Silk Road Part 4

China’s Belt and Road ‘Initiative brings new opportunities to Nepal’

September 25 2017

  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative can contribute to realising the dream of the Asian Century through enhancing regional economic integration, Nepali experts have said. Speaking at a seminar entitled “Belt and Road Initiative: Economic Development in South Asia,” Nepalese former ambassador to China Tanka Karki felt that China and South Asian countries should work together to promote the initiative.

Gold companies take a shine to China’s Silk Road

September 24, 2017

  • Song Xin, CEO of China National Gold Group Corp, told a session of the China Mining conference on Saturday that his company would “intensify exploration and capital allocation in Belt and Road countries”, which he said account for 80 percent of global gold consumption. Having embarked on a “go global” strategy in 2005, the company already has projects in three countries along the ancient Silk Road, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, Fang said on Sunday.

New transit points mooted

September 22, 2017

  • A team from the Chinese government is making on-site visits to five of the 13 newly proposed transit points between China and Nepal. The Nepali side had proposed to consider opening 13 new border transit points between the two countries with a view to enhancing connectivity and facilitating trade and business.

Broadening Horizons: Nepal Cozies up to China


  • In May, China and Nepal also signed a Belt and Road cooperation memorandum. At the ceremony, Mahara told the media Nepal needs investment and cooperation from China. The Belt and Road initiative is playing an important role in improving Nepal’s infrastructure and reducing its trade deficit. Besides trade, China and Nepal can bring many mutual benefits to one another. A Chinese expert on international relations told the Global Times that Nepal has found itself becoming a popular travel destination among Chinese. Whether it’s the country’s snow-capped mountains, lakes and forests, or cultural sites like temples, all are new favorites among the young. Politically, Nepal is also an important country in preventing Tibetan separatist activities and China and Nepal should strengthen cooperation on this front.

China to step up media cooperation for Belt and Road initiative


  • A media cooperation centre, involving over 300 international and domestic mainstream media for China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative will be established to further reinforce the links among media practitioners. The event was attended by over 300 media outlets from 127 countries, as well as delegates from the academic and cultural community, making it the largest and most influential gathering of media outlets ever hosted by China’s mainstream media.

Newly opened highway links China with Nepal

Sep 19, 2017

  • China has opened a 40.4km highway between Xigaze airport and Xigaze city centre in Tibet to public, linking the Chinese national highway to the Nepal border, Chinese media reported. Experts believe the development will enable China to forge a route into South Asia in both economic and defence terms, the Global Times reported. The Sino-Nepali railway was part of a deal struck by Nepal Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara when he visited China in early September.

China Quickens Work on Pakistan Utility in Area Claimed by India

September 18, 2017

  • China is racing to finish one of the biggest hydro-power projects in Pakistan ahead of schedule, yet its location in the long-contested region of Kashmir will draw ire from India. Construction on the 720 megawatt Karot power station being built on Jhelum river began in December 2016 and looks set to finish nine months ahead of its December 2021 completion date, a first for a Pakistan hydro-project said Qin Guobin, chief executive officer of the state-owned China Three Gorges Corp. South Asia Investment Ltd. The company has put in place an aggressive strategy to cut the project’s financing costs.

Bangladeshi, Chinese firms sign joint venture pacts to build railway


  • Two Bangladeshi and two Chinese firms have signed two joint venture pacts to build over 100 km rail lines and required infrastructure in the country’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar district bordering Myanmar.

World Chinese entrepreneurs meet in Myanmar for business convention


  • The 14th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) kicked off here on Saturday, gathering more than 2,000 overseas Chinese business leaders to discuss plans of business expansion. With strong support from the Myanmar government, the WCEC is aimed at pushing the regional economic development in line with the world’s changing economy and bridging world’s Chinese entrepreneurs for cooperation.

China to Share Satellite Resources with Belt and Road Countries


  • Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul on Friday voiced readiness to increase cooperation on tourism, education and health with China within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. “We would like to strengthen our cooperation on tourism as 2018 was declared Turkey Tourism Year in China,” Gultekin said, suggesting the establishment of direct flights between Istanbul and major cities in Shaanxi. Turkey has agreed to align its Middle Corridor project with the Chinese initiative.

China, Brunei to boost ties

September 14, 2017

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Beijing on Wednesday, with the two agreeing to promote cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative, and work for stronger bilateral ties. Xi appreciated Brunei’s support for the Belt and Road Initiative. The two leaders agreed to boost closer cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, energy, halal food, agriculture, fishery, and the digital economy.

European business joins China in pushing $28bn Thai Canal

September 11, 2017

  • European business leaders in Thailand have joined Chinese government advisers and influential Thais in urging the country’s military junta to construct a $28 billion ship canal through the narrow Isthmus of Kra to link the Indian and Pacific Oceans. By contrast, the Kra Canal — also known as the Thai Canal — had much better prospects judging by the success of similar projects elsewhere in the world such as the Suez, Panama and Kiel canals, Daniel noted. If approved, the canal would be one of the most ambitious and transformational infrastructure projects ever contemplated in Asia. A regional equivalent of the Suez or Panama canals, the Kra Canal would slice through the Malay peninsula some 800km south of Bangkok and about 200km north of Thailand’s border with Malaysia, linking the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea at roughly the same latitude as the resort island of Phuket. Supporters say it could be completed within five years.

China investments transforming Malaysia

September 10, 2017

  • In manufacturing, Malaysia has become the world’s third largest solar cell manufacturer – after mainland China and Taiwan. It has also become a glass exporter – instead of importer – after China firms poured in billions into the sector last year. In construction, a Chinese contractor is using proven technology to build a tower in the Tun Razak Exchange at a faster rate of one floor every three days. This is among those contracts worth billions of US dollars clinched by Chinese builders in Malaysia.

Zambia awards Chinese firm $1.2 billion road expansion project

September 8, 2017

  • Zambia has awarded a Chinese firm a $1.2 billion contract to expand part of a key road linking Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern African neighbors, President Edgar Lungu said on Friday. Zambia is Africa’s second biggest copper producer and Ndola is the capital of the nation’s copperbelt region. Chinese investment in Zambia already includes roads, agriculture, mining and energy projects such as a 750 megawatt-hydro-power station in the south of the country.

Nepal says committed to major projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Sep 08, 2017

  • Nepal has signed a framework agreement on the Belt and Road Initiative and foreign minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara has assured China that his country is committed to major infrastructure projects. Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister, gave an assurance in this regard to China’s top leadership during his ongoing visit to Beijing. Mahara strongly backed the BRI during talks with Premier Li Keqiang, foreign minister Wang Yi and state councillor Yang Jeichi. Mahara also told state councillor Yang that Nepal has accorded high importance to implementing a memorandum of understanding on the BRI signed by the two said. He expressed the conviction that Nepal’s development needs and aspirations will be prioritised and given their due place under the BRI.

More ports join Malaysia-China alliance

September 5, 2017

  • Five more ports in Malaysia and China are set to join the alliance of such facilities between the two countries, bringing the total number in the partnership to 21. Liow said that Malaysia aspired to be the logistics hub for the South-East Asia region and was keen on improving its infrastructure to increase its cargo-handling capacity.

Africa: China’s Belt and Road Initiative to Help Tunisian Economy Revive From Slowdown: Former Envoy

5 September 2017

  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative will help Tunisian economy to revive after six years of slowdown, former Tunisian Ambassador to China Mohamed Sahbi Basly told Xinhua in a recent interview. He said China has been “a significant investment partner” for Tunisia that “has the potential to contribute to the development of the Tunisian economy.” “China has become a global economic locomotive in various fields, such as space, automobile, technology, real estate and agri-food,” Basly said. “Tunisia could play a role in the relocation of Chinese manufacturing industries, because the production cost in China is more expensive than that in Tunisia.”

Luxembourg supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative

August, 2017

  • Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is in favour of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a comprehensive trade proposal that aims to create the world’s largest economic platform. In an interview with Chinese press agency Xinhua, Bettel praised the initiative and argued that “transport goes in both directions” which makes it possible to create “win-win situations”.

China will assist Sri Lanka to become a Singapore – envoy

Aug 21, 2017

  • China will to continue to provide development assistance to Sri Lanka to uplift the island nation to the standard of Singapore within the next 15 years, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said. Ambassador Yi Xianliang said under the China-Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation, China provides about 1300 scholarships to Sri Lankan students now and in the future the number of scholarships will be increased to 2000.

China’s Investments in Countries Along Its ‘Belt and Road’ Project Are Soaring

Aug 15, 2017

  • Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in countries that are part of the Belt and Road initiative are soaring, even as Beijing cracks down on China’s acquisitive conglomerates to restrict capital outflows. Chinese acquisitions in the 68 countries officially linked to President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy totalled $33 billion as of Monday, surpassing the $31 billion tally for all of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters data. Unveiled in 2013, the Belt and Road project is aimed at building a modern-day “Silk Road”, connecting China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Nepal-China sign three agreements on economic cooperation

August 16, 2017

  • Nepal and China have reached three different bilateral agreements to further bolster economic cooperation between the two countries. Separately, Nepal and China have reached Framework Agreement on Promotion of Investment and Economic Cooperation. This umbrella agreement seeks to bring in investment from the Chinese private sector in various areas of infrastructure development including in construction of road, tunnels and electricity transmission lines in Nepal.

China Uses Chequebook Diplomacy To Sideline India In Nepal

August 16, 2017

  • Three years after its last train hit the buffers, landlocked Nepal is building a new railway network to boost its ailing economy — helped by the rivalry between powerful neighbours China and India. In recent years, Kathmandu has tilted towards Beijing as part of a nationalist drive to decrease the country’s reliance on Delhi. In 2017, Beijing pledged $8.3 billion to build roads and hydropower plants in Nepal, dwarfing India’s commitments of USD 317 million.

Pakistan, China sign documents to enhance cooperation

August 14, 2017

  • Pakistan and China on Sunday signed different documents to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of education and infrastructure development. The signing ceremony held at the PM House was witnessed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and China’s Vice Prime Minister Wang Yang after both the leaders held a one-on-one meeting.

Hard-pedaling Soft Power, China Helps Launch $13B Belt and Road Rail Project in Malaysia

August 09, 2017

  • China and Malaysia broke ground on Wednesday on a $13 billion rail project linking peninsular Malaysia’s east and west, the largest such project in the country and a major part of Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure push. The planned 688-km (430-mile) East Coast Rail Link will connect the South China Sea, large parts of which are claimed by China, at the Thai border in the east with the strategic shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca in the west.

Beyond Doklam: How China is winning over India’s neighbours with money, arms

August 11, 2017

  • At the end of the CPEC is situated Gwadar port, which China has developed and secured right to operate till 2050. This gives China strategic depth till Arabian Sea and reach upto the western coast of India. Much against the wishes of India, Nepal is a partner in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. Nepal sees it as an opportunity to reduce its dependence on Indian routes for trade. Earlier this year, when Nepal Investment Summit 2017 was held in Kathmandu, India committed USD 317 million to its northern neighbour, while China proposed to invest USD 8.3 billion. Bhutan still remains out of reach for China. But, of late, China has attempted to engage with Bhutan particularly after India-Bhutan friendship treaty was reviewed and redrafted in 2007. in Myanmar is the development of Kyauk Pyu port in Bay of Bengal with an estimated Chinese investment of USD 7.3 billion. China is said to have over 75 per cent stake in the project. Further, China is big supplier of arms to Myanmar. Same is true in the case of Bangladesh for which China is the largest arms supplier to Bangladesh. In 2016, China sold two submarines to Bangladesh. China also extended a soft loan of USD 25 billion to Bangladesh for as many as 34 projects. As for Maldives, China has increased its activities in the island country. Last year, China acquired an uninhabited island near Maldives capital Male on a 50-year-lease at the cost of USD 4 million.