VIF Information Alerts - 7 Feb 2018

China sees new Silk Road in Arctic
Taipei Times
07 Feb 2018

China’s State Council on Jan. 26 published a white paper, titled “China’s Arctic Policy,” in which Beijing promises to become an “active participant” in Arctic affairs and seek to establish “a community with a shared future for humankind.”

China is not a coastal state of the Arctic Ocean, so the white paper from the outset excludes existing structures, such as the Arctic Council, and declares that “there is no single mechanism for managing Arctic affairs.” It invokes the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the Spitsbergen Treaty, signed in 1920 and now known as the Svalbard Treaty, as laws governing Arctic affairs. Click here to read...

China becomes world’s largest oil importer
The Global Times
06 Feb 2018

With China having overtaken the US to become the world's largest oil importer in 2017, experts forecast a marginal increase in 2018 with a cyclical peak possible in 2020 or shortly thereafter.

China surpassed the US, the former No.1 crude importer, in annual gross crude oil imports in 2017, importing 8.4 million barrels per day (bpd) compared with 7.9 million bpd for the US, according to a report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published on Monday. Click here to read...

U.S.-China Trade Deficit Hits Record, Fueling Trade Fight
The New York Times
06 Feb 2018

The United States trade deficit with China climbed to its highest level on record in 2017, a trend that could prompt the Trump administration toward tougher trade actions in the coming months.

The gap between Chinese goods imported to the United States and American goods exported to China rose to $375.2 billion last year, up from $347 billion the prior year, data released Tuesday morning by the Commerce Department showed. Click here to read...

Asean defence chiefs to increase cooperation against terrorism, hold maritime exercise with China
The Straits Times
06 Feb 2018

Identifying terrorism as the region's most serious security threat, Asean defence ministers on Tuesday (Feb 6) agreed to step up cooperation to fight it, and conduct their first maritime exercise with China to strengthen regional security.

In a joint statement following the two-day Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Retreat, defence chiefs from the regional bloc condemned terrorist attacks around the world, noting: "Terrorism is a severe threat to ASEAN's progress, prosperity, and very way of life." Click here to read...

Chinese bidders fight over Quetta safe city project
05 Feb 2018

A much delayed Rs3 billion strategic project to secure the Balochistan capital from terrorism and smuggling appears to have become a turf war between two Chinese contractors and their influential supporters. Click here to read...

7 Army officers fired over attack on Kabul military base
The Hindu
06 Feb 2018

Seven Afghan Army officers, including two generals, have been sacked over a deadly attack on a Kabul military base, President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday, as the Afghan capital braces for further assaults.

At least five attackers — gunmen and suicide bombers — launched the pre-dawn raid claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group on January 29, killing 11 soldiers and wounding 16. Click here to read...

Maldives’ former President Nasheed seeks Indian military intervention in crisis-ridden country
The Hindu
06 Feb 2018

Exiled former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has sought Indian military intervention to release jailed dissidents in the capital. In a tweet on Tuesday morning: Mr. Nasheed said: “On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request:

1. India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees inc. Prez. Gayoom. We request a physical presence. 2. The US to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks.” Click here to read...

Over 14,000 bunkers to come up for civilians along border
Tribune India
06 Feb 2018

Amid flare-up along the western border with continued firing from the Pakistani side, the Central government today announced that it had approved the construction of as many as 14,460 bunkers for the civilians living in forward areas along the Indo-Pak border in J&K. Click here to read...

LeT militants strike outside Srinagar hospital; free Pak terrorist, kill 2 cops
Tribune India
06 Feb 2018

Lashkar-e-Toiba militants on Tuesday staged a daring attack inside the SMHS hospital complex in a high security area of Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital here to free a “hardcore” Pakistani terrorist from custody, killing two policemen, police said.

The daring attack inside the premises of Srinagar’s main hospital ended with the terrorists escaping into the narrow lanes and bylanes of downtown Srinagar, a police official said. Mohammed Naveed Jhutt, the 22-year-old LeT militant from Pakistan who was caught in Kulgam in south Kashmir in 2014, managed to escape with the assailants, police said. Click here to read...

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