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Showing posts from March 7, 2019

‘Seize opportunities’ of Greater Bay Area and Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese premier Li Keqiang tells Hong Kong

5 March 2019 12:23   Holmes Chan Hong Kong should seize the opportunities brought by China’s strategic plans and deepen its cooperation with the mainland, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in his annual work report on Tuesday. Li was speaking at the opening of this year’s “two sessions,” the meeting of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In a brief section allocated to Hong Kong and Macau, Li put his full support behind the two chief executives and their respective administrations. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang giving his annual work report at the 2019 NPC meeting. Photo: screenshot. “We have to continue the full and accurate implementation of One Country, Two Systems, Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong, Macau people governing Macau, and a high degree of autonomy, and work in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law,” he said. “We support Hong Kong and Macau seizing the great opportunities brought by the Belt

Is the EU corridor an alternative to China's Belt and Road Inititiative?

SABENA SIDDIQUI Will the European Union and China clash over China's plans in Eurasia? In recent years, there has been renewed global interest in the ‘rising continent’ of Asia which suffers from a massive infrastructure  deficit  even though it represents the world’s  largest market with the highest middle-class spending pattern. China has taken the lead in capitalising on these massive trade opportunities through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which envisions an interlinked Eurasia through a synchronised train, road and maritime routes. Initially, the European Union (EU) expressed interest in this attractive project but it later opted to stay away from the widely attended Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in 2017.   Even the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker’s  Juncker Commission  had been researching similar ventures to boost economic growth in the EU.  The EU then came forward in October 2018 with a holistic, multi-dimensional Global  Strategy  of its

China Finds a G-7 Ally for Belt and Road

China Finds a G-7 Ally for Belt and Road Italy’s trading relationship with China goes back to Marco Polo, but it’s ironic that the “Italy first” populists want to cosy up to Beijing. By  Ferdinando Giugliano March 7, 2019, 8:30 AM GMT+5:30 Italy and China’s trading relationship goes back to 13th century Marco Polo.  Photographer: Print Collector/Hulton Archive Ferdinando Giugliano writes columns and editorials on European economics for Bloomberg View. He is also an economics columnist for La Repubblica and was a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times. Read more opinion Follow @FerdiGiugliano on Twitter The trading relationship between Italy and China goes back a long time. In the 13th century, Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant and explorer, was the first European to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience in the Far East. For centuries, precious fabrics traveled on the Silk Road from China to the Italian cities of Venice and Lucca, where they were transformed

Italy may back Belt and Road Initiative: reports

If it agrees to participate in China’s global infrastructure project, it will be the first G7 member to do so ByASIA TIMES STAFF The Italian government may be about to formally endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), becoming the largest economy so far to get behind the massive global infrastructure project. Hoping to attract more Chinese investment in its struggling economy, Rome could sign a memorandum of understanding within weeks, according to multiple reports. If it signs the agreement with Beijing, Italy would be the first member of the G7 group of advanced economies to officially back the initiative, which is a signature policy of President Xi Jinping, with the US, Japan and the UK all reluctant to participate. Michele Geraci, an official in Italy’s Economic Development Ministry, told the Financial Times the deal would hopefully be completed in time for Xi’s visit to the country in March. Media outlets in Italy also reported on the plan. “We want to make sure that

Bird’s eye view of Belt and Road Initiative

This timely book on a controversial subject attempts to sum up the scope and ambitious scale of the BRI. It does not offer judgement nor copious detail, but shows how an infrastructure project now seems to be the basis of a China-centred global economic system BY  Amit Bhandari China’s One-Belt One-Road, later rechristened the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is easily one of the most discussed and most controversial subjects in international affairs. It purportedly started out as an infrastructure project, but is now being increasingly seen as a push towards creating a China-centred global economic system.  Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order , by Bruno Maçães, who is the author also of  The Dawn of Eurasia  (Yale University Press, 2018), and a senior fellow at China’s Renmin University, tries to look at the many different dimensions of the project – how it originated, what it seeks to do and responses to it across the world. This book comes at an important time: the BRI was unveil

NDMA hands over 10,000 food bags to Balochistan government

  RECORDER REPORT    MAR 7TH, 2019    ISLAMABAD National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has handed over 10,000 food bags to the Balochistan government as humanitarian assistance for the people affected by recent heavy rains and torrential floods there. Flash floods triggered in February and March killed over 2 dozen people in Balochistan and destroyed hundreds of houses, and as a result the government has shifted thousands of people to temporary camps. According to preliminary report compiled by the NDMA, which is based on the information received from Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), the flash flood damaged 2,546 houses in Balochistan. The NDMA on behalf of the federal government has provided 5,251 tents, 13,000 blankets, 20,000 plastic carpets and 2,500 tubs to the rain-hit areas of Balochistan province. Chairman NDMA in response to the request of the Balochistan government had directed Logistic Directorate to immediately dispatch a consignment of ten th

Minister for stringent action against land mafia in Balochistan

Parvez Jabri March 7, 2019 QUETTA: Balochistan Minister for Home & Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Mir Ziaullah Longov on Thursday directed to the departments concerned to take strict action against land mafia who had involved in illegal occupying official lands in the province. He said the mafia, possessing official land in Balochistan, did not deserve any relaxation, because such cases were increasing in the areas due to corruption, said press release issued here. The minister also urged citizens to play their key role to prevent land mafia and to cooperate with the government for pointing out the spots where ever the state’s land was being occupied therefore the strict action could be taken against the occupants. “The names of informers will be kept in secret by the government”, he said, adding measures were being taken to ensure implementation of law in the province for public welfare. He said any dealing of government officials would not be tolerated over

NAVTC to train unskilled workers to meet required demand of CPEC projects

Parvez Jabri March 7, 2019 ISLAMABAD: The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) has planned to initiate technical and vocational training for semi or unskilled local youth to meet the required jobs for upcoming China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. The CPEC will attract more than 1.2 million direct jobs in various projects during next 10 years, however a large number of skilled workers are needed in the country to be prepared to tap the potential in this regard. “The mega project has already provided employment to around 75,000 people during previous five years, but a large portion of them comprised of raw labour leaving space for the Chinese skilled workers to seize the employment opportunities in early harvest projects of CPEC”, according to a report of Center of Excellence for CPEC. “Pakistan’s labour market has the 9th largest labour force in the world with an estimate of 61 million workers out of which 5.9 percent are unemployed,” it said

Scholars, experts call CPEC an 'oppressive design of Pakistan, China'

ANI | Asia | Last Updated at February 05 2019 22:20 IST Scholars, former diplomats, human rights activists and journalists from various parts of the world gathered in  Paris  to discuss the implications of the multi-billion dollar China- Pakistan  Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. While discussing the CPEC's legal, geo-strategic, economic and environmental impacts, the participants during a seminar argued that acquiring control of trade inevitably translates into governmental influence. "CPEC is just another way to exploit Baloch people. First of all it is an economic method. It is a method of land compensation and is a method of depriving local people of jobs and natural resources. An area which is already being deprived, all the economic benefits of CPEC is going into Punjabis and Chinese pockets. The local people have no benefits," Francesca Marinoa, a  journalist from  Italy  noted. Activists have long blamed  China  and Pakistan, who together aim to change the de

No funds of CPEC project diverted: Ministry

Allocations made for projects were as per requirement and demand of executing agencies for FY2018-19 Our Staff Reporter March 07, 2019 ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Planning has said that no funds of the  CPEC project  have been diverted but the block allocation, which was going to lapse in June, has been shifted to SDGs. READ MORE:  FM Qureshi, Saudi counterpart discuss matters of mutual interest The recent news published by local newspaper under the caption “Government diverted Rs 24 billion to Lawmakers Schemes” is misleading and deviation from the facts, said a spokesman of the Ministry of Planning. While reviewing Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 in September, 2018, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms kept an allocation of Rs 27 billion for CPEC and Other Initiatives which was meant to undertake new initiatives mainly for the betterment of the population by improving quality of life. The sectors include education, health, clean drinking water, a

Pakistan's call for ban on extremist groups is to deceive the world: Khalil Baloch

2019-03-06 *(Current Balochistan)*   Khalil Baloch, the chairman of Baloch National Movement called the ban an “hoax” on religious extremist groups by government of Pakistan, which is “an attempt to deceive the world.” The purpose of this delay “to buy time for further terrorism,” He expressed his concerns that if India did not take regressive measures, it would be tantamount to provide more chance of doing terrorism. The world must not believe on superficial announcement of Pakistan. And the world should take practical steps to “curb the terrorism” in the world.   The BNM’s chairman stated that terrorist activities are not orchestrated by few terrorists groups, but these are state policies of Pakistan; and  Pakistan would never go back from these policies. Such promises Pakistan had made in the past too, on contrary Pakistan strengthened those organizations with more energies and those organizations keep operating with new names.   He said, “these terrorists organizations are