June 02, 2018

JOKE: Arrested for laughing...!!

This is from an actual trial in the UK.
A young woman who was several months pregnant was sitting in a bus.
When she noticed a young man smiling at her she began feeling humiliated on account of her condition.
She changed her seat and he seemed more amused.
She moved again and then on seeing him laughing more.
She filed a court case on him. In the court the man's defence was:-
When the lady boarded the bus i couldn't help noticing she was pregnant.
She sat under an advertisement, which read "Coming Soon- The unknown boon"..
I was even more amused when she then sat under a shaving advertisement,
which read:- "William's stick did the trick"..
Then I could not control myself any longer,when on the third move she sat under an advertisement, which read:- "Dunlop Rubber would have prevented this accident"..

The case was dismissed.
The judge fell off his chair laughing !

June 01, 2018

China’s amphibious ambitions emerge in South China Sea

PLA Navy Marine Corps has developed into a formidable force for China's power projection in regional waters and beyond

By KERRY K GERSHANECKMAY 31, 2018 3:41 PM (UTC+8)5828

A Chinese amphibious assault vehicle in the Seaborne Assault 2017 international competition held at Klerk training area of the Pacific Fleet. Photo: Sputnik via AFP/Vitaliy Ankov

In mid-May, China’s news media reported People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force H-6K bombers landed on disputed Woody Island–the first time nuclear-capable aircraft landed on any of the features in the South China Sea region.

From islands China has militarized in the South China Sea, H-6K bombers are today technically able to strike Singapore and much of Indonesia, with potential capability to hit US installations in Guam and northern Australia.

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But nuclear-capable bombers are not the only formidable power projection capability China is forward basing in the maritime area. Another potent force China has inserted into these disputed waters is the PLA Navy Marine Corps (PLAMC).

As part of its military reform, the PLA has dramatically increased the size of its Marine Corps and developed advanced amphibious assault ships and vehicles. Further, in activities patterned after those of the US Marines, PLA Marines are now actively engaged in overseas operations.

These operations include PLA Navy escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, island-seizing exercises in the South China Sea, live fire “political warfare” exercises in the Taiwan Straits designed to demoralize Taipei, evacuation of Chinese civilians from Yemen in 2015, and establishment of China’s first overseas military logistics support base in Djibouti in 2017.

In Djibouti, China’s Marines are touted as an installation security force, but static base defense is not the mission of the PLA Marine Corps. That mission is to project military power — to rapidly put “boots and bayonets” on the ground – from the sea.

Chinese marines in a joint naval drill in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, September 14, 2016. Photo: AFP

As retired US Navy Captain James Fanell testified before Congress earlier this month, “the most important aspect to any successful Chinese maritime campaign involves the act of physically occupying islands within the First and Second Island Chain. The key to holding these contested islands is the ability to successfully move forces ashore to seize and hold the ground.”

Fanell reported that “in the South China Sea recently, Chinese Marines conducted amphibious assault exercises utilizing amphibious dock landing ships, air-cushion landing craft, and ship-borne helicopters.

“This type of training is ubiquitous across the East and South China Sea, and is the most tangible evidence of the PLA’s intention of being prepared to conduct such a mission,” he said.

To support the Marines, China’s artificial SCS “islands” help serve as amphibious assault staging areas. The Straits Times reported this week that China has built massive facilities on Mischief Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, and Subi Reef, including 3,000 foot runways, extensive storage facilities, missile emplacements, and structures to support PLAMC regiment-sized forces of 1,500 and 2,400 Marines each.

Additional forces rapidly deployed to these islands to stage for expeditionary strike missions would require few facilities, of course–just enough space for short-term troop and equipment laydown immediately prior to an assault.

China’s aircraft carrier, The Liaoning, followed by destroyers and frigates during a naval exercise on April 18, 2018. Photo: AFP

What will the PLAMC’s presence look like in the SCS? It seems initially much like the US Marine Corps. It’s not just the US Marine Corps operations the PLAMC has mimicked; it’s also the USMC organization and equipment, as well as key doctrine, training and tactics.

In addition to the island-based regiments, the PLAMC’s “at sea” expeditionary capability will be a version of the US Navy-Marine Corps team.

America’s forward-deployed “tip of the spear” is the Navy/Marine Corps Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG). The Navy side of an ESG normally consists of a Landing Helicopter Dock/Assault (LHD/LHA), a Landing Platform Dock (LPD), a Landing Ship Dock (LSD), and often other surface warships and attack submarines as required.

Embarked is a Marine Expeditionary Unit, with a reinforced infantry battalion-centered Marine Air-Ground Task Force, to include attack and transport helicopters and STOVL attack aircraft.
In an effort to replicate the ESG and to build a 500-ship Navy by the year 2030, China is producing many high-end, large amphibious warships, according to Fanell.

The US Navy Office of Naval Intelligence reports the PLAN has 56 amphibious warships, including the large, modern Yuzhao-class Type 071 amphibious transport dock ship. The Type 071 can hold up to four Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCACs), as well as four or more helicopters, and armored vehicles and troops.

The Yuzhao-class ship has proven effective in many overseas operations and is perfectly fitted for a wide range of likely Chinese campaigns, including in Taiwan, the Senkakus and South China Sea.

Not content with the Yuzhao, China has announced it “has started building a new generation of large amphibious assault vessels that will strengthen the navy as it plays a more dominant role in projecting the nation’s power overseas,” according to Fanell.

One such ship is the Type 075. Although slightly smaller than a US Navy LHA, the Type 075 is much larger than any other amphibious warship previously built for the PLA Navy. It can carry up to 900 Marines and roughly a dozen amphibious assault vehicles in the well deck.

Reports of aircraft space vary, but reportedly the Type 075 will carry between 20 and 30 attack and transport helicopters and STOVL aircraft (when they become available). It has the ability to launch 6 helicopters simultaneously.

Again mimicking US Navy capabilities as reflected in the Expeditionary Transfer Dock (T-ESD-1, USNS Montford Point), the PLA Navy has acquired a semi-submersible heavy lift (SSHL) ship.

The PLA Navy’s SSHL can offload heavy equipment and vehicles from Roll-On Roll Off (Ro/RO) ships and then load them on LCACs or amphibious assault vehicles. The PRC civilian fleet also has at least ten of these vessels, all built to military standard.

Since the PLA is authorized to mobilize all civilian vessels for military purposes, the dozens of China’s existing SSHL and RO/RO ships can augment amphibious assault support capabilities quite significantly on very short notice.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews a military display of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. Picture: Li Gang/Xinhua via Reuters

To get the Marines from the “amphibs” onto the beach, the PLA uses Zubr-class and 726-class LCACs. A Zubr can carry up to three main battle tanks or 10 armored vehicles, or 500 Marines.

With a top speed of 63 knots and range of 300 nautical miles, the Zubr-class LCACs allow the PLA Marines a greater element of surprise than does the PLAN’s 726-class LCACs (similar in size to the US Navy LCAC), which carry one main battle tank or 80 Marines.

Once ashore, the PLA Marines will use the ZBD-05 amphibious infantry fighting vehicle and the ZTD-05 amphibious assault vehicle, which is very similar to the USMC’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. In addition, they will fight from ZBL-08 wheeled fighting vehicles, which wield 30mm cannons or 105mm assault guns. China’s Djibouti-based Marines use the ZBL-08 for live-fire assault training.

To expand from a force of 20,000 Marines to a corps-level force of 100,000 PLA Marines poses organizational, training and other challenges. Marines are elite forces, so they must undergo a rigorous physical, mental and technical training regimen to be able to fulfill complex missions such as combined arms attack, amphibious assault, urban combat, heliborne assault and non-combatant evacuation missions.

By December 2017, PRC media reported that 30,000 Marines were serving in its three fleets, with each fleet commanding two brigades. Among these six brigades, two were the original PLAMC brigades, one was from the Army and three were from coastal defense forces.

According to Republic of China (Taiwan) Marine Corps Colonel Ho Pei-sung at Taiwan’s National Defense University, it will take at least another year to train units with this diverse background to conduct
“Marine-style expeditionary missions.” Still, Ho says that eventually the PLAMC will become “a more powerful, capable, flexible, versatile expeditionary fighting force.”

While some of these new PLAMC forces will be dispatched to far-flung installations like Gwadar, Pakistan, and Djibouti, most will also be used as a force of intimidation and coercion, according to Fanell, “effectively posing threats not just in the South China Sea, but globally as well.”


Professor Kerry K Gershaneck is a scholar at the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies, National Chengchi University, ROC; a guest lecturer at the ROC National Defense University; a senior research associate with Thammasat University’s Faculty of Law (CPG); and the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, Thailand. He is a former US Marine Corps officer


Policy and Legal Implications of European Court’s Ruling on CIA “Black Sites”


by Katherine Cheasty Kornman

June 1, 2018

A Casa 235 turboprop plane at Ruzyne Airport April 8, 2005 in Prague, Czech Republic before leaving for Afghanistan. According to airport flight records the plane was registered to the firm Aero Contractors, a firm suspected of participating in the CIA’s rendition program. Pavel Horejsi / Getty

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights handed down its judgments in two cases involving European countries that had hosted CIA “black sites” in their territory. In the two cases – Al Nashiri v. Romania and Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania – the Court found that both States, through their cooperation with CIA extraordinary renditions of the applicants, had committed multiple violations of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In reaching its findings against the two European States, the Court also delivered blistering criticism of the U.S. Military Commissions as well as the CIA’s interrogation practices, black sites, and High-Value Detainee Program.

The judgments have important implications, including the prospect that there may be prosecutions before the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to these incidents, possible constraints on future participation of European states in national security operations involving the United States, and more.


Applicants Abd Al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were captured in 2002 and have since remained in US custody on suspicion of terrorist activities. Zubaydah is alleged to have been Al Qaeda’s chief of operations, and Al Nashiri is suspected of orchestrating the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, for which he is currently facing capital charges before a military commission at Guantanamo.

After their respective captures in 2002, the United States transferred both Al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah from a CIA detention facility, or black site, in Thailand to one in Poland. The CIA subsequently transferred each prisoner to different locations – Al Nashiri in 2004 to a black site in Romania and Abu Zubaydah in 2005 to another black site in Lithuania. After additional relocation and detentions elsewhere, both prisoners were transferred to US military custody in Guantanamo in September 2006.  Both prisoners were designated “High Value Detainees” at that time and continue to be held at Guantanamo Bay. In 2011, the detainees submitted their respective applications to the European Court against Poland, Lithuania, and Romania.


While the underlying facts of each case are different, the Court’s judgments share substantially similar language and analysis. They both rely and build heavily on the Court’s 2014 judgments in Al Nashiri v. Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland,  in which the Court considered the culpability of Poland regarding assistance given to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Both of Thursday’s Al Nashiri and Zubaydah judgments “are striking for their frank and clear declaration that the CIA operated black sites in Lithuania and Romania at which torture took place, with the knowing acquiescence of the host governments,” notes Just Security’s Oona Hathaway. “The Court, relying in significant part on the 2014 US Senate Committee Report, dismissed Romania’s and Lithuania’s claims that, among other things, (a) the applicants lacked credible sources of evidence; (b) the black sites did not exist in their countries, and (c) if the sites did exist in their countries, the government did not agree to them and did not know that torture was taking place at them,” Hathaway said. Indeed, the 2014 Senate Report serves in these rulings as evidence to prove the Court’s prior conclusion in 2012 Poland decision that it was “inconceivable,” in the words of the Court, that the CIA could have operated its rendition and detention programs without the knowledge and consent of the host government.

Legal and Policy Implications

There are four key implications of these judgments.

Legal Liability for European States

First, for Council of Europe Member States, these judgments emphasize the legal and political risks of cooperating with or assisting foreign operations. This is especially true in cases where a Member State permits the use of its territory or airspace for such operations. The judgments suggest that States may, as a matter of law, now have affirmative obligations to investigate past ECHR violations involving this type of assistance provided to foreign partners. While there is a varying degree of compliance with the ECHR obligations across the Council of Europe’s 47 Member States, the Convention serves as a powerful force for the articulation of political norms in Europe. As such, Thursday’s judgments may increase the incentives for Member States to place increased weight on their ECHR obligations when deciding whether to participate in or facilitate a proposed foreign operation in the future.

Cooperation with US Programs

Second, this may have a ripple effect for States outside the Council of Europe. As Hathaway observes, “on first glance, the legal findings appear limited to Europe — the Court found violations of multiple articles of the European Convention of Human Rights, to which the United States is not a party. But these findings are important for the United States, as well as other collaborating states outside Europe,” she said. “The decision against the U.S.’s European accomplices may very well make European states more wary of assisting U.S. programs, especially CIA programs, in the future.  The likely impact on future collaboration is hard to gauge, but it could be significant.” As Brian Chang has explained on Just Security, European concerns over ECHR compliance can have a direct impact on US policy by limiting the willingness of Council of Europe Member States to assist or facilitate certain US operations. Thursday’s decisions emphasized potential downsides to cooperation with US intelligence programs that may not pass ECHR muster – downsides that, as Alex Whiting has written previously, may even threaten the reliability of such assistance from our NATO allies.

As Hathaway further points out, “the Court found clear evidence that black sites existed, that torture took place at them, that there were bilateral agreements between the host states and the U.S. that permitted the sites to exist, and there were many statements in public records indicating that the host government officials knew or had reason to know that interrogation practices crossed the line into torture.  These facts are likely not limited to Romania and Lithuania.”

International Criminal Court Proceedings and Other Litigation

Third, the judgments may lead to greater calls for criminal accountability before the ICC. An ICC Pre-Trial Chamber  is currently considering the request by the Prosecutor to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan. (Just Security has covered the probe in an online symposium.) The US is not a party to the Rome Statute establishing the ICC, which is one of several reasons that the viability of any such investigation or subsequent prosecutions are murky at best. As such, experts are keeping a close eye on how far the ICC proceeds down that path, waiting to see whether and to what extent it leads to a reckoning with the United States.  

The issuance of these two judgments, Whiting explains, “will likely increase pressure on the Prosecutor to focus on alleged U.S. crimes in Afghanistan and the black sites in Poland, Romania, and Lithuania once the Pre-Trial Chamber authorizes the investigation. That there has been some measure of accountability in these decisions, which rely in part on publicly-available information, will encourage the Prosecutor to consider whether individual criminal responsibility is also warranted. However, she will also be mindful of the differences between the ECtHR decisions and an ICC investigation: the applicable law is not the same, and while the ECtHR focused on state responsibility, the Prosecutor will need to establish individual culpability beyond a reasonable doubt.” 

Finally, although the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights may not translate directly into ICC proceedings, Hathaway points out that the former could well support “findings of violations of the Convention Against Torture, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, perhaps Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions (which require states to “ensure respect” for the Convention), and the Draft Articles on State Responsibility, not to mention regional human rights agreements. There is some potential, then, that these decisions could spark additional litigation not just in Europe but elsewhere as well.”

The Torture Debate

The implications of Thursday’s judgments may also include how the US handles its own history with torture. In the Al Nashiri judgment specifically, the Court offered an unequivocal censure of military commission procedures and the use of torture by US officials and policies.

“This landmark ruling keeps the issue of accountability for CIA rendition live and relevant,” said Just Security’s Fionnuala Ní Aoláin. “It underscores the necessity for a fuller accounting, whose day will inevitably comes, not least because the drip drip effect of these ECHR cases keep the issues and the methods used to torture persons during the CIA rendition program squarely in our sights.” 

Filed under:

CIAInternational Lawtorture

About the Author(s)

Katherine Cheasty Kornman

Legal researcher at Just Security and student at Yale Law School.

The ECFR Power Audits


Asli Aydıntaşbaş & François Godement & Kadri Liik & Jeremy Shapiro 
25th May, 2018

Kremlin.ru - CC0 1.0

The four power audits show that Europeans, particularly when working together, retain the capacity to cooperate and compete effectively with all these powers.  But they also show that, in each case, Europe is failing to do so. 

Geopolitics has made a roaring come back in recent years.  The world has once again entered an era of great power competition of the type that Europeans thought they had left in the 20th century. Europeans generally don’t like this new, more competitive world, but it is arriving nonetheless, and they need to prepare. 

For the last year, ECFR has sought to stimulate a debate on how Europe relates to the major powers of the world and what Europeans need to do to keep up with them.  Toward this end, we produced four “power audits” of European relations with China, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. Each power audit takes a hard-nosed look at the relationship of each EU member state with the given great power and assesses the power balance between them. They found that:

Europe’s desire to hold itself aloof and insist that it need not sully its Kantian paradise with grubby geopolitics appears increasingly unrealistic.

China: China is now inside Europe. China exercises power in Europe not just through its massive trade surplus, but also through investment, lending, and financial power that serves China’s foreign policy goals and helps China acquire the technology necessary to support is ambitious modernization goals. China can do this because it can “pick and choose” in its relations with the European Union, focusing on its direct interests, and often ignoring EU norms. Europeans have begun to require reciprocal openings of the Chinese economy, but they need to do more to prevent China from using their economic links to achieve geopolitical advantage.  The EU needs a system of investment screening and a set of trade defense instruments to protect themselves from Chinese industrial policy. It also needs closer relationships with like-minded partners in Asia to gain leverage with the Chinese.  And most of all, it needs sufficient unity to prevent China from suborning individual EU member states.

Russia: Russia presents a very distinct type of challenge, aimed less at Europe’s economic strength than at its normative core.  The EU and Russia have become locked in an open battle over the norms of international conduct. Russia’s interference in European internal affairs is one front line in this normative battle, an attempt by Moscow’s attempt to erode the Western liberal consensus from within. The good news is that over recent years, EU member states have become remarkably united in their assessment of Russia, but they still need to translate this unity into a political strategy that reflects not just European values, but also Russian realities. The path to winning the overall normative war will not go so much through countering Russia directly as through improving Europe’s resilience and reinvigorating the Western model.

Turkey: Turkey is supposedly becoming part of the European Union, but in fact its long accession process is now irrevocably stalled. Turkey shows no desire to restore the rule of law or restart its reform process, and Europe shows even less to desire to contemplate integrating such a large and troublesome state. But neither side wants to end the process either. The result of this shared hypocrisy is that Europeans have no framework for dealing with Turkey as a normal state through transactional bilateral relations. Without prejudicing the accession process, the EU needs to move beyond accession and seek to update its customs union, push Turkey on human rights and the rule of law, and establish a framework for addressing disputes that involve the Turkish diaspora. Accession isn’t working, but Europe needs an effective bilateral relationship with Turkey to secure its goals in the Middle East and to reduce Russian influence in Turkey

The United States: In the age of great power competition, Europe’s closest ally has become perhaps its most vexing geopolitical problem. The issue is not just that the President of the United States no longer believes in the transatlantic alliance or even the liberal world order. It is also that longer-term trends mean that U.S. interests and thus attention are moving away from Europe toward Asia. The United States now often has little stake on issues that plague Europe, such as immigration from North Africa or Syria, and so can’t be expected to resolutely support European interests. But Europe still depends on an increasingly unreliable United States for its security and most EU member states still cling desperately to their bilateral relationships with Washington, even under the mercurial Trump administration. As a result, the U.S. retains the greatest potential of the great powers to sow disunity among Europeans. European desperately need a capacity to act independently of the United States, but to achieve that they will need to trust each other more than the traditional guarantor of their security.

Overall, the four power audits show that Europeans, particularly when working together, retain the capacity to cooperate and compete effectively with all these powers.  But they also show that, in each case, Europe is failing to do so. This situation is not remotely new, but as geopolitical competition among great powers has intensified, it has become more damaging to European interests. Europe’s desire to hold itself aloof and insist that it need not sully its Kantian paradise with grubby geopolitics appears increasingly unrealistic.

ECFR’s power audits describe the challenge and they chart a path toward specific solutions. We intend to use the coming year to continue to further the debate on Europe as geopolitical actor and bring some of our ideas closer to implementation. We will need some help from Messrs. Trump, Putin, Xi, and Erdogan to make the case, but we expect that they will continue to demonstrate to Europeans that geopolitical competition has indeed returned. 

Read more on: Asia & China,Wider Europe,Turkey,Russia,European Power

The omnipotent dollar: US sanctions and the euro problem


Caroline de Gruyter
22nd May, 2018

Euro vs. Dollar 121/366 by Dennis Skley - CC by ND 2.0

Last week, European heads of state and government moved to protect European companies that do business with Iran from US sanctions. In this, they have the law on their side. Under the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015, Western companies are allowed to do business with Iran in return for the country’s suspension of much of its nuclear programme and submission to a stringent inspection regime. The UN Security Council has approved the deal. All signatories, except the United States, abide by the agreement’s terms.

Europe’s activation of a blocking statute that limits the scope of US sanctions, or its introduction of credit financing through the European Investment Bank, may provide some temporary relief. But, in the long run, such efforts will not be enough. The way that US President Donald Trump has turned his back on the Iran deal, without any consideration for America’s European allies, fits perfectly into a new era of geo-economics – one in which both states and non-state actors use economic instruments to wage geopolitical battles. In this era, countries increasingly try to force their opponents to capitulate by harnessing the infrastructure of the global economy. Russian President Vladimir Putin weaponises gas supplies and exploits cyberspace. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses the free movement of people – specifically, refugees – to blackmail the European Union. Trump slaps tariffs and sanctions on his allies. Much of the post-war, rules-based multilateral system is being dismantled.

The euro is the world’s second reserve currency. But few global financial transactions are made in euros.

The EU is an economic giant. It should be able to weather these geo-economic battles. For years, war-averse Europeans have used economic power to influence the world. Due to the enormous weight of the European internal market, faraway companies feel compelled to adopt European regulatory standards. The EU frequently uses sanctions as a political tool, and links development aid to political and social reform. But Europe has one phenomenal weakness: in monetary terms, it is a non-entity. Internationally, it more or less permanently punches beneath its weight.

Why can America, in contravention of international law and agreements with transatlantic friends, so easily destroy European companies if it wants to? The answer is simple: because the world economy revolves around the dollar. According to the Bank for International Settlements, in 2016, 88 percent of global financial transactions were made in dollars. As the world’s reserve currency, the dollar is hard-wired to the global economy. When one company pays another in a transaction involving multiple currencies, it almost always does so through a financial institution that uses the dollar – making all involved vulnerable to political whims in Washington. Admittedly, the euro is the world’s second reserve currency. But few global financial transactions are made in euros. Because almost all banks worldwide trade in dollars, they will avoid customers who have anything to do with Iran as a precaution against US sanctions. No Security Council resolution will protect them against these measures.

This leaves Europe with two options. Either it accepts that the Iran deal is broken and bends to the omnipotence of the greenback. Or it keeps fighting for a fair multilateral, rules-based system while trying to block Trump’s brutal, unpredictable display of geo-economic power. If the Europeans choose the latter, they must strengthen the euro. France and Italy have always seen the euro as a vehicle for enhancing Europe’s international role, and for tempering American hegemony by claiming a larger role for themselves on the world stage. Indeed, in the 1950s, French politician Jacques Rueff said: “ Europe shall be made through the currency, or it shall not be made.” But Germany hates displays of power and only wants to talk about one thing: price stability. The Netherlands and other frugal northern eurozone countries support this position.

Europeans can provide the Euro with a stronger shared foundation using Eurobonds, a European deposit insurance scheme, and majority decision-making in the Eurogroup. No one will swap the dollar for the euro if the latter’s stability continues to rest on shaky bilateral loans, mantras such as “every country should hold up its own pants,” and the hope that no national parliamentarian will block emergency loans in the midst of a crisis. Europeans who refuse to correct these weaknesses have no right to complain about President Trump’s mercantilist decisions.

Primer: Privacy and Big Data

Primer: Privacy and Big Data

A rapidly growing proportion of human activities - professional, social and personal - are now mediated by digital devices and services. Michal Kosinski explains some of the implications of the big data society for businesses, governments and individuals.


Watch the video >

May 31, 2018

Deepak Talwar charged more than Rs. 35 lakhs monthly from AirAsia for lobbying with officials, media houses, journalists


Did Deepak Talwar embellish his proposal for pecuniary gains when he listed almost all the journalists and editors covering Civil Aviation?


 Team PGurus


June 1, 2018

Did Deepak Talwar embellish his proposal for pecuniary gains when he listed almost all the journalists and editors covering Civil Aviation?

The leaked emails in the AirAsia scam seized by investigators show accused and controversial lobbyist Deepak Talwar’s firm charged more than Rs.35 lakhs per month from AirAsia for lobbying with Government officials for favorable orders and media houses for positive coverage. The long proposal of Deepak Talwar’s firm Deepak Talwar Associates (DTA)to AirAsia explains how to create a favorable atmosphere for the tainted Malaysian origin flight firm in Government and media world.

This was a proposal by DTA to AirAsia and in the interest of fairness we are avoiding displaying the pages containing the names of people mentioned by the accused lobbyist.

We are publishing only two pages of the proposal of 2013 which describes how to operate a favorable and commercially viable atmosphere and the monthly charges for these activities sent via email by Deepak Talwar’s lobbying firm DTA to AirAsia. In the media list given by DTA, the firm suggests how to tackle the journalists by naming them. This is a long list of journalists reporting about matters of Civil Aviation and most of them are known for their integrity.

Some guys mentioned for targeting by Deepak Talwar are however crooks and corrupt journalists. Some are Editors of media houses. One such individual was an Editor of a major business newspaper and is a known Deepak Talwar agent, and is now running a website along with another former Editor of a newspaper. This site is now in the business of Liberal and Moral preaching activities. But the majority of the names in the list are regular reporters covering Civil Aviation from Print, TV and News agencies. It appears as though Talwar tried to milk more money from AirAsia by putting all the names of journalists in Delhi and Mumbai engaged in Civil Aviation Sector and all Editors’ names.

This was a proposal by DTA to AirAsia and in the interest of fairness, we are avoiding displaying the pages containing the names of people mentioned by the accused lobbyist. We are also avoiding the list of officers to target as specified by DTA to AirAsia for favorable actions. Like media persons, the list of officers is also just a who-is-who in the Civil Aviation, Commerce and Finance Ministries. Only the first two pages of the proposal is shown below.

Detailing the negativities and current illegalities of AirAsia, Deepak Talwar’s DTA suggests lobbying techniques: “Given the above ground realities and desired objectives, DTA will develop and put in action a focused public affairs plan aimed at achieving. An outreach and Relationship building with Key Stakeholders in relevant constituencies as outlined in the Annexure 1,” said the proposal attached to the email from Deepak Talwar’s DTA to AirAsia. The Annexure 1 is full of the names of Journalists, Editors and officials to target.

Detailing the names of Journalists and Editors, the Deepak Talwar’s firm tells AirAsia: “Their opinions and reportage has an influence on many key stake holders. Media is also the key vehicle for disseminating our messages.”

“DTA will establish channels of communications with them for AirAsia and keep them informed of developments within the Airline as well as arrange one on one meetings for senior management,” outlines accused Deepak Talwar’s firm DTA on how to manage the media houses, Editors and journalists.

For all these lobbying activities DTA says they need $34,500 USD monthly as staff charges including Talwar’s fees based on hourly remuneration and $20,000 USD as Retainership. This email attachment shows that Deepak Talwar’s firm DTA was charging monthly $54,500 US dollars (more than Rs.35 lakhs) from AirAsia for covert operations and lobbying.

The email attachment of Deepak Talwar’s proposal to AirAsia is published below:

Fig 1. Talwar’s proposal to AirAsia

Is the US-China trade war back on?

Karishma VaswaniAsia business correspondent@BBCKarishmaon Twitter

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionThe Trump administration now appears to be escalating trade tensions with Beijing

On again, off again. The Trump administration seems to have a knack for keeping everyone guessing - not just on the North Korean summit - but also on trade.

So, is the US-China trade war back on?

Trade talks versus trade wars

Just a week after it looked like the US and China had agreed to put their trade war on hold, Washington now appears to be escalating trade tensions with Beijing.

Analysts say this move could cast a shadow over the potential success of talks between the US and China in Beijing over the next couple of days.

What the US wants from China

The talks, to be led by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, are aimed at reducing the bilateral trade deficit. Currently, the US buys nearly four times as much from China as it sells.

Beijing has indicated that it will buy some US agricultural exports to balance the deficit, but that may not be enough to appease US trade hawks.

The US also wants to address the intellectual property theft that it alleges Chinese firms have benefited from, and the country's Made in China 2025 programme, which is a multi-billion dollar plan to help transform its high-tech industries into world leaders by 2025.

But the strength of this White House statement, which confronts years of unfair trade practices, among other issues, indicates that the Trump administration isn't getting what it wants from Beijing, and so is willing to up the ante.

Why now?

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionUS Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will lead trade talks in Beijing this week

Deborah Elms of the Asian Trade Centre says that particular White House announcement, and the timing of it, may just be another bargaining tactic.

In her latest note, she says the move seems designed to increase the pressure on China to co-operate ahead of trade talks between the two sides later this week, especially given the accusations that US President Trump has faced from the US press and domestic political circles (they've accused him of going soft on China).

What China wants

China has already expressed its discontent with the action. The Ministry of Commerce says the White House's action is "both unexpected and within expectation," and that China has the "confidence, capability and experience to defend the interests of Chinese people, and the core interests of the country".

A nuanced, diplomatic response.

But take a look at the nationalistic publication, the Global Times, and you get a better idea of what the Chinese may be thinking.

"Washington suffers from a delusion whereby it feels the US is strong enough to force other countries to accept their unreasonable demands," said Wednesday's editorial.

"Let them prepare for an 'epic trade war'."

The editorial goes on to say if China did actually go ahead with a full blown trade war, that America's farmers, automobile manufacturers, and energy workforce would be at risk.

Trump's China tariffs could come in JuneTrump faces backlash over ZTE dealChina agrees to import more from US

Will the US strategy work?

So what do these latest moves by the White House mean for US-China trade relations?

Well, for one thing, Vinesh Motwani of Silk Road Research tells me that we're unlikely to see very much come from Mr Ross' upcoming visit to China.

Which means that a trade war between the two sides is far closer than it was late last week.

And as I've said before, that's not good for any of us.

SupChina: Latest updates on Trade and Tech

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Talking trade and tech with Yasheng Huang

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GIF by Lucas Niewenhuis. View pronunciation video from Jia.

Read this in your browser, see our newsletter archives, or view our Access archives for members.

Dearest reader,

We’ve got a grab bag of six stories for you at the top today, and the usual links below.

As always, hit “reply” to send me feedback, or write to editors@supchina.com to reach our whole team.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief

1. Three Chinese companies and industries to watch

Western fears about Chinese dominance of technologies have recently focused on artificial intelligence (AI). Yet there are many other industries where China is set to lead, partly because of the sheer numbers of talented and educated people available and entrepreneurial zeal, but also because of government support and light regulation.

Biotech — pharma, healthcare, and medical devices — is one such area. Another is industrial agriculture — from the development of new crops and fertilizers to operating large-scale farms. Electric cars and the batteries that power them are one more space where China is already a dominant player. Today brings news from each of these three industries:

Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics is a medical hardware company that makes everything from ultrasound machines to operating tables for surgery. Caixin reports(paywall) that Mindray has “filed to raise more than 6 billion yuan ($935 million) through a listing on China’s Nasdaq-style ChiNext board.”Longping High-Tech Agriculture is named after Yuan Longping 袁隆平, inventor of the world’s first hybrid rice varieties in the 1970s. Last year, the state-controlled company bought DowDuPont’s Brazilian corn seed operations for $1.1 billion. Reuters reportsthat Longping this week announced plans to build new seed plants in Brazil to boost its market share from “15 percent currently to 30 percent in five years,” and “said a natural second step will be to enter the soy seeds business, which is dominated by U.S.-based Monsanto Inc.”Tianqi Lithium is a company founded in 1995 in Sichuan Province. Quartz reports that Tianqi “recently paid more than $4 billion to become the second-largest shareholder in Sociedad Química y Minera (SQM), a Chilean mining company.” The deal means that Tianqi now controls more than half of the current global production of lithium. Lithium is the key ingredient in almost all of the world’s smartphone and electric-car batteries.

2. Visa restrictions and the Chinese Exclusion Act

The Associated Press reports that the Trump administration “plans to shorten the length of validity for some visas issued to Chinese citizens” as part of a campaign “to counter alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property by Beijing.”

“Chinese graduate students will be limited to one-year visas if they are studying in fields like robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing,” according to an unnamed U.S. official.Those areas are priorities in the government’s Made in China 2025 manufacturing plan.On the subject of keeping Chinese people out of AmericaThe Chinese Exclusion Act, a documentary film about the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals to become U.S. citizens, is now available free online. It’s really worth your time.

—Jeremy Goldkorn

3. Mattis signals U.S. will challenge Beijing in South China Sea

The usually mild-mannered U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had strong words for Beijing in response to a recent confrontation in the South China Sea, as reported by the Wall Street Journal(paywall), calling China “out of step with international law” in its militarization of claimed islands.

Mattis also “recalled Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2015 pledge not to militarize” disputed South China Sea islands, and said, “We have seen in the last month, they have done exactly that, moving weaponry in that was never there before.” Mattis’s remarks come after multiple confrontations between Beijing and other countries:

In April, China sent ships and aircraft to confront three Australian naval vessels headed for Vietnamese ports, the New York Times reports (paywall).Beijing also sent ships to confront U.S. vessels conducting “freedom of navigation operations” within 12 miles of the Chinese-claimed Paracel Islands, the Times says. This action prompted Washington to withdraw its invitation to China to participate in Rimpac, a biennial joint military exercise.A Chinese H-6K bomber landed on Woody Island in the Paracels earlier this month, at the same time that missiles and radar equipment were sent to other islands in the region, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).On May 11, a Chinese helicopter flew “dangerously close” to a Philippine naval vessel that was delivering supplies to Filipino Marines in contested territory, the Associated Press reports.

The United States claims that it has a right to conduct “freedom of navigation operations” under international law. Mattis underscored that, although the United States is conducting these operations, the U.S. is not their sole beneficiary, stating, “A lot of nations want to see freedom of navigation. So we will continue that.”

—Lucy Best

4. Trade war update: ‘An unfortunate sound bite’

Peter “Death by China” Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, talked to NPR this morning. He remains unabashed in his China-bashing, although he calls his mission a "trade dispute," not a “trade war.” The trade war, he says, was lost a long time ago by former presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton.

“They run up a $370 billion trade surplus with us, which costs us over a million in factory jobs a year” is still the core of Navarro’s argument."That was an unfortunate sound bite," said Navarro of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comment last week that the trade war with China was "on hold," because it’s not a war and it’s not on hold.Navarro refused to answer questions about the Trump family receiving favors from the Chinese government such as trademarks, and he refused to comment on Trump’s apparent caving in to China on ZTE, saying that it was a “law enforcement matter.”

Latest trade war twist: China will cut import tariffs “on a range of consumer items, including apparel, cosmetics, home appliances, and fitness products, starting from July 1,” reports Reuters. On the other hand, Reuters also notes that “China’s state media has lashed into a U.S. announcement that it would press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies, saying Beijing was ready to fight back if Washington was looking to ignite a trade war.”

—Jeremy Goldkorn

5. ‘Say no to homosexuality’ says Hunan school

May 17 was International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. In China, groups of college and high school studentsorganized a series of activities to raise awareness of LGBT rights violations. Their message apparently did not reach the Xiangtan Technical Secondary School of Industry and Commerce in Hunan, a vocational school with more than 4,000 students and around 300 staff members.

Comrade’s Voice (同志之声 tóngzhì zhīshēng) is a Weibo account dedicated to empowering the LGBT community in China — “comrade” is Chinese slang for “gay.”Today, the account posted a photo of a digital billboard (in Chinese) at the Xiangtan school displaying the following message: “Say no to homosexuality, create a bright and harmonious campus.”“The failure of sex education and backward ideas have resulted in the long-standing violence and discrimination against the gay community on campus,” Comrade’s Voice commented (in Chinese).Many internet users pointed out that the school’s hostility against homosexuality is at odds with the Chinese government’s stance, given that the People’s Daily argued in an April commentary that “homosexuality is not a mental illness.”

—Jiayun Feng

6. Will Chinese economic growth doom the planet?

new analysis from Greenpeace suggests that the answer is, unfortunately, yes.

Based on the Chinese government’s own data on coal, oil, and natural gas demand, as well as cement production, Greenpeace researchers concluded that “China’s CO2 emissions went up 4.0% on the first quarter, after a 2% increase in 2017.” The authors write:

“If China’s emissions are indeed going back to rapid growth, it means that the rest of the world would have to run just to stay in place — keep global emissions from increasing. The task of achieving a rapid and sustained decline in global emissions would become essentially impossible.”

For some depressing details of this report, please click through to SupChina.

—Lucas Niewenhuis


Viral on Weibo: World’s highest commercial bungee jump platform

Some fearless bungee jump enthusiasts leaped from the world’s highest platform — 260 meters above the ground — in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, on May 26.  


China Unsolved: The Black Dahlia of Nanjing

More than 20 years later, police still claim to have no idea what happened to 19-year-old Diao Aiqing, whose body was chopped into more than 2,000 pieces and distributed around her Nanjing campus. China Unsolved is a SupChina weekly series profiling China’s most notorious unsolved mysteries.

Democracy-bashing Chinese writer enrolls her kid at American school

Yuan Xiaoliang 袁小靓 made a name for herself by bashing democracy. Her pro-China stances on social media have been widely cited by Chinese state media. But on May 22, she posted to Sina Weibo, where she has 400,000 followers, a note of praise for the American education system that announced she was trying to send her child abroad for school. Chinese netizens were not happy.



Tycoons in trouble: Wu Xiaohui 
Tycoon in China fights fraud verdict, but odds are long / NYT (paywall)
A lawyer representing Wu Xiaohui 吴小晖, former head of Anbang, the gray rhinocompany that bought the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, said Wu “would appeal a lengthy prison sentence for bilking investors.”Drone delivery
Ele.me starts using drones to cut delivery costs and time / TechNode
“There are 17 routes in total, all located in Jinshan Industrial Park in the Shanghai suburbs. With three to four flights on each route, these drones connect around 100 food vendors.”Big Brother’s helpers — has a Chinese company hacked the iPhone?
At Beijing security fair, an arms race for surveillance tech / Reuters
“Beijing-based Hisign Technology said its desktop and portable phone scanners can retrieve even deleted data from over 90 mobile applications on smartphones, including overseas platforms like Facebook and Twitter. A big selling point of the technology, according to one policeman from the restive far western region of Xinjiang who was eyeing a Hisign scanner, was its claimed ability to get data from Apple Inc’s iOS operating system.”Skiing in Hebei 
China's Hebei Province targets $23 billion 'ice and snow' industry by 2025 / Reuters
“Smog-prone” Hebei is building winter sports and tourism facilities for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and in the hope of finding “sustainable sources of economic growth to reduce its dependence on polluting heavy industries like steel and chemicals.”Xi Jinping jumps on the blockchain bandwagon
Chinese President Xi Jinping calls blockchain a 'breakthrough' technology / CNBC
"A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications," said Xi.World Cup dreams
China won’t play in this World Cup. It still hopes to profit. / NYT (paywall)
“The tournament host, Russia, and the sport’s governing body, FIFA, are beset by scandals and controversies that have cast a shadow over the event — and made it a struggle to attract corporate sponsors.” As traditional sponsors pull out, they leave a void China is happy to fill.


U.S.-China espionage
Trial begins for ex-CIA man accused of espionage for China / AP
“Kevin Mallory of Leesburg, Virginia, was charged last year under federal espionage statutes with delivering defense information to a foreign government. Prosecutors say they caught Mallory last year after he returned to the U.S. on a flight from Shanghai with more than $16,000 in undeclared cash.”U.S.-China relations
In a first, Hong Kong refused U.S. extradition bid following Beijing request, State Department report says / SCMP
Despite providing no information on its own case against Macau-based hacker Iat Hong, Hong Kong officials have released him to “central government custody.”Australia-China espionage
Australia launches biggest spy agency review in decades amid China concerns / AFP via SCMP
“‘This will be the most comprehensive review of intelligence legislation in Australia since the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security in the 1970s,’ Attorney General Christian Porter said.”Israel and industrial safety
Not safe for Chinese: Israel's poor record on construction sites irks Beijing / Haaretz
“An agreement signed 18 months ago to bring some 20,000 Chinese construction workers to Israel is floundering amid Chinese concerns over safety, prompting Beijing to veto participation of its citizens in 36 building projects.” The irony is rich.North Korea
Former spy chief, now top diplomat: Meet North Korea’s man in New York / Inkstone
“Kim will be the first senior North Korean official to visit the United States in almost 20 years. The White House said Kim is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who recently twice visited Pyongyang.”Wildlife trafficking
Shark fins found in Singapore Airlines shipment to Hong Kong despite ban – activists / AFP via HKFP
“US environmental group Sea Shepherd said the 989 kilogram (2,180 lbs) shipment had arrived in Hong Kong earlier this month from Colombo in Sri Lanka, via Singapore.”Uyghurs in Xinjiang
Uyghur student missing, believed detained after return from Malaysia University / RFA
“A young Uyghur woman has gone missing after returning to her home in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) from studying abroad in Malaysia, and is believed to be detained in a “political re-education camp,” according to her Germany-based sister.”Trumpworld
The White House official Trump says doesn’t exist / Politico
A profile of Matthew Pottinger, former Beijing correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and now “the president’s top Asia hand.”


On-demand sexual harassment 
Sexist comments flourish on Airbnb in China / Bloomberg
“Once regarded as a fun social aspect of online services in China, the proliferation of reviews talking about women’s looks — from guests being called ‘a babe’ to comments on a host’s sex appeal — is now drawing fire as a potential safety hazard.”
See also: Police hunt for Didi driver suspected of raping and murdering a female passengerand Safety tips are the last things that Chinese women need after Didi murder case on SupChina.On-demand divorce
WeChat launches convenient divorce registration feature / The Beijinger
“With a few convenient, cold-hearted taps of the finger, past-their-best couples can now use WeChat to begin their very own ‘conscious uncoupling,’ in a process akin to ordering food or hailing a Didi.”Naming crackdown
Proper nouns must be proper Chinese, say authorities / Sixth Tone
“Ministry mandates that housing developments with names like ‘California Town’ and ‘Norwegian Wood’ must find Mandarin monikers.”Fiction
Lu Yang on growing up and writing in China / The New Yorker
A Q&A with author Lu Yang 鲁羊, whose first story published in English — “Silver Fish” — appeared in the New Yorker (paywall) this month.Educating rural youth
Left-field careers for farmers’ kids / Sixth Tone
An NGO in Yunnan hopes to “inspire students to continue their studies beyond middle school, the end of China’s compulsory education period.”Coffee shops
Chinese café culture / The World of Chinese
Cafés are growing in popularity all over the country “as Chinese youths seek homes away from home,” or what Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz calls the “third place.”Life expectancy and health
Chinese babies will live healthier, but not longer, lives than those born in United States, WHO says / Reuters via SCMP
“In terms of overall life expectancy China is also catching up with the United States, which Reuters calculations suggest it is on course to overtake about 2027.”


Going home

A young couple rides the subway home from Xi’erqi Station in Beijing.  

Jia Guo

View on SupChina | View all photos

May 30, 2018

Quote of the Day: Baloch Leader Ataullah Mengal on "Leaders"

Every human being is the product of his time, and the same applies to leaders. Time is the ultimate factor which gives birth to leaders. I personally believe leaders aren’t born — it is time and circumstances that create leaders. If you want to judge a person or a leader, look at his circumstances and the era he is living in and how he is dealing with the problems. It would be unjust to give [full] credit to one leader and discredit others.

__Sardar Ataullah Mengal , veteran Baloch Leader

CPEC 2018 Summit: Pakistan's third chance


CPEC 2018 Summit: Pakistan's third chance

By Ahsan Iqbal

Pakistan has already missed two big development opportunities; CPEC brings with it a third. It is a moment of opportunity we cannot afford to miss, writes Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister, Planning, Development and Reform.

TIMES are changing, the world is transforming, and Asia remains at the epicentre of this 21st century transformation. The centre of economic power is shifting from the West towards the East partly because of the global economic recession of 2008-09, and partly because of the implementation of futuristic visions by China in the form of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) serves as the flagship project of BRI and this vision.

CPEC, which is one of the seven economic corridors of BRI, provides Pakistan and the surrounding countries enormous opportunities as it gives an integrating platform for over three billion people in Central, West and South Asia, as well as in the Middle East and Africa.

The surge in trade, investment and financial flows would bring not just peace and prosperity to these regions through enhancement in the competitiveness of the economies of the countries, but also better living standards seeking to reduce regional disparities and social inequality and improve life expectancy as well as quality of life in the country and in the adjoining region.

Through CPEC, Pakistan is harnessing its geo-strategic location into geoeconomic advantage. Through CPEC the region will be integrated into an economic hub, promising a great future for its populace.

The CPEC project epitomises the growing mutuality of interest and the vision of a shared politico-economic future on the part of Pakistan and China. It creates a new framework of interaction on the basis of economic connectivity and regional cooperation which will have far-reaching positive implications for the two countries as well as the adjoining regions.

Safe to say, the CPEC is an integral part of BRI which seeks to turn Silk Route into an economic reality. Therefore, it won’t be an exaggeration to call CPEC a game-changer for Pakistan, Asia and the wider region. The completion of early harvest projects has set the stage for a prosperous industrious Pakistan cooperation.

There is no doubt that the future of Asia is a shared one, and CPEC serves as the primary platform through which we can work towards building our sustainable and prosperous future which depend upon the contribution and trust of international partners and countries that can seek to benefit from it.

Since 1978, when the reform and opening-up drive was introduced by China, the country chose an investment-driven mode of development, and it was proven as a correct choice based on the need for fast growth. Economic reform in China is of paramount importance, with market-oriented reform and the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at its core.

Following China’s footsteps, Pakistan is also working on a new growth engine driven by creativity and innovation in order to build a dynamic model of development.

CPEC envisages broadened connectivity, enhanced infrastructure, sustainable development, and people-to-people exchanges. Besides the cultural and social aspects, CPEC seeks to address the infrastructure gaps in Pakistan by focussing on the development of transport and energy infrastructure, to innovating telecommunication and financial networks, in an environment that attracts foreign investment from private as well as public enterprises.

CPEC is helping us mobilise resources needed to fill up infrastructure as well as other gaps in sectors such as telecommunication, education, agriculture, maritime etc. By selecting the right projects, on the right scale, with right financial arrangements, in an optimum policy environment, BRI countries can safeguard ourselves from financial and economic risks that come with the futuristic and tremendous projects like CPEC.

Thanks to the CPEC, we have attracted increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) into Pakistan in the infrastructure, power and construction sector. Moreover, Gwadar, due to its strategic and geographical significance, has the potential to surpass neighbouring ports in terms of trading activity. The trade has already commenced and we are on our way to attain transformation of Pakistan into a global economic hub.

Strengthening economic growth and improving people’s livelihood is a crucial pillar of CPEC. Through CPEC we are moving closer in reducing urban-rural gap with policies of targeted poverty reduction and human resource (HR) development.

We want to forge a comprehensive economic cooperation by leveraging our respective comparative advantage and strengthening all-round cooperation based on bringing their economic cooperation to an unprecedented height. We want to implement mutually beneficial development and improve the level of connectivity to achieve the goal of promoting mutual development, mutual prosperity and mutually beneficial cooperation.

CPEC in the last five years has been developed and implemented as per the cooperation priorities. The initiative has given us new dimensions to improve and promote inter-governmental cooperation, build a multi-level communication mechanism, expand shared interests, enhance mutual political trust, and reach new cooperation consensus. The concerted efforts by all team members have helped build a robust policy support for the implementation of practical cooperation and large-scale projects.

The Pakistan of 2018 is a confident country showing tremendous potential to achieve the economic targets of Vision 2025. Through Government’s pragmatic policies we are more open for business, trade and investment. Today, investors across the world from the Americas, Europe and the UK eye Pakistan as a lucrative investment destination.

China’s experience in development and success of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and their robust industrial development serves a good example for us. Given this, industry cooperation between China and Pakistan compounded with the guidance of Chinese experts will provide excellent opportunity for Pakistan to strengthen industrial capability and national domestic economy.

Through pragmatic policies Pakistan today is more open for business and investment. Global investors eye Pakistan as an investment destination.

To achieve the vision of economic, structural transformation and sustainable poverty alleviation it is being endeavoured to work on the Industrial Cooperation under CPEC by developing SEZs by attracting local and foreign investors.

Despite the positive news and outlook of CPEC, there are still naysayers who continue to undermine the Government’s unflinching efforts for making CPEC a successful reality. One of the most recent attempts is this new norm by many critics to term the CPEC as a debt-trap, a carefully chosen term coined by those looking to sabotage the initiative. The fact of the matter is that out of the total package, an estimated amount of 34 billion in the form of investment by Chinese companies is in the energy projects in Pakistan, which has nothing to do with Pakistan’s external debt liability.

Therefore, in these times, it is our duty to remain vigilant and make sure that our knowledge is backed by substantial evidence and research. Only then we will be able to move towards a more prosperous Pakistan, Asia, and a better World while safeguarding sovereignty, mutual benefits and national vision.

At the CPEC Summit, of which the Ministry of Planning and Development was a co-host in a publicprivate partnership, I spoke about the economic reality that is undeniably emerging. It is an age of knowledge revolution, innovation and disruption. The speed of change has become the speed of electron. Dinosaurs of today become history tomorrow. Therefore, for any economy, for any country, it is important to understand the new emerging global realities.

Asia is becoming the new engine of growth in the world economy. It is estimated by 2050, Asia will contribute 52pc to the world GDP. Within Asia, South Asia, China and Central Asia where three billion people live, these are the new engines of growth. Pakistan has a great opportunity that it is located at the intersection of these three engines of growth. If we can create economic corridors in this region, Pakistan can become the hub of trade, commerce, manufacturing and global supply chains through this part of the world. It is in that spirit that when we developed Vision 2025, we made regional connectivity one of its seven pillars because for 70 years we wasted our time playing in the orbit of geopolitics.

In July 2013, we accompanied [the then] Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and signed a memorandum of understanding with China in Beijing to start our CPEC journey. It was only an expression and intent of working together to carve out a new future, but within a couple of years, that piece of paper became a portfolio of $46 billion on which both sides had agreement and we have been able to energise $29 billion of investment from that portfolio till today and the remaining is in the pipeline.

This is now the biggest flagship project of BRI of the Chinese leadership. It is also a great progressive vision put forward by President Xi. At a time when world economy had slowed down, at a time when developed economies were not showing demand or growth, he put forward a very transformational and progressive BRI vision.

When you have no growth, it means there is no demand. So, in order to produce growth, you need more demand and if existing markets are not producing demand, you need to create new markets and how do you create new markets? You create new markets through connectivity. This is the basic essence of BRI; this huge network of corridors. Connectivity is going to bring new demand and growth in the world economy.

BRI and CPEC are not a conspiracy, are not bilateral programmes. These programmes have regional and global impact and they offer opportunities for all players in the region and every player in the global economy.

Pakistan, with 207 million population, one of the biggest markets in the world, about 80 million middleclass strategically located on CPEC route, has an opportunity to become the key player in BRI and bring prosperity for its people and for the region by developing a modern infrastructure through this initiative.

God has given us the third opportunity. In the past, we have dropped two development catches. The first catch we dropped was in 1960s when everyone said that Pakistan was the next emerging economy. The 1965 war derailed us from that journey. In 1991, when the government of Nawaz Sharif introduced new economic reforms, we had the second opportunity but Pakistan was thrown into perpetual political instability to undermine democratic process in this country. This is now the third moment for us, the third opportunity that has come to us through our most reliable and trusted friend, China, which has shown that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

CPEC essentially comprises four pillars; Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and economic zones, but it is now extended up to 2030 through a long-term plan which encompasses all socioeconomic dimensions of development. From technology to social development, it is now not just a framework of projects, it is a framework for complete socioeconomic development and it is a partnership for shared prosperity. If we continue on this path, Pakistan will become one of the top 20 economies by 2030 as Price Waterhouse Coopers has already projected Pakistan to be in that league.

CPEC has brought valuable foreign investment. When I started my first meeting with the Chinese, I was myself surprised to see that China figured 13th in FDI. In 70 years, we never saw China as an economic partner. While China was showing a miracle, no one had the foresight here to develop an economic partnership with China. In 1980, per capita income of Pakistan was $300. In 1980, per capita income of China was $200. Today, China’s per capita income is $8,000 and ours is $1,600. We are very happy that China has made a miraculous economic progress but if we also had an economic foresight, we could have partnered with China to also benefit from this economic revolution.

Development cannot happen in vacuum. The success of China is based on a combination of four factors; peace, stability, development and reform. Unless these four pillars become a platform for any nation to move forward its development ambition, that development ambition cannot turn into reality. If we will not ensure political stability, if we will not ensure peace and solidarity in our country, best of the best plans and best of the best intentions will fail. If you look at the average of last five years and compare this with the average of previous five years, you will see that Pakistan is today on a trajectory of growth. From 2008 to 2013, our average GDP growth rate was 3pc.

From 2013 to 2018, the average growth rate is 5pc. It is 5.8pc this year, which is the highest in the last 13 years. CPEC has brought opportunities for every region of Pakistan. We have to understand that there are lobbies which are not happy with CPEC and they keep spinning disinformation. CPEC is not a debt trap. CPEC has 75pc of investment in IPP mode. All energy investment is private investment; not a single dollar of loan to Pakistan. There is no debt trap in CPEC. It is a partnership for the prosperity of Pakistan. It is a helping hand from our most brotherly trusted country that has shown that it has stood with Pakistan in another time of need.

Some say, China will become East India Company. They have not read history. In 3000 years of history, China has never occupied a single inch of foreign territory compared to every other global power that has done imperialism in history. So, China seeks partnership. China seeks to bring fruits of development and share fruits of development with all other countries.

Lastly, there is nothing to fear for Pakistani businesses. This is again a propaganda. Actually, the nine SEZs will bring tremendous opportunities for Pakistani businessmen to partner with Chinese companies, to attract Chinese investment in Pakistan. There are 85 million jobs ready for relocation to other countries because of the rise in wages in China. These 85 million jobs, if we fail to attract a share, will go to Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other places. It is for us to go out and attract and partner Chinese enterprises to bring their investment and technology in Pakistan so that we can create jobs for our young population.

I hope both sides will take advantage of the CPEC Summit and work newer projects because the future of CPEC is not in government-to-government cooperation; it is in business-to-business cooperation.

I am grateful to the Chinese businessmen who travelled from China to participate in the event and for meaningful meetings with Pakistani businessmen. They will together translate this great project as the biggest testimony of friendship in the 21st century and the print on history of CPEC will always be there like the Great Wall of China.

Let us reject the naysayers who sit in the evening on television talk shows and tell us how everything is bad. Pakistan is not sinking. Pakistan is rising. Pakistan is now moving forward and CPEC is the driver of this rising Pakistan. Let us all commit that by working harder, working better and working smarter, we will put this country in the top 25 economies of the world by 2025. Long live China-Pakistan friendship!

The writer is Federal Minister, Planning, Development and Reform.

This article is part of the CPEC 2018 summit supplement. To read more from the supplement, visit the archive.

How redefining Army intel can help fight high-end adversaries


By: Mark Pomerleau 

The Army is working to inject electronic warfare capability back into its formations. (Sgt. Michael C. Roach/Army)

Many senior leaders admit the Army divested a lot of its electronic warfare capability over the last decade-plus, so the service is currently undergoing efforts aimed at injecting capability back into formations.

One way is the Army is beginning to fuse intelligence and electronic warfare at a broad strategic level, as well as in integrated capabilities to be used by new tactical formations.

At the broad level, the Army recently authored what’s known as an initial capabilities document regarding the Terrestrial Layer Intelligence Support to Multi-domain and Joint Combined Arms Maneuver concepts. This document outlines problems across intelligence disciplines.

On the platform side, the Army has decided to scrap its primary program that sought to deliver ground and vehicle forces organic electronic warfare capability — known as Multifunctional Electronic Warfare ground — and replace it with the Terrestrial Layer System (TLS).

TLS will be a signals intelligence/electronic warfare system projected to be fielded on vehicles. Moreover, it is expected that TLS will be used by new military intelligence-electronic warfare (MI-EW) companies the Army is working to stand up.

Cyber, EW, signals and space mean realigning the Army’s force structure

The Army is beginning to change the way its formations are organized to introduce new capabilities for future operating environments.

By: Mark Pomerleau


The fusion of signals intelligence and electronic warfare stems from years of debate surrounding delineations of the two.

There has been an ongoing debate within the military as it relates to SIGINT and EW. While operations are critically reliant on intelligence, intelligence capabilities and authorities are held at much higher classification levels and under different rules versus EW operations, which are conducted at lower classification levels and at the tactical and operational level of war.

“Some are questioning what used to be considered traditional SIGINT. What we are talking about is really sensing the environment and being able to look at the externals and what it is — radio or radar, friendly or foe,” Dave May, an intelligence advisor for the Cyber Center of Excellence, said during a conference last August.

“We made the decision in the Army a while back to separate intel from EW; the other services did not. Those in the business think that process is SIGINT. This is being debated today.”

In other words, on the intelligence collection side, many wonder whether EW collection is being done for Title 50 purposes, the portion of the U.S. code that pertains to intelligence, or if it is sensing for combat information and target information in regard to Title 10, the portion of the U.S. code that pertains to military operations.

“There is a SIGINT portion and that’s … at the time of collect is that truly combat-raw information. And at what point do you say that is going over to the Title 50 side of the house?” Maj. Gen. Patricia Frost, director of cyber in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff G-3/5/7, told C4ISRNET last year.

“That is a lot of what we’re doing in the [cyber and electromagnetic activities] optimization: is understand when you look at platform integration … technically we can do a lot of things on a platform, [but] do we have the authorities to integrate these capabilities?”

Here’s how the Army wants to integrate cyber, EW into operational formations

The Army is continuing to evolve concepts to fight and win in future operating environments. But what will these capabilities look like, and how will they impact the overall force structure?

By: Mark Pomerleau

Currently, under an Army directive, the relevant stakeholders are trying to clarify the EW support mission, which involves the collection and identification of signals, and the SIGINT mission as those in the community see them as complementary but not contradictory, Lt. Col. Chris Walls, deputy division chief for strategy and policy in the cyber directorate, said at the C4ISRNET conference.

“EW soldiers can conduct the electronic warfare support mission and are not conducting SIGINT activities,” he said. “We want to free them up to be able to do their mission separate and distinct from the SIGINT mission.”

Walls added that while the SIGINT mission is absolutely critical for EW personnel in characterizing signals and telling them what they’re observing in the electromagnetic spectrum, they want to make sure EW soldiers aren’t hindered in conducting EW support missions by forcing them to do them under SIGINT authorities.

Force design updates

With the fusion of these disciplines taking place as a means to empower soldiers more at the tactical edge, the Army is standing up MI-EW companies.

These companies will help restore EW capabilities into brigade combat team formations, officials have said. The existing military intelligence force structure will be leveraged to come up with an MI-EW company to bring those capabilities to bear.

The force design updates are pending, according to Maj. Gen. John Morrison, commander of the Cyber Center of Excellence, speaking to C4ISRNET on the sidelines of the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations symposium in early May.

Equipping these tactical formations and getting some “meat” behind this capability is the No. 1 goal for the Army’s top intelligence officer.

What’s driving the need for this platform is the Army’s need to get at the electromagnetic spectrum control and adversarial capabilities that Russians and Chinese have exhibited, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the Army’s director of intelligence, told C4ISRNET following a keynote presentation in Springfield, Virginia, in early March.

Morrison said this will provide an “integrated capability with our MI teammates and provide the commander operational flexibility.”

The combined effort came about as the capability requirements generators for intelligence and electronic warfare realized they were developing requirements documents with a roughly 85 to 90 percent overlap, Col. Mark Dotson, Army Training and Doctrine Command capability manager for EW and spectrum management operations, said at the C4ISRNET conference in May.

“One requirement mov[ing] forward from both the intelligence perspective for the SIGINT side of the house and from the electronic warfare side,” he said.

Dotson said the Army is working to get the first ground system approved this fiscal year, which will be for the Terrestrial Layer System type of truck.

Following requirements for that, he said, would come the other parts, such as the dismounted capability from that truck or a more high-powered capability that’s going to be less mobile but have more jamming power or more sensing ability