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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

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Peregrine
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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 01 Jul 2017 17:50

Fully Posted on the Analyzing CPEC Thread

CPEC and the new great game
I fear that I may not be doing justice to describing the sentiments of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral regarding CPEC. The intensity of these feelings emanate from a sense of being excluded and deprived from CPEC’s development potential – both in a political and economic sense. There is a new wave of a nationalistic upsurge, with the youth gravitating towards sceptical idealism – which ranges from issues of political representation to economic empowerment.
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chetak
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 01 Jul 2017 18:11

ramana wrote:Are you factoring the presence of Chinese on Pak mard-e-momin while Chinese servicing is in play?
Goats will be in short supply.

This will have its impact in a generation or two when we will see Pakistan becoming East Turkistanfied.


something like the Philippines amreki scenario but with koranic dimensions??

not only the paki mard-e-momin but the ummah types will also get into the "honor" mode of operations.

does this image look more probable than a han husband and a paki bride??

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 02 Jul 2017 18:38

X Posted on the Analyzing CPEC & STFUP Threads

India should shed 'strategic anxiety', join Belt and Road Initiative: Chinese media

BEIJING: India should shed its "strategic anxiety" over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and join the Belt and Road Initiative to become a cooperative partner and not a rival, a state-run Chinese news agency said on Sunday, amid a standoff between the two nations in the Sikkim sector.

The commentary in Xinhua - India's China-phobia Might Lead To Strategic Myopia - criticised New Delhi's boycott of the Belt and Road Forum conference held in May and asked India to shed its "China anxiety".

India boycotted the BRF after sovereignty concerns over the $50-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Then, India said the Chinese ambitious initiative must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The piece did not mention the CPEC by name, but referred to the BRI - the umbrella project under which the CPEC falls.

The commentary in Xinhua, considered an official view, said "despite its strategic discomfort, it is important for India to get over its 'China anxiety' and carefully assess the initiative, recognise its potential benefits and seize the opportunities".

"Instead of being rivals, the two countries, both of which are ancient civilisations endowed with a rich history, could become cooperative partners," it said, citing the speech of Liu Jinsong, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese embassy in India who had said "the sky and ocean of Asia are big enough for the dragon and elephant to dance together, which will bring about a true Asian Age."

After India's boycott of the BRF, official Chinese media have been carrying out articles asking India to reconsider its decision to not back the BRI.

A recent official "white paper" by China on the 21st Maritime Silk Road even offered to link the CPEC with the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor in order to provide India greater access to Central Asia.

Observers say China's repeated invitations to India to join the BRI highlights its own anxieties over the adverse impact of New Delhi's lack of support to the multi-billion dollar investments in South Asia as it would deny access to India's market consisting over 1.2 billion people.
Today's commentary said "staying away from the initiative is not the best choice New Delhi could have made."

"It could have voiced its concerns and opinions on public occasions or in official statements as China is always willing to discuss all problems and possibilities with India on the basis of mutual benefits," it said.

"Though proposed by China, the Belt and Road is not a 'Chinese project.' It is a multilateral initiative, with win-win results at its core," it said.

The commentary came as troops of India and China are in a face-off since June 16 over the Chinese military's attempt to construct a strategic road in Doklam region of the Sikkim sector, which India and Bhutan is strongly objecting to.

While Bhutan has said the road is being built unilaterally by China in an area it controls, India said it is deeply concerned at the Chinese action as the road construction "would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security

Comments : China is DESPERATE TO ROPE IN INDIA in its OBOR-CPEC Scheme.

I feel that China is now cognisant of the CPEC being only a “Strategic” and not a “Commercial” Project. China’s continuous insistence in wanting India to join the CPEC-OBOR Project is to ensure that when the India-Myanmar-China Road becomes a reality then China would want to extend the western termini to its “Lapdog” i.e. Clapistan.

I would opine that India neither join CPEC nor OBOR but develop the I - M – C Road to carry on trade with Myanmar and China. India should deny China, Myanmar and possibly Bangladesh Access to Clapistan as well as deny Clapistan to participate in the India – Myanmar – China Road. Let Clapistan use the OBOR to access China via the CPEC-OBOR Road System.

It is pertinent to remind China that India has neither invited China nor its “Lapdog” i.e. Clapistan to join the “North – South Transport Corridor”.

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arun
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 02 Jul 2017 21:06

^^^ The Xinhua editorial titled “India's China-phobia might lead to strategic myopia”

Concerns over a rising China have, to some extent, spiraled into a kind of "strategic anxiety" regarding the country among some Indian politicians.

Their misleading, unfounded "China-phobia," however, might lead to strategic myopia and hurt India's own interests.

Harboring suspicion and apprehension toward China's intention, India has recently decided to stay away from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, citing sovereignty concerns as its main reason.

The reason raised by India may be understandable, but staying away from the initiative is not the best choice New Delhi could have made.

It could have voiced its concerns and opinions on public occasions or in official statements as China is always willing to discuss all problems and possibilities with India on the basis of mutual benefits.

Actually, as Chinese officials have stressed on many occasions, the initiative, aimed at promoting economic cooperation and connectivity, has no connection with or impact on sovereignty issues.

Though proposed by China, the Belt and Road is not a "Chinese project." It is a multilateral initiative, with win-win results at its core.

As many experts and analysts have pointed out, the Belt and Road provides a monumental opportunity for the win-win cooperation between India and China, which are quite complementary economically.

The opportunity will not only help the two nations build political trust and boost their economic growth, but also reduce the risks of instability worldwide.

India, due to its geographical location and the size of its economy, could potentially be the biggest recipient of Chinese investment from the initiative to boost trade by building infrastructure linking Asia with Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

While bearing in mind its sovereignty concerns, the Indian government should also have a holistic perspective and see the bigger picture: the initiative will benefit South Asian countries, including India, in the long run, and it is in India's own vital and long-term national interests to join the initiative and become an important player in it.

Despite its strategic discomfort, it is important for India to get over its "China anxiety" and carefully assess the initiative, recognize its potential benefits and seize the opportunities.

Instead of being rivals, the two countries, both of which are ancient civilizations endowed with a rich history, could become cooperative partners.

Just as Liu Jinsong, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese Embassy in India, said in April, the sky and ocean of Asia are big enough for the dragon and elephant (China and India) to dance together, which will bring about a true Asian Age.


Xinhua Web Link is below:

Commentary: India's China-phobia might lead to strategic myopia

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 03 Jul 2017 04:44

X Posted on the Analyzing CEPC Thread

Beijing using Doklam to arm-twist Delhi on OBOR?

BEIJING: China's official news agency sent signals on Sunday that the ongoing border stand-off with India was caused, at least partly, by Beijing's desperate need to force an unwilling India to accept its One Belt One Road (OBOR) programme.

The border row was triggered after Chinese troops began building a road in Doklam, which falls in the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction, within weeks of the OBOR summit that India refused to attend.

"Harbouring suspicion... toward China's intention, India has decided to stay away from the China-proposed belt and road initiative, citing sovereignty concerns as its main reason," Xinhua said, and admitted to the military stand-off. It also accused India of "strategic myopia" about its infrastructure programme. The commentary signalled that Beijing would reconsider its stand on the border stand-off if India decided to join OBOR plan, observers said.

"Launching construction in border areas of Bhutan and Nepal may be a good way to pressure India to accept the Chinese programme," an analyst said. But, the dispute might make it more difficult for Delhi to accept the Chinese urgings on this issue, others said.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby sum » 03 Jul 2017 05:45

^^ Not going to happen atleast till this govt is in power.

If post-2019, a new govt ( non-Modi) comes to power, then all bets are off IMHO

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SriKumar » 03 Jul 2017 07:01

Peregrine wrote:X Posted on the Analyzing CEPC Thread

Beijing using Doklam to arm-twist Delhi on OBOR?

BEIJING: China's official news agency sent signals on Sunday that the ongoing border stand-off with India was caused, at least partly, by Beijing's desperate need to force an unwilling India to accept its One Belt One Road (OBOR) programme.

The border row was triggered after Chinese troops began building a road in Doklam, which falls in the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction, within weeks of the OBOR summit that India refused to attend.
Xinhua's statement, as printed in the article, does not say or imply anything like that. Some (unamed) analysts are reading it that way, per the article. That said, if Beijing actually believes their Bhutan border buffoonery is going to get India to acquiesce to OBOR, they've miscalculated at so many levels it's borderline comical.
(IMHO, not gonna happen by threat, Modi or no Modi.)

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 03 Jul 2017 08:25

I see no connection between the Doka La stand-off and the OBOR issue. Doka La is a regular land-grab and incremental aggression that the Chinese are adept at.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 03 Jul 2017 11:20

sum wrote:^^ Not going to happen atleast till this govt is in power.

If post-2019, a new govt ( non-Modi) comes to power, then all bets are off IMHO


if the congis had been in power, the situation would have been very different and the Indian position vis a vis the chinese thrust into our territory would have been weakened/legitimised by now by pious and timid congi/MEA talk of "friendship" and "trade".

the hans will now recalibrate their options with Modi in the chair.

The IA has been given space to breathe and they will not have forgotten 1962 when idiot, halfwit politicians, both in and out of the army, got them into a bad situation by sheer inaction and wrong perceptions.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 03 Jul 2017 11:26

SSridhar wrote:I see no connection between the Doka La stand-off and the OBOR issue. Doka La is a regular land-grab and incremental aggression that the Chinese are adept at.


we need to push back the hans, occupy and hold the plateau.

This ia an important test case with many countries watching the developments very closely.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chola » 03 Jul 2017 11:31

SSridhar wrote:I see no connection between the Doka La stand-off and the OBOR issue. Doka La is a regular land-grab and incremental aggression that the Chinese are adept at.


Obviously. How would attacking someone make them join OBOR? The chinis are inscrutable but not nuts.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 03 Jul 2017 12:14

The usual dhoti shiver by some so called analyst. The way to test the theory is to take it to the extreme.

IF this degenerates into a firing match NO GOI will be able to sign any OBOR/BRI deal or any kind of such deal for at least a decade.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 03 Jul 2017 12:17

Cheenis are very good at lifafa dealings. I wouldn't be surprised that many writing in favor of OBOR and more specifically India joining OBOR haven been showered with largess in one form or another. If not direct payment then at least a fully paid 5 star vacation in China with *personal* attention.

BTW, it seems another group of jurnos were supposed to embark on a trip to China but had their visa/trip cancelled because of the current standoff at the border.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 03 Jul 2017 14:49

X Posted on the Managing Chinese Threat and China Watch Threads

Learning with the Times: China doesn't accept the McMahon line agreed on by Britain & Tibet

With how many countries does China have border disputes?

With 14 nations spread along their borders, China and Russia have more neighbours than any other country. China has border disputes with most of its neighbours. Over the years, it has resolved territorial disputes with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan. At present, its biggest border dispute is with India and Bhutan to some extent.
Apart from the land and territorial borders, China also shares maritime borders with four countries - Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Philippines. These borders are also disputed.

What is the main reason of these disputes?

Experts believe the boundary disputes between Asian countries are a legacy of colonial rule on them. Despite having no common past or common culture, many modern countries were arbitrary created by the colonial powers. Many regions of Africa, Asia and both the Americas never had concepts of rigid frontiers.

There were less rigid boundaries based on different ethnicity or culture. The idea of a perfectly surveyed territorial state is a modern Western concept, which was imposed on their colonies as well. During this period, China was also forced to enter into many treaties it believes were unequal and many of the present disputes are linked to that belief.

What were these treaties?

During the 19th and early 20th century, China was forced into several treaties with Great Britain, France, Germany the US, Russia and Japan. In most of these treaties, the Chinese government provided protection, gave privileged rights to trade and ceded territories to the colonialists. It ceded Hong Kong to Britain, Macau to Portugal, a large part of its northern area to tsarist Russia, Annam (now in Vietnam) to France, Taiwan to Japan and so on. After the Russian Revolution, the Soviets terminated most of these gains but other colonial powers remained in Asia for many more decades and most border disputes can be traced back to this period.

What is the dispute between India and China?

The McMahon line, which India recognises as its boundary, is not accepted by the Chinese. The line was drawn by Sir Henry McMahon, the foreign secretary of the British Indian government who was acting as the chief negotiator in the Shimla conference between Britain, China and Tibet. The Chinese delegate, Ivan Chen, stated he was not authorised to discuss Tibet's border with India. The McMahon line was negotiated between the British and Tibetans, without Chinese participation and when opposed by the Chinese it was declared as a bilateral accord between India and Tibet. The land south of Tibet was declared as British India. This made the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh a part of India. Historically, this area was known as south Tibet. In 1950, Tibet lost its status as an independent territory and India took control of the area. In response to China's claim, India argues that China had no sovereignty over Tibet at the time when the McMahon line was drawn. Also historically it has had no claim to the area that is Arunchal Pradesh. It began to raise the claim after it annexed Tibet.

Historically, the Ahom rajas and Debrajas of Tawang have had a tributary system with the tribes of Arunachal. The Tawang monastery that has links with Lhasa exercised a spiritual and not a temporal influence. The tribes of Arunachal were integrated more to the south as the high passes of 14,000 and 18,000 feet restricted contact with Tibet. There was just about 60-75 km of "border" areas where regular contact was possible. So, though some accounts see Tibet "ceding" territories to India at the Shimla conference, even ancient travellers like Hieun Tsang speak of the influence of local kingdoms. Also before China's annexation of Tibet, the latter's relations with India were by and large peaceful.

What is China's attitude in solving these disputes?

Although China has given territorial concessions to countries like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, it is often criticised for claiming territories which were under any form of Chinese domination in the past. It has also renounced any treaty signed by them before the communist revolution. This attitude is a matter of debate as many experts argue about putting a cut-off date on history when countries define their modern borders. For instance, the Mauryan and Mughal empires stretched far beyond India's current northern boundaries while the Chola kingdom was spread till Vietnam. This, obviously, wouldn't be seen as most people as justifying India's claim on these areas citing historical dominance.

Comments : China is brow beating India with a view to force India to Join the OBOR-CPEC System and thus have an access to Clapistan via the India - Myanmar - China Rod System.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 03 Jul 2017 20:19

Unpacking China’s White Paper on Maritime Cooperation under BRI - Abhay Kumar Singh, IDSA Brief
The revival of the centuries-old ‘Silk Road at Sea’ into a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an integral part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It has been flagged by China as a Chinese solution to global economic revival. The Silk Road Economic Belt on land connects China to Europe through Central Asia, while the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) at sea connects China to the European Market through the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. In keeping with the proclaimed tenor of the BRI initiative, on 20 June 2017, China unveiled a white paper on “Vision towards enhancing maritime cooperation in building a peaceful and prosperous 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”. The vision document, prepared by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and State Oceanic Administration (SOA), outlined that “China is willing to work closely with countries along the Road, engage in all-dimensional and broad-scoped maritime cooperation and build open and inclusive cooperation platforms, and establish a constructive and pragmatic Blue Partnership to forge a “blue engine” for sustainable development.”1 Notwithstanding constant reiteration from China about the centrality of the economic dimension in the Belt and Road initiative, there has been a constant focus by commentators about its sublime geostrategic design.2

The vision on maritime cooperation outlined by the White Paper (MSR Vision 2017) is largely a reiteration of the vision for the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road proclaimed in March 2015 (BRI Vision 2015).3 However, MSR 2017 also contains several new elements. This article unpacks the Chinese proposals for enhancing maritime cooperation along the MSR. “Blue Economy” and “Sustainable Development” are largely advertorial embellishments in the document. The vision document considers maritime security cooperation as a lynchpin in the MSR and attempts to redesign the existing maritime security architecture in the oceanic arena of MSR. The proposed Asia Africa Growth Corridor, a joint initiative of India and Japan, needs to take into account the extant Chinese vision on maritime cooperation in order to provide a viable alternative.

Expanding Maritime Horizon of Belt and Road Initiatives

The original blueprint for the belt and road initiative had just one belt on land and one road at sea. The belt provided connectivity between China and Europe through Central Asia while the maritime road catered for oceanic connectivity of China, Africa and Europe through the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. The white paper on Maritime Cooperation under BRI envisages three oceanic passages, which include: the originally envisaged China-Indian Ocean-Africa- Mediterranean Sea Blue Economic Passage; the blue economic passage of China-Oceania-South Pacific travelling southward from the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean; and, a future blue economic passage to Europe via the Arctic Ocean.

In addition to these are the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC). both connected with China-Indian Ocean-Africa- Mediterranean Sea Blue Economic Passage. Thus, the 21st century Maritime Silk Road has a much larger oceanic canvas than originally envisaged. The linking of CPEC and BCIM within the wider framework of the Maritime Silk Road has been objected to by India,4 which had earlier boycotted the inaugural Belt and Road Forum due to sovereignty concerns given that CPEC transits Indian Territory in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.5

Focus on Sustainable Blue Enterprise – Rhetoric or Reality

A focus on sustainable development and environmental protection in planning major industrial and infrastructure projects is mandatory due to concerns about climate change. The BRI Vision 2015 has also articulated similar phraseology of sustainable and environment-friendly approach for the projects envisaged under the initiative’s auspices. The extant vision on maritime cooperation under BRI has been embellished with phrases such as ‘blue economic passage’, ‘developing the blue economy’, ‘blue economy partnership’, ‘blue partnership’, ‘blue engine for sustainable growth’, ‘blue carbon ecosystem’, ‘blue carbon forum’, and ‘blue carbon report’. The word count of ‘Blue’ is the second highest at 30 in the document and the most repeated word is ‘Economy’ or its variations at 34 times. In essence, it indicates the Chinese commitment for the environment in the envisaged economic outreach in the maritime arena.

The environment commitment is further asserted through a focus on scientific research cooperation with littoral countries along the road as well as the setting up of regional institutions for marine environment protection and monitoring. Thus, the vision states that China has proposed “the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Blue Carbon Program to monitor coastal and ocean blue carbon ecosystems, develop technical standards and promote research on carbon sinks, launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Blue Carbon Report, and to establish an International Blue Carbon Forum and cooperation mechanism.”

This promise of environmental protection in the BRI is certainly in line with China’s voluntary commitments undertaken as part of the Paris Climate Change agreement. However, Chinese practices in the recent past have indicated scant regard for environmental concerns in domestic developmental activities, reclamations in the South China Sea and overseas investment. The Hague Tribunal, in its ruling on the South China Sea, had castigated China for causing severe harm to the coral reef environment as well as for violating its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems and the habitat of depleted, threatened, or endangered species.6 China’s island-building spree and its mobilisation of its ravenous fishing fleet have resulted in the deliberate destruction of the marine ecosystem and impaired the long-term sustainability of the marine environment around the South China Sea.7 China’s domestic policies have prioritised development over environmental concerns with harrowing results.8

China’s investments in Africa are concentrated in sectors which are environmentally sensitive (such as oil and gas exploration, mining, hydropower, and timber), and the resultant environmental damage has drawn sharp criticism.9 With the tightening of the domestic law on pollution, China may even incentivise the relocation of its most polluting industries to Africa where enforcement of environmental measures is weak.10 A Chinese scholar has justified such export of pollution and recommends that “Energy-hungry and polluting manufacturers may well be the first to move from China to Africa.”11 Whether the environmental friendly assurance of the vision in implementing envisaged maritime projects will become a reality can be assessed only when projects are implemented on the ground. However, there exist sufficient reasons for healthy scepticism in this regard at present.

Encouragement to Chinese Enterprises

The Silk Road Vision document aims to promote the participation of Chinese enterprises in maritime infrastructure projects, industrial parks and trade cooperation zones in the littoral countries along the maritime Silk Road. The Belt and Road Initiative has been proclaimed as a stimulus for global and regional economic growth. However, it has been argued that this initiative could be seen as an attempt to redirect surplus capital and industrial overcapacity in order to solve the prevalent structural problem of the Chinese economy.12 Several studies have also questioned the economic viability and pointed to the associated political risks of the belt and road initiative.13 This apparent promotion of Chinese enterprises in the maritime cooperation vision document could be for two reasons. One, the productive use of surplus capital and industrial overcapacity. And two, it aims to address the growing risk aversion plaguing Chinese institutions in investing in far-flung projects with uncertain financial returns and political risks.14

Networks for Perception Management

Perception management for “garnering public support for intensifying ocean cooperation” seems to be an important area in the maritime cooperation vision. Key activities in this area include a network of Chinese and regional research institutions and think tanks, a “circle of friends” in media, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), and liaison networks for maritime law enforcement agencies. These networks would facilitate research cooperation, training and education, cultural exchanges, cross-border interviews through funding from China. The vision document elaborates detailed programmes for the development of these networks. A collaborative approach is aimed to lay a solid foundation of public support for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China aims to promote Matsu Folk culture for the Maritime Silk Road’s spirit of friendly cooperation.

Maritime Security Assurance –The Lynchpin

The vision document identifies maritime security as a “key assurance for developing the blue economy” and aims to promote “the concept of common maritime security”. Four areas of maritime security cooperation in the vision document are:-

  • Cooperation on Maritime navigation security to combat non-traditional security issues such as crime at sea.
  • Cooperation with littoral countries in the application of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and remote sensing satellite system has also been proposed.
  • Conducting joint maritime search and rescue missions to enhance capacities in dealing with emergencies at sea including major disasters and security threats to tourists.
  • Cooperation on Marine disaster warning and mitigation through “setting up of marine disaster warning systems in the South China Sea, the Bengal Sea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden” and development of “marine disaster warning products for transportation, escort, disaster prevention and mitigation.”
(Emphasis added).

It has been argued that the Belt and Road initiative is primarily driven by broad geostrategic aims15 and China is using economic power in pursuit of geopolitical objectives in this initiatives.16 However, the broad contours of maritime security cooperation in the Silk Road vision clearly indicate China’s willingness to use its maritime power for the protection of its expanding maritime interests and sea lanes, albeit in the extant case, under the guise of enhancing maritime cooperation on non-traditional issues.

China’s naval strategy has progressively evolved from a “near-coast defence” strategy prior to the mid-1980s to a “near-seas active defence” after the mid-1980s, and then to the advancement of a “far-seas operations” strategy by the mid-2000s.17 Hu Jintao provided the concept of ‘New Historic Mission’ which argued that the PLA must go beyond its previous mission of safeguarding national “survival interests” protecting national “development interests”.18 China’s Military Strategy 2015 provided greater emphasis on “open seas protection" and highlighted “long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests.” The role of the PLA-Navy was augmented to include “participation in both regional and international security cooperation and effectively secure China's overseas interests”.19 The contours of the burgeoning Chinese military presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has been evident through the near permanent presence of PLA Navy in the Gulf of Aden, deployment of submarines, the under construction naval base at Djibouti, and the planned deployment of Marines at Gwadar and Djibouti. The vision provides a broad design for the further expansion of China’s maritime power in the IOR and beyond.

Contrasting Visions: Maritime Silk Road vs Asia Africa Growth Corridor

During the recently held annual general meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) at Gandhinagar on May 24, 2017, India and Japan unveiled the vision document for an “Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC)” which aims to enhance growth and connectivity between Asia and Africa with a focus on four areas: Development Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Skills, and People-to-People Partnership. Priority areas for development cooperation include health and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and agro-processing, disaster management and skill enhancement.20 The AAGC seeks synergy between India’s “Act East” Policy and Japan’s “Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure ” in order to improve growth and interconnectedness between and within Asia and Africa for realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region.21 Japan’s contribution to the project will be its state-of-the-art technology and ability to build quality infrastructure, while India will bring in its expertise of working in Africa. The private sector of both countries is expected to play a big role by coming together to form joint ventures and consortiums and take up infrastructure, power or agribusiness projects in Africa.22 This Indo-Japan initiative is being seen as a counter to the Belt and Road initiative. AAGC is being presented as a “distinct initiative” borne out of a consultative process which would be profitable and bankable, unlike the “government-funded model” of Belt and Road initiatives.23

The vision document of both initiatives explicitly covers the same ground, viz., economic connectivity through maritime infrastructure, pairing of ports for mercantile trade, environmental friendly approach, sustainable development goals, institutional connectivity, people to people contacts, etc. However, unlike the near global vision of the Maritime Silk Road, AAGC is limited in its geographical span. The AAGC espouses the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in contrast to the government funded approach of the Maritime Silk Road. Unlike the encouragement to Chinese Enterprises in the Maritime Silk Road, the AAGC vision document does not mention any preferential treatment to Indian or Japanese enterprises. And, the Chinese vision document is more detailed in terms of specific activities and programmes envisaged in comparison to the AAGC vision document which has a rather broad brush approach.

One of the crucial missing links in the AAGC vision document is the aspect of maritime security cooperation even though the India-Japan Joint Statement of November 11, 2016, placed at the appendix of the document, acknowledges the imperatives of maritime security cooperation. It is apparent that the consultative approach of the AAGC vision has not included the views of experts from the maritime security domain. It is hoped that the Research Support Unit assigned for the preparation of the Asia Africa Growth Corridor Study between 2017-2018 would include aspects of enhancing maritime security cooperation within the ambit of AAGC along with a more detailed exploration of projects envisaged.

Conclusion

Beyond the semantic embroidery of collaborative development for a Blue Economy, China’s vision document on maritime security cooperation under BRI contains an even more expanded 21st Century Maritime Silk Road which now expands beyond the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to include the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. However, at the core of the vision lies an elaborate framework of a cooperative maritime security architecture for protection of sea lanes of MSR. Through the assurance of maritime security under a cooperative framework as an ‘international public good’, China aims to solve its vexing strategic challenge of securing its expanded sea lanes {and the four international choke points. That is very important.}. China’s expanding maritime influence in the IOR certainly poses a challenge to prevailing regional maritime security mechanisms (viz., IORA, IONS, BIMSTEC etc.) in general and to India in particular. The extant vision envisages promotion of the Chinese Baideu navigation system. A network of ocean observation systems along with the creation of a liaison network for maritime security further accentuates this strategic concern. The Chinese vision document on maritime cooperation broadly confirms the assessment about the country’s intention to further militarise economic policy in order to defend its ambitious global outreach, which is, as of now, being marketed as as a benign endeavour.24

India has been proactively engaging with countries in its maritime neighbourhood at bilateral and multilateral levels. There is growing recognition of its role as a ‘net security provider’ in the IOR. India has clearly informed China about its sensitivities regarding CPEC and has objected to the linking of CPEC and BCIM corridor with the MSR. However, it must be noted that India’s maritime outreach will progressively face even bigger competitive challenges from Chinese initiatives under MSR not only in the economic arena but also in maritime geopolitics. India certainly needs a whole of government approach and proactive engagement with like-minded countries to evolve a suitable strategy to ensure a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby DavidD » 05 Jul 2017 10:14

I think the Chinese plan is to surround India with OBOR projects, so that any connectivity between India and its neighbors, regardless of who initiated the project, will be hooked up with OBOR projects. For example, India builds a road to Bangladesh, that road will be connected to a port built by China; India builds a railroad to Myanamar, that railroad will be connected one that goes to Kunming.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 05 Jul 2017 11:46

Two components of the Land Silk Road (CPEC & BCIM) & the China-Indian Ocean-Africa component of the Maritime Silk Road are double-edged weapons and security nightmares for us because these can be employed by the PLA & PLAN respectively to rapidly deploy forces against us, in a pincer move. Employing overwhelming force in surges has been a tactic that the Chinese use. The Indian peninsular region is weakly protected. For all his 'supposedly' peaceful intentions, the eunuch admiral Zheng He of the 15th century came in massive ships with thousands of soldiers and the sudden appearance of his heavy armada did the trick most of the time.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 07 Jul 2017 15:36

Obor can lead to economic colonialism - Rahul Mazumdar, Business Line
Image

Image

Since the start of this century, the world has seen a shift in power balance, courtesy China’s emerging economic might, which challenged a US-dominant unipolar world that had been in existence since 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved, officially ending the Cold War.

China, thanks to its burgeoning foreign exchange reserves, started exhibiting power and influence over economies. Chinese hegemony further got a fillip with the US ceding to its nationalistic views and becoming an inward-looking economy under Trump.

When the previous US regime was negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), China — inspired by the ancient Silk Route — chalked out the ‘One Belt and One Road’ (OBOR) strategy. The TPP soon lost its steam with the Trump deciding to move out of it and OBOR caught the imagination of the world for its sheer promise of covering over 60 countries that form almost 30 per cent of world GDP and 60 per cent of the world’s population.

Expanding China

The Chinese foreign policy touts OBOR is purely an economic mission, facilitating cooperation in trade, investment, energy, developmental projects such as railway and road. But not many buy that. India, for one, perceives OBOR as a geopolitical architecture aimed at expanding Chinese influence in and around the region.

India may have a point there; OBOR has the potential to lead much of the world into a debt trap. While it is not new that China dominates the global trade market, the narrative gets further accentuated by OBOR’s intent to create an infrastructure which would allow physical movement of goods, more specifically Chinese goods, to large parts of Asia and Europe including Russia.

The initiative, which is largely motivated by concerns about slowing growth in China and the desire to boost China’s global influence, has the potential to create an inextricable debt trap in most of the countries which comes under the ambit of OBOR.

According to the World Bank, the growth of overseas development assistance (ODA) is slowing down globally, leading to ODA’s diminishing share in gross national income (GNI) in the developing world, while multilateral development banks merely support 10 per cent of the developing world’s infra spending. In least-developed countries, ODA was only 5.89 per cent of GNI in 2013, against 11.28 per cent in 1990.

Cash-rich China is, perhaps, trying to make use of this opportunity to fulfil its expansionist tactics and lure countries to fund their infrastructure needs through Chinese funds. These funds may not be in the form of a grant, and would seek a return on the long term investments made, which in some cases could accrue much higher interest rates than offered under ODA.

Chinese investments in some countries under OBOR equals a decent slice of their GDP. For example Chinese investment proposals such as the $46 billion in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is over 15 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP; the $13 billion in Uzbekistan is 25 per cent of its GDP; while the one with Bangladesh which is to the tune of $24 billion is equivalent to almost 20 per cent of Bangladesh’s GDP.

Debt trap

This pattern of growing investments by China would increase the external debt of the OBOR economies towards China. An analysis of the Asian economies, mostly emerging, under OBOR’s influence (where data from IMF was available), shows the average reserves to external debt as on 2015 stands at 53.3 per cent. These debts levels are bound to increase as they get more intertwined with OBOR plans.

The situation in Myanmar is grave, showing a negative 61.2 per cent external debt to reserves. According to a Parliamentarian in Myanmar, out of the $9 billion of the total foreign debts, Chinese loans amount to almost $4 billion, accounting for 44 per cent of the total external debt.

On the other hand, Mongolia, which has plunged into deep crisis with the drop in commodity prices, witnessed its economy growing by just 1 per cent in 2016, down from 17.5 per cent growth in 2011. It now has US$ 22 billion in debt, more than double the size of its economy.

Sri Lanka is a classic case of Chinese debt-trap, which can spillover to other economies as well. Sri Lanka’s estimated national debt as per the data available from IMF stands at $44 billion in 2015, of which around 15 per cent is owed to China. Recently, for the Hambantota port project, Sri Lanka was coerced to borrow around $300 million from China with an interest rate of 6.3 per cent, while the World Bank and the ADB could have provided soft loans with the interest levels within 3 per cent.

Nepal and Afghanistan are, however, outliers given the fact that they are huge recipients of grants in the form of official development assistance. A brief analysis of the import pattern of the Asian participants, who have agreed to be a part of this OBOR initiative, reveals that most of the ASEAN countries, especially Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam, run a Chinese-led trade deficit which is more than 30 per cent.

The OBOR initiative may act like a slow poison killing the domestic production capabilities of not only the emerging economies in Asia, but also those crisscrossing continents in Central Asia and Europe, making them heavily depended upon Chinese imports. Trade deficits are also about the jobs that we lose to overseas competitors. All these would have major political and economic implications.

Given the debt situation in most of these OBOR economies in Asia, and their inability to repay the debt, could lead the Chinese acquiring equity possession of these large tracts of infrastructure projects and thereby making inroads into the geographic space. We may also not forget that China has perennial border disputes with almost all the countries it shares boundaries through land or sea. Another possible implications of OBOR could also be the spreading the use of Yuan as an alternate currency to the dollar. Given such multiple corollaries, the OBOR can even lead towards economic colonisation by China.

The writer is an economist with Exim Bank, India. The views are personal

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby svinayak » 07 Jul 2017 23:31

chola wrote:
SSridhar wrote:I see no connection between the Doka La stand-off and the OBOR issue. Doka La is a regular land-grab and incremental aggression that the Chinese are adept at.


Obviously. How would attacking someone make them join OBOR? The chinis are inscrutable but not nuts.


India can increase the doubt in the countries which has signed up for OBOR with these kind of border disputes and Chinese aggression in Doklam

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 09 Jul 2017 09:38

Study to track impact of Chinese FDI - The Hindu
According to a January 2017 ‘Special Report’ by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of the National University of Singapore on an international workshop on ‘China and South Asia’, the Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang had said he considered China in many respects part of South Asia, especially in terms of geography. Current Chinese cooperation with south Asian countries is undertaken within the framework of OBOR, the report said, adding, however, that Mr. Yi had explained that OBOR has no strategic, security or political intent.

The report said India does not believe in the Chinese clarifications that OBOR projects only have economic objectives, and quoted ISAS Editor (Current Affairs) P.S. Suryanarayana as saying that “economic initiatives have strategic and security dimension”.

According to a study by the New Delhi-based national security and defence services think tank, United Service Institution of India (USI), “As far as India is concerned, CPEC has added a layer of complexity with more projects in PoK being drawn into its ambit without taking Indian concerns on board. That makes projects in contested areas politically vulnerable.”

Roll back investments


The USI study said if CPEC and OBOR are actually about regional economic growth, as the lending nation, China should rethink and roll back investments in PoK. Significantly, the USI study further said: “The ability of Pakistan to absorb the (CPEC) investments in given period and thereafter pay back is also suspect considering historic trends. Hence, these debts could eventually become strategic equities for China, especially the Gwadar Port (the main CPEC investment in the port sector), which can worsen security in South Asia.”

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Deans » 10 Jul 2017 14:51

This article requires a basic understanding of economic/ banking terms but a good and credible read on why China may be heading for a
crash. Explains some of the compulsions behind OBOR.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/05/great-china-crash-upon-us.html

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby anupmisra » 10 Jul 2017 16:20

SSridhar wrote:...the Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang had said he considered China in many respects part of South Asia, especially in terms of geography. Current Chinese cooperation with south Asian countries is undertaken within the framework of OBOR, the report said, adding, however, that Mr. Yi had explained that OBOR has no strategic, security or political intent.


Chinaman speaks with forked tongue. Mr. Yi should be arrested or at least fired from his job for confirming his state's strategic secrets. He just confirmed (by denying) that:

1. China considers S. Asia as an extension of its land mass.
2. OBOR (by extension, CPEC) is a long term chini strategy to extend political and security clout into S.& C. Asia and E. Europe.

Wait for denials.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 18 Jul 2017 19:01

https://www.ft.com/content/9a4aab54-624 ... c7eb84e5f1
China’s railway diplomacy hits the buffers

FT Big Read -- China: Brakes on railway diplomacy [Podcast]

Beijing hopes that sharing its high speed rail technology will win allies and open markets as it pushes forward with the One Belt, One Road project. But cancelled schemes and poorer countries' struggles with the debt they can bring are hindering China's ambitions. This report by James Kynge, Michael Peel and Ben Bland is narrated by James

https://www.acast.com/ft-big-read/china ... ydiplomacy

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Philip » 19 Jul 2017 11:14

China fails to understand that simply dumping high-tech infrastructure upon poor nations with a low literacy rate,also unable to repay their debts will see the same end up as junk.We see it in India too ,where in sev. states,govts. have built new infrastructure/facilities for the common man to simply see these items badly maintained,etc. The first super-fast train to Goa from Bombay was a disaster as the coaches were trashed by the uncivilised travellers. It takes years for civic sense to be inculcated into citizens unless there are strict penalties strictly enforced.Simple ,tough,vandal proof coaches and rail systems,easy to operate with a high degree of safety are better suited for developing nations,with a few special trains linking metros which must have adequate on-board staff to assist and monitor/control passengers.video-cams inside each coach will be able to identify vandals for later prosecution.

I was watching a Japanese programme on its railways.The attention to detail and training of on-board hostesses,etc.,was exemplary.It is only now that we see in India,the "masses" flying,but if you watch carefully at airports,one will see a section of passengers crude and unruly in their behaviour and rushing around as if they're catching a bus or train instead. Chinese travellers abroad are simply atrocious in their behaviour,crude,rude and barge around ,shouting at the top of their voices in shops,malls,aiports,etc.,as if it all belonged to them and that they could behave as they wished,very unlike Japanese visitors/citizens who have a great sense and respect of protocol.

Furthermore,what can poor nations do if they cannot pay back these huge loans for infrastructure dumped upon them by the Chinese? Selling off the "family silver",like Sri Lanka has done,ultimately leads to deep resentment of the Chinese,as has happened,and strong local movements have started protesting against the land deals earmarked for Chin cos. who would get a vast virtual pvt. enclave in another country displacing the locals!

China's OBOR is bound to fail.It may have some successes in places like Pak for instance,where the govt. has already sold its soul to the Chinese,and rely upon it for their mil hardware,N-tecH,etc.,but these will be isolated places. The arrogance of the Chinaman sees him make few lasting friends,as he neither respects the culture and language of the host nation,instead treats it like a vassal state,filled with servile people.In WW2 the Japanese behaved in similar fashion.What happened? They never got much local support barring the INA and Netaji.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 21 Jul 2017 01:10

Fully Posted on the Analyzing CPEC Thread

Advancing CPEC by stealth
This newspaper carried a report back in May revealing a document that could be called the CPEC master plan. That report drew a sharp response from the government, particularly the minister planning who is in charge of all CPEC coordination. He argued that the report was “factually incorrect” and that the real long-term plan was under negotiation and would be released to the public upon finalisation.
Cheers Image

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 21 Jul 2017 09:20

X Posted from the CPEC thread.

Singapore based newspaper Straits Times’ Associate Editor Ravi Velloor on OBOR, CPEC and the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

Pakistan is where OBOR hits the road

Despite its fulsome promise, the US$62b plan by China to boost Pakistan's infrastructure may not be all good for the flailing South Asian economy.

Ravi Velloor Associate Editor

For much of the world, the jury's still out on China's Belt and Road initiative, better known as the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) programme. While some countries have embraced it enthusiastically, others, such as the United States and Japan, have tried to be polite about it, going along warily without fulsome endorsement.

A few, India particularly, are openly disdainful, if not hostile to the plan. That's because they see it not as the Chinese grand design for globalisation that it is projected to be, but a Beijing plan to entrap the world in its grasp even as China looks for ready export markets for its tottering state-owned enterprises.

In the more than 60 nations that span President Xi Jinping's OBOR vision, none looms larger than Pakistan, possibly the Asian state strategically closest to Beijing after North Korea. The latest projected outlay for Chinese investment in that country under a plan called CPEC, or China Pakistan Economic Corridor, exceeds US$62 billion (S$85 billion) in loans and tied aid.

The vision is to link Kashgar in Xinjiang province to the warm water port of Gwadar in Pakistan's largest and most thinly populated province, Balochistan. In the bargain, Pakistan will get its biggest infrastructure boost since independence in 1947. China's strategic interest is to give itself all-weather access to the Arabian Sea bypassing the Strait of Malacca, a potential choke point that has India at one end and Singapore at the other, with Indonesia's Sumatra and the Malay peninsula in between.

While a good part of CPEC is about building road connectivity, the major investments are going into a series of power plants to shore up Pakistan's crumbling and hugely inefficient power grid that's made brown-outs of 12 hours a day common. The CPEC, according to available public information, will be built with not only Chinese capital, but Chinese labour and steel too. Because the so-called corridor traverses some intensely restive spots marked by periodic violence and terror attacks, Pakistan has raised a whole new army division to protect Chinese workers, marking a substantial recurring investment since pay and pensions tend to make up almost two-thirds of most military budgets in South Asia.

So far, so good. Few can take issue with Pakistan for accepting Chinese munificence, if indeed it is that, to fix its crumbling infrastructure. The dismal power situation had shaved off as much as 2 percentage points of growth annually, leaving the economy floundering at an expansion rate of less than 5 per cent, below potential. Having missed the services revolution that transformed next-door India because the poor security situation within its borders had made it risky to house outsourcing operations for Western firms, the energies of Pakistan's talented white-collar workforce had been unexploited to a large degree. As a result, India's significantly larger economy consistently outpaced that of its smaller neighbour, accelerating existing disparities.

SOLACE IN THE ARMS OF CHINA

What's more, Islamabad feels abandoned by Washington, which only in 2002 had deemed it a "major non-Nato ally". In the Pakistani narrative, the US used Pakistan to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, funnelling Saudi-funded arms to militant groups resisting the Soviets, then uncharitably abandoned it to favour India. In the wake of the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, blamed on hitmen allegedly trained inside Pakistan, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright referred to Pakistan as an "international migraine" with its combination of nuclear weapons, terrorism, extremism, corruption and poverty.

Little wonder then that Pakistan's Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan recently described China as "the only game in town".

Against that background it suited both Pakistan and China to tighten their decades-old strategic embrace. The Pakistanis, quite seriously, believe their relationship with China is, to use a phrase popularised by Beijing, "taller than the mountains, deeper than the valleys and sweeter than honey".

The problem is that too much of the CPEC plan is opaque, and not available publicly for a proper examination of its merits. This leads to apprehension that, especially in the light of South Asian neighbour Sri Lanka's experience with unviable Chinese investments that led it into a debt trap, Beijing's talk of a win-win means China wins twice.

The Chinese money for CPEC, it is increasingly clear, is largely on commercial terms. On the other hand, if power plants constitute a major chunk of the CPEC outlay, Islamabad may have a repayment problem when China eventually hands it a bill. Analysts point out that Pakistan has always sold power to its people at rates significantly below what it pays for the energy. Additionally, collection ratios are poor because of rampant power theft and defaults by companies owned by elite families. Unable to pay the producers in time, a problem of circular debt has ensued.

IN PAKISTAN'S INTEREST OR NO?

What's more, not everyone is convinced that the projects were conceived in Pakistan's interest. Some analysts say that four of the six thermal power plants being set up will run on imported coal, whereas Pakistan's plants have traditionally used furnace oil. There also is fear that at a time when oil prices seem set to tread the troughs for a substantial period, and solar energy is nudging grid parity with coal, Pakistan may be making the wrong choices.

It also has not gone unnoticed that China, despite the tight strategic relationship, has in past years generally not shown much appetite to invest in Pakistan. According to State Bank of Pakistan figures cited in the Pakistani press, total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the six months to December last year - the latest number available - was US$1.08 billion.

While that was a 10 per cent increase over the previous year, the jump was mostly on account of a single Dutch investment of US$460 million. Chinese FDI in the same period was US$48 million, about a tenth of what companies from the mainland put into India.

Still, it is not difficult to divine the Pakistani mindset. In the near term, Islamabad is clearly playing off its strategic sweet spot not just to power up its economy but also to allow China such a big say in it that it compels Beijing to also underwrite its security, if nothing else, to protect its investments.

The gap with India widened so much in the last two decades that it left Pakistan in pretty much the same situation that India finds itself in vis-a-vis China: a deepening sense of insecurity about the more powerful neighbour and fear of coming under its economic and political coercion. The sensible thing to do would seem to be to develop a closer economic relationship with India, not just on account of geography but also because Pakistani products are likely to be far more competitive against Indian goods rather than Chinese products. It is no secret though that the Pakistani deep state will not countenance this, even if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself favours it.

For Pakistan, therefore, the CPEC plan - which apparently also envisages giving Chinese visa-free access and the Chinese language being promoted in a massive way across the country - marks a turning of the back on its broader South Asian heritage.

According to revelations made two months ago by Dawn, Pakistan's internationally respected broadsheet, the CPEC document talks of a national fibre-optic backbone meant to assist in the "dissemination of Chinese culture".

Yesterday, the newspaper said "the real game of CPEC is about granting access to Chinese enterprises to Pakistan's domestic markets, raw materials and the agrarian economy".

It is now up to China to make sure that the CPEC does not turn out to be one more lemon it sold to yet another vulnerable developing economy. Mr Ahsan Iqbal, the Wharton-educated Minister for Planning in Mr Sharif's Cabinet and a key architect of the CPEC programme, has called the earlier Dawn report "factually incorrect". More recently he told me on the sidelines of a conference that his department's assessments are that the projects under the plan meet the benchmarks for commercial viability.

If that is true, there ought to be no grounds to complain. But, if Beijing is seen to have stiffed its closest friends with unviable projects and burdensome repayment obligations, it will not go unnoticed around the world.

After all, OBOR is a 100-year project and public memory, while short, cannot be completely erased. In more ways than one, therefore, Pakistan is where OBOR hits the road.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2017, with the headline 'Pakistan is where OBOR hits the road'.


From the Straits Times:

Pakistan is where OBOR hits the road

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 21 Jul 2017 12:13

X Posted from the CPEC thread.

Excerpt from July 20, 2017 article in World Finance titled “Following China’s debt-paved Silk Road”:

……………….. the paving of the Silk Road with low-priced debt has got China into trouble in some regions, particularly following the collapse in the price of crude oil. In Latin America, for example, state-owned lenders have been forced to swap infrastructure-funding debt for the supply of oil as recipient countries run out of revenues with which to pay China back.

The policy has also backfired in other locations. As the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies pointed out in a definitive recent report, crisis-hit Venezuela provides a sobering example: in mid-February, China agreed no less than 22 new deals aimed at propping up the South American country’s fast-declining oil industry. Although the ever-hopeful President Nicolás Maduro characterised the deals as heralding “our country’s economic recovery”, it looks more as though China is taking control of its wells and refineries in an infrastructure-for-debt swap. …………………….

Following China’s debt-paved Silk Road


Taking on debt from the Peoples Republic of China on usurious terms and conditions for infrastructure projects whose primary purpose is to keep PRC project infrastructure enterprises, PRC Labour and PRC input suppliers humming along has brought even more baleful consequences for countries such as Venezuela whose citizens have been so impoverished that they now need to work as prostitutes in Colombia:

Venezuelans sell sex in Colombia to survive : Women fleeing poverty get the right to work as prostitutes

The Mohammadden Terrorist Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan should take note of events in Venezuela as the day will not be long when muslimah wimmens sistahs may be forced to head westward to service Arabs as the adverse consequences OF CPEC aka Conning Pakistani’s to Enrich China, become reality.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 21 Jul 2017 14:59

arun wrote:Pakistan is where OBOR hits the roadPakistan is where OBOR hits the road - From the Straits Times:
In more ways than one, therefore, Pakistan is where OBOR hits the road.

Ravi Veloor of Straits Times, whose analysis is always good, once again sees through the smog. This is what we have been also saying here. We need to internalize this and factor this in all our analysis of TSP & China.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Arjun » 21 Jul 2017 15:40


So China wants to escape the Malacca Straits choke point by building in territory that is claimed by India and right next to Indian army haunts & in terrorist dominated Pakistan ? What kind of retarded strategy is that ??? Don't they understand the risks ?

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 21 Jul 2017 15:46

They cannot escape Malacca directly by building a highway. The width of the road required to haul even 10% of Chinese trade would be massive. Having "a" road is different from having "the" capacity. Simply not possible given the terrain, geology and hydrology.

However, A base at Gwadar, backed up by CPEC, does allow them to threaten our oil & gas flow from the Persian gulf. This counter pressure they hope will ensure a free passage for their trade via Malacca. CPEC/Gwadar is about crimping our freedom of action in the region/IOR.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chanakyaa » 27 Jul 2017 05:42

My apologies if this has already been posted

Nepal and OBOR

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby shiv » 27 Jul 2017 07:35

I have a nice video showing this year's landslides blocking the Xinjiang Pakistan route. That route is never going to be a high volume trade route

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jul 2017 20:21

Ignoring OBOR, India and Japan forge ahead with joint connectivity project - Economic Times
China may not have forgiven India for snubbing its mega trans-continent corridor initiative, but in what may rankle more is that New Delhi and Tokyo, Beijing's arch rival, are pushing ahead with a development corridor between Asia and Africa.

The announcement of the Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC)
, made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the African Development Bank (AfDB) meet in Gandhinagar in May, came days after China hosted with great pomp the first One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit in Beijing. The venture is expected to get further impetus in September during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

India has been involved in Africa for many years, in trade as well as capacity-building activities. Japan, which has been working on infrastructure projects in Africa, can help with its advanced technology as well as funds for the AAGC. Japan is reportedly planning to commit $200 billion for the proposed growth corridor.

So, is the AAGC meant as a counter to OBOR?

"The two are completely separate. OBOR is different. Long before OBOR, India and Japan were individually working in Africa, and were talking to each other about Africa," Rajiv Bhatia, a former Indian ambassador, told IANS.

"India and Japan feel that by intensifying cooperation with Africa, they can help each other and Africa. We are working on the AAGC in our own way and at our own pace," said the former High Commissioner to South Africa and Kenya.

He said that China's engagement in Africa is extensive, while the India-Japan collaboration is beginning to take shape. The AAGC shows that India and Japan desire to take their cooperation beyond the bilateral sphere, he added.

China's OBOR, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, is an estimated $5 trillion connectivity corridor spanning over 60 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. It is meant to be a revival of the ancient Silk Road trading route and is expected to comprise building of roads, bridges, gas pipelines, ports, railways and power plants, besides SEZs.

India and Japan had begun a dialogue on Africa in 2010, a continent in which both have much stake. The main objective of the AAGC is to enhance growth and connectivity between Asia and Africa. According to the vision document, the corridor will focus on four areas: Development Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Skills, and People-to-People Partnership.

Agriculture, health, technology, and disaster management are the main areas of development cooperation. It will focus on boosting skills and research and development capacities in Africa.

According to a report by McKinsey, China is Africa's largest economic partner, with goods trade worth $188 billion in 2015 -- compared to $59 billion with India. Since the turn of the millennium, Africa-China trade has been growing at approximately 20 per cent per year, the report says, adding that there are around 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa,

Three think-tanks -- India's Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), Indonesia's Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Japan's Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), prepared the vision document for AAGC. They have produced one report on the corridor and another report is due in a few months, said Bhatia.

He said that at the corporate level, companies of India, Japan and from Africa are looking at specified sectors of the growth corridor in order to execute projects. "There is seriousness and earnestness" behind the initiative, he added.

Bhatia, a former Director General of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), also feels that giving too much importance to OBOR and China would help Beijing.

Speaking on the comparison between OBOR and the AAGC, Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, RIS, told IANS: "The OBOR, it seems, is visualised on the idea of economic corridors and infrastructure development with connectivity as the central focus, while the AAGC is a concept based on the theory of growth poles where several growth triangles and quadrangles are envisaged with different regional production hubs."

The proposed AAGC seeks to encompass and integrate Africa, India and South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania.

India's increased engagement with Africa comes in the backdrop of the third India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in October 2015 when all 54 African nations had sent their representatives. India has also made many high level visits to several African countries, as part of its outreach. India also held the AfDB annual meeting in Gandhinagar this May.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 02 Aug 2017 16:55

X Posted on the STFUP and Analyzing Threads

Here is how China 'friendship' highway is shattering Pakistani businessmen's dreams

TASHKURGAN, CHINA: The China-Pakistan Friendship Highway runs over 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the far western Chinese city of Kashgar through the world's highest mountain pass and across the border.

For China, the two-lane thoroughfare symbolises a blossoming partnership, nourished with tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment.

But for many Pakistani businessmen living and working on the Chinese side of the border, the road is a one way street.

"China says our friendship is as high as the Himalayas and as deep as the sea, but it has no heart," said Pakistani businessman Murad Shah, as he tended his shop in Tashkurgan, 120 kilometres from the mountain pass where trucks line up to cross between China's vast Xinjiang region and Pakistan.

"There is no benefit for Pakistan. It's all about expanding China's growth," Shah said, as he straightened a display of precious stones.

The remote town of around 9,000 is at the geographic heart of Beijing's plans to build a major trade artery -- the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) -- connecting Kashgar to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.

The project is a crown jewel of China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, a massive global infrastructure programme to revive the ancient Silk Road and connect Chinese companies to new markets around the world.

In 2013, Beijing and Islamabad signed agreements worth $46 billion to build transport and energy infrastructure along the corridor, and China has upgraded the treacherous mountain road better known as the Karakoram Highway.

While both countries say the project is mutually beneficial, data shows a different story.

Pakistan's exports to China fell by almost eight percent in the second half of 2016, while imports jumped by almost 29 percent.

In May, Pakistan accused China of flooding its market with cut rate steel and threatened to respond with high tariffs.

"There are all of these hopes and dreams about Pakistan exports," said Jonathan Hillman, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"But if you're connecting with China, what are you going to be exporting?"

One answer is Nigerian "male enhancement" supplements: expired medications which Pakistani merchants in the oasis city of Hotan recently peddled to bearded Muslims walking home from Friday prayers.

The products were typical of the kinds of small consumer goods brought by Pakistani traders into Xinjiang: medicine, toiletries, semi-precious stones, rugs and handicrafts.

Pakistani businessmen in Xinjiang see few benefits from CPEC, complaining of intrusive security and capricious customs arrangements.

"If you bring anything from China, no problem," said Muhammad, a trader in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, who declined to give his full name.

But he said tariffs on imported Pakistani goods are "not declared. Today it's five percent, tomorrow maybe 20. Sometimes, they just say this is not allowed".

Three years ago, Shah was charged between eight and 15 yuan per kilo to bring lapis lazuli, a blue stone. The duty has since soared to 50 yuan per kilo, he said.

Customs officials told AFP the "elements influencing prices were too many" for them to offer a "definite and detailed list" of costs.

While large-scale importers can absorb the tariffs, independent Pakistani traders have benefited little from CPEC, said Hasan Karrar, political economy professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Alessandro Ripa, an expert on Chinese infrastructure projects at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, said the highway "is not very relevant to overall trade" because "the sea route is just cheaper and faster".

The project is better understood as a tool for China to promote its geopolitical interests and help struggling state-owned companies export excess production, he said.

Traders also face overbearing security in China.

Over the last year, Beijing has flooded Xinjiang, which has a large Muslim population, with tens of thousands of security personnel and imposed draconian rules to eliminate "extremism".

Businessmen complain they are not allowed to worship at local mosques, while shops can be closed for up to a year for importing merchandise with Arabic script.

In June, on the 300 kilometre trip between Kashgar and Tashkurgan, drivers were stopped at six police checkpoints, while their passengers had to walk through metal detectors and show identification cards. Signs warn that officials can check mobile phones for "illegal" religious content.

Police officers interrupted an interview in Tashkurgan to demand a shopkeeper hand over his smartphone and computer for inspection, an event he said occurs several times a week.

Shah said that when he first arrived in the town, the intrusive security made him nervous: "But now I'm used to it. I almost feel like I'm one of the police."

As he spoke, an alarm sounded. He grabbed a crude spear, body armour and a black helmet off his counter and rushed into the street, where police had assembled over a dozen people for impromptu counter-terrorism drills.

The exercises are held up to four times a day. Stores are closed for several days if they do not participate.

Back in Kashgar, Muhammad hopes that CPEC will make life better, but he believes the oppressive security will remain an obstacle.

He plans to give it another three years. But, he said, he cannot wait forever: "Many people have already gone back."

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 16 Aug 2017 16:44

X Posted on the Analyzing CPEC and STFUP Threads

Decoding the Doklam puzzle: China may be fighting its border war on Pakistan front

Will India and China go to war over Doklam? India has refrained from showing any aggression so far. China has heightened the war rhetoric but without backing it with any solid action. It seems China does not want an actual war but a prolonged, war-like situation.

China cannot start a war with India, even if it's a localised conflict, over a small piece of high-altitude land that remains hard to access most of the time. Such a misadventure will carry heavy diplomatic, economic and even military costs.

China has begun to project itself as a responsible global power as it seeks to enlarge its international footprint. Its huge debt—about 300 per cent of GDP — even if most of it is state-owned and thus manageable, remains a big economic challenge. India is a nuclear power, and there is no guarantee a local conflict won't blow out of control.

Then why is China risking a costly war? The answer to this question lies in two biggest developments in the subcontinent in the past few years: India's surgical strike inside the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last year and China planning to build a global network of roads, ports and railways which it calls 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR). India boycotted the grand launch of OBOR because a part of it—China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Balderdash! China wants India to join OBOR and CPEC so that it can have access into Clapistan via the India - Bangladesh - Myanmar - China Road System through Kunming in Yunnan. India would not want to have Pakistani Trucks going to Yunnan and other parts of Southern and Eastern China.

India's opposition to OBOR is the biggest sore point between India and China today. And that could be the reason behind China's Doklam posture. Border disputes have lingered on for decades and have rarely led to such a prolonged stand-off.

So, the actual theatre of Doklam war might not be the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction where Indian and Chinese soldiers are facing off. It could be thousands of kilometres away—the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. In Doklam, China might be maneuvering to secure CPEC, its biggest strategic asset in the region.

CPEC is a network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's Xinjiang region to the Gwadar Port in Pakistan. It can give China an alternative to its main trade route that passes through the Strait of Malacca and the Indian Ocean. CPEC will provide a shorter and cheaper access to markets in Asia, Africa and even Europe. More importantly, it will not be vulnerable to disruption by India which can now cut off Chinese supplies through the Indian Ocean.

The Chinese move at Doklam might have been prompted by India's aggressive military posture against Pakistan after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. For the first time, India under PM Modi openly supported rebels in Pakistan's Balochistan who pose a serious threat to CPEC. Two Chinese citizens working on CPEC were abducted and killed by Baloch rebels two months ago.

A restive Balochistan is not the only challenge to CPEC.

CPEC passes through PoK, and that's why India had boycotted China's ambitious OBOR project. India has always laid claim to PoK but now it has also started talking of getting it back from Pakistan. Local leaders in PoK often speak favourably of India. India's surgical strikes on Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in PoK last year signaled its aggressive military stance and the will to dominate in the disputed region.

India's assertion in PoK and support to Baloch rebels are threats to CPEC. India's military dominance on Pakistan means CPEC may not materialise at all. By engaging India at Doklam, China might want to divert Indian military away from the Pakistan border and thus reduce the threat to CPEC.

CPEC is going to be the showpiece for China's OBOR project which it hardsells as a global economic partnership that can lift less-developed countries out of poverty.

OBOR has economic as well as strategic importance for China. It will not only provide China vast markets and ownership of infrastructure projects in dozens of smaller countries in Asia and Africa, but also offer strategic assets in host countries which, unable to repay expensive Chinese debt, will sooner or later submit to its plans.

India's military aggression against Pakistan—to check its sponsorship of terror in India—will ensure CPEC does not have a smooth going. If India remains engaged on the eastern front—at Doklam or any other similar spot— its focus will shift away from Pakistan and give China an opportunity to complete CPEC smoothly.

When Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat said in June that India was ready for “two-and-a-half front war”—a war with Pakistan, China and terrorists within India—maybe he was responding to China's hidden ploy.

A major scuffle, which included stone-pelting, took place between Indian and Chinese soldiers along the Line of Actual Control at eastern Ladakh in the western sector on Tuesday. The confrontation between the rival soldiers took place on the north bank of the Pangong Tso (Tso means lake) in eastern Ladakh. This skirmish too could be part of the Chinese strategy to engage Indian military at different points to dilute its focus on Pakistan.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 22 Aug 2017 16:42

A scary glimpse into how China's OBOR can ruin small countries - Economic Times
Four years ago, Sri Lanka built Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Hambantota, 250 km south from Colombo, with Chinese assistance of $190 million, more than 90 per cent of the total cost. Today, MRIA is running into losses and Sri Lanka is unable to pay back dues to China’s EXIM Bank.

Ironically, Sri Lanka has now decided to hand over the airport to India so that it can repay the Chinese loan.

Expect this scenario to unfold in dozens of small countries in Asia and Africa if China's ambitious On Belt One Road (OBOR) project becomes a reality. Touted as a global partnership by China, OBOR is actually an exploitative, colonial stratagem to gain vital assets in small countries.

The OBOR project will be a vast network of sea and land routes across dozens of countries. It will impact 4.4 billion people. China is said to be spending $1 trillion on it. It is not one project but six major routes which will include several railways line, roads, ports and other infrastructure. China claims these economic corridors will not only build infrastructure in countries that cannot afford to do it themselves but also boost global trade. Most of the countries in Asia and all of India's neighbours, except Bhutan, are willing to take part in the project.

The participating countries will benefit in terms of infrastructure and trade. OBOR can be an easy and fast way for many small countries to acquire important infrastructure projects which they cannot afford otherwise. But all this will come at a huge hidden cost.

China will lend money for OBOR projects to host countries at high rates of interest which the countries may not be able to repay. This can lead to China acquiring equity and then controlling stakes in these projects, getting a permanent footprint in several small countries which is nearly impossible for it to achieve otherwise.

What has happened in Sri Lanka is a dire warning for small countries against China's colonial advances wrapped in benign global treaties.

Not far from the loss-making airport built with Chinese loan is a vital link in the OBOR project—the deep-sea port of Hambantota. China recently got a 99-year lease for running the Hambantota Port.

But a wary Sri Lanka has made it clear to China that the port would not be used for any military activities.


The small country is running up huge financial losses owing to high interest rates charged by Chinese lenders for the mega infrastructure projects which will now be part of OBOR. China has provided Sri Lanka with over $5 billion between 1971 and 2012, and most of this has gone into infrastructure development.

Sri Lanka’s estimated national debt is $64.9 billion, of which $8 billion is owed to China—this can be attributed to the high interest rate on Chinese loans. For the Hambantota port project, Sri Lanka borrowed $301 million from China with an interest rate of 6.3%, while the interest rates on soft loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are only 0.25–3%.

Interest rates of India’s line of credit to the neighbouring countries are as low as 1%, or even less in some cases. Sri Lanka is facing debt crisis or a ‘debt trap’, as some scholars describe it.

Sri Lanka is currently unable to pay off its debt to China because of its slow economic growth. To resolve its debt crisis, the Sri Lankan government has agreed to convert its debt into equity. This may lead to Chinese ownership of the projects finally.

Sri Lanka's decision to hand over the loss-making airport to India is a move against China's tightening noose of debt.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Philip » 23 Aug 2017 13:24

Perfect example! I've flown via Mattala ,not by choice.Had too as the UL flight from MAA went via Mattala.There is a Tamil word "muttal", (bumpkin) that describes perfectly the "brains" behind it. Lousy location wind-wise,no worthwhile population to generate seats,and less attractive resorts locally than at other destinations on the south coast,though beaches here offer more solitude. It was the dream of the megalaomaniac "muttal",ex-pres. Rajapakse,now gnashing his teeth and chafing at the nit,waiting to extract revenge for having lost the last pres. election. He go massive kickbacks form every deal with China,who cleverly added on their own hefty commission for themselves,making it approx 4 times more expensive to say lay 1KM of road. The terminal blgs. are now being used as godowns. How we're going to turn it around will require some ingenuity.I give below some options.

1.Send sev. long-distance AI flights via Mattala,inbound,to Colombo.These flights should be from N.India where pilgrim traffic is high.Shorter flights would lsoe money when compared with more direct alternatives to the island to and from the south of India.

2.Demand that an adjoining SEZ is set up for Indian biz. Use the airport for training purposes as well.Land is cheap and labour available locally,who would welcome employment. Unlike the Chinko plan to use openly their labour imported from China ,both prison labour and military cadre posing as civvies.

3.Open a flight training school as well. It could be sued for basic training rookie pilots including jets. The scope of this should be examined by experts as there is going to be a huge demand for pilots in India as the airlines and passr. traffic expands.

4.The most venerated Hindu temple in Sri Lanka at Kataragama is located close to H'tota. It is the most popular shrine in the entire country,visited by Lankans belonging to all religions,a v.mystic place.I've also been to the temple.There would be good pilgrim traffic from India ,who could also visit sites connected with the Ramayana,plus for wild life enthus,the Yala National park is close by.Visit it before the Chinese poach it all!

5.Smaller prop. aircraft like ATRs and smaller,could fly a tourist network or "quadilateral": Colombo-Jaffna-Trinco-Batticaloa-Mattala-Koggala (Old WW2 airstrip ,south of Galle opposite beach resorts )-Colombo.This would serve the tourist industry very well.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby sum » 23 Aug 2017 14:48

Ironically, Sri Lanka has now decided to hand over the airport to India so that it can repay the Chinese loan.

What will India do with this airport? :-?

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 23 Aug 2017 14:56

I don't know but there are a couple of things we could do. I am going full chanikyan here so bear with me.

1. Airports have Radars to function. That data could be crucial in certain scenarios. Perhaps we could install a few more that can do more than Air Traffic control.
2. This airport is close to the port. Can be used to monitor the goings at the port and the surrounding area.
3. Install beacons that can accurately spot and guide an IAF jet or a missile to the area in around the airport .. more like the lighthouses of olden times but this time used to home in to the port rather than avoid. This is right out of my .. you get it.
4. Perhaps allow quick deployment of special forces in very very rare emergencies i.e. Unknown unknown scenarios. Again out of my ...

Will need to check the location of the airport wrt the sea port. Anybody has the map?

This is apart form its commercial function. Can be used to enhance tourism, especially religious tourism to and from India.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 23 Aug 2017 15:15

20 Km from the port as the crow flies.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/''/Ma ... d6.2919196

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