OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

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Neshant
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Neshant » 21 Feb 2018 15:59

Too early to say what obor will amount to.

Commercially it's non viable so far.

No market needs tens of billions in port, rail or road infrastructure debt only to see train/shiploads of Chinese goods arrive running up a trade deficit.

It's been more successful in planting the seeds for future naval expansion and promoting debt trap for extracting concessions.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 21 Feb 2018 16:42

In the last century Germany tried taking over the world and then America tried too, each in his own way but we know how both efforts ended. The Germans and the Americans where no less smart or ruthless in pursuit of global dominance to secure their interests forever. Anyone remembers the *Project for the new American century*?

Hubris has a way of catching up. This phase too shall pass not because of what India or America or Japan would do separately or together but because of what China does.

I will bet my whole retirement that in 30 years Chinese will be no better off than now *IF* its intent is global primacy though if can make some waves in the interim. We are entering an era of true multi polarity.

PS: Just to be sure, I do advocate India to prepare for a day when it needs to confront China head on. In the meantime let China spend it treasury all over the world and let it try extracting value from such investment.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Prem » 22 Feb 2018 05:39


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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby panduranghari » 24 Feb 2018 14:12

SSridhar wrote:Australia, US, India and Japan in talks to establish Belt and Road alternative: Report
Representatives for Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Best to keep Australians, NewZealanders out of everything. They are almost in bed with Chinese. Let them consummate their relationship.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 27 Feb 2018 14:24

X Posted from the Analyzing CPEC thread.

Bloomberg via South China Morning Post on the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s much bragged about “Next Dubai” :wink: , “Next Singapore” :lol: , “Next Hong Kong” :rotfl: (Clicky), Gwadar Port in Punjabi Occupied Balochistan:

Heavy security and a ‘climate of fear’ surround China’s flagship port in Pakistan : ‘It doesn’t feel like a normal investment location or an enabling business environment if that level of protection needs to be provided’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 8:24am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 8:24am

For the thousands of attendees it was meant to be a conference to showcase China’s flagship Belt and Road project in Pakistan – the port in southwestern Gwadar that gives Beijing access to the Arabian Sea.

In the evenings the almost 8,000 delegates were wowed with cultural shows and a firework display at the newly opened five-story Gwadar Exhibition Centre which was host to about 100 companies last month.

Yet what really caught the attention of some investors were the hundreds of Pakistani troops patrolling the roads and guarding high-end hotel lobbies.

“Nobody will come and invest in this climate of fear,” said Muhammad Zafar Paracha, director at the Pakistani partner of MoneyGram International Inc.

With national elections due in July, Pakistan’s government is keen to trumpet the commercial viability of the deep seaport in the once sleepy sea town of about 200,000 people in a province long racked by separatist insurgency. To secure Beijing’s funding of more than US$50 billion in infrastructure projects, Pakistan has raised a special 15,000 strong security force.

The port is scheduled to start transshipment on March 7. Yet for all the fanfare, some question Gwadar’s prospects amid heavy security. Balochistan is mostly off limits to outsiders and there’s no visible foreign presence beyond the Chinese. Journalists and visitors are closely monitored by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.

“It doesn’t feel like a normal investment location or an enabling business environment if that level of protection needs to be provided,” said Andrew Small, who has written a book on Pakistan-China relations and is one of a handful of westerns to have travelled to Gwadar.

Beijing has become increasingly vocal over the risks in Pakistan. In December, its embassy in Islamabad warned of imminent terror attacks on Chinese targets. This month a Chinese manager at Cosco Shipping Lines Co, was gunned down in an upmarket area of Karachi. Following the murder, China called on Islamabad to take more measures to ensure security.

“It’s our commitment to the Chinese companies or other investors coming there to provide security,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said in an interview. “The security situation has significantly improved” in Balochistan.

Security challenges come from long-standing grievances of the local Baloch people. Many claim they have been discriminated against by Islamabad, which they say plunders their natural resources and gives little back to Pakistan’s least populated and developed province. More than 2,600 people have been killed or wounded in suicide attacks in the Balochistan since 2003, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Despite the Chinese influx “locals get no jobs, nothing,” said Hameed Rasheed, a dealer of Honda Motor Company Ltd in Gwadar. Rasheed was also concerned about security in the province after two of his trucks were set ablaze by unknown assailants on the coastal highway in October.

“The main challenges, as I see them, are posed by the security risks of sustaining a large Chinese presence in Balochistan,” said Joshua White, a former director for South Asian affairs at the US National Security Council. “China has demonstrated that it is highly sensitive to threats against Chinese citizens abroad, and even a small number of attacks or kidnappings could constrain the ambitions of China’s state owned enterprises operating in the area.”

Nonetheless some Pakistani companies are investing. Conglomerate Engro Corp. plans to build more than US$700 million of wind and solar power plants in Balochistan. Present at the expo’s stands were major Pakistani lenders Habib Bank Ltd and United Bank Ltd, along with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

With more than half a dozen cranes mostly idle, port authorities at Gwadar are also hoping to siphon millions of tons of cargo currently shipped through Dubai. Pakistan’s Maritime Affairs Minister Mir Hasil Khan Bizinjo said the government is looking to shift Nato cargo bound for Afghanistan from Karachi to Gwadar. China is expected to start work in June on a US$1.2 billion port expansion, said Gwadar Port Authority Chairman Dostain Khan Jamaldini.

Some locals see the benefit. Muhammad Wasim Baloch has seen sales of his traditional shoes soar in the past year thanks to Chinese buyers. “Our business has increased about 60 per cent,” he said.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 27 Feb 2018 17:47

SSridhar wrote:Australia, US, India and Japan in talks to establish Belt and Road alternative: Report - Reuters
Australia, the United States, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing’s spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday, citing a senior US official.

The unnamed official was quoted as saying the plan involving the four regional partners+ was still "nascent" and "won’t be ripe enough to be announced" during Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to the United States later this week.


The official said, however, that the project was on the agenda for Turnbull’s talks with US President Donald Trump during that trip and was being seriously discussed. The source added that the preferred terminology was to call the plan an "alternative" to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, rather than a "rival."

"No one is saying China should not build infrastructure," the official was quoted as saying. "China might build a port which, on its own is not economically viable. We could make it economically viable by building a road or rail line linking that port."

Representatives for Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, asked at a news conference about the report of four-way cooperation, said Japan, the United States, Australia, and Japan, Australia and India regularly exchanged views on issues of common interest.

"It is not the case that this is to counter China’s Belt and Road," he said.

Japan, meanwhile, plans to use its official development assistance (ODA) to promote a broader "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy" including "high-quality infrastructure", according to a summary draft of its 2017 white paper on ODA. The Indo-Pacific strategy has been endorsed by Washington and is also seen as a counter to the Belt and Road Initiative.


PRC Foreign Ministry on India, Australia, the United States and Japan talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) / One Belt One Road (OBO):

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on February 23, 2018 …..

Q: According to the Reuters, a senior US official said that Australia, the United States, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative. What is your comment?

A: The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is meant to realize development for all by strengthening infrastructure and connectivity and fully tapping into the growth potential of all economies. Following the principle of shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution since its inception five years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative has achieved fruitful outcomes in its pursuit for win-win results. With its positive effects felt so extensively, this Initiative has won widespread popularity. When representatives from more than 140 countries gathered in Beijing for the International Cooperation Forum of the Belt and Road Initiative in May, 2017, it was clear that this Initiative had won the vote of confidence from the international community.

We have said many times that any country, as long as they share the same principle and vision, could take part in this open and inclusive initiative if they want to, including those mentioned by you.

One last point I want to make is that infrastructure is an important driving force for economic development. We welcome larger inputs into the infrastructure field from other countries. All countries should strengthen such kind of international cooperation under the principle of openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation so as to promote regional and global economic development for the benefit of all.


Clicky FMPRC

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 28 Feb 2018 15:45

panduranghari wrote:
SSridhar wrote:Australia, US, India and Japan in talks to establish Belt and Road alternative: Report
Representatives for Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Best to keep Australians, NewZealanders out of everything. They are almost in bed with Chinese. Let them consummate their relationship.





@prem

Paul Keating - our role in Asia in the Trump era



There is hardly any mention of India in paul keating's wide ranging discussions except for some very cursory and almost dismissive references.

These creeps have not yet gotten over their corrosive colonial mindsets.

Many, many more Indians than aussies died in the two great wars.

and both the wars had diddly squat to do with us.

effing boot lickers.

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 28 Feb 2018 18:03

X Posted on the Terroristani and Analyzing CPEC Threads

CPEC’s transparency: NHA admits irregularities in award of $2.9b contract to Chinese firm

ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) chairman confessed on Tuesday that there were irregularities in the award of a $2.9-billion contract to a Chinese firm for construction of a motorway under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The admission raises transparency concerns in the multi-billion dollar deals.

NHA Chairman Jawwad Rafique Malik admitted that concessions worth roughly $200 million given to the China State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC) were not part of the original bidding documents Pakistan had floated for the construction of the 392-kilometre long Multan-Sukkur section.

The chairman also confessed that the Rs294.4-billion or $2.9-billion contract had been awarded to the Chinese company on an “alternate bid”, which the company had submitted after quoting its original bid.

The chairman made these admissions before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that met on Tuesday under the chairmanship of PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla. These admissions carry huge implications for the multi-billion dollar CPEC projects and may land the government in trouble.

These confessions also revealed that controlled competition among three Chinese companies was not at all fair play, as the NHA engaged with the so-called lowest bidder in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules of 2004.

Several senators have moved a calling-attention notice in the Senate, asking for rationale behind the huge tax exemptions. The Senate standing committee would give a report to the upper house of parliament on its findings.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) had approved the Multan-Sukkur project at a cost of Rs259 billion but the lowest bid CSCEC gave amounted to Rs406 billion, said Malik. He further told the committee that CSCEC also submitted an “alternate bid” valued at Rs339 billion.

Upon this, Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak of the PTI questioned whether the PPRA Rules of 2004 allowed submission of alternate bids.

The chairman claimed that the rules allowed it but he could not cite the relevant PPRA Rule in his defence.

The NHA chairman further said that after negotiations the bidder agreed to lower the alternate bid price to Rs294 billion after the government assured that it would not charge taxes to the tune of Rs19.1 billion or roughly $200 million.

The senators inquired whether tax exemptions were part of the original bid documents and whether the other two Chinese bidders were aware of these exemptions. “Neither the other two bidders nor the lowest bidder knew about these tax exemptions,” confessed Malik.

But the NHA chief insisted that there was no loss to the state, as the government lowered the bid price to the extent of tax exemptions.

The admissions suggest that the deal was not awarded in a fair manner, said Senator Mohsin Aziz of the PTI.

Senator Nauman Wazir claimed that the NHA had initially received a Rs240-billion bid against the total project price of Rs259 billion. It later on asked the bidder to increase the price, which put the amount at Rs406 billion, said the senator. He added that both the bidder and the NHA then changed the project specifications to quote the Rs294 billion price.

But the NHA chief denied that the project scope was changed. Work on the project is expected to be completed in August 2019.

On the issue of tax exemption, Malik claimed that the policy allowed giving tax exemptions on imports. However, when the relevant policy and the rules were read it was disclosed that the exemption was only for temporary machinery imports while the government has given all types of exemptions to the company.

Although the chairman admitted giving exemptions worth Rs19.1 billion, the quantum of tax relief appeared higher. In its written response, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed the committee that in fact, three separate SROs have been issued. The tax authorities issued SRO 44, SRO 79 for income tax exemption, and SRO 51 for exemptions on construction materials and goods imported by the company for the project.

The company has been exempted from paying federal excise duty, sales tax and withholding tax on imported construction materials and goods used in the construction of CPEC’s Sukkur-Multan section.

The FBR said that it has the powers to give exemptions after the ECC decision with the approval of the Minister-in-Charge. However, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has already struck down these powers, terming them illegal and unconstitutional.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 20 Mar 2018 12:52

China’s Belt and Road Initiative heightens debt risks in eight countries - ANI, New Indian Express
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to invest approximately USD 8 trillion in infrastructure projects across Europe, Africa, and Asia, has raised serious concerns about sovereign debt sustainability in the eight countries that it funds, according to a recent study.

The Center for Global Development research evaluated the current and future debt levels of the 68 countries hosting BRI-funded projects.

It revealed that in eight of the 23 countries that are at a risk of debt distress, future BRI-related financing will significantly add to the risk of debt distress. They are Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.


"Belt and Road provides something that countries desperately want – financing for infrastructure," said co-author John Hurley, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. "But when it comes to this type of lending, there can be too much of a good thing."

Further, according to the study, China’s track record of managing debt distress has been problematic.

Unlike the world’s other leading government creditors, China has not signed on to a binding set of rules of the road, when it comes to avoiding unsustainable lending and addressing debt problems, as and when they arise.

"Our research makes clear that China needs to adopt standards and improve its debt practices, and soon,"
said co-author Scott Morris, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

The study also recommended that China multilateralise the Belt and Road Initiative. {Then, what is there for China in it?}

Currently, the multilateral development institutions (MDBs) like the World Bank are lending their reputations to the broader initiative while only seeking to obtain operational standards, that will apply to a very narrow slice of BRI projects, those financed by the MDBs themselves.

The study suggested that before going further, the MDBs should work towards a more detailed agreement with the Chinese government when it comes to the lending standards that will apply to any BRI project, no matter the lender.

It also urged China to consider additional mechanisms to agree to lending standards.

Some methods might include a post-Paris Club approach to collective creditor action, implementing a China-led G-20 sustainable financing agenda, and using China’s aid dollars to mitigate risks of default.


Not long ago, the Center for Global Development (CGD) published its analysis on the impact of One Belt One Road.

The analysis indicated that many countries developed a significant dependency on China and their debt level increased significantly.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Neshant » 21 Mar 2018 12:59


Neshant
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Neshant » 21 Mar 2018 13:04


wadi1979
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby wadi1979 » 21 Mar 2018 20:11

Hi

I have recently published a detailed study examining Chinese investments in India's neighbourhood. We have looked at approx 300 Chinese investments - existing, under implementation and proposed, along with a brief commentary on their impact on each of our neighbours. Comments/feedback/thoughts welcome.

http://www.gatewayhouse.in/chinese-inve ... hbourhood/

regards

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby deejay » 22 Mar 2018 18:07

^ Brilliant Sir!. Keep up the great work. All the best to Gatewayhouse.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Neshant » 25 Mar 2018 12:20

wadi1979 wrote:Hi

I have recently published a detailed study examining Chinese investments in India's neighbourhood. We have looked at approx 300 Chinese investments - existing, under implementation and proposed, along with a brief commentary on their impact on each of our neighbours. Comments/feedback/thoughts welcome.

http://www.gatewayhouse.in/chinese-inve ... hbourhood/

regards


The book you published needs some promotion :

Image

Could you tell us more about it.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby wadi1979 » 25 Mar 2018 12:52

Thank you.

We undertook this project about a year back - when CPEC related news-flow was very high and Sri Lanka was being pushed to handover the Hambantota Port to China. One driver to undertake this project was the lack of transparency around Chinese investments in our region. The fact that many of these projects have been undertaken by state owned companies added another layer of concern.

The objective was to accurately map the Chinese economic presence in India's neighbouring countries in totality - how big is it vis a vis India, US, Japan and other states. What sectors do the Chinese favor, which companies are making these investments (government or private) and whether these investments are purely economic or is there a bigger game afoot. With accurate information, this analysis can be based on clear facts. In my view, sunlight is the best anti-septic, and putting information on these projects in the public domain (to the extent possible) will allow people to decide for themselves what's going on.

the full research (maps, projects) are available on the Gateway House website.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Tuan » 31 Mar 2018 05:14

First, "Make America Great Again", then "Make Russia Great Again" and now "Make China Great Again"....The real problem is that the very democracy is fundamentally flawed, since the way of its leaders are elected is questionable. Moreover, the "democratically elected" leaders challenge the freedom of press, one of the important pillars of democracy. By and large, the emergence of such so-called leaders as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping undermines the idea of Liberal International Order and increasingly alters the world as an anarchic realm.

TOI Edit Page : Making China great again: Xi grabs power to resolve current contradictions, but could trigger new ones
https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.c ... -new-ones/

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 05 Apr 2018 23:01

X Posted on the Analyzing CPEC and Terroristan Threads

MEA on China's OBOR: Can't accept a project that violates India's sovereignty

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday rejected reports alluding a possible cooperation with China on Beijing's mega 'One Belt One Road' (OBOR) venture, asserting that no country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also noted that India's position on OBOR/BRI was "clear and there is no change."

"The so-called 'China-Pakistan Economic Corridor' violates India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity," Kumar said.

India is of a firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality, and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity, the spokesperson said.

His comments came in response to media reports that New Delhi may refrain from opposing BRI in a blanket fashion for the time being and limit its opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that violates India's sovereignty ahead of the SCO Summit, to be hosted by China in June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be attending the summit along with leaders of other member countries.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 06 Apr 2018 08:51

Peregrine wrote:X Posted on theTerroristan and OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications Threads

MEA on China's OBOR: Can't accept a project that violates India's sovereignty

…………………….{Rest Snipped}……………………


X Posted from the CPEC thread to the Terroristan, OBOR and Chinese Threat Threads

Our Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement regards OBOR / BRI / CPEC in its entirety.

Official Spokesperson's response to a query on media reports regarding possible cooperation with China on OBOR/BRI
April 05, 2018

In response to a query on media reports regarding possible cooperation with China on OBOR/BRI, the Official Spokesperson said:

"We have seen some media reports alluding to our possible cooperation with China in ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR)/‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI).

Our position on OBOR/BRI is clear and there is no change. The so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality, and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity."

New Delhi
April 05, 2018


From the MEA Website:

[/b]Official Spokesperson's response to a query on media reports regarding possible cooperation with China on OBOR/BRI[/b]

Meanwhile India continues to pursue other regional connectivity initiatives like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) .

Excerpt from the statement made a day earlier ie: April 04 of our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), following a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister consequent to our EAM’s visit to Baku to attend 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement:

Foreign Minister Mr. Mammadyarov and I agreed that the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), of which both India and Azerbaijan are members,is an important initiative that can reduce time and cost by about 30-40 per cent. To popularise INSTC, a motor rally is being organised that would shortly pass through Azerbaijan.


Also from the MEA Website:

Press Statement by External Affairs Minister after meeting with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Baku (April 04, 2018)

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby IndraD » 06 Apr 2018 14:33

Nepal’s participation in OBOR in its national interest: Nepal PM https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 632542.cms

Q. Nepal is now officially associated with China's OBOR but India believes OBOR challenges India's sovereignty and its territorial integrity. While Nepal has nothing to do with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is an integral part of OBOR, there are concerns in India about how mindful your government will be of India's security interests while pursuing its engagement with Beijing. Would you like to say anything on it?
A: Nepal decided to join OBOR absolutely in view of its well-judged national interest. This has happened as part of bilateral cooperation with China. Economic development is our topmost priority. Nepal cannot afford to perennially languish in poverty and backwardness when our neighbours and rest of the world make incredible progress in every sphere. We also need space to grow and prosper. We believe that a prosperous Nepal is in the interest of our neighbours. Our interest in this regard is to develop infrastructure and connectivity with our northern neighbour and this is where our participation in OBOR is focused on. We have made this clear on various occasions. And, one thing we all have to understand is that Nepal is not alone participating in OBOR. Several countries from this very region have joined the initiative and working on various projects under it.
Q. There are concerns not just in India but also in many western capitals that China is not following responsible debt financing practices in furthering its OBOR objectives. A very good example is the debt crisis which Sri Lanka is facing because of the loans it received from China. Do you believe the perception that Nepal could also fall into a Chinese debt trap is justified? China already has most infrastructure contracts in Nepal and you have said you want to revive a $ 2.5 billion hydropower project with Beijing.
What we have done under OBOR so far is the conclusion of a framework agreement for possible cooperation. Projects are being identified and once these are finalized, we will start negotiations on terms and conditions of financing arrangement. We will negotiate like any other rational actor guided by what is best in national interest. Every term and condition will be assessed against standards internationally practised as well as followed in our similar agreements with other countries. So, we are clear on the fact that we will accept what will be mutually beneficial, viable and sustainable.
On the question of number of project contracts, we view once again that zero-sum thinking of why country X is doing a certain project not country Y is irrelevant. We have a good number of projects wherein Indian companies are working and we want to have more. Likewise, we have a number of projects wherein companies from China and other countries are working and we want to have more of these as well.
Nepal is a resource-constrained country with huge untapped potentials. Our development needs are huge and people's expectations are immense. We, therefore, welcome any foreign investment as long as it meets our national interests.
In the context of Nepal-India relations, it would be more constructive to talk about how we can welcome more Indian companies to Nepal and how they can improve their track record of timely completion of projects rather than question on projects from other countries. And, this is what I want to do as the Prime Minister of the country. I want to work on how Nepal can welcome more Indian investment and what my government can do to create a more facilitative environment for Indian investors to go to Nepal and contribute to our growth and development. I invite all, including Indian media, to focus on this positive discourse.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby rsingh » 06 Apr 2018 20:53

^^^^
WoW begger is putting conditions ..............I will not beg on colder days if you give me money on time.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 07 Apr 2018 10:08

rsingh wrote:^^^^
WoW begger is putting conditions ..............I will not beg on colder days if you give me money on time.


Time to make arrangements for stricter border controls and passport, visa regime.

The older civilizational ties have been completely eroded with the corrosive influence of communism as well as the ingress of the hans into the equation. The Indian commmies have been steadfastly working like termites toward this aim for decades and have hollowed out the nepali state from within.

They have also, unfortunately, succeeded because of the inherent passive outlook of the Indian state which is still confusing "gandhian" principles with those of good and practical governance and the objectives of aggressive FFNGOs have dominated the discourse.

This open border with nepal is an invitation for the hans to flood the Indian heartland with cheap goods and influence. Time to clean house.


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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby pankajs » 07 Apr 2018 14:24

We must not see everything in binary i.e. for or against India except in the case of Bakistan. Our policies have to reflect not black or white but shades of grey and must be such that the shade can be scaled up or down based on the circumstance. Every one of our friends and neighbors have done things that go against our interests. If we were to just look back and only dwell on all such acts, we would be left with no friends partners. We have to be a bit relaxed on this count at least publicly unless it is of immediate concern.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ ... y-5126897/
PM Modi ready to revise 1950 India-Nepal peace treaty
The Indian side is going to convey to Oli that it is ready to change the treaty to bring it up to speed with the changed times, but also look at the “practical opportunities and challenges” — since both countries share an “open border”.

This will be very clear in our approach…that we are open to revise the agreement, but we should not lose sight of the advantages of the open border,” the source said.

Exactly what I would have suggested. Nepal or for that matter any other country has every right to decide its policy. Telling someone "you can't do this" is not the solution. That is only an invitation for them to play the China card i.e. "give in to our blackmail of else ...". Why do I say that bit? If this report is true think what GOI is doing here. GOI, by proposing a revision on its own, has taken the bull by the horn and tried to dilute the potency of the card. To resist would only have raised/enhanced its potency in the minds of the Nepalese elite and made them press harder.

Instead we should just let them know our concerns and our responses as clearly as possible. E.g.
1. By all means give the dam project to China but do not expect us to underwrite its power off-take. We will garuntee power off-take only for projects that we execute.
2. By all means revise the 1950 India-Nepal peace treaty but that will also mean revision of the pro-Nepal clauses like free movement of people.
3. By all means build Tibet-Nepal railways but that will also mean our imposing border control to keep Chinese goods from flooding the Indian market.
4. To Sri Lanka we must clearly convey that we are likely to deploy Brahmos on the Indian shores to target any Chinese military operation from Colombo. We must tell them that while we trust Sri Lanka we don't trust the Chinese.
5. Same for Hambantota. We must assure them that the moment we spot Indian unfriendly activities at Hambantota we will do our level best to bomb the port out of existence. We would hate to see Sri Lankan money down the drain but we must do whatever it takes to protect India.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby nam » 07 Apr 2018 16:29

It is quite simple. Nepal is very welcome to tell us they don't like us and would prefer to take Chinese money. Well within their rights, to make us their enemy, for no apparent reason.

In return their children would loose the privilege of right to work & live in a future 10 trillion economy, something no nation on this planet has. Even the Canadians need a job offer before coming in to US.

Nepalese are very welcome to work and sell their electricity to Tibet.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Bart S » 07 Apr 2018 16:49

nam wrote:It is quite simple. Nepal is very welcome to tell us they don't like us and would prefer to take Chinese money. Well within their rights, to make us their enemy, for no apparent reason.

In return their children would loose the privilege of right to work & live in a future 10 trillion economy, something no nation on this planet has. Even the Canadians need a job offer before coming in to US.

Nepalese are very welcome to work and sell their electricity to Tibet.


Plus we can make handy profits from applying overheads to the currently free transit trade. Figure out the cost of trunking supplies and exports all the way over Tibet to the Chinese ports, and maybe undercut that by 10%.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Neshant » 08 Apr 2018 01:48

Bart S wrote:Plus we can make handy profits from applying overheads to the currently free transit trade. Figure out the cost of trunking supplies and exports all the way over Tibet to the Chinese ports, and maybe undercut that by 10%.


Yea i don't think we should play big brother either letting neighbors believe they can exploit us for their good neighborliness.

It leads to a very unhealthy relationship.

Because India has been a soft power, its being mistaken as weakness.

If they want it that way, then let us level the playing field too and look out for our national interests.

Be polite about it but tell them too, we'd like to get out of these special deals.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Tuan » 08 Apr 2018 22:15

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative signaling the West’s setting sun?

BRI as a government sponsored initiative was solidified in 2015, with a focus primarily on infrastructure investment, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, iron and steel, with the strong backing of the Chinese Intelligence Service (CIS). Part of the BRI budget came from the Ministry for State Security (MSS), a subset of CIS, in addition to a variety of other agencies. As such, it received the full backing of President-for-Life Xi Jinping. Its leadership consists of members from the highest echelon of the Chinese military and intelligence community.

Each one of the BRI projects that the Chinese government has entered have shown not just clear economic benefits for China, but political and security benefits. In many cases, projects have directly functioned as an infrastructure investment-styled warfare strategy, with a goal of unseating existing power dynamics. For instance, in Nepal, the Chinese government has broken the Indian controlled monopoly on internet connectivity with its fiber optics and internet connectivity network. This in turn has lead to the Chinese government now being in a previously unimagined position to disrupt the Indian government controlled fuel and energy sales in Nepal.


It is against the backdrop of such reports as the one above that the Chinese Intelligence Service (CIS) plays a vital role in facilitating the OBOR/BRI project, one must wonder what kind of role the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) could play in counteracting China particularly in economic intelligence realm. Does it even have an Economic Intelligence Uint?

Today, information must be considered as a source of energy, like oil and gas, albeit an immaterial form of energy.

The easy access of economic intelligence creates opportunities as well as threats. Economic intelligence (also known as EI) means smart information management in order to know, understand and anticipate the outside environment, (key competitors, rules, stakes, trends...) to prevent risks, particularly in immaterial fields, and to exert ethical influence.

EI is closely linked to knowledge management and to human resources, because people have explicit and implicit knowledge that will be revealed only if reliable processes and real motivation exist in the organisation. For all international players, be they states, big firms, or non-state organisations, EI is a tool for competition as well as a tool for governance and for national security.

The ultimate goal of EI and knowledge management is to produce added value, in two steps: transform information into knowledge and knowledge into sustainable added value.

The EI concept gathers several other concepts and practices: competitive intelligence, economic security, risk management, lobbying, public diplomacy, soft power (governments), business diplomacy (companies)


Source: Financial Times

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby IndraD » 08 Apr 2018 22:30

what is lima charlie news!? ^ :shock:

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby nam » 08 Apr 2018 22:41

. This in turn has lead to the Chinese government now being in a previously unimagined position to disrupt the Indian government controlled fuel and energy sales in Nepal.


If the Nepal want fuel supplies all the way from Tibet, which itself does not have fuel source, instead of UP which is less than 100km away, please be our guest.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 09 Apr 2018 03:14

IndraD wrote:what is lima charlie news!? ^ :shock:
IndraD Ji :

LIMA CHARLIE NEWS

Cheers Image

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Tuan » 09 Apr 2018 05:50

IndraD wrote:what is lima charlie news!? ^ :shock:


Lima Charlie provides global news, insight & analysis by military veterans and service members Worldwide.

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 09 Apr 2018 10:49

X Posted from the Defanging and Neutering Chinese threat thread to the Indian Foreign Policy, CPEC and OBOR threads.

From some 3 weeks ago though I do not recollect seeing it posted here on BRF; so here goes.

Excerpt from transcript of interview of Indian Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, Gautam Bambawale, by the South China Morning Post on Doklam, CPEC / OBOR / BRI, Quadrilateral, PRC foray into India’s bailiwick on the Indian Sub-Continent etc.:

India and China must be frank with each other to prevent another Doklam, ambassador warns

New Delhi’s envoy to Beijing blames China for last summer’s military stand-off, saying it ‘changed the status quo in the region’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 12:04pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 1:45pm ……………………

What’s your evaluation on the existing communication mechanism between India and China?

We have a lot of dialogue between India and China, especially at the political level, and also at the economic level. I just give you one example, we have something called the Joint Economic Group between India and China, which is led on the Chinese side by the commerce minister, and the commerce and industry minister from the Indian side.

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan will be in India later this week for the Joint Economic Group, and where they will discuss how to improve the trade relations and investments between India and China.

So these are the dialogues that already exist. But especially on the political level, we must be very frank and open and candid with each other. There are some issues and problems between India and China, if we have to solve those problems, we need to talk about the problems candidly.

That’s what I mean about the candid discussion. Also both governments of China and India have been saying that we must maintain strategic communication, and what I think when they talk about strategic communication, it means frank and candid discussion.

Only through talking frankly and candidly, we will be able to solve the issues and problems say boundary problem, and understand each other’s concerns. And I have said in my public remarks yesterday that the most important problem between India and China is the boundary problem. It is a leftover from history, but today’s governments are trying to tackle it. We are giving it a high priority. But only when both sides talk to each other very frankly and candidly, will we be able to resolve this boundary issue and decide on a boundary.

Is China transparent enough, maybe in relation to Doklam construction and army deployment?

We have good dialogue with China. We talk to China at many different levels, we talk to them at the official level, military authorities, foreign ministers and our leaders – Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping – have an excellent communication.

Both national leaders meet at least two or three times a year because both nations are members of many important international organisations as G20, BRICS and SCO and they have their own bilateral discussions. So there is a very good communication between the leaders, but we need to have better communication down the line.

I agree with you to the extent that both sides must be candid with each other and frank with each other. We must say what is happening on the ground and so on.

Many people say that everything the Chinese are doing is kept in dark and that’s where the gap and misunderstanding always happens so in your communications with Chinese officials, do you think that they are transparent enough in addressing India’s concerns?

I think that both sides have to address each others’ concerns. In fact, there are two principles that India has suggested to China, and I think we have broad agreement.

One is that each side must be sensitive to the other side’s aspirations, their concerns, their priorities and so on. And the second is that we must not allow differences to become disputes.

For example, we might have differences of opinion on Belt and Road, but that we must not allow that difference of opinion to become a dispute.

And I think for this, we need to have frank and candid discussions. We already have frank and candid discussions, but I mean we need to be more frank and candid with each other.

What kind of lessons can be learned from Doklam issue and what are the reasons leading to the rise of tensions and confrontations?

The India-China boundary is un-demarcated and un-delineated, so we have to talk to each other to delineate and demarcate it, which means to draw the boundary line. Now in the meantime, while we are discussing where the boundary will lie, both China and India have agreed that we should maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

Now for last 30 years, not a single shot had been fired between the India-China border, which shows that we have been successful at maintaining peace and tranquillity.

Even during the Doklam incident, a very serious incident, there was no firing, we were able to maintain peace and tranquillity.

I think this is a successful example of diplomacy between our two countries. But we need to move further to actually solve the problem, which is to draw the boundary line. The boundary is quite long between India and China – roughly 3,500km.

In order to maintain the peace and tranquillity, there are certain areas, certain sectors which are very sensitive, where we must not change the status quo. If anyone changes the status quo, it will lead to a situation like what happened in Doklam.

I can tell you very frankly and you can quote me on this. The Chinese military changed the status quo in the Doklam area and therefore India reacted to it. Ours was a reaction to the change in the status quo by the Chinese military.

So it is an issue as you say that even though the two countries have high level communications, it needs to be brought down to practical levels?

I agree entirely that it has to be brought down to practical levels. It shows that when incidents like Doklam happened last year, it means that we were not frank enough and candid enough with each other. So we need to increase the level of frankness.

What do you mean by not frank enough and candid enough?

In the sense that if the Chinese military are going to build a road, then they must tell us ‘we are going to build a road’. If we do not agree to it then we can reply that, ‘look, you’re changing the status quo. Please don’t do it. This is a very very sensitive area’.

After the Doklam incident some reports suggest that road construction and military deployment in the Western Theatre Command is actually increasing or at least continuing?

No, I can tell you that you in Doklam area, which we call close proximity or sometimes the face-off site, the area where there was close confrontation or close proximity between Indian and Chinese military troops, that there is no change taking place today. Maybe behind the Chinese may be putting more military barracks to put in more soldiers, but that is well behind the sensitive area. Those are the things you’re free to do and we are also free to do, because you’re doing it inside your territory and we are doing it inside our territory.

Has communication been stepped up after the incident?

At the political level communication has come back to place. So we had Yang Jiechi visit India last year in December. And we will continue to have such discussions. But more importantly, I think we need to have discussions between the two militaries. That has not fully resumed.

It has resumed to a certain extent, the troops on the ground can talk to each other, that has resumed, but the communication between the headquarters – say the Central Military Commission in Beijing and the Military Headquarters in Delhi – that communication has not yet resumed and we would like it to resume as soon as possible.

What’s the stumbling block?

There is no stumbling block, but we have to just move them to meet quickly, sooner rather than later. I think that it will happen sometime during the next few months.

At the political level, as you said Mr Modi and Xi Jinping are meeting 2-3 times a year, are there any high-level visits planned between the two nations?

Prime Minister Modi will visit Qingdao on June 9-10 for the Summit of the SCO. During that, we will definitely have bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping. And before that happens we want to have a lot of other meetings. One example is the Commerce Minister’s visit. We will have a whole series of meetings in the next few weeks and months. Another example, on the 22 and 23 March, we will have a meeting of Director General of the Boundary Department of Chinese Foreign Ministry with his Indian counterpart. We are having these meetings to have candid and frank discussions.

Any State-level visits being planned?

At this stage, we know that Prime Minister Modi will come to Qingdao in June this year.

There are many concerns about the Belt and Road Initiative. China is purchasing and renting so many ports in South Asia especially Pakistan. How is the concern in India addressed? What are the tactics that India is thinking of using to counter rising Chinese influence in South Asia?

Let me tell you very clearly that India has its own relationships with all these countries. These are very strong relationships and India is also doing a lot of projects in all these countries, such as the Maldives, Nepal or Sri Lanka. So, our relationships with these countries are very strong, they are historical, people-to-people contacts. I give you an example. You know between Nepal and India, there is an open border. So people can come to India without any visa, and the reverse is also the case.

So, we have very strong relationships with all these countries and we are confident that this relationship will become even stronger and richer in the coming months and years. So I don’t think we are worried about what China is doing. Those countries are free to have relationships with any third country, including China.

So you don’t think there is rivalry between India and China?

No, no. Let me tell you very clearly. As far as India is concerned, India does not look upon China as a rival or a competitor. We look upon China as a partner in progress and development. And let me give you an example of this. The trade between China and India reached the highest level ever, US$84.5 billion in 2017, even after the Doklam problem. Still, investment from China into India is increasing and investments from India into China are also increasing.

In fact, last year, there have been two success stories in the economic sector that I kept telling everyone – not only in Hong Kong but in Beijing as well. One is, of course, Xiaomi becoming the single largest mobile headset provider in India. Samsung used to be the leader, but now it has become number two. This shows there’s a big market in India and we want more Chinese companies to come and invest and sell in India. Another success story is an Indian Bollywood movie called Dangal. It became such a big hit in China.

I will tell you why it is important. It shows that Chinese people are open to watching Bollywood movies. I think from watching those movies they understand India better. And by understanding each other better, we will be able to have greater trust between each other. That’s why these examples are very important.

Global Times interviewed me and asked me questions like this, ‘why do Indian people not like China and why you dislike Chinese people?’ And I asked them ‘where did you get this idea from? Actually we have great admiration for China and what China has achieved in the last forty years. If there is any such thing you were talking about, would Xiaomi become the number one handset maker in India?’ And, conversely, Chinese people have nothing against India. If it was the case, would Dangal had become a hit, one of the largest selling non-Chinese films in whole of China?

Talking about movies, there is a quota for the number of foreign movies in China.

We know that there is a quota reserved for non-Chinese movies. We are working with the Chinese Government to increase the quota for Indian movies in China, especially now when Chinese audiences are liking Indian movies.

But are there any investment restrictions or security screening that has impacted you?

No, that hasn’t really impacted us.

India is concerned about the Belt and Road initiative. On the other hand, it is a key member of AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank). So what kind of project do you think AIIB should do?

We have said this very openly in international fora. When we talk about development projects or connectivity projects, they must be transparent, fair and equal. There are certain internationally accepted norms for such projects.

If a project meets those norms, we will be happy to take part in it. One of the norms is the project should not violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country. Unfortunately, there is this thing called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is called a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, which violates India’s sovereignty and territory integrity. Therefore, we oppose it.

There is some discussion about a quadrilateral – India, Australia, Japan and the US – these 4 countries should step up their strategic alliance for infrastructure projects. What is India’s take on that?

We are ready to do infrastructure projects anywhere in the world, including in India, which meets these criteria: of being open, being open to everyone, being fair, being transparent, protecting the environment. We are willing to do projects. As far as four countries are concerned, let me tell you very clearly that India has never been a part of any alliance. I think countries like India and China are too big to be part of any alliance. We both have very independent policies; domestic policies as well as foreign policies. I do not see that India is going to be a part of any alliance.

India will work with all countries in the world to improve and increase its interests. Wherever our interests converge we will work together like in climate change and environment protection. India and China work very closely together on many international issues like environmental protection and counter-terrorism. We will continue to work with anyone, where we find that there is a synergy. We will work with China definitely on these issues.

I do not see India becoming part of any alliance. Let me also repeat what I have already said to you before. In fact if we do follow some of these principles such as not letting differences of opinion becoming disputes, of doing projects which are not opaque but open; transparent and meet ecological and environmental standards; does not violate anyone’s territorial integrity, then we will find a situation where the Chinese dragon and the Indian elephant will actually be dancing together.

{b]Does India have any common concerns or shared interests with Japan, the US and Australia concerning China’s rise?[/b]

No, we do not have any problem with China’s rise. I will talk about India; I cannot talk for the other countries. India has no concerns about China’s rise. In fact, India looks at China’s rise as something which also gives us encouragement that India can also do at least some of the things that China has done, which is to develop economically and develop rapidly. So, I don’t think that China’s rise creates any concerns in India.

In fact none of the things that India does with any country is aimed at a third country, including China. I can repeat myself that India and China are not rivals. India does not look upon China as a competitor or a rival; in fact we look upon China as partner in progress and development. We would like to learn a little bit from China about how to progress and, as I told you earlier, Hong Kong can play a very important role. I remember and, you will also remember, when in the 1980s China was just opening and the reform policy was just starting, it was Hong Kong companies and Hong Kong firms which built expressways, which built bridges, which built power plants in China. So I think Hong Kong can play a very important role in the development and progress of India also.

There is always concern that China is becoming more assertive or even aggressive at the international stage. Structurally, the presidential term is now removed and they are putting together a strong diplomatic line-up with Wang Qishan becoming the vice-president and taking care of China’s international affairs. Therefore, China looks more determined to raise issues of territorial integrity and its sovereign interests. What’s Indian’s assessment on that?

Look, the removal of the term limits and new team for foreign affairs and all that is China’s internal matter; I don’t want to say anything on that. That is for China and the people of China to decide. As far as China’s rise is concerned, as I told you we do not have any concern about it. We only look upon it as something which encourages us to do better in India’s economic development, India’s economic progress and social progress.

What is basically happening today is that both China and India also to a certain extent are re-emerging on the international stage and becoming very important players. Many centuries ago in the 1600 and 1700s, both China and India were very important economic powers in the world. Now in the 21st century, we are seeing a re-emergence, of both China and India to some extent, on the world stage from a geo-political and geo-economic point of view. Again, I will repeat myself, we don’t see any rivalry, competition or threats from China, we only look at China as a partner in progress and development.


South China Morning Post:

India and China must be frank with each other to prevent another Doklam, ambassador warns : New Delhi’s envoy to Beijing blames China for last summer’s military stand-off, saying it ‘changed the status quo in the region’

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 09 Apr 2018 19:35

X Posted from the Terroristan thread.

Tunku Vardarajan, Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. writing in The Print in an article titled “One Belt, One Road, One Thrashing: How China took Pakistan hostage”:

One Belt, One Road, One Thrashing: How China took Pakistan hostage

TUNKU VARADARAJAN 9 April, 2018

Unlike many in India, I derive no pleasure from the squalid little news clip that shows workers from China beating Pakistani cops and civilians at a Chinese work-camp outside the Punjabi town of Khanewal. Pakistan’s news media described the policemen as having been “thrashed”, a word reflecting the humiliation and feelings of emasculation that have swept through that country in the aftermath of the event.

This violent act of criminal assertiveness on foreign soil lays bare the contempt that the Chinese have for the Pakistanis. The Chinese workers wanted to leave their camp to let off steam at a local brothel. The police who were there to ensure the workers’ security tried to stop them from leaving unescorted, hence the brawl.

The cops’ submissiveness in the face of this assault shows the extent to which Pakistan has become a slavish sidekick of neo-imperial China. The image of a Chinese worker standing atop the bonnet of a police car captures the swagger of a dominant power, and the servility of its vassal.

How did Pakistan plummet so low? Pakistan separated from India in 1947, and, after Jinnah’s death, very quickly abandoned his soothing but hare-brained idea of being an Islamicate (to use a reputed historian’s coinage) version of India—in other words, a Muslim-majority secular, democratic republic.

In truth, Jinnah’s conception of Pakistan was always that of a welfare state for north India’s Muslim elite masquerading as Indo-Muslim nationalism. From the earliest years of its existence, Pakistan has searched hungrily—often desperately—for a raison d’etre. It was no longer India—but what was it instead? Its Independence Day, August 14, doesn’t—like India’s—unequivocally mark a final liberation from the British. It is also the day it parted ways with India, and with the Hindu.

So, Pakistan has had to be, by definition, the un-India, and it proceeded to be the un-India with an almost lip-smacking relish. Its genocide in East Pakistan was its pursuit of un-Indianness in its most hideous form, comprising the physical elimination of those of its citizens who were a reminder of Pakistan’s Indian past, Bengali citizens for whom being Pakistani didn’t mean the abandonment of a Sanskrit-based language and of a culture—song, dress, syncretism and literature—that was deeply rooted in a pre-Pakistani past.

In all of this, Pakistan erased much of its own history. The erasures were replaced by propaganda, and by selective memory. Pakistan embraced the Islamic-era history of India as its own exclusive narrative, and in a magical twist in this narrative, the Mughals were deemed, in spirit, to be Pakistani. (In an unlovely imitation of this process, India’s Hindutva chauvinists today also regard the Mughals as Pakistani.)

But a severing from their own truthful history produces a moral and spiritual rudderlessness in a people. Every people wishes to be the product of a past, and to belong to a culture rooted in that past; and so, Pakistan/un-India came to give itself Persian and Arab and Turkic dimensions as a substitute for the rejected Indic one, and Pakistanis became Persian and Arab and Turkic postulants, or wannabes.

I can think of no other country in the world where the linguistic majority regards its own language as a bumpkins’ tongue, inferior to the national language imposed upon it a mere 70 years ago. Punjabi, in Pakistan, has been reduced to the level of an informal patois, spoken off-duty and among friends, rarely in the office or the classroom.

An existentially rudderless country, Pakistan is always in search of meaning and of friends, and of outlets for its civic and political frustrations. These frustrations have led to the growth of Islamist radicalism in Pakistan, and these radicals have been exhorted onward by the forces of Wahhabi internationalism fanning out of Arabia. Islamist radicalism dovetails conveniently with the project of being the un-India, and terrorism in Pakistan now works overtime (and in partnership with the state) to bleed Hindu India by a thousand little cuts.

Given the economic and military shortcomings of Pakistan, it cannot take on India by itself. This is where China, with its own implacable hostility to India, comes on Pakistan’s stage. Pakistan has, for decades, been China’s complaisant little crony as a way to stiffen its defences against India. As the United States draws closer to India—while growing ever more distant from terrorist-infested Pakistan—the panicked Pakistanis have come to regard China as a life-support machine. Their fatal error is not just to rely so extensively on China for almost every single one of their needs, but also to fail to anticipate the python-like grip China would have over Pakistan in their bilateral relations. The very army (and ISI) that boasts most loudly of keeping Pakistani sovereignty safe from all aggressors has consigned Pakistan to the most profound vassaldom.

China’s helping hand has not come to Pakistan for free. Pakistan is now tethered to the Chinese, bound to Beijing as a hostage of its own history. Pakistan’s knack for self-delusion has largely prevented it from seeing how thoroughly it is being exploited by China. It has signed away significant amounts of northern land to China (including land that is lawfully Indian), and has practically gifted China a deep-water port in Gwadar that the Chinese are unlikely ever to vacate. And with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is now in a painful debt trap, Made in China.

The Chinese workers and engineers who rioted in Khanewal are in Pakistan to build a highway from Bahawalpur to Faisalabad. What would Jinnah think, one wonders, of the fact that the country for which he sundered a millennial civilisation cannot even put together its own highways?

There is a long history of Chinese workers going abroad to build infrastructure. Think of the railroad in the American West, and the role of the Chinese “coolie.” He went, then, as a semi-indentured serf, abused and vilified by the natives around him. Today he builds highways, but no one abuses him. In Pakistan, in fact, he is the abuser. He knows that he is among supplicants—and he knows that he owns them. One Belt, One Road…One Thrashing.

Tunku Varadarajan is the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.


From The Print:
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby SSridhar » 11 Apr 2018 08:24

Xi Jinping defends BRI; says China has no geo-political calculations - PTI

Oh, yeah !
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday strongly defended his ambitious multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying China has no "geo-political calculations" but skirted concerns over its projects traversing through disputed regions such as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Touted as Xi's pet project, the BRI has become a major stumbling block in India-China relations as the controversial $ 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been listed as its "flagship project".

In a keynote speech outlining his vision at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) at the Chinese city of Boao, Xi said the BRI may be China's idea but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world.

"China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others," he said in an apparent reference to apprehensions that the BRI in which China is investing billions of dollars in port, road and rail connectivity projects all over the world is aimed at furthering China's influence.


The BRI focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and boycotted a high-profile Belt and Road Forum organised by China last year.

Outlining India's concerns, Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale told the state-run Global Times in a recent interview that both the countries should resolve their differences over the CPEC.

"This is a major problem for us. We need to talk about it, not push it under the carpet," he said.

About BRI, he told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post recently that "the development connectivity must be transparent, fair and equal".

"If a project meets those norms, we will be happy to take part in it. One of the norms is the project should not violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country. Unfortunately, there is this thing called CPEC, which is called a flagship project of BRI which violates India's sovereignty and territory integrity. Therefore, we oppose it," Bambawale had said.

At the BFA meeting attended among others by Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Xi said, "It must be pointed out that as the BRI is a new initiative, it is perfectly natural that there will be different views on cooperation."

"As long as the parties embrace the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we can surely enhance cooperation and resolve differences," he said.

"This way, we can make the BRI the broadest platform for international cooperation in keeping with the trend of economic globalisation and to the greater benefit of all our peoples," Xi said.


This is the first major speech by Xi after he began his second five-year tenure last month.

He is widely expected to continue in power for life as China's parliament has removed the two-term limit for the president through a constitutional amendment.

arun
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 11 Apr 2018 09:48

SSridhar wrote:Xi Jinping defends BRI; says China has no geo-political calculations - PTI

Oh, yeah !

……………{Rest Snipped}……………

Outlining India's concerns, Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale told the state-run Global Times in a recent interview that both the countries should resolve their differences over the CPEC.

"This is a major problem for us. We need to talk about it, not push it under the carpet," he said.

About BRI, he told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post recently that "the development connectivity must be transparent, fair and equal".

"If a project meets those norms, we will be happy to take part in it. One of the norms is the project should not violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country. Unfortunately, there is this thing called CPEC, which is called a flagship project of BRI which violates India's sovereignty and territory integrity. Therefore, we oppose it," Bambawale had said.

…………………….{Rest Snipped}…………………


Web link for the referenced Communist Party of China run Global Times interview of Gautam Bambawale, our Ambassador to the PRC, which dates back to 25 Jan 2018 follows:

Indian Ambassador to China optimistic about future of bilateral relations

Web link for the referenced South China Morning Post interview of Gautam Bambawale, our Ambassador to the PRC, was earlier posted by me the day before yesterday on this page of this thread here:

Clicky BRF

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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Vasu » 11 Apr 2018 10:13

Australia sounds the alarm over Chinese 'interference'

Last November, Clive Hamilton, one of Australia's most prominent public intellectuals, was in the final stages of preparing to publish his latest book when he received an email from his publisher.

The book, an investigation into the Chinese Communist Party's interference in Australian politics and public life, would not be going ahead as planned. Allen & Unwin's chief executive was concerned about the high risk of a "vexatious defamation" suit or other retaliation from Beijing and its sympathizers in Australia.

In the following months, two more publishers would come close to taking the book before retreating in the face of similar fears. Amid concerns about the erosion of freedom of speech in Australia, members of the parliament's intelligence and security committee at one point considered publishing the manuscript in the official record.

Finally, in March, "Silent Invasion: China's influence in Australia" was released by an independent publisher in Melbourne.

In October, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization said in its annual report that it was overwhelmed by the current levels of foreign interference and espionage targeting the country.

"Foreign interference in Australia's diaspora communities through harassment or other means can erode the freedoms enjoyed by all people living in Australia," said ASIO Director-General Duncan Lewis, in a warning that did not mention any country by name but was widely interpreted as referring to China. "These activities -- undertaken covertly to obscure the role of foreign governments -- represent a threat to our sovereignty, the integrity of our national institutions and the exercise of our citizens' rights."

Australia's political leaders have taken notice of the perceived threat.

Beijing has repeatedly hit back at claims of interference, accusing those who raise the issue of "bias" and of harboring a "Cold War mentality." In December, China's Global Times linked "politicians' anti-China attitude" to a series of attacks on Chinese, including a violent assault on three international students in Canberra that police insisted was not motivated by racism.

arun
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 11 Apr 2018 11:24

Regional Security Outlook 2018 by the Australia based Council For Security Cooperation In The Asia Pacific carries a bunch of articles on the Belt and Road Initiative / One Bridge One Road aka BRI / OBOR by authors from India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, US besides the PRC.

The Russian authored article by Alexander Gabuev, Senior Fellow and Chair, Russia in Asia-Pacific Program, Carnegie Moscow Center, is interesting in that it points out that BRI / OBOR “lacks a clearly stated goal”,” the initiative doesn’t have any performance criteria“and “doesn’t have any timeframe”. That gives the Peoples Republic of China the “All Weather” ability to claim OBOR / BRI is a resounding success.

It appears that even a casual remark from a low ranking official about “support” for OBOR or suggesting a country’s “interest” in a project in a neighbouring country can be sufficient to see that country listed as a participant in OBOR.


Interestingly enough, not only does Belt and Road stretch into the indefinite future, it also reaches into the past. Some of China’s old projects, like the construction of Gwadar Port in Pakistan, which began in 2002, are now listed among the Belt and Road’s flagship achievements. This approach allows Beijing to re-package old deals and projects in OBOR wrapping, and present them to the world as Belt and Road deliverables.


Alexander Gabuev on how initial Russian suspicion of the PRC moving into the old Soviet stamping grounds of the various Stan’s was overcome by greedy hopes only to be very rapidly brought down to earth by the PRC’s tightfisted financial savvy:

In 2013, when Xi Jinping announced the SREB initiative in Astana, the new project was met in Moscow with suspicion. Russia’s economic growth trajectory was flat (the recession coming in 2014 after collapse of the oil price and international sanctions following the war in Ukraine), so the Kremlin didn’t have financial resources to jostle for power with China in Central Asia. The extravagant ambitions of the SREB project, supported by the size of Chinese economy, looked like an attempt by Beijing to insert itself into what Moscow has claimed to be its privileged sphere of influence. In the context of the rift in relations with the West and rapprochement with China, The Kremlin’s attitude towards Belt and Road underwent a U-turn in the autumn of 2014. Increasing numbers of Russian officials began to see it as a megaproject to export Chinese overcapacity and build continental trade routes to Europe that would go through Russia and offer constructive synergies with the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). In fact, the Customs Union between Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus provides Chinese producers in the Western part of the PRC the shortest land road to Europe, and an opportunity to reach European customers by crossing just two borders. In Moscow, on May 8, 2015, Putin and Xi signed a political declaration linking OBOR to the EEU. China and the EEU have started talks on a trade agreement, and Russia has pitched over 40 investment projects to Zhang Gaoli, China’s Vice-Premier of the State Council and chairman of the leadership small group on OBOR in Zhongnanhai. Given the political green light, many of Russia’s oligarchs rushed to Beijing with their projects, trying to wrap them in Belt and Road slogans.

The last two years have been a rude awakening for Russia and its EEU partners. The experience has been that adding the “OBOR” brand to a project did not elicit any additional concessions from the Chinese side, and that in most cases Beijing has looked for profitable projects with a good internal rate of return. For example, out of 40 projects that support transport connectivity between Western China and Europe through EEU states, Beijing declined to invest in a single one, citing unsustainable financial models and unclear prospects for returns


From here:

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2018

arun
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby arun » 11 Apr 2018 11:27

As mentioned earlier the Regional Security Outlook 2018 by the Australia based Council For Security Cooperation In The Asia Pacific carries a bunch of articles on the Belt and Road Initiative / One Bridge One Road aka BRI / OBOR by authors from India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, US besides the PRC.

The Indian authored article by Hemant Krishan Singh and Arun Sahgal follows:

DIFFUSION OF SOFT POWER OR PURSUIT OF HEGEMONY?
AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE


Hemant Krishan Singh and Arun Sahgal

A number of inter-related factors largely determine how the world perceives China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). First, according to Miles’ Law, where you stand depends on where you sit Thus, the security and economic perceptions of nations impacted by the BRI differ based on where each nation “sits”, its historical experience, and its own specific interests. Second, votaries of the post-1991 liberal economic order, linking “end of history” scenarios of perpetual peace with globalisation and economic interdependence, are more likely to hold benign views of the BRI. Those recognising the inevitable reprise of geopolitical competition in an era marked by a major flux in global power equations, between the West and Asia and within Asia, tend to be more sceptical. It follows that nations in West Europe, for instance, who are no longer invested in emerging Asia’s power balances, appear to embrace the BRI for its presumed business potential from which they can benefit. So, to varying degrees, do countries in the Asia Pacific and elsewhere, who are heavily “dependent” on China trade and finance. Other Asian nations who seek greater accommodation and balancing of major and emerging power interests, thereby bolstering multipolarity, a rules-based security architecture and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, are far less sanguine about the purpose and regional impact of the BRI. That is where India “sits”.

This article provides the authors’ perspective on how India views the BRI. It is not intended to detail the various elements of the BRI, but only to deconstruct the broader strategic dimensions of the initiative, as well as to examine BRI segments that impact India. Finally, we outline India’s official response and corresponding policies towards regional connectivity. To understand the BRI, it is useful to begin by recalling a few distinctive characteristics of China’s external economic policies and the nature of its domestic economy. To begin with, as a non-free market economy, China subordinates market forces and trade relations to suit its mercantilist and national interests; the Communist Party of China (CPC) enjoys enormous power to orchestrate outcomes in the Chinese economy. Not surprisingly, China has derived asymmetric gains from the liberal economic order, which it now professes to champion. Second, maintaining the goodwill of the Chinese government is a critical precondition for the successful pursuit of trade and economic relations with China. Foreign partners have to willingly compromise their democratic values and free market principles to ensure access to China’s attractive market and finance. Failing to attach importance to China’s core interests and major concerns can swiftly attract orchestrated reprisals and painful boycotts. Japan, the Philippines, and more recently South Korea can testify to this reality. These elements, among others, have ensured China’s unprecedented and unconstrained rise to great power status. China has now become too big to fault.

With such a track record, it would be truly remarkable if the BRI represents a change of course towards an altruistic “win-win” regional development initiative, as the BRI is often projected. This is all the more so as Xi Jinping pursues nationalist “rejuvenation” and China’s geopolitical behaviour is marked by unilateral assertions of “historical” rights which are the principal cause of regional tensions in Asia today.

Now let us turn to the BRI itself. Its humbler origins appear to lie in pressures on the CPC leadership to develop China’s western provinces and, even more importantly, to counter the impact of China’s economic slowdown. The BRI has thereafter evolved into a mega project and grand strategy to integrate China’s markets, gain access to resources, utilise excess domestic capacity, strengthen China’s periphery, secure military access and enlist “all-weather friends”. The BRI is a unilaterally conceived national initiative designed to align the economic and strategic landscape from Eurasia to East Asia, Southeast Asia to South Asia, to China’s singular advantage. It most certainly is not a multilaterally structured or negotiated initiative. Significantly, all strands of the BRI have a backward linkage to China alone in terms of economic benefit.

It is well recognised that the BRI lacks a formal institutional structure and that there is lack of transparency about BRI decision making. Essentially, the initiative is propelled by bilateral agreements between China and enlisted countries under which Chinese companies gain preferential access to low/medium cost economies that need capital to upgrade their infrastructure. Investment decisions, generally announced as outcomes of highlevel visits by China’s leaders, emanate from collusive political understandings with national elites, flowing from which projects are awarded to major Chinese companies without competitive bidding. The average rate of interest of Chinese loans for the BRI is significantly higher than multilateral financing from institutions such as the ADB.

Overall, these elements reflect China’s revisionist pursuit of preferential, non-competitive and exclusionary arrangements that propel its ambitions to create economic dependencies, gain political influence and eventually impose hegemonic power.

Finally, the BRI is closely linked to China’s core security objectives that include enhancing its strategic periphery through the consolidation of relations with immediate neighbours. The different strands of BRI’s continental (Silk Road Economic Belt) and oceanic (Maritime Silk Road) corridors enable China to wield military power by creating arteries for force projection.

For the geo-strategist, the BRI combines Mahan’s recipe for global domination through control of the seas with Mackinder’s prescription that such domination requires control of the “heartland”. The BRI is the economic face of a grand strategy to leverage China’s soft and hard power to gain hegemony over Mackinder’s “world island”. It is also part and parcel of China’s “revitalisation” dream and the creation of a world order with “Chinese characteristics.” Now let us turn our attention to aspects of the BRI which impact India. To begin with, it is noteworthy that no element of the BRI seeks to provide direct connectivity between China and India, even though BRI segments include terrestrial components to the west (CPEC) and the east (BCIM) of India, while the MSR encircles India in the maritime domain of the Indian Ocean where India is dominant because of its geographical location. There could be two main reasons for this. The India-China boundary is not settled and China appears inclined to keep the dispute alive as coercive leverage. Second, provisioning of major connectivity, even in small pockets where the boundary is in fact mutually accepted, such as the Indian state of Sikkim, carries the potential for democratic India’s soft power to trickle back into restive and subjugated Tibet. Given Tibet’s remoteness and meagre population, the focus of China’s connectivity infrastructure inside Tibet is largely related to its security interests and defence posture.

CPEC is unquestionably the centrepiece of the BRI, carrying the promise of some $62 billion in loans and grants, of which $14 billion has already been committed. While power plants comprise a major component of CPEC, it is in fact a broadbased initiative to boost Pakistan’s domestic economy, create maritime equities adjacent to the Persian Gulf and provide strategic linkage to the restive Xinjiang province. According to a report published in the major Pakistani paper Dawn in May 2017, the CPEC master plan calls for “a deep and broadbased penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s economy as well as its society by Chinese enterprises and culture.” CPEC is thus designed to secure a major stake in Pakistan’s transportation, communications and energy infrastructure; trade and commerce; agriculture; media; and defence (China is already Pakistan’s largest supplier of military hardware). Whether CPEC will be a “game changer” that re-orients a de-globalising Pakistan towards developmental pursuits and away from its Islamist predilections, or “game over” for that country, remains to be seen. Thus far, elements among the Pakistani elites appear to be enthused, while the general public remains largely unmoved and the military holds the key. The stakes are steadily rising as China gets increasingly involved with the domestic affairs of Pakistan. India has already made it clear, officially, that the CPEC violates India’s territorial sovereignty in Jammu & Kashmir. China’s growing military presence in Pakistan occupied Kashmir is a cause of considerable security concern for India. In terms of regional transit and connectivity, India’s historic access routes to its natural hinterland in Central Asia and West Asia have been disrupted by Pakistan since 1947. There is no indication of any Chinese efforts to press their “iron brother” Pakistan to grant India normal trade and transit rights across Pakistani territory. The CPEC delivers strategic depth for China in Pakistan but only continued access denial and strategic containment for India.

To India’s east, the BCIM corridor makes even less economic sense, as it would provide one-sided advantages to China in terms of market access to Myanmar, Bangladesh and India as well as strategic access to the Bay of Bengal. Besides, the corridor would pass through India’s security sensitive Northeast, where China lays territorial claim to large parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from India’s concerns about BCIM, Myanmar too is wary about such instruments of Chinese penetration.

MSR, the maritime component of the BRI, is substantially linked to bolstering China’s security presence in the Indian Ocean. This includes China’s unprecedented naval expansion, increased naval deployments in the Indian Ocean, operationalisation of its first overseas base at Djibouti (with Gwadar more than likely destined to be the second) and creation of a host of logistic support facilities in the form of MSR ports surrounding India. China is undertaking a massive expansion of PLAN amphibious capability, increasing the size of its marine corps fivefold to 100,000 personnel, and modifying its laws to permit deployment of security personnel abroad. There is very good reason for India to closely monitor MSR inroads in the Indian Ocean.

Despite enormous Chinese pressure and warnings of adverse consequences, India declined to attend the BRI Forum held in Beijing on May 14-16, 2017. In an official statement made on May 13, 2017 India announced that connectivity initiatives must be based on “universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality;” must follow the principles of financial responsibility as well as environmental sustainability; and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity. The statement went on to remind Beijing that “… we have been urging China to engage in meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, ‘One Belt, One Road’ which was later renamed as ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. We are awaiting a positive response from the Chinese side”. That this response has not been forthcoming for the past two years speaks for itself. From the overall Indian perspective, the fact is that with an obstructionist Pakistan to India’s west and a disputed boundary with China to its north and east, the BRI holds little promise.

Taking into account these geopolitical realities, India is shaping its own approach towards its strategic neighbourhood, based on the conviction that both historically and geographically, India is well placed to champion the “connectivity” cause as a pivotal power of Asia. India’s reference to universally recognised norms and respect for sovereignty of regional states draws direct linkages between initiatives for physical connectivity and the quest for regional peace and stability. India’s official discourse rejects any connotation that its connectivity vision is premised on geopolitical competition. It follows that for Indian policymakers, connectivity initiatives must be collaborative rather than exclusionary.

Accordingly, India’s own connectivity outreach is being structured through rules based, demand and consensus driven, bilateral or multilateral frameworks such as BBIN and BIMSTEC, or the newly launched Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC). With the closer alignment of India’s Act East Policy and Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, Japan has emerged as India’s preferred partner for translating their shared vision for Indo-Pacific connectivity into reality.

Conclusion

The BRI is an integral part of China’s grand strategy to enhance strategic influence and reach; BRI projects are essentially “China First” initiatives with backward connections to China. The BRI has no India-China component.

India’s interests are best served by its unimpeded maritime access to the Indian Ocean and the extension of ongoing programmes for domestic connectivity and port infrastructure development, to eastward connectivity between India’s northeast and South-East Asia. The announcement of the Japan-India Act East Forum to drive this process forward on September 14, 2017 is the latest pointer in that direction.

Hemant Krishan Singh,Director General, Delhi Policy Group
Arun Sahgal, Senior Fellow, Delhi Policy Group.


From here:

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2018

chetak
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Re: OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby chetak » 11 Apr 2018 21:34

x posted from the CPEC thread

Read the thread in the link below.

It is a very practical expose of the real dangers facing the hans and their CPEC/OBOR/BRI ini-shit-ive


twitter


Problems facing OBOR / BRI for China. From China itself. Read on.

#ThreadOfTheDay


https://twitter.com/avarakai/status/983756038091390976

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OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications

Postby Peregrine » 11 Apr 2018 23:22

X Posted on Analyzing CPEC and Terroristan Threads

How a remote Iranian port could heighten India-China tensions

TEHRAN: A remote Iranian port could be the next trigger for geopolitical tensions between rivals China and India.

India has pledged more than $500 million to develop the strategically located port of Chabahar — roughly 1,800 kilometers (1,110 miles) from the capital Tehran — since it first expressed interest in 2003. Yet repeated delays have prompted Iran to turn to China in the hope of speeding up construction.

On a March trip to Islamabad, Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he'd welcome Chinese and Pakistani investment in Chabahar, according to Dawn newspaper. He cited China's development of Gwadar, a port down the coast that is a showcase of President Xi Jinping's Belt-and-Road infrastructure initiative.

The shift makes sense for Iran, which wants to ensure Chabahar is an economic success. But it could be a strategic loss for India, which opposes China's expansion in the Indian Ocean and is already worried that Gwadar could one day be used as a military base — along with other China-backed ports from Myanmar to Bangladesh to Sri Lanka.

Any formal investment from Beijing would further weaken the strategic advantage for New Delhi to invest in Chabahar, which is close to Pakistan's western border. The Gwadar port is part of Xi's plan to finance $50 billion in infrastructure investments in Pakistan, and Chinese merchants already have a strong foothold in Chabahar.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

"Delhi would likely take the view that any Chinese presence at Chabahar, even if not involved in the operation of the port, could be used as a way of undermining India's influence with local authorities," said David Brewster, a senior research fellow with the Australian National University's National Security College. "It could also be potentially used to facilitate surveillance of India's activities."

Iran invite

While it's unclear whether China will take up Iran's offer, the involvement of a cash-rich and expansionist Beijing would almost certainly speed up development of the port.

China has overland train connections linking China to Iran and "huge" investments in the country, said Manoj Joshi, a distinguished fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation think-tank. "China is much deeper there than India."

Iran's invitation to invest was welcomed in Pakistan. "It's a positive statement that came for the first time from their side," Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, said by phone. The two countries are already discussing a new ferry service that would link ports in Gwadar and Karachi with the Iranian ports of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas, Jamaldini said.

Cooperation between the two ports could be awkward. India and Pakistan are historic foes that have fought several wars, while India and China — which recently faced off in the Himalayas — are battling for geopolitical influence in South Asia.

Still, for Iran the port's development is important. It will be a vital trading hub in the Gulf of Oman, said Ebrahim Jamili, head of the Iran-India Chamber of Commerce in Tehran.

"The priority is with the Indians — they've been involved and came forward first," Jamili said. "But if another investor comes along and is interested in Chabahar, there is certainly enough space and opportunity for them and for their investment."

While there's been talks on Chinese and Pakistani involvement, Jamili said Pakistan is not a serious contender in terms of investment.

India first agreed to help Iran expand Chabahar port in 2003, constructing two terminals — a multipurpose cargo terminal and a container terminal. Progress slowed particularly as Western nations imposed sanctions on Iran, which were lifted in 2015. Delays have persisted since then, including a two-year dispute over whether India would pay $30 million of excise duties on port equipment imported into Iran.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Monday construction was going well and both sides were meeting regularly. He was unable to give a completion date.

"Significant progress" has been made at Chabahar, Kumar said, noting it was Iran's "prerogative" to choose its partners.

Cooperation with China would help Iran to relieve its financial situation and promote infrastructure development, said Yang Guang, a researcher on international relations with state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"China and Iran, as increasingly important economic forces on the international stage, have great potential for cooperation," Yang said.

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