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Showing posts from February 27, 2020

Xi Jinping's coronavirus crucible

Japan Times BY  STEPHEN R. NAGY FEB 27, 2020 The COVID-19 battle being waged in China has fractured the invulnerability that President Xi Jinping has carefully cultivated during his eight years in power. The outbreak could not have come at a worse time as the structural slowdown associated with China’s aging population and low birthrate were already putting downward pressure on the economy. The negative economic consequences from the virus outbreak, in addition to the economic punch the Chinese economy is taking from the trade war with the United States, will accelerate the shift of some businesses and foreign direct investment to Southeast and South Asia to create an alternative production network. This is not good news for a regime that has bet its political life on the Faustian bargain that citizens will forgo political rights in exchange for a stable socio-economic environment in which their lives improve tangibly year by year. The question for China watchers is whether Xi and the

Charts of the Week: China’s rising economic and military spending Tylena Patton-Bullock  and  Fred Dews Thursday, February 27, 2020 The Global China initiative at Brookings has released  a new set of papers  focused on how China is navigating relations with other major powers and what it means for the U.S. and the international order. In this edition of Charts of the Week, a sample of some of the data and analysis from a few of those papers. Visit  Global China  to learn more and download papers on a range of themes focused on China’s growing role in the world. INDIA’S TRADE IMBALANCE WITH CHINA ADDS TO FRICTION In her paper,  Tanvi Madan  explores  India’s ties with China , including cooperation, competition, and possibly conflict. “There had been some hope that growing economic ties [between India and China] would alleviate some of these strategic differences,” Madan writes, “[b]ut economic links have indeed added to the friction.” In fact, Madan notes, India’s trade deficit with China is about a third of India’s total trade imbalance

Nepalese object to US-led initiative aimed at China Nepalese object to US-led initiative aimed at China By Hu Yuwei Published: 2020/2/28 7:21: Photo: VCG Nepalese associations and representatives have called for the dismissal of a US-led initiative waiting for approval by the Nepalese parliament, as it is thought to be a key component of the US Indo-Pacific strategy. The strategic plan outlines military efforts aimed at countering China, a country that has long been a friendly neighbor to Nepal. The initiative would force Nepal to get involved in the competition between China and the US, analysts said, noting that Nepal would not cater to US political strategy at the expense of its friendship with China and be lured with a "financial grant" that has strings attached to Nepal's geopolitical position.  A joint letter sent to the Global Times shows that many Nepalese organizations, party members and individuals condemned and protested against the initiative named "Millennium Challenge

Guangzhou Subway Operator Inks Deal in Pakistan By  Fang Zuwang  and  Lu Yutong Line 1 of the Guangzhou Metro. Photo: VCG The subway operator in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou will export its expertise through a new tie-up in Pakistan, in line with China’s “Belt and Road” initiative that encourages Chinese infrastructure firms to share such expertise with other developing countries. Guangzhou Metro on Tuesday announced the signing of an eight-year contract for the operation and maintenance of the orange metro line in Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore. It marks the first such subway operation project between the pair under “Belt and Road,” according to a document reviewed by Caixin. The value of the tie-up was not disclosed. Construction of the line was done by another Chinese consortium including  China State Railway Group Co. Ltd.  and  China North Industries Corp.  They built the line between 2015 and 2019, which includes 26 stations and allows trains to travel at a top sp

India likely to join US to counter China’s global connectivity plans

Countering China’s Belt Road Initiative, Trump convinces India to join mega Blue Dot Network to connect Indo-Pacific region Iftikhar Gilani   | 27.02.2020 ANKARA India has nearly agreed to join the Blue Dot Network (BDN), a U.S.-led project aimed at developing an alternative to the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) -- a global infrastructure development strategy, covering nearly 70 countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa. While media remained focused on the signing of a $3 billion military equipment deal and lacking of agreements on trade, sources in the Indian government said a convergence between the U.S. and India on the joining the BDN was a major takeaway of President Donald Trump’s recently concluded visit. Backed by the U.S, the BDN is a G7 initiative involving Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. Besides G7 nations, Australia has also joined the initiative to promote “multi-stakeholder sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and arou

India in the virtual Belt and Road

Over the last five years, China has quietly created a significant place for itself in India – in the technology domain. While India has refused to sign on to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this map shows India's positioning in the virtual BRI to be strategically invaluable for China. Nearly $4 billion in venture investments in start-ups, the online ecosystem and apps have been made by Chinese entities. This is just the beginning; there is much more to come. BY   Amit Bhandari  and  Aashna Agarwal Over the last five years, China has quietly created a significant place for itself in India – in the technology domain. Unable to persuade India to sign on to its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has entered the Indian market through  venture investments in start-ups  and penetrated the online ecosystem with its popular smartphones and their  applications (apps) . Image  |  PDF Chinese tech investors have put an  estimated $4 billion into Indian start-ups . Such is their

Tax Strategy And China’s Belt And Road Initiative Nana Ama Sarfo Contributor Sean C Tan (1st LEFT), vice president of NagaCorp; SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST VIA GETTY IMAGES Later this year, hundreds of tax and finance officials from governments worldwide are expected to descend upon Kazakhstan for a massive tax conference. None of the usual suspects are spearheading the event — it isn’t being led by the OECD, nor is it the brainchild of the World Bank, IMF, or U.N. Rather, China is the organizing force behind this new tax venture, and there’s a lot of money at stake. The tax discussions that China hopes to steer are integral to the country’s ambitious international development plans. Over the next few decades, China plans to invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure projects around the world to create a modern Silk Road, allowing it to ferry its goods across land and sea without disruption. If it succeeds, the results of the Belt and Road Initiative will be unprecedented. But plans for international development mean little

Balochistan: Pakistan’s precious gem

  Zalan Khan Yousafzai 10 hours ago Pakistan despite being teemed with natural as well as unnatural resources imports a range of products. These products can easily be produced locally. But for this, rock solid will of the relevant stakeholders is required which unfortunately cannot be observed. According Economic Complexity Index (ECI) as of 2017 Pakistan was importing refined petroleum for $7.04B, Crude Petroleum for $2.88B and petroleum gas for $1.84B. All these figures show how much we have been spending on importing petroleum products while having large sums of them in our pocket. Pakistan is blessed to have many natural resources, always soliciting to be cashed. Most of these are lying beneath Balochistan basin, amongst these resources petroleum and natural minerals are dominant ones. Being Pakistan’s largest province by area it has a lot of service to offer but ironically due to poor management, infrastructure, political instability, ongoing insurgencies and foreign


By Barkha Kumari, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Feb 28, 2020, 06.00 AM IST Old-time Bengalurean Gayatri Chandrashekar will present her surprising find at Unravelling Neighbourhood Stories today Jayanagar is known for its tree-lined avenues, wide roads, shopping centres and to some extent, its old-world charm. But long-time resident Gayatri Chandrashekar can tell you a lot more about the neighbourhood. The former TV news anchor with Doordarshan Bangalore and a singer, Chandrashekar leads us to the antecedents of 16th A and 17th cross roads in Jayanagar’s 3rd Block. One that has a connection with Balochistan, a south-west province in Pakistan. In 1918, Ghouse Khan Tareen used to work with the Imperial Police Force and was transferred from Quetta in Balochistan to Chintamani in the Mysore state. He moved there with his family and later to Chamrajpet. Obeidulla Khan Tareen, his son, was supposed to replace his father in the police force after Ghouse Khan died. “Obeidulla w

Coronavirus scare: Sindh, Balochistan schools to reopen in March Pakistan Web Desk February 27, 2020 All public and private schools in Sindh to remain closed till March 2, 2020 Share Next Story >>> The News/Files QUETTA: Educational institutions in Sindh will remain closed till March 2, 2020, while those in Balochistan will resume on March 15,2020, Geo News reported on Thursday. A notification issued by the Government of Sindh said that keeping in mind the preventive measures taken in light of the two coronavirus cases emerging in Pakistan, as a preventive measure, schools in the two provinces will reopen now in March. A copy of the Balochistan government's notification announcing the closure of educational institutes until March 15. The News/Handout A notification by the Government of Balochistan clarified that all public and private educational institutes, as well as madrassas, would remain closed after two coronavirus cases were confirmed in Pakistan — one each in Karachi and Islamabad. "The ongoing examinations o

USAID-Balochistan project to boost livestock productivity

By  ​ our correspondent  Feb.27,2020 Small owners will be provided convenient access to markets and training QUETTA:    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a 4-year US $8.2 million cooperative agreement with the Balochistan Department of Livestock & Dairy Development. Department Secretary Dostain Khan Jamaldini and USAID representative Dr Fahim Abbasi  signed the agreement. Balochistan Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Mitha Khan Kakar, Inayatullah Kakar, Dr Shahid Amin and others were also present on the occasion. The project, named Pakistan Agricultural Technology Transfer Activities (PATTA), aims to increase the productive capacity of animals through the use of modern technology which would enable cattle owners to gain financial stability and improve their quality of life. To achieve this, small owners would be provided convenient access to markets as well as training to enhance their capability, management and technical skills. I

China fears mount over virus cases from outside

Beijing (AFP) A month of containment measures to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus in China seems to be working, but the rise of overseas cases means the country is now facing a fresh challenge -- keeping it out. News of the discovery of infection in someone who had travelled from Iran has exploded on social media and raised fears that efforts to lock down millions of people in the mainland might have been in vain. The virus emerged in central China in December but has now spread globally, with a flurry of new outbreaks in countries including South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy. China is now exploring the possibility of adopting "targeted prevention and control measures" for people arriving from abroad, the foreign ministry said, while those landing in the Chinese capital from countries hit by the epidemic will have to self-quarantine. Hundreds of passengers from South Korea arriving in eastern China were placed in isolation after people on two flights were discovered

How China Added Another 1.4 Billion Low-Cost, Offshore Workers to its Production Capacity

 February 27, 2020 Posted by China Briefing Reading Time: 5 minutes Op/Ed by  Chris Devonshire-Ellis   China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) now covers 147 countries and territories, with projects and investment loans going out to nearly all of them. There is much debate and controversy about the BRI, not least with accusations that China is loading up smaller nations with debt (although why China would wish to do this is never explained) and is militaristic in design (although how China’s navy could effectively seize sea ports in Asia also remains unexplained). Consequently, my opinion is that China has instead come up with a scheme that allows it to secure much needed future supply chains via the three following criteria: Possession of the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves valued at over US$3 trillion. (By comparison, the US is 22 nd .) Affordable loans – China can afford to borrow money at very low rates. Via the BRI, it has been passing these rates on, together with a smal