CPEC : PM Imran Khan’s Visit to China at a Crucial Moment

Beijing, Nov. 3: Geopolitics is changing rapidly. Friends yesterday may not be friends today. Especially this part of the world is under immense focus and may play a pivotal role in geopolitics of tomorrow. India formerly a close ally of the USSR is in the American Bloc, Turkey a long time NATO ally is getting closer to Russia. Middle East is under tense situation, either Yemen, Qatar, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, all have certain degree of political instability. Iran may face trade sanctions imposed by the US from 5th November 2018. Russia, India and China are major importer of energy from Iran, and may not accept US imposed sanctions. What situation may emerge, no one can guess yet. The US trade war on China and opposition to BRI are all efforts to curtail China. US’s supremacy is being challenged and may not sustain forever. Over-all the situation is quite tense& hostile and reminds us of the cold war era.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, is on a 4 days official visit to China from 2-5 November 2018. He is scheduled to meet President Xi Jinping on 2nd November. This will be first time that two strong leaders will meet and it is expected that both would reach a long lasting understanding. It is worth mentioning that, both leaders have so many things in common, like both are honest and visionary leaders, both are against corruption and both have their peoples service to their heart. Both have a common agenda to serve their people and develop their country they enjoy popular support of their masses and rule over the hearts and souls of their own people.

On 3rd November, Imran Khan is planned to visit the Monument of the people’s heroes at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, paying his symbolic respect to heroes who sacrificed their lives during war of liberation, and later afternoon will meet Chairman of National People’s Congress, the highest legislative platform in China. On 4th November, he will speak at Central Party School, the source of Chinese party leadership, as a nursery, which trains and provides leadership to the Communist Party of China.
Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will also attend the first-ever Shanghai Import Expo on 5th of November, as the guest of honor at the opening ceremony. Import Expo is a unique concept, innovated by China only. He will be accompanied by a 75- member strong delegation of Pakistanis businessmen. Business-delegation is consisting of leaders of various businesses in Pakistan. They will have the opportunity to interact with Chinese entrepreneurs and I believe, it will open avenues of future collaboration.
Pakistan’s import from China stands at 14.5 Billion US Dollars, while export to China is only 2 Billion US Dollars only. The trade gap is rather huge. The Shanghai Import Expo will bring this gap to narrow down to some extent. Shanghai Import Expo is a very positive step and a clear message that China promotes globalization. It is expected, the rest of the world may also appreciate it and be beneficiary of Chinese free and fair trade practices.

It is expected that both leaders will consider the geopolitical challenges faced by two nations, and may formulate a joint strategy. China is under severe criticism of BRI and facing trade war challenges. US is openly curtailing Chinese influence and BRI development. Pakistan is passing through the worst economic crisis and foreign debt burden. All such issues will be on top of the agenda during this visit. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is the flagship project under BRI, will also be under discussion. Pakistan understands CPEC is vital for economic take-off of Pakistan and pays due importance to CPEC. Pakistan wants to speed it up and widen its scope too. Saudi Arabia has shown interest to join CPEC and China has agreed. It may open options for any other country to join CPEC and it is expected that Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and many other countries may be involved in CPEC in the very near future. All these are important issues and need close consultation with China.

The most important is to create harmony between the two leaders and joint strategy to face the challenges of the coming days. They may design roadmap of future cooperation. Pakistan and China are always on the same page and support and protect each other’s interests. It is not something new, it was our standard practice in the past and will remain unchanged in the future too. We both nations are synchronized so well that no other nation can tear us apart. Our friendship is so deep-rooted and based on such a strong foundation that any effort to create any misunderstanding between us would go to the drain.

The visit will be a message of “Peace, Harmony, Security, Stability, Development and Prosperity” not only for Pakistan and China but for the whole region. World may appreciate this role model.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed AwanProf. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomate), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Source: www.moderndiplomacy.eu

China’s Alibaba to Sell Fresh Milk of New Zealand to Millions of Chinese consumers via Tmall

Beijing, Aug. 31: China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba will start selling fresh milk of New Zealand to potentially millions of customers on Alibaba's Tmall platform from the end of next week. Alibaba Group has signed a deal with Milk New Zealand, according to NZHERALD. Now Chinese consumers will soon be able to order fresh New Zealand milk through e-commerce platform Alibaba, but at a cost.

The platform is selling two 1L bottles of milk for 79RMB or $16.50 after it signed a deal with Milk New Zealand.

The trade agreement means the milk will be available to potentially millions of customers on Alibaba's Tmall platform from the end of next week.

The launch in Hamilton will be live webcast to Alibaba customers - a first, according to Milk New Zealand managing director Terry Lee.

"This is the first time Alibaba will promote fresh product directly via live webcast to its VVIP members and, as such, this collaboration has created a new model of how to promote New Zealand fresh products directly to Chinese consumers," he said.

Theland Farm Fresh Milk is produced by Green Valley Dairy Ltd and air-freighted to China in one litre bottles, with support from China Eastern Airline Cargo.

The milk has a shelf life of 16 days.

Lee said the partnership was a significant opportunity in a growing market.

"It's an exciting prospect not only because it promotes the collaboration we have with Alibaba, but also provides Chinese consumers with insight to where and how the milk is produced."

"Traceability - from pasture to plate - is very strong in China. Consumers want to know that the product they are consuming has been produced with the highest animal welfare, environmental and quality processes."

Lee said by September 8, about 35,000 bottles would have been shipped. The company plans the production of about 20,000 bottles a month until the end of this year when it would be increased to about 80,000 bottles a month.

"Demand for fresh milk is growing in China, particularly for product which has been grown and processed in New Zealand," Lee said.

"Theland Fresh Milk is 100 per cent New Zealand made."

As well as Minister of Food and Safety David Bennett, executives from Alibaba and several Chinese social media influencers would be at the launch in Hamilton next week.

Alibaba is one of the world's largest retailers and has operations in more than 200 countries.

It has more than 529 million monthly active mobile users across its platforms.

China's Trade Volume with BRICS Countries Reaches $174.7 billion in first seven months of 2017

Beijing, Aug. 30: China's trade volume with BRICS countries reached 1.15 trillion yuan (174.7 billion US dollars) in the first seven months of 2017, a 32.9-percent increase in the same period last year, customs data released on Tuesday showed, CGTN reported. That rate is higher than the 18.5-percent growth rate China posted in foreign trade during the same period, according to the General Administration of Customs.

China's total import turnover with the other four BRICS members in the first seven months of this year hit 561.88 billion yuan, up 37.7 percent from a year ago, while exports were at 586.58 billion yuan, up 28.7 percent.

As a result, China's trade surplus with the BRICS bloc stands at 24.7 billion yuan, down 48.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

The trade statistics come just days before the BRICS Summit, which opens in China's southeastern coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian Province on Sunday.
"There is enormous potential for cooperation in trade, investment, finance and infrastructure among the five countries," said Jiang Zengwei, head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Trade is one of the four topics slated to be discussed at the BRICS Business Forum, a major side-event of the summit.

Themed "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future", the forum is expected to bring together a record 1,200 attendees, including executives from more than 50 Fortune 500 multinationals.

They will discuss and exchange ideas on topics such as trade and investment, connectivity, financial cooperation and development and “Blue Economy.”

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi Calls to Advance the Development of the CPEC under BRI

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) : Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi has called on China and Pakistan to maintain close high-level contacts, promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative, forge ahead cooperation in different areas and intensify coordination in multi-lateral organizations such as the United Nations and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, according to Chinese media report.

Yang Jiechi made these remarks while meeting Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua who called him in Beijing Monday.

During their meeting, Yang said it is especially important for China and Pakistan to enhance strategic communication under current global and regional circumstances.

Tehmina Janjua in his remarks said Pakistan firmly supports China on issues concerning its core interests.

Janjua further added Pakistan is committed to building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and would like to maintain close communication with China on major international and regional issues, the press release said.

Janjua was appointed as Pakistan's foreign secretary in February, becoming the first woman to hold the position in Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

CPEC is also major project of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013. BRI refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

Experts say CPEC projects will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republics, and the region.

103 Myanmar Outstanding Students to Study in China under Scholarship Program to Boost Educational Ties

Naypyidaw,Aug. 31: China’s southwestern neighbour Myanmar is sending 103 outstanding students to study in China under a scholarship and stipend program to boost educational ties and promote development in Myanmar.The scholarship winning Myanmar students were bid farewell on Wednesday.  Speaking at a ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Hong Liang noted that China has actively participated in promoting the development of Myanmar's education sector, donating friendship school buildings and introducing a program of China-Myanmar friendship scholarship and stipend as part of promoting "Pauk-Phaw" friendship. 

The program was introduced in 2016 to support the education development of Myanmar.

Thanking China, U Sein Win Aung, chairman of China-Myanmar Friendship Association urged students to study hard in China and take a vital role in Myanmar's educational reforms.

China and Myanmar share a geopolitically strategic 2185-kilometre (1358-mile) border and have established cooperative, closer and warmer ties.

China announced scholarships for 3,000 freshmen from nations and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road each year, to make studying more attractive in China, according to the international cooperation and exchange department of China’s Ministry of Education.

China has signed agreements on the mutual recognition of academic degrees with 46 countries and regions around the world, according to Ministry.

Tajikistan, Egypt, Mexico, Guinea and Thailand to Attend BRICS 2017 in Xiamen,China

Beijing, Aug. 30: Delegates from BRICS nations and five other emerging market economies will attend the BRICS Summit from September 3 to 5 in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media on Wednesday at a press briefing ahead of the summit. BRICS Summit 2017, with theme of “deepening the BRICS partnership and opening up a brighter future”, will be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries on mutually beneficial cooperation for common development will be top on meeting’s agenda.

The five emerging market economies taking part in the ninth BRICS summit are Tajikistan, Egypt, Mexico, Guinea and Thailand.

A Xiamen Declaration on global economic governance and people-to-people exchange will be released on September 4 by participating countries.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa make up BRICS and account for nearly a quarter of the world economy and contributed more than half of global growth in 2016, Chinese media reported.

The hosting province, Fujian is dubbed as a new star on ancient maritime Silk Road as the area has vital port links for to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route.

Quanzhou city is one of the largest cities in Fujian province with a population of over 8 million. Under the vision of the Belt and Road, the city is the pilot zone for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road as well as the strategic pivot of maritime cooperation.

Experts believe the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping will also feature prominently once again in the upcoming BRICS Summit 2017.

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