India’s economy grew at an average rate of 7.5% in 2015, faster than the 6.9% growth in China, official figures show.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35519671
Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new international development bank seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank at a lavish ceremony on Saturday, as Beijing seeks to change the unwritten rules of global development finance.
Despite opposition from Washington, U.S. allies including Australia, Britain, German, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea have agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in recognition of China’s growing economic clout.
“Asia’s financing needs for basic infrastructure are absolutely enormous,” Xi said in a speech at the launch, adding the bank would aim to invest in projects that were “high-quality, low-cost”.
In order for Asia to continue to be the most dynamic region for global growth, it needs to invest in infrastructure and connectivity, Premier Li Keqiang said, during the afternoon session of the opening ceremony.
Read more » Reuters
See more » http://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-aiib-investment-idUSKCN0UU03Y
Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Twenty years ago, as weird as it may seem today, no one wanted to be posted to China. The country, still fresh from the Tiananmen incident, was something of an international pariah, and trade was only just beginning to pick up. No one was sure which direction China would take – retreat back into a closed shell, or reform and develop. While the answer now is obvious in terms of what happened, back in 1992 much of China was still waiting to be discovered, and expats were rather thin on the ground.
Someone visiting Wuxi, for example, would be greeted as a seasoned traveler upon their return home and as someone who would take risks and seek adventure. Twenty years ago, nearly all of China was like that – mysterious, romantic, and full of the allure of the ancient orient. Today, China is full of expats and businessmen, and many have traveled around with the mantra: been there, done that. Yet growth today is not necessarily in the obvious cities. With two airports, a maglev, and miles of highways, bridges, buildings, and port facilities, Shanghai as a contemporary city is built out. All that remains in terms of business opportunities there are the service industries – selling to the city’s inhabitants. Even manufacturing is long gone, pushed out to less romantic, yet far more cost-effective destinations such as Ningbo, Hefei and Yiwu.
It’s the same story in other primary locations too. Beijing is slightly different due to its status as a national political capital, but cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and even Wuhan and Chengdu are being finished off, nothing left to develop now except a sales market. Not that that’s a bad thing – Chinese consumerism is expected to turn sharply up, especially in the third and fourth-tier cities where the newly established middle class want to acquire Nike shoes, LV bags, iPhones, and drink coffee at Starbucks.
But the true prize, in my opinion is even larger: Central Asia. I’ve just returned from two weeks travelling across Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, assessing just how far these regions have come and how they are poised to develop. Mongolia as a country has just been rated one of the top investment destinations for the next 10 years by Global Finance Magazine, and of course we have already set our stall out there concerning monitoring the country through our Mongolia Briefing facility. As concerns more general investment potential though, the country is limited to expertise in mining, and remains currently a big-ticket destination for investment dollars. Central Asia is a different matter. Comprising a huge area, the region is not officially defined, yet certainly includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Add to these a looser definition of Central Asia and you include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang Province. There would be some mileage in stretching the region to include Iran as well, in addition to parts of Russia’s Siberia. But the principal financial, communications and logistics hub servicing all of that? Urumqi.
Xinjiang also offers the romance that I loved about China 20 years ago
Read more » China Briefing
Learn more » http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2012/08/21/where-id-head-now-if-i-was-a-new-expat-in-china-urumqi.html
Already this week the market has fallen 5% in one day. Falls in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges took their losses so far this year to 15% and 20%, respectively. The installation of this circuit-breaker reveals how nervous the Chinese government is of the underlying economic instability.
The slowdown of the Chinese economy has been an established fact for some time now, and is known as a major cause of the recession in Brazil and slowdowns in many economies such as Australia, as well as the sustained collapse in commodity prices in the world market. The extreme turbulence of the stock market is an omen of a very “hard landing” for the real economy, exposing the mountains of debt and contradictions the long boom has built up.
Prior to this and last week’s stock market crashes the real economy had already ushered in 2016 with bad news. The manufacturing sector, the heart of the Chinese economy and the world’s largest, shrank for the fifth month in a row in December, marking 9 months of overall decline. The decline is so undeniable that even the National Bureau of Statistics, notorious for “cooking the books” to deliver good news, said that “financial tensions had become ‘more prominent’ toward the end of the year and ‘the downward pressure on manufacturing was still relatively big’.” ( Financial Times, 1.1.16). There is no doubt that the slowdown is real.
BEIJING: China and Pakistan today signed a $2 billion agreement to jointly build a massive coal- fired power station in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.
See more » The Economic Times
Learn more » http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/china-pakistan-ink-2-billion-deal-to-build-power-plant-in-sindh/articleshow/50273768.cms?from=mdr
If members have practiced religion in the past they must ‘rectify’ their beliefs
Applicants to the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be rejected in future if they are found to embrace any religion, and existing members forced to denounce their beliefs.
Party authorities in Zhejiang province said that the pre-examination system for recruiting CPC members should be improved and stricter rules on religion should be implemented.
Li Yunlong, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee told The Global Times: “Party members are banned from joining religions. Believing in communism and atheism is a basic requirement to become a Party member.”
Read more » Independent
See more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/the-chinese-communist-party-cracks-down-on-religion-all-party-members-must-be-atheist-10024034.html
When describing the global struggle against the so-called Islamic State (IS), few people would think of China and its citizens.
But one Chinese national claims to have entered Syria to join the Kurdish militia group, the Popular Protection Units (YPG), one of the largest groups fighting against IS.
The YPG is a key ally of the US-led international coalition against IS, and has driven the militants from several Syrian border towns this year, backed by coalition airstrikes.
Ba Si Pan, as he calls himself, may be the first Chinese national fighting IS in Syria with the YPG. He won’t reveal his full name, but says Ba Si is his name in Kurdish.
The 25-year-old says he has fought on the frontline in Kobane twice.
Yet when I spoke with him by phone, he sounded calm and composed – despite not speaking any English or Arabic, and having to communicate with fellow fighters with an electronic dictionary.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35036879
China and South Africa have signed deals and loans valued at $6.5bn (£4.3bn), with the focus on building infrastructure in the African giant.
The deals were announced during a four-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
About 26 deals were signed on Wednesday, with $2.5bn going to South Africa’s state-owned rail operator.
China has given a series of loans to African countries for development.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34991846
Despite intellectual property concerns, Russia recently agreed to sell 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to China – a deal worth $2 billion. But what is driving Moscow to seek deeper trade ties with Beijing? DW examines.
By Gabriel Domínguez
The deal, announced last week by Russian defense conglomerate Rostec, makes China the first foreign contractor of the multi-role Sukhoi Su-35 (main picture), an upgraded and highly maneuverable fighter jet. While the deal has yet to be confirmed by Beijing, Russian daily newspaper Kommersantquoted Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov on November 19 as saying: “The protracted talks on Su-35 deliveries to China have ended. We have signed the contract.”
The agreement reportedly includes not only the supply of 24 jets to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) for a total of $2 billion ($83 million per unit) but also the delivery of ground support equipment and reserve aircraft engines. The first batch of the planes, with the NATO reporting name Flanker-E, is expected to be delivered next year.
A win-win situation?
Russian sales of advanced weapons to China, including modern combat aircraft, are not new. Indeed, throughout the post-Soviet period, China has been one of Russia’s most important customers for arms exports. The Chinese have been purchasing systems, such as the Su-27 fighter jet, and advanced surface-to-air missiles, from Russia for over a decade.
Read more » DW
See more » http://www.dw.com/en/why-russia-needs-china-to-buy-its-weapons/a-18870472?maca=en-Facebook-sharing
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that China’s currency, the yuan, will join the fund’s basket of reserve currencies.
Currently just the US dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound are in the group.
The IMF said the yuan “met all existing criteria” and should become part of the basket in October 2016.
The yuan will now make up part of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) – an asset created by the IMF which serves almost as a currency.
It is used for transactions between central banks and the IMF, and is used to decide the currency mix that countries like Greece, for example, receive when the IMF provides financial aid.
The last change made to the basket was in 2000, when the euro replaced the German mark and the franc.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34957580
As of December 31, 2014, the latest data available, the US dollar was still dominating Russia’s forex basket at 44 percent. The second most-used foreign currency was the euro with 42 percent. The British pound made up 9.5 percent.
According to Vesti.Finance, the Central Bank made the decision in November, but hasn’t bought the yuan yet.
Read more » RT
See more » https://www.rt.com/business/323639-russia-adds-yuan-reserve-currency/
Gulf gateway key to plans to ship oil overland to inland provinces
By Summer Zhen
A Chinese firm officially took control of Pakistan’s Gwadar Port free-trade zone on Wednesday, further cementing its role in the Gwader area, a gateway to oil-exporting Gulf countries, and analysts see the deal as a chance for China to change the oil import game.
Under the agreement, state-backed Chinese Overseas Ports will manage the free-trade zone on a 43-year lease. The formal handover signals the Chinese side’s control of all the port’s business affairs.
Gwadar port is a deep sea port that sits next to the Strait of Hormuz, the key oil route in and out of the Persian Gulf and it lies only 120km from the Iranian border.
As part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor scheme, China plans to make Gwadar a transportation hub by building a 3,000km railway linking Xinjiang, in western China, with Gwadar.
Read more » South China Morning Post
See more » http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/1877882/chinese-firm-takes-control-gwadar-port-free-trade-zone-pakistan
NEW DELHI: China, Pakistan and Naxalites are a major source of worry for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, India’s Chief of Air Staff, said here on Tuesday.
According to the Indian Express, he listed China’s growing influence in the Indian sub-continent as a major security challenge for New Delhi. Delivering the inaugural address at 12th Subroto Mukerjee Seminar at the Centre for Air Power Studies, ACM Raha said that Chinese growing influence was with a strategic aim in mind, and it was being factored in India’s foreign and defence policies.
“China has increased its economic and military ties with all our neighbours. Rapid infrastructure development is taking place in the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region). World’s highest airfield at Daocheng Yading, highest railway line from Xiniang, Qinghai province to TAR capital, development of the Gwadar port and Economic corridor through PoK (Indian term for Azad Kashmir) and Pakistan, development of roads in TAR up to Indian border and increasing economic and military ties with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar are all strategic moves by China to contain India,” ACM Raha said.
Highlighting Beijing’s other regional moves, he said that “China has been making sustained efforts to make its presence felt in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region), including dispatch of submarines in the name of piracy control, with a strange logic.”
According to the Express, he said: “Incidents of border standoff in the north, issuance of paper visa to the residents of Arunachal Pradesh (AP) and claiming of Aksai Chin and part of AP as part of China have diluted the agreement of five principles, Panchsheel signed way back in 1954.”
Noting that the rise of China, India and Asean has shifted the global economic centre of gravity and hence, the strategic centre of gravity to the Asia Pacific Region, ACM Raha said that India faced a unique challenge — it has the dual task of physical security of the borders and maintaining harmonious relations with its neighbours.
Talking about Pakistan, ACM Raha observed that the “support of the Pakistan Army to the militant organisations and continuous interference in the internal affairs of Jammu and Kashmir will remain a source of friction between the two countries.
“Despite the grim internal situation, Pakistan has managed to strike a balance in its relations with China and USA. It has steadily built up its nuclear and ballistic missile capability with covert assistance from China and North Korea while continuing to receive monetary support and conventional weapons and aircraft from both USA as well as China. Their gamble of ‘Running with Hares and Hunting with Hounds’, while proclaiming itself as a member of GWOT (Global War on Terror) is paying off handsomely due to various geo-political reasons,” he added.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1218914
The world is coming toward a bipolar world with China, Russia, Pakistan and a number of other authoritarian countries of Central Asia on one side, and the U.S., EU, Japan and their Asian allies on the other side.
And that’s not a peaceful nor a promising future, it’s a rather chaotic future where undecided countries such as India, Brazil, Egypt and others will be squeezed between the two sides.
If you take interest in today’s geopolitics, you probably know that the relations between Russia and Pakistanhave recently seen a significant warning. It is reasonable to say that the two countries – who were Cold War rivals – are getting closer.
Meanwhile, China, who is a traditional ally of Pakistan and has always supported the country against its historical rival India with its military equipment and in the fields of diplomacy, is showing clear signs of forming this new China-Russia-Pakistan triangle, which is likely to lead to the above-described bipolar world.
After the Russian economy had been hit by Western sanctions in the summer of 2014, the Kremlin started to look in the direction of Asia, particularly – Pakistan.
Read more » ValueWalk
See more » http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/08/china-russia-pakistan-superpower-axis/
Courtesy: Al Jazeera English
The word China conjures a wide variety of different images. A typical Chinese house with curved and sloping roofs, people with their pants up to their ankles and hats in paddy fields or people with pencil thin tweaked moustaches with round and red cheeks and high hairstyles similar to the Emperors of earlier dynasties, and cities that are overcrowded, funny smells, and exotic spices and foods.
Fortunately or unfortunately, none of these things hold true for China today, at least for the two cities that I visited during my predominantly business trip there.
Despite there being many flights daily to China, our geographical position is interesting.
Though China and Pakistan are neighbours, the presence of the Karakoram, Hindukush and Himalaya mountain ranges has made this region relatively inaccessible and our sense of China, unlike India, is all that is conjured in books, pictures, films and from ancient history.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1217926/
By Binaj Gurubacharya / The Associated Press
KATHMANDU, Nepal – Fuel-starved Nepal has signed an agreement with China to import gasoline, diesel and cooking gas, effectively ending a monopoly on supply from India, which has restricted fuel convoys as a result of political protests in the Himalayan nation.
The decision to import Chinese oil amid severe shortages has brought China a step closer to Nepal, which traditionally is more influenced by India in the south. The two Asian giants have been jostling for influence in landlocked Nepal.
Nepal sent a team of officials this week to Beijing, where they signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday with China National United Oil Corp., said Nepal Oil Corp. official Deepak Baral.
Details on how much fuel Nepal will receive, prices and other arrangements still need to be worked out, Baral said, but he confirmed the supply would be on a regular basis.
It would be the first time for Nepal to import Chinese fuel. It has so far relied exclusively on India for its energy needs.
Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup declined comment on Nepal’s agreement with China.
Read more » Time Colonist
Learn more » http://www.timescolonist.com/fuel-starved-nepal-signs-agreement-with-china-for-oil-ending-india-s-monopoly-1.2098752
– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/fuel-starved-nepal-signs-agreement-with-china-for-oil-ending-india-s-monopoly-1.2098752#sthash.zfwekOC8.dpuf
Liu Xiaoming was speaking on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show the day before the start of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK.
He said the expected deal to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point was “in the best interests of Britain and also in the interest of partnership between China and UK”.
“UK people want to have a better life, want to have clean energy,” he said.
President Xi told the Reuters news agency: “The UK has stated that it will be the Western country that is most open to China. This is a visionary and strategic choice that fully meets Britain’s own long-term interest.”
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34566652
After years of intense lobbying with several countries, including India, in an effort to sell its high-speed rail technology, China has finally bagged its first ever overseas bullet train project signing a USD 5.5 billion deal with Indonesia.
The two countries inked an agreement in Jakarta yesterday to launch a joint venture for a high-speed rail linking the Indonesian capital with Bandung, the capital of West Java “in a breakthrough deal,” state-run Global Times reported.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng said the high-speed rail would be China’s first overseas project entirely using Chinese technology and the largest investment value ever.
“The high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung has resulted from the agreement of both countries’ leaders upon the need to synergise strategies to attain higher growth,” he said.
The USD 5.5 billion project to build the 150 km high speed rail will be conducted on a business-to-business basis, in which the Indonesian side controls 60 per cent of the joint venture’s stake, while the Chinese partner controls the remaining 40 per cent share.
Read more » The Hindu
See more » http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-clinches-first-overseas-bullet-train-deal-with-indonesia/article7774265.ece
ISLAMABAD: China will build in Karachi four of eight submarines that it is selling to Pakistan.
Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain told at the inauguration of the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) Display Centre in the federal capital that the deal for acquisition of submarines from China had been finalised and four of them would be built here.
He further said that construction of the submarines would simultaneously begin in Pakistan and China.
China, he said, would transfer the technology to Pakistan for submarine construction.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1211363/china-to-build-four-submarines-in-karachi
by Tyler Durden
Last Thursday, we asked if China was set to join Russia and Iran in support of the Assad regime in Syria.
Our interest was piqued when the pro-Assad Al-Masdar (citing an unnamed SAA “senior officer”), said Chinese “personnel and aerial assets” are set to arrive within weeks. To the uninitiated, this may seem to have come out of left field, so to speak. However, anyone who has followed the conflict and who knows a bit about the global balance of power is aware that Beijing has for some time expressed its support for Damascus, most notably by voting with Russia to veto a Security Council resolution that would have seen the conflict in Syria referred to the Hague. Here’s what China had to say at the May 22, 2014 meeting:
For some time now, the Security Council has maintained unity and coordination on the question of Syria, thanks to efforts by Council members, including China, to accommodate the major concerns of all parties. At a time when seriously diverging views exist among the parties concerning the draft resolution, we believe that the Council should continue holding consultations, rather than forcing a vote on the draft resolution, in order to avoid undermining Council unity or obstructing coordination and cooperation on questions such as Syria and other major serious issues. Regrettably, China’s approach has not been taken on board; China therefore voted against the draft resolution.
In other words, China could see the writing on the wall and it, like Russia, was not pleased with where things seemed to be headed. A little more than a year later and Moscow has effectively called time on the strategy of using Sunni extremist groups to destabilize Assad and given what we know about Beijing’s efforts to project China’s growing military might, it wouldn’t exactly be surprising to see the PLA turn up at Latakia as well.
Sure enough, Russian media now says that according to Russian Senator Igor Morozov, Beijing has decided to join the fight. Here’s Pravda (translated):
Igor Morozov, member of the Russian Federation Committee on International Affairs claimed about the beginning of the military operation by China against the IS terrorists. “It is known, that China has joined our military operation in Syria, the Chinese cruiser has already entered the Mediterranean, aircraft carrier follows it,” Morozov said.
According to him, Iran may soon join the operation carried out by Russia against the IS terrorists, via Hezbollah. Thus, the Russian coalition in the region gains ground, and most reasonable step of the US would be to join it. Although the stance of Moscow and Washington on the ways of settlement of the Syrian conflict differs, nonetheless, low efficiency of the US coalition acts against terrorists is obvious. Islamists have just strengthened their positions.
As Leonid Krutakov told Pravda.Ru in an interview, the most serious conflict is currently taking place namely between China and the US. Moscow may support any party, the expert believes, and that is what will change the world order for many years.
Clearly, one has to consider the source here, but as noted above, if Beijing is indeed set to enter the fray, it would be entirely consistent with China’s position on Syria and also with the PLA’s desire to take a more assertive role in international affairs.
Meanwhile, it now looks as though the very same Russian-Iran “nexus” that’s playing spoiler in Syria is also set to take over the fight against ISIS in Iraq, as Baghdad has now struck a deal to officially share intelligence with Moscow and Tehran. Here’s CNN:
Iraq says it has reached a deal to share intelligence with Russia, Iran and Syria in the fight against ISIS militants.
The announcement on Saturday from the Iraqi military cited “the increasing concern from Russia about thousands of Russian terrorists committing criminal acts within ISIS.”
The news comes amid U.S. concerns about Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria and would appear to confirm American suspicions of some kind of cooperation between Baghdad and Moscow.
We’d be remiss if we failed to note the significance here. The entire narrative is falling apart for the US, as Russia and Iran are now moving to transform the half-hearted Western effort to contain ISIS into a very serious effort to eradicate the group.
Read more » Zero Hedge
Learn more » http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-27/us-ropes-china-join-russian-military-syria-while-iraq-strikes-intel-deal-moscow-tehr
By Thomson Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday that Beijing will establish an assistance fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a global sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years.
“China will continue to increase investment in the least developed countries, aiming to increase its total to $12 billion by 2030,” Xi told a sustainable development summit of world leaders at the United Nations.
“China will exempt the debt of the outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the relevant least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries,” he added.
The fund would help pay for such things as health care, education and economic development.
News courtesy: CBC
Read more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/china-fund-poorest-countries-1.3245286
For China, the prize on offer in the UK is not the investment in Hinkley Pointor Sizewell B but a controlling stake at Bradwell in Essex. This could be the first Chinese-designed nuclear power plant in the West, a massive breakthrough for China in promoting global exports of its nuclear technology.
So far its customers have been confined to countries like Pakistan, Romania and Argentina with the developed world opting for American, Japanese and French technology.
But the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, has said that China will be part of building the next generation of UK nuclear power stations and that having Chinese design up and running in the UK would give other countries confidence on safety.
Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-34319122
For decades private developers and entrepreneurs have periodically announced bold plans to run high-speed trains between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
None have gotten anywhere because they lacked money or suffered other setbacks.
On Thursday, however, one long-discussed proposal appeared to gain some intriguing support.
Officials for XpressWest, which has been unable to secure adequate private investors in the United States or a $5.5-billion federal loan, announced that it had formed a partnership with China Railway International USA, a consortium led by China Railway, the national railroad of the People’s Republic of China.
Details about the joint venture, the proposed project and its financing were unavailable Thursday, except China Railway International stated that it would provide initial capital of $100 million. Project officials say they are confident construction could begin as early as September 2016.
XpressWest, a private company formerly called DesertXpress, has been talking about its high-speed rail project since at least 2007. Plans have called for a 185-mile route that would run adjacent to heavily-traveled Interstate 15 from Las Vegas to Victorville, 85 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Chinese officials now describe the project as a 230-mile route with an additional stop in Palmdale and eventual service throughout the Los Angeles area using some of the same track that would be used by the publicly backed California high-speed rail project.
Federal railroad records indicate that XpressWest has already secured approvals and permits from a number of federal agencies for the 185-mile route. Additional permits, approvals and environmental analysis would be needed for the 230-mile proposal.
“As China’s first high-speed railway project in the United States, the project will be a landmark in overseas investment for the Chinese railway sector and serve as a model of international cooperation,” Yang Zhongmin, chairman of China Railway International, told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Chinese officials disclosed the joint venture during a news conference in Beijing. XpressWest representatives also issued a brief statement on their website, but declined to comment until additional regulatory approvals are obtained.
The announcements of cooperation come just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States.
Read more » Los Angeles Times
See more » http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-vegas-la-chinese-high-speed-rail-20150917-story.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
SCO states may be able to use Pakistani ports
ISLAMABAD: Member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — may be able to use Pakistani ports to get access to trade routes through the Arabian Sea once China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is completed and becomes operational.
Speaking at the Economic and Trade Ministers meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Xian, the capital of China’s Shaanxi province on Wednesday, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan said that Pakistan’s trade strategy focuses on developing linkages with our neighbours, leveraging our geographical location and capitalising on regional connectivity initiatives.
Pakistan has an observer status at the SCO and is scheduled to become full member state in January 2016 which will provide new impetus to Pakistan’s relations with member states.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1207404
By Shahbaz Rana
ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the United Kingdom has become a partner in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and agreed to provide $121.6 million in grant to fund construction of Burhan-Havelian Expressway, which falls on the northern route of the corridor.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom will co-finance the $327 million cost of the 59km-long Hassanabdal-Havelian Expressway (E-35) project, according to a handout issued by the Manila-based lending agency on Tuesday.
UK’s $121.6 million grant will lessen Pakistan’s debt obligations by the same amount. The country had entered into a loan agreement with ADB, which will now be picked up by UK taxpayers to the extent of the grant amount.
It is for the first time that the UK will fund any infrastructure sector project in Pakistan, as so far its focus remained on social sectors. It is also the first time that the UK is partnering with the Manila-based lending agency in a project located in Pakistan.
Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/948870/uk-to-partner-in-cpec-provide-121-6-million-grant/
Despite decades of mismanagement and a feeble socioeconomic infrastructure, one thing Pakistan benefits from is a strategic location—and China is taking notice.
More than 70% of China’s trade and energy imports travel through the Indian Ocean and the pirate-swarmed Strait of Malacca, both patrolled by the United States and Indian navies. But this possible chokepoint is a security issue for China, particularly in terms of oil (40% of its general consumption passes through the strait). Any sort of conflict could cut off the country’s energy supply, and ships would need to travel an extra 500 miles to avoid the strait, currently the fastest route from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. China, aware of this vulnerability, is looking to Pakistan to provide a shorter and safer alternative.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), first proposed in 2013, is a massive project of rail links, special economic zones, dry ports and other infrastructure projects across Pakistan allowing for direct access to the Indian Ocean. It would connect Gwadar to Kashgar, a major trading hub in China, and abbreviate the current route to the Persian Gulf by more than 10,000 kilometers. Instead of 45 days, it would take China a mere 10 days to get its imports—all while avoiding any potentially contested channels near Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and India, and eventually lowering shipping costs.
The CPEC would also provide China with an entry point to the Arabian Gulf, thus widening its geopolitical influence and possibly its military presence in the region. (Some Indian intellectuals suspect the Gwadar port will serve as a Chinese naval facility.) And it only comes at a cost of about $40 billion.
This isn’t the only investment China has planned in Pakistan. In fact, the money going to the country is double what Pakistan has received in foreign direct investment since 2008, and larger than any shape of assistance from the U.S. The list below (including CPEC) is just a snapshot of upcoming projects, likely funded by the Bank of China, the Export-Import Bank of China and the proposed Asian Infrastructure Development Bank:
It is all part of China’s quest for influence throughout the continent via aid and investment. After decades of shying away from aggressive foreign policy moves, China now wants to play a much bigger regional role and is pushing plans for interconnected infrastructure networks to better link its economy with rest of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Think of it as the new Silk Road.
A Long March-4C rocket carrying the Yaogan-27 remote sensing satellite blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province, Aug. 27, 2015. The satellite will mainly be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)
TAIYUAN, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — China’s Yaogan-27 remote sensing satellite was sent into space on Thursday at 10:31 a.m. Beijing Time, from Taiyuan launch site in Shanxi Province, north China.
The satellite will mainly be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention.
Yaogan-27 was carried by a Long March-4C rocket, the 207th mission for the Long March rocket family.
China launched the first “Yaogan” series satellite, Yaogan-1, in 2006.
News courtesy: People’s Daily
Read more » http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0827/c90000-8942511.html
After many ups and downs, China has finally won the railway cooperation project with Thailand. Zhu Xijun, general manager of the Southeast Asia Company of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), said on Aug. 26 that after six rounds of negotiation,both sides plans to sign the inter-governmental framework agreement on the China-Thailand Railway project in early September, and the commencement ceremony of the project is expected to be held in the end of October, Xinhua reported.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China-Thailand diplomatic ties and the first yearof implementation of the “One Belt and One Road”initiative proposed by China. The China-Thailand Railway, which has a historical significance, has attracted tremendous attention.
According to Zhu Xijun, the project, which will be completed in 3 years, will bring actual benefits to the socioeconomic development of Thailand. After the railway puts into use,people will enjoy a much more convenient and cheaper transportation between China and Thailand. The price of a railway passenger ticket between Kunming and Bangkok will be about 3600 Thai Baht or 700 yuan, which is about a half or a third of an airline ticket, and the railway freight cost is only one ninth of the air freight.
The railway is estimated to add 2 million more Chinese tourists to Thailand every year andwill provide further convenience to its agricultural product export. With this railway,Thailand will be a new transportation hub of ASEAN countries.
China should give its full effort to develop the China-Pakistan railway to extend China’s economic and political influence in the region and even to Africa, China’s state-owned Reference News cites an expert as saying.
China pledged US$4 billion to upgrade Pakistan’s rail network during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country last week. A railway project that connects Kashgar in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region to the Pakistan port of Gwadar is also underway and is expected to play a major role in the economic corridor that the two nations have agreed to establish.
Gao Bai, a professor of sociology at Duke University in the United States and director of the National Research Center on Strategic Development of High-Speed Rail at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, has been a keen advocate of the China-Pakistan railway. In a 2013 article, Gao suggested that the railway could be a pillar for the expansion of China’s influence over land and could fundamentally impact the economic and political development of the region.
Gwadar Port, constructed by a Chinese firm, is now operated by a state-run Chinese company under contract for 40 years. The port sits on the western end of the Balochistan coast on the opposite end of the Gulf of Oman which is an important route for oil tankers from the Persian Gulf. It is also an important point that handles goods flowing out from western China and Central Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
The Gwadar-Kashgar railway is thus strategically significant as a shortcut for China to the Indian Ocean, said Gao, who believes that its construction may lead to the establishment of the Kashgar-Andijon railway via Kyrgyzstan and further facilitate the connection between Central Asian countries and India and the Indian Ocean.