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Showing posts from January 25, 2019

For Xi, ‘Toilet Revolution’ is next only to Belt and Road Initiative

Saturday, 26 January 2019 00:10   For the Chinese President Xi Jinping, bringing about a ‘Toilet Revolution’ in his country is next only in importance to his international flagship project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) involving the building of multiple ports, airports and highways linking China to countries across the globe. On the one hand, China has registered amazing progress in modernising its industries and cities, but on the other, its rural areas show comparative neglect.  That is reflected in poor sanitary facilities in rural China. The Chinese State media have themselves described a typical village toilet as “nothing more than two bricks, one hole, breeding insects, and a fiery stink”. Bad domestic toilets have been a key reason for the poor health of the rural masses. Smelly and poorly-maintained public toilets have been threatening to deter tourist arrivals. About 4.3 million foreign tourists visit China annually. But many of these dread to come back because of

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Africa: China’s Belt and Road initiative

Chinese leader Xi Jinping embarks on a four-nation visit to Africa, which marks his first since being appointed a second term and his third to Africa. So far, Mr. Xi has visited Senegal, Rwanda, and is currently in South Africa for the BRICS Summit before finishing the tour in Mauritius. China has been expanding its relationship with African countries in recent years. In 2016 alone, China invested $39bn in the continent bringing the total to a record-breaking $220 billion. “China’s top leadership (The President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister) has made a total of 79 visits to 43 different African countries over the past 10 years” stated the international consulting firm Development Reimagined. Senegal Mr. Xi landed in Dakar, the capital of the West African country of Senegal, on Saturday, July 21, for a two-day visit. He walked off his plane on a red carpet to meet President Macky Sall and Prime Minister Mohammed Dionne. Following bilateral meetings and discussions, Senega

Debts mount for countries that joined China's Belt and Road Initiative

Akanksha Soni JANUARY 25, 2019 13:21 IST Pakistan recently cancelled the Rahim Yar Khan power project, which was part of China’s ambitious  Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). With the move, Pakistan joins the growing trend of Asian economies rejecting BRI projects. Chinese funding for BRI projects is at an interest rate that is significantly higher than soft loans from developmental organisations like the World Bank and IMF, and comes with a risk of losing ownership over ports or significant areas, as in the case of  Hambantota in Sri Lanka . Debt spike A closer look at the timeline of BRI-related events in the second half of 2018 in Asia shows a growing trend of scepticism over China's flagship projects. In July 2018, Mathir Mohamma, the newly elected  Prime Minister of Malaysia,  axed two oil and gas pipelines  in mainland Malaysia that cost approximately $1bn each, and a $795mn pipeline linking Malacca and Johor. The $20 bn rail link connecting Malaysia’s east coast was also

Relief being provided to Balochistan’s drought-hit areas

Saleem Shahid January 26, 2019 QUETTA: Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove has said that the provincial government is doing its best to minimise effects of drought in 19 districts of the province and provide relief to those hit by the calamity. Mr Langove, who also holds the portfolio of the chief of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), said this at the PDMA headquarters on Friday. Provincial Minister for Livestock Mitha Khan Kakar, MPA Nawabzada Gohram Bugti, PTI leader Sardar Khan Rind, MPA Younis Zehri and MMA’s Asghar Ali Tareen were also present. Mr Langove said that the long dry-spell and climate change had affected the entire province and every district was facing a drought-like situation. “The national and provincial disaster management authorities are working to control the effects of drought,” he said, adding that he attended the National Workshop on Drought last week in Islamabad, wherein a strong case of Balochistan drought was presented. AR

Balochistan’s only Woollen Mill Harnai to be reopened

APP January 26, 2019 QUETTA  -   The Balochistan government, amid huge demand of Harnai wool from local and international textile markets, has in principle decided to restore the one and only facility involving significant economic activity. READ MORE:  Ancient insect found preserved inside opal Talking to APP, the spokesperson of the Balochistan government Bushra Rind said on Friday that the provincial assembly had passed a resolution to restore the mill whereas the bill would be tabled in the cabinet’s next meeting for the allocation of funds to make it functional. The facility which was closed down in 2006 due to corruption and mismanagement had almost ten thousand employees and was producing high quality lamb’s wool products having potential customers form with in country and abroad. Bushra said, “The provincial assets and other resources would not be allowed to go waste and these would be utilized for the progress and prosperity of the people under proper planning.” The mi

Major power breakdown hits parts of Sindh, Balochistan

Dawn Report January 26, 2019 LAHORE: Traffic on GT Road slows down due to dense fog on Friday. Motorways were closed as visibility became zero in many areas of Punjab.—Online KARACHI/LAHORE: Several parts of Sindh and Balochistan, including Karachi and Quetta, suffered a massive power breakdown that continued for many hours after an abrupt disconnection of power supply from the national grid on Friday morning, officials said. Besides the two provincial capitals, Hyderabad and Sukkur in Sindh and Dera Murad Jamali, Naseerabad, Sibi, Jhal Magsi and Jafarabad in Balochistan also remained without power supply for hours after the suspension of power generation at Guddu power plant and other plants due to the tripping of various 500kV and 220kV transmission lines. A spokesman for the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) said: “ Extensive fog caused tripping of both circuits of 500kV Dadu-Shik­arpur and Guddu-Shikarpur along with 500kV Shikarpur grid station.” The impact o

Rehman Malik, Chinese Ambassador discuss matters relating to CPEC

Fawad Maqsood January 25, 2019 ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing called on Chairman Standing Committee on Interior, Senator Rehman Malik on Friday and discussed matters relating to security and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Talking to the Ambassador, Rehman Malik said CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan as its completion would ensure prosperity and development not only of both the countries but also the whole region. He said that Pak-China friendship was always highly valued by Pakistan and its people and added that China would always find Pakistan and its people by its side in all weathers. The Chinese Ambassador said that China highly values efforts of Pakistan People Party in establishing and enhancing Pak-China friendship. Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019

CPEC to bring prosperity, says PM Imran

By  Mohammad Zafar Published: January 26, 2019 PHOTO: EXPRESS QUETTA.:  Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will bring prosperity for the people of Balochistan, vowing mega-development project in the future. Talking to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Balochistan chapter President Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind in Islamabad on Friday, the prime minister said the PTI-led government will rectify the injustice committed with the resource-rich but impoverished province during previous regimes. PM Imran said: “People of Balochistan are more patriotic as people of other provinces, without justice the country can’t be developed and our government is serious to develop Balochistan”. In the meeting, the provincial political situation, Kachi Canal Project and the party’s affairs were discussed. The prime minister also lauded the performance of PTI’s provincial leadership.

Egyptian Pyramids, Chinese Roads and CPEC

Naseem Javed JANUARY 26, 2019 No other man-made structures from ancient world have impacted global psyche as much as the Pyramids of Egypt. Listed at the very top as Wonders of the World, the power and glory of their history speaks volumes. In that spectrum, China today with its ‘One Belt, One Road’ global initiative has activated a mammoth project of similar dimensions, and China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a jewel in that crown. These projects visible from space are superb and amazing, but how miles apart are the two and how unique are the beneficiaries? The Pharaohs of the period were the smartest of the smart on the planet; their spoken words, respected as celestial twilights, their earthly bodies, proof of decadence, while their defecations worshiped as heavenly potions for amulets. Leisurely sliding over sleek marble floors in airy robes, absolutely convinced that upon their death some mysterious golden chariots would usher them into a new eternal journey. Their faith dema

George Soros Remarks delivered at the World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2019     Good evening and thank you all for coming. I want to use my time tonight to warn the world about an unprecedented danger that’s threatening the very survival of open societies. Last year when I stood before you I spent most of my time analyzing the nefarious role of the IT monopolies. This is what I said: “An alliance is emerging between authoritarian states and the large data rich IT monopolies that bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even George Orwell could have imagined.” Tonight I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme. A lot of things have hap

Has the China Collapse Finally Arrived?

January 22, 2019 China has been on the verge of a hard landing for many years, according to some analysts. Will they finally be right in 2019? In this issue of  Sinology , I explain that in the fourth quarter of 2018, China's economic deceleration was not significantly sharper than I expected, and several policy changes should lead to stronger activity and market sentiment in the second half of this year. A hard landing is still not on the horizon. There was not a sharp slowdown in the last quarter Everyone paying careful attention to China should have expected the year-on-year (YoY) growth rates of almost every aspect of the economy to slow a bit last year, as that has been a consistent pattern for about a decade. The economy has become so large, and growth rates were so fast for so long, that this deceleration is inevitable. What has worried many observers, however, is the perception that in the last quarter (4Q18), China's growth rate slowed much more sharply than expec

Tehran-Moscow Cooperation Goes Beyond Syria

By Emil Avdaliani January 24, 2019 Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin at the Fourth Caspian Summit in Astrakhan, photo via Office of the President of the Russian Federation BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,072, January 24, 2019 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Syrian theater exemplifies Russo-Iranian cooperation, but there are other theaters in which Moscow and Tehran have cooperated for years. Their partnership in the South Caucasus and the energy-rich Caspian Sea area are examples of this trend. Taken together, these instances of Russo-Iranian cooperation fit into the pattern of “geopolitical chaos” across Eurasia in which Moscow and Tehran, as well as other regional powers, work together to challenge US dominance. Iran and Russia have long been wary of one another’s geopolitical ambitions. Numerous wars in the 19 th  century over domination in the South Caucasus, and Russian influence in northern Iran in the 20 th  century, made deep cooperation between the two powers almost unthink

Pakistan continues policy of collective punishment in Balochistan. #BNM

Press released 2019-01-24 The central spokesman of Baloch National Movement in his statement says that Pakistan is committing atrocities and barbarities in order to counter and suppress the Baloch national struggle. This is the fifth military operation soon after the occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan, where Baloch people are facing enforced disappearances and abduction, ground and aerial bombardment, destruction of villages, forced migration and collective punishment. Pakistani forces are committing gross human rights violations in Balochistan, where they are torturing and whisking away family members, including women and children of political activists as policy of collective punishment in purpose to force them to surrender and sideline from their national struggle against Pakistani occupation. Accordingly the spokesman stated, “It is six months to completion, since Pakistani army abducted women and children in Mashkay.” Pakistan Army arrested fifty years old Noor Malik w