China has Pakistan over a barrel on ‘One Belt One Road’
Tax concessions for Chinese firms, mounting security costs, crippling debt... The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is beginning to look like a disaster for its host nation
By F.M. Shakil April 28, 2017
The US$56 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a part of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ vision – has yet to translate into the ‘game changer’ envisioned by its sponsors. Worse than that, the unparalleled tax breaks and mounting security costs involved have already saddled Islamabad’s exchequer with a hole in its finances of over US$2.5 billion.
Pakistan’s lower house was informed last month that the government had issued a statutory regulatory order (SRO) giving a series of tax exemptions to Chinese firms as an incentive for working in what is considered a highly dangerous zone. These concessions – extensive tax breaks from customs duty, income tax, sales tax, federal excise duty and withholding taxes – have been granted to Chinese companies for the whole of the CPEC operation, including road, mass transit, and Gwadar port projects.
[China bashing] [B&R] [CPEC]
China opposes India's invitation of Dalai Lama to visit disputed areas
Xinhua, April 1, 2017
China is firmly opposed to any visit by the Dalai Lama to the disputed border region between China and India, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.
Spokesperson Lu Kang made the comment when asked if China has protested to India about the Dalai Lama's scheduled visit next week to a disputed zone in the eastern part of the China-India border area.
"China is gravely concerned about this. Our stance on the eastern part of the China-India border is clear and consistent," Lu said at a routine press briefing.
[Dalai Lama] [India China] [Territorial disputes]
Veteran held in India for 54 years allowed to return
China Daily, February 11, 2017
After being held in India for 54 years, Chinese veteran Wang Qi was ready to make his long-awaited trip back home on Saturday.
According to the Chinese embassy in India, 77-year-old Wang had left his home in central India's Madhya Pradesh and arrived in New Delhi on Friday afternoon.
He was eager to return to hometown in Shaanxi province and would start the journey as early as Saturday, said the embassy.
In 1963, Wang, a Chinese army surveyor, got lost, crossed the border and was captured by Indian authorities. He was moved from one jail to another for nearly seven years.
When he was finally released in 1969, police escorted him to the remote village of Tirodi in Madhya Pradesh and told him to start a life there. He married a local woman, and they had three children and grandchildren.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that China had been "pushing India" to complete procedures to return the veteran. In 2013, the Chinese embassy in India issued him a 10-year Chinese passport and a living allowance every year since then, Lu said.
Vikas Swarup, the Indian External Affairs Ministry's spokesman, said on Thursday, "The ministry is helping Wang and his family members-including his son Vishnu Wang, daughter Anita Wankhede, daughter-in-law Neha Wang and grandson Khanak Wang-to visit China to meet his extended family."
"We are working with the Chinese embassy in Delhi and the Indian embassy in Beijing to ensure that all formalities are completed and arrangements are in place," he said.
A China Central Television report on Friday said that Wang is eager to taste noodles, a local specialty in Shaanxi, after arriving home.
Wang's plight was highlighted last month in a special report by the BBC.
On Feb 4, Luo Zhaohui, China's ambassador to India, spoke by telephone with Wang and expressed sympathy over his suffering over the years. Yan Xiaoce, a counselor at the Chinese embassy in India, visited Wang's village on the same day, according to the embassy.
Liu Shurong, another Chinese veteran, underwent the same plight as Wang and lives in the same village. But Liu said he had no intention to return to China because he no longer has family there, the embassy said.
If You Want to Punch a Real Fascist, Go to India
If by fascist, you mean “adherent of a movement determined to seize state power with the help of violence committed by a disciplined and armed auxiliary, if necessary, to reorder society to achieve extra-constitutional, self-defined racial or ethnic objectives embodied by a charismatic leader”, that is.
Narendra Modi and his BJP party, in my reading, plays the democrat for advantage in the electoral game, but acts the fascist through deniable cutouts—the RSS Hindu nationalist movement and its constellation of affiliates, known collectively as the Sangh Parivar.
The BJP has a membership of about 100 million. Members of Sangh Parivar organizations number in the tens of millions. The VHP, which does the heavy lifting for the Sangh as far as virulent Hindu nationalism goes, reportedly has a membership of almost 3 million.
So if you're eager to punch fascists in India, better bring some friends...maybe bring a chopper...well, maybe bring a gun...maybe bring a lot of guns.
Fascists play for keeps in India.
Reasonable people can disagree. But before you disagree with me, please read my piece on Modi--Is Narendra Modi the Leader of the World's Largest Democracy...Or the World's Most Successful Fascist?—and the horror of the pogrom he allegedly orchestrated in Gujarat in 2002--first.
‘Cold Start’ is too hot to manage
Have non-military solutions to resolve problems
Srinagar | Posted : Jan 26 2017 1:03AM |
Few days back, the outgoing US Vice President Joe Biden discussed the Obama administration’s achievements in addressing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons under the Prague Agenda, and highlighted the nuclear security challenges facing the next administration. He underlined that the nuclear weapons, the proliferation of this deadly knowledge to more nations, and the possibility of terrorists obtaining nuclear materials, remain among the most pressing security challenges. In his speech, her further empahsised: “Not just North Korea, but Russia, Pakistan, and others have made counterproductive moves that only increase the risk that nuclear weapons could be used in a regional conflict in Europe, South Asia, or East Asia”. The reference to Pakistan concerns us all in the region and it’s important to understand the changing nuclear dynamics in South Asia.
Nuclear weapons have nutralised India’s conventional military superiority.
[Nuclear weapons] [Asymmetry] [Levelling]
Examining India’s Demonetization:
Social Impact, US Backing and Global Implications
GR Weekend Reader:
modiIndia’s “War on Cash”: The Demonetization Blitzkrieg. The “Ice Nine” Solution
By Sridhar Chakravarthi Raman, December 11 2016
The demonetization blitzkrieg of the NDA government was served to the unsuspecting Indian public as a moral crusade to destroy the twin evils of black money and counterfeit notes. But as the days went by the stated objects of the demonetization fell apart and the government did a series of embarrassing flip flops to put forth the view that the object was to usher in a cashless society where the digitally baptized citizens would swipe their plastic cards and waft to and fro in digital wallets with consummate ease.If the overt objectives of the demonetization, i.e eradication of black money and counterfeit notes were indeed laughable, then other concerns about its covert objectives gave rise to legitimate concerns. What then is the hidden agenda of the demonetization exercise?