China spends $73 billion on transport infrastructure in March quarter: ministry


April 28, 2019 / 3:05 PM / Updated 29 minutes ago
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China’s total fixed-asset investment in transport infrastructure hit 488.9 billion yuan ($72.66 billion) from January to March this year, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier, according to official data published on Sunday.

China’s spending on railways rose 10 percent to 101.2 billion yuan for the quarter, while its investment in high-speed highways reached 191.5 billion yuan, up 12.6 percent on-year, according to an online statement published by the Ministry of Transport.

China is ramping up infrastructure investment to boost its slowing economy. The state planner approved 370.3 billion yuan worth of fixed-asset investment projects in the first quarter, mainly in energy, transportation and high-tech sectors.

Reporting By Shu Zhang and Jenny Su; editing by Richard Pullin

This blogger’s comment: I have just had a post on US bridges in poor conditions due to lack of funds even for maintenance. That is the problem with US democracy as it is not a democracy for the people so that the government does not care about the potential collapse of bridges. In comparison, China’s is a centralized democracy for the people so that lots of funds are allocated to build infrastructures to serve the people.

Source: Reuters “China spends $73 billion on transport infrastructure in March quarter: ministry”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


On the eve of naval maneuvers, Putin nuzzles closer to China


By: Christopher Bodeen, The Associated Press    1 day ago

BEIJING — Russian President Vladimir Putin praised China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative Friday, underscoring warming ties between the neighboring powers.

Putin’s comments Friday to a forum in Beijing appeared to downplay the potential for tensions between China and Russia. They also reflect Beijing and Moscow’s shared resistance to U.S. global influence.

The Belt and Road is rapidly expanding China’s economic footprint in Central Asia, Moscow’s traditional sphere of influence.

But in an interview published Thursday remarking on 70 years of diplomatic relations, Putin praised Russia-China ties.

“It would be no exaggeration to say that our countries have approached this anniversary with relations the best they have been in their entire history,” Putin said. “This is the result of meticulous and successful work over the past thirty years.”

In a further sign of growing trust, the navies of the two countries will start several days of joint drills next week.

Russian wariness over China’s rising clout appears to have subsided somewhat, thanks partly to their shared rivalry with the West, especially Washington.

Putin told three-dozen leaders gathered for the conference that the Belt and Road is “intended to strengthen the creative cooperation of the states of Eurasia.”

“And it fits perfectly into our plans,” he added.

Putin was referring to the Eurasian Economic Union, which groups Russia with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in a common market that seeks to remove barriers to the free movement of goods, services, capital and labor.

The five member states “unanimously supported the idea of linking the construction of the Eurasian Economic Community” and the Belt and Road, Putin said.

Putin met with Xi on the sidelines of the conference. He visited Beijing just after wrapping up a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.

In his interview with the Chinese ruling Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily published Thursday, he praised the “strategic partnership” with Beijing that replaced decades of Cold War mistrust when the two were communist rivals for leadership.

Putin reviewed progress in resolving lingering border disagreements, increasing tourism and trade, which hit a record $100 billion last year. He also asserted that some Western countries are claiming “sole global leadership.”

The “Joint Sea 2019” drills taking place from Monday to Saturday will feature ships and submarines along with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and marine units.

The exercises follow participation last September of about 3,200 Chinese troops in Russia’s largest-ever war games in Siberia, where nearly 300,000 Russian troops conducted drills amid rising tensions with NATO.

Source: Navy Times “On the eve of naval maneuvers, Putin nuzzles closer to China”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


OBOR to become symbol of Pak-China friendship: FM Qureshi


By news desk

Apr.26, 2019

Qureshi says the Great Wall of China has stood the test of time, much like the friendship between Pakistan and China

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative would eventually become a symbol of Pakistan-China friendship.

In his message on the social media website Twitter, Qureshi said it would be an icon for bilateral friendship since both Pakistan and China were charting new frontiers.

The Great Wall of China is a symbol of China’s triumphs and might. It has stood the test of time, much like the friendship between Pakistan and China. As we chart new frontiers the one Belt and Road Initiative will be the new symbol of our united triumphs and perseverance. pic.twitter.com/1Ky9xNjk5k

— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) April 25, 2019

The foreign minister, who is in China as part of the Pakistan delegation attending China’s Belt and Road summit, hailed the Great Wall of China as a symbol of the country’s achievements.

He also shared a picture of his autograph with the words, “long live Pakistan-China friendship, the only iron brothers in the world”.

PM Imran presents proposals for expansion of BRI

At the opening of the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping sought to bat away concerns about his ambitious OBOR initiative.

According to him, the global infrastructure project would have “zero tolerance” for corruption and vowed to prevent debt risks.

Source: tribune.com “OBOR to become symbol of Pak-China friendship: FM Qureshi”

Note: This is tribune.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


US Helps China Form United Front against it through Zero Sum Demands


China has been conducting BRI win-win cooperation with over 100 nations and international organizations including quite a few European countries. Chinese president Xi Jinping’s recent Europe tour and his speech at 2nd Belt and Road Forum that promises further opening to the outside world attract EU. EU certainly want to be benefited by the connections and other infrastructures such as power plants built by BRI in developing countries and the expansion of the market there brought about by the development of infrastructure there. It now wants to join China’s BRI as a group instead of separately by specific members one by one.

That was what German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on April 26 according to Reuters’ report “Europe wants to deal with China as a group: German minister” the same day.

It is Xi’s success in forming a United Front with EU to counter the US as EU is also under US trade war threat.

Now, according to Reuters’ report “Trump pressed Japan’s Abe to build more vehicles in the U.S”, the US is pressuring Japan too. Japan has already been making efforts to improve ties with China though it does not join China’s united front against the US. However, US demand for considerable concessions from Japan may well push Japan into China’s united front.

China is winning over US allies with win-win cooperation while the US is pushing its allies away to China with zero-sum demands. The two countries are now joining efforts to enable China to form a united front against the US.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ reports, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-silkroad-germany/europe-wants-to-deal-with-china-as-a-group-german-minister-idUSKCN1S20R3 and https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1S30KO.


China has an advantage over the US Navy that could mean a ‘decisive’ defeat for US warships in a fight at sea


Ryan Pickrell Apr 27, 2019, 1:16 PM

In the maritime battlespace, Chinese warships have an advantage over US Navy vessels that could prove “decisive” in a conflict.
While the US has China outgunned, having greater capacity than the Chinese, China’s naval forces have greater range.
Were China to initiate hostilities from a safe distance, its clear range advantage could render the US Navy’s capacity advantage irrelevant.

Chinese warships can shoot farther than the US Navy, an ability that could prove “decisive” in a naval conflict, experts argue.

China is arming its surface warships with supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles with far greater range than the Cold War-era subsonic missiles the US Navy has in its arsenal.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy’s advanced Type 052 and Type 055 destroyers carry YJ-18 cruise missiles with an operational range that extends out to 540 kilometers.

US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers are armed with shorter-range missiles, such as the Harpoon anti-ship missiles and SM-6s with surface-to-surface capabilities that have ranges up to only about 240 kilometers.

“That is a very big gap,” Robert Haddick, a former Marine Corps officer and visiting senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, told Reuters this week. “China’s anti-ship missile capability exceeds those of the United States in terms of range, speed, andsensor performance.”

Other experts suggest that US and Chinese missiles are equally survivable and lethal, but China definitely appears to have the advantage when it comes to range.

Where the US excels, though, is capacity.

The PLAN’s advanced Type 052 and Type 055 destroyers have 64 and 112 vertical launch system (VLS) cells respectively. The US Navy’s destroyers and cruisers, on the other hand, respectively have 96 and 122 VLS cells. Furthermore, China does not currently have many heavy-hitters in its surface force.

The PLAN has like a 10th of the VLS cells of the US Navy, even though it has approximately the same number of surface combatants,” Bryan Clark, a former Navy officer and a naval affairs expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told Business Insider.

“So, [Chinese warships] have fewer VLS cells than the US, but arguably, [the PLAN] can devote more of those VLS cells to offensive weapons” than US Navy warships can, he said, suggesting that the offensive capacity gap may actually be much more narrow.

In a ship-to-ship fight, it all comes down to range, capacity, and capability, and it looks like China has an advantage in at least one, if not two, of these areas.

“On any given day in the South China Sea, [the US and China]could find [themselves] in a situation where each side has about the same number of anti-ship cruise missiles, but one side has a much longer range than the other,” Clark told BI.”The US is going to be at a disadvantage.”

In a hypothetical naval conflict scenario with the same types and numbers of ships on each side, the US will undoubtedly have greater capacity, but if the Chinese side is able to launch at longer ranges, then the missiles on the US side wind up being irrelevant if China fires first from outside the range of the US warships.

“What could US ships be launching in response?” Clark asked. “At the ranges we are talking about, nothing.”

“Right now, we do not have anything that reaches that far, and therefore, the range disadvantage ends up being dominant. You’ll never get a shot. You’ll never get a chance to exploit your capacity advantage.”

“The range disadvantage ends up being decisive,” he added. “Even having the larger capacity is not enough to make up for it if the Chinese initiate the hostilities.”

In a broader great power conflict, US combined arms capabilities give the US military an edge, but the stand-off problem continues to be a serious issue. This is why the US Navy is modifying the Tomahawk cruise missile to have a maritime strike capability. It’s about getting that range back.

“The idea,” Clark explained, “is that if you had the Maritime Strike Tomahawk, you would be able to threaten the PLAN at thekinds of ranges that the PLAN can threaten you.” Theoretically, this would deter them from ever attacking.

Source: Business Insider “China has an advantage over the US Navy that could mean a ‘decisive’ defeat for US warships in a fight at sea”

Note: This is Business Insider’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Europe wants to deal with China as a group: German minister


Tom Daly April 26, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Major European Union countries want to deal with China as a group rather than sign bilateral agreements as individual states, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday, attending a summit in Beijing on China’s Belt and Road plan.

European countries have generally signaled their willingness to participate in China’s program to re-create the old Silk Road joining China with Asia and Europe.

But key states like France and Germany have said China must in turn improve access and fair competition for foreign firms.

Italy in March became the first major Western government to back China’s initiative, even as some EU leaders cautioned Rome against rushing into the arms of Beijing.

Nonetheless, Altmaier said Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom had shown at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Friday that the EU was “in its great majority” united in its belief that “we can only implement our positions together.”

“In the big EU states we have agreed that we don’t want to sign any bilateral memorandums but together make necessary arrangements between the greater European Economic Area and the economic area of Greater China,” Altmaier said when asked if he could see Germany signing a similar bilateral agreement to Italy.

A spokesman for Altmaier’s office later said he was talking about general arrangements and not specifically the Belt and Road.

The minister said he was encouraged by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pledge to pursue free trade, multilateralism and sustainability as part of Belt and Road.

“We will take this promise seriously” and make suggestions on how to achieve these goals in both Asia and Europe, he said.

China is a partner and a competitor at the same time and the EU must define its interests, Altmaier said.

“And for that we need an industry strategy. For that we need our own connectivity strategy,” he added.

Reporting by Tom Daly; writing by Beijing Monitoring Desk; editing by Darren Schuettler

Source: Reuters “Europe wants to deal with China as a group: German minister”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Huawei 5G, China’s Success, US Failure


National Interest’s article “Don’t Let Huawei Dominate the 5G Revolution” wails China’s success and US failure. The US tries to spread the lie that China will spy on other countries through Huawai’s provision of 5G equipment, but no countries except Australia believe that.

The US is fond of spreading the lie that China steals US technology so that China may not fall behind the US too far away but now the US has no technology to dominate the 5G revolution. As a result, it is hopeless but has to spread lies about China spying through Huawei.

Since the US, not China, is so fond of espionage as Edward Snowdon has exposed and since according to the US, 5G is so useful for espionage, why does the US not develop 5G technology to dominate the 5G revolution? The US simply lags behind China and is unable to catch up so that spreading lies is its only way of competition with China.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/don%E2%80%99t-let-huawei-dominate-5g-revolution-54167.