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Thread: CPEC and Developments

  1. #196
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    External goods and capital are still welcome in most parts of the world.

    Only the movement of labour part of the globalisation equation is being questioned but then it always was

    Distributors of imported goods can rent shelf spaces in stores and malls but they can't do the same on e-retail sites.
    Really ?

    I'd have said the exact opposite. The only way to get hold of imported good is via e-retail

    The only restriction is how many of one product can be bought per customer
    Last edited by Double Edge; 10 Dec 17, at 15:24.

  2. #197
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Who are these terrorists ? why not name names

    Caution urged for Chinese in Pakistan | China Daily | Dec 09 2017

    By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-09 07:11
    Terrorists reportedly have planned to launch a series of attacks on Chinese agencies and personnel in Pakistan in the near future, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan said in an "important security notice" issued on its website on Friday.

    The embassy alerted Chinese agencies based in the South Asian country and Chinese citizens there to boost security awareness, strengthen internal precautions, minimize outdoor activities and avoid going to crowded places.
    The notice was issued at a time when terrorist threats continue to plague the country.

    On Dec 1, four terrorists launched an attack on a student hostel in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 35, said Xinhua News Agency, citing local Urdu media ARY.

    Zhang Daojian, the Chinese director of the Confucius Institute in Islamabad, said the teaching operations of his institute continue, though the institute has required faculty members to reduce the amount of time spent outdoors.

    "Our teachers are told to return by a car as soon as possible and avoid long-term stays after finishing teaching in places outside (the institute)," Zhang said.

    Chinese in the country are asked to cooperate if they are checked by the Pakistani military or police, the embassy notice said.

    In case of emergency, Chinese in the country should call the police and contact the Chinese embassy or Consulate General for help, according to the notice.

    In May, the embassy issued a security notice alerting Chinese citizens to minimize going outdoors and to boost security precautions after several cases of terrorist attacks or abductions were reported in the country's southwestern Balochistan province.

    Lin Minwang, a professor on South Asian studies at Fudan University, said the latest alert is a good reminder to Chinese travelers who plan to travel to the country but are not fully aware of the security situation there.

    As China and Pakistan enjoy a high level of bilateral political mutual trust, and their anti-terror cooperation has worked smoothly through numerous communication channels, the two sides should further boost their collaboration, Lin said.

    The possibility cannot be ruled out that attacks planned against Chinese in Pakistan would aim to alienate the two nations, Lin added.

    Boosting collaboration on security and anti-terror affairs has been high on the bilateral agenda of Beijing and Islamabad, as well as on the agenda for regional cooperation.

    Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou told Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Beijing on November 21 that China appreciates Pakistan's efforts in cracking down on the extremist and terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement and championing security for the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

    Eight Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries held an anti-cyberterrorism joint drill on Wednesday in Xiamen, Fujian province-the first joint anti-terrorism drill attended by eight members since India and Pakistan joined the SCO in June.

  3. #198
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Russian take on OBOR

    Belt and Road to Where? | Carnegie (Moscow) | Dec 08 2017

    The “Belt and Road” concept has become so inflated, that it’s no longer helpful in understanding anything about China’s relationship with the outside world, but only further obscures an already complicated picture.

    The embedded notion of China having a strategic culture dates back to Sun Zi and Zhuge Liang; forcing analysts to search for a Chinese strategy even when there is scarcely a hint of one. Tell-tale signs of strategy include stated goals, criteria of success, and a timeline. None of these are prominently part of the OBOR concept.

    The Belt and Road initiative lacks a clearly stated goal. Against this background, many analysts produce their own theories on what exactly Zhongnanhai had in mind with the Belt and Road idea. Some explanations point to geostrategic rationales.The spectrum of theories reflects not only the diverse backgrounds and research priorities of scholars outside of China looking at Belt and Road, but also the wide range of opinions and approaches toward this initiative taken within China.

    Most Chinese officials and analysts who advise Beijing would acknowledge in private conversations, that the top leadership has not given them much positive direction about what Belt and Road actually is. The only internal instructions that have come so far, have been from Zhongnanhai, and are about banning words like “project” (because the word connotes a goal and timeline, Beijing prefers the looser term “initiative”) as well as banning the publication of official maps purporting to show the scope of OBOR.

    Lack of stated goals is closely tied to the second feature of the Belt and Road, which distinguishes it from a strategy — the initiative doesn’t have any performance criteria. Beijing has not, identified any quantifiable indicators of success or progress. This means that a great many things can be presented as progress under OBOR.

    Scholars and the media often follow the official Chinese narrative in trying to calculate figures for trade and investment along the new Silk Road. However, the criteria used to qualify a particular project in a particular country for inclusion in OBOR have become extremely elastic. It appears that even a casual remark from a low ranking official about “support” for OBOR or suggesting a country’s “interest” in a project in a neighbouring country can be sufficient to see that country added as a participant in OBOR. The hundreds of random agreements listed as signed during the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, is the best testament to this approach.

    Last but not least, OBOR doesn’t have a timeframe. No timeframe is to be found in the speeches of Xi Jinping and other officials, or in documents and roadmaps published by the Chinese government. Most of the time, when confronted directly over the timeline issue, Chinese officials and experts say that Belt and Road is a long-term goal that doesn’t have an underlying set of deadlines. Interestingly enough, not only does Belt and Road stretch into the indefinite future, it also reaches into the past. Some of China’s old projects, like the construction of Gwadar Port in Pakistan, which began in 2002, are now listed among the Belt and Road’s flagship achievements. This approach allows Beijing to re-package old deals and projects in OBOR wrapping, and present them to the world as Belt and Road deliverables.

    China’s current and prospective partners may find this uncertainty and lack of focus problematic. But for the Chinese political system, this lack of clarity around Belt and Road is actually a good thing. After all, the lack of performance criteria gives the government more latitude to declare positive outcomes and address the desire of all governments but, perhaps especially important to singleparty regimes, is the ability to appear successful, victorious and influential on the global stage.

    Russia’s experience also illustrates that OBOR is a multifaceted and adaptive tool for Chinese public diplomacy and overseas propaganda, but hardly a real strategy. The last two years have been a rude awakening for Russia and its EEU partners. The experience has been that adding the “OBOR” brand to a project did not elicit any additional concessions from the Chinese side, and that in most cases Beijing has looked for profitable projects with a good internal rate of return. For example, out of 40 projects that support transport connectivity between Western China and Europe through EEU states, Beijing declined to invest in a single one, citing unsustainable financial models and unclear prospects for returns.

    Setting aside the shortcomings of the Belt and Road concept, the ‘OBOR hype’ around the world points to a real and fundamental trend — the ascent of China as a truly global economic and military power. While there may be no well-calculated and informed strategy behind Belt and Road, the increase in China’s external trade, military power, overseas investment and its imprint on various fields of global governance is undeniable. The visibility of Belt and Road is not driven by its intrinsic merits but rather stems from the cumulative impact of three decades of fast economic growth, a transformed and digitalised PLA, the globalised and innovative Chinese companies and a new generation of confident and sophisticated Chinese officials, officers and businesspeople — particularly amid America’s gradual retreat from global engagement.

  4. #199
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Paks need a bailout from the IMF

    Pakistan’s economic fortunes now in the hands of the IMF | Asia Times | Dec 17 2017

    WIth Islamabad running out of funds to service its debt payments and current account deficit, talks are underway with regard to a bailout package

  5. #200
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Gwadar getting attention

    Hoping to extend maritime reach, China lavishes aid on Pakistan town | ET | Dec 17 2017

    Beijing and Islamabad see Gwadar as the future jewel in the crown of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative to build a new "Silk Road" of land and maritime trade routes across more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

    The plan is to turn Gwadar into a trans-shipment hub and megaport to be built alongside special economic zones from which export-focused industries will ship goods worldwide. A web of energy pipelines, roads and rail links will connect Gwadar to China's western regions.

    Port trade is expected to grow from 1.2 million tonnes in 2018 to about 13 million tonnes by 2022, Pakistani officials say. At the harbour, three new cranes have been installed and dredging will next year deepen the port depth to 20 metres at five berths.

    China's Gwadar project contrasts with similar efforts in Sri Lanka, where the village of Hambantota was transformed into a port complex - but was saddled with Chinese debt.

    Last week, Sri Lanka formally handed over operations to China on a 99-year lease in exchange for lighter debt repayments, a move that sparked street protests over what many Sri Lankans view as an erosion of sovereignty.

    The Hambantota port, like Gwadar, is part of a network of harbours Beijing is developing in Asia and Africa that have spooked India, which fears being encircled by China's growing naval power.

    But Pakistani officials say comparisons to Hambantota are unfair because the Gwadar project has much less debt.


    When China suggested a 7,000 metre runway for the new airport, Pakistan pushed for a 12,000 metre one that could accommodate planes as large as the Airbus 380 and be used for military purposes, according to Sajjad Baloch, a director of the Gwadar Development Authority.

    The scale of Chinese grants is extraordinary, according to Brad Parks, executive director of AidData, a research lab at the U.S.-based William and Mary university that collected data on Chinese aid across 140 countries from 2000-2014.

    Since 2014, Beijing has pledged over $800 million in grants and concessional loans for Gwadar, which has less than 100,000 people. In the 15 years before that, China gave about $2.4 billion in concessional loans and grants during this period across the whole of Pakistan, a nation of 207 million people.

    "Gwadar is exceptional even by the standards of China's past activities in Pakistan itself," Parks said.

    For its investment in Gwadar, China will receive 91 percent of revenues until the port is returned to Pakistan in four decades' time. The operator, China Overseas Ports Holding Company, will also be exempt from major taxes for more than 20 years.

    Pakistan's maritime affairs minister, Hasil Bizenjo, said the arrival of the Chinese in the region contrasted with the experience of the past two centuries, when Russia and Britain, and later the United States and the Soviet Union, vied for control of the warm water ports of the Persian Gulf.

    "The Chinese have come very smoothly, they have reached the warm waters," Bizenjo told Reuters. "What they are investing is less than a peanut for access to warm waters."

    When a U.S. Pentagon report in June suggested Gwadar could become a military base for China, a concern that India has also expressed, Beijing dismissed the idea.

    "Talk that China is building a military base in Pakistan is pure guesswork," said a Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman, Wu Sian.

    Bizenjo and other Pakistani officials say Beijing has not asked to use Gwadar for naval purposes.

    "This port, they will use it mostly for their commercial interests, but it depends on the next 20 years where the world goes," Bizenjo said.
    In contrast Chabahr is being upgraded to handle 8 million tons from 2 millino with an eventual goal of 80 million tons. Much bigger than Gwadar

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