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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Singha » 24 Nov 2017 07:15

Excerpt from above link


Critics have charged that the principle boils down to China wins twice, a notion that is supported by Chinese plans for Pakistan’s agricultural sector; the extraction of Pakistani onyx, granite, and black gold marble; the disagreement over the dams; and the debt traps that forced countries like Sri Lanka to surrender control of key assets.

Pakistan and Nepal announced their withdrawals last week in separate statements. Pakistani Water and Power Development Authority chairman Muzammil Hussain charged that “Chinese conditions for financing the Diamer-Bhasha Dam were not doable and against our interests.” China and Pakistan were also at odds over ownership of the $14 billion, 4,500 megawatts (MW)-hydropower project on the Indus River in the country’s problematic region of Gilgit-Baltistan near disputed Kashmir.

Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kamal Thapa announced his government’s decision to scrap a US$2.5 billion deal with China’s Gezhouba Group to build a hydroelectric project on the Budhi Gandaki River in the west of the country two days before the Pakistani decision. With India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) waiting in the wings and expectations that the incumbent, Nepali Congress (NC) will be returned to power in elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7, the project plays into Eurasia’s Great Game for regional influence.

The Diamer-Bhasha project was intended to be part of the Chine Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key node on the Belt and Road, that with planned investments into infrastructure, including the port of Gwadar in the volatile province of Balochistan; energy, telecommunications and information technology, of more than $50 billion, constitutes China’s largest financial commitment to any one country.

The Pakistani withdrawal takes on added significance because it was included in CPEC after the government had failed to secure funding from international institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) because of Indian objections that it was in disputed territory. The government has broken ground on the project five times in the past 15 years. Mr. Hussain said that the government now has a five-year funding plan for the project that would be completed in 2026.

Chinese analysts suggest that the Pakistani and Nepalese withdrawals could set a precedent.

“It will not be a big surprise if similar problems happen in China’s future overseas projects. And that would not change the big picture. There is a common misinterpretation internationally that the Belt and Road is something China would want to push forwards at all cost. But in fact, all projects are commercial so they have to be justifiable economically, and agreed mutually,” said Zhao Gancheng, a South Asia expert at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

China is likely to encounter greater resistance not only on its financial terms, but also regarding assessments of what economic benefit investment target countries can expect.

A State Bank of Pakistan study concluded that exports of marble to China, Pakistan’s foremost rough-hewn, freshly-excavated marble export market, and the re-export to Pakistan of Pakistani semi-processed marble was “hurting Pakistan’s marble industry to a significant extent.”

Pakistani marble exporter and retailer Shakil Khan told Asia Times that “the Chinese buyers go for the square slabs, while the local quarrymen tend to excavate oval-shaped blocks which reduce to smaller bits” and are only of interest to the local Pakistani handicrafts and tile market. The Chinese approach discriminates against mines with cracked marble.

“The Chinese pick only the rare and quality stuff like onyx, black gold marble and high-quality granite from the market. Local processing units don’t have the high-tech processing equipment here to treat these costly marble products,” added Zahid Shinwari, president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), in Peshawar.

The Pakistani marble industry’s experience strokes with the overall suggestion of the leaked long-term plan for CPEC that projects risks of economic domination, the creation of a surveillance state, and would allow China to shape Pakistan’s media landscape. It projected an approach that has already sparked popular resistance and setbacks in countries and regions such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Balochistan.

The plan envisioned Chinese state-owned companies leasing thousands of hectares of Pakistani agricultural land to set up “demonstration projects” in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology. The Chinese companies would be offered “free capital and loans” from various Chinese ministries as well as the China Development Bank.

Effectively turning Pakistan into a raw materials supplier rather than an added-value producer, a prerequisite for a sustainable textiles industry, the plan sees the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in China’s troubled north-western province of Xinjiang, as the vehicle for the introduction of mechanization as well as new technologies in Pakistani livestock breeding, development of hybrid varieties, and precision irrigation. Added value would be produced in Xinjiang as part of China’s bid to quell ethnic unrest among the Uighur population.

The plan envisaged the Pakistani textile sector as a supplier of materials such as yarn and coarse cloth to textile manufacturers in Xinjiang. “China can make the most of the Pakistani market in cheap raw materials to develop the textiles & garments industry and help soak up surplus labour forces in (Xinjiang’s) Kashgar,” the plan said. Chinese companies would be offered preferential treatment regarding “land, tax, logistics and services” as well as “enterprise income tax, tariff reduction and exemption and sales tax rate” incentives.

Pakistan and Nepal’s withdrawal from the dam projects suggests that for China to secure economic dominance in Eurasia, it will have to ensure that win-win amounts to equitable terms and distribution of benefits among those that need the investment.

“China needs to nurture better understanding of its intentions and visions…to prevent unnecessary suspicions about its geopolitical ambition,” The Jakarta Post said earlier this year in an editorial that acknowledged that “we badly need the huge infrastructure spending that China is bringing.”

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 24 Nov 2017 08:00

panduranghari wrote:India wont be drawn into the Thucydidides trap as proven by Doklam. We have to assume China has risen when I am making this claim. So what will China do next? It wants to get one upmanship in someway, anyway. China cannot afford status quo with India especially in relation to OBOR BRI. Longer there is uncertainty in Indian position the higher the risk of derailment of planned work in multiple regimes under aegis of OBOR.

panduranghari, you have raised an important point for discussion. I have certain views on this. Will post later.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 29 Nov 2017 05:09

X Posted on the Terroristan & Analyzing CPEC Threads

Why China is sinking $46 billion in politically unstable, terror-wracked Pakistan

China has moved from its harm offensive at Doklam to a charm offensive of sorts with its ambassador here mentioning that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could be renamed if that would persuade us to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In May this year the ambassador had said the same thing, but the embassy’s website subsequently removed a reference to it apparently because of the adverse reaction in Islamabad for which changing the name would imply that China was willing to assuage, even if symbolically, India’s sovereignty concerns that are central to its opposition to the BRI. China’s position remains that the CPEC is an economic project, with no bearing on sovereignty issues which India and Pakistan have to settle bilaterally. In May and now again, to demonstrate China’s benign, win-win intentions, the ambassador has proposed a corridor between China and India through Kashmir or Sikkim.

China loses nothing through this sham diplomacy apparently prompted by suggestions from some China experts in India that a diplomatic way out of the BRI impasse would be to re-name the CPEC and render possible India’s participation in the BRI in the future.

A cosmetic change in nomenclature will, however, make no difference on the ground as any corridor between China and Pakistan has to traverse parts of the erstwhile J&K state illegally occupied by Pakistan. This India cannot accept not only for legal reasons but also for what is a strategic move to encircle India in an area where China itself is involved in a territorial dispute with us. China is drawing Pakistan deeply into its sphere of influence not only to continue using it as a weapon against India, but also to challenge the already declining US presence and power on the Asian landmass.

China will not give up the CPEC - no matter what it is called - as it is central to its geopolitical ambitions in Asia and beyond. If it wants to sink $46 billion or more in a politically unstable, terrorism-wracked country that needs financial bail-outs by the IMF or Arab donors and attracts little foreign investment, and, which, moreover, is bent on creating an unfavourable environment for itself by perpetuating conflictual relations with both its direct neighbours, it is for larger geo-political reasons, not economic gain alone.

The China-India corridor through Kashmir that has been aired would supplement the CPEC, and not be an alternative to it. China pretends that these corridors are politically neutral and that it can envisage a corridor through Kashmir without taking any position on India’s sovereignty over J&K that Pakistan disputes. A corridor through J&K would get linked to the corridor through POK and China would conveniently reap a double benefit.

Through this ploy China will solidify its ts grip over J&K on both sides. Even Mehbooba Mufti has backed linking India to the BRI through Kashmir as a rediscovery of “traditional trade routes of Kashmir”.

Actually, what is intended is not any new China-India corridor through Kashmir but linking Srinagar through Muzaffarabad to the CPEC. The CPEC renaming gambit, in seeming disregard of Pakistani sensitivities, may be intended as a pressure point on implementational aspects and subduing voices in Pakistan questioning the project’s benefits.

The propitiatory kite-flying on corridors should be seen also in the context of the Russia-India-China dialogue at foreign minister level at Delhi on December 11 and 12. Russia supports BRI but India has widened its opposition to it by teaming up with Japan and the US to expose its dubious dimensions.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 30 Nov 2017 08:08

X Posted from the CPEC thread.

Article in The Globalist by James M. Dorsey , Senior Fellow at the Singapore based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies on BRI and CPEC aka Conning Pakistan to Enrich China.

Article indicates that the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan might just be cottoning on to the fact that there is no such thing as Free Halal Pork Haleem when it comes to dealing with Higher than Himalaya’s, Deeper than Indian Ocean, Sweeter than Honey, As Close as Lips to Teeth, Stronger than Steel All Weather Friend and Iron Brother, the Peoples Republic of China:

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Hits a Wall

Pakistan concerned about a neocolonial Chinese effort to extract the country’s resources.

By James M. Dorsey, November 30, 2017

In a rare challenging of Chinese commercial terms that underlie the country’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, Pakistan and Nepal have withdrawn from two dam-building deals.

The withdrawal coincides with mounting questions in Pakistan, a crown jewel in Chinese geo-strategic ambition, about what some see as a neo-colonial effort to extract the country’s resources.

The withdrawals and questioning call into question China’s economics-centred approach to geopolitics based on the long-standing win-win principle of Chinese policy, the notion that all parties benefit from Chinese investment and largesse.

China wins twice

Critics have charged that the principle boils down to China wins twice, a notion that is supported by Chinese plans for Pakistan’s agricultural sector; the extraction of Pakistani onyx, granite, and black gold marble; the disagreement over the dams; and the debt traps that forced countries like Sri Lanka to surrender control of key assets.

Pakistan and Nepal announced their withdrawals last week in separate statements. Pakistani Water and Power Development Authority chairman Muzammil Hussain charged that “Chinese conditions for financing the Diamer-Bhasha Dam were not doable and against our interests.”

China and Pakistan were also at odds over ownership of the $14 billion, 4,500 megawatts (MW)-hydropower project on the Indus River in the country’s problematic region of Gilgit-Baltistan near disputed Kashmir.

Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kamal Thapa announced his government’s decision to scrap a US$2.5 billion deal with China’s Gezhouba Group to build a hydroelectric project on the Budhi Gandaki River in the west of the country two days before the Pakistani decision.

With India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) waiting in the wings and expectations that the incumbent, Nepali Congress (NC) will be returned to power in elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7, the project plays into Eurasia’s Great Game for regional influence.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

The Diamer-Bhasha project was intended to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key node on the Belt and Road. With planned investments into infrastructure, including the port of Gwadar in the volatile province of Balochistan; energy, telecommunications and information technology, of more than $50 billion, it constitutes China’s largest financial commitment to any one country.

The Pakistani withdrawal takes on added significance because it was included in CPEC after the government had failed to secure funding from international institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) because of Indian objections that it was in disputed territory.

The government has broken ground on the project five times in the past 15 years. Mr. Hussain said that the government now has a five-year funding plan for the project that would be completed in 2026.

Chinese analysts suggest that the Pakistani and Nepalese withdrawals could set a precedent.

“It will not be a big surprise if similar problems happen in China’s future overseas projects. And that would not change the big picture. There is a common misinterpretation internationally that the Belt and Road is something China would want to push forwards at all cost.

But in fact, all projects are commercial so they have to be justifiable economically, and agreed mutually,” said Zhao Gancheng, a South Asia expert at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

China is likely to encounter greater resistance not only on its financial terms, but also regarding assessments of what economic benefit investment target countries can expect.

Pakistan’s marble industry

A State Bank of Pakistan study concluded that exports of marble to China, Pakistan’s foremost rough-hewn, freshly-excavated marble export market, and the re-export to Pakistan of Pakistani semi-processed marble was “hurting Pakistan’s marble industry to a significant extent.”

Pakistani marble exporter and retailer Shakil Khan told Asia Times that “the Chinese buyers go for the square slabs, while the local quarrymen tend to excavate oval-shaped blocks which reduce to smaller bits” and are only of interest to the local Pakistani handicrafts and tile market. The Chinese approach discriminates against mines with cracked marble.

“The Chinese pick only the rare and quality stuff like onyx, black gold marble and high-quality granite from the market. Local processing units don’t have the high-tech processing equipment here to treat these costly marble products,” added Zahid Shinwari, president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), in Peshawar.

Economic domination

The Pakistani marble industry’s experience strokes with the overall suggestion of the leaked long-term plan for CPEC that projects risks of economic domination, the creation of a surveillance state and would allow China to shape Pakistan’s media landscape.

It projected an approach that has already sparked popular resistance and setbacks in countries and regions such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Balochistan.

The plan envisioned Chinese state-owned companies leasing thousands of hectares of Pakistani agricultural land to set up “demonstration projects” in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology.

The Chinese companies would be offered “free capital and loans” from various Chinese ministries as well as the China Development Bank.

Effectively turning Pakistan into a raw materials supplier rather than an added-value producer, a prerequisite for a sustainable textiles industry, the plan sees the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in China’s troubled north-western province of Xinjiang, as the vehicle for the introduction of mechanization as well as new technologies in Pakistani livestock breeding, development of hybrid varieties, and precision irrigation.

Added value would be produced in Xinjiang as part of China’s bid to quell ethnic unrest among the Uighur population.

Pakistani textiles for Xinjiang

The plan envisaged the Pakistani textile sector as a supplier of materials such as yarn and coarse cloth to textile manufacturers in Xinjiang.

“China can make the most of the Pakistani market in cheap raw materials to develop the textiles & garments industry and help soak up surplus labour forces in (Xinjiang’s) Kashgar,” the plan said.

Chinese companies would be offered preferential treatment regarding “land, tax, logistics and services” as well as “enterprise income tax, tariff reduction and exemption and sales tax rate” incentives.

Pakistan and Nepal’s withdrawal from the dam projects suggests that for China to secure economic dominance in Eurasia, it will have to ensure that win-win amounts to equitable terms and distribution of benefits among those that need the investment.

“China needs to nurture better understanding of its intentions and visions…to prevent unnecessary suspicions about its geopolitical ambition,” The Jakarta Post said earlier this year in an editorial that acknowledged that “we badly need the huge infrastructure spending that China is bringing.”


From The Globalist:

Clicky

SSridhar
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 30 Nov 2017 20:42

arun wrote:Pakistan’s marble industry

A State Bank of Pakistan study concluded that exports of marble to China, Pakistan’s foremost rough-hewn, freshly-excavated marble export market, and the re-export to Pakistan of Pakistani semi-processed marble was “hurting Pakistan’s marble industry to a significant extent.”

So, Terroristan is losing its marbles too!

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby ramana » 07 Dec 2017 00:08

#INSTC is ready for inauguration.

Cuts a lot of distance between Mumbai to Moscow.

https://twitter.com/ramana_brf/status/9 ... 6206326784

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Philip » 07 Dec 2017 09:31

3 neighbours are now ditching their Chinese funded projects, Pak, Nepal and Burma.Big dams end up in becoming environmental disasters and these 3 nations do not want to end up like SL, mortgaged to China.

ramana
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby ramana » 07 Dec 2017 23:01

Philip, The Hoover Dam was built during the Great Depression and is an engineering marvel. Unfortunately it has cut of water flow downstream in Mexico and desertified that Colorado River delta.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Philip » 08 Dec 2017 12:47

There was a v.good article in an environmental magazine 30 yrs. ago that gave stats how big dams usually ended up destroying the ecology of the country in Q.The Aswan Dam Destroyed the annual flooding of the Nile,which was the feature of Egyptian civilisation for millennia. The Mahaveli projects in Sri Lanka failed to deliver enough (elec) as promised,destroyed settlements ,nature nd brought back malaria,etc. to the island.The resrvoirs further silted up reducing the reservoir capacity.China will enjoy similar "success' with its 3-Gorges disaster.

China's Three Gorges Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe?
Even the Chinese government suspects the massive dam may cause significant environmental damage

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -disaster/

The refusal of the 3 S.Asian nations to proceed further with the Chin projects,making them get into the debt trap is also going to save them environmental disasters in the future if cancelled.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 08 Dec 2017 13:22

Philip wrote:3 neighbours are now ditching their Chinese funded projects, Pak, Nepal and Burma.Big dams end up in becoming environmental disasters and these 3 nations do not want to end up like SL, mortgaged to China.


Not clear about nepal and burma but the pakis backed out in a panic because the hans wanted the completed diamer bhasha dam as well as another already existing paki dam to be signed over as collateral for the financing of the diamer bhasha dam project, in case the pakis were unable to pay up.

Clearly, the pakis thought that a big and free chinese lunch was headed their way and had no intention of ever repaying. So when the pakis were most unexpectedly presented with the bill upfront, they bolted from the scene.

shameless beggars.

we have to dig and see why the others also bolted. It looks like the tallel and sweetel perceptions of the hans are rapidly being revised and long barge poles are being deployed.

could it be that the han magic is beginning to fade??

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby TKiran » 08 Dec 2017 13:45

^^^ if you are Han and your aim is to divert Tibet waters, in the process if environment in Tibet and some other southern states, which are not part of Han core China, would you really bother about the environmental damages??

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 08 Dec 2017 14:12

TKiran wrote:^^^ if you are Han and your aim is to divert Tibet waters, in the process if environment in Tibet and some other southern states, which are not part of Han core China, would you really bother about the environmental damages??


the environment does not come into it.

the pakis and the hans are otherwise motivated. Each thinks that the other is going to help it damage India.

we are lucky that the govt has changed in India. I shudder to think what would have happened otherwise.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby yensoy » 08 Dec 2017 14:19

Philip wrote:There was a v.good article in an environmental magazine 30 yrs. ago that gave stats how big dams usually ended up destroying the ecology of the country in Q.The Aswan Dam Destroyed the annual flooding of the Nile,which was the feature of Egyptian civilisation for millennia. The Mahaveli projects in Sri Lanka failed to deliver enough (elec) as promised,destroyed settlements ,nature nd brought back malaria,etc. to the island.The resrvoirs further silted up reducing the reservoir capacity.China will enjoy similar "success' with its 3-Gorges disaster.

China's Three Gorges Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe?
Even the Chinese government suspects the massive dam may cause significant environmental damage

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -disaster/

The refusal of the 3 S.Asian nations to proceed further with the Chin projects,making them get into the debt trap is also going to save them environmental disasters in the future if cancelled.


I feel this is a defeatist attitude. Any large dam is going to have rather huge implications for the surrounding ecology and geology. There will certainly be downsides, but before writing off dams as evil (i) their negatives have to be deducted from their positives and (ii) other means to counter their negatives should be explored. If malaria emerges, fight the disease, mosquitoes and stagnant pools of water (not just the catchment lake which usually has reasonable wave activity to not encourage breeding). Seismic effects are the only poorly understood phenomenon because of lack of full knowledge of the balance of forces under us and the time scale these forces take to manifest; and seismic effects are probably the only unique feature of dams. Landslides happen with all kinds of construction (see how landslides affect roads and railways, especially Konkan Railway). The Scientific American article is 9 years old and nothing has happened there. Doesn't prove anything one way or another. A "really big one" is expected to hit the Western US, yet life goes on https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one.

I generally don't advice messing around with mother nature - small check dams and run of the way turbines are preferable; but I will not blacklist huge intrusive projects either.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby yensoy » 08 Dec 2017 14:25

chetak wrote:
TKiran wrote:^^^ if you are Han and your aim is to divert Tibet waters, in the process if environment in Tibet and some other southern states, which are not part of Han core China, would you really bother about the environmental damages??


the environment does not come into it.

the pakis and the hans are otherwise motivated. Each thinks that the other is going to help it damage India.

we are lucky that the govt has changed in India. I shudder to think what would have happened otherwise.


In both cases (Eastward and Westward flows from Mount Kailash) India is a pass-through, eventually rivers go downstream to Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively. So while the Chinese intention may be to harm India, they will have severe collateral damage as well. If they wish to hurt us, they would collect a lot of water behind a dam on the Brahmaputra and then without warning release it downstream. Would it be an act of war? Possibly, if we could prove it. Regardless they would be hurting Bangladesh as well - or we would need a check dam on Brahmaputra which we will open when we detect a wall of water coming towards us. This game can be played by us as well, unfortunately the parcel has to be passed to someone else.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 09 Dec 2017 12:37

Maldives signs trade pact with China - PTI
The Maldives on Friday signed a crucial free trade deal with China, while endorsing its Maritime Silk Road project shunned by India for its strategic implications in the Indian Ocean.

“China deems the Maldives as an important partner to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR),” President Xi Jinping told his visiting Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Yameen as they witnessed signing of 12 agreements, including the free trade agreement (FTA).

The China-backed multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — of which the MSR is a part — is similar to Maldives’ strategy of achieving economic progress by making use of its geographic advantages, Mr. Xi told Mr. Yameen while expressing appreciation for the Maldives’ proactive participation in the BRI, official media here reported.

President Yameen said the Maldives viewed China as “among our closest friends, most trusted and most dependable partners”.

“The Belt and Road Initiative has greatly helped the development of many small and medium countries,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

After acquiring Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port on a 99-year lease in a $1.1 billion debt swap deal, China has now roped in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation, located strategically in India’s backyard, to implement the MSR.

China has also set up a ‘logistics base’ for its navy in Djibouti, also located in the Indian Ocean region in the Horn of Africa.

Besides the FTA, the agreements signed were on economy, human resources, oceans, environment, health care, and finance, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 10 Dec 2017 01:04

X Posted on the Analyzing CPEC Thread

India eyes Asean pivot against OBOR

NEW DELHI: Amid fresh controversy over China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects in south Asia, India will next week host the first ever Asean-India Connectivity Summit with help, not surprisingly, from Japan, which has emerged as the linchpin of India's Act East Policy.

The summit, which will be held on December 11-12, has secured participation from all 10 Asean nations, with Vietnam and Cambodia likely to be represented at the ministerial level. Japan will be the only country outside of Asean to participate in the summit, which aims to enhance economic and industrial relations between India and Asean or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Japan, which inaugurated an Act East Forum with India on December 5, will be represented by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO). The forum is meant to expand cooperation with Japan in the northeast, which, according to Japanese ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu, is where Japan's Free And Open Indo-Pacific Strategy converges with India's Act East Policy.

The Asean-India Connectivity Summit, which will also seek private partnership, is important for India and Japan as they seek to counterbalance China's OBOR that has often been accused of following exploitative debt financing practices. As officials here say, India's development partnership is based purely on needs identified by partner countries and the MEA has tried to accommodate as many requests as possible from these countries as is "technically and financially possible" .

In the present geopolitical situation, Southeast Asia is the most important focal point of India's foreign policy. By focusing on connectivity, the government wants to make the point that it considers the region a part of its immediate, not extended, neighbourhood, given that it shares maritime boundaries with some countries and also land boundary in the case of Myanmar.

India had, in 2015, proposed a $1 billion line of credit to promote projects with Asean that support physical and digital connectivity. In addition, it has also set up a project development fund of $77 million for developing manufacturing hubs in CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries.

The summit will also focus on ensuring better digital connectivity as the government looks to align its initiative with Asean's Master Plan on Connectivity, 2025, which centres on five strategic areas: sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence and people mobility. The summit will look at regulatory frameworks to support digital technologies, financing of digital infrastructure and use of technology by MSMEs.

India and Asean have just completed 25 years of dialogue partnership, 15 years of summit-level interaction and five years of strategic partnership. India has also invited the leaders of all 10 Asean nations for the 2018 R-Day.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby periaswamy » 11 Dec 2017 02:13

Chinese Bank funds road connecting Turkmenistan and Afghanisthan. Source ToloNews.

Ghani Inaugurates Qaisar-Laman Road Project In Badghis

President Ashraf Ghan visited western Badghis province on Sunday and officially inaugurated the first and second sections of the Qaisar-Laman ring road project.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Qaisar-Laman road project in Badghis province, Gani thanked the Asia Bank for its support of the Badghis's Qaisar-Laman road. “In the upcoming two years, you will witness a rail link to Badghis. It will change the lives of the people,” Ghani said. “It is an honor for me to inaugurate this project today in this province.”

Local officials, MPs, Provincial Council members and residents of the province participated in the ceremony.

The first and second phase of the ring road is 82km of the total of the 233 km-ring road of Afghanistan. The first and second phase of the project will be complete in 913 days, according to Presidential Palace statement.
With the completion of the whole project, the South Asia will be linked to Central Asia by this project, it said.
“Badghis should have a transit future,” Ghani said, adding that Badghis and Herat are provinces which could provide wind electricity in the future.

Ghani warned that the security situation had to be changed in the next year and the forces should take an offensive role. “It is an order to security organizations that they go on the offensive in the next year, but the people must also support the government,” he said.

President Ghani said that Qaisar-Laman is one of our biggest national projects. “I hope this project will be supported everywhere in the country. It is necessary that such projects be implemented in other provinces.”


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