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Showing posts from February 24, 2020

Xinjiang and the South China Sea complicate Malaysia–China relations 24 February 2020 Author: Ngeow Chow Bing, University of Malaya After a historic 2018 election victory, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and his Pakatan Harapan coalition seemed to be rolling back Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) deals forged under his predecessor Najib Razak. Mahathir suspended the mostly China-financed US$20 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and several similar smaller projects. Foreign  pundits  quickly lauded Malaysia’s apparent pushback against China’s BRI. But 2019 proved to be a ‘ turnaround ’ year. In April, Malaysia  announced  that the ECRL was back on track. A few days later, the revival of Bandar Malaysia — a project suspended by the Najib government — was also announced. This followed negotiations that shaped the projects to be more in-line with the Pakatan government’s economic agenda. Mahathir also welcomed Chinese technology giant  Huawei  to construct Malaysia’s 5G telecommunications network. Mahathir also attended the secon

Sihanoukville eyes a bright future to become ‘Shenzhen of Cambodia’

By Lan Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/24 20:48:40 ○ Sihanoukville, Cambodia develops rapidly by taking advantage of its port   ○ The  Belt and Road  Initiative has brought a large amount of Chinese investment   ○ Sihanoukville is taking steps to become a metropolis, but challenges to the city's growth remain An international cruise docks at the Sihanoukville port, Cambodia. Photo: Lan Hui/GT After allowing the MS Westerdam and its 2,000 passengers and crew to dock at its port on February, Sihanoukville, a quiet and small port city in Cambodia has commanded the global spotlight.  Aside from offering a safe departure for those on board, Sihanoukville is in the midst of providing opportunities for its residents and those from the region. Chinese commerce and investment have brought industrial parks, factories, commercial housing, hotels, restaurants and casinos as well. The seaside tourist city is gradually changing into an engine of Cambodia's economy.  Over the past f

Can Latin America's first AIIB member learn from past mistakes? Ecuador joined the China-led AIIB in November but has failed to avoid controversy with previous Chinese infrastructure projects Génesis Lozano   February 24, 2020 Share Ecuador joined the AIIB in November but critics are wary of a series of overpriced co-ventures with China, including the Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower plant (above, image:  Carlos Rodriguez/ANDES ) In a first for Latin America, on November 1 Ecuador became a fully-fledged member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the China-led multilateral bank that began operating in 2015 with a mandate to finance development projects around the world. Whether or not  Ecuador  can properly take advantage of its AIIB membership will depend on managing new resources in such a way that promotes good practices, tempers social conflict, and encourages greater transparency and high environmental standards.   The AIIB’s first Latin American partner “This is a very special opportunity for our country to furthe

Managing China: Competitive engagement, with Indian characteristics Managing China: Competitive engagement, with Indian characteristics Tanvi Madan February 2020 DOWNLOAD  Download the full report Executive Summary This paper explores India’s ties with China, outlining how they have evolved over the course of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s years in office. It lays out the elements of cooperation, competition, and potentially conflict in the Sino-Indian relationship, as well as the leverage the two countries potentially hold over each other. The paper also examines the approach that Delhi has developed to manage its China relationship — one that can be characterized as “competitive engagement with Indian characteristics.” The paper details how and why India is simultaneously engaging with Beijing, where that is feasible, and competing with China, alone and in partnership with others. Finally, the paper considers what could cause India to reevaluate its approach to China either toward greater accommodation or greater competition. The paper

Seeking scholastic betterment in Balochistan

Daily Barbarism, violence and humiliation are highly promoted in a state where doors to education and cognizance remain unknown or beyond reach.  Education  is historically the only source that enhances the peaceful portrait of a developed country and reduce woes of wrongdoings. Enlightened and non-belligerent countries have always made education their first priority. There is not an iota of doubt that compulsory education in many countries including Pakistan is considered a birth right. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, despite the clause of free and compulsory education in its constitution, students face pressure and hardships. That has proven to be the major reason that makes Pakistan the world’s second highest country suffering from the largest number of out-of-school children. The statistics paint a gloomy picture of the current government’s failure to deal with the needs of students. In Asia, Pakistan is one of those states where the right to education is denied to a large

CPEC and the state of the economy Opinion Foqia Sadiq Khan February 25, 2020 There are loud noises over the perceived mismanagement of the economy by the present government. In this environment, it is worthwhile to review the relevant literature.Economist Shahid Javed... Share Next Story >>> There are loud noises over the perceived mismanagement of the economy by the present government. In this environment, it is worthwhile to review the relevant literature. Economist Shahid Javed Burki’s Institute (the Burki Institute of Public Policy) has recently launched its 12th annual report on ‘The State of Economy’. It has some chapters written by Burki himself and others by his co-authors. We are going to refer to certain parts of this report in this article. The report in the beginning gives credit to the PTI government for being different from “patron-client and dynastic politics” (that is debatable), yet it states that the government’s accountability drive and its financial austerity measures are the

Tree-plantation drive next month in Balochistan

By  app   Feb.19,2020 Balochistan govt prioritises mountainous areas for the tree plantation drive ISLAMABAD:  Balochistan government prepared to launch spring tree plantation drive in the province from March in a bid to promote greenery and reduce challenges and impacts of global warming in the province. According to a provincial forest department official, the department would distribute saplings and cultivated plants among citizens to achieve the target of 250 million plants under the project of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’. Talking to APP, the official said, the government had planted 80,000 trees during the month of February in the second phase of the drive. “The government will achieve the target of 3.2million trees this year to make the environment clean and green in the province,” said the official added trees played major role in improving urban landscape and helping to protect the environment. He added the government had prioritised mountainous areas for the drive and the fores

Balochistan Govt to establish PHA to preserve greenery

By  app   Feb.24,2020 The move is aimed at transforming Balochistan into a top travel destination ISLAMABAD:  The Balochistan government has decided to set up Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) to preserve and promote greenery and province’s horticulture. The move is aimed at transforming Balochistan into a top travel destination which would eventually help improve its image and ensure a cleaner and a green environment. “A bill will be tabled in the provincial assembly soon to set up the first-ever ‘beautification authority’ of Balochistan,” provincial minister Mitha Khan Kakar told APP here on Sunday. “It is the first government in Balochistan that has decided to form the PHA, which is imperative for promoting the province as one of the top tourist destinations of the country,” he added. Kakar said public parks would be constructed on modern lines in a bid to provide a recreational opportunity to residents of the province. Published in The Express Tribune, February 24 th , 2020.  

GSP plans mapping of 50 Toposheets in Balochistan for minerals identification February 24, 2020 10 ISLAMABAD, Feb 24 (APP):The Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) has planned to map 50 Toposheets of ‘outcrop area’ in Balochistan province for identification of minerals at a cost of Rs 127.595 million during a three-year period. “The project has been submitted to the quarters concerned for its incorporation in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2020-2021), under which 50 geological mapping of Toposheets of Outcrop Area, out of 354 unmapped Toposheets, of Balochistan will be carried out,” according to an official document available with APP. The GSP has demanded funds amounting to Rs 50.130 million for execution of the project during the next fiscal year. The geological maps provide a bird’s eye view of the surface and (subsurface) distribution of various types of rocks and economic minerals that are found in a particular region. “These maps are essential for all future detailed geological works including, minerals’ exploration, civil engineering

Balochistan’s tourism potential: What is holding it back? Pakistan Muhammad Ejaz Khan February 24, 2020 Balochistan has an array of historical landmarks, pristine beaches and green valleys. Yet, few know about them Photo: The Balochistan government has held a series of seminars to promote tourism in Pakistan’s largest and most neglected province, and to encourage private companies to take an interest. Balochistan has an array of historical landmarks, pristine beaches and green valleys. Yet, few know about them. From the emerald green coast of Makran to the hilly stations of Ziarat and Suleman Range, the province offers a perfect mix, all waiting to be discovered. There are close to two dozen touristy spots. However, what has stemmed the flow of visitors is the lack of resorts and hotels around and near the landmarks. Last week officials from Balochistan held a marathon-seminar in Karachi to showcase the province’s tourism potential. Since officials have had their hands tied and their budgets low, they have once again reac

Coronavirus: Pakistan closes its border with Iran in Balochistan for fear of Coronavirus spread Balochistan government has declared emergency in the border area as precautionary measure 18:03 February 23, 2020 Pakistan shuts its Taftan border with Iran for fear of Coronavirus spread Image Credit: Courtesy ISPRAshfaq Ahmed, Associate Editor - Online Dubai: Balochitan province in Pakistan has declared emergency in areas close to Pakistan-Iran border in the wake of reports of death in Iran due to Coronavirus cases. Pakistan has also announced to temporarily shut its Taftan border with Iran and suspended all passengers and cargo transportation on Saturday as the number of casualties from the novel coronavirus in Iran rose to eight. Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove confirmed that the border was temporarily closed by the authorities in light of reports of coronavirus deaths in Iran, reported Dawn news. “Yes we have closed the border,” Langove said. Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has tweeted that he had spoken to Prime Minister Imran Khan