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Showing posts from March 11, 2019

China - Malaysia Relations - Hedging Within the Belt and Road Initiative

Belt and Road Advisory Guest contribution by Tom Fowdy. Tom is a UK based analyst, researcher and writer. He graduated from the Msc. Contemporary Chinese Studies Program at the University of Oxford. He has contributed to around 30 publications for CGTN and written extensively on Sino-North Korean relations. Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_Fowdy  Malaysia’s relationship with China has always been a matter of delicate balance. Domestic politics has long wrestled with geography in determining Kuala Lumpur’s approach to Beijing. Owing to the legacy of British colonialism, entrenched racial divisions between the Malay majority and the country’s Han minority has promulgated a defensive nationalism which has long sought to resist the influence of Beijing in the country’s affairs. In the 1960s, the country struggled against the rise of Communism amongst the Chinese. Influenced by the Cultural Revolution, some of the Han minority would wage an insurgency against the state. In such an unstable geo

This week’s top Belt and Road news

Belt and Road Advisory Our BRI Briefing summarizes and analyzes key news related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the last week.     Italy is aiming to sign a BRI MOU with China : It would then become the first G7 economy to join the Belt and Road. The announcement precedes President Xi Jinping's visit to Italy planned for March 22-23 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad approves Dubai Silk Road  Strategy : The Strategy involves 9 initiatives and 33 projects. Huawei accuses the US : According to Huawei US agents hacked and stole the company’s emails and source code  China’s GDP target for 2019 : Was set to 6% to 6.5% by Premier Li Keqiang. It is another signal of an economic slowdown in #China. The goal for 2018 was set at “around 6.5%”  China’s GDP of China is around 12% smaller than official figures suggest : This is the result of research by Washington-based think-tank Brookings Institution   And all other Belt and Road news   Trade and Inv

The US, China and the return of a two-bloc world

Technology , not military power, will be the basis for this new global split Gideon Rachman During the cold war, there was an “east” bloc and a “west” bloc and nations were defined by whether they were closer to Washington or Moscow. Now, nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, rising tensions between the US and China are re-creating a geopolitical dividing line. And countries are increasingly expected to make clear whether they stand with Washington or Beijing. The latest example of this came last week, with the news that Italy is close to becoming the first G7 country to sign a memorandum of understanding endorsing China’s giant infrastructure project, known as the Belt and Road Initiative. Within hours, a White House spokesman had criticised the BRI as “made by China, for China”, and suggested that it would bring no benefits to Italy. The Chinese foreign minister fired back, reminding the Americans that Italy is an independent nation. President Xi Jinping is planning

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte ignores US warnings and pushes for closer cooperation with China’s belt and road plan

US official says deal with Beijing could damage Italy’s international standingConte continuing down path forged by earlier Rome governments Topic |  European Union Stuart Lau    Published: 11:02pm, 11 Mar, 2019 Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has overruled the foreign ministry and joined right-wing Eurosceptics in his coalition cabinet in calling for closer cooperation with China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, sources told the  South China Morning Post . In a move that Washington warned would damage Italy’s standing with its neighbours, the Conte government is understood to be planning to give Chinese companies greater access to the port of Trieste – one of the region’s busiest, with access to the Mediterranean – as well as further cooperation between the leading electricity providers of both countries. White House National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said the belt and road scheme was unlikely to help Italy economically and could significantly damage the co

Italy must look into EU, U.S concerns over Belt and Road deal - official

FILE PHOTO: A map illustrating China's silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road, or the so-called "One Belt, One Road" megaproject, is displayed at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo (reuters_tickers) ROME (Reuters) - Italy will join China's giant "Belt and Road" initiative only after satisfying itself that U.S. and European Union concerns over the infrastructure plan have no basis, Industry Junior Minister Michele Geraci was quoted as saying on Monday. Geraci's comments came after a spokesman for the White House's group of national security advisers, Garrett Marquis, on Saturday called the Chinese venture a "vanity project" that Italy should steer clear of. "Clearly we must make sure that EU and U.S. concerns (over the deal) are unfounded. The framework of the accord would have to be up to U.S. and EU standards," Geraci told Italian daily Il Me

CPEC projects: Only 3.84 percent of budgeted amount released so far

  NAVEED BUTT    MAR 10TH, 2019    ISLAMABAD The Khan administration has released only 3.84 percent of the budgeted amount for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects for the current year so far, according to the data released by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. The CPEC was budgeted to receive a total of Rs 64.7 billion for 24 projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 but so far it has received only Rs 2.49 billion with no disbursement for 5 projects . The Khan administration has disbursed Rs 500 million for construction of KKH Phase-II Havelian-Thakot (118.057 KM) Road, out of the budgeted allocation of Rs 19.5 billion. An amount of Rs 600 million has been released for Land Acquisition and Resettlement Islamabad-Raikot Section (Phase-I), Havelian-Thakot (120.12 km), out of Rs 1.5 billion budgeted allocation. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has released Rs 4 million for improvement and widening of Chitral-Boon


STATEMENT OF_GENERAL JOSEPH L.VOTELCOMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE ON *THE POSTURE OF U.S CENTRAL COMMAND GREAT POWER COMPETITION: THE CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES IN THE MIDDLE EAST 5 FEBRUARY 2019 * Pakistan presents the U.S. with challenges and opportunities in the execution of our South Asia Strategy. As a state possessing nuclear weapons that sits at the nexus of Russian, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, and U.S. geopolitical interests, Pakistan will always be a country of importance to the U.S. However, Pakistan’s actions are often a source of frustration to U.S. regional efforts in Afghanistan. Our posture with Pakistan involves supporting our colleagues at the Department of State as they pursue a diplomatic solution with Islamabad to end the conflict in Afghanistan while ensuring that Pakistan’s equities are acknowledged and addressed in any future agreement. Key Challenges : Pakistan has not taken concrete actions again

China will not pick sides in India-Pakistan disputes

" Although China supported Pakistan in alleviating poverty and wiping out terrorism, Beijing is not an enemy of New Delhi... China will not pick sides in India-Pakistan disputes . Aiming at easing the two countries' conflicts and improving the anti-terrorist situation, China will play the role of a mediator and facilitator amid the ongoing tensions, " read an * op-ed published by Global Times late on Sunday.