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Thread: The Silk Road

  1. #61
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  2. #62
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  3. #63
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  4. #64
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  5. #65
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    Our freshest exclusive web article - part deux

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  6. #66
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  7. #67
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    Nevermind Muay Thai. Thai Wushu! READ The Silk Road Kung Fu Friendship Tour Part 32: Wushu in Thailand Continued by Greg Brundage

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  8. #68
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  9. #69
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  10. #70
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    A first-hand account. READ Battling COVID-19 in Beijing by Greg Brundage



    THREADS
    The Silk Road
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    Gene Ching
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  11. #71
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    down 20%

    JUNE 18, 2020 / 8:53 PM / 4 DAYS AGO
    China says one-fifth of Belt and Road projects 'seriously affected' by pandemic

    2 MIN READ

    BEIJING (Reuters) - About 20% of projects under China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to link Asia, Europe and beyond have been “seriously affected” by the coronavirus pandemic, an official from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

    According to a survey by the ministry, about 40% of projects have seen little adverse impact, and another 30-40% have been somewhat affected, said Wang Xiaolong, director-general of the ministry’s International Economic Affairs Department, at a news briefing in Beijing.

    “About 20% percent of the projects have been seriously affected,” he said. Wang did not give any details.

    The results from the survey were better than expected and although some projects had been put on hold, China had not heard of any major projects being cancelled, he added.

    Over 100 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in BRI projects like railways, ports, highways and other infrastructure. According to a Refinitiv database, over 2,600 projects at a cost of $3.7 trillion are linked to the initiative.

    Restrictions on travel and the flow of goods across borders, as well as local measures to combat COVID-19, were the main reasons for the impacts on projects, said Wang.

    “As the situation improves we have confidence that the projects will come back and the execution of them will speed up,” he said.

    The challenge of the pandemic to BRI projects follows a pushback in 2018, when officials in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere criticized projects there as costly and unnecessary.

    China scaled back some plans after several countries sought to review, cancel or scale down commitments, citing concerns over costs, erosion of sovereignty, and corruption.

    (This story adds dropped words in lead paragraph)
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  12. #72
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    G7


    G-7 wants to rival China’s Belt and Road plan — but it won’t stop Beijing, expert says

    PUBLISHED MON, JUN 14 20212:55 AM EDT
    Yen Nee Lee
    @YENNEE_LEE

    KEY POINTS
    The Group of Seven wealthy nations have agreed to set up an infrastructure plan to compete with China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative.
    The plan is not intended to stop the Belt and Road Initiative, said Matthew Goodman of Washington D.C.-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    Still, it could make a “significant contribution” in closing the world’s infrastructure gap by channeling investments into developing countries,” said Goodman.

    Wealthy nations in the Group of Seven have agreed to set up an infrastructure plan to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative — but that won’t stop Beijing’s massive program, an expert on global economic governance said Monday.

    Leaders from the G-7 nations met at a three-day summit in southwest England that ended Sunday — their first face-to-face meeting in two years. The group’s infrastructure plan is part of a broad collective pushback against China on issues ranging from human rights abuses to non-market practices that undermine fair competition.

    “This isn’t really intended to stop Belt and Road. But I think the G-7 is signaling that they want to offer an alternative which really revolves around two big things that these countries offer,” said Matthew Goodman, senior vice president for economics at Washington D.C.-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s ambitious program to build physical and digital infrastructure to connect hundreds of countries from Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Critics consider it Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy to expand his country’s global influence.

    Goodman, who’s also the Simon Chair in political economy at CSIS, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” that the G-7 could make a “significant contribution” in closing the world’s infrastructure gap by channeling investments into developing countries.

    I think the tone was pretty clear about the concern that these seven large, advanced market economies have about China, its economic coercion, its non-market policies, its human rights abuses.
    Matthew Goodman
    CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
    In addition, the seven rich democracies would bring better safeguards to infrastructure projects — including transparency, accountability as well as environmental and social standards, said Goodman.

    “I think that’s what they’re trying to signal here. Whether they can pull it off or not is another story, it’s a very difficult business,” he added.

    The U.S. and many countries have been critical of the Belt and Road plan, accusing Beijing of leaving participating countries laden with untenable debt, while benefiting Chinese companies — many of them state-owned. In addition to the program’s environmental harm, critics also questioned the transparency of the deals.

    Confronting China
    China featured prominently in a communique released by the G-7 on Sunday. The G-7 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

    In addition to calling out China’s alleged human rights abuses and non-market policies, the G-7 also asked for more transparency on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. They stressed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and expressed concerns about tensions in the East and South China Sea where China has overlapping territorial claims with its regional neighbors.

    Beijing responded angrily to the communique on Monday.

    The Chinese embassy in the U.K. said it firmly opposed the G-7 statement and was strongly dissatisfied. In a Mandarin-language statement translated by CNBC, the embassy urged the U.S. and other G-7 members to stop slandering China and interfering in Chinese internal affairs.

    Before the release of the Chinese embassy’s statement, Goodman said Beijing shouldn’t be surprised of the G-7 pushback. He said the group had wanted to show that democratic nations are working together to address global challenges, in contrast to authoritarian rivals such as China and Russia.

    “I think the tone was pretty clear about the concern that these seven large, advanced market economies have about China, its economic coercion, it’s non-market policies, its human rights abuses,” said Goodman.

    “And I think that was well telegraphed in the run-up to the summit, so Beijing shouldn’t be surprised.”
    G& = Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
    Gene Ching
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