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Showing posts from May 6, 2018

The Invisible Silk Road – Enter the digital dragon This article was published as an ‘EU-Asia at a Glance’ policy paper at the website of European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) *** This piece opens the Digital Silk Road series, which will investigate high-tech and IT projects launched by China to implement the DSR. Discussions around the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) tend to focus on its tangible aspects; primarily related to physical infrastructure including roads, rail and power plants. However, in addition to the two tangible “Silk Roads” – the Silk Road Economic Belt (land route) and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (sea route), a third “Silk Road” was also proclaimed in 2015. The “Information Silk Road”, since rebranded as the Digital Silk Road (DSR), aims to “improve international communications connectivity” and foster the internationalisation of China’s rapidly growing tech companies. A decade ago, very few would hav

European companies struggle to find opportunities in China’s Belt and Road Initiative _“Despite the opportunities associated with a $1 trillion initiative to improve connectivity across the Eurasian landmass, European companies have scarcely been able to get involved in implementing BRI projects”,_ *Maurice Fermont, Adviser on Trade Policy at BusinessEurope*, said at a conference on Constructing China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast Europe, organised in Berlin. He highlighted that there are opportunities in sectors such as construction, logistics, engineering, and services as well as for legal, consulting, banking and insurance services. But until now European companies have not been able to engage fully. *“ This is mainly due to a chronic lack of information about projects and how to get involved in them, but also due to the way in which China has employed economic diplomacy, government guarantees, subsidies, Exim financing, and non-transparent tenders as a way to push projects thro

Americans are Dying for China in Afghanistan

by Lawrence Sellin May 10, 2018 at 5:00 am While US policy-makers are trying desperately to stabilize Afghanistan, a shift is being orchestrated by China. The Chinese evidently see their role in Afghanistan as the "good cop" versus the U.S. role as "bad cop." Like Pakistan, China seems to view the Taliban as the political opposition, not as a terrorist organization, and has offered itself as an intermediary to negotiate the departure of the U.S. and, thereby, be in a position to reap the economic and geopolitical benefits of Afghanistan as a client state of the China-Pakistan alliance. Control of Afghanistan will allow China to complete transportation corridors, power grids and oil and gas pipelines throughout Central and South Asia. China can then begin to exploit Afghanistan's estimated $3 trillion in untapped mineral resources, in addition to Balochistan's $1 trillion in gold, copper, oil

Don’t Be Alarmed But China’s Naval Footprint In Pakistan Appears To Be Only Growing LAWRENCE SELLIN Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve 5:07 PM 05/09/2018 A January 1, 2018 article revealed a plan — later confirmed in two separate reports, here and here — for the construction of a Chinese naval base on the Jiwani peninsula in Pakistan, near Gwadar, a sea port critical to the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Although initially scheduled to begin in July, work on the Jiwani base was accelerated after the plan appeared in the media. That is consistent with the overall increase in a Chinese military activities in Pakistan, but particularly in regard to its naval presence. According to sources, the decision to advance the schedule for the Jiwani base was likely made in a series of late February meetings held in Gwadar between Chinese and Pakistani civilian and military officials, some who flew into the city from Karachi and Islamabad. As a result of the media scrutiny


Daily Pioneer Thursday, 10 May 2018 | Mukesh Ranjan | Ranchi | in  Ranchi Dissatisfied with the report submitted by the State Government in the Garhwa assault case, the Jharkhand High Court directed it to initiate departmental inquiry against the SP Mohammad Arshi and submit a report within four months along with the action taken report against him. However, a division bench comprising Justice H C Mishra and Justice BB Mangalmurty, calling the ongoing lawyers’ strike of Dhanbad Bar Association as illegal, refused to interfere in the arrest of lawyer there and said that the law will take its own course. Garhwa lawyer Ashish Dubey was allegedly beaten up by the police for shooting video of police personnel  trying to take out the vehicle of Garhwa SP from heavy traffic jam and was later taken into custody but was later released after pressure mounted by the Advocate’s Association. “Looking at the statement of the witnesses, it appears that the Garhwa SP was very much present at the

RWR Advisory: Belt and Road at a Glance

Belt and Road at a  Glance   Top Developments China Continues to Grow Zimbabwe Ties The Xi administration has made a concerted effort to foster relations with Zimbabwe  since Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power. This has continued over the past two weeks. On April 27, Export-Import Bank of China extended a $144 million line of credit to Zimbabwe’s capital city of Harare for improvements to outdated water infrastructure. The financing arrangement was followed by a memorandum of udnerstanding (MoU) with Huajian Group for the construction of a multi-million dollar industrial park in Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe. The plan aims for the industrial park to employ 10,000 people. Chinese-sponsored industrial zones have been leveraged to boost political relations elsewhere in Africa, such as China Nonferrous Metals Company’s backing of the Zambia-China Cooperation Zone. Beijing’s Grip Over Sri Lanka Continues to Tighten  In  Sri Lanka , where China Merchant Port Holdings (CM

Collateral Damage: President Trump’s Decision on Iran and Its Impact on Europe

Emil Dall Commentary , 9 May 2018 RUSI.ORG President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear agreement, and reimpose sanctions against Iran, will matter most in Europe. US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – as the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran is officially known – will result in the reimposition of all the US sanctions that were imposed on Iran before and up to the signing of the deal, and which were lifted after the conclusion of the JCPOA . While European states – particularly the UK, France and Germany which are signatories and parties to the deal –  reaffirmed their commitment  to continue implementing the agreement without Washington’s participation, President Trump’s decision will hit European governments and their businesses hardest. In the months ahead, the future of the JCPOA will not be determined by Trump in Washington or Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran; rather, the survival

An Accounting of China's Deployments to the Spratly Islands

An Accounting of China's Deployments to the Spratly Islands Satellite imagery from April 28 reveals the first confirmed deployment of a military aircraft, a Shaanxi Y-8, on China’s base at Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands. The Y-8 was designed as a military transport aircraft, but some variants are used for maritime patrol or signals intelligence. This should be particularly concerning to the Philippines, which has about 100 civilians and a small military garrison on Thitu Island just 12 nautical miles away. With this deployment, military aircraft have now verifiably landed on all three of China’s airstrips in the Spratly Islands. The first was a “naval patrol aircraft,” possibly a Y-8 or similar plane, which  landed at Fiery Cross Reef  in April 2016 to evacuate three personnel who had fallen ill. Last month, the  Philippine Daily Inquirer  published an aerial photo dated January 6 showing two Xian Y-7 military transport aircraft on Mischief Reef. That landing was especially ga

After Trump’s Iran decision: Time for Europe to step up Commentary Ellie Geranmayeh  @EllieGeranmayeh 09th May, 2018 United States Department of State (Public Domain) Six steps for the EU and its member states to save the nuclear agreement with Iran  Despite months of E3-US negotiations to avert an unnecessary crisis over the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has declared a hard exit from the nuclear agreement. The decision demonstrates that the US has decided that confrontation with Iran is both necessary and inevitable, regardless of what European allies think. The US administration looks set to increase tensions with Tehran and promote an implosion of Iran’s economy in ways that significantly increase risks of greater military escalation in the Middle East. Moreover, in the coming weeks, United States looks set to lead an economic and political assault on European interests.   The E3 should now acknowledge that its negotiating tactic of a