Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘china

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 225

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Every society has gone through the same historical development and experienced with feudal systems, caste systems, monarchies, and oligarchies.
China has the mentality of becoming a superpower at par with the USA.  Everything that China is doing is at a gigantic measure such as the biggest dam with all the subsequent mass transfer of people, traditions, and customs.
The focus on urban centers and industrialization in China is diverting water from agriculture, the source of its initial prosperity and social stability.
A 7-month dry season in the northern part of China, the wheat basket region, is sending shivers of forthcoming famine. The rivers in China are heavily polluted and the western diseases from water and land pollution are harvesting thousands of young lives. Over 25, millions were forced to vacate the urban centers to their remote villages after this financial crisis.
Shanghai alone has more high rises than New York and Los Angeles combined or 5,000 high-rises.
China and India are two powers that have the technologies, the know-how, and the resources in raw materials and human potential to rival the economies of the western nations.  It is no secret that the hurried frenzy of Bush Junior to unilaterally invade Iraq had the main purpose of dominating oil reserves and blackmailing China and India.
Within a century, 50 millions middle class families in the USA and Europe almost exhausted earth minerals and energies.
Currently, over 150 millions middle class families in China and India, and increasing steadily, can afford and demand the same consumer items that the USA and European middle classes enjoyed for a century, and they want them Now.
Just in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000
Although Congress authorizes America’s foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Or that Israel standard of living is higher than Spain and Ireland. Yet this influx of financial support has been going on for more than a generation.

Shou hal fawda wal zolm? Leish elleh ma t7aakamo min sneen laazem yentro al “3afou al 3aam”?

Fi 4 voitures biya3touni sha2leh lal maktabeh iza mara2o. Al bakiyya bi kazbo 3ala nafshon “Adonis 7abeb yetmasha”. Ma 3edon jalad yed3esso frem wa yerj3o ye al3o.

Ahssan di3ayat la Hezbollah woukouf Saad Hariri doddahou: Kel Tareek Jdideh, bi omha wa bayya, badha t7ot warakat baydaa2. Kel sawt moush lal Moustakbal houweh sawt la Hezbollah. Sawto lel fassad wa ma tsadko Hassan

Samir Gea3ja3: Akeed, akeed, “Bad. Hezbollah very bad”. Sa3d Hariri: Kel sawt moush la eli houweh la Hezbollah

 

 

 

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What might a trade war between America and China look like?

The Economist explains

Punitive American tariffs on China would leave everybody worse off

DONALD TRUMP vilified the Chinese government on the campaign trail, accusing it of manipulating China’s currency, stealing America’s intellectual property and “taking our jobs”.

This hostility was not just posturing for the election season.

In 2012 he had falsely accused the Chinese of inventing the concept of global warming—to make American manufacturing uncompetitive, he said.

Tensions are high: Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, reminded global elites assembled at Davos that “no one will emerge as a winner in a trade war”. If America targets Chinese trade, China will hit back. So what might a trade war between the two economic powers play out?

There are two ways in which talk might translate to action.

Mr Trump might try simply to enforce the rules of global trade in the court rooms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Since America has no bilateral trade deal with China, WTO rules define what is and is not allowed.

Mr Trump might, with some justification, accuse China of boosting its economy with subsidies and flooding some American markets with cheap imports.

He will find that the Obama administration had already initiated a number of legal cases against China at the WTO. His underlings have suggested that the Trump administration might go further, for example by launching cases against suspected Chinese dumpers, rather than leaving it to American industry.

Crucially, however, while the Chinese would probably retaliate, perhaps suddenly finding health-and-safety problems with American food exports, this chain of events need not descend into a trade war.

The rules of the WTO are designed specifically to handle this kind of dispute. If it finds that China is indeed not playing by the rules, then there are clear limits on how America can retaliate. If the system works as it should, any recriminations would be contained.

 
 

 

 

But a rules-based, WTO-sanctioned tit-for-tat is not what economists have in mind when they think of the worst-case scenario for trade between America and China. The big fear is that Trump decides to bypass WTO rules, or ditch them altogether after a decision does not go his way.

A 45% tariff on Chinese imports would effectively act as a tax on electronics and clothes made in China. If prices rise domestically then American shoppers will feel the pinch—particularly poorer ones.

American companies relying on imported inputs from China would suffer too (some companies do not mind having their inputs subsidised by the Chinese government).

A blanket tariff of 45% on Chinese imports would clearly violate WTO rules, and the Chinese would not wait for an official ruling to retaliate. A strategic move would be to curb Chinese imports of American soyabeans—this would rile the American ambassador to China, who comes from Iowa, a farming state.

There would be some winners from a trade war: in the short run the American government might well see more tax revenue, and some American companies would enjoy being sheltered from foreign competition.

The biggest casualty may not even be the American consumer. After the second world war, rich countries coordinated to avoid a race towards higher tariffs, creating the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which in 1995 grew into the WTO.

By clubbing together they recognised the destruction of the 1930s, when countries erected trade barriers to protect their domestic economies but ended up harming themselves as a result. A trade war would mean abandoning an institution that recognises that countries are stronger when they work together.

This unique son phenomena in China

The consequences of the new unique generation of Chinese

The One child policy of China that was adopted more than 3 decades ago.

Parents opted to abort the girl and keep the son (A ratio of 110/90 males to girls

The current policy of allowing for 2 children is not going to make much of a difference.

Probably, the parents will continue to abort the second girl in preference for a second son

And what are the known characteristics and attitudes of a unique child?

Selfish, not good at sharing, tyrannical, capricious, self-centered, secretive.

These characters are mostly of a nurturing epigenetic nature.

Many of these descriptive characters are shared by children, but Not the entire set.

Soon there will be one and a half billion of Chinese on earth.
The current second role will soon be reward as a first global role in world status.

The best hope might turn out to be our worst nightmare.
For a short time yet the Chinese phenomenon will keep touching us just by ricochet.

Soon, very soon the new Chinese generation will be out of his secretive nature-Discreet, to touch us.
One and a half billion of unique children (males or females).

And I’m not unique to thinking of the coming calamity…
(Inspired from the French post of Jamil Berry)

Secret ‘women only’ language: In China

A decade ago Chinese-American author Lisa See was researching an article on foot-binding when she found a reference to Nushu, the world’s only “women’s writing”.

Though the origins were murky, the script revealed a culture of women’s relationships and sparked the idea for her novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, the film of which, co-produced by Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng, is released tomorrow.

After having their feet bound at around the age of seven, girls in Jiangyong County in Hunan province would live indoors – first in the “women’s chamber” of their own homes, and later in the homes of their husband’s family.

To ease their isolation and offer support in their pain, girls from the same village were brought together as “sworn sisters” until their weddings.

But a more serious relationship, almost akin to marriage and expected to last for life, could be arranged between two girls by a matchmaker, with a formal contract, if the pair shared enough of the same “characters” (being born on the same day, for example).

In See’s book she writes: “A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose — to have sons.”

Women used Nushu – a script unique to the area – to write to their laotongs after they “married out” into different villages.

Yet until the 1960s few outside the province knew about it, and no men could read it, says See.

“In the mid-60s an old woman fainted in a station,” she says. “The police went through her things to see who she was and found a piece of paper with what looked like a code, so she was arrested on suspicion of being a spy.”

In the midst of the cultural revolution, the experts who finally identified the script were sent to labour camps, not emerging to study the writing until the 80s.

Following the success of See’s book, the film aims to allow people to learn more.

Note: In all societies, particularly in matriarchal societies, women had their own coded languages, even the dances were coded (belly dancing) to disseminate messages

Najat Rizk shared a link.
Young Chinese girls in Hunan province used Nushu, a language that no men could read, to communicate with one another.
Now a new film aims to tell us more about it
theguardian.com|By Homa Khaleeli

 

Tale of 2 political systems

My name is Eric Li, and I was born here. But no, I wasn’t born there. This was where I was born: Shanghai, at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

My grandmother tells me that she heard the sound of gunfire along with my first cries.

When I was growing up, I was told a story that explained all I ever needed to know about humanity.

It went like this. All human societies develop in linear progression, beginning with primitive society, then slave society, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and finally, guess where we end up? Communism!

Sooner or later, all of humanity, regardless of culture, language, nationality, will arrive at this final stage of political and social development.

The entire world’s peoples will be unified in this paradise on Earth and live happily ever after.

But before we get there, we’re engaged in a struggle between good and evil, the good of socialism against the evil of capitalism, and the good shall triumph.

1:24 That, of course, was the meta-narrative distilled from the theories of Karl Marx. And the Chinese bought it. We were taught that grand story day in and day out. It became part of us, and we believed in it. The story was a bestseller. About one third of the entire world’s population lived under that meta-narrative.

1:45 Then, the world changed overnight. As for me, disillusioned by the failed religion of my youth, I went to America and became a Berkeley hippie.

1:58 Now, as I was coming of age, something else happened. As if one big story wasn’t enough, I was told another one.

This one was just as grand. It also claims that all human societies develop in a linear progression towards a singular end. This one went as follows: All societies, regardless of culture, be it Christian, Muslim, Confucian, must progress from traditional societies in which groups are the basic units to modern societies in which atomized individuals are the sovereign units, and all these individuals are, by definition, rational, and they all want one thing: the vote.

Because they are all rational, once given the vote, they produce good government and live happily ever after. Paradise on Earth, again.

Sooner or later, electoral democracy will be the only political system for all countries and all peoples, with a free market to make them all rich.

But before we get there, we’re engaged in a struggle between good and evil. (Laughter) The good belongs to those who are democracies and are charged with a mission of spreading it around the globe, sometimes by force, against the evil of those who do not hold elections.

3:18 (Video) George H.W. Bush: A new world order

3:20 (Video) George W. Bush: … ending tyranny in our world

3:22 (Video) Barack Obama: … a single standard for all who would hold power.

3:37 This story also became a bestseller. According to Freedom House, the number of democratic States went from 45 in 1970 to 115 in 2010. (That’s the biggest lie ever)

In the last 20 years, Western elites tirelessly trotted around the globe selling this prospectus: Multiple parties fight for political power and everyone voting on them is the only path to salvation to the long-suffering developing world.

Those who buy the prospectus are destined for success. Those who do not are doomed to fail. But this time, the Chinese didn’t buy it.

4:13 Fool me once …

4:20 The rest is history. In just 30 years, China went from one of the poorest agricultural countries in the world to its second-largest economy.

Six hundred fifty million people were lifted out of poverty. 80% of the entire world’s poverty alleviation during that period happened in China.

In other words, all the new and old democracies put together amounted to a mere fraction of what a single, one-party state did without voting.

4:48 See, I grew up on this stuff: food stamps. Meat was rationed to a few hundred grams per person per month at one point. Needless to say, I ate all my grandmother’s portions.

5:00 So I asked myself, what’s wrong with this picture?

Here I am in my hometown, my business growing leaps and bounds. Entrepreneurs are starting companies every day. Middle class is expanding in speed and scale unprecedented in human history.

Yet, according to the grand story, none of this should be happening. So I went and did the only thing I could. I studied it.

Yes, China is a one-party state run by the Chinese Communist Party, the Party, and they don’t hold elections.

Three assumptions are made by the dominant political theories of our time. Such a system is operationally rigid, politically closed, and morally illegitimate.

Well, the assumptions are wrong. The opposites are true. Adaptability, meritocracy, and legitimacy are the three defining characteristics of China’s one-party system.

Most political scientists will tell us that a one-party system is inherently incapable of self-correction. It won’t last long because it cannot adapt. Now here are the facts.

In 64 years of running the largest country in the world, the range of the Chinese Communist Party’s policies has been wider than any other country in recent memory, from radical land collectivization to the Great Leap Forward, then privatization of farmland, then the Cultural Revolution, then Deng Xiaoping’s market reform, then successor Jiang Zemin took the giant political step of opening up Party membership to private business people, something unimaginable during Mao’s rule.

6:38 So the Party self-corrects in rather dramatic fashions. Institutionally, new rules get enacted to correct previous dysfunctions.

For example. Political leaders used to retain their positions for life, and they used that to accumulate power and perpetuate their rules.

Mao was the father of modern China, yet his prolonged rule led to disastrous mistakes. So the Party instituted term limits with mandatory retirement age of 68 to 70.

7:06 One thing we often hear is, “Political reforms have lagged far behind economic reforms,” and “China is in dire need of political reform.”

But this claim is a rhetorical trap hidden behind a political bias.

See, some have decided a priori what kinds of changes they want to see, and only such changes can be called political reform.

The truth is, political reforms have never stopped. Compared with 30 years ago, 20 years, even 10 years ago, every aspect of Chinese society, how the country is governed, from the most local level to the highest center, are unrecognizable today.

Now such changes are simply not possible without political reforms of the most fundamental kind. Now I would venture to suggest the Party is the world’s leading expert in political reform.

7:56 The second assumption is that in a one-party state, power gets concentrated in the hands of the few, and bad governance and corruption follow.

Indeed, corruption is a big problem, but let’s first look at the larger context. Now, this may be counterintuitive to you. The Party happens to be one of the most meritocratic political institutions in the world today.

China’s highest ruling body, the Politburo, has 25 members. In the most recent one, only five of them came from a background of privilege, so-called princelings. The other 20, including the president and the premier, came from entirely ordinary backgrounds.

In the larger central committee of 300 or more, the percentage of those who were born into power and wealth was even smaller. The vast majority of senior Chinese leaders worked and competed their way to the top. Compare that with the ruling elites in both developed and developing countries, I think you’ll find the Party being near the top in upward mobility.

8:53 The question then is, how could that be possible in a system run by one party?

Now we come to a powerful political institution, little-known to Westerners: the Party’s Organization Department.

The department functions like a giant human resource engine that would be the envy of even some of the most successful corporations. It operates a rotating pyramid made up of three components: civil service, state-owned enterprises, and social organizations like a university or a community program.

They form separate yet integrated career paths for Chinese officials.

They recruit college grads into entry-level positions in all three tracks, and they start from the bottom, called “keyuan” [clerk]. Then they could get promoted through four increasingly elite ranks: fuke [deputy section manager], ke [section manager], fuchu [deputy division manager], and chu [division manger].

Now these are not moves from “Karate Kid,” okay? It’s serious business.

The range of positions is wide, from running health care in a village to foreign investment in a city district to manager in a company.

Once a year, the department reviews their performance. They interview their superiors, their peers, their subordinates. They vet their personal conduct. They conduct public opinion surveys. Then they promote the winners.

Throughout their careers, these cadres can move through and out of all three tracks.

Over time, the good ones move beyond the four base levels to the fuju [deputy bureau chief] and ju [bureau chief] levels. There, they enter high officialdom.

By that point, a typical assignment will be to manage a district with a population in the millions or a company with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Just to show you how competitive the system is, in 2012 there were 900,000 fuke and ke levels, 600,000 fuchu and chu levels, and only 40,000 fuju and ju levels.

10:47 After the ju levels, the best few move further up several more ranks, and eventually make it to the Central Committee.

The process takes two to three decades. Does patronage play a role? Yes, of course.

But merit remains the fundamental driver.

In essence, the Organization Department runs a modernized version of China’s centuries-old mentoring system.

China’s new president, Xi Jinping, is the son of a former leader, which is very unusual, first of his kind to make the top job. Even for him, the career took 30 years. He started as a village manager, and by the time he entered the Politburo, he had managed areas with a total population of 150 million people and combined GDPs of 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars.

11:33 Now, please don’t get me wrong, okay? This is not a put-down of anyone. It’s just a statement of fact.

George W. Bush, remember him? This is not a put-down. (Laughter) Before becoming governor of Texas, or Barack Obama before running for president, could not make even a small county manager in China’s system. Winston Churchill once said that democracy is a terrible system except for all the rest. Well, apparently he hadn’t heard of the Organization Department.

12:05 Now, Westerners always assume that multi-party election with universal suffrage is the only source of political legitimacy.

12:13 I was asked once, “The Party wasn’t voted in by election. Where is the source of legitimacy?”

12:19 I said, “How about competency?”

12:23 We all know the facts. In 1949, when the Party took power, China was mired in civil wars, dismembered by foreign aggression, average life expectancy at that time, 41 years old.

Today, it’s the second largest economy in the world, an industrial powerhouse, and its people live in increasing prosperity.

12:41 Pew Research polls Chinese public attitudes, and here are the numbers in recent years.

Satisfaction with the direction of the country: 85 percent. Those who think they’re better off than five years ago: 70 percent. Those who expect the future to be better: a whopping 82 percent.

Financial Times polls global youth attitudes, and these numbers, brand new, just came from last week.  93% of China’s Generation Y are optimistic about their country’s future. Now, if this is not legitimacy, I’m not sure what is.

13:19 In contrast, most electoral democracies around the world are suffering from dismal performance. I don’t need to elaborate for this audience how dysfunctional it is, from Washington to European capitals.

With a few exceptions, the vast number of developing countries that have adopted electoral regimes are still suffering from poverty and civil strife.

Governments get elected, and then they fall below 50 percent approval in a few months and stay there and get worse until the next election.

Democracy is becoming a perpetual cycle of elect and regret. At this rate, I’m afraid it is democracy, not China’s one-party system, that is in danger of losing legitimacy.

14:02 Now, I don’t want to create the misimpression that China’s hunky-dory, on the way to some kind of super powerdom. The country faces enormous challenges.

The social and economic problems that come with wrenching change like this are mind-boggling.

Pollution is one. Food safety. Population issues.

On the political front, the worst problem is corruption. Corruption is widespread and undermines the system and its moral legitimacy. But most analysts misdiagnose the disease. They say that corruption is the result of the one-party system, and therefore, in order to cure it, you have to do away with the entire system.

A more careful look would tell us otherwise. Transparency International ranks China between 70 and 80 in recent years among 170 countries, and it’s been moving up.

India, the largest democracy in the world, 94 and dropping. For the hundred or so countries that are ranked below China, more than half of them are electoral democracies. So if election is the panacea for corruption, how come these countries can’t fix it?

 I’m a venture capitalist. I make bets. It wouldn’t be fair to end this talk without putting myself on the line and making some predictions. So here they are.

In the next 10 years, China will surpass the U.S. and become the largest economy in the world.

1. Income per capita will be near the top of all developing countries.

2. Corruption will be curbed, but not eliminated, and China will move up 10 to 20 notches to above 60 in T.I. ranking.

3. Economic reform will accelerate, political reform will continue, and the one-party system will hold firm.

We live in the dusk of an era. Meta-narratives that make universal claims failed us in the 20th century and are failing us in the 21st.

Meta-narrative is the cancer that is killing democracy from the inside.

Now, I want to clarify something. I’m not here to make an indictment of democracy. On the contrary, I think democracy contributed to the rise of the West and the creation of the modern world.

It is the universal claim that many Western elites are making about their political system, the hubris, that is at the heart of the West’s current ills.

If the elite class would spend just a little less time on trying to force their way onto others, and a little bit more on political reform at home, they might give their democracy a better chance.

China’s political model will never supplant electoral democracy, because unlike the latter, it doesn’t pretend to be universal. It cannot be exported. But that is the point precisely.

The significance of China’s example is not that it provides an alternative, but the demonstration that alternatives exist.

Let us draw to a close this era of meta-narratives. Communism and democracy may both be laudable ideals, but the era of their dogmatic universalism is over.

Let us stop telling people and our children there’s only one way to govern ourselves and a singular future towards which all societies must evolve. It is wrong. It is irresponsible. And worst of all, it is boring.

Let universality make way for plurality. Perhaps a more interesting age is upon us. Are we brave enough to welcome it?

17:45 Bruno Giussani: Eric, stay with me for a couple of minutes, because I want to ask you a couple of questions. I think many here, and in general in Western countries, would agree with your statement about analysis of democratic systems becoming dysfunctional, but at the same time, many would kind of find unsettling the thought that there is an unelected authority that, without any form of oversight or consultation, decides what the national interest is. What is the mechanism in the Chinese model that allows people to say, actually, the national interest as you defined it is wrong?

18:23 EXL: You know, Frank Fukuyama, the political scientist, called the Chinese system “responsive authoritarianism.” It’s not exactly right, but I think it comes close.

So I know the largest public opinion survey company in China, okay? Do you know who their biggest client is? The Chinese government.

Not just from the central government, the city government, the provincial government, to the most local neighborhood districts. They conduct surveys all the time.

Are you happy with the garbage collection? Are you happy with the general direction of the country? So there is, in China, there is a different kind of mechanism to be responsive to the demands and the thinking of the people.

My point is, I think we should get unstuck from the thinking that there’s only one political system — election, election, election — that could make it responsive. I’m not sure, actually, elections produce responsive government anymore in the world BG: Many seem to agree. One of the features of a democratic system is a space for civil society to express itself. And you have shown figures about the support that the government and the authorities have in China. But then you’ve just mentioned other elements like, you know, big challenges, and there are, of course, a lot of other data that go in a different direction: tens of thousands of unrests and protests and environmental protests, etc. So you seem to suggest the Chinese model doesn’t have a space outside of the Party for civil society to express itself.

19:56 EXL: There’s a vibrant civil society in China, whether it’s environment or what-have-you. But it’s different.

You wouldn’t recognize it. Because, by Western definitions, a so-called civil society has to be separate or even in opposition to the political system, but that concept is alien for Chinese culture.

For thousands of years, you have civil society, yet they are consistent and coherent and part of a political order, and I think it’s a big cultural difference.

Note: In States as populous and large as continents, it does not make sense to have a vote for the central power without it done in successive levels, piece meal.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
It’s a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy.
Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he…
ted.com|By Eric X. Li

 

While USA has long-term destabilizing policies, China executes its far-sighted economic expansion. Pipeline of Iran/Pakistan

Now that there are no reasons for sanctions against Iran, China is resuming its economic plans in the region.

China has the cash for economic development and not for investing in preemptive wars as traditional colonial powers are used to control the world.

 

ISLAMABAD—China will build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to Pakistan to help address Pakistan’s acute energy shortage, under a deal to be signed during the Chinese president’s visit to Islamabad this month, Pakistani officials said.

The arrival of President Xi Jinping is expected to showcase China’s commitment to infrastructure development in ally Pakistan, at a time when few other countries are willing to make major investments in the cash-strapped, terrorism-plagued country.

Saeed Shah posted on April 9, 2015

The pipeline would amount to an early benefit for both Pakistan and Iran from the framework agreement reached earlier this month between Tehran and the U.S. and other world powers to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The U.S. had previously threatened Pakistan with sanctions if it went ahead with the project.

“We’re building it,” Pakistani Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasitold The Wall Street Journal. “The process has started.”

In Washington, U.S. officials said details of sanctions will be negotiated as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran due in June.

“We aren’t going to speculate as to how any solutions we may reach in that regard could impact on any particular proposed business ventures,” a State Department official said late Wednesday, adding that “significant support to Iran’s energy sector, such as providing significant investment or technology,” could still result in sanctions under the framework agreement last week.

ENLARGE

Dubbed the “Peace Pipeline,” the project will further bolster improving ties between Pakistan and Iran, uneasy neighbors for decades as a result of Pakistan’s ties to Iran’s long-term adversaries, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

The pipeline will bring much-needed gas to Pakistan, which suffers from a crippling electricity deficit because of a shortage of fuel for its power-generation plants.

Pakistan has been negotiating for months behind the scenes for China to build the Pakistani portion of the pipeline, which will cost up to $2 billion.

Tehran says that its 560-mile (900-kilometer) part of the pipeline from an Iranian gas field is complete and has long pressed Pakistan to build its part of the scheme.

Pakistan hasn’t begun construction, however, in light of threatened U.S. sanctions for trading with Iran.

Islamabad had sought to work around the sanctions by asking the Chinese to build the pipeline but not yet connect it to the Iranian portion.

The prospect of an Iran nuclear agreement, which would ease sanctions in stages once the deal is completed, has given Islamabad further impetus to clear the project.

Among the first sanctions to be lifted, according to the framework accord, would be the ban on Iran energy exports.

“This [Iran nuclear agreement] will help us in getting a few things which were coming into the way of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be cleared and we will move forward,” Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran, Noor Muhammad Jadmani, said Sunday in Tehran, according a report on IRNA, the official Iranian news agency.

Pakistan is negotiating with China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, a subsidiary of Chinese energy giant China National Petroleum Corporation, to build 435 miles (700 kilometers) of pipeline from the western Pakistani port of Gwadar to Nawabshah in the southern province of Sindh, where it will connect to Pakistan’s existing gas-distribution pipeline network.

China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau referred questions to CNPC, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The cost would be $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion for the pipeline, or $2 billion if an optional Liquefied Natural Gas terminal at Gwadar is included in the scheme. Under the deal, 85% of the financing will be provided by a Chinese loan, with Pakistan coming up with the rest.

The remaining 50 miles (80 kilometers), from Gwadar to the Iranian border, will be built by Pakistan.

The pipeline, which would take two years to build, would eventually supply Pakistan with enough gas to fuel 4,500 megawatts of electricity generation—almost as much as the country’s entire current electricity shortfall.

The pipeline would give Iran a market to its east for its gas. The pipeline scheme, conceived in 1995, originally was supposed to extend to India. Tehran blames U.S. pressure for India dropping out in 2009.

Islamabad believes the Iranian gas is the cheapest and simplest energy supply option for Pakistan.

Pakistan will also start to take liquefied natural gas from Qatar, and it remains in protracted multicountry negotiations over a pipeline that would bring gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to supply Pakistan and India. Washington had long lobbied Pakistan to go for the Turkmenistan pipeline instead of the Iranian one.

The Chinese president’s visit, which has been postponed at least twice, is now expected on or around April 19.

Pakistan has had a close strategic alliance with China for decades—aimed mostly against common foe India—but now Beijing is seeking to add an economic dimension to the relationship.

Islamabad and Beijing plan an “economic corridor” linking the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is under Chinese management, to southwestern China with road and rail connections. The highly ambitious program, which also includes power-generation projects, carries a price tag of some $40 billion. Unveiling agreements and details for the economic corridor will form a center piece of Mr. Xi’s visit.

The Iran pipeline isn’t part of the economic corridor but it will be separately fast-tracked, Pakistani officials said.

“The Chinese have an expertise, a willingness to come here, and also work in areas which are not considered to be very safe,” said Hamayoun Khan, director of the Pakistan Council on China, an independent think tank based in Islamabad.

Jeremy Page in Beijing contributed to this article.

Write to Saeed Shah at saeed.shah@wsj.com

Asad Ghsoub shared this link on FB

This is big if it goes ahead after being halted for a long time and can kiss Pakistani intervention in Yemen goodbye

A project long thwarted by international sanctions on Tehran is flickering back to life as Islamabad gives it a go-ahead in light of the international framework accord on Iran’s nuclear program.
wsj.com|By Saeed Shah

 

WHY DOES THE WEST HATE PUTIN? THE SECRET REASON

The Official Reasons
We all know the governments of the West, lead by the US and the UK, have turned against Russia. (Never expect the UK to oppose US foreign policies)
There are many reasons offered by our media:
1. Russia tried to stop the Ukraine from joining the EU.
2. Russia helped the “pro-Russian rebels” shoot down MH-17.
3. Russia “invaded” the Crimea illegally.
4. Thousands of Russian troops and tanks are fighting in the Ukraine.
Some of us think these claims are war propaganda for the citizens of the West used to justify sanctions against Russia and increasing military tensions.
Australianvoice posted this March 7, 2015
The Geo-political Reasons
Less widely discussed but more important are the geo-political reasons which look at the areas of conflict between the economic interests of the US and those of Russia and China.At the moment the EU is heavily dependent on energy from Russia. The US would like to stop this.The conflict in the Ukraine is an important part of the process of economically separating the EU from Russia. But there is also a wider agenda.China and Russia lead the BRICS group of countries consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS countries want to develop a world wide economic system that does not depend the US dollar.

The BRICS  want to be independent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World bank. China has also suggested to Europe that they join together with Russia and themselves in what they call the New Silk Road, stretching across the whole of Eurasia, from Lisbon to Shanghai.

Needless to say there is no immediate place for the US in this plan, so this gives another reason to cut the economic ties between Russia and the EU.

The Secret Reason – The War that Didn’t Happen
While these factors are all important, there is another factor which is never discussed in the Western media.

The trigger for the sudden hostility against Russia and Putin can be found in almost unreported events which took place late in August and early September 2013.

What happen in that crucial period is that a planned NATO surprise attack on Syria was stopped by Russia. This was probably the first time since WWII that a military attack planned by the West was confronted by sufficient force to require its cancellation.

The people in the West will not be told because their belligerent, tough-talking leaders “blinked”. They backed down and decided to change their plans. The new plan: Undermine the Ukraine and seize Crimea for NATO.

This obviously didn’t work either, and the mess they created is still with us.

The Planned US/French Attack on Syria
Early in the morning of Saturday, August 31, 2013, an American official called the office of President Hollande telling him to expect a call from Obama later in the day.

“Assuming that the evening phone call would announce the commencement of U.S. air strikes (against Syria), Hollande ordered his officers to quickly finalize their own attack plans. Rafale fighters were loaded with Scalp cruise missiles, their pilots told to launch the 250-mile-range munitions while over the Mediterranean.”(1)

At this point in time the French pilots and the US forces were only waiting for the final command from President Obama to begin their attack.

However, later that same day, at 6:15 pm, Obama called the French President to tell him that the strike scheduled for 3:00 am, September 1, would not take place as planned. He would need to consult Congress.(2)

Three days later, at 06:16 GMT Tuesday, September 3, two missiles were launched “from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea” heading for the Syrian coast, but they did not reach Syria.(3) “Both missiles crashed into the sea.”(4) There are several different accounts of what took place. According to Israel Shamir:

“It was claimed by a Lebanese newspaper quoting diplomatic sources that the missiles were launched from a NATO air base in Spain and they were shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defence system.

Another explanation proposed by the Asia Times says the Russians employed their cheap and powerful GPS jammers to render the expensive Tomahawks helpless, by disorienting them and causing them to fail.

Yet another version attributed the launch to the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observed the clouds, as they claim.”(5)

The Warships Were Ready
It is hard to know what was behind this failed missile launch, but it did not trigger an all-out war.

We can all be very thankful for this. In the map below we can see the significant collection of warships in position off the Syrian coast at the time.(6)

An article in Global Research referred to a “massive US and allied naval deployment is occurring in the Eastern Mediterranean off Syria’s coastline as well as in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.”(7)

Med Map Syria

At the time it looked almost certain that the US and its allies would launch an attack on Syria.

Instead, the proposed attack was put off indefinitely.

As Israel Shamir says, “the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean,” and the US suddenly decided to back away from such a serious military conflict.

One commentator quipped that Obama finally deserved his Nobel Peace Prize after all.

Here is the assessment of the situation from the Saker, an outspoken opponent of what he calls the Anglo-Zionist Empire. Because of his previous life the Saker has insider knowledge of the workings of NATO military affairs.

“Less noticed was the fact that Russia sent a hastily assembled but capable naval task force to the Syrian coast. Not a task force big enough to fight the US Navy, but a task force capable of providing a full view of the skies over and beyond Syria to the Syrian military.

For the first time the US could not achieve a surprise attack on Syria, not with cruise missiles, not with airpower. Worse, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah embarked on a covert and overt program of material and technical assistance for Syria which ended up defeating the Wahabi insurgency.”(8)

Why Did the US Change Plans?
It is difficult for us to know all of the manoeuvres which took place behind the scenes during August and September, 2013, but the final outcome is clear. After years of increasing tensions and threats, the US and its allies decided not to launch a direct attack on Syria as planned.

Given the rhetoric and military deployment directed against Syria seemed to follow the script used for Iraq and Libya, there has been little discussion in the West about why the US and its friends suddenly changed their plans.

Now with hindsight we can see that this failed direct attack led to an increased indirect attact and the rise of what is know known as ISIS.

Two of the obvious reasons I can see for this sudden change are not the sort of things the political leaders of the West want to discuss.

One is the fact that these wars are very unpopular. As a result of countless lies and failures revealed about the pointless and savage wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, it seems that some of the politicians are listening to their citizens. How else can you explain the unexpected decision of the British Parliament on Thursday, 29 August, to vote against the UK taking part in any strikes on Syria?

The other reason is the extent of the military build-up by Syria, Russia and even China.(9)

The Russians and Chinese have not only blocked the US in the Security Council. They “voted” with their military hardware.

They are not happy about what the US planned for Syria and made it quite clear that they would use force to stop them.

When was the last time the Chinese ever sent warships to the Mediterranean?

Both Russia and China are clearly not happy with the way the US decides to invade one country after another.

What Does it Mean?
For reasons which are not hard to imagine, there has been little discussion of the broader significance of these events in the Western media. However commentators like Israel Shamir and Pepe Escobar believe these events signal an important shift in the balance of power in the world.

The following is taken from a presentation by Israel Shamir at the Rhodes Forum October 5, 2013:

“First, the good news. American hegemony is over. The bully has been subdued.
“We cleared the Cape of Good Hope, symbolically speaking, in September 2013. With the Syrian crisis, the world has passed a key forking of modern history. It was touch and go, just as risky as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
“The chances for total war were high, as the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean. It will take some time until the realisation of what we’ve gone through seeps in: it is normal for events of such magnitude.”(10)

For ‘Eurasia’ read Russia and China.

In blunt terms, these two countries simply forced the US to back off and cancel their plans for war. Generally speaking, the ordinary people of the US, the UK and many other countries were just as opposed to the attack as the people in Syria itself.

Pepe Escobar is even more dramatic. Writing on the 17th October, after the Syrian backdown and the government shutdown in Washington, he explains that there has been a policy shift in Beijing.

Now, for China, the diplomatic gloves are off. It’s time to build a “de-Americanized” world.

It’s time for a new international reserve currency to replace the US dollar.(11)

This new approach is presented in a Xinhua editorial.(12) The last straw for them was the US shutdown coming on top of the financial crisis provoked by Wall Street banks. He quotes perhaps the most important paragraph:

Instead of honoring its duties as a responsible leading power, a self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies.”(13)

China has at least three parts to this new strategy.

The first is to stop the military adventures of the US. All nations must respect international law and deal with conflicts within the framework of the UN.

The second is to broaden membership of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to include countries in the emerging and developing world.

The third is to work towards a “new international reserve currency that is to be created to replace the dominant US dollar.”(14)

Perhaps this is why the leaders in the West are not celebrating the war that didn’t happen.

The Russians and Chinese have forced the West to adhere to international law and avoid an illegal war.

Further, the Chinese see this as a beginning of a new era in world politics. They want to “de-Americanize” the world.

The Russians want to see a “multi-polar” world. This means that the US and its small group of friends in Western Europe and Japan will need to recognize that they cannot make all the major decisions in the world on their own.

Note: The arrogance of the US failed to change the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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