In The News (69)

मधेसी मोर्चाका माग सम्बोधनको सघन गृहकार्यमा सरकार
ती दुवै वार्तामा मोर्चाले प्रदेश सीमाङ्कन, तराई आन्दोलनका क्रममा पक्राउ परेका आफ्ना कार्यकर्ताको रिहाइ, मुद्दा फिर्ता, दङ्गाग्रस्त घोषणा गरिएका क्षेत्रबाट नेपाली सेना र सशस्त्र प्रहरीको फिर्ती, ज्यान गुमाएकालाई सहिद घोषणा एवम् घाइतेको निःशुल्क उपचारलगायत मागबाट पछि नहट्ने अडान दोहोर्याएको थियो ।
ए सरकार, कहिले भारत कहिले चाइना भन्ने भतुवा नीतिको अब काम छैन !
वीरगन्ज एमाले सांसद विचारी यादवको शव यात्रा र पथलैया सडकखण्ड दर्जनौ गाडी टोडफोड आग जनी



ओलीलाई भोट नहालेपछि राज्यलक्ष्मी गोल्छाको सांसद पद खोसियो
मधेश राष्ट्रका लागि ४० हजार युवा मधेश आजाद गर्न शहीद हुन तयार : विद्यार्थी नेता
मधेश बन्द र नाकाबन्दी झन् सशक्त हुने
सद्भावना पार्टीका अध्यक्ष राजेन्द्र, तमसपाका अध्यक्ष महेन्द्र यादवलगायतका शीर्ष नेताहरु मुख्य नाकाहरुमा धर्नामा छन् । ..... यतिका दिनसम्म मधेशमा आमहडताल र नाकाबन्दी हुँदा पनि राज्यपक्षले मधेशमा गई आन्दोलनरत्सँग वार्ता गर्नुको साटो विदेशीलाई गुहार गर्दा समस्या झन् बल्झिएको छ । एक आन्दोलनकारीका अनुसार समस्याको समाधान आफ्नै देशमा हुँदा हुँदै विदेशीलाई गुहार लगाउनु राज्यपक्षको नालायकीपन हो । उनले भने मधेशलाई नेपालको हिस्सा ठान्ने तर, मधेशीलाई भारतीय देख्ने प्रवृतिमा सुधार नआएसम्म नेपालको समस्याका कहिल्यै पनि सुधार नहुने बताए ।


मरिचेको चुपी
लिम्बू सम्बन्धित एउटा उक्ति चर्चित छ– ख्यालख्यालमा चार इन्च । लिम्बू–लिम्बूबीच फौदारीमा चार इन्च काटे पनि एक बोतल रक्सी राखेर माफ माग्छन् र माफ दिन्छन् पनि । चार इन्च त ख्यालख्याल हो । ..... बाहुन–क्षत्रीहरूलाई पनि थाहा छ– ‘सुँगुरको थुतुनो चिसो हुन्छ ।’ ..... ‘ह्या, केही भएको छैन मुला । लिम्बूको छोरा भएर यति सानो कुरामा रुन्छस् ?’ रामेले सान्त्वना दिँदै भन्यो । ..... तीन दिनपछि गाउँमा कुरा चल्यो– ‘गोतामेले जिल्लामा नालिस हालेको छ ।’ यो कुरा सुनेर मरिचेको अनुहार मरिचजस्तै चाउरियो । गोतामेलाई कुटेँ भन्दै हिँड्ने मरिचेको नौनाडी गलेर आयो । बिरामी होलाजस्तो भएर बिसन्चो भयो । एक बोतल रक्सीमा कुरा नमिल्ने भयो । माफी नपाउने भयो । गोतामे रक्सी खाँदैन । आपत् परेपछि मरिचेले गाउँका दाजु–भाइ गुहार्‍यो । ...... ‘दुङ्दुङ्गे बोकाजस्तो, जहिले जहिले चुपी झिक्छस्, अब भेटिस् †’ मरिचेको ठूला बाउले भन्यो । ‘आले, नकराऊ न हाओ । रिसको झोंकमा परिहाल्यो त ।’ निधार मुसार्दै मरिचेले तनावमा भन्यो । .......... ‘लिम्बूलाई पो रक्सीले शिर उभ्याउँदा हुन्छ, मान्छ । बाहुनलाई रक्सीले हुन्छ ? लाउँछ त नालिस, खेप अब जीवनभर तारिक ।’ बडाबाउ झन् रिसायो । ..... ‘हैट ! बाहुन–क्षत्रीसँग चैँ मुद्दा लडेर सकिँदैन साथी हो, ठूलो कुरा नगरुङ ।’ मिल्तेरी बूढाले दुवै हात कुममाथि उँभो फर्काउँदै भन्यो । ....... ‘सात पढें भन्दैमा जान्ने भएर कानुनको कुरा गर्छस् † कानुनको नौ सिङ हुन्छ । एक सिङ तँइले आफ्नो देख्या होलास्, बाँकी आठ देख्या छस् ?’ मिल्तेरी बूढा उफ्रिहाल्यो । ..... ‘मुद्दा लडेर फाइदा त छैन, कालीबहादुरले मुद्दा त जित्यो नि, आखिरमा केही पाएन । तारिक खेप्दा, ओकिललाई पैसा खुवाउँदा खेतबारी बेच्नुपर्‍यो,’ कुनामा बसेको चुक्कापोबा बोल्यो । ‘त्यै त म भन्दै छु । बाहुन–क्षत्रीसँग झन् सकिँदैन, हामी लिम्बू मुला चार पाँच ठाउँ जाँड नखाई पुगिँदैन है फेदेन, उनीहरू निम्भु खोला र सिवाखोलामा दुई खेप पानी खाएर पुग्छ । अनि यत्रा सकिन्छ ?’ .......

गोतामेले क्षतिपूर्ति पाँच हजार नभई नमान्ने भयो । हस्पिटल जाँदा उसको त्यति नै खर्च भएको उसले दाबी गर्‍यो । मरिचेसँग पाँच हजार रुपैयाँ तत्काल नभएकोले गोतामेको घरछेउको आठ मुरी धान फल्ने खेत लेखिदिने भयो ।

..... यसरी ख्यालख्यालैमा मरिचेको खेत गयो । तर पनि मरिचेले चुपी भिर्न भने अझै छोडेको छैन ।
झापादेखि कञ्चनपुरसम्मको भूभागलाई भारतमा गाभ्ने गोप्य योजनाको खुलासा
यहाँनेर मधेसी दलहरु र भारतको केही न केही तालमेल रहेको देखिन्छ । असन्तुष्टिसहित संविधान संशोधन गर्न भारतले सार्वजनिक गरेको सुझाव र मधेसी दलहरुले राखेका मागहरुमा भिन्नता पनि केही देखिएको छैन् । ..... विगत ५० दिनदेखि मधेसमा आन्दोलन भइरहेको छ । जून आन्दोलनमा भारतको प्रत्यक्ष र अप्रत्यक्ष सहयोग रहेको पनि प्रष्ट छ । जस्तो की मधेसी नेताहरुलाई खाना खुवाउनु, सीमा अवरोध गर्न लगाउनु, भारतीय सुरक्षाकर्मीले मधेसी कार्यकर्तालाई संरक्षण दिएर आन्दोलनमा सहयोग गरेको सार्वजनिक भएकै कुरा हुन् । तर, यहाँनेर प्रश्न उठ्छ भारतले मधेसवादी दलहरुलाई किन सहयोग गरिरहेको छ ?
फोरम लोकतान्त्रीक रौतहट जिल्ला समितिद्धारा पार्टी परित्याग
संविधान-२०७२ र पृथ्वीनारायणको खस पर्वते शासकीय मनोविज्ञानको निरन्तरता
पृथ्वीनारायण शाहले नेपाललाई प्रशासनिक एकीकरण (बलपूर्वक) गर्दा नेपालका किरातको कुरै छोडौँ यहीँ नजिकै उपत्यकाको कीर्तिपुरका नेवारले पनि “गोरखाली शाह खान्दानहरू भनेका १७ धार्नी हाम्रा पुर्खाका नाक-कान काट्ने आततायीहरू हुन्” भन्ने इतिहास रचे । भावनात्मक रुपमा तिनले आफुलाई कहिल्यै “नेपाली” भन्न सकेनन् । .... पृथ्वीनारायण शाहले पूर्वमा राईहरूसँग यु्ध्दविराम गरेर वार्ता गर्न आह्वान गरे । कोशीको किनारमा वार्ता हुने भयो । वार्तामा कुरा नमिलेपछि पृथ्वीनारायणका सेनाले हतियार (अघिल्लो रातै बालुवामा गाडेर लुकाइराखेको बन्दुक लगायत हातहतियार) निकालेर राईहरूलाई झेली किसिमले कब्जा गरे । भावनात्मक रुपमा राईहरूले आफूलाई कहिल्यै “नेपाली” भन्न सकेनन् । .....

पृथ्वीनारायण भयानक झेली, जाली, आततायी थिए भन्ने प्रमाणित गर्दछ

...... नेपालको इतिहासमा पहिलो पटक कुनै “जाति”लाई दमन गर्नकै निम्ति सेना परिचालन भयो । यस्तो भएपछि भावनात्मक रुपमा थारुहरूले आफूलाई “नेपाली” भनेर कसरी गौरव गर्ने ? ....... मधेशीले “अन्तरिम संविधानमा जे व्यवस्था भएको थियो त्यति नयाँ संविधानमा कायम गरिदेऊ” भनेका थिए । मधेशमा दर्जनौँ मानिस मारेर भए पनि उक्त मागको विपरीत सरकार अडियो । मानवअधिकारवादी संस्थाले समेत मधेशमा सरकारले ज्यादती गर्‍यो, छातीमा, टाउकोमा ताकेर गोली चलायो भनेर रिपोर्ट दियो । भयानक अत्याचार भयो । यस्तरी दमन गर्ने राज्यसँग भावनात्मक रुपमा मधेशीहरूले आफूलाई “नेपाली” भनेर कसरी भन्ने ? .....

नेपाली समाज १) सनातनी, २) वौद्ध, र ३) किरात गरेर तीन सभ्यताले बनेको हो ।

...... नेपालको संविधान २०७२ ले शान्ति होइन द्वन्द्वको वीउ मुलुकभरि छरेको छ, अब छिट्टै उम्रिने छ– किसिम किसिमको द्वन्द्व । ..... चङ्गेज खानको राज्य विस्तारको योजना उनी मरेर गएपछि पनि १५० वर्षसम्म निरन्तर चलेको इतिहास छ । शासकहरूको ग्रन्थीमा पसेको मनोविज्ञान सैयौँ वर्ष कायम हुँदो रहेछ । तसर्थ नेपाली शासकीय मनोविज्ञान भनेको “पर्वते शासक (खस) मनोविज्ञान” नै हो । अर्थात्, हालको संविधान पनि पृथ्वीनारायणकै निरन्तरता हो ।

सबै नेपालीलाई भावनात्मक रुपले “हामी नेपाली” भनि सोच्ने बनाउने ठूलो मौका गुम्योजस्तो छ ।

Onus on Oli
If Oli fails, a Dasain respite will just be an interval before a more violent climax in the Tarai
But they were in for shock when Dahal briefed them about what Oli told him: “You will reach nowhere walking hand-in-hand with Madhesi and Janajati losers.” Madhesi and Janajati leaders felt hurt. They knew Dahal was very manipulative, but they didn’t think Oli would go that far even though he had been pouring public scorn on Madhesis and Janajatis. ...... Oli is a status quoist. He did not have faith in the 2006 Democracy Movement, which toppled the monarchy and gave birth to republicanism. Even as hundreds of thousands of Nepalis demanded democracy on the streets during what was known as the April Uprising, he mocked them saying “an ox cart cannot take us to America”. .......

It was easy for him to hurl slurs from Balkot, but he is now in Baluwatar.

........ the Birganj border through which nearly 70 per cent of fuel is imported into Nepal remains blocked .....

Madhesis just want the insertion of the word ‘proportional’ in the chapter of fundamental rights, election constituencies in proportion to their population and modification of plains provinces, among others. Oli must show the same urgency with which he pushed through the new constitution to fulfill these demands.



एमालेलाई सात करोड सहयोग गरें : राज्यलक्ष्मी गोल्छा
मेरो बुवाको घर (चेन्नई, भारत) मा करुणा निधि, एमजीआर, हबिंश दाइे, अमिताभ बच्चन आउने जाने गर्थे । सानोदेखि नै मेरो ‘गु्रमिङ’ यस्तै राजनीति र फिल्म क्षेत्रका व्यक्तिसँग भयो । एकदम ‘हाइकल्चरको शिक्षा’ पाएँ। बुवाआमाको नाम उच्च राखौं भनेर राजनीति एउटा क्लिनक्षेत्र भनेर प्रवेश गरें । बुवा पनि दक्षिण भारत तामिलनाडुको गर्भनर जस्तो पदमा दुई पटक बसेको मान्छे । .... महेन्द्रकुमार गोल्छाको सुमन प्याकुरेल, सुवोध प्याकुरेलसँग एकदमै राम्रो सम्बन्ध थियो ..... तर पार्टीमा झलनाथजी र पार्टीका अन्य व्यक्तिले सिधै पैसाको कुरा गरे । त्यो कुरामा मलाई चित बुझेन । ......

मैले पार्टीलाई१ करोड ६५ लाख रुपैयाँ स्वेच्छाले सहयोग गरेकी छु ।जम्मा गरी मैले सात करोड रुपैयाँ बुझाएकी छु । त्यसैगरी, संविधान सभामा निर्वाचनमा मैले पार्टीलाई शारीरिकश्रम तथा ठूलो आर्थिक सहयोग गरेकी छु ।

म एक मधेसी महिला, एकल महिला, उद्यमी महिला हटाएर पार्टीले कुनै ठूलो काम गरेजस्तो लाग्दैन । यसले पार्टीको बद्नाम गरिसकेको छ । मलाई पार्टीले आन्तरिकरुपमै हल खोजेको भए हन्थ्यो भन्ने जस्तो लाग्थ्यो । संचारमाध्यमसँग बोल्न बाध्य बनायो । ....... मेलै सम्पूर्ण कुरा त्यागेर महेन्द्र गोल्छासँग बिवाह गरेकी हुँ । ...... झलनाथ खनालले सिंधै पाँच करोड सहयोग नगरे सभासद बनाउन नसक्ने कुरा गरे । त्यो बेला गंगाधर तुलाधरसँगै थिए । अनि, गोविन्द थापालेपनि १ करोड रुपैयाँ भन्दा बढी लगेका छन् । अरु कुरा सार्वजनिक गरेपार्टीमा ठूलो घाटा हुने भएकाले आवश्यक परे सार्वजनिक गरौंला । मसँग सबै प्रमाण छ । ...... युवा संगठनका भूपाल राई, परशुराम बस्नेत र निरु पाललगायतले ६२ लाख रुपैयाँ लगेका छन् । बकाइदा लिखित रुपमा दिएका छौं । विनोद ढकाललाई २५ लाख रुपैयाँ, राजविराजका सुमन प्याकुरेल र उनकी छोरी सुज प्याकुरेल, उनकै छोरा सुयसको घरमा केपी सर गएकै बेला विनोद ढकालहरुले बार्गेनिङ गरेर ५० लाख रुपैयाँ, ऋषि पोखरेलले १० लाख रुपैयाँ लगे । त्यो क्षेत्रका केपी ओली सर्मथकलाई ५ लाख रुपैयाँ भन्दा मैले कम सहयोग गरेकी छैन । केपी ओली प्यानलका गोविन्द थापा, सुमन प्याकुरेल, गोविन्द ढकालहरुले महिलाको व्यवसायिकीकरण गर्ने काम गरे ।

गोल्छा परिवारको बुहारीको यस्तो स्थिति छ भने अरुको के होला ?

....... झलनाथ खनाललाई एकजना राईथरका भाईमार्फत आर्थिक बाहेक उनको निर्वाचन क्षेत्रमा इलाम जानआउन कति सहयोग गरे भन्ने लेखाजोखा नै छैन । उनले महेश रेग्मीकै अगाडि फोनमार्फत व्यक्तिगत २ करोड रुपैयाँ सहायोग गर्नुपर्ने धम्की दिए । ईश्वर पोखरेललाई सहयोग गरें । गोकर्ण विष्टलाई १० लाख रुपैयाँ भन्दा बढी । त्यसैगरी, विद्या दिदीलाई २५ लाख रुपैया दिएँ । उहाँलाई मैले आफ्नै नाममा चेक काटेर दिएकी छु । उहाँकै नाममा काट्न खोजेकी थिएँ, मान्नु भएन । गंगाधर तुलाधरमार्फत माधव नेपाललाई १० लाख रुपैयाँ सहयोग गरें । पार्टीको माथिल्लोस्तरका सबै नेतालाई सबैलाई सहयोग गरेकीछु । ..... माधव नेपाल के भन्नुहुन्छ ? मसँग पैसा पुगेको छैन भन्नुहुन्छ । मलाई थाहा छैन भन्नु हुन्छ ।
How will a modern Silk Road affect China’s foreign policy?
“The granaries in all the towns are brimming with reserves, and the coffers are full with treasures and gold, worth trillions,” wrote Sima Qian, a Chinese historian living in the 1st century BC. “There is so much money that the ropes used to string coins together rot and break, an innumerable amount. The granaries in the capital overflow and the grain goes bad and cannot be eaten.” ....... the Silk Road, which stretched from the old capital Xi’an as far as ancient Rome. .....

There are no ropes to hold its $4tn in foreign currency reserves — the world’s largest — and in addition to overflowing granaries China has massive surpluses of real estate, cement and steel.

..... Creating a modern version of the ancient trade route has emerged as China’s signature foreign policy initiative under President Xi Jinping. ..... the new Silk Road is set to become the largest programme of economic diplomacy since the US-led Marshall Plan for postwar reconstruction in Europe, covering dozens of countries with a total population of over 3bn people. ......

Economically, diplomatically and militarily Beijing will use the project to assert regional leadership in Asia

..... China under the Communist party is building a new empire ...... the grand vision for a new Silk Road began life modestly in the bowels of China’s commerce ministry.

Seeking a way to deal with serious overcapacity in the steel and manufacturing sectors

, commerce officials began to hatch a plan to export more. In 2013, the programme received its first top-level endorsement when Mr Xi announced the “New Silk Road” during a visit to Kazakhstan. ........ “One Belt, One Road”. The belt refers to the land trade route linking central Asia, Russia and Europe. The road, oddly, is a reference to a maritime route via the western Pacific and Indian Ocean. ....... Trade between China and the five central Asian states — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — has grown dramatically since 2000, hitting $50bn in 2013 .......... China now wants to build the roads and pipelines needed to smooth access to the resources it needs to continue its development. ....... an announcement of $46bn in investments and credit lines in a planned China-Pakistan economic corridor, ending at the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar ...... plans to inject $62bn of its foreign exchange reserves into the three state-owned policy banks that will finance the expansion of the new Silk Road ...... “You can hang a lot of policy goals on it, but no one has done a proper economic analysis. The government money they are putting in is not enough; they hope to bring in private capital, but would private capital want to invest? Will it make money?” ....... Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-century Maritime Silk Road ...... Peru, Sri Lanka and even the UK are included in some versions of semi-official maps but left out of others. ..... Silk Road countries account for 26 per cent of China’s foreign trade, a remarkably precise statistic. ....... “If we want to talk to the Silk Road,” says a diplomat from a neighbouring state, “we don’t know who to call.” ....... China has no foreign military bases and steadfastly insists that it does not interfere in the domestic politics of any country. But a draft antiterrorism law for the first time legalises the posting of Chinese soldiers on foreign soil, with the consent of the host nation. ........ China’s policy of avoiding security entanglements abroad. Pakistan has assigned 10,000 troops to protect Chinese investment projects, while in Afghanistan, US troops have so far protected a Chinese-invested copper mine. ...... Port construction in countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan has led some analysts to question whether China’s ultimate aim is dual-use naval logistics facilities that could be put into service controlling sea lanes, a strategy dubbed the “String of Pearls”. ...... Achieving the trust of wary neighbours including

Vietnam, Russia and India

is not a given, and is consistently being undermined by sustained muscle flexing by China elsewhere. In the South China Sea, for example, naval confrontations have increased in the face of aggressive maritime claims by Beijing. .......

Lenin’s theory that imperialism is driven by capitalist surpluses seems to hold true, oddly, in one of the last (ostensibly) Leninist countries in the world. It is no coincidence that the Silk Road strategy coincides with the aftermath of an investment boom that has left vast overcapacity and a need to find new markets abroad.

..... “Construction growth is slowing and China doesn’t need to build many new expressways, railways and ports, so they have to find other countries that do,” says Tom Miller of Beijing consultancy Gavekal Dragonomics. “One of the clear objectives is to get more contracts for Chinese construction companies overseas.” ....... China’s western frontiers and its central Asian neighbours are home to vast reserves of oil and gas. The Xinjiang region, sitting on some of China’s largest energy reserves and crucial to the Silk Road project, is also home to a restive Muslim Uighur population that is culturally Turkish, far poorer than the citizens of coastal China and seeking a break with Beijing. ........ A push into central Asia will partly fill the vacuum left by the retreat of Moscow after the cold war, followed by Washington’s military pullback from Afghanistan next year. With Beijing saying it is facing a rising terrorist threat, stabilising the wider region is a priority. ........ China will inherit the same chicken and egg problem that has plagued the US in its “nation building” attempts — having to ask whether security and stability is a pre-requisite for economic development, or whether, as Beijing appears to believe, it can pacify local conflicts with a sea of investment and infrastructure spending. .......

Economic development, strategists in Beijing argue, will remove the appeal of radical Islam in China and Pakistan, Afghanistan and central Asia.

...... Large-scale investment could also trigger concerns about opening the floodgates to Chinese economic dominance — as it has done in Myanmar and Sri Lanka — and, by extension, political influence. But China is hoping the lure of massive spending will prove too great an incentive for its neighbours to resist. ......

“They [Beijing] don’t have much soft power, because few countries trust them,” says Mr Miller. “They either can’t or don’t want to use military power. What they have is huge amounts of money.”



From the mountains to the sea: A Chinese vision, a Pakistani corridor
At an elevation of more than 15,000 feet, yaks far outnumber cargo trucks crossing over Pakistan’s border with China. And just one border agent stands guard on the Pakistan side, when he hasn’t ducked into a steel shelter to avoid wind-whipped snow. .......... Americans, disillusioned by decades of unfruitful involvement in Pakistan, are skeptical that China will have any more success here. ..... “China has a vision . . . and Pakistan can be the corridor for a new regional bloc, comprising the engines of world growth where 3 billion people live.” .....

If China can ship more of its merchandise along this route instead of by way of the South China Sea, it will reduce transport times to some of the world’s fastest-growing markets. China also will be able to shift more of its manufacturing base to its rural, western provinces, with an eye toward weakening political unrest there while curbing pollution in its eastern cities.

...... give Pakistan an ironclad, long-lasting incentive to keep cracking down on terrorist groups. ....... China is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the highway, one of the world’s most dangerous thoroughfares. To make it safer, Chinese engineers are smashing through mountains to build

dozens of miles of tunnels

, some of which are inscribed with the phrase “Pak-China Friendship Tunnel.” They are adding bridges, guardrails and concrete overhangs to funnel landslides and avalanches away from travel lanes. ........

“The Chinese can do anything,”

Ramazan Ali, 32, said from a boat while traveling across Attabad Lake, created in 2010 when a landslide damned the Hunza River, flooding the Karakorum Highway and surrounding villages. China has just built four large tunnels on the south end of the 13-mile lake to reopen the highway. “Everything they develop benefits the people.” ....... For Pakistan, however, analysts say the Chinese investment represents a major opportunity to jump-start an economy thought to be primed for growth. ......

With an estimated population of more than 180 million, two-thirds of whom are younger than 30, Pakistan could one day become a top consumer of electronic goods and other costly products, many of them made in China.

...... China is promising Pakistan 18 new energy projects, including nine coal-fired power plants, five wind farms, three hydroelectric dams and one solar park. When completed, the projects will add 16,600 megawatts to Pakistan’s national grid, more than offsetting the electricity shortage ....... unclear whether the agreement will help Pakistan overcome a 50 percent trade imbalance with China. Pakistanis are eager to ship more medicinal herbs, textiles, gemstones and yak meat to China. ....... “A long highway passing just through vast land connecting one strategically important point with another, thousands of miles away, will not be an economic corridor,” said Sakib Sherani, a prominent Pakistani economist. “But if it also links Pakistani businessmen and traders to markets in China, that would be huge.” ....... Pakistani transport routes will allow China to expand its economy in Xinjiang, where violent attacks by ethnic Uighurs have risen sharply in recent years. Such investment could lead to a job boom in that region, spawning a more diverse population that China hopes could make it more difficult for groups such as ETIM to thrive. ....... China is stepping into a void left by the United States when it declined to heavily invest in Pakistan, despite the strategic alliance between the two countries during the Cold War as well as after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks ....... Over the past 13 years, the United States has given Pakistan about $10.5 billion in economic assistance and $7.6 billion in security-related aid. The U.S. military also reimbursed Pakistan $13 billion in counterterrorism support related to the war in Afghanistan ......

The United States “was just not interested in building dams, electrical power plants, railways, roads and bridges and ports” in Pakistan

...... China, by comparison, views its relationship with allies through a prism that is “geopolitical, geo-strategic” but also

“geoeconomic,”

Ma said. “According to Chinese philosophy, if you want to achieve some goal, you have to take a comprehensive approach, political, economic, military and social.” ........ U.S. officials appear content to let China become the dominant influence over Pakistan ..... “Much of the skepticism reflects the rather dismal American experience in Pakistan over the years,” Hathaway said. “You almost never get results commensurate with the effort or money you put into it.” ....... Within 100 miles of the border, for example, cellphone coverage is sparse. But when motorists reach the top of Khunjerab Pass, 3G service from a Chinese cellular provider bleeds across the frontier.


The Push And Pull Of China's Orbit

Beijing’s ambitious plans to expand its influence throughout Asia by building desperately needed infrastructure.

........ Chinese President Xi Jinping is making a bold move, billed as the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, to restore what he sees as Beijing’s historic place at the center of Asia. ...... a new assertive China, with a grand strategic vision to match its still considerable economic might, countering President Obama’s foreign policy “rebalance” toward Asia with hundreds of billions of dollars of new investment of its own in its neighbors. Even as Xi arrives in the United States for a historic visit later this month,

keen to be seen as Obama’s equal on the world stage

, he is working behind the scenes to surpass the United States as Asia’s regional power. ....... Cambodia, a country that has found itself drawn into China’s orbit and lured away from the West with the promise of billions of dollars of easy money, offered with no strings attached, often in the blink of an eye, for roads, bridges and dams. ...... Xi says he wants to restore ancient trading routes, to create a new “Maritime Silk Road” through the seas of southern Asia and a new “Silk Road Economic Belt” across the deserts and mountains of Central Asia. The new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, based in Beijing, and a $40 billion Silk Road fund will provide some of the money. China sees opportunity in Asia much the way the United States once saw — and grasped — opportunities in Latin America. Beijing’s plans are already unfolding across the region, with China simultaneously making new friends, and new enemies, as it spreads its wings. .........

China is stumping up the cash, with none of the tiresome and time-consuming conditions the World Bank attaches to its lending

...... one of the complaints about human rights that emanate from the United States. There isn’t even much obvious concern about corruption. ....... a project being brokered by the two nations’ elites with little or no consideration of the impact on local communities. ....... The dam could take away a key source of protein in a desperately poor country where many people depend on fishing. ...... will result in “increased malnutrition and poverty over a wide area in Cambodia.” ....... the most damaging of dozens of dams proposed on the Mekong’s tributaries in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos between now and 2030. ........... In the small village of Phluk, just downstream from the dam site, fishermen who stand in the river casting their nets say dynamite used by Chinese engineers — as well as murky cement-filled waters flowing from the construction site — have already depressed catches significantly.....

There is anger here and despair.

...... The majority investor in the project is China’s state-owned HydroLancang, in partnership with Cambodia’s Royal Group, whose owner, prominent local tycoon Kith Meng, was once described in a leaked U.S. Embassy cable as a “ruthless gangster” nicknamed “Mr. Rough and Tough.” ....... Although the United States remains Cambodia’s largest trading partner, and a large importer of garments, China has emerged in the past decade as the country’s largest donor and largest source of foreign investment........ Many Cambodians have some Chinese ancestry, even if few speak Mandarin; many shops and houses display Chinese-style Buddhist shrines and have Chinese characters pasted on their walls wishing happiness and health to their residents. ...... China needs to recognize that Cambodia is a democracy, with an emerging and increasingly demanding middle class, and a vibrant civil society, not a Communist one-party state. ...... “In China, when the party decides to do something, they do it — and the same mentality comes here,” he said. “But the Cambodian system is very different from the Chinese system.

We need more dialogue, more sensitivity.”

...... China suffers a “severe deficit of trust,” not just in Cambodia but throughout the region. ...... China has a habit of dealing with Cambodia’s elite ... the people remain deeply skeptical and suspicious of China’s various activities in the country.” ...... Cambodia does not want to be asked to pick sides between the United States and China........“We want to be as neutral as possible,” he said. “China is rising. In the past, the United States was the dominant player in the Asia-Pacific, but now it is not just the U.S., you have China, too. There must be a broad strategic realignment, especially for a small country like Cambodia.” .......

Cambodia is a country scarred by superpower rivalry like few others.

...... During the Vietnam War, the United States supported a corrupt military regime here while simultaneously

dropping 2.8 million tons of bombs on Cambodia, significantly more than the Allies dropped during the entire Second World War

; along the Sesan River, villagers still recall where Americans bombed Viet Cong camps hidden in the forest. ......... For the past two decades, with significant support from Western donors, Cambodia’s economy has expanded at more than 7 percent a year, one of the fastest rates in the world. ....... used its position within the regional ASEAN group to stifle criticism of China’s actions in the disputed South China Sea. ...... Since those contested 2013 elections, Hun Sen’s government has moved in an increasingly repressive direction, human rights groups say, drafting laws to regulate nongovernmental organizations and trade unions that could have damaging effects on the nation’s freedom of assembly.

The United States finds itself in the uncomfortable position of feeling the need to speak out but knowing this could push the government further into China’s hands.

...... When U.S. Ambassador William Todd wrote in May that Cambodia’s image was being “affected” by the NGO law, the foreign ministry responded by calling him “extremely insolent.” ...... In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Hun Sen relations between the two countries are “blessed with vital opportunities.” ..... Hun Sen, who once described China as “the root of everything that is evil,” because of its support for the Khmer Rouge, these days calls it Cambodia’s “most trustworthy friend.” ...... “You don’t put in any funding for infrastructure, and then when we go to China, you blame us,” he said. “When they ask why you always come to China for funding, I say ‘No, Cambodians have been starving for years. When someone offers me a bowl of rice, obviously I eat it.’” ..... “I know the Americans bombed Cambodia. My grandparents were killed by American bombs, both of them were blown into the trees.” ......

Even opposition leader Sam Rainsy said he considers China to be an important counterbalance to larger neighbors Thailand and Vietnam.

...... “Cambodian people feel threatened by these two large neighbors, so we are not unhappy to see a third player come in,” he said in an interview.

“It is difficult to resist Vietnamese influence without a counterweight from China.”

....... In Myanmar four years ago, public opinion forced the government to suspend a controversial Chinese dam project, and some experts wondered if Beijing might learn a lesson: that gaining support from local communities might be a wiser long-term investment strategy than simply engaging with authoritarian regimes. ....... “I prefer to die in my village and remain with my ancestors,” said 62-year-old La Thoeu as she spun cotton from a kapok tree to make wicks for candles.

“The river is my life. I live a happy life. I catch fish.

I will not leave this place.” .......... “China is moving so fast and so furious, but in some ways it is not so nimble on its feet at avoiding a backlash,” Baird said. “You wonder how savvy they are.”


Can Sri Lanka’s new government break free from China?
examining millions of dollars in pricey Chinese loans. ....... the former president — who has been accused with his family of socking away $18 billion of the country’s money in overseas accounts ....... Rajapaksa, who was first elected to office in 2005, remains widely popular with many in the Sinhalese majority who credit him with ending the nearly 30-year civil war with a Tamil insurgency that was seeking a separate homeland. The bloody conflict left more than 80,000 dead, including approximately 40,000 civilians in the war’s waning days; a report examining alleged atrocities is due from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in late September. ....... Rajapaksa turned to China for financial help early in his first tenure, seeking millions of dollars in loans for wartime spending, then millions more during the rebuilding phase after the war ended in 2009, an estimated total of $5 billion borrowed. ......

Sirisena’s new government is trying to unravel the costs and terms of those loans after years without transparency

....... Among them are several highway projects and a $103 million cellphone tower shaped like a lotus flower. Also under scrutiny are the finances of a $209 million airport in Rajapaksa’s region of Hambantota, sitting virtually inactive — although government officials are thinking of using it as a place to store rice — and a $580 million southern port that has failed to reach revenue targets. ....... “In the last six months, the government has damaged that relationship with China. It has moved away from China and moved closer to the West. The result is that our economic growth has slowed down.” ....... Before Sirisena’s victory, the close relationship between Sri Lanka and China had been a concern to India and the United States, especially after Chinese submarines docked off the Colombo port on two separate occasions last fall.


Chinese companies face culture shock in countries that aren’t like China
Faced with slower growth at home and rising labor costs, Chinese entrepreneurs are seeking foreign markets as never before. But as they rush abroad, they are grappling for the first time with

unruly trade unions, independent courts and meddlesome journalists.

And for many, navigating the unfamiliar waters of multiparty politics and confronting the power of public opinion makes for heavy going. ...... a litany of complaints and have made a succession of costly mistakes.

Even in tiny Cambodia, where China has become a major investor in the garment industry, they can sound bitter.

...... “Trade unions are all the same: They are black-hearted,” complained He Enjia, president of the Textile Enterprise Association of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia. ...... Some of the first major movers were state-owned companies, extracting the raw materials, such as oil and iron ore, that China needed to fuel its booming economy. Construction companies have also followed government money abroad, as China builds roads, dams and other infrastructure from Asia to Africa. ....... outbound direct investment from the country rose 14 percent last year to $103 billion, and the government says that if outbound investment through third parties is included, it would exceed foreign direct investment for the first time. ........ In the United States, Chinese companies are facing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage claims over drywall imported to rebuild thousands of homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; it is alleged to have emitted toxic gas, caused respiratory problems and corroded electrical appliances. .......... Li Yi, secretary general of the Guangxi province branch of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, says Cambodia’s many nongovernmental organizations are a nuisance. ...

“To grab Western funds, they do everything they can to pick holes and deliberately target big projects,” he said.

..... In June, a Chinese construction site manager was reported to have screamed at his workers once too often for being lazy, according to the Phnom Penh Post. After their shift was over, a group of workers returned to the site at night and hacked the manager to death with an ax ..... In Burma, the transition from military rule to military-controlled democracy brought problems for Chinese mining and dam-building companies not used to

a world where public opinion suddenly mattered

.

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