhua 2019-05-31 20:30:43 Photo taken on May 16, 2018 shows the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) during a test run in eastern Pakistan's Lahore. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring a host of economic opportunities for the country's southwest Balochistan province, local reports said. (Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed) ADDIS ABABA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can help African countries to access wider Asian markets with much-reduced time and economic cost, Pakistan's envoy to the African Union (AU) said Thursday. Asghar Ali Golo, Pakistan's Ambassador to the AU, made the remarks during the Belt and Road Dialogue for China-Africa Cooperation, which was jointly organized by the AU and the Chinese Mission to the AU in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Thursday. Golo said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will offer the shortest route to China and beyo

Will Balochistan Blow Up China’s Belt and Road?

Violence in the Pakistani province is on the rise—and now Chinese nationals are the target. BY  MUHAMMAD AKBAR NOTEZAI  | MAY 30, 2019, 4:10 PM Pakistani naval personnel stand guard near a ship at the Gwadar port on Nov. 13, 2016. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES In 2015, when Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plane entered Pakistani airspace, eight Pakistan Air Force jets scrambled to escort it. The country’s leadership warmly welcomed the Chinese leader—and his money. On his two-day state visit, he announced a multibillion-dollar project called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would form part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and would revolve around the development of a huge port in the city of Gwadar. Gwadar, a formerly isolated city in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, boomed. As soon as the CPEC was announced, tourists, including journalists, started visiting Gwadar. The Pearl Continental, the only five-star hotel in the area, had been on the brin

Decolonise now

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar Updated May 31, 2019 The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. MOST Pakistanis, at least of the formally educated variety, have a limited understanding of colonial rule in the subcontinent and how significant a legacy it left behind. Perhaps it is because we are taught virtually nothing about the British Raj in school, and believe that we were subject to Hindu Raj before 1947 rather than the wide-ranging coercive and consent-generation mechanisms of British rule. That so many of us are wilfully ignorant is the most disturbing aspect of our colonial inheritance. The British ruled the subcontinent for almost 200 years, and in that time established formal legal, administrative and coercive apparatuses that we inherited in 1947. They enumerated populations, mapped and codified land, and integrated what we now know as Pakistan into an imperial economy that spanned the globe. It is impossible to understand where we are today, and particularly the cris

The Great Power Competition And Balochistan – Zeno Baloch

May 30, 2019 The Great Power Competition And Balochistan Zeno Baloch The Balochistan Post History of the world is but the history of continuous chaos and competition. Karl Marx interpreted it as a class competition between bourgeois and the proletariat, which is more likely a universal interpretation of history, while Hegelian philosophy maintains the ideological paradigm. However, both affirm the idea of dominance and submission in history. The precision of the argument lies clash between Assyrian of Mesopotamia and the Babylonians. The power competition between Romans of Byzantine and the Persian of the Sassanid Empire was the consecution of the series. The mode of war changed in accordance with the requirements of the era, however, the primary cause was almost the same. The ancient wars were material wars; a race between ethnic groups and tribes to occupy more resources. Then it turned to be more systematic, a war of crown ship. It was then, the larger scale wars took place

Quote of the day: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

“ Nations are defined by the cultures and all have their own qualities. Culture is what we are; it is a reflection of our actions because culture isn’t something external; it doesn’t exist independently of us. What we stand for, what we oppose and resist, what we believe in and how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives represent not only us but our culture as well. We cannot be judged apart from our culture and neither can our culture be judged apart from us. What we do and how we live represents our culture. We represent our culture with our actions and not with our words and empty platitudes. To be a Baloch you have to live by the values that make you a Baloch; Baloch culture is what a Baloch does.”

Lament of a Baloch girl

By:  Gohar Hoth I have been waging a war with myself before penning down this article. A part of me wanted to share this story with Baloch. A part of me held my hand and did not allow me for writing it. I don’t know whether I have taken a right decision of sharing my thoughts or not, but I do know that it is a personal account. A story of a Baloch girl. Currently, I am a student at the university of Karachi. I would rather say a Baloch female student. Before securing admission, like all other girls who dream of university education far from their homes, getting into a university seemed to be a distant dream. It took me almost a year or more to convince my family for higher studies and leaving my native town, Gwadar. Amidst excitement and high hopes of having a bright future I stepped into the university of Karachi in January. I always have had thought that I would face no difficulties and hardships because my fellow Baloch friends would be there for providing a helping hand to me. T

80 pc Pakistanis are traitors: former CM of Balochistan

ANI | Asia | Last Updated at May 30 2019 16:15 IST Balochistan  province's former  Chief Minister Sardar  Akhtar  Mengal  has said that 80 per cent of Pakistanis are traitors. "If all political leaders are traitors, then who voted for them must also be declared as traitors. These people made our Constitution which we show off every time. This means 80 per cent of this country is full of traitors," he added. His frustration erupted after a series of recent bombings in  Balochistan.  At least three people, including a religious leader, were killed and 28 wounded after an explosion rocked a mosque on Monday. "If we count the numbers of traitors -- Muhammad Ali Jinnah's sister Fatima Jinnah, Pashtun independence activist Bacha Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,  Nawaz Sharif  -- all of them were branded as traitors," said  Mengal  during a session in the  National Assembly  on Tuesday. Last month, as many as 14 people were shot dead on Thursday after being offload

The women in Balochistan are being kept at a distance to education under a designed plan: BSO AZAD

The women in Balochistan are being kept at a distance to education under a designed plan: BSO AZAD (Current Balochistan) The Central Spokesperson Baloch Students Organization Azad expressed grave concerns over the Mastung girls’ school incidents, and further said that the women in Balochistan are being kept at a distance to education under a designed conspiracy. Before these incidents, incidents of acid attacks and several other incidents of attacks on women have occurred in Balochistan as well.      More than 400 girls have been affected due to the mysterious chemical spray in three different girls’ schools in Mustang during last 10 days. These incidents have suffered parents of students in extreme psychological pressure and fear and caused them to stop sending their children to schools. The Spokesperson further said that the religious extremists have tried to keep the women away from education through their threatening pamphlets in different areas of Balochistan before thes

11 persons went Missing From Different areas Balochistan.

29'May 2019 (Current Balochistan) 11 people forcibly disappeared by the hands of Pakistani security forces from Gwadar and kech. According to the sources, on 28'March Pakistani forces conducted an operation in Kashth Kolwah, kech, violent military personnel tortured women and children and Abucted 7 persons namely Cherag S/o Mohammad, Luqman S/o Dad Mohammad, Sageer S/o Dil Murad, Tapu S/o Dil Murad, Majid S/o Shah'Dost, Arif S/o Gazzu, & Wajidad R/o Kulwah and shifted them to military camp. Meanwhile from Hirronk, kech forces also raided a house and abducted a person namely Ali S/o Hussain R/o Hirronk Kech. According to a update received to Current Balochistan's correspondent That Pakistani forces raided in Naya'abad an area of Gwadar at late night on 28'May and abducted 3 Baloch Civilians who have identified as Imran S/o Lal Bux, Kamran S/o Lal Bux & Naguman S/o Sabzal. Enforced disappearances that started in the early 2000s have never slowed dow

China’s ‘silk road’ plan could boost worldwide economy by $7.1trn annually

By: Sam Courtney-Guy 28 May 19 China’s sprawling Belt and Road Initiative could boost the global economy to the tune of $7.1trn a year by 2040, or 4.2% of expected global GDP. This is according to the consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which also calculated 56 countries will see their economies boosted by more than $10bn a year in 2040, in a report released yesterday  on the project . After  China , the Cebr has predicted the US will be the largest single potential beneficiary in absolute terms – with a boost of 1.4% to US GDP - of the initiative even through it has not signed up to be part of it. “This is because of the sheer size of the  US economy , which means that it gains from the indirect effects of world GDP being boosted,” the consultancy noted. The London-based analysts said the greatest proportional impacts will be felt by Mongolia, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Cebr Deputy Chairman Douglas McWilliams said: “This is a transformativ

China tries to win over critics of the new Silk Road

Hambantota port was taken into Chinese hands after Sri Lanka defaulted on debt payments. Image: REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds 29 May 2019 Syed Munir Khasru Chairman, Institute for Policy, Advocacy and Governance China has invested billions of dollars in building highways, ports, and railways in more than 60 countries since 2013, as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In many countries, however, BRI is facing a backlash. Chinese-financed projects have been trimmed, suspended, or put under increased scrutiny in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Malaysia, over an alleged debt trap and unscrupulous dealings. In 2017, Hambantota port in Sri Lanka was taken into Chinese hands, along with 69 square kilometres of land, after the government defaulted on debt payments. Pakistan, reeling from a balance of payments crisis, has asked for retrenchment of and easier terms on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). BRI has become a cause of concern for its impact on the

Xi's Belt-Road Initiative: Recalibration, Strategic Imperatives

G G Dwivedi Maj. Gen. G. G. Dwivedi (Retd.) has served as Defence Attaché in China, Mongolia and North Korea; has commanded a Division in the North East; and is currently Professor of International Studies at Aligarh Muslim University. May 22, 2019 The second Belt-Road Forum (BRF) was held in Beijing from 25-27 April 2019. The three-day event was organized to promote the ‘Belt-Road Initiative’ (BRI) - President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure development and investment venture. The Summit was attended by 40 global leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, China’s two closest allies. The gathering was larger than the first Summit held in 2017, which had just 29 participants. Among the new entrants were Austria, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Thailand. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte became the first G7 leader to join the BRI. India stayed out for the second time on grounds of sovereignty

CPEC cannot transform Pakistan’s growth path

Pakistan must embark on other economic reforms such as increasing tax revenues, measures to attract FDI, more investments in education, health, science and technology to increase local productivity, introducing cashless digital economy and setting up... Unless Pakistan takes measures to establish a peace economy, attract foreign direct investment, and expand its regional connectivity, the hopes of CPEC transforming the country’s economy will remain a pipe dream. (Bloomberg) Updated: May 27, 2019 14:53 IST By Yogesh Gupta When the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was announced in 2015, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called it a game changer for the country and the South Asian region. Four years later, that excitement over the project has considerably abated as Pakistan is beset with mounting debt, stagnant domestic revenues and increasing pressures on its balance of payments. Unless Pakistan takes measures to establish a peace economy, attract foreign direct in