China's plan to blast open more of the Mekong River for bigger cargo ships could founder on a remote outcrop of half-submerged rocks that Thai protesters have vowed to protect against Beijing's economic expansion in Southeast Asia. Dynamiting the Pi Long rapids and other sections of the Mekong between Thailand and Laos will harm the environment and bring trade advantages only to China, the protesters say. "This will be the death of the Mekong," said Niwat Roykaew, chairman of the Rak Chiang Khong Conservation Group, which is campaigning against the project. "You'll never be able to revive it." Niwat said blasting the Mekong will destroy fish breeding grounds, disrupt migrating birds and cause increased water flow that will erode riverside farmland. Such opposition reflects a wider challenge to China's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" project to build a modern-day Silk Road through Asia to Europe. Second Harbour Consultants, a subsidiary of state-owned behemoth China Communications … [Read more...] about China’s Silk Road push in Thailand may founder on Mekong River row
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VietNamNet Bridge – The so-called “Silk Road Initiative” in the East Sea is part of China’s three-direction tactic, analyzed by Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao, a senior expert on the East Sea issues. In May 2013, during his official visit to Malaysia and Indonesia, Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the initiative to restore the so-called "Silk Road on the Sea". The initiative is aimed at three goals: 1) to support the production network across the region, to boost trade and improve the role of China as an investment opportunity, a capital source in the eyes of ASEAN, 2) to expand and link seaport systems, 3) to strengthen the role of overseas Chinese communities and 4) to enhance reliability in order to help ease tension in the region related to territorial disputes and sensitive historical issues. In July 2014, according to Chinese sources, Hainan province tried to register the "Maritime Silk Road" with UNESCO, and planned to excavate the wrecks at … [Read more...] about Is China’s Silk Road Initiative an interest in the East Sea?
China has recently accelerated archaeological exploration in the East Sea in order to support its seeking of the UNESCO’s world heritage title for the "Silk Road on the Sea". If UNESCO recognizes the "Silk Road on the Sea" as China’s world heritage, Vietnam's sovereignty in the East Sea will be affected, said Dr. Nguyen Tan Anh, Director of the UNESCO Centre of Science, Technology and Investment, in an interview with VietNamNet. Prof. Nguyen Tan Anh. What do you think about the “trick” of world heritage registration of China? The world has had similar precedent. For example, the border and Preah Vihear temple dispute between Thailand and Cambodia took place for a long time. In 2007 Cambodia applied for UNESCO’s recognition of the Preah Vihear Temple as the World Heritage. On June 7, 2008, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO met in Canada and recognized the temple as the world's cultural heritage, the third world heritage of Cambodia. According … [Read more...] about East Sea: Behind China’s Silk Road Initiative
The first train to connect China and Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday loaded with Chinese goods, reviving the ancient Silk Road, the Iranian railway company said. The train, carrying 32 containers of commercial products from eastern Zhejiang province, took 14 days to make the 9,500-kilometre (5,900-mile) journey through Kazakstan and Turkmenistan. "The arrival of this train in less than 14 days is unprecedented," said the head of the Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi. "The revival of the Silk Road is crucial for the countries on its route," he said at a ceremony at Tehran's rail station attended by the ambassadors of China and Turkmenistan. The journey was 30 days shorter than the sea voyage from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, according to Aqayi. The railway will not stop in Tehran "as we are planning to extend the railway to Europe in future," generating more income for Iran from passing trains, he added. The train will leave every month and the … [Read more...] about First ‘Silk Road’ train arrives in Tehran from China
A centuries-old template for China’s economic influence may be the best idea the nation’s current-day leaders have for addressing a shortfall in growth. China reported on Wednesday that the economy expanded the least since the 2009 global recession last quarter, at a 7 percent pace. Last time round, policy makers unleashed a record credit expansion that’s left a legacy of unused properties and rising bad debts. Now, President Xi Jinping and his colleagues are focused instead on restructuring initiatives, including steps to bolster the role of private enterprise. With overseas demand for Chinese products waning, Xi’s grand plan is to deepen ties with Asian countries along the Silk Road commerce and migration routes of the Middle Ages. Through initiatives including a $40 billion Silk Road Fund, and the $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank now taking shape, Xi aims to fund projects that will aid development in what’s already some of the … [Read more...] about China follows Silk Road in search for land of fast growth