July 23, 2017

Shipping could benefit from increased world trade between East and West

20 May 2017, 02:03 | Darnell Patrick

US, China agree to first trade steps under Trump 100-day plan

Russia willing to get new investment through Chinese Belt and Road Initiative

The OBOR project involves a land route running from inner China to southern Europe via The Netherlands.

Some quarters in India echoed the view that it is in the interest of India to participate in the new model of globalization, where China will be in the hegemony. It was huge investment in roads, railways, ports and other infrastructure that created the Chinese "economic miracle". By 2015, Fozil Mashrab, writing for the Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Monitor, noted that while the Uzbek portion of the project - the Angren-Pap railway - was making solid progress, "Kyrgyzstan's government has been slow and indecisive in implementing its part of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railroad, while the country's president, Almazbek Atambaev, keeps changing his mind on the project".

OBOR is a very ambitious project and even can be termed an unrealistic project. That could mean a profit windfall for investors who know where to look.

What is particularly significant for China about the OBOR project is that 16 of China's 27 provinces are covered in the vision. Other delegates included officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and journalists from over 130 countries, and representatives of key global organisations, such as the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank's President Jim Yong Kim, and Managing Director of the worldwide Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.

The Thai cabinet approved China's proposal to survey the route in December a year ago, without public participation amid local concerns of environmental impacts. The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world's largest fuel network in the world. Worse, in many cases, under this Thai regime, local people have been suppressed when they wanted to have a say in those projects.

The main point of concern for several countries in the world is that this OBOR concept has been initiated by China and not by a neutral or world body such as the United Nations. Even the well-meaning Paris climate conference does not have a smooth way forward, as the Trump administration in the USA is now objecting to decisions of the Paris climate conference, which threatens to derail the plans and objectives. After the normalization of bilateral relations between Norway and China, it is expected that the two countries' Arctic cooperation will grow significantly. His reasoning is that China did not become "one of us" and that Chinese leaders are "deceptive", derived from playing Go, a game he claims uses deception (instead of strategy as in chess) to defeat opponents.

He said that within the framework of their comprehensive strategic partnership, the two countries have achieved fruitful results in the areas of infrastructure, construction, energy, telecommunications, education and culture.

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Since the demise of the Soviet Union, Russia and China have boosted their security cooperation, economic relations and military capabilities, and have re-established themselves as great powers. "The image China wants to send to the world is that "One Belt, One Road' does not only belong to China, it belongs to the world". India has serious objection to the fact that the Belt and Road plan violates India's sovereignty, as it passes through the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

A high-level delegation from Bangladesh also participated in the forum to discuss various issues like the prospects of the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar) economic corridor, a key OBOR project connecting to the resourceful Indian Ocean, according to media reports.

Later this year, China hosts a once in five-year leadership reshuffle, and raising the country's global profile is crucial for President Xi Jinping as he works to consolidate power within the party. In the case of Tibet, China has ignored world opinion and gives the impression that it believes that force will always triumph.

China had a trade deficit with 12 countries, with the largest trade deficit a year ago of $10.9 billion with Malaysia, said the report. The big stimulus package by the Chinese government during the global financial crisis might have saved China from plunging into recession. The ruling clique in the Communist party has also differences, and power struggle amongst the politburo members is not unknown.

But while accolades for China's efforts to finance infrastructure development are well deserved, the celebrations may be premature.

Joining a multilateral development bank that does not include the U.S., is an example of Singapore acting independently based on its own interests.

The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the informal meeting took place at a picturesque lake resort where leaders were attending the Belt and Road Forum hosted by China.

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