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Showing posts from March 18, 2019

Xi heads to Europe Xinhua  reports  that Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 will “pay state visits to Italy, Monaco and France from March 21 to 26.” Last week,  Premier Lǐ Kèqiáng 李克强,  per the South China Morning Post , “offered an olive branch to the European Union by saying Beijing will not undermine the bloc’s interests if it reaches a trade deal with the United States.” No matter what China does,  European business interests may be harmed. Earlier this month, the EU Chamber of Commerce published a report titled “ Caught in the cross-fire: the effects of the U.S.-China trade war on European companies ”: With 53.9 percent and 42.9 percent of respondents viewing the American and Chinese tariffs respectively in a negative light, it is clear that disruptions are far-reaching… Interestingly, while many had speculated that European firms might find new oppor­tunities as a result of the conflict, only 4.2 percent reported any positive views of the situation.

China Watch: Weekly Report Two Session Edition

Weekly Report Two Session Edition I | 3.2.2019-3.8.2019 David Gitter, Julia Bowie, Brock Erdahl, James Gannon, Sandy Lu 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Second Session: 13th CPPCC Second Session Holds Second, Third, and Fourth Plenary Meetings Xinhua   3.9-11  The CPPCC held its second, third, and fourth plenary meetings from 9 to 11 March. During the  second plenary meeting , 14 CPPCC National Committee members spoke about economic and ecological civilization construction. They stressed the importance of “realizing high-quality development,” “stimulating enterprises’ innovative vitality,” resolving “zombie company” issues, enhancing the quality of poverty alleviation, pushing forward rural vitalization, and protecting the ecological environment of the Tibetan Plateau. CPPCC National Committee President Wang Yang (汪洋) and Vice Premier Hu Chunhua (胡春华) attended the meeting.   During the  third plenary meeting , 15 members gave speeches on cultur

Mysterious bodies from Balochistan: ‘Only five per cent of them are identified”

Yousuf Murad Baloch March 18, 2019 Featured * This report, by Riaz Sohail, was published by the BBC Urdu service on March 13, 2019. Yousuf Murad has translated it from Urdu.*   In a remote uninhabited area about 30 km from the Pakistani city of Quetta, a new – two-and-half-year-old — settlement is sprawling. This settlement belongs to unidentified bodies. It is the third cemetery established by the Edhi Foundation. There are about 150 persons buried in this cemetery, which is situated on the Quetta-Sibi Road. Among these 150 persons are also included the 10 unidentified bodies that were buried in the month of January this year. These bodies were found dumped in the mountains. Edhi Foundation officials say that they have received 131 bodies in the last 26 months which could not be identified and they buried these bodies in this cemetery as a temporary measure.   The land of unidentified corpses It was in the year 2008 that the mysterious phenomenon of bodies popping up from B

Interview: BRI offers great opportunity for L.American countries: Argentine expert

Source: Xinhua |  2019-03-18 10:35:59 | by Victoria Arguello BUENOS AIRES, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) promotes "a new type of multilateralism" and represents a "great opportunity" for Latin American countries, an Argentine expert on foreign affairs has said. In the lead up to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, to be held in Beijing in April, Carola Ramon-Berjano, a member of Argentina's Council on International Relations, made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua. "I believe the initiative has great potential in terms of economic development and international cooperation. It is a very interesting concept and a framework for a new type of multilateralism spurred by China," Ramon-Berjano said. Argentine President Mauricio Macri took part in the first forum held in 2017 in Beijing, where he said the BRI "is an opportunity we don't want to pass up." The BRI, firs

China says 13,000 “terrorists” held in restive Xinjiang

PTI Beijing | Updated on March 18, 2019 Published on March 18, 2019 It’s buying silence of Muslim countries with massive investments through the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative China said on Monday it had arrested about 13,000 “terrorists” in a massive crackdown against militants in the volatile Uygur Muslim-majority Xinjiang region since 2014, denying criticism that Beijing is “buying” silence of the Muslim world with heavy investments in Pakistan and other Islamic countries. China has faced mounting criticism for the detention of thousands of Uygur Muslims in massive “education camps“. Article Continues Below Since 2014, Xinjiang has destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs, arrested 12,995 terrorists, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials,” a white paper released Monday said. It said that some areas in Xinjiang were severely disturbed by terrorism and

China seeking global partners to fund its BRI projects

Press Trust of India | Beijing | Last Updated at March 18 2019 15:55 IST Ahead of its planned second forum to promote its much-touted  Belt and Road Initiative  (BRI),  China  for the first time announced plans to seek global partners to join the project which drew criticism over its predatory loans leaving smaller countries in huge debt. China  will be holding the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in April, which Chinese  Foreign Minister  Wang Yi  stated would be bigger than the one held in 2017. India  boycotted the first BRF meeting over its objections that the BRI flagship project, the China- Pakistan  Economic Corridor (CPEC), traversed through Pakistan-occupied  Kashmir  (PoK).   The second BRF meeting, in which  China plans to rope in several heads of state and government around the world including Italy, is being held amid growing criticism from several countries, specially from the US and India, that the massive loans being doled out for different projects, specially in

China's BRI initiative looks promising, but lacks transparency

By Sumitra Nair March 18, 2019 16:59 IST Chinese President Xi Jinping | AP Chinese President Xi Jinping is on the verge of a major win as Italy prepares to join the Belt and Road Initiative wagon. The President will travel to Italy, Monaco and France this week, and Italy and China will sign a non-binding MoU regarding BRI. Despite reservations by other European nations and discomfiture by the United States, Rome is expected to join Xi's global trade infrastructure programme. The New Silk Road project may seem like an all positive endeavour. But, the problem lies in its transparency. There's the risk of sensitive technology and critical infrastructure being shared. Transparency is especially important when it comes to China’s trade and investments practices. China's trade and investment practise are often seen as opaque and part of a 'debt-trap' diplomacy, with developing countries. European countries Greece and Portugal are becoming heavily dependent on Chinese

Italy takes a chance on Belt and Road

By  SABENA SIDDIQUI MARCH 18, 2019 Attending the first Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in 2017, the previous Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni stopped short of signing up to join the global mega-project, as no other European Union country had shown interest. However, a lot has changed since Italy’s populist right-wing government took over last June, and Rome has formally announced that it will participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) after three high-level visits to Beijing As a country that connects Europe and Africa, Italy is on its way to becoming a prime BRI destination, which will decisively put the contemporary version of the old Silk Road on the ground. In 2018, the EU announced an  exclusive mega-project  of its own, the “EU Corridor,” as a suitable alternative. Setting aside this option, Rome is determined to participate in the Chinese mega-project instead. Engaged in preliminary negotiations, Rome is about to clinch a deal with Beijing and sign some memo

Chinese private businesses mull involving Crimea in Belt and Road Initiative

March 18, 9:52UTC+3 Head of the association of Chinese compatriots on the peninsula said that the Chinese society hopes for the development of friendly cooperation with Crimea Share 0 BEIJING, March 18. /TASS/. China’s private businesses are interested in involving Crimea in the implementation of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, head of the association of Chinese compatriots on the peninsula Ge Zhili reported on Monday. "Our organization is bolstering cooperation ties, exchanges and friendly contacts with all the layers of the Crimean society," he said at the event dedicated to the fifth anniversary of Crimea’s reintegration into Russia that was held in the Russian Embassy in Beijing. "To help people understand what Crimea is, start cooperation with it, establish reliable relations with the peninsula, develop friendly contacts with it and implement joint private projects under the Belt and Road Initiative." READ ALSO Russia's president comme

719 farmers from Balochistan trained for horticulture crops, livestock

 March 18, 2019 Islamabad National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) has imparted training to 1719 farmers, officers and students from 31 districts of Balochistan during last five years in best management practices of cereals, horticultural crops and livestock. Trainee have been selected by provincial Agriculture Extension Department and were imparted training at Poly Technique Institute of the Centre. As per data issued here on Sunday, among them 265 students from Lasbela University, Uthal, Balochistan Agriculture College, Quetta and University of Balochistan have completed their internship at different Research Institutes of PARC and NARC in their areas of specialization since 2013. The data further revealed that two projects are under consideration to conduct more training programmes for farmers of Balochistan in future. These included: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded project for Capacity Development of Agriculture Extension Services in Balochistan Prov

Editorial: CPEC and Gwadar fishermen

MARCH 18, 2019 It is far too often that the weakest and most impoverished amongst us are further marginalised in the name of development and prosperity. Alas, this is what seems to be happening right now in Gwadar, where the development of the Eastbay Expressway — a component of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is to connect the Makran Coastal Highway with the Free Trade Zone of the Gwadar port — is threatening to deprive local fishermen of access to the sea. This is not an issue that has emerged recently. Gwadar’s fishermen were protesting against the current Eastbay Expressway model as far back as October 2018. Leaders of the Fishermen Alliance had expressed concerns back then that the project would prevent them from fishing on Gwadar’s eastern port, which had been the only source of income for many members of the community for centuries. This protest continued for several days, and eventually culminated in a two-day strike on December 27 and 28. Apart from impacti