Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 12 Jul 2018 20:01

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/c ... ttle-25456
China Thinks It Can Defeat America in Battle
The bad news first. The People’s Republic of China now believes it can successfully prevent the United States from intervening in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or some other military assault by Beijing.

Now the good news. China is wrong—and for one major reason. It apparently disregards the decisive power of America’s nuclear-powered submarines.

Moreover, for economic and demographic reasons Beijing has a narrow historical window in which to use its military to alter the world’s power structure. If China doesn’t make a major military move in the next couple decades, it probably never will.

The U.S. Navy’s submarines—the unsung main defenders of the current world order—must hold the line against China for another 20 years. After that, America can declare a sort of quiet victory in the increasingly chilly Cold War with China.
According to Adm. Cecil Haney, the former commander of Pacific Fleet subs, on any given day 17 boats are underway and eight are “forward-deployed,” meaning they are on station in a potential combat zone. To the Pacific Fleet, that pretty much means waters near China.
America’s eight-at-a-time submarine picket in or near Chinese waters could be equally destructive to Chinese military plans, especially considering the PLA’s limited anti-submarine skills. “Although China might control the surface of the sea around Taiwan, its ability to find and sink U.S. submarines will be extremely limited for the foreseeable future,” Cliff testified. “Those submarines would likely be able to intercept and sink Chinese amphibious transports as they transited toward Taiwan.”

So it almost doesn’t matter that a modernized PLA thinks it possesses the means to fight America above the waves, on land and in the air. If it can’t safely sail an invasion fleet as part of its territorial ambitions, it can’t achieve its strategic goals—capturing Taiwan and or some island also claimed by a neighboring country—through overtly military means.
If American subs can hold the line for another 20 years, China might age right out of its current, aggressive posture without ever having attacked anyone. That’s because economic and demographic trends in China point towards a rapidly aging population, flattening economic growth and fewer resources available for military modernization.

To be fair, almost all developed countries are also experiencing this aging, slowing and increasing peacefulness. But China’s trends are pronounced owing to a particularly steep drop in the birth rate traceable back to the Chinese Communist Party’s one-child policy.

In other words "Strategic patience". If US can hold China from seizing Taiwan for the next 20 years and thus keep them "majorly" bottled in SCS, India should be able to close the Economic/Military gap sufficiently to deter Chinese adventurism in IOR.
Wisely, American political and military leaders have made the investments necessary to sustain U.S. undersea power for at least that long. After a worrying dip in submarine production, starting in 2012 the Pentagon asked for—and Congress funded—the acquisition of two Virginia-class submarines per year for around $2.5 billion apiece, a purchase rate adequate to maintain the world’s biggest nuclear submarine fleet indefinitely.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2018 08:47

India tells China: $63-b trade deficit untenable - Amiti Sen, Business Line
India has cautioned China at the World Trade Organization that its $63 billion trade deficit with the country was unsustainable and mere lip-service to bridge the gap was not enough.

In its statement during China’s trade policy review at the WTO, New Delhi pointed out that Beijing needed to make serious efforts to lower trade barriers for rice, meat, pharmaceuticals and IT products from India to make a difference to the trade imbalance.


Stating that it was encouraging that a protocol on rice was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China in June, the statement said the inspection of plants by Chinese inspectors should be expeditiously carried out.

“Early completion of the process is necessary as it not only addresses a long-standing demand of India, but will also help exports from India to the mutual benefit of both countries,” said the statement, presented at the WTO on Wednesday.

India expressed disappointment that farm exports, including bovine meat, continued to face hindrances in the form of stringent and opaque regulatory requirements.

The hindrances remain despite China signing several protocols with India on import of farm products, especially bovine meat.


Recently, top Chinese leaders, including the Premier and the Trade Minister, had expressed their keenness to increase imports from India to reduce the trade deficit. “By bringing up the issue of trade deficit at the trade policy review, India wants to give a message to China that it wants promises to be turned into action,” a government official told BusinessLine.

On the scope of pharmaceutical exports from India, given the expansion of the Chinese public health programme, the Indian representative said that due to complex and onerous regulatory requirements, Indian generic producers were unable to access the Chinese market. “...an important step to expedite this process would be for China’s Food and Drug Administration to hold workshops for Indian pharma companies to enable them to build capacity to file requests for market approvals,” the statement said.

India said there was scope for collaboration between Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the Indian IT sector, which could provide state-of-the-art, custom-designed solutions.

“In the services sector, the challenges for Indian companies include complex requirements for participating in contracts of SOEs and issues related to qualification requirements, licensing and taxation,” the statement pointed out, adding that visa restrictions, like permits being granted for only a year, remained an issue.

Trade policy review at the WTO is a periodic surveillance of national trade policies of members, the frequency of which depends on the member’s share in world trade.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2018 08:55

With US trade under a cloud, China opens up to Indian pharma - Reuters
China is preparing to give swift regulatory approvals to India-manufactured drugs, the head of an Indian export promotion group said, as Beijing looks for new commercial partners ahead of what could be a protracted trade war with the United States.

Indian firms are looking to fill gaps in Chinese demand for generic drugs, software, sugar and some varieties of rice, trade officials in New Delhi said.
“We do feel that China is receptive at this time and it's all about making prices competitive,” said a government official involved in the effort to promote trade with China. The official declined to be identified since he is not authorised to speak to the media.

No concrete deals have been signed but the outlook for pharmaceutical sales from India is positive, according to officials from both nations. India dominates the world's generic drugs market, exporting $17.3 billion worth of drugs in the 2017/18 (April-March) year, including to the United States and the EU. But only one per cent of that went to China, the world's second-largest market for pharmaceuticals, industry data showed.

Dinesh Dua, chairman of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), which falls under India's trade ministry, told Reuters in an interview that Indian firms could expect to win licences to export to China within six months of application.

“We understand internally that Chinese authorities have issued instructions that EU-approved Indian suppliers should be granted the industrial drug licence in an expeditious manner so they can enter the Chinese market within six months,” Dua said.

Many Indian drug-makers are already selling to the European Union. The EU is already one of India's key export markets for medicines, and accounted for about 15 per cent of overall drug exports in 2016/17, according to Pharmexcil.

Swift regulatory approvals in China, the world's second-largest drug market, would allow Indian companies to boost revenue at a time when pricing scrutiny and regulatory troubles have hurt US sales. Some of India's largest drugmakers, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Lupin Ltd as well as Aurobindo Pharma Ltd have been trying for years to expand in the massive Chinese market, which is second only to the United States.

Details of Chinese moves to open up its heavily regulated pharmaceuticals sector have not been previously reported. The CFDA did not respond to a Reuters' request for comment. But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said this week that China was moving forward on giving greater market access to Indian drug makers.

“China and India are witnessing a growth in pharmaceutical trade, and the two sides are in sound communication on opening the Chinese market to drugs from India and conducting dialogue and cooperation between the two sides' pharmaceutical industries,” Hua told a regular news conference on Monday.

“The relevant departments have formulated specific measures on promoting China-India pharmaceutical trade cooperation and granting greater access to drugs from India. We believe that stronger pharmaceutical trade cooperation will contribute to the well being of the people in our two countries.”

Pending clearance

In May, China exempted import tariffs on 28 drugs, including all cancer drugs, a move that would help India reduce its trade imbalance with China, Luo Zhaohui, the Chinese ambassador to India said. About 250 product applications from Indian drug firms are pending before the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), some of them for years, an Indian trade ministry official said.

Bilateral trade between the two Asian nations touched $89.6 billion in 2017/18 with the trade deficit widening to $62.9 billion in China's favour, an over nine-fold increase over the last decade. The two sides are discussing ways to increase Indian sales of farm products, including sugar and some varieties of rice, to China.

India is also trying to persuade China to give access to its cost-competitive software service firms that have dominated global markets. Some of these firms are pitching for 'smart' manufacturing projects in the central city of Wuhan and two other provinces in the healthcare and automotive sector. But it is in the drugs sector that India is hoping to make the first dent, according to officials and a government document.

China has agreed to train Indian pharmaceutical executives to help them gain a swifter entry into the Chinese market, a government document seen by Reuters on efforts to improve trade with China showed. The training is planned for next month.

India's Pharmexcil and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products will shortly sign an agreement to ease clearance processes and help Indian companies find Chinese partners, according to the document. Dua and the Indian trade ministry official said China will soon open a desk at its embassy in New Delhi to facilitate Indian drug makers.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2018 09:26

India, Indonesia discuss Indo-Pacific cooperation - The Hindu
Taking forward the India-Indonesia shared vision on maritime cooperation in Indo-Pacific, an Indian team visited Sabang in Indonesia on Wednesday to “discuss steps for mutual collaboration.” At the same time, in a first, Indian ship INS Sumitra berthed at Sabang Port close to the Malacca Strait for operational turnaround.

“The hosting of the India-Indonesia investment forum in Aceh and the visit of the Indian delegation and INS Sumitra port call at Sabang, were important follow-up outcomes flowing from the understanding reached during the recently concluded visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Indonesia,” Indian Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement.

Mr. Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific during Mr. Modi’s visit there in May.

Indonesia has recently agreed to give India access to its port for operational turnaround which will increase the Navy’s footprint in the region.

“INS Sumitra sailed from Port Blair to Sabang, where it will take provisions and fuel before going for further deployment in the Indian Ocean,” the statement said.


The India delegation was led by Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Pradeep K. Rawat and included officials and business delegates from the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby dinesha » 13 Jul 2018 12:49

Indian Army puts Mountain Strike Corps aimed at China in cold storage
https://theprint.in/security/indian-arm ... age/82319/
The instant order to stop ‘new raisings’ – create battalions with fresh recruits – has been prompted by financial constraints.

New Delhi: The Army has decided to shelve all new raisings for a China-specific Mountain Strike Corps due to financial constraints, an official source told The Print Thursday.

The decision effectively puts the corps, as envisaged, in cold storage.

The decision comes five years after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the creation of practically a whole new army with 90,000 troops at a cost of Rs 60,000 crore.

The decision also comes a year after Indian and Chinese troops faced-off at Doklam in Bhutan near the point where the international boundaries of the three countries intersect.

But at the end of April this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met at an “informal summit” in Wuhan and decided to reduce tensions on the frontier and craft new confidence building measures.

The instant order to stop “new raisings” – create battalions with fresh recruits – has, however, been prompted by financial constraints, one official said.

“The next big thing for us is a drive towards ‘optimisation’ of resources, do the best with what we have. You will hear this word (optimisation) a lot from now on. What is the point in recruiting new soldiers if we cannot give them guns and bullets?” the official said.

The CCS approved the raising of the corps in 2013 when A.K. Antony was the defence minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. It was an idea that was in the works for years.

One officer offered a perspective to The Print Thursday that raises questions on the rationale of new raisings.

He said a cabal of the officer cadre was interested in the formation of the MSC because of the lure of more offices in higher ranks of Brigadiers, Major-Generals and Lieutenant-Generals that would be created. Such an argument pre-supposes that operational logic may have been subsumed by careerist considerations.

The Mountain Strike Corps or 17 Corps is headquartered in Ranchi with divisions headquartered in Panagarh, West Bengal, (59 mountain) and Pathankot (72 mountain), Punjab. Aviation, artillery, armoured brigades were to be integrated into the corps that was planned with entirely new raisings of nearly 30 mountain infantry battalions. In addition, it was also to be reinforced with teams of high-altitude special forces.

Focus on ‘Optimisation’
The order to stop new raisings by Army headquarters coincides with a study that is being conducted by the Shimla-headquartered Army Training Command (ARTRAC) headed by Lt. Gen. M.M. Naravane.

Naravane has been asked to submit a report by the end of this year with suggestions for “optimisation” – utilisation of troops and equipment without raising costs.

The study will examine whether it is necessary to carry on annual recruitments at all centres to fill all the spaces created by total annual retirements. About 35-40,000 soldiers retire from the 1.3 million strong Army each year. The total number of recruits vary from region to region as it depends on the number of vacancies in each regiment and arm.

The raising of the Mountain Strike Corps meant that the Army was adding to its manpower when many (mostly Western) countries are reducing theirs. Units for the mountain strike corps have already been raised in the Northeast. Since the past year, a lazy focus was on staffing the planned Pathankot division but the sense of the funds crunch was already seeping in.

The 17 Corps was also being armed with BAE Land System’s M777 ultra-light howitzers imported from the US. The howitzers can be underslung from heavy helicopters (Chinooks from the US are contracted) for transporting in the mountains.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2018 14:33

Ladakh’s connectivity conundrum - Vijaita Singh, The Hindu
At a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday to discuss issues in the implementation of the Border Area Development Programme (BADP), an official from Jammu and Kashmir said connectivity was a major issue in the Ladakh region. In areas bordering China, only Chinese telecom services were available, not those of Indian operators.

The meeting was attended by the magistrates of 25 districts in 17 States, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

Leh Deputy Commissioner Avny Lavasa showed the satellite images of the development on the Chinese side. She briefed the Minister of the connectivity issues in the border areas.


Meanwhile, an official from Uttar Pradesh said a bridge was washed away within weeks of its construction as the Kosi river changed course. Under the BADP, the Union government plans to develop villages located 0-10 km from the international borders and make them “self-sustainable.” A Home Ministry spokesperson said 61 villages were identified for being developed as ‘model villages,’ with health centres, schools and drinking water supply, and Rs. 126 crore was released for this purpose.

The Centre released Rs. 1,100 crore during 2017-18 for the development of the villages along the international border in 17 States. The BADP covers 111 border districts in 17 States to meet the needs of people living within 50 km of the international border. A total of Rs. 13,400 crore has been released since the programme was launched in 1986-87.

The governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal highlighted their achievements under the BADP, and the steps taken to improve the quality of life for the people in the border areas.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby nandakumar » 13 Jul 2018 15:45

"Meanwhile, an official from Uttar Pradesh said a bridge was washed away within weeks of its construction as the Kosi river changed course."
A quote from the above story.
So the bridge existed where there was no river?

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2018 18:20

^not necessarily.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2018 19:09

I​ndia and China hold maritime security dialogue in Beijing - PTI
India and China today discussed maritime security issues and prospects for bilateral cooperation for the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enunciated India's policy on the strategic Indo-Pacific region amidst Beijing flexing muscles in the South and East China seas.

The two sides held their second maritime security dialogue here during which the Indian side elaborated on its vision for the Indo-Pacific region as articulated in Prime Minister Modi's keynote address at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

The two countries had held the inaugural maritime security dialogue in 2016 in New Delhi amid tensions over the South China Sea. It was not held last year.

The first dialogue covered a range of issues of mutual interest, including exchange of perspectives on maritime security and prospects for maritime cooperation between the two countries.

Developments in international regimes such as UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) also figured in the discussions, according to the External Affairs Ministry.

In the second dialogue, the two sides exchanged views on various topics of mutual interest, including perspectives on maritime security and cooperation, blue economy, and further strengthening of practical cooperation, a press release issued by the Indian Embassy said.

Both sides underlined the importance of the dialogue as an important mechanism between the two countries for consultations on maritime issues.

"They emphasised the need to further strengthen maritime cooperation as an important area of India-China bilateral relations, and as a platform to strengthen political and strategic mutual trust between the two countries," the press release said.


The term Indo-Pacific being highlighted by the US, Australia and Japan besides India has caused concerns in China, considering its stakes in the disputed South China Sea, where it claims about 90 per cent of it.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area.

China is also engaged in maritime disputes in the East China Sea with Japan.

The growing presence of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean where it already acquired a logistic base at Djibouti has aroused concerns in India besides acquisition of the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka by China on a 99-year lease.

China is also expanding its influence over the Maldives besides aggressively pursuing its 21st century Maritime Silk Road which is part of its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aimed at expanding its trade and influence in the world.

In his address at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore last month, Modi had termed the Indo-Pacific is a natural region.

"Inclusiveness, openness and ASEAN centrality and unity, therefore, lie at the heart of the new Indo-Pacific. India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members," he had said.

The Indian delegation at today's talks was led by Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs while the Chinese delegation was led by Wu Jianghao, Director General at the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

The Indian delegation also called on Kong Xuanyou, Vice-Foreign Minister of China.

Both sides agreed to hold the next round of the dialogue at a mutually convenient time in India, the press release said.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prem » 14 Jul 2018 01:44

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-navy- ... sea-2018-7
The US Navy just quietly sent an F-35 aircraft carrier to the Pacific — and it signals a big change

The US Navy broke with its tradition of hyping up F-35 deployments when it sent the USS Essex jump-jet carrier into the Western Pacific with a deck full of the revolutionary fighter jets this week — and it could signal a big change in how the US deals with its toughest adversaries.When the USS Wasp became the first small-deck aircraft carrier to deploy with US Marine Corps F-35Bs earlier this year, the media was in on it. But the Essex's departure marks a change, as the Navy announced the deployment only after the ship departed, USNI News noted.The Navy regularly deploys capital ships like small- and large-deck carriers for patrols around the world but has only twice deployed ones like these.The F-35 has become the most expensive weapons system in history and earned its share of criticism along the way as costs ballooned and deadlines fell through. The Marine Corps' F-35B is designed to land vertically and take off from short runways, like an amphibious assault ship, and will replace the AV-8B Harrier in ground and air attack missions; the Navy's F-35C has a tailhook to snag an arresting cable and land on an aircraft carrier.China views these patrols as a challenge to its sovereignty and makes a big deal out of them. For the US, it's better if the challenges to China's claims are the norm and not a news story. Some observers have speculated that the US wants to send a message to China's military leadership without the publicity that may compel them to escalate.
By keeping quiet high-profile deployments to the Pacific, the US could be signaling that it's getting ready to put the ball back in China's court, with high-end military hardware checking it and disputes handled between navies rather than via press releases.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 14 Jul 2018 17:22

No plan to contain China, says India - Atul Aneja, The Hindu
India on Friday reaffirmed that its Indo-Pacific strategy was not aimed at China’s containment.

During the second India-China Maritime Affairs Dialogue held in Beijing, the Indian delegation led by Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs, cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at the Shangrila dialogue in Singapore in June.

“The Indian side also elaborated on India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region as articulated in Prime Minister Modi’s keynote address at this year’s Shangrila Dialogue in Singapore,” an Indian Embassy press statement said.

In his address, Mr. Modi had pointed to the 10 countries of Southeast Asia as the junction of India and Pacific oceans “in both the geographical and civilisational sense”. “India does not see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy or as a club of limited members. Nor as a grouping that seeks to dominate. And by no means do we consider it as directed against any country.” The Embassy readout said India and China discussed “perspectives on maritime security and cooperation,” signalling their intent to find common ground in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. They also brainstormed ways to work together in the field of “blue economy, and further strengthening of practical cooperation”.

Maritime cooperation

The statement highlighted that stepped up “maritime cooperation” was “a platform to strengthen political and strategic mutual trust between the two countries.”

It added exchanges in the maritime domain were “an important area of India-China bilateral relations”.


In the past, India has been concerned about China’s forays in the Indian Ocean, including Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Haresh » 14 Jul 2018 19:54

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, please move if not.

A Kenyan senator’s warning to his colleagues about the dangers of drowning in Chinese debt is as applicable to Kenya as it is to Pakistan where too the Chinese are raping resource-rich Balochistan.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1018125696068214785

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prasad » 16 Jul 2018 15:33

China’s Digital Rise And India’s Digital Jeopardy
Do read :)

This will be the first of a multi-part set of articles on the electronics arena.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 16 Jul 2018 15:42

Prasad, great effort.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Neshant » 16 Jul 2018 17:06

Interesting how China is conducting a cultural eradication of Muslims in China.

No words from "Muslim brothers" of the OIC.


------
Muslims in China's 'Little Mecca' fear eradication of Islam

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/wor ... 004044.cms

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 16 Jul 2018 17:15

Neshant wrote:Interesting how China is conducting a cultural eradication of Muslims in China.

No words from "Muslim brothers" of the OIC.
------
Muslims in China's 'Little Mecca' fear eradication of Islam

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/wor ... 004044.cms
Neshant Ji :

I cannot "Copy" the above Article on the TOI Website.

However I have posted the following Article Fully on the Terroristan Thread :

China's 'Little Mecca': The far-flung city where Muslims have lived for hundreds of years, but now faces a religious crackdown from Beijing

Cheers Image

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prasad » 16 Jul 2018 18:16

SSridhar wrote:Prasad, great effort.

Thanks!

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 17 Jul 2018 08:26

The same tactics and the same result.

Chinese 'highway to nowhere' haunts Montenegro - Reuters
PODGORICA: Perched atop massive cement pillars that tower above Montenegro's picturesque Moraca river canyon, scores of Chinese workers are building a state-of-the-art highway through some of the roughest terrain in southern Europe.

The government has described the 165km (103 mile) highway, with its imposing bridges and deep-cut tunnels, as the construction of the century and a pathway to the modern world.

It is designed to link the port of Bar on Montenegro's Adriatic coast to landlocked neighbour Serbia. But once the first, challenging 41km stretch through mountains north of the capital is completed, the government faces a difficult choice.

A Chinese loan for the first phase has sent Montenegro's debt soaring and forced the government to raise taxes, partially freeze public sector wages and end a benefit for mothers to get its finances in order.

Despite those measures, Montenegro's debt is expected to approach 80 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and the International Monetary Fund says the country cannot afford to take on any more debt to finish its ambitious project.

"There is a big question about how they complete it," said an EU official who requested anonymity. "Their fiscal space has shrunk enormously. They have strangled themselves. And for the time being this is a highway to nowhere."

The road is at the heart of an intense debate about Chinese influence in Europe, both within EU member states and countries aspiring to join the bloc such as Montenegro and its Western Balkan neighbours Serbia, Macedonia and Albania.

As Beijing extends its economic reach under the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), poor countries across Asia and Africa have seized on attractive Chinese loans and the promise of transformative infrastructure projects.

This has allowed them to develop in ways that may not have been possible without access to China's vast foreign exchange reserves. But some countries, such as Sri Lanka, Djibouti and Mongolia, have found themselves weighed down by debt and ever more reliant on Beijing's largesse.

Montenegro is the first country in Europe to find itself in this position as its government presses on with its dream of a gleaming new highway to lead the nation to a brighter future.

"This highway is a big deal in Montenegro. It reminds people of Tito and the days of grand socialist projects in the region," said academic Mladen Grgic, referring to former Yugoslavia's long-time communist leader Josip Broz Tito.

"But it's a trap. Now that it's been started, the politicians can't stop it - no matter how harmful it might be. And frankly they don't want to," said Grgic, author of a 2017 study on the highway.


'Not bankable'

The idea of building a highway from the coast to Serbia can be traced back to 2005, a year before Montenegro's vote for independence from its neighbour. The project was championed by Milo Djukanovic, who has served as president or prime minister of Montenegro nearly uninterrupted since 1991.

The government hopes the highway will give an economic boost to the country's underdeveloped north, bolster trade with Serbia and improve road safety as Montenegro's narrow, winding mountain roads are notoriously dangerous.

Having recognised that there is little scope to take on more debt, the government's options for building the next three phases of the highway are limited.

The option it now favours is a public private partnership (PPP) in which an outside partner would build and operate the highway, then run it under a concession from the state for 30 years to get a return on their investment.


China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the large state-owned Chinese company that is building the first section, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March to complete the rest of the road on a PPP basis.

But European lenders worry that Montenegro would need to offer costly revenue guarantees to make that work, potentially deepening its financial woes.

"We told them that their PPP model was not bankable, that they would be taking on risks they don't know how to manage," said an official from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's lender.

The IMF cautioned the government in May against a PPP solution that could introduce large contingent liabilities. One official suggested Montenegro would be better off waiting until it joined the EU before finishing the highway.

Once it is part of the EU, Montenegro would have access to more structural and cohesion funds from Brussels. But the process of joining the bloc could take a decade or more, despite a loose target date of 2025 floated by the EU this year.

Feasibility studies

Doubts about the highway surfaced after two feasibility studies, conducted in 2006 and 2012, showed it was not economically viable.

Reuters reviewed copies of the studies, the first carried out by French firm Louis Berger for the Montenegrin government, and the second by US company URS for the EIB. Both concluded there would not be enough traffic to justify a concession.

Louis Berger estimated the government would have to pay 35 million to 77 million euros a year in subsidies to make a toll-based system attractive to outside investors.

URS looked at each section of the highway and concluded that all possible combinations were economically unworkable. It recommended a more modest upgrade of existing roads.

"The low current traffic volumes and the weak economic forecasts mean that the economic benefits of the proposed route do not provide adequate return on the investment," URS said.

To justify the grand highway envisioned by the Montenegrin government, URS said internal rates of return of 8 percent would be required but it estimated they would be below 2 percent.

Ivan Kekovic, an engineer who was involved in the project in its early years but later issued an open letter to parliament warning against it, told Reuters that average traffic of 22,000 to 25,000 vehicles a day would be needed to justify a highway of the proposed scale.

Daily traffic on the busiest stretch, from the capital Podgorica to the port of Bar, is less than 6,000 vehicles.[/b]

Early attempts to build the highway, first with a Croatian consortium and then with a Greek-Israeli one, collapsed after both groups failed to provide bank guarantees in time.

Critics breathed a sigh of relief, convinced the project was dead. Then China appeared on the scene.

China fills void

Economics professors at the University of Montenegro were paid by the state-funded Export-Import Bank of China to conduct a new feasibility study.

This one found the highway was viable, according to the government. But this study has never been made public and attempts by Reuters to see it were unsuccessful.

China Communications Construction Co., CRBC's parent firm, did not respond to a request for comment about the studies.


MANS, an EU-financed anti-corruption watchdog, pressed the government to provide members of parliament with data to support its vision before a vote to approve the highway in 2014. It refused.

"We have no doubt that the data that the ministry of transport used in order to justify the construction of the highway are fabricated," said Dejan Milovac, deputy executive director at MANS.

The government denies manipulating the numbers and says the highway will deliver long-term economic and social benefits
that prove the sceptics wrong.

Zorana Mihajlovic, deputy prime minister of Serbia, which is building a stretch of highway with Chinese help to link with the Montenegrin road, took a similar view.

"There are investments that may not be economically justifiable from a short-term perspective, but which are strategically important," she told Reuters.


The six Western Balkan countries - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia - are surrounded by EU member states. But the region has suffered from under-investment and poor governance since the independence wars of the 1990s, making it an economic laggard.

Over the past decade, as the EU struggled with a succession of crises and put enlargement of the bloc on hold, other powers, including Russia and Turkey, have moved in to fill the void.

China has been especially active. In 2012, it began holding annual "16+1" summits with eastern and southern European states to discuss investment opportunities, infuriating Brussels.

A year later, it unveiled BRI, its grand plan to secure land and maritime trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.

The Western Balkans, strategically positioned on Europe's southern flank, is a key access point for China to reach central Europe and beyond.

China's investments in the region total more than 6 billion euros - including highways, rail lines and power plants. Serbia, the largest economy in the region and Beijing's long-standing ally, has received the lion's share.

Montenegro could be attractive to China for a number of reasons. It gives Beijing a port of entry into Europe from the Adriatic, and close economic and political ties with the government in Podgorica could prove valuable for China if Montenegro becomes an EU member.


'Disbelievers'

The 809 million euros Montenegro received from China's Export-Import Bank covers 85 percent of the cost of the first section of the road.

The dollar-denominated loan carries a 2 percent interest rate, 20-year repayment schedule and 6-year grace period - attractive terms but a major long-term burden for a country of roughly 620,000 people.


Under the terms of the contract, an arbitration court in China would have jurisdiction in the event of any legal dispute. CRBC won commitments that all imported construction materials, equipment and other goods be exempt from customs and value-added tax. Chinese workers were given 70 percent of the work.

Some 3,605 workers are busy building the first section of the highway. Roughly two-thirds of them are from CRBC, one of the largest engineering and construction firms in the world.

Four camps of neat blue-roofed bungalows house the Chinese workers. Dotting the area are billboards in Chinese and English exhorting them to be meticulous and responsible.

"CRBC expects to build the future sections of this project," Kang Shifei, deputy project manager for CRBC, told Reuters on a blazing hot afternoon in June, beneath the giant pillars that will support a kilometre-long bridge above the Moraca canyon.

Because the government did not hedge against currency swings and omitted a vital turnpike from its original blueprint, the cost has continued to rise. It is now approaching 1 billion euros, nearly a quarter of Montenegro's GDP.

A March report from the Washington-based Center for Global Development which examined the debt risks associated with BRI listed Montenegro as one of eight highly vulnerable countries, alongside Djibouti, the Maldives, Laos, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan.

The remaining three-quarters of the highway will plough through less mountainous terrain. The IMF estimates it will cost another $1.2 billion to complete.

Prime Minister Dusko Markovic has said it will be finished at any cost and promised to deepen cooperation with China in other areas, including hydropower and tourism. He has dismissed critics as "disbelievers".

But opposition politicians are worried - about the country's finances and about China's role.

Dritan Abazovic, head of the United Reform Action opposition party, said it was normal for an economic power such as China to seek a role in the region, alongside the EU, United States and Russia.

But because of the scale of the project, he worries the deal with the Chinese will end up giving Beijing much more influence over Montenegro.

"It puts the Chinese in a very very comfortable position," he said.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby sum » 17 Jul 2018 18:19

Prasad wrote:China’s Digital Rise And India’s Digital Jeopardy
Do read :)

This will be the first of a multi-part set of articles on the electronics arena.

Saar, great read and congrats.

The gist of the matter seems to be that China is well on its way to be a semicon giant while we are literally at zero level( other than doing cutting edge design work for Amriki cos in their India design centers)

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prasad » 19 Jul 2018 08:33

sum wrote:
Prasad wrote:China’s Digital Rise And India’s Digital Jeopardy
Do read :)

This will be the first of a multi-part set of articles on the electronics arena.

Saar, great read and congrats.

The gist of the matter seems to be that China is well on its way to be a semicon giant while we are literally at zero level( other than doing cutting edge design work for Amriki cos in their India design centers)

Thanks!
That is pretty much it. Although as you know, such capability isn't built overnight even if you throw billions at it. But it is a good start. They might even get to a half decent shape given their strong academic focus.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby sanjaykumar » 19 Jul 2018 09:32

Great write up. My only query is, why has China not done it already?

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Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 19 Jul 2018 15:45

X Posted on the CPEC & Terroristan Threads

After Pak, China is trying to build an economic corridor to Myanmar

BEIJING: China and Myanmar are close to signing an agreement on the establishment of a China-Myanmar economic corridor along the lines of the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)). Once launched, the project will unleash a huge influx of Chinese funds to Myanmar, which can further weaken the Indian influence on the eastern neighbor.

A senior Myanmar official, U Aung Naing Oo, director general of investment and business administration, said Wednesday that the two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding to build the corridor. The switch will be based on a previous broad agreement on building basic infrastructure, improving telecommunications facilities and improving transport and agriculture in Myanmar, he said.

Although the two governments are enthusiastic about the project, there are several challenges that could block its progress, according to sources. Ethnic conflicts in different parts of Myanmar and anti-Chinese sentiments in part of Myanmese are some of the reasons. There is also the fear of a debt collapse in Myanmar, which had previously canceled the construction of a dam project funded by China.

"Myanmar can not circumvent the One Belt One Road initiative, even though we have a lot of opinions about the debt threat," said Maung Maung Lay, vice president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Myanmar.

The planned corridor connects the Chinese province of Yunnan with three major economic centers in Myanmar - Mandalay, Yangon New city and Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The economic corridor also improves connectivity between Yangoon and the troubled Rakhine State of Myanmar.

A Chinese expert, Peng Nian, wrote in the Beijing-based Global Times that the agreement in the corridor showed that the suspicion of Chinese investments was dying." Moreover, Myanmar would prefer to integrate into the region by initiate, because it is not satisfied with the slow progress of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar's economic corridor," Peng of the National Institute wrote for South China Sea Studies in Hainan Province.

REQUEST FOR HELP : I cannot Copy and Paste Articles in Times of India and Economic Times. Request Advice - Thanks in Advance.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 19 Jul 2018 20:17

Peregrine ji, you have mail.

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Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 20 Jul 2018 17:00

Trump ready to put tariffs on $500 billion of Chinese imports, CNBC reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he was poised to impose tariffs on $500 billion of goods from China, threatening in an interview with CNBC to escalate the current trade clash with the Asian nation.

“We’re down a tremendous amount,” Trump said in the interview, which was recorded on Thursday, about trade imbalances with China. “I’m ready to go to 500.”

Earlier this month, the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. In return, China levied taxes on the same value of U.S. products. The United States then disputed the retaliatory tariffs at the World Trade Organization on Monday, along with those the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey imposed in response to new U.S. duties on steel and aluminum.

When asked about the stock market possibly falling if the United States imposes such a large amount of duties, Trump said: “If it does, it does. Look, I’m not doing this for politics.”

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby rsingh » 20 Jul 2018 17:50

Here is a President that stood for US. one can ridicule him in thousand ways but this guy has business sense. Starting to like this guy.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby chetak » 20 Jul 2018 18:27

rsingh wrote:Here is a President that stood for US. one can ridicule him in thousand ways but this guy has business sense. Starting to like this guy.


More like he has the b@(($ to take on the yellow peril.

No one can predict his next move and that makes him the fox in the hen house.

But he has consistently demonstrated that he has america's interest at heart, first and foremost. The rest of the world can go jump.

If really pushed he may well go the "fortress america" way, leaving behind his ever sponging "allies" in the dust and completely walling them out. This may well be the black swan.

The pakis must be really crapping bricks. On the right, they are confronted with an america that has dropped its trousers and is mooning at them and on the left, a mouth widely gaping chinese dragon is slobbering at them.

I am very sure that the chinese have their envoys quietly cozying up to ameriki govt power players trying very hard to negotiate a truce to head off this fratricidal trade war, before it truly begins in earnest.

It is like a nuclear war, only that its being played out with US dollars. A global financial winter may well follow if it gets out of hand.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby rsingh » 20 Jul 2018 19:03

Question to economics Gurus; what are the consequences for China if DT delivers on threat? What happens to USD? What happens with treasury bonds accumulated by China? etc etc

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 21 Jul 2018 13:52

CIA: China is waging a 'quiet kind of cold war' against US - API
China is waging a "quiet kind of cold war" against the United States, using all its resources to try to replace America as the leading power in the world, a top CIA expert on Asia has said.

Beijing doesn't want to go to war, he said, but the current communist government, under President Xi Jingping, is subtly working on multiple fronts to undermine the US in ways that are different than the more well-publicized activities being employed by Russia.


"I would argue ... that what they're waging against us is fundamentally a cold war — a cold war not like we saw during THE Cold War (between the US and the Soviet Union) but a cold war by definition," Michael Collins, deputy assistant director of the CIA's East Asia mission centre, said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado yesterday.

Rising US-China tension goes beyond the trade dispute playing out in a tariff tit-for-tat between the two nations.

There is concern over China's pervasive efforts to steal business secrets and details about high-tech research being conducted in the US. The Chinese military is expanding and being modernised and the US, as well as other nations, have complained about China's construction of military outposts on islands in the South China Sea.

"I would argue that it's the Crimea of the East," Collins said, referring to Russia's brash annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, which was condemned throughout the West.

Collins' comments track warnings about China's rising influence issued by others who spoke earlier this week at the security conference. The alarm bells come at a time when Washington needs China's help in ending its nuclear standoff with North Korea.

On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said China, from a counterintelligence perspective, represents the broadest and most significant threat America faces. He said the FBI has economic espionage investigations in all 50 states that can be traced back to China.

"The volume of it. The pervasiveness of it. The significance of it is something that I think this country cannot underestimate," Wray said.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats also warned of rising Chinese aggression. In particular, he said, the US must stand strong against China's effort to steal business secrets and academic research.

Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said increasing the public's awareness about the activities of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese students or groups at US universities could be one way to help mitigate potential damage.

"China is not just a footnote to what we're dealing with with Russia," Thornton said.

Marcel Lettre, former undersecretary of defense for intelligence, said China has the second-largest defence budget in the world, the largest standing army of ground forces, the third-largest air force and a navy of 300 ships and more than 60 submarines.

"All of this is in the process of being modernized and upgraded," said Lettre, who sat on a panel with Collins and Thornton.

He said China also is pursuing advances in cyber, artificial intelligence, engineering and technology, counter-space, anti-satellite capabilities and hypersonic glide weapons. Army Lt Gen Robert Ashley, head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, told a congressional committee earlier this year that China is developing long-range cruise missiles -- some capable of reaching supersonic speeds.

"The Pentagon has noted that the Chinese have already pursued a test program that has had 20 times more tests than the US has," Lettre said.


Franklin Miller, former senior director for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council, said China's weapons developments are emphasising the need to have a dialogue with Beijing.

"We need to try to engage," Miller said. "My expectations for successful engagement are medium-low, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try."

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 21 Jul 2018 14:21

Seems FBI has opened investigations on Chinese espionage in 50 states.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Singha » 21 Jul 2018 16:12

"We need to try to engage," Miller said. "My expectations for successful engagement are medium-low, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try."

means some SALT/INF/CTBT type treaties will be sought to cool things down and cheen will be handed the keys to west pacific.

i see defeat and acceptance in his words. the genie has truly flown the bottle.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby RKumar » 21 Jul 2018 16:16

x-posting from viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7249&start=2480#p2284217

My prediction out of my Musharraf, India should prepare for another Docklam type land grabbing act from our north-east neighbor during coming months. This time, I expect they will move large number of units to the border to show their muscles and would be expecting India to back down to grab another slice of land. All our political class will be busy with the election 2019 fever, so I expect we might be exposed or ignore the early signs of preparation or dismiss it completely at political level.

I hope MoD and GoI together with Army, CPRF and ITBP stay alert on the border. Any such issues should be handled properly without any operational laxity.

I sincerely hope that I am wrong on this account!!

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 21 Jul 2018 17:35

https://twitter.com/spectatorindex/stat ... 7055164416
The Spectator Index @spectatorindex

Largest economies in the world, 2050.
1. China
2. India
3. US

4. Indonesia 5. Brazil 6. Mexico 7. Japan 8. Russia 9. Nigeria 10. Germany 11. UK 12. Saudi 13. France 14. Turkey 15. Pakistan 16. Egypt 17. South Korea 18. Italy 19. Canada 20. Philippines (PWC, GDP PPP figures)

This invariably is the conclusion of most forward estimates.

This is why *strategic patience* of about 30 years is needed. This will necessarily mean defensive posture focused more on building up our economy and our military/industrial capacity.

Border, our immediate neighborhood and IOR will remain the focus of our efforts where we will be engaged countering/stalling the growing Chinese presence/influence. No forward/aggressive policy to be expected unless explicitly provoked. The game for influence with China in our immediate neighborhood will see a see-saw battle. There will be setbacks as well as gain leading up to 2050. This is to be expected.

Approaching 2050 and beyond, we should expect India to adopt a far stronger response to Chinese designs in our immediate neighborhood and a stronger push beyond our immediate neighborhood/IOR into SCS/Persian gulf.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prem » 22 Jul 2018 07:17

2050 may also coincide with end of oil economies.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 23 Jul 2018 20:06

Xi visits Africa as China seeks to deepen economic relations - Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Africa on Saturday on a four-nation visit seeking deeper military and economic ties while his rival in a bitter trade war, the Donald Trump administration, shows little interest in the world’s second most populous continent.

This is Mr. Xi’s first trip abroad since he was appointed to a second term in March with term limits removed.

Base in Djibouti

China is already Africa’s largest trading partner, and it opened its first military base on the continent last year in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, which this month launched a China-backed free trade zone it calls the largest in Africa. After surpassing the U.S. in arms sales to Africa in recent years, China this month hosted dozens of African military officials for the first China-Africa defence forum.

Mr. Xi is stopping in Senegal and then Rwanda ahead of his participation in a summit of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping, in South Africa, which starts on Wednesday.

Mr. Xi’s Africa visit is to highlights China’s sweeping “Belt and Road” initiative that envisages linking Beijing to Africa, Europe and other parts of Asia via a network of ports, railways, power-plants and economic zones.

While such high-profile projects bring badly needed infrastructure and generate economic growth, U.S. officials and others have warned that African nations are putting themselves into debt to China. Its government, banks and contractors loaned more than $94 billion to African governments and state-owned companies from 2000 to 2015, according to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.

Africa’s natural resources are a major draw for China’s economy. China’s voracious appetite for resources such as timber and ivory, however, has taken its toll on Africa’s environment.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby rsingh » 23 Jul 2018 20:07

Approaching 2050 and beyond, we should expect India to adopt a far stronger response to Chinese designs in our immediate neighborhood and a stronger push beyond our immediate neighborhood/IOR into SCS/Persian gulf.

Will be too late by then. Karachi, Colombo, Rangoon and Male will be Chinese.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 23 Jul 2018 20:25

Xi Jinping offers fresh $295 million grant to Sri Lanka in push for dominance - Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Sri Lanka a fresh grant of 2 billion yuan ($295 million), as Beijing tries to expand its influence in the tiny island country off India's southern tip.

President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, a partner in Beijing's multi-country Belt and Road infrastructure push, made the announcement on Saturday at a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a Chinese-funded kidney hospital in his home constituency of Polonnaruwa, 230 km (142.92 miles) from capital Colombo.

"When the Chinese ambassador visited my house to fix the date for this ceremony, he said that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent me another gift," Sirisena told the gathering.

"He has gifted 2 billion yuan to be utilized for any project of my wish. I'm going to hand over a proposal to the Chinese ambassador to build houses in all the electorates in the country," he added.


Reuters could not immediately contact officials from the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka for comment.

The grant offer comes at a time when a Chinese firm is facing heavy criticism for allegedly financing the last election campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. {So, the Chinese play all sides in a secular fashion!}

Last month, the New York Times reported that China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) gave $7.6 million for Rajapaksa's re-election bid, which he lost to Sirisena in early 2015.

Rajapaksa, the Chinese embassy in Colombo and state-owned CHEC have all denied the allegation, but Sirisena's coalition government held a parliament debate on Thursday over the report and called for an investigation into the alleged funding.

Sirisena had at the start of his term suspended most of the Chinese-backed infrastructure projects started under Rajapaksa over suspected corruption, overpricing and for flouting government procedures.

But more than a year later, the Sirisena government allowed Chinese projects to resume after a few changes in some of them.

China was among the first countries that stepped in to help the reconstruction of Sri Lanka after a 26-year-long civil war ended in 2009.

Many of Beijing's projects, backed by loans from the Chinese government and initiated by Rajapaksa government, have faced opposition in Sri Lanka amid concerns raised by the United States, India and Japan that China might use Sri Lanka as a military base.

The 2014 docking of a Chinese navy submarine in Colombo raised an alarm in New Delhi, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost ties with Sri Lanka and claw back influence in the Indian Ocean region.

Both the Sri Lankan government and Chinese embassy in Colombo have denied any plans to use a southern port now handled by a Chinese firm for military purpose.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 23 Jul 2018 20:34

rsingh wrote:
Approaching 2050 and beyond, we should expect India to adopt a far stronger response to Chinese designs in our immediate neighborhood and a stronger push beyond our immediate neighborhood/IOR into SCS/Persian gulf.

Will be too late by then. Karachi, Colombo, Rangoon and Male will be Chinese.

Just like Philippines is American? Or US is committed to defend Tawian in case of a Chinese aggression? Or US is treaty bound to fight for Japan and SoKo?

China is majorly ring-fenced in the SCS from these 4 American outposts + Singapore and has been for the past 50+ years. If things don't change China is done for. Then there is nothing to worry.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prem » 24 Jul 2018 00:35

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/23/in ... -the-quad/
India Is the Weakest Link in the Quad

Since the Trump administration’s announcement that it seeks a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, observers have spilled much ink on the revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, to achieve this objective. The Quad—an informal consultative mechanism comprising the United States, Australia, Japan, and India—is quietly opposed to China’s continued militarization of and attempts to control strategic waterways throughout the region, namely the South China Sea. The group met most recently last November, and again in June, after 10 years of inactivity.But the fate of the Quad is still fragile. Indeed, the first attempt at the Quad died on the vine because then-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd withdrew over concerns that the Quad needlessly antagonized China. Today, however, following a burst of concern about Chinese influence, Australia is all in. So are the United States and Japan. That leaves India, where New Delhi may be getting cold feet.For starters, India seemed less enthusiastic about the Quad following the Wuhan summit. In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Wuhan, China, for an informal summit. Xi’s decision proved to be exceptionally deft diplomacy. Bilateral relations had reached a nadir in 2017 primarily stemming from the monthslong military standoff at Doklam, which probably hastened India’s decision to re-engage the Quad in the first place. Although the two leaders did not issue a joint statement—underscoring their deep differences—they also agreed to find ways of working together.Shortly after Wuhan, New Delhi decided to reject fellow Quad member Australia’s request to participate in Malabar military exercises along with the United States and Japan. To be sure, this was the fourth year in a row India had rejected Australia’s participation, but the timing—the day following Wuhan—has widely been interpreted as a concession to Beijing. While there are reasonable Indian explanations for the decision, the timing seems unfortunate. Bringing Australia into Malabar for the first time would have sent a clear message that the naval component was active and that the Quad was unified, and rejecting Canberra sent the exact opposite message.
The second indication of trouble for India’s participation in the Quad arrived in June at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Modi gave the keynote address, and while he spoke of the need to ensure a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region, matching Quad objectives, he nevertheless declined the opportunity to invoke the Quad and instead noted that “India does not see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy or as a club of limited members.” He further avoided criticizing or even mentioning China’s military expansion and growing assertiveness in the South China Sea. Modi’s comments stood in marked contrast with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis’s speech, which heavily criticized Chinese actions.
Instead, Modi offered: “In April, a two-day informal summit with President Xi helped us cement our understanding that strong and stable relations between our two nations are an important factor for global peace and progress. I firmly believe that Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together in trust and confidence, sensitive to each other’s interests.” These words effectively crystallized the connection between Wuhan and an apparent softening of India’s position on the Quad.The following weekend, Modi attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China, for the first time as an official member of the group and met with Xi again on the sidelines. Modi and Xi agreed to find a project that they could work on collaboratively in Afghanistan and to engage Pakistan to reduce regional tensions.
But perhaps the most important development at the SCO summit was New Delhi signing onto the Qingdao Declaration, which noted that “economic globalisation is confronted with the expansion of unilateral protectionist policies.” This line has particular salience given the Trump administration’s ongoing trade frictions with multiple countries, including both China and India. Recent reports have since speculated that New Delhi may find it convenient to use bilateral trade as a crutch and “insurance policy” against Washington, should it need to do so. If true, Beijing would probably insist on India first leaving the Quad to fully benefit from this arrangement.Most recently, in early July, reports surfaced that New Delhi planned to brief China and Russia on its Indo-Pacific policy. India used the opportunity of the second maritime dialogue with Beijing to elaborate on its vision of the region, first laid out at the Shangri-La Dialogue by Modi. A key theme is that the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should be central to the Indo-Pacific, implicitly meaning not the Quad or any single country.
But New Delhi has equally—if not more persuasive—arguments to remain a member and an active one. Regardless of any agreements reached at Wuhan, the reality is that India and China still have serious misgivings about each other. New Delhi reaffirmed its rejection of Xi’s signature Belt and Road Initiative and awkwardly broke annual consensus at the annual SCO summit over the issue. India believes that the initiative is targeting investment, trade, and infrastructure cooperation with small South Asian countries traditionally within India’s geostrategic orbit—such as Nepal, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka—and New Delhi has vigorously pushed back by shoring up ties with these nations.India is aggressively seeking port access and joint development agreements with maritime states throughout the Indo-Pacific to deal with China’s growing influence. The strategy envisions countering Beijing’s establishment of a naval base at Djibouti and preventing additional access to new facilities. In the last year alone, New Delhi has been racing to forge agreements in diverse places including Duqm (Oman), Assumption Island (Seychelles), Chabahar (Iran), and Sabang (Indonesia). But eventual Indian Navy operations alone within this network will probably not be enough to ensure the entire Indo-Pacific remains stable and peaceful. Having the Quad members available to supplement and reinforce Indian operations at and via these ports could increase deterrence.

SSridhar
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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 24 Jul 2018 08:10

Prem wrote:https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/23/india-is-the-weakest-link-in-the-quad/
India Is the Weakest Link in the Quad

This analysis is totally flawed.

If the US expects India to be its lackey, woe betide it.

SSridhar
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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 24 Jul 2018 08:14

India, China in outreach war in poll-bound Bhutan - Sachin Parashar, ToI
Ahead of Bhutan’s parliamentary polls, both India and China are jockeying for influence with all stakeholders who, they believe, are like to play a major role in government formation in the tiny but strategically located country.

Chinese vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou made an unannounced visit to Thimphu Monday and held a meeting with Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay. India had been anxiously watching the visit by the Chinese ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, to Bhutan.

As it turns out, Luo was in Thimphu to prepare for the visit by Kong. India has until now successfully worked to ensure that there are no formal diplomatic ties between Bhutan and China but that clearly hasn’t come in the way of Beijing’s Thimphu outreach.


For many in India, Bhutan remains India’s only unquestioned friend in the neighbourhood. It’s also India’s only neighbour which even refused to become a part of China’s BRI initiative.

While Luo landed in Bhutan on Saturday, another top Chinese diplomat based in Delhi, Li Bijian, has remained stationed in Bhutan’s capital for almost a week.

The Chinese diplomats TOI contacted on Saturday were quiet about the agenda for the visit but diplomatic sources said Luo was expected to interact with leaders of several political parties.

To hedge against any serious warming up of ties between China and Bhutan, official sources said, India has already communicated to Bhutan authorities that PM Narendra Modi is considering visiting Thimphu immediately after the new National Assembly is constituted.

Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay, seen as a pro-India leader, is expected to resign on July 31 when the National Assembly term comes to an end. Indian government’s own reports from Bhutan seem to suggest that there is a widespread feeling of anti-incumbency in the country.

The timing of the visit is significant because of the elections and also because China has been piling pressure on Bhutan to accept a land-swap deal which could see Bhutan cede the Doklam plateau, the site of China-India military standoff last year, to China.


The visit, as strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney says, is significant considering the ambassador is visiting Thimphu after the PLA has gained effective control over much of Doklam which Bhutan regards as its integral part.


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