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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:23 am 
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It looks like the Myanmar Generalissimo's are getting cold feet about the Kyaukpyu port. They fear they're going to fall into the same problems Sri lanka did where it had to give the port built using Chinese loans to the Chinese when they couldn't pay them back.

The Guardian wrote:
Myanmar scales back Chinese-backed port project over debt fears

Myanmar has scaled back plans for a Chinese-backed port on its western coast, sharply reducing the cost of the project after concerns it could leave the south-east Asian nation heavily indebted, a top government official and an adviser told Reuters.

The Kyaukpyu port is a key part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, aimed at expanding trade links across the world. While Beijing says Belt and Road is mutually beneficial for it and its partners, questions have been raised about countries taking on excessive debt to build projects.

The initial $7.3bn (£5.6bn) price tag on the Kyaukpyu deepwater port, on the western tip of Myanmar’s conflict-torn Rakhine state, set off alarm bells due to reports of troubled Chinese-backed projects in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the official and the adviser said........

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:29 am 
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The chinese don't understand the soft in 'soft power'. You keep good relations, not reposses bits of another country; in times of stress you use the "yeah, but you still owe me 10 billion for the port; not looking for it, just saying like if you need to vote, or I need to park an aircraft carrier".

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:40 am 
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Hmmm, and there appears to be some pushback on the move from soft power:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... over-china
Whether it amounts to anything is another question!

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Quote:
Before the West started paying real attention to the Rohingya crisis, Myanmar’s democratic transition was something of a cause celebre. But in reality, the country is still under military sway, and the democratic West is still less influential in Myanmar than China. Beijing’s interests are still a decisive economic influence in the country, which is clearly a potentially crucial partner in China’s gargantuan Belt and Road initiative.

To be sure, China is just one of Myanmar’s heavyweight international protectors, which also include Russia and India. These three countries all share certain urgent concerns, among them the threat of militant radical Islamism. Connections have been drawn between Rohingya militants and Pakistani extremist groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, this just as Beijing is increasing pressure on Pakistan to curb its support for fundamentalist groups that could threaten Chinese interests in Asia.

As it surveys this troubling map – which also includes an insurgency among the Uighur Muslims of China’s own Xinjiang province – Beijing views Myanmar’s crackdown not as a domestic problem for a junior partner, but as another front in a wider struggle for stability.

And just as Myanmar fits into that particular Chinese strategy, it also has a part to play in various others.


https://scroll.in/article/864709/why-ch ... mar-regime

The west had been under the impression that if it could get Aun Sang Su Ki installed in power it would then have a puppet with which to oppose China by proxy. Hence the Nobel Prize and fawning by Hillary Clinton, Bono et al. When it became apparent that she was not going to play ball and allow western interests unfettered access to to Burmese mineral deposits and the rest of it they then turned their attention to fermenting unrest via Rohingyan Islamists in Rakhine state before Bob Geldof and the like began labeling her as a war criminal etc.

As an aside the whole region around Bangkadesh to include Rakhine State and parts of India, notably Assam, are ethnic conflicts and even potential genocides waiting to happen (obviously has already happened to an extent in Myanmar) as ever increasing numbers of illegal migrants from Bangladesh (i.e. Muslims) encroach on surrounding areas. Currently the Indian Givernemnt is threatening to deport significant numbers of the estimated 4 million Muslims in Assam if they cannot prove that they are citizens despite most (probably) of them having been born in India. An opposition Indian politician in parliament this week even predicted civil war if the plan goes ahead....probably hyperbole but given what happened in Myanmar last year the situation is tense.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:56 pm 
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There was a TV report earlier this evening that referenced this article....interesting, innovative stuff on the part of the Chinese....as the woman said, while the Yanks have spent the past decade and a half focussed on blowing up a guy in a cave, the Chinese have been at the likes of this...

Quote:
Transsion, Tecno’s manufacturer, has two other brands on the market – Itel, and Infinix catering to different price points and consumer segments. What sets the company apart is that they are solely focused on the African continent and do not even sell in their domestic market of China. This was a strategic decision, as a recent article says, and their rapid success very likely due to the vacuum left by Nokia. They’ve customized completely for the African market, going as far as to develop cameras suited for local conditions, something no other phone manufacturer has done anywhere on the planet.

“For African consumers, a main medium of entertainment is photos – they love to take selfies and share them with friends. The traditional camera was not optimised for the African consumer because often, for those with darker skin, the photos don’t come out well especially in low light. We did research using over 10,000 photos of African consumers to create a special algorithm to optimise the camera to attract 30% more light on the darker face. We call this ‘Africa Focus’. It’s been heavily popular. It improved our cameras and won the hearts of Africans who like to take selfies.


http://nitibhan.com/tag/transsion/

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:52 pm 
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Nearby Laos is into hock to the Chinese for a pile of infrastructure, notably their 'under construction' bit of a 'Kunming-Singapore' railroad that has very little support in Malaysia and Thailand further south which will cost them 33% of their annual GDP by the time it opens in 2021. The loan needs annual servicing thereafter.

The terrain in Laos is brutal, it is basically one mountain range from north west to south east.

Between the rail project (China to the capital) and some motorway and dam projects they are in hock for over 50% of GDP albeit rapidly growing GDP nowadays. If they could stop at that lot for a few years then inflation will get them out of potential trouble in a few years.

If they keep taking credit they will be a Chinese vassal state by 2025. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:39 am 
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A quick breakdown of how China's geaography drives it's defence policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Reviving the Silk Road
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Chinas Giant Gulag!

Since 2016 China has built a giant system of Gulags or 'special vocational schools' in its Muslim majority North West province of Xinjiang. These large camps, over 20 of them, are capable of housing at least 1 MILLION PRISONERS and a catalogue of these gulags, together with Google Earth Images, is available HERE.

So far China is detaining in the order of 500,000-700,000 prisoners, almost all are ethnic Uighurs and Kazakhs from the NW area. The total population of Kazakhs and Uighurs is around 13-14m meaning that 5% of the entire ethnic population is now in the Gulag. Whole areas are depopulated now.

The FT carried an excellent piece on this enormous security crackdown this week.

https://www.ft.com/content/ac0ffb2e-8b3 ... 81731a0340

Quote:
According to reports and accounts from human rights groups cited by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, at least 500,000 Uighurs are in detention or have been recently held. In April, its two chairs, lawmakers Marco Rubio and Chris Smith, called Xinjiang “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today”. In southern Xinjiang, where policing is the most intense, up to 80 per cent of adults in urban neighbourhoods have been rounded up according to remaining residents.

“So many people, mostly the men, were imprisoned for so-called ‘913’ crimes: having forbidden digital content on their phones,” says Alfiya, a Kashgar housewife.

Chinese media have in part masked the sudden disappearance of such a large part of Xinjiang’s population by absorbing it into more innocuous initiatives. For instance, according to the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, a national poverty alleviation programme relocated 461,000 rural Xinjiang residents in the first three months of 2018. Calls to Xinjiang’s provincial government and public security arm went unanswered.


Nobody is safe from the Gulag.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/worl ... dawut.html

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