Photo from the New York Times article linked below


Geopolitics of the Silk Road – Chinese government plans massive investments in an attempt to build a new logistics structure across Asia, Africa and Europe

China is investing $46 billion to carve out a route through one of the world’s most dangerous regions – Quartz, 20 April

‘Chinese president Xi Jinping visits Islamabad this week, where he will sign agreements to spend almost $46 billion on energy and infrastructure projects to be built along an “economic corridor” between Kashgar in China’s western province of Xinjiang and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, soon to be operated by a Chinese state-owned firm.’

China to unveil $46bn investment in Pakistan during visit by Xi Jingping – The Guardian, 20 April

‘With the plan, known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (Cpec), Beijing hopes to ramp up investments in Pakistan as part of its ambitions to expand its trade and transport footprint across Central and South Asia, while countering US and Indian influence.’

Xi Jinping Heads to Pakistan, Bearing Billions in Infrastructure Aid – New York Times, 19 April

‘China’s president, Xi Jinping, travels to Pakistan on Monday laden with tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure and energy assistance on a scale the United States has never offered in the past decade of a close relationship, a gesture likely to confirm the decline of American influence…’

China’s new silk roads tie together 3 continents – China dialogue, 17 April

‘China recently unveiled an action plan for its controversial One Belt, One Road initiative to link its economy with the rest of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Known as the ‘new silk roads’, it combines new infrastructure networks of roads, railway lines, ports to strengthen trade…’

The Geopolitics of Chinese Investments in Sri Lanka – IPCS, 13 April

‘Chinese investments in Sri Lanka are can be primarily found in three sectors: trade, infrastructure and defense. Infrastructural investments such as the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, the National Theatre of Performing Arts, and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) are symbolic of Chinese presence in Sri Lanka. Apart from these investments, two other projects – the Hambantota port and the Colombo Port City project – have drawn attention to the nature of the Chinese investments in Sri Lanka.’


At the sharp end – while trying to curb the growing demands of the proletarianised rural migrants in the cities authorities face pockets of environmental struggle when pollution protests in Guangdong are followed by protests in inland Sichuan province

At the sharp end of the workers’ movement in China: The Zhongshan Cuiheng strike – CLB, 17 April

‘A month-long strike at a Japanese-owned bag manufacturer in the Pearl River Delta town of Zhongshan has been characterized by police violence, arrests and intimidation, and the absolute refusal of the boss to negotiate. Welcome to the sharp end of the workers’ movement in China.’

Police Detain ‘At Least 10’ in Clashes With Pollution Protesters in China’s Guangdong – RFA, 15 April

‘Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have detained at least 10 people following clashes between police and local residents protesting pollution from a nearby ironworks, ethnic minority residents of Daying village near Qingyuan city said on Wednesday.’

Thousands Protest, Riot in China’s Sichuan After Coking Plant Leak – RFA, 14 April

‘Thousands of angry protesters took to the streets of Neijiang city in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan on Tuesday amid growing popular anger over the leakage of toxic gas from a nearby coking plant…’


Economic slowdown – to control the economic slowdown the government implements fiscal deregulation and reveals investment plans into logistics infrastructure at home and abroad

China Steps Up Economy Help With Reduced Bank Reserve Ratios – Bloomberg, 19 April

‘China’s leaders swung into stimulus mode, cutting the amount of cash lenders must set aside as reserves by the most since the global financial crisis just days after a report showed the slowest economic growth in six years.’

China’s central bank cuts reserve ratio – The Guardian, 19 April

‘China’s central bank has cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves on Sunday, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world’s second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth.’

Why China’s economy is slowing and what it means for everything – Quartz, 19 April

‘China, an increasingly important engine of global economic growth, is slowing fast. Just last week, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that growth in the world’s second-largest economy had slowed to 7%, the slowest clip in six years.’

China clings to strong yuan despite export slowdown – CNBC, 14 April

‘As China’s export engine sputters, it is avoiding the seemingly simple fix of letting its managed currency drift lower to improve competitiveness, constrained by the threat of faster capital withdrawal as its economy slows.’

China GDP: It’s not going to be pretty – CNBC, 13 April

‘China’s economic growth for the first three months of 2015 could well hit a multi-year low, experts say, increasing the pressure on Beijing to curb the marked slowdown.’

China’s coal imports fall nearly half in 12 months as anti-pollution drive bites – The Guardian, 13 April

‘Imports by the world’s biggest coal consumer reached 49.07m tonnes in the first quarter, a fall of 42% on the same period a year ago according to data from the Chinese customs office.’

What’s behind the surprise drop in Chinese exports? – Quartz, 13 April

‘China’s exports for the month of March fell by 15% from a year ago (in dollar terms), the General Administration of Customs said today. It was a big surprise to markets and investors, who were expecting a rise of as much as 12%. Imports also dropped, by 12.3%, although that was in line with expectations. As a result China’s trade surplus shrunk for March to just $3.1 billion, compared with expectations of $40 billion or more.’


The Long Clampdown – along with the purge (of possible rivals) within the ruling class Xi’s government continues to put pressure on activists, NGO’s and journalists

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu sentenced to 7 years – The China Post, 17 April

‘A Beijing court sentenced a veteran Chinese journalist to seven years in prison Friday on charges of leaking a document detailing the Communist Party leadership’s resolve to aggressively target civil society and press freedom as a threat to its monopoly on power.’

China corporate jet sales ‘dire’ after corruption sweep – The China Post, 17 April

‘China’s corporate jet market is facing a “dire” 2015, an aviation consultancy said, as slowing economic growth and a persistent crackdown on corruption batter sales.’

China threatens human rights group linked to detained feminists – The Guardian, 14 April

‘China’s foreign ministry has threatened to punish a prominent non-governmental organisation that lobbied for the release of five women’s rights activists, saying the group must be held accountable for “breaking the law”…’


The Upstart Hegemon – China challenges the overstretched US hegemony by setting up it’s own “world bank” and disciplines Taiwan in the process

Half of the EU and all of ASEAN are now members of China’s alternative to the World Bank – Quartz, 15 April

‘China has announced the 57 founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a Chinese-led initiative seen as a potential rival to the US-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank.’

AIIB: Taiwan out in the cold – The Interpreter, 14 April

‘Like more than 40 others, Taiwan had applied to be a founding member of the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China yesterday rejected this but says discussions are ongoing about Taiwan’s membership of the Bank under ‘an appropriate name’, meaning ‘Taipei, China’ or ‘Chinese Taipei’, not ‘the Republic of China’ or ‘Taiwan’…’


The plight of (capital’s) flight – While it’s Brazilian investments failed to deliver on promises the electronics subcontracting giant Foxconn considers smarthpone manufacturing in India

Foxconn mulls manufacturing facilities in Gujarat, Noida – Voice&Data, 14 April

‘Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn is looking to set up two smartphone manufacturing plants, one each in Gujarat and Noida, besides, a small trial production plant in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh.’

Brazil’s iPhone investment falls short on promises of jobs, lower prices – Reuters, 13 April

‘When Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group agreed in April 2011 to make Apple products here, President Dilma Rousseff and her advisers promised that up to $12 billion in investments over six years would transform the Brazilian technology sector, putting it on the cutting edge of touch screen development. A new supply chain would be created, generating high-quality jobs and bringing down prices of the coveted gadgets. Four years later, none of that has come true.’


Maritime Militarization – US and Philippine Naves Drill in South China Sea whileChina builds islands out of sand

Beijing ‘will push ahead’ building in disputed areas of South China Sea – SCMP, 20 April

‘Vietnam and the Philippines attempts to form a strategic partnership amid China’s increasingly assertive claims to areas of the South China Sea will not deter Beijing from beefing up its presence in the disputed waters, according to Chinese analysts.’

U.S. rebalance to Asia begins with major military drill in Philippines – Reuters, 20 April

‘Philippine and U.S. soldiers began their biggest combined military exercise in 15 years on Monday, in a demonstration of Washington’s commitment to its long-time ally as it rebalances to Asia in the face of China’s expansion in the South China Sea.’

Standing shoulder-to-wary-shoulder – The Economist, 19 April

‘[Monday marks] the beginning of the 31st Balikatan exercises: joint training between the American and Philippine armies, which also involves some Australian units. This is the first Balikatan (which means “shoulder-to-shoulder”) since the Philippines and America signed an “Enhanced Defence Co-operation Agreement” last year. It is to be the biggest for 15 years; 6,000 American troops will take part, more than twice as many as last year.’


Sino-Russian relations – As NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine continues Russia tries to boost it’s relations with China

Russia’s pivot to Asia – A Sino-Russian Entente? – Deutsche Welle, 15 April

‘The rupture between Russia and the West stemming from the Ukraine crisis has led Moscow to expand ties with Asia, especially China. Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, talks to DW about the implications.’

Sold: Russian S-400 Missile Defense Systems to China – The Diplomat, 14 April

‘[China and Russia reached a deal that will] supply China with the S-400 Triumf missile defense system. The S-400, an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian Ministry of Defense. China will be the first foreign buyer.’


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