May 21, 2017

CPEC all about China, not Pakistan's prosperity: Senior Pak journalist

Updated: May 21, 2017 16:10 IST      

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 21 (ANI): Contrary to the claims made by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a game changer for the economy of a country, senior Pakistani Journalist Najam Sethi noted that the project is all about boosting the position of Beijing and its currency.

Presenting his critical review of the project, Sethi said that today China is competing globally to make the Yuan an alternate currency to the Dollar and its One Belt One Road (OBOR), in which CPEC is a project, is to play a major role in this.

Sethi explained that Pakistan is not receiving any foreign investment as it is viewed as a relatively volatile country surrounded by conflict ridden regions.

Islamabad has conflict on border with India, Afghanistan as well Iran but China is ready to risk the instability and invest because of the influence it enjoys over the country.

🔴"Firstly they think Pakistan cannot sustain without China and in terms of the military hardware and protection on Foreign policy especially against India that China provides. (This is something) Pakistan can't loose," said Sethi on a Television show on Geo News.

Since, China realises that Pakistan is completely dependent on it for military and national security so, its policy is whatever regime is in power, it will work with them, the journalist noted, adding that this approach in turn makes its investments in CPEC secure irrespective of the fact that who is in power.

Another way of keeping its stronghold on the project, Sethi says is through increasing rates.

🔴 "Second thing is if there is a risk, China then increases its rates. Say a good is sold at 10 paise in the international market but China will sell it at 15 paise saying there is risk involved in investments. Furthermore now that Pakistan has to pay that 15 percent (which it is unable to due to financial restrictions), China will say that 'ok we will give you a loan now and you will get good investment return on this project and then you can pay back'. In such a situation no Pakistan authority really questions them, that's why something that is available for 10 paise is being sold at 15 paise," explained Sethi, adding that China is the supplier as well as the creditor.

"Pakistan has no opportunity for bidding, it takes whatever China provides and in such a scenario transparency does not exists," he said.

He added that it is also the reason that the financial transactions happening under the CPEC lack transparency.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sharif had said that the multi-billion CPEC project will bring prosperity and development in the country as well as employment opportunities to the youth. To this, the journalist said that it may generate some limited employment but won't help much with prosperity as the things produced in the industries set up by China would be exported by it which in return would generate profit for Beijing and not Islamabad.

He added that China is also trying to establish the Yuan as an alternative currency to compete with the dollar.

Sethi explained,

🔴 "China's export surplus is huge and it is in debt of almost every trader. They have developed their banks on the lines of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and have even created their stock exchange. And you never know that the 60 billion worth of deals happening with Pakistan are tied with the Yuan. Then the trading would happen in Yuan instead of the Dollar. This is a very ambitious initiative of China to turn its currency into a global currency." (ANI)

Russian National Economic Security Strategy until 2030 approved

Vladimir Putin signed the Executive Order On the Russian Federation Economic Security Strategy until 2030.

May 15, 2017  


The strategy defines the economic challenges and threats and also the goals, priority areas and tasks for state economic security policy.

The Strategy aims to counter economic security challenges and threats, prevent crisis situations in the raw materials, production, science and technology, and financial sectors, and maintain people’s living standards.

Among the main economic security threats and challenges the Strategy includes the developed countries’ desire to use their economic and high-tech development advantages as instruments in global competition, the use of discriminatory measures against key sectors of the Russian economy, the Russian financial system’s vulnerability to global risks, technology lag, imbalances in the national budget system, high levels of crime and corruption in economic life, and growing gaps in personal income, regional development levels, and pace of socioeconomic growth.

Among the main policy goals for ensuring economic security, the Strategy lists strengthening economic sovereignty, bolstering the economy’s resistance to internal and external factors and threats, ensuring economic growth, maintaining scientific and technological potential at world levels, and raising living standards. The main policy implementation areas are developing the national governance system, economic forecasting and strategic planning, developing human potential, and establishing conditions for developing and using modern technology.

Tasks for reaching these goals include improving the investment climate, de-offshoring the economy, enhancing response measures in the event of sanctions, optimising the tax burden on businesses, making budget spending more effective, breaking the dependence on imports of complex equipment, developing the national finance market and payments system infrastructure, and priority economic development of Eastern Siberia, the Far North, the Far East, the North Caucasus, Crimea, and Kaliningrad Region. The Strategy also outlines tasks for foreign economic cooperation.

The Strategy calls for the establishment of a national risk management system to identify and evaluate existing and potential threats and challenges and plan measures for implementing state economic security policy.

Economic security indicators named in the Strategy include the physical GDP index, Russia’s GDP as a share of global GDP, the level of public debt, high-tech production as a share of GDP, and other indicators.

The Government has three months to draft organisational, legal and methodological measures needed for the Strategy’s implementation

Chinese baizuo gibe a rebuttal to West’s moral superiority

By Zhang Yi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/22 0:13:40


A Chinese-created term is catching attention on American social networks. Baizuo, or literally the "white left," has triggered heated discussions about how it should be interpreted. 

The term can now be found on Urban Dictionary, a crowdsourced online dictionary of slang words and phrases. The dictionary describes the buzzword as "meaning a naive Western-educated person who advocates for peace and equality only to satisfy their own feelings of moral superiority."

baizuo only cares about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment. The term first became a hit amid the European refugee crisis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the first Western politician tagged with the baizuo label because of her open-door refugee policy. Reporters said that Chinese students and job hunters complained that they had to try hard to stay in Europe, while unskilled refugees could just claim asylum and get welfare.

But the anti-baizuo discourse in China's Internet sphere is a fresh indication of Chinese netizens' dissatisfaction with the Western approach of solving global issues, which is often biased, elitist, ignorant of other peoples' concerns and constantly applying double standards.

For instance, the "elite" Western media, out of their deep-rooted bias and double standards, refuses to recognize the violence and attacks in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as acts of terrorism. In their portrayal, only terrorist attacks on Western soil can be defined as acts of terrorism. 

To many Chinese, the ideology upheld by Baizuo only shows their ignorance as their self-claimed superiority is based on a shaky ground. The sense of superiority of Westerners stems from the advantageous position their countries enjoyed under an unfair global economic system. People from the developing world had to work in labor-intensive, low-income and high-pollution industries, but the dividends were taken by those from the Western countries who were able to live a decent life. 

As the explanation in the Urban Dictionary goes, "The Chinese see the baizuo as ignorant and arrogant Westerners who pity the rest of the world and think they are saviors." Obviously, the "saviors" scene only happens in American blockbusters; the reality is the Western approach is creating problems in many places of the world.

A fair global system needs to be strived for by all countries. It is unrealistic to expect the Westerners to surrender their advantageous position, be they white left or white right

NYT’s spy in China story full of narcissism

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/22 0:13:39


The Chinese government allegedly killed or imprisoned more than a dozen CIA sources between 2010 and 2012, dismantling US spying operations in the country, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

According to the article, "Investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the CIA had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the CIA used to communicate with its foreign sources." The report included a sensational detail that one source "was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building - a message to others who might have been working for the CIA."

This NYT article has been widely quoted, yet its authenticity remains unknown. If CIA spying operations in China were crippled, the US has nothing to be proud of. But the NYT report portrayed the people that spied for the US as innocents, but the Chinese national security forces as merciless. The report also claimed "China has been particularly aggressive in its espionage in recent years."

If this article is telling the truth, we would like to applaud China's anti-espionage activities. Not only was the CIA's spy network dismantled, but Washington had no idea what happened and which part of the spy network had gone wrong. It can be taken as a sweeping victory. Perhaps it means even if the CIA makes efforts to rebuild its spy network in China, it could face the same result.

As for one source being shot in a government courtyard, that is a purely fabricated story, most likely a piece of American-style imagination based on ideology.

It is worth noting that the NYT report comes at a time when Sino-US relations are relatively smooth with some unsolved problems. The first round of China-US diplomatic and security dialogue will be held in June. Many American political elites are willing to see more friction between China and the US. Now with the latest report, they have found a new angle to stir up distrust between the US and China over espionage.

It is well known that the US is the world's largest intelligence-gatherer. It not only defines the moral standards of spies based its own national interests, but also tries to make these standards universal. The NYT report seems to be a white-knuckle beginning for a new version of Mission: Impossible: American spies who worked in China disappeared, and some of them died miserably. However, no one knew the reason for their deaths. The journalists who wrote the report must have been deeply addicted to the franchise. 

The CIA has apparently increased its espionage activities in China, which will inevitably lead to China simultaneously strengthening its counterintelligence efforts. No matter how Americans see it, international law will affirm that China's anti-espionage activities are just and legal, while the CIA's spying is illegitimate. 

When the US media is keen on hyping up "catching Chinese spies," they should forego their moral narcissism when reporting CIA espionage in China. It's absurd that under their description, the US is always the noble side whether it is catching spies or sending spies