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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Vivek K
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Vivek K » 15 May 2017 23:07

OBOR will help load the jihad virus directly into Chinese mainland. The Pakis will infiltrate into Eastern Turkmenistan (Chinese Xinjiang) and China will face the direct onslaught of the jihad bug at its doorstep.

India is a large market and Pakistan a negligible market (smaller than Bangladesh). Guess whose participation is more important? If it was growth the Chinese were looking for then they have chosen the wrong partner in Pakistan. But that is their freedom to choose.

The Pakistanis are eager to sell themselves because ANYTHING would be better than what they have now! So selling their sovereignty to the Chinese or the Russians or the US or whoever else (barring India) is interested has been on the cards since 1947. A failed state looking forward to colonization - so what is new?

Ultimately, the key is access to large markets - US/EU/INDIA/CHINA/JAPAN/SE ASIA. So how would this affect India's trade - especially of software and BPO? Let me guess - no effect.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby disha » 15 May 2017 23:14

^ I had been pointing out that several moons back. All one needs to do is create a "All-weather containerized Baki" so that they can be transported en-masse on the OBOR/CPEC.
Last edited by disha on 15 May 2017 23:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Vivek K » 15 May 2017 23:17

^^^ :rotfl:

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby disha » 15 May 2017 23:35

On a short note., hence keeping my points minimum:

1. CPEC is useless unless the main market is India. Traditionally, goods and services went from India via the 'silk road' to the world and minerals & precious metals came to India via that route.

2. OBOR (or the sea-route) from Sri-lanka to Africa ( Dar-es-salaam to Lobito) is fraught with risks. Djibouti to Dakar along the rim is more natural and has less risks (comparatively). But the fact is to make that route actually work., it has to be driven via an internal need for economic dependence and not by a master-slave relation which China is pursuing.

3. Entire souther route from Myanmar to Africa is under the Indian sphere of control. It was like that several millennia ago and will be like that for several millennia from now. Chinese cannot change history or geography.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Vivek K » 15 May 2017 23:41

The goal is to establish Chinese dominance. The TFTA Pakis will be the first to be enslaved (but that is what they want so no problem there). The goal of OBOR isn't charity, but to establish China as a superpower.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 16 May 2017 00:22

Belt Forum ends without creating system for joint implementation; Indian presence felt

BEIJING: The two-day Belt and Road Forum ended in Beijing on Monday evening with promises of joint action by participating countries, but without establishing an institutional framework for implementing the planned construction program.

Though India is the only major country to boycott the event, its presence was felt during discussions between China and other South Asian countries on different programs.

For instance, China signed an agreement to lay a $8 billion railway line connecting it to Nepal. But this rail line cannot be sustained economically if Chinese goods cannot access the Indian market.

"India is in the room without being in the room," Laurence Brahm, founding director of Himalayan Consensus, told the official China Global Television.

Chinese expert and former counselor in Mumbai, Liu Youfa, said, "India has problems with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. But it can still join the Belt and Road projects even if it has not come here".

The official Chinese media took a somewhat different view saying that India cannot keep other countries from joining the program even if it decided to stay away. Such accusations seem to be the ramblings of a paranoid China!

The meeting was attended by the prime ministers of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the deputy prime minister of Nepal and the state counsellor of Myanmar.

"While India recently issued an official statement saying it would not be part of the "One Belt and One Road" (B&R) initiative, it will not affect the trend towards cooperation in infrastructure development among its neighbouring countries at all," Global Times said in its online edition.

The article was apparently meant to convey a message to the Indian audience because it was not published in the Chinese edition of the paper.

At the end of the summit, Chinese president Xi Jinping acknowledged that some of the participating countries had suggested that an institutional framework should be created for implementing the project. But there was no sign this has been done.

Xi said that the next Forum will be organised by China in 2019, indicating that Beijing will continue to control the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) despite its promise about equally sharing the responsibility.

A joint communique signed by 30 heads of state promised to implement plans for cooperation in trade and infrastructure construction programs across Asia, Europe and Africa.

It was not clear if the communique reflected the views of western nations, including the United States and Germany, which have publicly expressed their reservations on issues like transparency and level playing field in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Jinping assured the assembled delegates that there will be no attempt to push a country's political ideologies and systems onto another country during the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

This was obviously in reference to widely heard criticism that China's main purpose is to enhance it's geopolitical influence by financing and constructing infrastructure projects in countries that cannot afford to do it themselves. One such country is Pakistan, which is strategically located between India and Pakistan. A look at the Atlas shows no country between India and Clapistan! :rotfl:

"The Belt and Road Initiative originates from China, but it belongs to the world," Chinese President Xi Jinping said adding, "The Belt and Road construction spans different regions, development phases and civilisations. It is an open and inclusive cooperation platform."

The conference saw BRI, which was originally billed as an infrastructure program, growing into a larger platform of economic diplomacy and trade consultations. Participants agreed to promote a rules-based, open and multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core.

Xi said that the Forum had identified and agreed on 270 deliverable goals of BRI. "We will unleash new driving forces for economic growth, and rebalance economic globalisation," he said adding, "We will support cross-border e-commerce and smart city development. We will seek greater complimentary [development] between the Belt and Road Initiative and development plans of different countries," he said.

Signatories to the joint communique pledged to promote a rules-based, open and multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core.
Cheers Image

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby rgosain » 16 May 2017 01:28

OBOR and its fascination with resurrecting the long dormant and mythical Silk road in the deserts of Central Asia brings to mind images of empires blown away on the desert sands by hubris, and the following stanza needs no introduction

My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Prem » 16 May 2017 03:27

http://en.people.cn/n3/2017/0515/c90000-9215493.html
Full text of President Xi's speech at opening of Belt and Road forum
China will enhance friendship and cooperation with all countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. We are ready to share practices of development with other countries, but we have no intention to interfere in other countries' internal affairs, export our own social system and model of development, or impose our own will on others. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering. What we hope to achieve is a new model of win-win cooperation. We have no intention to form a small group detrimental to stability, what we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence.
- China will put in place the following mechanisms to boost Belt and Road cooperation: a liaison office for the Forum's follow-up activities, the Research Center for the Belt and Road Financial and Economic Development, the Facilitating Center for Building the Belt and Road, the Multilateral Development Financial Cooperation Center in cooperation with multilateral development banks, and an IMF-China Capacity Building Center. We will also develop a network for cooperation among the NGOs in countries along the Belt and Road as well as new people-to-people exchange platforms such as a Belt and Road news alliance and a music education alliance.The Belt and Road Initiative is rooted in the ancient Silk Road. It focuses on the Asian, European and African continents, but is also open to all other countries. All countries, from either Asia, Europe, Africa or the Americas, can be international cooperation partners of the Belt and Road Initiative. The pursuit of this initiative is based on extensive consultation and its benefits will be shared by us all.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby yensoy » 16 May 2017 06:35

kit wrote:India needs to charge a tax on whatever Chinese stuff that gets on OBOR through third countries . Also closing border with Pakistan will ensure economic blockade of CPEC


1. As you say, we need to keep exact tab of the number of trucks and tonnes of crude passing through PoK; these should be added to a bill with penalties slapped on, to be levied on Pak when they lose the next war.
2. A complete boycott of ships which have called in at Gwadar. These ships cannot be allowed to call on any Indian port in the next 3 months, period. Someone was saying that ships could drop off Chinese stuff at Gwadar, sail empty to India before loading up. That behaviour should be banned.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SriJoy » 16 May 2017 07:13

yensoy wrote:
kit wrote:India needs to charge a tax on whatever Chinese stuff that gets on OBOR through third countries . Also closing border with Pakistan will ensure economic blockade of CPEC


1. As you say, we need to keep exact tab of the number of trucks and tonnes of crude passing through PoK; these should be added to a bill with penalties slapped on, to be levied on Pak when they lose the next war.
2. A complete boycott of ships which have called in at Gwadar. These ships cannot be allowed to call on any Indian port in the next 3 months, period. Someone was saying that ships could drop off Chinese stuff at Gwadar, sail empty to India before loading up. That behaviour should be banned.



1. I don't think boycotting ships that go to Gwadar will be logistically feasible. We don't want to hamstring shipping giants like Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM, etc. They won't be able to coordinate their shipping to the extent that they can 'keep off ships calling to Gwadar/India' mutually exclusive. This will be to our detriment, as its effectively creating logistical hurdles for import/export ease of business. This is also not feasible because since Gwadar is essentially a chinese port, its India vs China. Push comes to shove, India loses a 'container war' with China- no shipper- giant or otherwise- will forego container traffic from China in favour of India.

2.Forgive my ignorance, but if ships sail to India empty and leave loaded up, then Import = nil, Export = max, ergo, trade balance is in India's favour ?

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Murugan » 16 May 2017 09:18

EU rejects OBOR - a WION report

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Singha » 16 May 2017 09:20

Link missing

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 16 May 2017 09:26

What is China’s belt and road initiative?






What is China’s belt and road initiative?

The many motivations behind Xi Jinping’s key foreign policy


The Economist explains
May 15th 2017by J.P. | BEIJING


OVER the weekend Xi Jinping welcomed 28 heads of state and government to Beijing for a coming-out party, which continues today, to celebrate the “belt and road” initiative, his most ambitious foreign policy. Launched in 2013 as “one belt, one road”, it involves China underwriting billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries along the old Silk Road linking it with Europe. The ambition is immense. China is spending roughly $150bn a year in the 68 countries that have signed up to the scheme. The summit meeting (called a forum) has attracted the largest number of foreign dignitaries to Beijing since the Olympic Games in 2008. Yet few European leaders are showing up. For the most part they have ignored the implications of China’s initiative. What are those implications and is the West right to be sanguine?

The project is the clearest expression so far of Mr Xi’s determination to break with Deng Xiaoping’s dictum to “hide our capabilities and bide our time; never try to take the lead”. The Belt and Road Forum (with its unfortunate acronym, BARF) is the second set-piece event this year at which Mr Xi will lay out China’s claim to global leadership. (The first was a speech against protectionism made at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January). In 2014, Wang Yi, the foreign minister, said the initiative was Mr Xi’s most important foreign policy. Its ultimate aim is to make Eurasia (dominated by China) an economic and trading area to rival the transatlantic one (dominated by America).

Behind this broad strategic imperative lie a plethora of secondary motivations—and it is the number and variety of these that prompts scepticism about the coherence and practicality of the project. By investing in infrastructure, Mr Xi hopes to find a more profitable home for China’s vast foreign-exchange reserves, most of which are in low-interest-bearing American government securities. He also hopes to create new markets for Chinese companies, such as high-speed rail firms, and to export some of his country’s vast excess capacity in cement, steel and other metals. By investing in volatile countries in central Asia, he reckons he can create a more stable neighbourhood for China’s own restive western provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet. And by encouraging more Chinese projects around the South China Sea, the initiative could bolster China’s claims in that area (the “road” in “belt and road” refers to sea lanes). The trouble is that some of these ambitions contradict others: is a dodgy project in central Asia a better place to invest than American government securities? And with different motivations go conflicting interests. There is infighting between the most important Chinese institutions involved, including the ministry of commerce, the foreign ministry, the planning commission and China’s provinces. To make matters worse, China is finding it hard to identify profitable projects in many belt-and-road countries (Chinese businessmen in central Asia call it “One Road, One Trap”). To cap it all, China is facing a backlash against some of its plans, with elected governments in Sri Lanka and Myanmar repudiating or seeking to renegotiate projects approved by their authoritarian predecessors.

As a result the forum—on the face of it a celebration of the initiative—will in reality find Mr Xi seeking to contain a backlash against it. That may seem to justify Europeans in their decision to stay away. But the suspicion that the project will fail could be misguided. Mr Xi needs the initiative because he has invested so much in it. China needs it because it provides an answer of sorts to some of its economic problems. And Asia needs it because of an unslakeable thirst for infrastructure. The belt and road initiative has plenty of problems but Mr Xi is determined to push ahead with it.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Deans » 16 May 2017 09:28

shiv wrote:
A_Gupta wrote:From November 2016: on Gwadar:
http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/gwa ... a-limited/


Hahahahahaha :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: Phat gayi tuttistan ki....


Its the first time I've seen a Chinese analyst confirm the figures in western sources - that road transport or a pipleline from Gwadar would be
10 times more expensive (I'm being generous and assuming the end destination is Central China) that the current mode of sea transport.
Most people assume a pipeline is built by joining lengths of pipe together. The reality is a lot more complicated.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 16 May 2017 09:34

Murugan wrote:EU rejects OBOR - a WION report



Not surprised.

the OBOR gathering being seen as an invitation a party, prior to one's own hanging by the chinaman who is all ready with the hang rope and a waiting hangman.

Bring your checkbook and pay for your own hanging.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Deans » 16 May 2017 09:51

There are simpler and more effective ways to hit Pakistan's trade than boycotting companies using Gwadar.

1. Stop export of cotton to Pak (couple of years back, when figures were last available, Tirupur imported cotton from Africa and Gujarat
exported it to Pak !).
2. Stop beef exports to Pak (done via the Gulf). A whistle blower scheme can be started and offending companies will not be allowed to do
business in India. Increased beef prices in Pak is a very sensitive thing for the aam abdul.
3. Tax MNC's who do business with Pak. (call it a security surcharge). No visas for any MNC executive who has visited Pak. RAW interrogates
anyone in India extending a visa invite to a Paki citizen. That will kill the existing practice of senior MNC managers in India having a regional
responsibility that includes Pak. Target companies that have a significant impact on the Pak economy but are easily replaceable in India
e.g. Siemens (power equipment), Unilever, Citibank.
4. Stop all land trade via J&k (which is largely used for terror financing by over-invoicing Indian exports) and scrutiny of invoices through Wagah.

And just for optics and to satisfy public opinion:
- Stop PIA from operating in India (on grounds that there's likely to be another 9/11).
- Revoke MFN as Pak does not extend it.
- Extreme vetting of all visa applications. Exit tax for Indians who want to visit Pak.
Last edited by Deans on 16 May 2017 13:45, edited 1 time in total.

A Deshmukh
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby A Deshmukh » 16 May 2017 10:36

Deans wrote:There are simpler and more effective ways to hit Pakistan's trade than boycotting companies using Gwadar.

1. Stop export of cotton to Pak (cople of years back, when figures were last available Tirupur imported cotton from Africa and Gujarat
exported it to Pak !).
2. Stop beef exports to Pak (done via the Gulf). A whistle blower scheme can be started and offending companies will not be allowed to do
business in India. Increased beef prices in Pak is a very sensitive thing for the aam abdul.
3. Tax MNC's who do business with Pak. (call it a security surcharge). No visas for any MNC executive who has visited Pak. RAW interrogates
anyone in India extending a visa invite to a Paki citizen. That will kill the existing practice of senior MNC managers in India having a regional
responsibility that includes Pak. Target companies that have a significant impact on the Pak economy but are easily replaceable in India
e.g. Siemens (power equipment), Unilever, Citibank.
4. Stop all land trade via J&k (which is largely used for terror financing by over-invoicing Indian exports) and scrutiny of invoices through Wagah.

And just for optics and to satisfy public opinion:
- Stop PIA from operating in India (on grounds that there's likely to be another 9/11).
- Revoke MFN as Pak does not extend it.
- Extreme vetting of all visa applications. Exit tax for Indians who want to visit Pak.


+1

A Deshmukh
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby A Deshmukh » 16 May 2017 10:47

History being repeated.
Decrepit Mughal emperors gave entry to the British East India Company - and eventually loosing sovereignty.
Now Pakis being Pakis, are inviting the new EIC - CPEC to take over their country.

We should just close our borders (economic)...following Deans prescription.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby panduranghari » 16 May 2017 13:17

Cross post

Chinese Bond Yield Inverts

China’s $1.7 trillion government-bond market is exhibiting a new sign of stress: The yield on longer-term debt has fallen below that on shorter-term debt—an anomaly that some traders are blaming on Beijing’s efforts to reduce financial risk.

Early on Thursday, the five-year yield /quotes/zigman/15861749/realtime BX:AMBMKRM-05Y -0.59% rose to 3.71%, breaking above the 10-year yield /quotes/zigman/15861751/realtime BX:AMBMKRM-10Y +0.15% for the first time since records began—even though the latter, at 3.68%, was near a 25-month high. Bond yields rise as their prices fall.

Such a “yield-curve inversion” defies normal market logic that bonds requiring a longer commitment should compensate investors with a higher return. It usually reflects investor pessimism about a country’s long-term growth and inflation prospects. When the U.S. Treasury /quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -0.07% yield curve inverted in 2006 and 2007, most analysts cited Asian central banks’ heavy buying of longer-dated U.S. government debt.


Dear Chinese, Good luck with trying to get even one OBOR project off the ground.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby yensoy » 16 May 2017 13:17

SriJoy wrote:1. I don't think boycotting ships that go to Gwadar will be logistically feasible. We don't want to hamstring shipping giants like Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM, etc. They won't be able to coordinate their shipping to the extent that they can 'keep off ships calling to Gwadar/India' mutually exclusive. This will be to our detriment, as its effectively creating logistical hurdles for import/export ease of business. This is also not feasible because since Gwadar is essentially a chinese port, its India vs China. Push comes to shove, India loses a 'container war' with China- no shipper- giant or otherwise- will forego container traffic from China in favour of India.

2.Forgive my ignorance, but if ships sail to India empty and leave loaded up, then Import = nil, Export = max, ergo, trade balance is in India's favour ?


1. No I am not calling for boycott of all of Maersk or CGM etc. I am saying that we will not allow for them to use Gwadar and any Indian port in a single voyage. They are free to return to their home port or final destination, cleanse the ship :mrgreen:, and come back to India.

2. There will be mismatches in import/export numbers. It is highly likely that containers will reach Gwadar loaded and return empty (and return they must). It is also likely that bulk carriers are loaded at Gwadar with minerals mined from Baluchistan & Afghanistan, but they arrive into Gwadar empty. Folks have been saying that the big shippers will try to balance it against supply/demand from Indian ports.
My point is that we should not allow any traffic flows related to CPEC projects to be balanced through Indian ports.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 16 May 2017 13:41

India's objections to Belt and Road Forum a show for domestic politics: Chinese daily - PTI
BEIJING: India's refusal to join China's Belt and Road Forum was "partly a show" for domestic politics and aimed at piling pressure to get Beijing's "special attention", a state-run Chinese daily said today.

"India hopes that it can shape bilateral relations more actively, and expects China to give special attention to the interests of India. But this is not how countries interact," an editorial in Global Times said.

"India's objection to the B&R is partly a show for domestic politics, partly to pile pressure on China. However, the absence of New Delhi in the B&R has not affected the forum in Beijing, and it will exert even less effect on the progress the initiative will make in the world," it said.

India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) due to its sovereignty concerns over the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The daily said if India sees itself as a big power, it should get accustomed to the many divergences with China, and try to manage these divergences with China.

"It is almost impossible that two big countries can reach agreements on all things. This can be proved by the many differences between China and the US. But China and the US have maintained smooth bilateral relations, from which New Delhi can learn," it said.


It said both the countries should be vigilant about people with destructive power.

Stating that the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation concluded here yesterday with "fruitful" results despite India's absence, it said "as so many large delegations participated, including from the US, Japan and South Korea, the international community has shown a very positive response to the infrastructure-building initiative."

"However, India sent no official representatives. The country's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said Saturday that India cannot accept a project that violates its sovereignty and territorial integrity. India appears to be the only country that has expressed disapproval of the initiative in recent days," it said.

About the status of India-China relations, it said "Sino-Indian relations have not seen a serious downturn. The border of the two countries has been peaceful in these years, the most important force for stable bilateral relations."

It said both the countries have prioritised economic and social development in their national strategies.

"Maintaining friendly ties conforms to the two countries' fundamental interests. The specific frictions between Beijing and New Delhi should not be regarded as a signal for intense geopolitical competition," the daily said.

Referring to India-China differences over Beijing's opposition to New Delhi's admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and UN listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar as a terrorist, it said, "Overall, these new problems are caused by India's requirements for China. However, China does not do as it wants."

"India hopes that it can shape bilateral relations more actively, and expects China to give special attention to the interests of India. But this is not how countries interact," it said.


Another report in the daily quoted Observer Research Foundation Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni, who attended the BRF, as saying that India should rethink its position on the Belt and Road initiative, and China, Pakistan and India should address disputes and find innovative cooperative solutions.

"The main reason behind India staying out of the forum is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of which passes through the disputed territory of Kashmir," Kukarni told the daily.

He suggested that two major connectivity initiatives be built: an India-China Economic Corridor and an India-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and these corridors should be connected in a way that Kashmir becomes a "bridge", rather than a barrier, between India and Pakistan.

He said India will deprive itself of huge benefits if it stays out of the inter-continental, collaborative agenda mooted by China and endorsed by almost the entire world.

"The initiative is going to be the most powerful economic growth engine in world history," he said.

Srikanth Kondapalli, chairman of the Centre for East Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who attended the event told a session on think-tank exchanges at the forum that China and India can cooperate in the low-carbon industry and the construction of a smart city, and that the initiative can also contribute to education, public health and gender equality.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Philip » 16 May 2017 14:18

The Pakis have always practised the world's "oldest profession" very professionally. In fact,they're the leading catamite country on the planet, where their menfolk ,both in and out of uniform,are willing perform any "trick" for some whampum,boodle,dosh,bread,argent,whatever you may call it! They also display a unique skill of being able to service two clients simultaneously,namely the US and China,though from which end of the spectrum is preferred by the two is anyone's guess!

EU snubs China
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... t-and-road
EU backs away from trade statement in blow to China's 'modern Silk Road' plan
Member states wary of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative without guarantees on transparency, sustainability and tendering process
Xi Jinping at the Beijing summit
The EU’s rejection of the trade statement will come as a blow to XI Jinping, who hoped the two-day summit in Beijing would bring world leaders behind his Belt and Road vision. Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Tom Phillips in Beijing
Monday 15 May 2017 15.58 BST Last modified on Monday 15 May 2017 22.00 BST
The EU has dealt a blow to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s bid to lead a global infrastructure revolution, after its members refused to endorse part of the multibillion-dollar plan because it did not include commitments to social and environmental sustainability and transparency.

Xi made his latest bid for global leadership on Monday, telling leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the world should reject protectionism, embrace globalisation and pull together like a skein of geese.

Xi’s comments came on the second and final day of a high-profile summit in Beijing about his Belt and Road initiative, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure spree that China claims will kickstart a new era of trade and development. The scheme’s ultimate aim – encompassing pipelines and a port in Pakistan, bridges in Bangladesh and railways to Russia – is to create what China calls a “modern Silk Road”.

The $900bn question: What is the Belt and Road initiative?

However, in a snub to Xi’s rallying cry for cooperation, the Guardian understands that the EU’s 28 member states decided not to support a statement about trade prepared by Beijing to mark the end of the summit.

“We made clear that, for Europe, the Belt and Road initiative can only be a success if it’s based on transparency and co-ownership,” said one high-level EU diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Apparently to Chinese surprise, the EU was united on this.”

The rejected statement related to a trade panel held during the Beijing summit that was attended by representatives of countries including Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain. China had hoped that all EU member states, as well as other nations attending the conference, would support the text, one of three prepared to mark the end of the convention on Monday.

Beijing had billed the forum as its most important diplomatic event of the year and hoped it would give global legitimacy to Xi’s signature foreign policy initiative. Leaders from Africa, Asia and Latin America flew in to Beijing to show their support.

However, the leaders of most major western powers, including Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and Theresa May, skipped the event while India voiced public opposition to what one newspaper called “a colonial enterprise”.

The Guardian understands that EU members decided not to support China’s trade statement because a series of concerns they had raised with the Chinese government were not incorporated into the draft text.

A public summary of the EU’s position on the Belt and Road initiative, published in the runup to the forum, suggested members wanted guarantees that projects would be economically and environmentally sustainable and subject to fair tendering processes.

An unnamed diplomat confirmed to Agence France-Press that several EU states had declined to back China’s trade statement.

A spokesperson for the British government said that since the UK had not taken part in the trade panel related to the statement it would not have been expected to sign up to outcomes related to that session.

“The UK welcomes the Belt and Road initiative, which has the potential to promote and develop economic growth,” the spokesperson said, adding that the chancellor, Philip Hammond, had taken part in a session about finance and that the UK had signed up to principles related to that event.

On Sunday morning, Hammond offered a resounding endorsement of Xi’s “bold and visionary project” telling his hosts Britain was “a natural partner” in the scheme.

Speaking at Beijing’s Mao-era Great Hall of the People on Sunday night, Xi said his “project of the century” would “add splendour to human civilisation” and help build a new era of harmony and trade. On Monday he said his plan was “open to all like-minded friends … It does not exclude or target any party”.

However, some sceptics see the plan as largely a ruse to boost China’s own economy by shifting excess industrial capacity to less developed nations and draw poorer countries tighter into Beijing’s economic grip.

Chinese state media hit back at critics on Monday. “Some countries seem obsessed with the idea of containment or game-playing, and seem unable to see the truth in the mist of history,” an editorial in the Beijing Youth Daily said.

Speaking to the state-controlled China Daily, one Chinese academic rejected the suggestion that Beijing was guilty of “practising neo-colonialism ... exploiting energy resources ... [and] supporting authoritarian regimes”. He Jingtong, a business professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, said: “I think none of this holds water. If you look at history, tell me when has China been a colonial power? If it hasn’t been in the past, why should it be now?”


PS:"World must unite like a flock of geese" says the latter-day Confusion-us",Comrade XI Gins. What he really means is that the nations of the world must unite and become "Beijing Duck"!

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby anupmisra » 16 May 2017 16:33

A Deshmukh wrote:History being repeated.
Decrepit Mughal emperors gave entry to the British East India Company - and eventually loosing sovereignty - by inviting the new avatar of EIC - CPEC to take over their country.


Now, this post makes sense. Should be tweeted. Except, call them "Wannabee scions of failed Mughal emperors".

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 16 May 2017 17:30

Dawn 'leak' on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor draws Nawaz Sharif government’s ire - Mubashir Zaidi, The Hindu
A Pakistani newspaper report on the broad contours of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) implementation plan till 2030 has attracted criticism from the government, which said the details were quoted from one of the working papers among many prepared to be discussed with the Chinese leadership at the One Belt One Road Summit.

The Dawn said it had acquired exclusive access to the original document that discloses for the first time what the Chinese intentions and priorities in Pakistan are for the next decade and three years.

Opposition parties have called for making the details of the plan public before finalising the projects. Nafisa Shah, an MP from the Pakistan People's Party, said the government must come clean on the long term plan published by Dawn, which has huge implications for the Pakistan economy.

[Asad Umar, economic expert and leader of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf, alleged that lack of government’s seriousness may affect this project. “This is the kind of lack of seriousness, which has resulted in Pakistan losing rather than gaining from all free trade agreements we have signed, ” he said.{This comment is totally asinine. The typical dilemma is that Pakistanis cannot criticize China at all but the DAWN report is truly alarming at the same time. The scapegoat is the GoP. All Pakistanis are in the CPEC project together because they want India to be subjugated in the end and they see the Chinese help as inevitable. But, even dim-witted Immy understands that the price that the Chinese demand will 'dissolve' the Land of the Purest. This is a classic example of cognitive dissonance}

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said he was appalled at the Dawn report and called it factually incorrect. “We couldn’t release the Long Term Plan without final consultation with the Chinese side which was done yesterday,” he tweeted.

The newspaper reacted sharply to the Minister's remarks on the report in its editorial on Tuesday. “The general sentiment is pro-CPEC; and this newspaper also supports the project. But that does not mean the government has carte blanche to negotiate the terms of this massive enterprise entirely in secret. The people have a right to know what exactly is being negotiated; this is especially crucial given the scale of the joint enterprise," Dawn wrote . {That is precisely the dilemma. After all, China gave them the 'Islamic Bomb' to balance the 'Hindu Bomb'; it stands steadfast with Pakistan; more than that, it does everything to stop the 'Indian hegemony' in the region. The Pakistanis are not left with many friends. They have no leverage at all against China. They don't mind being castrtated by the Han Chinese provided they are promised that the Hans would blacken at least one eye of the Bani Hindu mortal enemy. DAWN may wail all it can but there can be no change on the ground because the Chinese dominance over Pakistan is far too tight already}

The newspaper report noted that much-trumpeted Gwadar Port in the long term plan has no mention of China’s external trade being routed through Gwadar.
“Judging from their conversations with the government, it appears that the Pakistanis are pushing the Chinese to begin work on the Gwadar International Airport, whereas the Chinese are pushing for early completion of the Eastbay Expressway,” the report said.

While unveiling the plan, the report said it was drawn up by the China Development Bank and National Development Reform Commission of China goes beyond the scope of CPEC, which initially was considered as a trade route from Kashgar China to the Gwadar Port in Balochistan Province. Although it envisaged industrial zones and power plants, the plan now includes leasing out thousands of acres of agricultural land to Chinese enterprises to set up demonstration projects in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby A_Gupta » 16 May 2017 17:53

The larger context: an evaluation of China's attempts to grow soft power:
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas ... soft-power

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby AjayKK » 16 May 2017 18:14

A comment (perhaps by a BRfite?) on the CPEC article published by Swarajya

Article:
https://swarajyamag.com/world/cpec-is-c ... -privilege

Comment:

Here is how it is likely to unfold.

Pakistan has squeezed USA for all its worth, and still has given pretty little in return. It will do the same with China. China will realize what a two headed snake Pakistan is in about a decade. And Pakistani terrorists (so called non state actors) will exact a heavy headcount to eject chinese from within its territory. The debt that is left will be written off at some time as unpayable..

That is Pakistani development model.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 16 May 2017 18:43

In the Afghan jihad, Pakistan used the US-China dyad to counter the Soviet Union. Two decades later, it is using China-Russia combo to counter the US. I hope that within a decade, it will use US-Russia to counter the Chinese (if the Americans and the Russians are still dumb) or the US-Russia-China will join together to avenge the Pakistanis.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby shiv » 16 May 2017 19:01

The Xinjiang-Pakistan road is bust. Nothing can go on that route easily. The old silk road was camels and yaks. Not any more

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arshyam » 16 May 2017 20:09

shiv wrote:The Xinjiang-Pakistan road is bust. Nothing can go on that route easily. The old silk road was camels and yaks. Not any more

Or they can use the same camels and yaks to climb over those snowbound high passes and avalanches :lol:

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arshyam » 16 May 2017 20:20

SriJoy wrote:1. I don't think boycotting ships that go to Gwadar will be logistically feasible. We don't want to hamstring shipping giants like Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM, etc. They won't be able to coordinate their shipping to the extent that they can 'keep off ships calling to Gwadar/India' mutually exclusive. This will be to our detriment, as its effectively creating logistical hurdles for import/export ease of business. This is also not feasible because since Gwadar is essentially a chinese port, its India vs China. Push comes to shove, India loses a 'container war' with China- no shipper- giant or otherwise- will forego container traffic from China in favour of India.
Sorry, but this is the typical loser attitude many Indians have with respect to our own leverage. Why should we care about hamstringing Maersk or anyone else? What yensoy is suggesting is that they are free to call at our ports, but not when visiting Paki ports as the latter are under "sanctions". With little business going to Gwadar anyway (even Karachi is way too little), who do you think they'll choose?

SriJoy wrote:This is also not feasible because since Gwadar is essentially a chinese port, its India vs China. Push comes to shove, India loses a 'container war' with China- no shipper- giant or otherwise- will forego container traffic from China in favour of India.
This is another assumption that you are making - that Gwadar will be a major Chinese port like Shanghai or Shenzhen. There is no way Gwadar is going to generate that kind of business, so there is no benefit for these shipping companies to not heed to India. Lastly, since the demand will be low to begin with, the actual ground impact to China will be minimal, but will cause huge loss of face to them. Well worth it, IMHO.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arshyam » 16 May 2017 20:28

This was on this morning paper's front page:

Image

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby anupmisra » 16 May 2017 21:05

Philip wrote:EU snubs China


Today's WSJ (print edition) has the same story.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SriJoy » 16 May 2017 21:36

yensoy wrote:
1. No I am not calling for boycott of all of Maersk or CGM etc. I am saying that we will not allow for them to use Gwadar and any Indian port in a single voyage. They are free to return to their home port or final destination, cleanse the ship :mrgreen:, and come back to India.


Ah. Ok understood. That might be feasible.

2. There will be mismatches in import/export numbers. It is highly likely that containers will reach Gwadar loaded and return empty (and return they must). It is also likely that bulk carriers are loaded at Gwadar with minerals mined from Baluchistan & Afghanistan, but they arrive into Gwadar empty. Folks have been saying that the big shippers will try to balance it against supply/demand from Indian ports.
My point is that we should not allow any traffic flows related to CPEC projects to be balanced through Indian ports.


Yes, but if containers leave India loaded and return empty, does that not mean that our export > import and thus increases our FDI ? Agreed on the CPEC balancing part, i was just curious as to why 'empty containers returning, leaving with loaded containers' is a bad thing, considering thats what every export driven market dreams of.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Prem » 17 May 2017 04:15

Putin in Peking

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 17 May 2017 05:33

Me thinks that the hans have pretty well buggered themselves and attracted a bad global press for the OBOR when the exact opposite was what they had expected.

Two huge markets, India and the EU have given them a public thumbs down.

some very embarrassing hitherto unpublicised CPEC plans have also been made public by the paki press which is hostile to the CPEC and its after effects.

were the crore commanders also a part of the paki delegation??

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2017 06:29

I'm dreaming of the great Pakistani mutiny of 2027, when Pakistanis rise in revolt against their Chinese overlords because they suspect the food that China is putting on their market is being laced with flavors derived from pork.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2017 07:34

India isolates itself as the rest of Asia joins China’s OBOR summit

Don't know if anyone posted this article here, but it portrays the Belt and Road Forum in a nutshell. While American leadership is struggling with its ambiguous policy of protectionism and anti-globalization rhetoric, China on the other hand challenges the American led world order and sets leadership by uniting the entire regional players except India. It seems like Xi Jinping follows the Sun-Tzuvian ideal of "the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting", as it emerges into an economic superpower at the dawn of the 21st century. Does India possess any strategy or ideal?
Last edited by Tuan on 17 May 2017 07:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 17 May 2017 07:47

Sri Lanka on OBOR, India, China and itself - PTI

The Sri Lankans are slippery customers, though.

BEIJING: Sri Lanka, which attended the just concluded Belt and Road Forum here, has backed India's concerns on "sovereignty and territorial integrity" over the OBOR project, saying it is difficult for New Delhi to accept the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it goes through the "heart of Indian interests".

India, which skipped the high-profile meeting, would have joined "very happily" in the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative of China, said Sarath Amanugama, Sri Lanka's Minister on Special Assignment.

"Unfortunately, the issue is going through the heart of Indian interests. If it was some uncontested region, India would have negotiated its way out. Here, especially the Kashmir issue getting dragged into it, makes it difficult for India to be flexible," Amanugama, who accompanied Lankan Prime Minister Wickramasinghe to the two-day forum, said.

He said India, China and Sri Lanka were very much part of the ancient Silk Road route as the Chinese Buddhist scholars like Faxian visited both India and Sri Lanka leading to big discoveries of Buddhist relics in the island nation.

"(Chinese) President Xi Jinping has emphasised connectivity. These countries were connected many centuries ago. This will link up these countries on certain rational basis. Once the regional problems are resolved, then India has to play big role in the initiative," he said, adding, "India anyway has to play big role because you cannot think of a belt and road without going over and close to India."

India skipped the meeting due to its sovereignty concerns over the $50 billion CPEC, which goes through Pakistan- occupied Kashmir. The two-day conference in Beijing brought together leaders from 29 countries.

Besides Wickramasinghe, the summit was attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several other leaders, heads of UN, World Bank and IMF.

Wickaramasinghe, who arrived here a day after he hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka, had a low-key presence at the high-profile summit.

While Sharif and many other leaders spoke at the inaugural ceremony, the Sri Lankan leader reportedly took part in the discussions in the roundtable meeting yesterday.

Amunagama said that Sri Lanka will not permit any foreign military operations in its port by any country including China, in an effort to reassure India's security concerns over Chinese military activity.

Confirming reports that recent Chinese requests for docking of its submarines was declined, he said, "we denied them permission."

"Lanka's position is that our harbours and ports are for commercial operations. All other countries have no strategic interests. We are equidistant from everyone," he said.


Earlier, a Chinese submarine was allowed to be docked in Colombo harbour by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2014 which sparked protests from India.

"China, India, US and all other countries, they cannot come into our territorial waters without the consent of the Sri Lankan government," Amanugama said.

Even the Hambantota harbour which Sri Lanka plans to hand over to China under debt equity scheme will function under Sri Lankan Port Authority (SLPA).

He said in the agreement currently being finalised to give 80 per cent stake to Chinese shipping company, it will be allowed to operate inside the harbour but all the outside operations will be carried out by SLPA.

The harbour master who permits the ship movement in the harbour will be an SAPA employee, he said.

Allaying India's concerns, he said Sri Lanka is taking assistance from the Indian Navy to maintain maritime security including tracking submarines.

India is also providing patrol boats, he said.

About Hambantota port, he said, it is entirely a commercial operation. "It was constructed with Chinese assistance costing about $1.4 billion. It was established during the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa," he said.

"But we had an extended debt. Sri Lanka is facing a problem of debt repayment," he said, defending Sri Lanka opting for debt swap for harbour.

Sri Lanka has an estimated debt of $8 billion to China. The loans were taken for different mega projects.

"So last year we raised it with Premier Li Keqiang. At first we asked for a debt relief, either to write it off or to reschedule payment. But the Premier said it is not possible because they have lent money to several other countries. We cannot write it off to create precedent," he said.

"However, the Chinese premier suggested to convert it into equity by forming a joint venture company. The company will be registered in Sri Lanka. Chinese side will convert that into equity. Sri Lanka doesn't have to repay," he said, adding, "it was a win win situation for us".

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Bart S » 17 May 2017 08:49

chetak wrote:Me thinks that the hans have pretty well buggered themselves and attracted a bad global press for the OBOR when the exact opposite was what they had expected.

Two huge markets, India and the EU have given them a public thumbs down.

some very embarrassing hitherto unpublicised CPEC plans have also been made public by the paki press which is hostile to the CPEC and its after effects.

were the crore commanders also a part of the paki delegation??


Japan as well. Which is significant, since unlike India or the EU they actually have the money power to make massive infrastructure investments (born out of good sense and viability, of course, not over capacity).

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Neshant » 17 May 2017 09:02

US joined the Obor meeting only after it became apparent India would not be attending.

They figured the Obor wasn't going anywhere without India's participation (and obor in general didn't make any economic sense) so they attended for a free lunch.


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