VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 12th April, 2018


Balochistan being neglected in CPEC, says Chief Minister Bizenjo: Dawn
April 12, 2018

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said on Wednesday that his province was being neglected by the federal government in the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC) project. “More than Rs5,000 billion is being spent on the CPEC, but Balochistan is not receiving even one per cent of it,” he said while speaking at the Meet the Press programme at the National Press Club. He said a major portion of the CPEC fell in Balochistan, but the people of the province were ignored in development activities being made under the project. “We have to see what benefit the people of Balochistan will get from the CPEC,” he added. “I am collecting the record of the CPEC to ascertain what benefit will be given to our people in the grand project which is being executed in the name of Balochistan,” he maintained. Click here to read...

US, Pakistan likely to restrict diplomats’ movements: Dawn
April 12, 2018

The United States and Pakistan are engaged in a diplomatic dispute which — despite denials from both sides — could lead to strict restrictions on the movement of their diplomats, Dawn has learned. The Trump administration has notified Pakistani authorities that diplomats at their embassy in Washington and at consulates in other cities will not be able to travel beyond 40km from their posts without permission. The notice, shared with the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and sent also to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, indicates that the restrictions could be imposed from May 1, if certain issues remained unresolved. Click here to read...


Regional leaders are defying Afghanistan’s president. The latest is a police chief who was once a close U.S. ally: Los Angeles Times
April 11, 2018

In early January, Abdul Raziq, the powerful police chief of Kandahar, issued a direct challenge to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Speaking to reporters, Raziq said Ghani's government "cannot fire me." It was a typical show of strength by Raziq, a onetime favorite of U.S.-led coalition forces who rose to prominence because of his zeal in fighting Taliban insurgents. A survivor of multiple assassination attempts, he brought relative calm to his volatile southern province while dismissing accusations of torture and other human rights abuses. But Raziq's statement also highlighted the fault lines that have weakened Ghani's Western-backed government. Until recently, Ghani was locked in a months-long dispute with an influential northern governor who refused to step down after Ghani fired him in December. The ousted governor, Atta Mohammad Noor of Balkh province, finally agreed to hand over power to a close ally in March. Ghani has also refused to allow his vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, to return to Afghanistan from Turkey, where he fled amid charges that he and his aides kidnapped and sexually assaulted a rival. Both Noor and Dostum belong to a political coalition that accuses Ghani of favoring his own ethnicity, the Pashtuns, over minorities. Click here to read...


Foreign Minister Gyawali set to visit China on April 16: Kathmandu Post
April 12, 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started preparing for Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali’s official visit to China that is likely to begin on April 16. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent an invitation to Gyawali on Sunday through the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. The foreign minister’s visit comes close on the heels of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to India. It conforms to Nepal’s foreign policy of engaging with its immediate neighbours to build trust. The visit, according to the sources, will focus on laying the groundwork for PM Oli’s visit to the northern neighbour, discuss the status of the Chinese-funded projects in Nepal and exploring more areas of cooperation, including expediting past agreements, and new areas under the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. At a time when PM Oli has announced to pursue balanced and non-aligned foreign policy, Gyawali’s visit is keenly followed in Kathmandu. The visit would give an idea how Beijing engages with the Oli government that has a strong political mandate. Click here to read...


7 Myanmar soldiers jailed for massacre: The Straits Times
April 12, 2018

Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to "10 years in prison with hard labour in a remote area" for participating in a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in a village in western Rakhine state last September, the army said. The military said on Tuesday in a statement published on commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing's official Facebook page that seven soldiers have had "action taken against them" for "contributing and participating in murder". The massacre was being investigated by two Reuters journalists - Wa Lone, who turned 32 yesterday, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 - who were subsequently arrested in December and are still behind bars facing charges of violating the country's Official Secrets Act. Click here to read...


Sri Lanka's health sector among best worldwide: WHO: Business Standard
April 11, 2018

Sri Lanka's health service is one of the best not only in Asia but in the world, the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who visited the country to celebrate the World Health Day on April 7, said the reason Sri Lanka had such a high-quality health service was due to its free availability and the country's political leadership gave a clear guidance to the health service, Xinhua news agency reported. Sri Lanka, which was earlier ranked as a low-income country, had now emerged as a middle-income nation and under this situation, the island's health sector was excellent, Tedros said. Click here to read...

Xi says Belt and Road Initiative not an intrigue of China: People's Daily

April 12, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that the Belt and Road Initiative is not an intrigue of China, as alleged by someone overseas, but aimed at benefiting more countries and people."[The initiative] is neither the Marshall Plan after World War II nor an intrigue of China. It is, if anything, a plan in the sunshine," Xi said when meeting with incumbent and incoming members of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), who gathered here for the BFA annual conference. Click here to read...

ADB predicts China's economy to grow 6.6% in 2018: People's Daily
April 12, 2018

China's economic growth is expected to reach 6.6 percent this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report released on Wednesday. In its annual publication Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, the Manila-based bank said China's growth accelerated on strong demand from home and abroad. Click here to read...

President: Openness, inclusion essential: China Daily
April 12, 2018

Countries around the world should hold to the principles of openness, inclusiveness and cooperation in dealing with challenges like a lack of economic demand and trade protectionism, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday. Xi made the remark in a meeting with current and incoming members of the board of directors of the Boao Forum for Asia, who gathered in the city in Hainan province for their annual conference. Click here to read...

Former Chinese political star Sun Zhengcai on trial for bribery: South China Morning Post
April 12, 2018

Former political high-flyer Sun Zhengcai, who was once tipped for high office, is on trial in northern China on corruption charges. A statement from the first intermediate people’s court in Tianjin said on Thursday Sun is accused of taking bribes. Click here to read...

US Senators slam ‘immoral’ and ‘coercive’ Beijing after meeting with industrial experts over Chinese IP laws: South China Morning Post
April 12, 2018

China was slammed as “immoral” and “coercive” by US lawmakers on Wednesday as the nation’s industrial experts testified in a Senate hearing meant to shed light on issues central to a looming trade war US President Donald Trump and Beijing. Click here to read...

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