China submarines outnumber U.S. fleet: U.S. admiral
Washington: (Reuters) – China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top U.S. Navy admiral told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior.
Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of deployment.
For instance, China had carried out three deployments in the Indian Ocean, and had kept vessels out at sea for 95 days, Mulloy said.
“We know they are out experimenting and looking at operating and clearly want to be in this world of advanced submarines,” Mulloy told the committee.
U.S. military officials in recent months have grown increasingly vocal about China’s military buildup and launched a major push to ensure that U.S. military technology stays ahead of rapid advances by China and Russia.
Mulloy said the quality of China’s submarines was lower than those built by the United States, but the size of its undersea fleet had now surpassed that of the U.S. fleet. A spokeswoman said the U.S. Navy had 71 commissioned U.S. submarines.
In its last annual report to Congress about China’s military and security developments, the Pentagon said China had 77 principal surface combatant ships, more than 60 submarines, 55 large and medium amphibious ships, and about 85 missile-equipped small combatants.
Mulloy did not provide details about the number of surface ships now operated by China.
He said the U.S. military did not believe China carried nuclear missiles on its submarines, but that it had been producing missiles and testing them.
News courtesy: Reuters
Read more » http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/us-usa-china-submarines-idUSKBN0LT2NE20150225
India to negotiate free trade zone with Russia-led Customs Union
India is to start negotiating a free trade agreement with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan within the next six months, Indian Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry Rajeev Kher has said.
A Russian-Indian working group which was established in November 2014 will consider the negotiating of a comprehensive free trade agreement between India and the Customs Union.
Kher said the working group would put forward proposals within the next six months and the negotiating process would start after that, TASS reports.
As most of the developed world in the West is suffering an economic downturn, the developing world has been stepping up efforts to bring their economies closer.
Most recently, China said it could establish a free trade zone with a broader Russia-led economic bloc that also includes Armenia and is expected to include Kyrgyzstan soon.
The Eurasian customs union is a regional bloc that includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan aimed at creating a single economic space with common tariffs. The group has a population of 168 million people and a GDP of more than $2 trillion.
The BRICS countries which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will also have established by the end of the year the $100 billion New Development Bank, as a rival to the IMF and the World Bank.
The World’s 10 Fastest Growing Metropolitan Areas
With only 20 percent of the population, the world’s 300 largest metropolitan economies account for nearly half of global economic output. Through our new Global Metro Monitorreport and interactive, users can understand the individual trajectories of the world’s large metropolitan economies and gain new insights into sources of growth that national or regional assessments tend to obscure.
The fastest growing metro areas this year, as measured by our economic performance index that combines employment and GDP per capita growth, are concentrated in China, Turkey and the Middle East.
Read more » Brrokings
See more » http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/the-avenue/posts/2015/02/10-worlds-10-fastest-growing-metropolitan-areas-parilla-trujillo?cid=00900015020089101US0001-02241
The Russian State Duma has ratified the $100 billion BRICS bank that’ll serve as a pool of money for infrastructure projects in Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa, and challenge the dominance of the Western-led World Bank and the IMF.
The New Development Bank is expected to start fully functioning by the end of 2015, according to the Russian Finance Ministry.
Russia has agreed to provide $2 billion dollars from the federal budget for the bank over the next seven years.
It will have three-tiers of corporate governance, with a Board of Governors, Board of Directors and a President.
The bank’s board of directors will hold its first meeting in Ufa in Russia in April. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is likely to become the bank’s first Chairman of the Board of Governors, according to Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak talking on the Russia 24 TV channel.
The decision to establish the BRICS bank, along with a $100 billion reserve currency pool, was made in July 2014. Each of the five member countries is expected to allocate an equal share of the $50 billion startup capital that will be expanded to $100 billion.
The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, India will serve as the first five-year rotating president, and the first Chairman of the Board of Directors will come from Brazil.
Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/business/234027-russia-ratifies-brics-bank/
It is unclear whether Chinese President Xi Jinping may accept Pakistan’s invitation to preside over a symbolic national military parade on March 23, with officials in Beijing indicating that the Chinese leader was more likely to visit in April or May.
While a decision has not been taken yet on when Xi will visit Pakistan – the Chinese leader had already in September cancelled a visit on account of security concerns – Pakistan has been pushing for Xi to preside over the March 23 military parade, which will be the first to be held in seven years. In recent weeks, a number of Pakistani media reports suggested the Chinese leader had confirmed his attendance.
An announcement on the visit was expected last week with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visiting Pakistan to firm up the dates. Following his two-day talks, however, Wang only said the visit would take place some time “early” this year.
IN RECENT weeks, economists at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and Goldman Sachs, a bank, have tentatively suggested that within a year or two, India’s economy might be growing more quickly than China’s. The day came sooner than they had imagined. Official statistics published on February 9th revealed that India’s GDP rose by 7.5% in 2014, a shade faster than China’s economy managed over the same period (see chart). Narendra Modi, India’s publicity-savvy prime minister, could scarcely have hoped for a better endorsement of his first few months in office.
Read more » The Economist
See more » http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21642656-indias-economy-grew-faster-chinas-end-2014-catching-dragon?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/catchingthedragon
BEIJING (Reuters) – The Islamic State has killed three Chinese militants who joined its ranks in Syria and Iraq and later attempted to flee, a Chinese state-run newspaper said, the latest account of fighters from China embroiled in the Middle East conflict.
China has expressed concern about the rise of the Islamic State, nervous about the effect it could have on its Xinjiang region, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.
But Beijing has also shown no sign of wanting to take part in the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to use military force against the militant group.
Around 300 Chinese extremists were fighting with the Islamic State after traveling to Turkey, the Global Times, a tabloid run by China’s ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, said in December.
The paper on Thursday cited an unnamed Kurdish security official as saying that a Chinese man was “arrested, tried and shot dead” in Syria in late September by the Islamic State after he became disillusioned with jihad and attempted to return to Turkey to attend university.
“Another two Chinese militants were beheaded in late December in Iraq, along with 11 others from six countries. The Islamic State charged them with treason and accused them of trying to escape,” the official said, according to the paper.
Islamic State, which has seized parts of northern and eastern Syria as well as northern and western Iraq, has killed hundreds off the battlefield since the end of June, when it declared a caliphate.
Chinese officials blame separatists from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) for carrying out attacks in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people. But they are vague about how many people from China are fighting in the Middle East.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not comment on the report at a regular press briefing, but said China was opposed to “all forms of terrorism”.
“China is willing to work with the international community to combat terrorist forces, including ETIM, and safeguard global peace, security and stability,” Hong said.
Human rights advocates say economic marginalization of Uighurs and curbs on their culture and religion are the main causes of ethnic violence in Xinjiang and around China that has killed hundreds of people in recent years. China denies these assertions.
China has criticized the Turkish government for offering shelter to Uighur refugees who have fled through southeast Asia, saying it creates a global security risk.
(Reporting by Michael Martina and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Read more » http://news.yahoo.com/islamic-state-executes-three-chinese-militants-china-paper-083953180.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw
NEW DELHI: China and Russia decided on Monday to back the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) — a resolution supported by India and heavily biased against Pakistan.
At a meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Beijing, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said her counterparts from the two countries understood the need for endorsing the resolution that has been pending at the UN for nearly two decades and seeks to widen the existing definition of terrorism.
The CCIT was proposed by India in 1996 in lieu of Pakistan allegedly backing Kashmiri separatists.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the RIC communiqué vouched to oppose terrorism of all forms and called all countries to join efforts in combating terrorism together with the United Nations.
Speaking at a press conference after the RIC meeting, Swaraj told reporters: “Our discussions on terrorism brought consensus on two issues. Firstly, there can be no ideological, religious, political, racial or any other justification for the acts of terrorism and secondly the need to bring to justice perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these acts of terror.”
Swaraj added that the ministers emphasized the need to step up information gathering and sharing and prevent the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the purposes of recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts.
News courtesy » The Express Tribune
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/832183/china-russia-back-india-on-un-terror-resolution-targeting-pakistan/
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China in May, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has announced during a three-day visit to Beijing.
China is one of India’s top trading partners but they vie for regional influence and dispute their border.
The announcement comes after US President Barack Obama’s landmark visit to India last week.
India and the US share an interest in curbing China’s growing regional influence.
During Mr Obama’s landmark visit he and Mr Modi signed the “Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region” pledging to work together to keep freedom of navigation, maritime security and air space safe, especially in the South China Sea.
Correspondents say it was the first time India and the US had come together openly to say that they do not want Asia to be dominated by one power.
“Mr Modi is going to come in May. I will give them dates today. This is a preparatory visit,” Ms Swaraj told reporters in Beijing, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to take Mr Modi to his home province of Shaanxi, reports say.
Mr Xi visited India in September. The two sides signed 12 agreements during his visit.
Read more » BBC
Learn more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-31087807
By Saibal Dasgupta,TNN
BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has made an exception by agreeing to meet the visiting Indian external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, on Monday. The Chinese president rarely meets the visiting foreign ministers from other countries, who are sometimes accorded respect by a meeting with the country’s premier.
Xi’s desire to have direct consultations with Swaraj could be related to the recent New Delhi visit by US President Barack Obama. The hallmark of the visit was the Indo-US joint strategic vision for the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region, much to China’s discomfort. Besides, India’s growing closeness with China’s arch rival, Japan, in the new regime has also upset Beijing.
Swaraj is slated to have another significant meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who will visit her hotel for preliminary discussions with her before the scheduled meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, India, China (RIC) on Monday. Swaraj will also meet Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi separately before the RIC summit.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing expects “a range of consensus” to emerge between India and China during Swaraj’s visit, indicating that officials from both sides are ready to discuss their differences head on. “We believe a range of consensus will emerge from the meeting to further our political trust and our practical cooperation. Our cooperation has made some headway. We are in sound coordination and cooperation on regional and international issues,” Hua said.
Read more » THE TIMES OF INDIA
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Chinese-President-Xi-Jinping-to-break-protocol-will-meet-Sushma-Swaraj/articleshow/46081518.cms
China’s education minister has told universities to shun textbooks that promote Western values, state media say.
Yuan Guiren said universities should maintain political integrity and keep criticism of China’s leaders or political system out of the classroom.
His comments, reported by Xinhua news agency, came at an educational forum.
In recent months restrictions on academics appear to have been tightening.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-31052682
“From historical point of view India is the converging point of Maritime Silk road (MSR) and the ancient Silk Road on land. For more than 2,000 years India had very good exchanges with China through the passage of the South Silk Road,” Gao Zhenting, Councillor, Department of International Economic Affairs, told PTI.
Throughout the history of Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road many scholars and businessmen from India visited China and still many Chinese remember the names of many of them and stories, he said.
Gao took a team of diplomats and journalists to showcase China’s preparations to build the New Silk Road (NSR) from the historic city of Xian, once the flourishing capital of imperial China.
The road enabled China’s famous Buddhist scholar Xuanzang to visit India in 600 AD and return with treasure trove of Buddhist scriptures.
According to the recent Encyclopaedia of 2000 years of cultural contacts between India and China, Xuanzang, an ardent Buddhist scholar, visited India traversing through the ancient Silk Road of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan and entered the undivided India.
DALIAN, China — The plan here seems far-fetched — a $36 billion tunnel that would run twice the length of the one under the English Channel, and bore deep into one of Asia’s active earthquake zones. When completed, it would be the world’s longest underwater tunnel, creating a rail link between two northern port cities.
Throughout China, equally ambitious projects with multibillion-dollar price tags are already underway. The world’s largest bridge. The biggest airport. The longest gas pipeline. An $80 billion effort to divert water from the south of the country, where it is abundant, to a parched section of the north, along a route that covers more than 1,500 miles.
Such enormous infrastructure projects are a Chinese tradition. From the Great Wall to the Grand Canal and the Three Gorges Dam, this nation for centuries has used colossal public-works projects to showcase its engineering prowess and project its economic might.
Now, as doubts emerge about the country’s three-decade boom, China’s leaders are moving even more aggressively, doubling down on mega-infrastructure. In November, for instance, the powerful National Development and Reform Commission approved plans to spend nearly $115 billion on 21 supersize infrastructure projects, including new airports andhigh-speed rail lines.
“China has always had this history of mega-projects,” said Huang Yukon, an economist and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank based in Washington.
“It’s part of the blood, the culture, the nature of its society. To have an impact on the country, they’ve got to be big.”
By Ed Krayewski
The Shanghai auto show is a once every two years events, and the city’s Communist government is mulling a ban on the use of scantily-clad models, a draw at many auto shows, so that visitors can instead focus on the cars. It’s in line with a wider attempt by government in China to impose a more Victorian set of values vis a vis sexiness. Bloombergreports:
While female models are a staple for major auto shows globally, China’s car expos have challenged the country’s morality guardians by featuring models with plunging necklines and ultra-short hemlines. China Central Television, the state broadcaster, renewed the criticism with a report last month castigating the use of racy models at another auto show.
The criticism follows reports that television regulators ordered the cropping of scenes featuring revealing costumes in a period drama about the seventh-century Tang dynasty woman emperor Wu Zetian.
In 2012, the Beijing government reprimanded organizers of the city’s auto show for allowing scantily clad models to pose beside cars
That period drama is The Empress of China. It lasted on the air seven days before the Chinese government suspended it for being “too sexy.” It’s now on the air in a less sexy version, with closer shots that crop out possibly sexy body parts.
In the U.S., there have been pushes to ban “booth babes” at shows like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Mercifully the government has been kept out of it. While the organizers of CES have resisted calls to ban the hiring of models by their exhibitors, they have released new guidelines suggesting “thoughtful consideration” in the use of models. As they become less useful in helping to sell cars or electronics or bring eyeballs to an exhibit, spokesmodels will be used less. Organizers and exhibitors can make these decisions on their own, based on what they perceive their potential customers want. Customers will respond the way they want and a happy medium will find itself. Government intervention only distorts the signals used to arrive at a self-regulated state.
Learn more » http://reason.com/blog/2015/01/14/shanghai-may-ban-spokesmodels-at-auto-sh
China’s foreign minister has pledged support to Russia as it faces an economic downturn due to sanctions and a drop in oil prices. Boosting trade in yuan is a solution proposed by Beijing’s commerce minister.
“Russia has the capability and the wisdom to overcome the existing hardship in the economic situation,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists, China Daily reported Monday. “If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity.”
The offer of help comes as Russians are still recovering from the shock of the ruble’s worst crash in years last Tuesday, when it lost over 20 percent against the US dollar and the euro. The Russian currency bounced back the next day, but it still has lost almost half of its value since March.
Read more » RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/news/216563-china-russia-economic-hardships/
China has reportedly conducted a third flight test for its new ultra-high speed strike vehicle – capable of travelling at up to eight times the speed of sound, in what experts suspect is part of the development of its strategic nuclear program.
Read more » RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/news/211575-china-hypersonic-missile-test/
CHINA’S STRATEGIC SHIFT TOWARD THE REGION OF THE FOUR SEAS: THE MIDDLE KINGDOM ARRIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Since the Arab Spring, China has been quietly asserting its influence and fortifying its foothold in the Middle East, while the United States pivots to the Asia Pacific after a decade of war. It is aligning with states that have problematic relations with the West and are also geo-strategically placed on the littoral of the “Four Seas”–the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf. Paradoxically, the U.S. eastward pivot is matched by the resurgent Middle Kingdom’s westward pivot across its new Silk Road, and threatens to outflank the citadel of American geo-strategies in the region.
INTRODUCTION: CHINA’S STRATEGIC INTERESTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
China’s interest in the Middle East is first and foremost energy-driven. In 1993, when it became a net oil importer for the first time, Beijing embarked on a “go out” (zhouchuqu) policy to procure energy assets abroad to feed its growing economy. The legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rests on continued economic growth and delivering a rising standard of living for the Chinese population. As a corollary, China is also concerned about security of energy supply lines and Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCS). Because the United States is considered its main opponent in the international system, China is wary of U.S. naval dominance and the risk of choking China’s energy supply through the Malacca Straits should hostilities break out over Taiwan. This is referred to as the “Malacca Dilemma,” where 80 percent of China’s oil imports traverse this chokepoint that is vulnerable to piracy and U.S. blockade. Indeed, given increasing tension in the three flash points of the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Straits, this concern is even more pressing for the Chinese leadership.
The Middle East is also a strategic logistics and trade hub for China’s exports and market access in Europe and Africa. China understands the importance of having strong economic foundations for military power and sees that continued market access for their exports to fuel China’s economy would build up their war chest to further underwrite military modernization. The EU is currently China’s largest trading partner ahead of the United States. Moreover, China also has vast interests on the African continent–both via infrastructure projects and long-term energy supply contracts. More than 1 million Chinese are in Africa (up from about 100,000 in the early 2000s), with trade at $120 billion in 2011. In 2009, China overtook the United States to become Africa’s number one trading partner. As such, the Middle East is a strategic region that connects Europe, Africa, and Asia markets.
Thus, given the Middle East’s location as a trade hub linking the three continents, a vital region for market access, and site of vast energy reserves to fuel China’s continued economic growth, the CCP deems the Middle East as a high priority on its foreign policy agenda. As the United States “pivots” towards Asia, China will naturally seek strategic depth in areas that were once dominated by the United States and its Western allies. This is even more so in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
China continues to ramp up its space activities, which include a new launch complex, more powerful boosters and the construction of a large space station, as well as plans for complex robotic missions to the moon and Mars.
For example, China’s “little fly” spacecraft looped around the moonand returned to Earth Nov. 1 (Beijing time) after eight days of flight, parachuting safely down in northern China’s Inner Mongolia.
The capsule used seven kinds of thermal protection materials, returning data that will be applied to China’s Chang’e 5 robotic lunar sample return mission, which is slated to launch in 2017 from the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. [Greatest Moon Missions of All Time]
Read more » http://www.space.com/27893-china-space-program-moon-mars.html?adbid=10152483784056466&adbpl=fb&adbpr=17610706465&cmpid=514630_20141203_36643077
Move over Trans-Siberian: China launches ‘world’s longest’ train route
The 82-wagon cargo train is expected to take 21 days to travel 6,200 miles, passing through six countries between China and Spain.
Dubbed Yixinou, the train left Yiwu, an industrial center less than 200 miles south of Shanghai, on Tuesday and is expected to reach Madrid in December after traversing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France, reports the Local.se.
Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/207447-china-spain-longest-train/
White House calls on China to halt cyber espionage
China’s military upstaged the Asian economic summit in Beijing this week by conducting flights tests of a new stealth jet prototype, as the White House called on Beijing to halt its cyber attacks.
Demonstration flights by the new J-31 fighter jet—China’s second new radar-evading warplane—were a key feature at a major arms show in Zhuhai, located near Macau, on Monday.
The J-31 flights coincided with President Obama’s visit to Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting. In a speech and meetings with Chinese leaders, Obama called on China to curtail cyber theft of trade secrets.
China obtained secrets from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter through cyber attacks against a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin. The technology has shown up in China’s first stealth jet, the J-20, and in the J-31. Both of the jets’ design features and equipment are similar to those of the F-35.
The Chinese warplanes are part of a major buildup of air power by China that includes the two new stealth fighters, development of a new strategic bomber, purchase of Russian Su-35 jets, and development of advanced air defense missile systems. China also is building up its conventional and nuclear missile forces.
President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a memorandum of understanding on the so-called “western” gas supplies route to China. The agreement paves the way for a contract that would make China the biggest consumer of Russian gas.
Russia’s so-called “western” or “Altay” route would supply 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China.
The new supply line comes in addition to the “eastern” route, through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline, which will annually deliver 38 bcm of gas to China. Work on that pipeline route has already begun after a $400 billion deal was clinched in May.
“After we have launched supplies via the “western route,” the volume of gas deliveries to China can exceed the current volumes of export to Europe,” Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller told reporters, commenting on the deal.
Speaking to journalists on the eve of his visit to Beijing, Putin was optimistic about prospects for the new gas deal with China.
“We have reached an understanding in principle concerning the opening of the western route,” Putin said. “We have already agreed on many technical and commercial aspects of this project, laying a good basis for reaching final arrangements.”
The “western” route deal is one of the 17 agreements signed at the Sunday meeting between Putin and Xi.
Read more » RT
Pakistan, China sign 19 agreements, MoUs relating to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and electricity generation New pacts pave way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan Chinese president, PM Sharif say Pakistan-China are ‘iron friends’, aim to create green channel for release of funds for development projects in Pakistan PM assures crackdown on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and maintaining regional stability China on Saturday promised Pakistan investments worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums mostly centred on the energy sector as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People during his three-day visit to Beijing to discuss bilateral relations and the regional situation in Beijing.
Read more » Pakistan Today
China has developed and successfully tested a highly accurate laser defense system against light drones. The homemade machine boasts a two-kilometer range and can down “various small aircraft” within five seconds of locating its target.
Read more » RT
Beijing has launched the $100 billion Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Australia, Indonesia and South Korea were absent following hidden pressure from Washington concerned about the new challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Read more »RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/business/198928-china-world-bank-rival/
India has unveiled plans to build a mountain road along the disputed border with China in the country’s remote north-east.
The $6.5bn (£4.06bn), 1,800km (1,118 miles) all-weather road will stretch from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state to where the borders of India and China meet with Myanmar.
The road will connect sparsely populated and poorly-connected hill communities living in four large frontier districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
It will also help farmers in the mountainous region to transport their organic crops and medicinal herbs to low-lying and busy markets in neighbouring Assam state.
“This road will not boost our defences but help connect far flung communities for economic development denied to them for so long,” says India’s junior home minister Khiren Rijiju, himself a resident of Arunachal Pradesh.
But Indian military officials say the road will help consolidate Indian defences.
This represents a change in Indian military thinking that has so far opposed developing roads near the border, in case it is used by the Chinese during a conflict for speedy movement inside Indian territory.
The road, however, could could ignite fresh tensions between India and China.
The world’s two most populous countries disagree over the demarcation of several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.
Read more » BBC
China’s foreign minister made it clear Beijing would not allow other countries to meddle into its ‘internal affairs’, responding in this way to US Secretary of State’s call for Beijing to grant Hong Kong the “highest possible degree of autonomy.”
The American and the Chinese heads of foreign offices exchanged their views on the massive protests in Hong Kong before their talks at the US State Department on Wednesday.
“Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “All countries should respect China’s sovereignty. And this is also a basic principle governing international relations. I believe for any country, for any society, no one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order.”
Wang added he believed the current Hong Kong leadership was able to handle the large-scale sit-ins by itself.
Read more » http://rt.com/news/192404-china-us-internal-affairs/
Which South Asian country is more important for China’s future?
By Mu Chunshan
Among China’s relations with Asian neighbors, its ties with the countries in South Asia are generally considered to be the weakest. Now, with Sino-Japan tensions over the East China Sea and conflict with many Southeast Asian countries over the South China Sea, the role of South Asian countries has become more prominent. South Asia is now a focus in China’s regional strategy, as shown by President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the area.
When it comes to South Asia, people think of India and Pakistan first. China has an “all weather friendship” with Pakistan but an ambivalent, often testy relationship with India. But the future is sometimes different from both the past and the present. Moving forward, which country is more important for China? Even without a clear answer, just puzzling through this question can help make many issues clear.
In fact, we only to need to answer two questions to know whether India or Pakistan is more important for China. First, which one is a major power? Second, which one can better help China realize its interests?
Which is the major power, India or Pakistan? The answer is relatively simple — India. When it comes to international influence, India is part of BRICS and the G20 and is a leader of the developing world through the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement. India is well poised to become a major power in the world arena.
The answer is even more obvious from the economic perspective. According to the World Bank, India’s GDP in 2013 was roughly $1.9 trillion. By contrast, Pakistan’s GDP was only $236 billion, only about 12 percent of India’s. In 2013, India was the 10th largest economy in the world in terms of GDP.
India’s economy is just beginning to boom; its growth rate in 2013 was 4.5 percent. Experts believe that India today is like China in the mid-1980s, poised for rapid economic growth. Despite many difficulties, there is no reason for India’s economic growth to come to a halt. By contrast, Pakistan has not enjoyed the same type of economic growth in the past decade. Of course, at 1.2 billion, India’s population is far greater than Pakistan’s, but even when looking at per capita GDP India outranks Pakistan. The gap between two countries will probably widen in the future, placing Pakistan at even more of a disadvantage when compared with India.
Hong Kong (CNN) — Police are in a tense standoff with tens of thousands of pro-democracy student demonstrators, recently joined by the like-minded Occupy Central movement, which has announced the formal start of a campaign of civil disobedience in the Chinese territory.
Read more » CNN
by Asfia Afzal
Pakistan’s women cricket team fought their way to victory in the final of the Asian Games women twenty 20 cricket tournament beating Bangladesh by 59 runs.
The women’s team outclassed defending champion China with a nine-wicket win in the semi final of Asian Games 2014 played at Yeonhui Cricket Ground, in Inheon on Thursday.
With the victory the team was through to the final of the Incheon Asian Games to face Bangladesh, where they successfully won the first gold medal for the Pakistani nation in the Asian games.
Bangladesh’s team played their best in the semis and defeated the Sri Lankan Women side by 25 runs in the second semi-final to seal their spot in the finals but Pakistan’s team stole their win in finals with 97 runs against Bangladesh’s 38 runs.
Read more » Business Recorder
Baku-APA. Forty rioters died in a series of explosions in Luntai County of northwest China’s Xinjiang on Sunday, and six civilians, two police officers and two auxiliary policemen were killed, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Another two rioters were captured by the police, according to the official Tianshan website.
The blasts hit a shop, an open fair and two police stations around 5 p.m. Sunday, the website said.
Xinjiang police said it was an “organized and serious” terrorist attack.