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Showing posts from January 29, 2019

Let China Fail in Africa

January 29, 2019   America should continue to maintain its key African relationships and interests while China digs a debt hole. by  Wilson VornDick An old African proverb warns that even the best cooking pot will not produce food. American policymakers should consider this saying as they weigh China’s growing clout and the implementation of President Donald Trump’s new  Africa Strategy  . But China’s economic reach in Africa is teetering on overreach. Just like the prized pot, China may not produce all that is promised.  Over the last two decades,  China has gained influence  as it pumped  billions of dollars in projects and investments across Africa focused predominantly on resource extraction and infrastructure. However, this influence comes at a cost. China may be stretching its economic largesse beyond its own capacity, jeopardizing its financial stability both at home and abroad. In July, the Financial Times noted  that 234 out of 1,674  Chinese-invested infrastructure proj

International commercial courts eye expanded role

China Daily, January 30, 2019 China's top court said the country's two international commercial courts will play a bigger role this year in helping resolve disputes related to the Belt and Road Initiative and improving the global credibility of the judiciary. "We'd like to see some litigants from countries involved in the initiative solve commercial disputes in the two courts, and we promise they will receive fair and efficient legal services here," Luo Dongchuan, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, told China Daily in an exclusive interview. Luo was speaking a year after the central leadership approved a guideline on establishing the Belt and Road International Commercial Dispute Resolution Mechanism and Institutions. Six months after the guideline was issued, the top court set up two courts specializing in handling international commercial cases-in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and Xi'an, Shaanxi province-and then established an expert com

Can China Turn the Middle of Nowhere Into the Center of the World Economy?

In the barely inhabited steppes of Central Asia, it is establishing the next foothold in its trillion-dollar campaign to transform global infrastructure. By BEN MAUK Photographs and Video by ANDREA FRAZZETTA JAN. 29, 2019 The Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility is a striking name for an absence. It is the point farthest from a sea or ocean on the planet. Located in China just east of the border with Kazakhstan, the pole gets you a good distance from harbors and coastlines — at least 1,550 miles in any direction — into an expanse of white steppe and blue-beige mountain that is among the least populated places on earth. Here, among some of the last surviving pastoral nomads in Central Asia, nestled between two branches of the Tian Shan range on the edge of Kazakhstan, the largest infrastructure project in the history of the world is growing. About 80 miles from the Pole of Inaccessibility, just across the border in Kazakhstan, is a village called Khorgos. It has spent most of its exis

China's foray into Mid-East may hit obstacles: Bilahari

Retired diplomat Bilahari Kausikan chairs the National University of Singapore's Middle East Institute, which is holding a two-day conference at Goodwood Park Hotel next month on China's Belt and Road Initiative in the Middle East. Issues include growing regional rivalries, anti-Chinese sentiment and country's relative inexperience in region Linette Lai Political Correspondent   China's foray into the Middle East could hit speed bumps, said retired diplomat Bilahari Kausikan yesterday, as he cautioned Singaporeans against viewing the country's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) through rose-tinted glasses. The potential issues cited by Mr Kausikan, who chairs the National University of Singapore's Middle East Institute, include growing regional rivalries, anti-Chinese sentiment in certain countries and China's relative inexperience in dealing with the Middle East. "Singaporeans have, by and large, a very romantic view of China... that everything it

Souring Deals Put China's Belt and Road Dreams Under Pressure

Bloomberg January 30, 2019 (Jan 30): Chinese President Xi Jinping already had plenty of reasons to rethink his grand plan to build railways, ports and other infrastructure across the globe. Malaysia has given him 20 billion more. The Malaysian government’s move to cancel a China-financed high-speed rail link across the Malay Peninsula raised new questions about Xi’s so-called Belt and Road Initiative. The cabinet decided the $20 billion project was “beyond the government’s financial capability,” Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said Saturday, previewing a move that could be formally announced by next week. The deal’s collapse adds urgency to a debate already growing in Beijing about the potentially $1 trillion program, the main engine of Xi’s effort to convert China’s economic might into global influence. In recent months, countries across Asia have suspended, scaled back or terminated projects amid concerns over corruption, influence-peddling and rising debt. “We are

8 police staff, one civilian killed in Balochistan suicide and gun attack

Syed Ali Shah  | Updated January 29, 2019 Security officials are seen outside a hospital where the bodies and injured were brought. — DawnNewsTV Nine individuals, including eight police staff and a civilian, died in a gun and suicide attack on the office of the deputy inspector general of police in Balochistan's Loralai district on Tuesday. At least 21 others also sustained injuries in the attack including 12 policemen and nine civilians, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. All three attackers were killed. The dead included three police constables, two gardeners, one washerman, one cook, a 'Class IV' police employee as well as one civilian, as per an information report issued by the provincial police. According to ISPR, three armed suicide bombers had attempted to enter the DIG police complex in the afternoon when nearly 800 candidates were present in the compound for enrollment in Balochistan police. “Senior police offic

CPEC debt concerns to recede in future: Fitch report

Web Desk  On  Jan 30, 2019 KARACHI: In a released report, the Fitch ratings agency stated that the debt concerns related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will begin to recede in the future  with improving transparency and diminishing political risks. The rating agency in its latest report said, “debt concerns surrounding CPEC projects to ease after financial details are released. In addition, we believe political risks associated with CPEC projects have diminished since the 2018 Pakistani general election. These factors will reduce overall risk profile of CPEC projects.” The report further adds that the CPEC will continue to support the growth of Pakistan’s construction industry in the coming years aided by China’s sustained push on project implementation. Since the implementation of CPEC in 2013, a centerpiece of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the mega project has faced numerous challenges to many projects. Despite these challenges, 11 CPEC projects, b