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Silk Road

China defends ‘New Silk Road’ against debt complaints

BEIJING: Chinese officials on Monday defended Beijing’s initiative to build a “New Silk Road” of railways and other infrastructure across Asia against complaints it leaves host countries with too much debt after Malaysia canceled two high-profile projects. The officials said President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative is creating assets that are needed by developing countries but might take time to pay off. The deputy chairman of the Cabinet planning agency, Ning Jizhe, rejected what he said were foreign…

Caterpillar drives sales on China’s new Silk Road

CHICAGO/NANTONG, China: At a Caterpillar facility in the eastern Chinese city of Nantong, an array of excavators, earth movers and road-making machinery is displayed on slopes and in mud pits. The audience is Caterpillar’s local network of dealers, who inspect the machines for the latest technological innovations to help make their sales pitches to buyers in China. However, much of the heavy equipment could find its way to construction and mining projects in places like Pakistan or Kazakhstan, or as far away as Africa.…

Europe casts a wary eye on China’s Silk Road plans

PARIS: Depending on who you ask in Europe, China's colossal East-West infrastructure programme is either an opportunity or a threat -- and when French President Emmanuel Macron visits next week, Beijing will be watching to see how keen he is to jump on board. Since China launched the New Silk Road plan in 2013, the hugely ambitious initiative to connect Asia and Europe by road, rail and sea has elicited both enormous interest and considerable anxiety. "It's the most important issue in international relations for the…

Braving security fears, Chinese seek ‘Silk Road’ riches in Pakistan

LAHORE/SHANGHAI: Zhang Yang, a businessman from Chongqing in southwest China, is searching online forums for fellow stout-hearted entrepreneurs willing to cast aside security concerns and join him on a scouting mission to Pakistan. Zhang, 48, is one of a growing number of Chinese pioneers sensing an opportunity across the Himalayas in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged to spend $57 billion on infrastructure projects as part of its “Belt and Road” initiative. Numbering in thousands, this second wave of Chinese arrivals…

China’s Xi decries protectionism, touts Silk Road

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping urged world leaders to reject protectionism on Monday at a summit positioning Beijing as a champion of globalisation, as some countries raised concerns over its trade ambitions. Xi addressed almost 30 leaders on the second day of a forum on his new Silk Road plan, an infrastructure project Beijing hopes will revive ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa. "Globalisation is encountering some headwinds," Xi told leaders from Spain to Turkey, Russia and Pakistan at a…

US firms ‘ready’ to get on China’s Silk Road project

BEIJING: US companies are ready to get involved in China's Silk Road project, an American official said Sunday, as Washington strikes an increasingly cooperative tone with its biggest trade rival.  President Donald Trump was scathing about China's trade policies on the campaign trail, but relations have warmed in recent weeks as the US leader softens his stance. At an international summit in Beijing showcasing China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative, US delegate Matt Pottinger said American companies had "much…

US to send delegation to China’s Belt and Road summit

BEIJING: The United States will send a delegation led by White House adviser Matt Pottinger to a summit for China's new Silk Road plan this weekend, China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday. The announcement that a U.S. delegation would be coming to what is China's biggest diplomatic event of the year coincides with the unveiling of an important trade deal between China and the United States. The deal, the first tangible result of trade talks that began last month, will see China allow U.S. imports of beef no later than…

China stresses security needs for new Silk Road initiative

BEIJING: China's ambitious initiative to generate economic prosperity by building a new Silk Road will depend on the countries involved ensuring strong security, the country's top policemen said, ahead of a summit to discuss President Xi Jinping's pet project. Leaders from 28 countries will gather in Beijing on May 14-15 on what China formally calls the "One Road, One Belt" plan that envisions expanding trade links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. Speaking…

Amid Beijing’s ‘Silk Road’ splurge, Chinese firms eye Pakistan

KARACHI: Chinese companies are in talks to snap up more businesses and land in Pakistan after sealing two major deals in recent months, a sign of deepening ties after Beijing vowed to plough $57 billion into a new trade route across the South Asian nation. A dozen executives from some of Pakistan's biggest firms told Reuters that Chinese companies were looking mainly at the cement, steel, energy and textile sectors, the backbone of Pakistan's $270 billion economy. Analysts say the interest shows Chinese firms are using…

China’s new Silk Road: boom or dust for Pakistan?

SOST: A glossy highway and hundreds of lorries transporting Chinese workers by the thousands: the new Silk Road is under construction in northern Pakistan, but locals living on the border are yet to be convinced they will receive more from it than dust.