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Western contempt for China turns to panic By SPENGLER in Asia Times

Western contempt for China turns to panic

Economic boom continues with electronics industry domination and infrastructure growth through trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative

 By SPENGLER 
SEPTEMBER 18, 2017
Not since the British garrison at Singapore surrendered to Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita in 1942 has the Western opinion of an Asian power changed so fast. When China’s 2015 stock market bubble popped, prevailing Western opinion held that China’s economic boom would flame out in a debt crisis comparable tIt will shock Americans who have been told for years that China merely copies Western technology by stealing trade secrets, and for that reason alone Prof. Allison’s book fairly might be called the most influential book of the year.
Allison warns:
In the three and a half decades since Ronald Reagan became president, by the best measurement of economic performance, China has soared from 10 percent the size of the US to 60 percent in 2007, 100 percent in 2014, and 115 percent today. If the current trend continues, China’s economy will be a full 50 percent larger than that of the US by 2023. By 2040 it could be nearly three times as large. That would mean a China with triple America’s resources to use in influencing outcomes in international relations. Such gross economic, political, and military advantages would create a globe beyond anything American policymakers can now imagine.
A sense of resignation, if not outright defeatism, pervades the Trump White House where China is concerned. Washington is dependent on Beijing in the matter of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions; it has no military option as matters stand, and no appetite to undertake the formidable investments in ballistic missile defense that would be required to contain the North Korean threat.

President Xi Jinping Speaking at The World Economic Forum

In August 2015, the Establishment consensus thought it saw the headlamp of the oncoming express when the glimmer really was light at the end of the tunnel. I examined the forces at work in an Aug. 2 article for this publication. As the RMB appreciated against the dollar during 2013-2015, Chinese companies borrowed massively in dollars, expecting that their dollar-denominated debt would continue to lose value against their RMB earnings. The People’s Bank of China had given them a one-way bet.
But as the US dollar rose sharply against all other currencies during 2014 and 2015, the PBOC had to allow Chinese interest rates to rise in order to maintain the RMB’s high exchange rate with the dollar.  This brought real interest rates to a peak of 6% in 2015, the highest in the world, and high real interest rates suppressed industrial prices and squeezed corporate profits, forcing state-owned enterprises to borrow heavily to pay debt service.
In August 2015 the PBOC let the RMB drop against the dollar, a signal to China’s borrowers to pay back dollar debts and replace them with local-currency loans. They sold roughly $1 trillion of local currency to buy dollars with which to pay back their dollar loans, and the PBOC sold them dollars for local currency.
China’s official reserves fell by $1 trillion and corporate dollar debt fell by $1 trillion, so that China’s net creditor position was little changed, as Bank for International Settlements economists pointed out in 2016 (as did this writer). There was little or no net capital outflow, but the Western investment community and economics profession mistook this balance-sheet adjustment for capital flight.
By early 2017, producer prices were rising, real interest rates were falling and Chinese reserves stabilized. Corporate profits surged, corporate leverage declined and stock prices boomed.
Investor opinion about the Chinese stock market has only begun to change, but corporate America has been bullish on China all along. Chinese companies’ share of global electronics production, meanwhile, rose from 30% in 2012 to nearly 60% in 2016, and this share will rise to 87% by the end of the present year. China is the world’s largest market for electronic components and no American company can afford not to have a major presence there.
President’s Trump veto of a Chinese-backed purchase of Lattice Semiconductor last week drew headlines, but shouldn’t have. Lattice is a second-tier firm whose production facilities have already moved to Asia. But America’s top of the line tech companies have been selling their family jewels to China for years, as a condition of entry into the Chinese market.
As the New York Times reported Aug. 4, 2017:
To gain access to the Chinese market, American companies are being forced to transfer technology, create joint ventures, lower prices and aid homegrown players. Those efforts form the backbone of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to ensure that China’s companies, military, and government dominate core areas of technology like artificial intelligence and semiconductors…The worry is that by teaming up with China, American companies could be sowing the seeds of their own destruction, as well as handing over critical technology that the United States relies on for its military, space and defense programs.
Advanced Micro Devices and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are working with Chinese companies to develop server chips, creating rivals to their own product. Intel is working with the Chinese to build high-end mobile chips, in competition with Qualcomm. IBM has agreed to transfer valuable technology that could enable China to break into the lucrative mainframe banking business.
America produced every important invention in the digital age, from integrated circuits to semiconductor lasers, solar cells, flat panel displays, sensors and light-emitting diodes. Except for integrate circuits, Asia now produces virtually all the world’s output of these building-blocks of the electronics industry, and China has a crash program underway to become the world’s major producer of semiconductors.
To my knowledge, the only senior adviser to President Trump who proposed to stop this practice was Steve Bannon, who left the White House in August. Interfering with US companies’ tech transfer to China would hurt revenues in the short- and medium-term. US companies are making a good living on the rise of China, and CEO’s worry about their stock price during the next five years, not about America’s competitive position in 10 years.
Western analysts, in general,dismissed China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). During the past year, though, new rail lines have lined China to Iran, Turkey and from there to Western Europe, drastically reducing the time and cost of shipping across the Eurasian continent. Two rail links to Iran are now in operation.
On September 6, the first train to Teheran departed from Yinchuan, capital of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with a 15-day journey time to Iran’s capital, half as long as sea transport. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway linking China with Turkey and the South Caucasus begins operations in October. China already is Turkey’s largest source of imports.
As a result, once-neglected areas of Western China have become the most dynamic zones in the China’s economy. According to a recent study by the Milken Institute, the fastest-growing city in China is Chengdu, a metropolis of 12.3 million people in Sichuan province. Few Westerners can find Chengdu on a map, but it exemplifies the initial success of BRI.
Rail links bind Western Asia to Beijing. Chinese companies will be able to pack components into containers for assembly by low-cost Turkish labor, and further export to Europe and Africa. But the visible face of BRI may be less important than the digital revolution coming from China. China is the first emerging economy to shift from cash to digital payments, as mobile broadband reaches the outlying parts of the Chinese economy.
Companies like Alibaba and Tencent draw rural areas into a global economic marketplace. Chinese who once tilled subsistence plots or manned market stalls are turning into entrepreneurs with access to capital markets through such platforms as Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, and global sales through Alibaba.
Turkey plans to become a cashless society by 2023, using the Chinese example and Chinese technology. China now makes 90% of the world’s smartphones. Its low-cost handset producers stand to dominate emerging markets. Google has just established a joint venture with China’s handset manufacturer Xiaomi to market mid-range, high-performance smartphones in India.
China is transforming the economics on its periphery. This has obvious and deep strategic implications. Turkey now looks East to China rather than West to the European Community for its economic future. Iran, long dependent on Chinese trade to circumvent the Western embargo, is increasingly dependent on Chinese investment for oil and gas extraction.
American influence in Western Asia is eroding quickly. Turkey is now a NATO member in name only; it has bought Russia’s S-400 air defense system over NATO protests, and it has allied with Iran to suppress Kurdish forces in Syria whose success threatens to strengthen Kurdish independence movements in Iran as well as Turkey.
Suddenly, from the South China Sea to the Bosporus, the United States cannot move without brushing up against Chinese influence, if not outright Chinese power. It’s not quite the same as Yamashita’s march across the Malaysian jungle. But if anything, the fecklessness, complacency, and incompetence of America’s leaders exceed the fabled stupidity of the British at Singapore.

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Confucious Institute: A Symbol of Pak-China Friendship

 
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
wa salli `ala nabiyyihi Muhammadin wa `ala aalihi wa saahbihi ajmaa`een

Hadith:
‘Utlub il ‘ilma wa law fis-Sin.


The Prophet (SAW) said,
“Seek knowledge even in China,”



Hadith HASAN MASHHÛR – “fair, famous.” Note: Applied to a hadith, the term mashhûr refers to a type of ahad narration that has five to nine narrators at each link of its chain and is therefore nearly mass-narrated (tawatur). Note that this is not an index of its authenticity as a mashhûr hadith may be either sahîh, hasan, or da`îf. Also, the label of mashhûr is sometimes given to merely famous narrations which are not nearly-mass-narrated.

Narrated from Anas by al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Imaan and al-Madkhal, Ibn `Abd al-Barr in Jami` Bayaan al-`Ilm, and al-Khatib through three chains at the opening of his al-Rihla fi Talab al-Hadith (p. 71-76 #1-3) where Shaykh Nur al-Din `Itr declares it weak (da`îf). Also narrated from Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, Jabir, and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, all through very weak chains. The hadith master al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan), as quoted by al-Sakhawi in al-Maqaasid al-Hasana. Al-`Iraqi in his Mughni `an Haml al-Asfar similarly stated that some scholars declared it sound (sahîh) for that reason, even if al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi correctly said no sound chain is known for it. Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s “Salafi” editor Abu al-Ashbal al-Zuhayri declares the hadith hasan in Jami` Bayaan al-`Ilm (1:23ff.) but all the above fair gradings actually apply to the wording: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”

 

al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan)

The first to declare the “China” hadith forged seems to be Ibn al-Qaysarani (d. 507) in his Ma`rifa al-Tadhkira (p. 101 #118). This grading was kept by Ibn al-Jawzi in his Mawdu`at but rejected, among others, by al-Suyuti in al-La’ali’ (1:193), al-Mizzi, al-Dhahabi in Talkhis al-Wahiyat, al-Bajuri’s student Shams al-Din al-Qawuqji (d. 1305) in his book al-Lu’lu’ al-Marsu` (p. 40 #49), and notably by the Indian muhaddith Muhammad Taahir al-Fattani (d. 986) in his Tadhkira al-Mawdu`at (p. 17) in which he declares it hasan.

Al-Munawi, like Ibn `Abd al-Barr before him, gave an excellent explanation of the hadith in his Fayd al-Qadir (1:542). See also its discussion in al-`Ajluni’s Kashf al-Khafa’ under the hadith: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim,” itself a fair (hasan) narration in Ibn Maajah because of its many chains as stated by al-Mizzi, although al-Nawawi in his Fatawa (p. 258) declared it weak while Dr. Muhammad `Ajaj al-Khaatib in his notes on al-Khatib’s al-Jami` (2:462-463) declared it “sound due to its witness-chains” (sahîh li ghayrih). Cf. al-Sindi’s Hashya Sunan Ibn Maajah (1:99), al-Munawi’s Fayd al-Qadir (4:267) and al-Sakhaawi’s al-Maqaasid al-Hasana (p. 275-277).

Image result for China Pakistan Logo
 

Confucious Institute: A Symbol of Pak-China Friendship

Times of Islamabad

 

The all-weather and time-tested friendship between Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of China seems to be almost a rare phenomenon in modern day diplomacy in terms of ascendancy of relationship between the two countries in a rather shorter span of time.

The diplomatic relations between the both countries were established on May 21, 1951 after Pakistan recognized China on January 4, 1950.

In mere 65 years’ time, these ties are now being often termed by both as taller than Himalayas, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey and stronger than steel.

And these assertions are mere not rhetoric as they are very much based on the facts and ground realities. Over the decades, they were fostered on institutions to institutions and people to people as well as at the grassroots level forging deeper understanding and goodwill.

The purview covered various fields of fields of activities and the academic realm was no exception.

In this respect, the province of Sindh did not lag behind. A Confucious Institute was established at the University of Karachi in 2013 as part of collaboration with Sichnan University.

Confucious was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of the Chinese history.

At Karachi University this Institute is offering certificate programmes in Chinese language and culture accredited by the Hanbem headquarters China.

A Dean of Karachi University, Prof. Dr. Khalid Iraqi, informed that the Confucious Institute here has two directors- one from China and the other is from Pakistan whereas six instructors have come from China.

He said that in a major move, Karachi University has introduced Chinese language as a subsidiary subject at the undergraduate level and the enrollment at present is 22 students which has been termed as a good beginning.

The Director of the Confucious Institute at the University of Karachi, Moin Siddiqui, informed that certificate courses of various levels- I, II, III and IV, are being offered, The duration is four months and the current enrollment is 375 students.

Siddiqui said that the University of Karachi has introduced from January this year, Chinese language as a subsidiary subject for its Honours programme and currently 22 students are studying.

He stated that the Confucious Institute of Karachi University is also offering its services for conducting Chinese classes in other academic institutions in the metropolis.

Siddiqui informed that two classes each are being run at the Preston University and the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

The number of students enrolled at Preston University is 75 whereas that at the IBA Karachi is 55.

Chinese classes at the Latif Ibrahim Jamal (LEJ), University of Karachi, have been planned and these would be started by July this year.

There is also a move for the initiation of the students and the faculty exchange programme, he added. Siddiqui apprised that with regard to the Confucious Institute at the University of Karachi an agreement with the Chinese Government was reached in November 2013 and the classes commenced two months later.

This very programme is going ahead at the University in a very smooth and successful manner.

It will certainly expand further like the very close relations between Pakistan and China besides fostering goodwill and understanding among the people of the two countries.

In Pakistan two other Confucious Institute are currently operating. Besides, University of Karachi, they are located at NUML in Islamabad and the Agriculture University Faisalabad. At the global level there exist over 500 Confucious Institute in 133 countries around the world.

With the successful launch of the mega China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), there would be also need for expanding the number of Confucious Institutes in Pakistan.

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The Army, the Government, and the Chinese Corridor. by Saeed A.Malik

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Army, the Government, and the Chinese Corridor.

 

By

 

 

Saeed A. Malik.

 
The main driver of Israeli foreign policy objectives in the region is the Oded Yinon Plan i.e to break into small principalities, all Arab states which have the potential of being a threat to Israel any time in the future. Because of the incredible influence which Israel exercises on U.S policies, the Yinon Plan was infused into U.S policy for this region. Thus whatever the U.S objectives in the region, the play of the Yinon Plan can plainly be seen behind the U.S destruction of Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Even a fool could have foreseen that the de-baathification of Iraq, and the dismemberment of its army would lead to the dismemberment of the state itself. Indeed Gen Shinseki advocated that the invasion force should be half a million U.S troops so that post-invasion stability of governance would be ensured, as did Colin Powell. The former was forcibly retired, while the latter was marginalized, and we see Iraq precisely in a state as Yinon had advocated. The same is true of Libya, and the same is the aim for Syria.
 
Israel tried its very best that Iran too should be destroyed and split into small principalities, but the sheer exhaustion visited on the U.S by the Iraqis who decided to fight back, foreclosed this option. This being the situation, how can Israel countenance a strong and thriving Pakistan, which not only has the bomb, but also varied delivery systems, and which Israel sees as an enemy? Logically therefore a failed Pakistan, which international powers would be obliged to de-nuclify would be much more in Israel’s interests–and by extension, those of the U.S as well.
 
Apart from the Israeli-U.S policy nexus vis a vis a Pakistan whose nuclear wings must be clipped, the U.S has other concerns about a strong Pakistan which is averse to taking dictation from the U.S. One of these concerns is that Pakistan is refusing subservience to the U.S Afghan policy objectives where such objectives are seen as undermining Pakistan’s perception of its own national interest. Another U.S concern is that whereas the U.S would like to see India built up as a credible counter-weight to China, Pakistan, by constantly snapping at India’s heels is a constant distraction in the way of the achievement of this U.S aim. And most importantly, Pakistan, by allowing China an opening onto the Arabian Sea, is directly undermining the most important driver of the U.S foreign policy i.e the containment of China, which it sees as the premier challenge to U.S hegemony around the world.
 
The third country which would like the CPEC initiative nipped in the bud is India, which sees Pakistan as a nuisance in the way of its becoming the unchallenged regional hegemon of the area; and this is quite apart from the ideological view that India’s independence from colonial rule cannot be considered complete till such time as it is ” akhund” [complete] again.
 
Pakistan should therefore have absolutely no doubt that these three countries [ plus their allies] will strain every sinew of their power towards sabotaging the CPEC.
 
And what are the tools they will employ to undermine Pakistan? These tools are already deployed and are in operation for all to see, except for those of us who are willfully blind:
–Aiding the terrorist onslaught against Pakistan. Dont we already know this,  and the names of countries involved?
–Burdening Pakistan with a volume of debt which it will never be able to repay. Why is it after all that IMF obliges Ishaq Dar each time he goes to them, begging bowl in hand? Does anyone, anywhere in the world, freely extend credit to a country or entity which is a bad credit risk? Cant we see through this easy credit? Cant we see that in less than 5 years we will have reached a debt ceiling which it will be beyond our capacity to repay? And what happens then? Is this not a road to default and sanctions, which will lead to Pakistan giving up its nuclear assets?
–And the most potent tool of all–key members of our national “leadership”, both here and in Dubai, willfully undermining the very foundations of the state by both hollowing out the country financially, and also selling it out to those bidding for its ultimate demise! Does anyone not see this happening already? Which one of our top leaders is not a billionaire? And which of these has made his billions through honest sweat? And will such people, who can sell their grandmothers for a pittance, not sell off their country when the time comes? The problem is that the time is already here and the sale is going on day and night.
 
 Unfortunately, it is said to be extremely high  interestin loan facility from China i.e  @ $4.5 + Libor
 
It is not for nothing that as the Chinese unfolded their plans for the CPEC, they went to the Army Chief for guarantees of security. This was not just a comment on the power the Army enjoys, but more so a comment on the lack of trust which may credibly be imposed in our civilian leadership.
 
But with the politicians now haggling over the route of the CPEC, the Chinese have issued statements of concern which have been released to the press. This is not the way the Chinese function. They eschew press statements and use them only as a last resort. The level of Chinese concern should make it clear that the enemy sleeper cells among our national leadership have been activated to sabotage the project. This has been the standard operating procedure to undermine third world countries by the first world for decades.
 
If it is not the case already, the Army should wake up to what is happening. It should also include mega corruption, which has undermined the country and taken it to the very brink, as a national security imperative. If the Army refuses to see the writing on the wall, it must know that its days of glory and power cannot be extended to beyond five years, because then it may not have a country to defend. And then all the Generals will be like the rest of us. It is my bet that in five years or less the IMF will call in our debts, and we will not be able to repay. The Last Post will then be sounded.
 
Saeed A. Malik.

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US-India-Israel-Iran Sabotage Axis of Evil : Major Challenge to Pak-China Alliance

                                        It is of particular attention, that Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of the then defence minister to sponsor acts of sabotage in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan.

 

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Major Challenge to Pak-China Alliance

                                                          By 

Sajjad Shaukat

 

It is noteworthy that during his visit to Balochistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

 

During the historical visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan, on April 20, this year, he and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements for cooperation in various fields, related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), energy, infrastructure, agriculture, research, technology, education etc.

 

The establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China will connect Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing would also build an international airport at Gwadar, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would link the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods.

 

When Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project will not only uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan by providing thousands of employment opportunities and is likely to develop whole the province by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity in the province would trickle down to the Baloch people and damp the separatist sentiments, which the hostile elements, supported by anti-Pakistan powers do not want.

 

Recall, when during the Musharraf regime, Islamabad initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in Balochistan in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, sirens went off in the capitals of foreign countries, especially the US, India and Israel which took it as a threat to their global and regional plans.

 

Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location among three key regions, South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Its development has shifted the Great Game of Central Asia to Pakistan. Hence, sirens still continue alarming in the foreign countries.

 

Besides, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources like gas, coal and gold, entailing Pakistan’s close ties with China also pinches the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some western countries which intend to destabilize Pakistan for their collective aims.

 

Therefore, major challenge to Pak-China strategic alliance is that with the tactical support of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, Indian RAW has continuously been assisting the Baloch separatist groups and Baloch Sub Nationalists to conduct subversive acts—and using terrorist elements in Balochistan to threat Pak-Chinese interest in the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. And, Afghanistan has become a hub from where external secret agencies have been funding and arranging subversive activities in other parts of Pakistan—especially in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan.

 

It is of particular attention, that Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of the then defence minister to sponsor acts of sabotage in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan.

 

As regards the deteriorating situation of Balochistan, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and their affiliated outfits including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from RAW and other anti-Pakistan spy agencies—these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Therefore, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. The main aim behind is to create unrest in Balochistan and to discourage Beijing for the development of Gwadar port.

 

While, in May, 2013, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack. Taking note of the foreign powers’ anti-Pakistan designs, during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Islamabad made extraordinary security arrangements.

 

It is notable that a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan.

 

As a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. These elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, and have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by external forces which are weakening Pakistan by supporting the anti-state elements in Balochistan.

 

It is noteworthy that during his visit to Balochistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

 

In fact, Gen. Raheel Sharif was compelled to expose conspiracy against Pakistan after the gunmen killed 20 laborers in Turbat district of Baluchistan in the deadliest attack on April 11, who were working at a dam construction site.

It is worth-mentioning that during China’s visit, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on January 25, 2015, China’s Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission Gen. Fan has assured that China will assist Pakistan in every challenge.

 

Nevertheless, foreign entities shall pose a major challenge to Pak-China strategic alliance through terror-acts. Hence, the intelligence agencies and security forces of both the countries must be well-prepared to cope with these elements.

 

It is noteworthy that during his visit to Balochistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

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Pakistan enters the New Silk Road by Pepe Escobar

Unknown-37

 

 

Pakistan enters the New Silk Road

April 24, 2015
By Pepe Escobar

Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on BOARD an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project.
Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway.
Just to drive the point home – and into everyone’s homes – a LITTLE further, Xi penned a column widely distributed to Pakistani media before his first overseas trip in 2015.
He stressed, “We need to form a ‘1+4′ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the CENTER and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people.”
Quick translation: China is bringing Pakistan into the massive New Silk Road(s) project with a bang.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, also on cue, stressed that Pakistan would be in the frontline to benefit from the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, which will help to finance the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road projects; or, in Chinese jargon, “One Belt, One Road”, that maze of roads, high-speed rail, ports, pipelines and fiber optics networks bound to turbo-charge China’s LINKS to Europe through Russia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean.
The Silk Road Fund will disburse funds in parallel with the new Asian Infrastructure INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB), which has already enticed no less than 57 countries. China’s assistant foreign minister, Liu Jianchao, has not delved into detailed numbers, but he assures China “stands ready to provide financing.”
So no wonder Pakistani media was elated. A consensus is also fast emerging that China is becoming “Pakistan’s most important ally” from either West or East.
Beijing’s CAREFULLY calibrated commercial offensive mixing Chinese leadership concepts such as harmonious society and Chinese dream with a “win-win” neighborhood policy seduces by the numbers alone: $46 billion in investment in Pakistan ($11 billion in infrastructure, $35 billion in energy), compared to a U.S. Congress’s $7.5 billion program that’s been in place since 2008.
The meat of the matter is that Washington’s “help” to Islamabad is enveloped in outdated weapons systems, while Beijing is investing in stuff that actually benefits people in Pakistan; think of $15.5 billion in coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects bound to come ONLINE by 2017, or a $44 million optical fiber cable linking China and Pakistan.
According to the Center for Global Development, between 2002 and 2009 no less than 70% of U.S. aid was about “security” – related to the never-ending GWOT (global war on terror). As a Pakistani analyst wrote me, “just compare Xi’s vision for his neighbors and the history of AMERICA in Latin America. It is like the difference between heaven and hell.”
That “X” factor
At the heart of the action is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whose embryo had already been discussed when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Beijing in the summer of 2013. The economic corridor, across 3,000 km, will LINK the port of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea, not far from the Iranian border, with China’s Xinjiang.
China is already in Gwadar; China Overseas Port Holding Company is operating it for two years now, after helping to build the first phase. Gwadar formally opens before the end of the month, but a first-class highway and railway linking it to the rest of Pakistan still need to be built (mostly by Chinese companies), not to mention an international airport, SCHEDULED to open by 2017.
All this action implies a frenzy of Chinese workers building roads, railways – and power plants. Their security must be assured. And that means solving the “X” factor; “X” as in Xinjiang, China’s vast far west, home to only 22 million people including plenty of disgruntled Uyghurs.
Beijing-based analyst Gabriele Battaglia has detailed how Xinjiang has been addressed according to the new guiding principle of President Xi’s ethnic policy. The key idea, says Battaglia, is to manage the ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Uyghurs by applying the so-called three “J”: jiaowang, jiaoliu, jiaorong, that is, “inter-ethnic contact”, “exchange” and “mixage”.
Yet what is essentially a push towards assimilation coupled with some economic incentives is far from assured success; after all the bulk of Xinjiang’s day-to-day policy is conducted by unprepared Han cadres who tend to view most Uyghurs as “terrorists”.
Many of these cadres identify any separatist stirring in Xinjiang as CIA-provoked, which is not totally true. There is an extreme Uyghur minority which actually entered Wahhabi-driven jihadism (I met some of them in Masoud’s prisons in the Panjshir valley before 9/11) and has gone to fight everywhere from Chechnya to Syria. But what the overwhelming majority really wants is an economic shot at the Chinese dream.
The Pakistani counterpart to Xinjiang is Balochistan, inhabited by a little over 6 million people. There have been at least three different separatist factions/movements in Balochistan fighting Islamabad and what they call “Punjabis” with a vengeance. Former provincial minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, for instance, is already warning there will be a “strong reaction” across Balochistan to changes in the corridor’s routes, which, he says, “are meant to give maximum benefit to Punjab, which is already considered the privileged province.” Islamabad denies any changes.
The corridor is also bound to bypass most of the key, northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Opposition political star Imran Khan – whose party is on top in Khyber – has already condemned it as an injustice.
Beijing, for its part, has been very explicit to Islamabad; the Pakistani Taliban must be defeated, or at least appeased. That explains why since June 2014 the Pakistani army has been involved in a huge aerial bombing campaign – Zarb-e Azb – againt the Haqqani network and other hardcore tribals. The Pakistani army has already set up a special division to take care of the corridor, including nine battalions and the proverbial paramilitary forces. None of this though is a guarantee of success.
Karakoram or bust
It will be absolutely fascinating to watch how China and Pakistan, simultaneously, may be able to keep the peace in both Xinjiang and Balochistan to assure booming trade along the corridor. Geographicaly though, this all makes perfect sense.
Xinjiang is closer to the Arabian Sea than Shanghai. Shanghai is twice more distant from Urumqi than Karachi. So no wonder Beijing thinks of Pakistan as a sort of Hong Kong West, as I examined in some detail here.
This is also a microcosm of East and South Asia integration, and even Greater Asia integration, if we include China, Iran, Afghanistan, and even Myanmar.
The spectacular Karakoram highway, from Kashgar to Islamabad, a feat of engineering completed by the Chinese working alongside the Pakistan Army Corps of engineers, will be upgraded, and extended all the way to Gwadar. A railway will also be built. And in the near future, yet another key Pipelineistan stretch.
Pipelineistan is linked to the corridor also in the form of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, which Beijing will help Islamabad to finish to the tune of $2 billion, after successive U.S. administrations relentlessly tried to derail it. The geopolitical dividends of China blessing a steel umbilical cord between Iran and Pakistan are of course priceless.
The end result is that early in the 2020s China will be connected in multiple ways practically with the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Large swathes of massive China-Europe trade will be able to avoid the Strait of Malacca. China will be turbo-charging trade with the Middle East and Africa. China-bound Middle East oil will be offloaded at Gwadar and transported to Xinjiang via Balochistan – before a pipeline is finished. And Pakistan will profit from more energy, infrastructure and transit trade.
Talk about a “win-win”. And that’s not even accounting for China’s thirst for gold. Balochistan is awash with gold, and there have been new discoveries in Punjab.
New Silk Road action is nothing short than frantic. The Bank of China is already channeling $62 billion of its immense foreign exchange reserves to three policy banks supporting New Silk Road(s) projects; $32 billion to China Development Bank (CDB) and $30 billion to Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). The Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) will also get its share.
And it’s not only Pakistan; the five Central Asian “stans” – rich in oil, gas, coal, agricultural land, gold, copper, uranium – are also targeted.
There’s a new highway from Kashgar to Osh, in Kyrgyzstan, and a new railway between Urumqi and Almaty, in Kazakhstan. We may be a long way away from the new high-speed Silk Rail, but trade between, for instance, the megacities of Chongqing or Chengdu in Sichuan with Germany now moves in only 20 days; that’s 15 days less than the sea route.
So it’s no wonder a “special leading group” was set up by Beijing to oversee everything going on in the One Road, One Belt galaxy. The crucial action plan is here. Those who’re about to go silk, we salute you.

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