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What you need to know to understand Belt and Road

Source: World Economic Forum

Writer: Bruno Maçães

There are two things everyone needs to know about the Belt and Road. First, as officials in Beijing will tell you, this grand project is measured in decades, with its conclusion planned for 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Second, the initiative is both global and revolutionary. Its aim is to create a new order in world politics and the world economy.

Past equivalents to the Belt and Road would have to be just as shapeless and ambitious. Perhaps concepts such as “the West” come the closest — even in the manner that a metaphor came to acquire epochal significance. If the initiative succeeds, it is very likely that we shall use the name to refer to the new arrangements, much as we use “West” as a shorthand for the existing order.

What will the world look like after the Belt and Road? In the first Belt and Road summit in 2017 Xi Jinping hailed it as the “project of the century.” If all goes according to plan, the Belt and Road will change the shape of the world economy and world politics, returning us to a time when China occupied the center of global networks.

There will be new infrastructure, of course, and that will be an obvious and easy metric of success. In twenty or thirty years some of the new Belt and Road projects will likely stand as the highest example of what human ingenuity can achieve in its drive to master natural forces. A bridge crossing the Caspian Sea may make road transport between Europe and China fast and easy, changing old mental maps separating continents. The Kra Isthmus Canal in Thailand will do the same for the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

But infrastructure is ultimately a means. The geographic space being transformed must be connected before it can start to grow areas of economic activity; industrial parks along infrastructure routes are slowly integrated to establish regional value chains and eventually support China’s rise to a technological superpower, leading the transformations of the future.

Artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering and space exploration. As it expands, the Belt and Road is bound to become increasingly futuristic. Self-driving vehicles on land, sea and air and trillions of connected devices worldwide will be empowered by a Belt, Road and Space fleet of China-centered satellites. Chinese companies are already planning to engage in deep-space economic activity, like building orbit solar power plants, and mining asteroids and the moon. One or more Sputnik moments – when Chinese technology leaps far ahead of what the West can do – will offer the final and most meaningful metric of success for the Belt and Road.

The Belt and Road will never become universal—just as the West never became universal—but in some areas of the world it will rule unimpeded and different shades of influence will be felt everywhere.

The problem is to determine the core of the new Chinese world picture and identify the main traits which it will come to impress upon the whole. Many of those traits are already visible in what is but the construction stage of the Belt and Road.

Virtues are regularly invoked. Countries have relations of dependence, generosity, gratitude, respect and retribution. Relations between countries are much more diverse and complex than in the more formal Western-led order. Ritual is important, and so is history. Nations are better seen as intersecting stories and power the ability to determine where the story goes next.

Even in its formative stage the Belt and Road is an exercise in the opacity of power. There is an exoteric doctrine of the initiative and then an esoteric practice where deals are agreed upon, often with no written evidence, and where hierarchy resembles that of security-clearance levels of access. The Belt and Road is like holy writ—never revealed completely and all at once, but only bit by bit and over many decades.

Rapid change, old-fashioned morality, and secret communication. This will be a world of soothsayers, saints, and spooks.

The Belt and Road may well never realize its goals. It may be abandoned as it runs into problems and the goals it sets out to achieve recede further into the distance. But success and failure are to be measured in terms of these goals, so we must start from them.

The new world the initiative will try to create is not one where one piece on the chessboard will be replaced, not even one where the pieces will have been reorganized. It will be a world built anew by very different people and according to very different ideas.

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NHA plans to build DI Khan-Zhob section

Source: The Express Tribune
Date: December 11, 2018

The National Highway Authority (NHA) plans to build the 210 kilometres Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob section of the western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Its first portion is a 50km four-lane motorway from Yarik on Indus Highway to Sagu, according to an NHA official.

Beyond Sagu up to Zhob, dualisation of the DI Khan-Quetta Highway (N-50) is being done under the project, he added. The project includes the construction of Darazinda and Zhob bypasses.

The proposed right of way of the project is 100 metres for Yarik to Sagu, while 50m will be acquired for dualisation of N-50.

The official said Chinese financing for the project for upgrading the road for the western route would be among the important points on the agenda for the next CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee meeting scheduled to be held in the 3rd week of this month.

Matters regarding financing are being pursued with the Chinese government, he added. He said the Zhob-Quetta and Quetta-Sohrab sections of CPEC’s western route were in the feasibility study stage.

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CPEC is Pakistan’s national priority, China told

Source: DAWN
Date: December 11, 2018.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by pledging to complete it as a national priority.

The assurance was conveyed to the Chinese side by the Foreign Office at the inaugural round of bilateral political consultations. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua led the Pakistani delegation at the meeting, while the Chinese side was headed by Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou.

“Pakistan side conveyed that CPEC is a national priority for the government and Pakistan remains committed to the successful implementation of CPEC,” the FO said in a statement on the meeting.

“The two sides also resolved to work together towards completion of the ongoing projects and agreed to expand CPEC to new areas of cooperation in line with the vision of the leadership of Pakistan,” it added.

The reiteration comes ahead of the upcoming meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the CPEC in Beijing next week.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had last month paid his maiden visit to China. During the trip, which analysts say reinforced Pak-China bond, the two countries showed “complete consensus on the future trajectory of CPEC, timely completion of its ongoing projects and joint efforts for realisation of its full potential with a focus on socio-economic development, job creation and livelihoods and accelerating cooperation in industrial development, industrial parks and agriculture”.

However, there is speculation that despite the positivity exhibited during Mr Khan’s Beijing trip, the Chinese have concerns about the future of the CPEC.

The Pakistani and Chinese delegations at their political consultations “agreed to build on the consensus developed during Mr Khan’s visit”, the FO said.

“They reaffirmed ‘all-weather strategic cooperative partnership’ between the two countries and expressed their satisfaction at the strong bilateral ties in political, economic, security, cultural and other spheres,” the statement said.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou also called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after the political consultations.

Mr Qureshi said the prime minister’s visit to China marked “a milestone in the history of bilateral relations and has deepened the bond of trust and friendship between two nations”. Reassuring the Chinese delegation about the CPEC, he said Pakistan would complete this project as envisaged by the leadership of both countries.

Mr Qureshi confirmed Pakistan’s participation in the 2nd meeting of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ trilateral mechanism to be held in Kabul on Dec 15.

The Chinese vice foreign minister also visited the General Headquarters for a meeting with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“During the meeting matters of mutual interest, regional security and enhanced bilateral cooperation came under discussion,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Gen Bajwa underscored that Pak-China relations were all-weather and based on mutual trust and confidence. “The visiting dignitary commended the sacrifices and resilience of the people and armed forces of Pakistan and appreciated the role Pakistan Army has played in battling the scourge of terrorism,” the ISPR said.

Last month security forces had foiled a terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. The Chinese government had on that occasion praised Pakistani security forces for their timely action and emphasised on ensuring the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan.

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Besides infrastructure, manufacturing industry needs big investment

Source: The Express Tribune
Writer: Umer Khayyam
Date: December 10, 2018

The mega Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by China, comprises one axis and two wings. The axis is composed of 15 countries mostly neighbouring China and aids Chinese influence across continents. The two wings are spread over 24 countries across continents.

The BRI is aimed at connecting countries in the region and beyond through trade facilitation and other measures. However, the development of a broad-based transport network is the sine qua non for such connectivity.

Hence, a new array of highways attracted $11 billion out of the $46 billion initially promised by Beijing for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. The transport infrastructure development accounts for 24% of the CPEC investment, covering roads, highways and railways from the Khunjerab Pass to Gwadar Port.

This long transport passage has been designed to also facilitate energy projects through coal transportation, but the transportation network is mainly targeted at markets of the Middle East and Europe. It will ensure a smooth flow of Chinese goods to international markets. In the meantime, Pakistan is trying to persuade other neighbouring countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey to join CEPC. Simultaneously, the eastern part of the BRI is being facilitated by Malaysia.

Likewise CPEC and other major investments in Pakistan, China has made huge capital injection into Malaysia. Till 2008, China’s investment accounted for just 0.08% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia.

However, in 2016, the Chinese investment rose massively and touched the level of 14.4%. Most of the investment from China went to infrastructure development like the East Coast Rail Link and the Kuantan Port. The investment will help provide easy market access across Malaysia.

Non-manufacturing sector

The huge investment in the non-manufacturing sector comes in the wake of developing countries’ heavy reliance on the strong economies. As the developing countries are short of resources, they open their economies for the FDI but with little say in such investment plans.

Although the investing economies target neglected sectors of the recipient economies, still in this process they improve their supply chain to the world market.

These pose a great challenge to goods and services producers of the developing countries both in local and international markets. Malaysia has already experienced difficulties as demand for its goods and services has gone down because imported goods are cheaper and are easily available.

In the same way, Pakistan could face the challenge of competing with goods and services of China.

Apart from this, though infrastructure investment provides employment to locals with handsome remunerations, it is not known what will happen to these jobs when projects are completed. Also, all such investments are non-productive and are based on loans with guarantees from the state.

If the state fails to return the loans, the consequences may be difficult to bear. An example is Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port, where the state could not return Chinese loans and then the port was handed over to Beijing on a 99-year lease.

However, there is no doubt that CPEC is a game changer. It addresses core problems of Pakistan like energy shortage, dearth of infrastructure and financing as well as underdeveloped areas. It will lead to the promotion of small and medium enterprises and uninterrupted energy supply will help large-scale manufacturing companies to compete at the global level.

Also, the road and railway infrastructure will support the development of backward areas and bridge the rural-urban divide. CPEC will create an environment for regional integration, help build trust among regional emerging economies and provide Pakistan with a platform to improve its image in the international arena.

However, there is a strong need to revise plans in order to invest more, without any impact on infrastructure investment, in the manufacturing sector, which will create more employment opportunities and promote emerging industries. This way, Pakistan’s economy will strengthen and a strong neighbouring country is in the interest of China as well.

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PN celebrates 60th Gwadar Day

Source: The Express Tribune
Date: December 09, 2018

KARACHI.: Pakistan Navy celebrated 60th Gwadar Day with zeal and fervor on Saturday.

Various ceremonies were held in Gwadar under the auspices of Pakistan Navy to celebrate the day and to rejuvenate the spirit of nationalism amongst the local populace.

The main ceremony of the day was held at PN establishment PNS Akram where former naval chief Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey was the chief guest.

Flag hoisting ceremony was held at PNS Akram followed by boat race, boat rallies and friendly football matches amongst the locals under the auspices of Pakistan Navy.

The celebrations were aimed at revival of history among locals, creating healthy environment and enhancement of national harmony among various local communities.

Gwadar Day is celebrated on December 8th every year to mark annexation of Gwadar with Pakistan in 1958. Gwadar was in possession of Oman since 1783 and was formally handed over to Pakistan in 1958. A naval platoon led by then Lt Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey was the first to land at Gwadar and raise Pakistan’s flag there.

Being one of the first government organisations at Gwadar, Pakistan Navy has always been cognisant of its responsibilities pertaining to the area and its people and has always been committed to the development of the region.

Pakistan Navy’s role in health and education sector of coastal areas of Balochistan specially Gwadar and its efforts for making China-Pakistan Economic Corridor a reality are a manifestation of its commitment towards the region.

A huge number of locals participated in events arranged by PN while a number of local notables also attended the ceremonies.

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China’s real endgame in the trade war runs through Europe

Source: CNBC
Date: December 08, 2018

SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban recently shared some history with a friend, explaining why he reached out to China’s then-Premier Wen Jiabao in 2011, seeking urgent financial support and providing Beijing one of several European inroads in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Orban’s reason was a simple one: survival. Facing a potential debt crisis and unwilling to accept austere loan conditions from Western institutions, Beijing offered a lifeline. For his part, Orban convened some Central European leaders with Beijing, and they laid the groundwork for the “16-plus-one” initiative based in Budapest that since then has provided China unprecedented regional influence.

It didn’t take long for China’s investment to bear fruit. In March 2017, Hungary took the rare step to break European Union consensus on human rights violations, refusing to sign a joint letter denouncing the alleged torture of detailed lawyers. In July of the same year, Hungary joined Greece – another distressed European target of Chinese largesse – in blocking reference to Beijing in a Brussels statement on the illegality of Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

 The Bavarian Alps might seem an unusual place to reflect on China’s growing global influence, in a week that begin with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping working to avoid a trade war in Argentina and advanced to Canadian authorities arrest of Chinese tech company Huawei’s CFO in Vancouver, at US request on suspicion of Iran sanctions violations.

Transatlantic strategy experts – convened at this breath-taking resort by the Munich Security Conference – were left to reflect on Europe’s unique vulnerability to this major power conflict in a world where they are absorbing the unanticipated shocks of greater US unpredictability, greater Chinese assertiveness and deeper European divisions about how to navigate it all.

“China already has shown it can have a veto power over European Union policy,” said Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, on the margins of the off-record gathering he convened. He notes that while West European companies are driven by profit, their Chinese counterparts invariably also represent Chinese state interests. “That doesn’t have to be malign, but it can also be malign.”

European Union officials concede that China already has exercised veto power it has over policies that require unanimity, and because some officials are pushing privately for a change to majority voting. Concerns are growing as Beijing’s influence has grown more rapidly than anyone anticipated. Chinese foreign direct investment in the EU has risen to $30 billion in 2017 from 700 million before 2008.

That influence has grown more rapidly than anyone anticipated. Since the 2008 financial crisis, Chinese foreign direct investment in the EU has risen from 700 million Euro to 30 billion Euro in 2017.

A report by two German think tanks, the GPPI and Mercator Institute for China Studies, found that Beijing has taken full advantage of Europe’s openness and has been “rapidly increasing political influencing efforts in Europe.”

Political warfare

Some call it political warfare, using a nonmilitary toolbox of overt and covert means to exert its influence on political and economic elites, academia and public opinion. With these efforts, it weakens Western unity (and US attraction) and improves its image as an alternative to liberal democracy, the report concluded.

Growing Sino-US tensions have brought Europe new export chances in China but at the same time China has shifted considerable export and foreign investment efforts to Europe to replace lost American markets. In the first six months of this year, newly announced Chinese mergers and acquisitions into Europe were nine-fold the North America number at $20 billion compared to $2.5 billion and completed investments were six times higher at $12 billion compare to $2 billion.

At the same time, a new Trump-Xi trade deal could shake Europe as well, as China’s state driven economy could decide overnight to replace European products with US goods for political purposes.

The potential for an escalated Beijing-US struggle has left European experts scratching their heads over how they would choose sides or navigate the perils, particularly in the case where some countries and industries have much more at stake in China.

Some European officials speak of the need for “strategic autonomy” in the face of US sanctions extraterritorial reach on Iran and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech in Brussels this week where he questioned multilateralism and the European Union. At the same time, they worry more about what some call China’s “political warfare” of gathering economic, financial and thus also diplomatic influence.

The European Union hasn’t yet applied anything as restrictive on foreign investment as the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee that reviews the impact of foreign investments on US national security. However, the EU this month passed a bill creating an unprecedented, if non-binding, screening scheme aimed at predatory Chinese investments.

Germans this week increased their focus on questions regarding a company called KUKA Robotics, which has become the poster child for the perils of high tech sales to the Chinese. With its industrial robotics production, KUKA was one of the nation’s greatest innovators for the 21st century economy until it was taken over by the Chinese company Midea in 2016.

Just last month, Midea was reversing previous assurances that it would not remove KUKA’s highly respected and long-time CEO, underscoring China’s ultimate control over cutting-edge robotics technology.

Despite facing new scrutiny, China is undeterred in its European strategy, taking advantage of European divisions, America’s trade strains with Europe and the urgent investment needs of particularly Southern and Eastern European countries.

Xi’s first state visits Spain and Portugal

Tellingly, President Xi made a stop in Spain on his way to Argentina and then again in Portugal for a two-day stint on his way back from the G-20 meeting, his first state visits to both countries.

Even before Xi’s visit, China had invested $12 billion in Portuguese projects ranging from energy, to transport, to insurance, financial services and media. During Xi’s visit, China and Portugal further deepened their economic partnership, with Lisbon agreeing to cooperate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative as it hopes to garner increased Chinese infrastructure and energy investments. China is also poised to take over a majority stake in EDP, Portugal’s largest business and a major EU energy provider.

In short, global markets and news reports miss the real story with their single-minded focus on whether or not President Trump and President Xi can reduce tensions and close a trade deal over the next 90 days. The bigger game, increasingly apparent in Europe, is whether China can replace the United States over time or at the very least significantly reduce its influence.

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Joint committee on CPEC to ink industrial framework agreement on Dec 20

Source: Dawn
Date: December 08, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Joint Coordin­ation Committee (JCC) of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will meet on December 20 in Beijing to sign a framework agreement on industrial cooperation and pave the way for development of special economic zones starting with Rashakai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to an official announcement, the Cabinet Committee on CPEC met on Friday and gave the go-ahead to sign industrial cooperation framework with China and encourage Chinese investors to relocate their industries. The meeting was chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar.

An official said a final version of the framework agreement on industrial cooperation had been shared with the Chinese side. He said all the four provincial chief ministers, prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and chief executive of Gilgit-Baltistan would be part of the Pakistani delegation. The Pakistani side will attend the 8th JCC led by federal planning minister.

The committee also issued instructions to relevant agencies to finalise a schedule for the groundbreaking of Rashakai Economic Zone at the earliest by removing all bottlenecks. The KP government has already entered into an agreement with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for the development of Rashakai Industrial Zone in two years. The two sides, he said, would formally launch the Rashakai development project under which the Chinese firm would simultaneously launch a marketing campaign to attract investors.

The sources said the two sides are also expected to announce the financial close of $1.8 billion Lahore-Matiari Transmission Line and a Thar coal-based power project during the JCC meeting. The government had allowed in April this year an extension of 6-7 months in the deadline for financial close of these projects i.e. until Dec 1, 2018 which meant the projects would be required to achieve commercial operations by March 2021 instead of previous deadline of Aug 1, 2020.

Responding to a question, sources said the two sides have not yet finalised the financing plan for the $8.bn Karachi-Torkham Main Railway Line (ML-1) and were still in the process of discussions on involvement of a third party investor in the project.

“The committee discussed Transport Infrastructure Projects in detail including provincial as well as mass transit projects and instructed for developing a roadmap for Pakistan’s Railway Mainline-1,” the statement said.

The conveners of the Joint Working Groups on Energy, Infrastructure, Gwadar, Planning and Industrial Cooperation briefed the committee about the agenda of the forthcoming 8th JCC which was approved by Cabinet Committee on CPEC.

The committee expressed satisfaction over inviting all provincial chief ministers to participate in the JCC that would enable them to market their own industrial zones as well as negotiate their projects particularly new initiatives in the socio-economic development sector.

The meeting advised relevant agencies and provinces to identify pilot projects to be shared with the Chinese side so as to take advantage of the expanded base of CPEC to socio-economic development and agriculture sector.

The committee reviewed the progress on Gwadar projects. Completion of all codal formalities was directed for groundbreaking of Gwadar New Airport, Vocational Institute, Hospital, and 300 MW Power Plant not later than the first quarter of 2019.

It was decided to seek finances from China for the KKH Thakot-Raikot (remaining portion) and upgradation of Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob (Phase-1) project on the Western Route.

Mr Bakhtyar said the projects on the Western Route were a priority of the government that would open and ensure uplift of less developed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The Cabinet Committee on CPEC reviewed progress on energy projects and instructed for encouraging investment in Thar Coal and renewable projects in the future.

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Huawei arrest of Meng Wangzhou: A ‘hostage’ in a new US-China tech war

Source: BBC
Writer: Karishma Vaswani
Date: December 6, 2018

It is hard to overstate the symbolism and significance of the arrest of Meng Wangzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder. Huawei is the crown jewel of Chinese tech and Ms Meng is effectively its princess.

On December 1, the same day as President Trump and President Xi sat down at the G20 over grilled sirloin and caramel pancakes, to work on easing the trade war, Ms Meng was arrested in Canada and is now facing extradition to the US.

Although it’s still not clear what the charges against her are – we know that the US has been investigating Huawei for possible violations of US sanctions on Iran – this is not simply a case about the arrest of one woman, or just one company.

This arrest could materially damage the relationship between the US and China at possibly one of the most sensitive times between the two countries in their long and torrid history.

“It could not come at a worse time and it is probably going to put a cloud over any upcoming negotiations,” Vinesh Motwani of Silk Road Research told me. “The market had already turned more sceptical over the G20 agreement in recent days. This is only going to make the market more sceptical any deal can be reached.

Rapprochement averted

Tensions have been rising between Washington and Beijing, not just on trade. But at that G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, it looked like the two sides had at least decided to talk, and thrash things out over a 90-day period.

Amongst those issues are technology concerns, which are front and centre of this trade war. Even if it wasn’t clear how united China and the US may have been on the objectives, the very fact that discussions were taking place were seen as a semi-positive for the global economy.

‘Hostage taking’

But this arrest is likely to be seen by China as an attack and “hostage taking”, says Elliott Zaagman, who has covered the Chinese firm for the better part of the last two decades.

“China has a reputation for making agreements and not keeping them, not following through,” he told me on the phone from Boston. “There’s a theory that this could be a way for the US to hold Beijing to its word on the trade war.”

If so, it is a move the Chinese media has not taken well.

Meng Wanzhou, file picture 2 October 2014Image copyrightEPA
Image captionMeng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO, was detained while transferring between flights in Vancouver

“The US is trying to find a way to attack Huawei,” says Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Chinese and English editions of the Global Times – a publication often seen as a mouthpiece of the Chinese government.

“It is trying to keep Huawei down. That’s why it has pressured its allies not to use Huawei’s products. It is trying to destroy Huawei’s reputation.”

What Mr Hu is referring to is the recent rejection of Huawei’s services by a number of US allies, including Australia, New Zealand and most recently the UK’s BTwhich says it won’t be using Huawei equipment in the heart of its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the UK (although it does still plan to use Huawei’s mast antennas and other products).

There’s no evidence of Huawei having ever been engaged in any spying or handing over of data to the Chinese government. In fact, whenever I talk to Huawei executives privately they tell me how frustrated they are because of how the US government and Western media unfairly paints them as a Chinese state-owned company that does Beijing’s bidding.

Company sources tell me that Huawei should be seen as the modern, dynamic and law-abiding global firm that it is, and that the US’s narrative is flawed and unfounded.

Still, Huawei’s founder, the father of Ms Meng, is Ren Zhengfei – a former military officer in the Chinese army. And the fact remains, as Mr Zaagman points out in a recent piece for The Lowy Institute, “the firm’s relationship with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army remains an issue of concern and opacity”.

Which is why the US says countries must be wary of Chinese companies like Huawei. Under China’s laws, private companies and individuals may be obliged to hand over information or data to the government if they are indeed asked.

It’s that possibility, government sources say, that is scaring them off doing business with Huawei.

Huawei has told me this is completely untrue, and other Chinese academics and business people have also rejected this notion.

Huawei logoImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionHuawei is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world

Mr Hu of the Global Times agrees: “The Chinese government would not do this. China would not hurt its own enterprises. If it hurts its own companies, how would it benefit the country? Even if a middling or low-level official were to ask it, Huawei will have the power to refuse any kind of government request.”

Many in China will see this as yet another attempt to contain the country’s rise, by limiting its most global firms’ access to international markets.

“This could further endanger Huawei’s 5G aspirations outside of emerging markets,” says Tony Nash of Complete Intelligence, on the line from the US.

“If Huawei is being investigated it could put both Huawei and ZTE on the back foot as other equipment makers gain a lead in North America, and potentially other developed markets.”

Other countries

It’s not just developed markets where Huawei may be losing ground. The scrutiny is building in emerging markets too. Industry sources tell me that the US has been putting pressure on Asian allies to stop them from using Huawei’s equipment. The Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea were the latest recipients of this pressure, and India is thought to be next.

So what does this mean? The gloves are off. You should be under no illusion what this latest move by the US means for the relationship between the world’s two largest economies: things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

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Pakistan seeks Japanese investment in SEZs under CPEC

Source: The Nation

ISLAMABAD  –   Pakistan Wednesday invited Japanese investment in the Special Economic Zones under the multi-billion-dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

In a meeting with National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan Kentaro Sonoura here, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan will provide facilities to the Japanese investors in all sectors.

Briefing the Japanese side on CPEC, an economic undertaking between China and Pakistan, the Foreign Minister invited Japanese investment in SEZs, said a foreign ministry statement.

Welcoming Kentaro Sonoura, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan regarded Japan as a close friend and a key economic partner.

Pak-Japan bilateral trade currently stands at around $2.3 billion with Japan’s exports to Pakistan recorded at $2.03 billion against the latter’s exports to the former at $250 million.

This year, Pakistan’s exports to Japan declined 1.18 per cent. Japan’s overall import from the world increased to $57.662 billion in June from $55.632 billion in June last year, up 11.7 per cent.

The Japanese National Security Advisor expressed his earnest desire to further strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and Japan in the days to come, said the foreign ministry.

He said that Japan recognised the efforts and sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in fight against the menace of terrorism.

Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Japan’s acknowledgement of sacrifices and contributions made by Pakistan in the global fight against terrorism and Japan’s commitment to work closely with Pakistan in this regard.

He reiterated that Pakistan was focusing on socio-economic uplift of the people of Pakistan and furthering regional peace and stability.

Both countries expressed firm resolve to further increase high level interaction between the two countries. They exchanged ideas on enhancing cooperation in political, defence, economic and commercial sectors. The Foreign Minister welcomed the upcoming sixth round of Joint Government Business Dialogue scheduled to be held on December 10 in Tokyo and hoped for concrete outcome of the meeting.

Meanwhile, Simon Milner, Vice President Public Policy Asia Pacific of Facebook called on Foreign Minister Qureshi, here yesterday.

The Foreign Minister welcomed Milner to his first ever visit to Pakistan. FM Qureshi lauded the role of Facebook for development and progress of e-commerce in Pakistan, its contributions in facilitating people to people contacts across the globe and for spreading awareness among the masses.

Foreign Minister Qureshi further underscored that the “use of social media presents us with both opportunities and challenges.” Qureshi said that his government firmly believed in the right to freedom of expression. “However, it cannot be used to propagate hate and extremist ideologies,” he added.

The minister emphasised that it should not be used to hurt the sentiments of adherents of any religion. “All efforts must be aimed at preventing the spread of this content through social media that leads to hatred and intolerance,” Qureshi said.  He highlighted the Indian clamp down on internet and social media in occupied Jammu and Kashmir which was serving to conceal the facts of brutal suppression by the forces of occupation.

Vice President Simon Milner said that Facebook remained cognizant of its social responsibility and expressed his desire to work with the government of Pakistan “to make efforts in addressing concerns about the use of social media for spreading hateful, provocative and extremist views.

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Beijing welcomes Riyadh in CPEC

Source: Express Tribune
By Mohammad Zafar
Published: October 11, 2018

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has said China has no objection over inclusion of Saudi Arabia and other countries in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and would welcome Riyadh’s investment in Pakistan.

“We will welcome Saudi Arabia and other countries’ investment in CPEC projects. China wants to expand CPEC up to central Asian states via Afghanistan,” the Chinese ambassador said while speaking to businessmen and journalists at two separate functions in Quetta on Wednesday.

Chinese ambassador also confirmed that CPEC projects are being revisited in view of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led new government’s vision, adding that new development projects will be included in the project with consensus.

Yao said reviewing the CPEC agreement is natural as the new Pakistani government which came into power after the July 25 general election has its own agenda and vision.

The envoy said the new Pakistani government wants to give all attention to socio-economic sector and in reviewing of CPEC agreement the desire of the Pakistan’s new government would be considered.

“Both China and Pakistan governments have agreed to further expand the CPEC,” he said, adding that taking decision with mutual understanding and consensus is part of the CPEC agreement.

He said both the governments have decided to continue work on ongoing projects launched under CPEC in Pakistan and particularly Balochistan and these projects would be completed on time.

Yao said Pakistan and China have very cordial relations since long; they are not only partners in CPEC but have lots of other ties and projects in which they are helping each other. “China and Pakistan are strategic partners,” he said.

He said that the main objectives of CPEC include establishing road-network, construction of highways and motorways, power generation and developing agriculture sector.

Yao Jing said in the next phase, China will focus on joint ventures and will give attention to socio-economic sector, which is also vision of the new Pakistani government.

“Under CPEC it was decided that more resources would be provided to the western provinces of Pakistan. It is our desire to link the mega project to Central Asian states via Afghanistan and under CPEC will open new ways of development and prosperity in the entire region,” he said.

The Chinese ambassador said CPEC has entered “a new era” and that jobs would be created for the people of Pakistan through its various projects. “Balochistan offers numerous opportunities to investors in terms of agriculture, livestock, mines and minerals,” he said.

At the chamber of commerce, businessmen urged the Chinese ambassador to establish a Chinese consulate in Quetta to address their business needs. The ambassador promised the business community that their request would be discussed with Chinese high-ups.

Responding to a question about Balochistan’s share in CPEC, Yao Jing said Balochistan is an important part of CPEC and the second phase of the project would be more important for Balochistan.

He said that though entire Pakistan is equal for his country, China wants to work for the development of different sectors of Balochistan on priority. “China will help in developing agriculture, industry and other sectors in Balochistan,” he said.

The envoy said he is very much inspired with the vision of new federal and Balochistan governments as they want to develop socio-economic sector. “Balochistan should be main beneficiary of CPEC. Chinese investors would find out new trade and investment opportunities in Balochistan,” he added.

Yao said Balochistan has great potential in mineral resources, mining, livestock, and fisheries and there is need to work for the promotion of these sectors. He said China will extend all help and assistance to the local people for sending fruit, vegetable and seafood to international market.

He said he had a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and observed that new provincial government is more interested in the development of the province and providing maximum facilities to its people.

To a question, he said the Chinese universities are open for Pakistani students and these universities offer scholarships in March every year and students could apply for admission online. However, he said, Balochistan students would be provided assistance in applying for admission to the Chinese universities.

URL: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1823109/1-beijing-welcomes-riyadh-cpec/