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Showing posts from February 20, 2020

Experts: China seeking to normalize military presence beyond borders

UPI By Megan Lebowitz Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:52 PM Retired Adm. Dennis Blair testified that if China is able to establish bases at key ports in Pakistan and Myanmar with secure supply lines from China, the country would have the basis for “serious projection capability” in that region of the world. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI WASHINGTON -- China's Belt and Road Initiative, its military base in Africa, and increased humanitarian aid help normalize China's military presence outside its borders as part of an escalating power projection, an expert in the  Asia Pacific  region told a congressional commission Thursday. Testifying before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Kristen Gunness, CEO of Vantage Point Asia, a company that provides strategic advice about Asia to businesses and government, focused on how the Belt and Road Initiative and the Chinese army's overseas deployment helps the country's expeditionary capabilities. The Belt and Road Initiativ

China tests its soft power with neighbours over coronavirus outbreak

  Reuters     Thursday February 20, 2020 10:33 Kitco News VIENTIANE (Reuters) - China called for solidarity on Thursday in a special meeting called to discuss the coronavirus outbreak with Southeast Asian nations, as Beijing faces criticism for its handling of the epidemic. The hastily called gathering in Laos suggested China is seeking support from its smaller neighbours, which have received billions of dollars in Chinese investment and infrastructure in recent years as a key part of its Belt and Road Initiative. ASEAN foreign ministers joined hands with their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the meeting and shouted “Stay strong, Wuhan! Stay strong, China! Stay strong, ASEAN!”. Wuhan is the Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak. “Fear is more threatening than the virus and confidence is more precious than gold,” Wang told a news conference after the meeting, which started with the playing of a video clip of Southeast Asian leaders expressing their support for China. In remar

BRI Project Owners to Woo Global Private Investors at Belt & Road Summit 2020 in Dubai

English  NEWS PROVIDED BY Belt & Road Summit 2020  Feb 20, 2020, 05:24 ET DUBAI , UAE,  Feb. 20, 2020  /PRNewswire/ -- Summary: During an interview for the launch of Belt & Road Summit 2020 in  Dubai , Mark Mobius said that the infrastructure development plays a critical role in unlocking a country's growth potential. He added,  "Infrastructure is an investment opportunity for investors like us." Mark Mobius - Keynote Speaker for Belt & Road Summit 2020 in Dubai (PRNewsfoto/Belt & Road Summit 2020) The recent Belt and Road (BRI) investment on new project contracts worth  $127.7 billion  in 61 countries by Chinese companies has increased international attention, especially in the  Middle East  region. In 2019,  China  had a banner year for bringing nearly 152 countries to join hands in developing the next level of economic growth and global trade, highlighting the UAE signed deals worth  $3.4 billion  through Belt & Road Initiative. In support of the Ch

Euromoney Belt and Road Results Index: Q4 2019 By: Jeremy Weltman Published on:Thursday, February 20, 2020  The Euromoney Belt and Road Index (EBRI) combines International Monetary Fund (IMF) GDP figures with investment climate (IC) scores sourced from economists and political experts who ranked countries on the Euromoney Country Risk platform. The index therefore combines qualitative, crowd-sourced opinion with quantitative data. Using these sources EBRI aims to provide a clear and credible index representing the politico-economic environment and investment climate. Q4 2019 Results Summary The Q4 Belt and Road Index (EBRI) results indicate there are still 52 countries with values larger than 100, comprising the first three (of five) categories, or tiers, that have seen rising GDP and/or improving investor climates since the EBRI’s inception. This number is unchanged from Q3. Bhutan’s rapid economic growth has seen it move into tier one for the first time in Q4, joining Ethiopia, the Maldives, Laos, Bangladesh and Nep

Implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment in Balochistan to Ensure Sustainable Development

By  Contributors  -   February 20, 2020   Balochistan Voice Sadia Hassan Sherani Initial environmental examination (IEE) is a preliminary environmental review of reasonably foreseeable impacts of the proposed activity to determine the adverse impacts of whether an EIA is required for the project or not. It is usually done for small scale projects or projects with no significant adverse impacts and Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an important policy tool that is used for evaluating the impacts of development or any proposed project; including physical, social or/and environmental impacts. It is usually done for large scale projects or projects that cause adverse environmental impacts. It is one of the substantial processes that contribute in the promotion of sustainable development. EIA process not only takes account of the environmental impacts but also the economic, social, cultural and human health-related impacts. The main aim of EIA is ensuring environmental sustainability

CPEC will change destiny of the province: Alvi

By  mohammad zafar  Feb.20,2020 President inaugurates Sibi festival, says govt building dams to tackle water shortage QUETTA:  President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will open new avenues of progress and prosperity and change the country’s destiny, especially of Balochistan province. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of historic Sibi Mela 2020, the President said the construction of Gwadar deep seaport, airport, and oil refinery, important corridors and economic zones will create job opportunities for the people of Balochistan, thereby ending poverty and bringing prosperity in the province. He said Gwadar would emerge as a new developed sea port on the world map. The President said Balochistan was the most affected region in the war against terrorism where the local people suffered a lot. He said the federal government was paying special attention to the construction and development of the province to end the sense of deprivation of the lo

CM vows to protect Balochistan’s interests in Saindak project

FROM THE NEWSPAPER QUETTA: Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has said that his government will protect interests of Balochistan in the Saindak project agreement. In a meeting with an official of MRDL, a Chinese company, during his visit to the Saindak Copper-cum-Gold Project on Thursday, he said no decision would be taken in a hurry. The Chinese company working on the Saindak project had one and half years ago applied for exploration licence for another site close to the present site. Presiding over the meeting, the chief minister reviewed the work on the Saindak project and other issues. Senior officials of the MCC and Chairman of Saindak Metal Project Raziq Sanjrani briefed the CM on the project. During his visit to Taftan, the CM met pilgrims. Commissioner Rakhsan Division Ayaz Jogezai briefed him on facilities provided at the Pakistan House. Mr Alyani inaugurated a sports stadium in Taftan. Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2020

'Coal workers are orphans': the children and slaves mining Pakistan's coal, UK Exploitation in focus Injuries and fatalities are common among thousands of debt-bonded men and children toiling in one of the world’s harshest work environments All photographs by Mashal Baloch by  Shah Meer Baloch  and  Hannah Ellis-Petersen Main image: Miners in Mach, Balochistan. Photograph: Mashal Baloch/Shah Meer Exploitation in focus is supported by About this content Wed 19 Feb 2020  10.20 GMT Last modified on Wed 19 Feb 2020  10.23 GMT Shares 592 T he spectre of death hovers over the coal mines of Balochistan. Under scorching skies, this turbulent south-west region of Pakistan is home to one of the world’s harshest work environments, where tens of thousands of men and children descend below the surface each day to dig up thousands of tonnes of coal. The threats of underground explosions, methane gas poisoning, suffocation, or mine walls collapsing are omnipresent and there is barely a single worker across the state’s five massive commercial coal mines who h