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Showing posts from January 24, 2019

Implications for India of China’s presence in Indo-Pacific region

By  SWARAN SINGH JANUARY 21, 2019 The US Defense Department  report  titled “China’s Global Expansion by Military and Non-Military Means” issued last week has once again triggered alarm bells about China’s increasingly assertive presence across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. It talks of China being world’s fifth-largest exporter of defense equipment; that, during the 2012-2016 period, China “completed” defense supplies worth US$20 billion worldwide, of which supplies worth $8 billion were made to the Indo-Pacific nations. What would concerns policymakers in India especially is that the primary recipients of China’s weapon exports remain its traditional client states in South Asia that have also witnessed high-speed delivery of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects . đź”· What is absent from this report is the fact that the US itself is a major trigger for China’s enduring and expanding defense cooperation with developing nations. Complex procedures, high-procurement

Russia Swaps US Dollar for Chinese RMB; Holds 25 Percent of Global Reserves

 January 17, 2019Posted by Russia Briefing As we reported in our  previous article concerning Russian dedollarization, the extent of how much Moscow has instead been turning to the Chinese RMB has only just become clear. While we already stated that Russia’s central bank has drastically reduced the share of the US dollar in its international reserves (24.4 percent of Russia’s total reserves) and has boosted its holdings in Euros (32 percent) and Chinese RMB Yuan (14.7 percent) – what has not been understood is exactly what this means and is it a harbinger of any particular trend. In fact, Chinese RMB as a currency currently represents about 15 percent of total global currency holdings. Despite the US-China trade spat, this is at 10 percent up as of the end of the last quarter of 2018. Russia, meanwhile, holds around 10 times more Chinese RMB than other central banks do, and has accumulated about 25 percent of the total world reserves in Chinese RMB. Russia is making a strategic sh

How Asia could be the winner in the US and China's Belt and Road race

As these geopolitical forces play out, how can governments and developers harness the benefit? Image: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri 16 Jan 2019 Ai Ai Wong Chair of the Asia Pacific region, Baker McKenzie This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Infrastructure development has become one of the great battlegrounds of our time. The world’s three largest economies – the US, China and Japan – are actively manoeuvring for economic and geopolitical influence through an infrastructure funding and investment race across emerging markets globally, with Asia Pacific taking centre stage. But how should governments and developers that sit within targeted countries handle this newfound attention? How can they turn it to the advantage of their people? This infrastructure race will clearly have a major impact on the future of global trade and supply chains, manufacturing and services, but also in the development of strategic, long-term alliances. It has been kicked into a h

Gwadar, betting on globalization

In early 2019, several states in Middle East announced their interest in the port of Gwadar in Pakistan. The port of Gwadar is the flagship project of  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). With the opening of the CECP to the rest of the world, the port of Gwadar is likely to become a major hub connecting China, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A strategic port for Pakistan and China It was not until 2007 that the deepwater port of Gwadar was inaugurated by President Musharraf. Built with technical and financial support from China, the development of Gwadar Port became China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s main of project in 2015. One of the aims of China is to create a new route linking its western provinces to the sea of Oman; this ambition involves the modernization of the Karakoram road, the development of new infrastructure in Pakistan and finally the construction of a major port, that of Gwadar. This strategic function is not really new. It must be remembered that unt

World Bank could hit Pakistan with $11 billion fine

Reko Diq gold and copper mining project case. Photo: Twitter SOUTH ASIA REKO DIQ CASE Pakistan may have to pay a damages claim worth $11 billion after losing the infamous Reko Diq case to an Australian mining company By  F.M. SHAKIL JANUARY 23, 2019 3:09 PM (UTC+8) 1,519 2 Pakistan’s economy is facing a potentially crippling jolt, with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) expected to levy a US$4 billion fine on Pakistan, with actual liabilities having the potential to stretch as high as $11.5 billion. This comes after an Australian mineral exploration company filed a damages claim worth $11 billion against the cancellation of its contract for Reko Diq copper and gold mines in Balochistan. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox The  ICSID website confirmed  that the tribunal decided on the admissibility of new evidence from the respondent as the case is still pending. The World Bank arbitration tribunal earlier in

MERICS Economic Indicators Q4/2018

Losing steam: China’s economy shows signs of weakness China‘s growth has dropped to 6.6 percent in 2018 – the slowest pace since 1990. The continuing trade conflict with the United States, the Chinese government’s struggle against high debt levels and excessive credit have contributed to the slowdown. Party and state leader Xi Jinping himself has voiced concern: China’s economy is facing profound and complicated changes, he said at a meeting of provincial and ministry officials, according to the Xinhua news agency. Read more

EFSAS raises China's expansionist designs in South Asia with prominent Sinologist in the Hague

24-01-2019 Ms. Yoana Barakova (EFSAS Research Analyst) and Ms. Danielle DePaulis (EFSAS Research Analyst) held a meeting with Ms. Ardi Bouwers, a prominent Sinologist, Director of the consultancy firm  China Circle  and Subject Matter Expert at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Ms. Bouwers’ expertise specifically focuses on China’s intercultural communication, media and representation, its interaction with other international actors and its current rise in global politics.   The delegation of EFSAS and Ms. Bouwers exchanged many viewpoints and analysed in-depth the presence and strategic objectives of China in South Asia. EFSAS profoundly explained the particularities of the Jammu & Kashmir conflict and the ongoing radicalization and terrorism in the region, which has had its spill over effects across the entire Indian subcontinent. The building of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through the disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan, part of the erstwhile S

SAP tie up with BUETK: A new height

By: Muhammad Qasim Baloch Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar(BUETK) under the intellectual and dynamic leadership of the revered Vice Chancellor Dr. Ehsanullah Khan Kakar is on the zenith of new heights. Dr. Ehsanullah Khan Kakar is renowned in the educational circle, due to his scholarly work and support for academic excellence in the province. After joining BUETK he placed tangible evidence of fostering diversity affirmative action and equal opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff in general. Recently the Vice Chancellor signed a Memorandum of Undertaking with SAP University Competence Centre Magdeburg, Germany. During the signing ceremony of said MoU, SAP agreed to launch its first Next Generation Lab in Pakistan at BUETK.  The signed MoU will not only be fruitful for BUETK but all sister universities as Mr. Stefan Weidner CEO, SAP has planned to visit Pakistan to take other Universities on board. The German team of SAP will also train 20 fac

Balochistan makes a pitch for foreign investment

By  Shahbaz Rana Published: January 24, 2019 Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal at the WEF 2019. PHOTO: EXPRESS DAVOS:  The civil and military leaders from Balochistan have offered the global elites to invest in the deep seaport of Gwadar and mines and mineral sectors of the province which, they believe, has the potential to bring prosperity to the whole region. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and Quetta Corps Commander Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa on Wednesday highlighted the future economic prospects of the once insurgency-hit province at traditional Pakistan Dinner arranged by the Pathfinder Group on the sidelines of Annual World Economic Forum. IMF, CEOs sound warnings as leaders gather in Davos “With the improvement in geo-politics situation, the focus is shifting towards geo-economics. Gwadar is going to be connected through Afghanistan and Central Asia to Russia. We see other regional ports as complementary ports to Gwadar,” said Lt Gen Bajwa. The event provided an o

Dearth of educational institutions in Balochistan a cause of concern

* Universities are the main secret ingredient of a successful country. No country has developed without education Munaj Gul Muhammad JANUARY 24, 2019 American lawyer and politician Kirsten Gillibrand puts it so beautifully, “If we expect our children to thrive at our colleges and universities, and succeed in our economy once they graduate, first we must make quality and affordable early childhood education accessible to all.” The education sector of Balochistan seems very bush-league as the largest province of Pakistan has only seven universities, among these most of them do not even have enough professors and other necessary facilities for the students to acquire gilt-edged education. Universities play an integral role for the betterment of a country and assist students to study about their cultural norms and recognise their own identity and other nations too. Universities are the main secret ingredient of a successful country. No country has developed without education and uni

Balochistan’s teachers with fake degrees will be sent packing

January 23, 2019   Noor Ul Arifeen The Balochistan education department has decided to sack the public school teachers with fake degrees and those who have not been showing up to work. The decision was taken during a meeting of the Balochistan education department’s inquiry committee on Wednesday. The meeting was presided over by Balochistan Schools Education Secretary Tayyab Lehri. The department’s overall performance was also reviewed in the meeting. It was noted that the teachers in several districts were not attending to their duties. The education secretary directed that all those teachers who had fake degrees and had been told time and again not be absent from school be fired. The decision was taken in accordance with the Balochistan Employees’ Efficiency and Dsicipline Act. Related: Balochistan now has an education complaint management system Lehri said that the education department would not tolerate the behaviour of ghost teachers. According to the inquiry committe

Sindh CM wants checking along Sindh-Balochistan border intensified

Habib Khan Ghori Updated January 24, 2019 Allows snap checking in middle of roads, but not during morning rush hour. — File KARACHI: Reviewing the overall weekly law and order situation in the province, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered that checking on the Sindh-Balochistan border be intensified and directed the Sindh inspector general of police to hold a tripartite meeting of all three police chiefs of the bordering provinces — Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab — to help improve law and order in the country, particularly in Sindh. On Wednesday the CM directed the police to avoid vehicle checking in the middle of roads during morning office/school timings, provide foolproof security to the participants of Tablighi Ijtema in Manghopir and develop a traffic signal system in Hyderabad. He also directed the IGP to work out a plan to establish Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) units and install GSM locators and other facilities in every district headquarters to ensure secur

Saudi investment in Gwadar oil refinery to boost China-Pakistan Corridor project

A general view of Gwadar port on October 4, 2017. (Reuters) By Kaswar Klasra Special to Al Arabiya EnglishWednesday, 23 January 2019 China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has received significant boost in its efforts to strengthen regional connectivity after Saudi Arabia agreed to join hands and fund a major oil refinery project. Islamabad and Beijing have both welcomed the development and, analysts say, this would enhance Saudi Arabia’s access to world markets. Saudi Arabia is the first country that Pakistan has invited to become a third partner in CPEC. While Pakistan and China would still be major beneficiaries of CPEC, Saudi Arabia’s access to the Gwadar Port would mean potential to create opportunities for the Kingdom. The partnership took shape earlier this week when it was announced that Saudi Aramco is building an oil refinery worth $10 billion in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar. Local officials confirmed that an agreement will be signed during the visit of Saudi Crown

Re-shaping the CPEC narrative

BY  WAQAS JAN   A political perspective Since Imran Khan’s government came to power nearly six months ago, there has been a concerted effort from this new government to bring the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in line with its own development objectives. Outlined somewhat vaguely as part of its pre-election narrative, recent statements emanating from the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as key ministries such as the ministry of finance and the planning and development commission, all appear to be aimed at linking CPEC with the ambitious development goals set by none other than the new prime minister himself. These include the somewhat generalised goals of poverty eradication, increased employment and greater austerity as all part of a broader agenda forenhanced socio-economic development. The emerging narrative being used to frame CPEC thus appears, at first sight, as a move away from the more jingoisitic pomp of the previous government. Rather than the incessant flag-wav

Pak-China media’s interaction increases under CPEC

January 24, 2019 BEIJING: The increased interaction between the citizens of China and Pakistan in the areas of culture, media, sports, and tourism will further strengthen the bonds of China-Pakistan friendship. The exchange of films and television will enable the people of both countries to understand each other's culture and values, according to an article published by China Daily on Wednesday. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), being a flagship project of BRI, has been successful in bringing the people of two countries closer. Though China and Pakistan have maintained a stable relationship for almost 70 years, somehow this relationship was only limited to diplomatic exchanges. Thanks to CPEC, the nature of exchanges between China and Pakistan has changed and people-to-people ties have become stronger. Now it is overwhelming to see the influence of CPEC on cultural exchanges between the two countries. With the release of first Pakistani movie "The Legend of Maula


Thursday, January 24, 2019 The Tip Sheet know china better HEARD IN BEIJING "The bottom line is that China is slowing down but it’s not going to be a disaster." - Fang Xinghai , Vice Chairman, China Securities Regulatory Commission Some context:  Fang said that yesterday at Davos in an attempt to reassure those worried about the Chinese economy. It didn't work. More in the Tip Sheet below. The Tip Sheet will never slow down. Or be a disaster. It will reassure you on a daily basis that you know what is going on in China. Help reassure some friends and colleagues by forwarding them today's edition and telling them they  can click here to subscribe . How are you feeling about the Chinese economy these days? We always love to hear from readers, so send us your thoughts! THE TIP SHEET   DRIVING THE DAY 1. Chinese fail to calm nerves at Davos It’s World Economic Forum week, and the health of the Chinese economy is the talk of Davos. Vice President Wang Qishan