Silk Road Part 3

China’s naval hospital ship makes first visit to Sri Lanka


  • The hospital ship of the Chinese Navy makes its first port visit to Sri Lanka from Aug 6 to Aug 10, Xinhua News Agency reported. The ship, known as Peace Ark, is making the four-day goodwill visit as the first stop in a broader voyage across the Indian Ocean code-named “Harmonious Mission 2017”. The maiden visit to Sri Lanka began when the ship arrived at the port of Colombo around 10 am on Aug 6 local time, said Xinhua. The visit includes a welcome ceremony as well as a range of activities including providing medical services to the public and other medicine and military exchanges.

Nepal, China to develop cross border power transmission lines

August 5, 2017

  • Nepal and China have initiated process for the joint development of cross-border transmission lines which will pave the way for electricity trade between the two neighbours. Nepal has sent a draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to the Chinese government for the joint development of the power transmission lines between the two countries, said a senior official at Nepal’s Energy Ministry. The power-line connectivity between the two countries will pave the way for power trade in the future between the two neighbours, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Former Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli had asked China to help in developing 400 KV cross-border transmission lines project at Rashuwagadi-Kerung border point during his official visit to the country in March 2016. “In line with the understanding reached with Chinese side during the visit of former prime minister Oli, the MoU draft on mutual cooperation in developing cross border transmission line was sent to China,” Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, spokesperson of the Energy Ministry, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

UAE to benefit from China’s One Belt, One Road programme

July 29, 2017

  • China is the UAE’s second largest trading partner. As part of Beijing’s drive to forge closer commercial and political ties with the Middle East, our countries established last year a US$10 billion joint investment fund, the UAE-China Joint Investment Fund, managed by Mubadala Capital’s sovereign investment partnership team. Last September, China’s Cosco Shipping Ports announced the establishment of a dedicated container terminal at Khalifa Port. The new terminal, currently under construction, will enhance the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s role as a key logistics and trading hub and will also serve to further diversify the UAE’s dynamic and growing economy.

Sri Lanka signs deal on Hambantota port with China

29 July 2017

  • Sri Lanka has signed a $1.1bn (£837m) deal with China for the control and development of the southern deep-sea port of Hambantota. The deal had been delayed by several months over concerns that the port could be used by the Chinese military. The government has given assurances that China will run only commercial operations from the port, on the main shipping route between Asia and Europe.

China to give $700m for six development projects

July 25, 2017

  • China wants to boost bilateral economic ties with Bangladesh China has assured the government of providing a fund of $700 million for six development projects, including the country’s Power, ICT and Infrastructure sectors, officials have said. They said it is a part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to offer Bangladesh $24 billion for 27 development projects during his visit two years ago.

Sri Lanka’s cabinet ‘clears port deal’ with China firm after concerns addressed

July 25, 2017

  • Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a revised agreement for its Chinese-built southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday, the government said, after terms of the first pact sparked widespread public anger in the island nation. The port, close to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, has been mired in controversy ever since state-run China Merchants Port Holdings , which built it for $1.5 billion, signed an agreement taking an 80 percent stake.

In Kathmandu’s Support for BRI, an Old Story of India Losing Ground in Nepal


  • The Araniko Highway that connects Kathmandu to Kodari and onwards to Tibet, did not encourage dreams of multi-laned container traffic flowing down even before the 2015 earthquake. Post the quake, China closed the route after massive landslides in Tibet, leaving only one road that connects Kathmandu to Tibet – the Rasuwagadhi highway, built upon an old trade route that connected Nepal to Tibet via the Kerung pass. It was through this highway – still under construction in most sections in Nepal, and perhaps the most affected highway during the quake – that petroleum arrived in Kathmandu in 2015 during the infamous Indian blockade. It is also this highway that will connect Nepal to the much-flaunted Chinese Belt Road Initiative (BRI), with the Chinese interested in building a railway network up to Kathmandu itself.

Nepal launches Chinese classes to boost tourism

July 20, 2017

  • Nepal and China have launched a programme to offer free training to up to 200 tourism entrepreneurs in Mandarin to attract more foreign visitors from China. Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong Thursday inaugurated a new batch of tourism entrepreneurs who will be trained in the Chinese language in Kathmandu. A group of 40 people, consisting of tour operators and tourism entrepreneurs, will be trained during the six-month programme. The classes being run at the initiative of the Chinese embassy will not only help to promote Chinese tourists in Nepal, but it will also strengthen people-to-people relations between Nepal and China, Yu said.

Kazakhstan Bets Big On China’s Silk Road


  • Kazakhstan is the most developed ex-Soviet ‘Stan. Its leadership has always been interested in going their own way. This time, their way is pointing to China – and beyond. It is perhaps the single biggest game changer for them. Kazakhstan is using China’s One Belt One Road as a means to light a firecracker under its own business and political class.

China-Sri Lanka FTA talks progressing smoothly as bilateral trade grows faster – Minister Bathiudeen

Jul 16, 2017

  • Talks between Sri Lanka and China in pursuit of the coveted Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries are progressing smoothly and six exhaustive sessions of official talks have been wrapped to-date Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen says. “Our talks with China are progressing smoothly, the sixth round of talks were successfully concluded in March in Beijing. We are working for the seventh FTA round next,” said the Minister addressing the launch of the China Guangxi Products Expo in Colombo on Friday.

India at risk of losing Nepal transit trade to China

July 16 2017

  • India is at risk of losing the Nepalese transit trade to China, whose high-speed rail link, particularly under the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, compares favourably to the slow trundle of Indian goods trains and the capacity constraints on the border with Nepal. According to the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS), set up by the World Bank and UN trade bodies, Nepal imported goods worth $6.6 billion in 2015 and exported goods worth $660 million.

Singapore gets on board China’s Silk Road push as ties get back on track

16 July, 2017

  • Singapore’s rocky relations with China are “on track” with plans for high-level official visits and upgrades to a free-trade pact. Singapore also planned to ­expand its involvement in the “Belt and Road Initiative”, China’s ambitious project to revive trade along ancient Silk Road routes, the city state’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said at the two-day FutureChina business forum last week. Asked about the state of ties between the two countries, Lee said: “[They have] always been on track.” Lee said the belt and road scheme, the main focus of the forum, was a chance for Singapore to become a “base [for other countries] to jump off into the whole ­region”.

China & Portugal step up cooperation on New Silk Road initiative

13 Jul, 2017

  • Lisbon and Beijing are to broaden links as part of the Belt and Road Initiative which is bringing together dozens of countries in a global infrastructure project, Xinhua reports Thursday. Joining forces will give impetus to the initiative, as Portugal can help drive the Belt and Road project due to its geographic location, China’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang said during a three-day visit to Lisbon.

Nepal to seek access to two land, three sea ports in China

Jul 3, 2017

  • Nepal is set to propose Beijing for access to two land and three sea ports in China for enhancing connectivity with Europe. The Ministry of Commerce has prepared a draft and sent it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) for consultation. The proposal will be put on the table “in the near future” at a meeting to be held in Kathmandu for formulating a protocol on the Transit Transport Agreement (TTA), according to an official at the Ministry of Commerce. The TTA was signed with China in March last year during then prime minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to Beijing. The protocol, which is key to actualisation of the treaty, will allow Nepal to conduct trade with third countries through China. Nepal presently conducts trade with third countries only through India.

China-Pakistan corridor going smoothly despite challenges: minister

June 27, 2017

  • Pakistan has been smoothly implementing an ambitious plan to build an economic corridor with China, despite experiencing some challenges, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday. China has promised $57 billion in investment in projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of its ambitious Belt and Road plan linking China with the Middle East and Europe.

Japan takes cautious turn toward China’s ‘Belt and Road’

June 6, 2017

  • Japan is eager to cooperate with China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative if Beijing can ensure fairness and transparency, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday, sensing an opportunity to shore up international norms as the Asian heavyweight’s influence grows.

China expands Belt and Road to the Arctic

May 30, 2017

  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative partly echoes the famed Ming dynasty navigator Zheng He’s seven voyages to the western seas. Leading huge ships with a total crew of over 20,000, Zheng’s ships visited ports across the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and Africa, “not as conquerors with warships, guns or swords” but as “friendly emissaries” sailing treasure-loaded ships, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in the keynote speech of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14.

Southeast Asia Finds China Love as Xi Pushes ‘One Belt, One Road’ Dream

May 30, 2017

  • Dominated by Japanese investment since the 1980s, Southeast Asia has found a new source of funds in China. Chinese companies poured a record $14.6 billion of foreign direct investment into Southeast Asia in 2015, almost double from the previous year and a gargantuan leap from $156 million a decade ago, according to Maybank Kim Eng Holdings Ltd. They’re also diversifying from manufacturing, mining and agriculture into financial and commercial services, such as advertising and travel.

Erdoğan stresses Belt and Road’s trillions worth potential for Turkish industrialists

May 18, 2017

  • In an address he delivered to prominent Turkish businesspeople at the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association’s (TÜSİAD) High Consultation Meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to his series of visits abroad in May. Particular reference was made to his visit to Chinese capital Beijing, where he attended the Road and Belt Forum with the leaders of 28 countries and discussed the investment opportunities the modern Silk Road presents as he highlighted that the Belt and Road project’s potential is worth trillions of dollars. Stating that Turkey is located in the West end of the project, its position is named “the middle corridor,” which covers important transportation routes, President Erdoğan said Turkey is a powerful country located on the corridor and it should capitalize on this power. Stressing the vast potential of Asian countries and the necessity to consider the population of those countries, Erdoğan said the Belt and Road Forum presents trillions of dollars worth opportunities for the countries involved. He emphasized however that the path to reveal the trillion-dollar potential is long and trying.

Nepal signs up to China’s new Silk Road plan

May 12, 2017

  • Nepal on Friday signed up to China’s new Silk Road drive, a massive infrastructure project spanning some 65 countries at the centre of the Asian giant’s push to expand its global influence. The long discussed deal between impoverished Nepal and its much bigger neighbour comes just days before China hosts a summit for 28 leaders near Beijing, showcasing the ambitious plan. The One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR) spearheaded by President Xi Jinping would see 60 percent of the global population and around a third of global GDP linked through a network of Chinese-bankrolled ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.

Pakistan signs nearly $500 million in China deals at Silk Road summit

May 13, 2017

  • Pakistan signed new deals with China on Saturday worth nearly $500 million ahead of Beijing’s international forum on its “Silk Road” trade and infrastructure initiative for Asia, Africa and Europe, the Pakistani government said. The memorandums of understanding add to $57 billion already pledged for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure that is part of the wider Chinese project also known as the Belt and Road initiative, or One Belt, One Road.

China Sees Growing Number of Domestic Firms Investing in ‘One Belt, One Road’

May 12, 2017

  • The number of Chinese companies investing in President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign-policy initiative–a massive infrastructure project known as One Belt, One Road–will grow in coming years, a top economic planner said. In 2016, Chinese companies invested a total of $170.1 billion overseas outside the financial sector, but only 8.5% of that was in countries along the “belt-and-road” routes linking Asia to Europe and Africa, official data showed. The country’s outbound direct investment is estimated to top $120 billion or $130 billion each year over the next five years, said Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a briefing Friday.

China holds security dialogue with Silk Road participants

May 4, 2017

  • China today held a security cooperation dialogue here with officials from more than 20 countries on the Belt and Road (Silk Road) Initiative. Enhancing international cooperation to tackle risks and safeguard security for the Belt and Road Initiative is the common task for all countries, said Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. Meng called on participants to make full use of the dialogue to enhance exchanges of information and deepen security and law-enforcement cooperation. Twenty-eight heads of state and government confirmed their participation in the Belt and Road summit to be held here on May 14-15.

Belt and Road Initiative bringing tangible benefits to Laos: official


  • Laos strongly supports China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the initiative has been producing tangible benefits for the country, a high-ranking Lao official has said. Lattanamany Khounnyvong, vice minister of public works and transport, made the comments here in a recent interview with Xinhua and other Chinese media. Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

First China-Britain freight train arrives back in China


  • The first freight train traveling from Britain back to China reached its destination in eastern China’s Yiwu city on Saturday after a 19 day journey, according to the China Railway Corporation (CRC). The trans-continental freight train, loaded with 32 containers, mainly carrying maternity products and soft drinks, departed from London on April 10. Having traveled more than 12,000 kilometers, it passed through seven countries before reaching the Chinese manufacturing and trade hub where small goods such as homeware, garments and souvenirs are made.