Monday, February 19, 2018

Rapid Growth in China-Pakistan Scientific, Educational and Cultural Ties

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries.

More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language. China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. China-Pakistan relationship is becoming a truly multi-dimensional strategic relationship.   This new phenomenon is the subject of a Pakistani spice company television commercial featuring a young Chinese woman in Lahore making the popular biryani dish using Shan masala.

China-Pakistan Institute:

Headed by Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain, Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) is a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-political think-tank. Its goal is to promote people to people ties between the two nations in defense and diplomacy, education and energy, economy and environment, and with a particular focus on youth and women. PCI is working to promote discussions and in depth analyses with multi-faceted initiatives including conferences, lectures, exchange of visits, journals, e-magazines and documentaries.

Chinese Language:

The Chinese language department at Islamabad's National University of Modern Languages (NUML) has been around for nearly half a century, according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper. When it was first established in September 1970, there were only about 13 students who took the course.

In April 2005, Islamabad's Confucius Institute was established by The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), Beijing Language and Culture University, and NUML.

The interest and attendance of Chinese language courses at NUML has soared since the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The year 2017 saw 460 Pakistani students attending the courses.

China's Research Spending. Source: Nature 

Pakistani Students in China:

There are 22,000 Pakistani students attending universities in China, making it the fastest growing destination for Pakistanis studying abroad.

The United Kingdom still remains the top source of international education for Pakistanis.  46,640 students, the largest number of Pakistani students receiving international education anywhere, are doing so at Pakistani universities in joint degree programs established with British universities, according to UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Globally, China has become a more attractive destination for foreign students. It now ranks third after the US and the UK. This year, it is likely to move up to the second spot.

Foreign Students in China. Source: China Power

China's Strides in Science and Technology:

Why is China becoming a fast growing destination for foreign students, including Pakistanis studying abroad? A story in India's "The Wire" online magazine has explained it in terms of the rapid rate of China's progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields as follows:

America's National Science Foundation and National Science Board have recently released their biennial science and engineering indicators which provide detailed figures on research and development (R&D), innovation and engineers. But its true message is in a different direction, “China has become,” concludes Robert J. Samuelson in a column, “or is in the verge of becoming – a scientific and technical superpower. This is not entirely unexpected given the size of the Chinese economy and its massive investments in R&D, even so, he says, “the actual numbers are breathtaking”.

1. China is the 2nd largest spender in R&D after the US, accounting for 21% of the world total which is $2 trillion. It has been going up 18% a year, as compared to 4% in the US. An OECD report says that China could overtake the US in R&D spending by 2020.

2. China has overtaken the US in terms of total number of science publications. Technical papers have increased dramatically, even if their impact, as judged by citation indices, may not be that high.

3. The US continues to produce more PhDs and attract more foreign students. But new international enrollment at US colleges was down for the first time in the decade in 2017. The Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric and actions are scaring away students.

4. China has begun shifting from being an assembler of high-tech components, to a maker of super computers and aircraft and given the pattern of its investments in R&D and technology development, it is focusing on becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum communications, quantum computing, biotechnology and electric vehicles.

China-Pakistan Scientific Collaboration 2nd Strongest Among BRI Nations. Source: Nature

Summary:

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries. More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language.  China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. It is becoming a truly multi-dimensional relationship which will help Pakistan rise with China on the world stage.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

China-Pakistan Strategic Ties

China-Pakistan Defense Tech Cooperation Irks West

Pakistan-Russia-China vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Falling? Myth Vs Reality

Facts and Myths About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

China Emerges as Top Destination for Pakistanis Studying Abroad

Sec Hagel: India Using Afghanistan to Launch Attacks in Pakistan

Ex Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes Against Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

24 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Surging International Students in China
More international students are flocking to China than ever before. According to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), over 440,000 foreigners studied in China in 2016 – marking a 35 percent increase from 2012. China attracts more international students than any other Asian power and ranks third globally, behind the United States and the United Kingdom.

According to China’s Ministry of Education (MOE), the total share of international students seeking higher-education degrees in China grew by 13 percent over the past 10 years, jumping from almost 55,000 students in 2006 to nearly 210,000 students in 2016. As a share of all foreign students in China in 2016, 33 percent pursued undergraduate degrees, while 14 percent pursued either Master or Doctorate degrees. Approximately 30 percent of students were enrolled in primary or secondary schools.

Over 50 percent of China’s inbound international students come from neighboring countries, such as South Korea, Thailand, and Russia. Students from South Korea alone account for almost 16 percent of all foreign students studying in China in 2016. By comparison, the United States draws nearly 80 percent of its foreign students from Asia and the Middle East.

https://chinapower.csis.org/china-international-students/

Riaz Haq said...

#SaudiArabia joins #Turkey and #China to Block #UnitedStates' effort to put #Pakistan on #FATF Terror Watch List - WSJ

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-avoids-inclusion-on-international-terror-financing-watch-list-1519257040

Saudi Arabia joined Turkey and China in a move to block a U.S.-led attempt this week to place Pakistan on an international terror-financing watch list, according to officials involved in the process, in a rare disagreement between Riyadh and the Trump administration.

Saudi Arabia’s move on behalf of Pakistan came just days after Islamabad said it would send more than 1,000 troops to the Gulf kingdom, which has expanded its military posture in the region since its 2015 intervention in Yemen’s civil war.

A U.S. effort to reverse the decision on the watch list was under way Wednesday at a meeting in Paris of the Financial Action Task Force, a secretive international body that monitors countries’ efforts to fight terror financing and money-laundering, according to the officials involved in the process.

The officials said the U.S. effort, which included pressure on the Saudis, raised the possibility of a fresh vote on action against Pakistan as soon as Thursday. The Pakistanis were scrambling to shore up support.

The Trump administration, angry with what it sees as inadequate efforts by Islamabad to combat terror groups, has sought to ratchet up pressure on Pakistan. Last month it said it was withholding $2 billion in security aid until it sees much stronger action against militants. U.S. officials also accuse Pakistan’s military of supporting some jihadist groups as proxies against neighboring India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan denies those accusations and says there are no terrorist sanctuaries within its territory.

Saudi Arabia is a close U.S. ally, with its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, forming a personal bond with the family of President Donald Trump. It was Saudi Arabia’s surprise backing that secured the necessary opposing votes to block the U.S.

If U.S. lobbying is successful and the task force does end up adding Pakistan to its list of countries deemed “high risk” for doing too little to curb terror financing, banks, other lenders and international companies seeking to do business with the South Asian country could rethink financial ties, putting a damper on its already struggling economy.

The U.S. was supported in its effort to put Pakistan on the watch list by the U.K., France, Germany and other countries. The proposal was initiated at a working group, which is responsible for making recommendations to the 35 member nations and two regional groups that make up the FATF plenary. The meeting continues through Friday.


Pakistan was supported by China and Turkey heading into the FATF working-group meeting earlier this week. Turkey and the U.S. are allies as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, though they are at odds with one another over actions in Syria.

The Trump administration has sought to work with Beijing to constrain North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program, but China has allied with Pakistan as a foil against India, where long-simmering tensions over the border have pitted Delhi and Islamabad against one another.

Pakistan had lobbied FATF member countries to keep it off the watch list. It also took last-minute action against Pakistan-based militant group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, complying with 10-year-old United Nations sanctions against the group, which the international community holds responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.

“Our efforts paid,” said Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Twitter. “No consensus for nominating Pakistan,” he said, adding, “Grateful to friends who helped.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Indians study hard but lack creativity, says #Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. #India #technology #innovation

https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/indians-study-hard-and-get-mba-may-be-buy-mercedes-but-lack-creativity-apple-co-founder-steve-woz-1177668-2018-02-26

ndians can't be creative. A lot of people, many in India too, have suspected this. Now this is an opinion of Steve Wozniak, the other Steve from Apple. Wozniak aka Woz who is the man behind Apple's first ever computer Apple 1 and the company's co-founder with Steve Jobs, says that Indian education system is based around studiousness and doesn't encourage creativity.

In an interview, Wozniak also said that he does not believe that there will be any big tech company or breakthrough in India similar to Google, Facebook or Apple. According to Woz India has just Infosys as an example of the big tech company and even that is not innovative. He does not expect Infosys to be in the league of global tech giants anytime soon.

When asked to comment on tech innovation in India by the Economic Times, Wozniak said, "I am not an anthropologist and I don't know the culture of India well enough. I don't see those big advances in tech companies. What is the biggest tech company here, Infosys maybe? I just don't see that sort of thing coming out of Infosys and I have done keynotes for them three times."

He pointed out that Indians lack creativity and that people in India aren't encouraged to pursue creative careers. "The culture here is one of success based upon academic excellence, studying, learning, practising and having a good job and a great life. For upper India, not the lower. I see two Indias. That's a lot like Singapore study, study, work hard and you get an MBA, you will have a Mercedes but where is the creativity? The creativity gets left out when your behaviour is too predictable and structured, everyone is similar. Look at a small country like New Zealand, the writers, singers, athletes, singers, athletes, it's a whole different world," said Wozniak.

Wozniak was also asked about coding in schools. He thinks that coding is very important but it should not be taught to kids before they are 12. He said that human brain gets the power to reason only after 12. "You don't get to a stage of symbolic reasoning until you are 12 years old. Some people get there early, but most people at 12, and that's why algebra can't be taught till you are that age. And programming can be taught only when you are ready for algebra," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan, China agree to enhance cooperation in education sector

https://www.brecorder.com/2018/02/26/401483/pakistan-china-agree-to-enhance-cooperation-in-education-sector/

BEIJING: Pakistan and China have agreed to intensify the cooperation in the education sector and promote the university to university linkages and academic interaction.

Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid and President China Association for Higher Education (CAHE), Du Yubo reached an agreement during a recent meeting held at Chinese Ministry of Education.

During the meeting, Ambassador Masood Khalid expressed satisfaction over the cooperation in the education sector.

He noted that academic exchanges between the Chinese and Pakistani universities at the scholars and expert level are an important component of bilateral relations and the frequency of exchanges needs to be increased. The ambassador highlighted that the cultural and educational corridors complement – the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – is a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative.

Du Yubo greed with the ambassador’s proposals to strengthen academic exchanges and vowed to make efforts to further deepen the cooperation in the education sector.

He also briefed the ambassador on the progress of the CPEC Universities Consortium established last year.

He invited the ambassador to attend the China Higher Education Expo, the 2nd Annual Conference of the CPEC Universities Consortium in Zhejiang University and the Inaugural Meeting of the Belt and Road Research Center of CAHE in Yunnan University.

Riaz Haq said...

What Is the Next Great Threat to America's National Security?

Stratfor Worldview

The United States is in fact already in the middle of its next great war — even if it's only just starting to realize it. In the latest National Security Strategy, the White House highlighted China's growing technological prowess as a threat to U.S. economic and military might.

As hard as it may be for Washington to admit, China is catching up in the tech race. The question now is whether tech firms in the United States will be able to keep up with their Chinese counterparts' breakthroughs.

--------------

Promote and Protect
the U.S. National Securi
Innovation Base
America’s business climate and legal and regulatory
systems encourage risk taking. We are a
nation of people who work hard, dream big, and
never give up. Not every country shares these
characteristics. Some instead steal or illicitly
acquire America’s hard-earned intellectual property
and proprietary information to compensate
for their own systemic weaknesses.
Every year, competitors such as China steal U.S.
intellectual property valued at hundreds of billions
of dollars. Stealing proprietary technology
and early-stage ideas allows competitors to
unfairly tap into the innovation of free societies.
Over the years, rivals have used sophisticated

means to weaken our businesses and our economy
as facets of cyber-enabled economic warfare
and other malicious activities. In addition to
these illegal means, some actors use largely legitimate,
legal transfers and relationships to gain
access to fields, experts, and trusted foundries
that fill their capability gaps and erode America’s
long-ter m competitive adva nt ages.
We must defend our National Securi Innovation
Base (NSIB) against competitors. The NSIB is
the American network of knowledge, capabilities,
and people—including academia, National
Laboratories, and the private sector—that turns
ideas into innovations, transforms discoveries
into successful commercial products and companies,
and protects and enhances the American
way of life. e genius of creative Americans, and
the free system that enables them, is critical to
American security and prosperity.
Protecting the NSIB requires a domestic and international
response beyond the scope of any individual
company, industry, university, or government
agency. The landscape of innovation does
not divide neatly into sectors. Technologies that
are part of most weapon systems often originate
in diverse businesses as well as in universities and
colleges. Losing our innovation and technological
edge would have far-reaching negative implications
for American prosperi and power.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905.pdf

Anonymous said...

There is a joke circulating in India that Afghanistan requested India to lend it electoral voting machines (EVMs) to use in its elections. The request was granted and these Israeli-tech EVMs were sent over. When the tallies were taken, in every seat the winner was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Riaz Haq said...

Over 92,000 foreigners visit Pakistan since launch of CPEC

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/288568-over-92-000-foreigners-visit-pakistan-since-launch-of-cpec

Since the start of ground work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship multi-billion dollar project of “One Belt and One Road Initiative," more than 39,000 Chinese came to Pakistan in past five years.

More than 92,204 visas were issued by the government of Pakistan to foreign nationals in an apparent effort to expand foreign investment, business opportunities and tourism in the country during this period. Over 120 Pakistani missions abroad issued 29,622 visas to foreign nationals in 2013, 10,267 visas in 2014, 22,932 visas in 2015, 13,456 visas in 2016 and over 15,927 foreign nationals came to Pakistan in 2017, revealed official data/documents Geo News has had exclusive access to.

As many as 7,859 Chinese were issued visas in 2013, the starting period for the CPEC projects soon after the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power. Following this development, Pakistani missions in China issued over 7,859 visas to Chinese citizens in 2013, 69 visas in 2014, 13,268 visas in 2015, 6,268 visas in 2016 and according to informed officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs that estimated 12,287 visas were issued to Chinese nationals by the authorities last year.

In addition to it, officials revealed to this correspondent that about 91,000 Chinese nationals visited Pakistan on tourist visas in past five years. Some 27,596 visa extensions were also granted to Chinese on recommendations of ministries of interior, foreign affairs, water and power and planning and development, a 34 percent increase as compare to 2015-16, added the officials. This frequent flow of foreign nationals encouraged foreign direct investment (FDI) which jumped 163 percent to $222.6 million in July 2017 on a year-on-year basis, revealed official data collected from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The main contributor to this foreign net inflows has been China, which is investing around $60 billion under the CPEC's initiative. Pakistan received $2.4 billion in 2016-17, highest since the PML-N government took the charge of the state’s economic affairs while FDI remained $1.45 billion in previous PPP regime.

The government under Prime Minister Youth Programme also trained over 110,000 youth, majority of them as the authorities claimed, would be associated with CPEC projects in coming years.

For security of these Chinese workers, the government of Pakistan has also deputed an estimated 37,000 security personnel to guard Chinese workers engaged in some 22 projects directly associated with the CPEC and 214 other small and mega projects in Pakistan. For this purpose, the government has deployed 15,780 military personnel trained under umbrella of the Special Security Division (SSD) and the Maritime Security Force (MSF). Balochistan would get more security, as a few wings (450 personnel) of the MSF for coastal area, six wings (6,700 personnel) of the Frontier Corps, 3,210 police constables and 1,320 Levies personnel would guard all the routes. More than 4,200 policemen, 1,290 Rangers, 5,500 private security guards and 740 Askari Guards would protect various projects linked to the economic corridor in Punjab.

Official data continued to reveal that Pakistan issued visas to 1,505 Australian nationals in 2013, 549 visas to Germans in 2013 and 575 visas were issued to German nationals in 2017. The Pakistani Embassy in New Delhi also issued over a thousand visas to Indian nationals in 2013 and 584 Indians were given Pakistani visas in 2015. As many as 786 Iranians were issued visas in 2013 and 945 visas were issued by Pakistani missions in Iran in 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

India lost R&D centre crown to China last year

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/india-lost-rd-centre-crown-to-china-last-year/articleshow/63325695.cms

During the third quarter of 2017, Beijing attracted nine captives or global in-house centres, while India saw eight such centres announced by local and global companies, said a report by HfS Research.

The firms that have set up R&D centres in China include BMW, which opened research unit in Shenyang. Of the nine firms, three of them have committed investments of around $930 million. At the same time, of the eight firms in India, three companies have disclosed investments of around $ ..

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http://nocamels.com/2018/03/chinese-israeli-business-leaders-urge-more-high-tech-cooperation-partnerships-and-lots-of-patience/

Chinese, Israeli Business Leaders Urge More High-Tech Cooperation – And Patience
By Simona Shemer, NoCamels March 07, 2018 0 Comments
China, the world’s most populous country, may be a relatively minor player in the Israeli high-tech ecosystem, according to a study last month which found that Chinese investment makes up just 5 percent of the total activity, but a conference this week in Tel Aviv drew over 70 Chinese investors and business leaders who hailed the Sino-Israeli relationship and urged more cooperation in biotech, digital healthcare, and R&D.

A report in February by the Israel-based IVC Research Center said Chinese direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, and buyout activities in Israel, while on the rise (from 18 Chinese entities investing in Israeli startups in 2013 to 34 last year), were “still waiting for lift off.” The study said that despite the hype, Chinese activity in Israel was not yet significant.

The IVC report emphasized that while the Chinese market holds great potential for Israeli startup, “this market is extremely complex for Israeli high-tech companies, far more familiar with the US and European markets, where they face far fewer cultural and language barriers and more familiar business practices.”

The GoForIsrael 2018 event, organized by Cukierman & Co Investment House and Catalyst CEL Fund held this week at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, sought to mitigate some of these barriers by inviting top Chinese business figures and hosting a special panel discussion titled “Marketing strategies for Israeli companies in China.” The conference was also chaired by Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lang Properties, one of China’s biggest real-estate firms, the co-founder of philanthropy foundation Morningside, and “a pioneer of the Israeli-Chinese connection, who has contributed greatly to the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries,” Cukierman & Co. said in a statement.

The event also hosted key decision makers, business representatives, investors, venture capitalists, and leading entrepreneurs from Israel, the US, and Europe, with more than 1,000 participants in attendance. The keynote speech was given by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and panels on investing in Israeli companies across fields like biotech/pharma and digital healthcare and medical tech featured guests such as Yossi Vardi, a Chairman of International Technologies and a leading Israeli entrepreneurs, Yair Shamir, former minister of agriculture and Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund, David Braun, head of medical device company Merck Group, Nevo Alva, and the CEO of QR code startup Visualead, the first Israeli company to be acquired by Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The “Marketing strategies for Israeli companies in China” featured Visualead CEO Nevo Alva, John Chan, managing director of China Everbright Limited, a Hong Kong-based financial services company, Sean Jiang, CEO of investment and banking firm Yafo Capital, Jimmy Jin, deputy general manager of Leaguer, a company out of southern China, as well as Haggai Ravid, CEO of Cukierman & Co. who has for the past three years been living in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu.

Riaz Haq said...

#China backs $15 billion #technology #startup investment fund to compete with #Japan’s #SoftBank. #venturecapital

https://www.ft.com/content/9cdd3098-7d3c-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d … via @financialtimes

Fund to look at global deals even amid concern over inflated tech valuations


Riaz Haq said...

#Foreign #students continue to turn away from #US #universities. #Trump https://qz.com/1267351 via @qz

Last year wasn’t a fluke. The US has lost its appeal to international students.

The US issued visas to less than 400,000 international students in fiscal year 2017. That’s a 17% decline from 2016, and a 40% drop from 2015.

The decline in student visas issued makes it seem like there’s a dramatic decline in international students in the US. That’s a bit misleading. A US policy change in 2014 allowed Chinese nationals to renew student visas once every five years instead of every year. The result has been fewer annual applications from Chinese students, who make up about a third of the foreign-student population in the US.

Enrollment figures give a clearer picture than do numbers of student visas issued—but the decline is there, too. According to a survey conducted by the Institute of International Education, enrollment of first-time international students fell an average of 7% in fall 2017 from a year ago across 522 US institutions.

One contributing factor to the decline is the drop in Saudi Arabian students. The Saudi government cut funding for international-education scholarships in 2016 after a year of low oil prices, resulting in a 14% drop in the number of incoming students from the prior year. Saudi nationals were the fourth-largest group of foreign students in the US in 2017.

Another factor: US universities are getting more expensive. Facing deep state budget cuts and legislative protection for local students, some major public universities increased tuition for international students to raise revenue.

The current US political climate makes the situation even worse. A number of policies instituted by the Trump Administration, ostensibly aimed at protecting Americans, have barred international students from entering the country. A majority of US academic institutions cited visa issues as the top reason for enrolling fewer international students in fall 2017.

As of March 2018, there were 0.5% fewer F-1 and M-1 visa holders–a measure for the number of foreign students enrolled in academic and vocational programs–in the US than a year ago. Though slight, it’s the first decline since the 2008 recession.

The international demand for higher education hasn’t gone away. It moved elsewhere. Other English-speaking countries saw their numbers of international higher-ed students rise. More international students applied to universities in Canada, Ireland, Australia, and the UK—despite Brexit—in 2017 than in 2016. The US is the outlier.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani students to be offered vocational training, education in China

https://nation.com.pk/01-Jul-2018/pakistani-students-to-be-offered-vocational-training-education-in-china

The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme will offer scholarships to 1,000 Pakistani students for a one-year vocational training starting from November this year in China.

“The students to be selected from across the country will be provided free tuition and dormitory during the training at different universities and institutes in China,” Echo Lee, Director General, CPEC CCC and CEO of St Xianglin Management and Consulting Company while talking to APP here on Sunday.

The CPEC CCC is located in China’s Suzhou Vocational University, which has the world-class facilities and able faculty and its functions include Sino-Pak students exchange, academic research and seminars, vocational education, organising Chinese culture experience camp and teachers exchange, she added.

Giving further details about scholarship scheme, she said it is a three level programme and the students will be taught outer space and high-speed train technology during the first level while in the middle level, they will be imparted education of hydro-power and solar energy engineering.

The students selected for the lowest level will get training for the driving of different machines and types of equipment including excavation machines and caterpillar etc.

Ms Echo Lee said this year, 1,000 students will be offered 20 majors from a high level to the lower level classes as compared to 100 scholarships in six majors last year.

While hoping for a positive response and cooperation from the Pakistani side, she said at present, the details are being discussed with the concerned officials in the Pakistan ministry of planning, development and reforms as well as the embassy of Pakistan in Beijing.

She informed the CPEC CCC is jointly working along with the Chinese education ministry which is affiliated with a number of vocational universities and institutes.

To a question, she claimed that vocational education in China is the highest level in the world even in some areas it is better than Germany and Japan.

The CEO said this cross-border education exchange programme is step one of the overall project and added in the next phases, equipment and teachers will be sent for vocational training of Pakistani students in Pakistan.

The Chinese vocational education centres, as well as educational parks, would be set up in Pakistan in future, she added.

She said her organization intends to donate some training equipment and looking forward to a positive response from Pakistani institutions which are interested to receive it.

About the cooperation in the past, she said her organization has signed a MoU with Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw (KP) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) governments to set up cultural communication centres under the CPEC framework.

These centres will serve as the main forum in the field of Sino-Pak education and cultural communication, she added.

Riaz Haq said...

A billionaire known as '#China's Elon Musk' is suspected of spying while he was a Duke student (in #America) and stealing a professor's invisibility #technology https://read.bi/2LiA7vK via @businessinsider

Liu Ruopeng — known as China's Elon Musk — studied at Duke University from 2006 to 2009 under David Smith, one of the world's leading experts on metamaterials.
Smith has accused Liu of taking his research and replicating it in China for his own gain.
Some observers, including a former assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, believe that Liu was sent to Smith's lab by the Chinese government.
A Chinese billionaire who studied at Duke University allegedly stole a professor's ideas behind special invisibility technology — and then developed his own prototype back in China.

Liu Ruopeng, known as China's Elon Musk, is just 35 years old and is believed to be worth $2.7 billion, according to the "Today" show.

But before he created his money-making "Future Studio" in China, Liu studied at Duke University from 2006 to 2009 under David Smith, one of the world's experts on metamaterials, or "some weird material that doesn't exist in nature," as the professor describes it.

Some observers, including a former assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, believe that Liu was sent to Smith's lab by the Chinese government to steal intellectual property.

Smith had been working on a prototype for an invisibility cloak, and the US military had poured millions into his research.


The invisibility cloak doesn't necessarily make a person disappear, but it makes objects invisible to microwave signals.

At one point while at Duke, Liu convinced Smith to allow him to bring his old colleagues into the lab to work on projects for the professor.

When Smith was out of the lab, the Chinese researchers took photos of the lab and its contents, and also took measurements of Smith's equipment.

Much to Smith's surprise, an exact replica of his invisibility cloak prototype was built in Liu's former lab when the Chinese researchers returned home.

"It sounds like theft," Smith said. "If we were a company you might think so."

Riaz Haq said...

Germany calls for global payments system free of US
Foreign minister seeks European autonomy on issues like Iran


https://www.ft.com/content/23ca2986-a569-11e8-8ecf-a7ae1beff35b


German foreign minister Heiko Maas
Germany’s foreign minister has called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US as a means of rescuing the nuclear deal between Iran and the west that Donald Trump withdrew from in May.

Writing in the German daily Handelsblatt, Heiko Maas said Europe should not allow the US to act “over our heads and at our expense”.

“For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system,” he wrote.

Mr Maas’s intervention was the “strongest call yet for EU financial and monetary autonomy vis-à-vis US,” said Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute, a Berlin-based think-tank.

The foreign minister’s article highlights the depth of the dilemma facing European politicians as they struggle to keep the Iran deal alive while coping with the fallout of US sanctions imposed by Mr Trump against companies doing business with Tehran.

The EU has committed itself to the agreement and has vowed to protect European businesses from punitive measures adopted by Washington. But that has failed to convince EU companies, who are more interested in maintaining their access to the lucrative US market than in the more modest opportunities presented by Iran.

Last month Washington rebuffed a high-level European plea to exempt crucial industries from sanctions. Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, and Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, formally rejected an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare made by ministers from Germany, France, the UK and the EU.

[Europe must] form a counterweight when the US crosses red lines

Heiko Maas, German foreign minister
On Monday, Total, France’s largest energy company, announced it was pulling out of a big Iranian gas project, after admitting it might be affected by threatened US measures against Iran’s oil and gas industry.

Swift, a Belgium-based global payment system that facilitates many of the world’s cross-border transactions, is also affected. Unless it wins an exemption from sanctions, it will be required by the US to cut off targeted Iranian banks from its network by early November or face possible countermeasures against both its board members and the financial institutions that employ them.

These could include asset freezes and US travel bans for the individuals, and restrictions on banks’ ability to do business in the US.

Mr Maas’s words Handelsblatt come with relations between Germany and the US in their worst state for decades. Mr Trump has chastised Berlin over its large trade surplus, its relatively low military spending and its support for Nord Stream 2, a new gas pipeline that will bring Russian gas directly to Germany.

Meanwhile, Berlin has looked on in dismay as Mr Trump has withdrawn the US from the Iran deal and the Paris climate treaty, imposed import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium and appeared to question America’s commitment to Nato.

Mr Maas said it was vital for Europe to stick with the Iran deal. “Every day the agreement continues to exist is better than the highly explosive crisis that otherwise threatens the Middle East,” he said.

He also called for the creation of a “balanced partnership” with the US in which the Europeans filled the gaps left where the US withdrew from the world. Europe must, he said, “form a counterweight when the US crosses red lines”.

Riaz Haq said...

The #US cannot halt #China’s march to global tech supremacy. President Xi has "proclaimed that China would blaze its own trail to become a "technology superpower". #technology https://www.ft.com/content/cd681f3e-a5ff-11e8-926a-7342fe5e173f

“In the past, we tightened our belts, gritted our teeth and built the two bombs [atomic and hydrogen] and a satellite,” Mr Xi said. “In the next step of tackling technology, we must cast aside illusions and rely on ourselves.”

Such rhetoric from the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong carries crucial weight. But, as a visual metaphor, the Three Gorges dam is more revealing than Mr Xi was prepared to acknowledge. Although the dam walls were built by Chinese companies, the turbines that generate its electric power were supplied — at least initially — by foreign companies.

The contradiction encapsulates China’s dilemma as it ramps up a techno-nationalist agenda. Its official “ Made in China 2025” programme calls for global leadership in various technological sectors by 2025, but its progress up the value added ladder has — to a significant degree — relied upon foreign technologies and intellectual property.

Thus, China’s response to the trade war is set to be carefully calibrated. Chinese companies are being told by Beijing to cut reliance on US technology and intellectual property in their supply chains, replacing them where possible with alternatives from Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere.

“The US is fundamentally an unreliable economic partner,” said one senior official at the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the Chinese state-holding company with combined revenues last year of Rmb26.4tn ($3.8tn). “It is just too risky to rely on them.”

Can China really live without America? The answer supplied by financial markets appears to be “no”, as reflected in the slide in the renminbi’s value against the dollar and a concurrent fall in Shanghai stock prices. But over the longer term, China looks likely to prevail in two important ways. It may be able to de-risk its supply chain by reducing reliance on US imports, notwithstanding difficulties in key areas such as semiconductors. It may also attain its goal of global excellence in tech sectors including artificial intelligence, 5G telecoms, the internet of things, self-driving cars and battery technology by 2025.

One point in China’s favour is that its de-risking activities may be applied only to imports from the US and not to components made by US companies in China. This is a significant factor: the value of products that US companies made and sold in China was about $250bn last year, almost double the $130bn in products imported from America.

The other consideration is the ready availability of alternatives to US tech products. Research by Haitong, a Chinese securities company, finds that in eight of 11 technology sectors the sales in Asia of products made in the EU, Japan, Korea and Taiwan outstrip those of products made in the US. The three sectors in which the US has clear dominance are semiconductors, semiconductor equipment and aerospace.

The semiconductor industry, therefore, is the lightning rod for US-China tech rivalry. China’s vulnerability was laid bare in April when the US banned ZTE Corp, a Chinese telecoms company, from buying American semiconductors and other technology for seven years. The sanction brought ZTE to its knees, before Washington offered a reprieve.

Yet semiconductors are also the area in which China’s ambitions are clearest. Of some $300bn committed to help deliver Made in China 2025, some $150bn is earmarked to upgrade China’s capacity in semiconductors, according to Dan Wang of the research group Gavekal.

And even in semiconductors, the US chokehold is far from total. If the sanctions on ZTE had been applied to its Chinese competitor, Huawei, the damage would have been easily contained. Huawei designs its own chips through a wholly owned subsidiary called HiSilicon, which ranks as the world’s seventh largest chip design company.

Ismael M. said...

The ZTE embargo shook up the Chinese establishment.

According to Adil, this has galvanized China's determination to be independent of US semiconductors, and are going to spend multiple tens of billions of dollars to wean themselves off this dependence. Within the next 5 to 7 years, the Chinese will dominate the semiconductor space. They're offering astronomical salaries to US based engineers, both Chinese and non-Chinese, to lead this new venture.

Adil mentioned a Korean engineer at a director level in the US, was given a SVP role at a million dollar salary. So that's the way things are moving forward.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Social sector to get special focus in #CPEC 2nd phase to begin in 2019: #Chinese diplomat Lijian. #education #health | World | http://thenews.com.pk  | Pindi



https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/412001-social-sector-to-get-special-focus-in-cpec-2nd-phase-lijian



http://cpec.gov.pk/social-sector-development-projects

Social sector will get special attention in the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Acting Ambassador of China Zhao Lijian.

The second phase begins with the start of new year, 2019, he said while talking here in FM-98’s program “Hum Qadam”. The initial phase of the CPEC has focused on infrastructure and energy projects in Pakistan which witnessed significant growth.

During the next 5 years, small projects will be the focus of attention under the CPEC, which include renovation of schools, innovation in hospital system, poverty reduction, model villages and supply of clean water for the public.

In addition to this, small scale power generation projects will be built in remote areas, Zhao liJian said adding in the education sector more than 22,000 Pakistani students are studying in China, while more Pakistani students will be sent their for higher education.

He said that more Pakistanis would be trained in China and Pakistan to overcome the problem of manpower for Chinese companies working on various projects in Pakistan. The Acting Ambassador said, the construction of Karakoram Highway from Hawelian to Thakot and Motorway M-5 from Multan to Sukkur will be completed soon.

Furthermore, he said that 7 key projects of energy have been completed in Pakistan including solar, wind and coal-generated projects, due to which significant reduction in energy problems has been seen, while work on more projects is going on speedily.

Referring to the negative reports about CPEC in local and western media, the Ambassador said, CPEC is being built with national consensus. He said that despite controversy in political matters between the political parties, complete consensus about CPEC and Pak-China relations is there inarguably.

He contended, public awareness is needed in response to negative reports published in this regard. Zhao LiJian further said that the people should be aware of the basic objectives of negative propagators, because their negative reports generally give the impression that the CPEC is a burden on Pakistan's economy on account of interest rates. All such reports are baseless without having any ground reality, he categorically stated.





Riaz Haq said...

#China's #Huawei takes #5G fight to #India and #Pakistan. India, Pakistan and #Sri Lanka are all aiming for the commercial deployment of 5G services in the second half of 2020, with #Bangladesh more likely to launch its 5G network in 2021. #technology https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/5G-networks/Huawei-takes-5G-fight-to-India-and-Pakistan


"Go digital, not political, is a choice that serves the interests of all stakeholders," a spokesman for Huawei Southeast Asia, which includes the Indian subcontinent, told Nikkei Asian Review. "We will try our best to complete the trial for customers, and work together with industry partners to push forward the 5G ecosystem."

India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are all aiming for the commercial deployment of 5G services in the second half of next year, with Bangladesh more likely to launch its 5G network in 2021.

Home to one quarter of the world's population, with mobile internet penetration forecast to rise to around 61% by 2025, the region is a potential gold mine for 5G equipment makers such as Huawei which last week reported soaring revenues of $105 billion for 2018.

Still, U.S. pressure on allied countries to bar Huawei from its 5G networks has begun to affect the the company. It's carrier business declined 1.3 percent last year, and this week Britain's IHS Markit said Huawei had fallen behind Sweden's Ericsson as the world's largest telecom equipment maker.

"In India, the policy ambiguity surrounding Huawei's participation in 5G trials, is casting a shadow over operator readiness," Prabhu Ram, head of industry intelligence at Cyber Media Research, told Nikkei. "The government is expected to examine all security related issues before allowing Huawei to take part in 5G trials in India."

---

Close links between Beijing and Islamabad are also expected to boost Huawei's 5G ambitions in Pakistan, which has already benefited from investment worth tens of billions of dollars under China's flagship Belt and Road Initiative.

"Huawei have already established a strong presence in the Pakistani market," a senior Pakistan Telecommunications Authority official told Nikkei. "This should give them an edge."

According to Huawei, 5G will bring industry opportunities worth $1.2 trillion to South Asia and Southeast Asia over the next five years.

"The number of 5G subscribers will top 80 million, Internet traffic will grow by 5 times in total, more than 20 smart cities are on the way, and wireless, digital and intelligent equipment will improve social productivity by 4-8% on average,'' Huawei told Nikkei.

Shrugging off U.S. accusations that it spies on behalf of China, Huawei urged countries across the region to cooperate with equipment vendors who had showed true local commitment.

"In the past decades, Huawei has carried out extensive and intensive cooperation with governments and operators, and we keep bringing innovative, leading, secure and reliable products to all countries and help them build the most advanced and secure connection services," Huawei said.

One difficulty for many telecom providers across South Asia will be keeping prices low enough to ensure adequate consumer take-up rates.

"Attractive tariffs for 5G users will be the key to encouraging a large number of customers" Mohammad Suhail, head of the Karachi based Topline Securities Investors' Advisory.

Charges for data services in Pakistan were higher than in many other developing world economies countries, Suhail said, with equipment outlays and the high prices for 5G spectrum expected to add to cost pressures.

Mahtab Uddin, chief executive of Bangladesh's second largest mobile network operator Robi Axiata, which uses Huawei equipment for its services, said his company was struggling to make a profit and he has urged the government to consider cutting taxes and keeping spectrum prices low.

Riaz Haq said...

#China is top destination for foreign #education for #Pakistan with 28,023 students. #Pakistan ranks third after #SouthKorea with 50,600 and #Thailand with 28,608 students in #China. #India ranks 4th with 23,198, and #UnitedStates 5th with 20,996. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/457905-china-becomes-top-destination-for-pakistani-students

A total of 492,185 international students from 196 countries and regions studied in China, last year, up 0.62 percent on the previous year.

The number of students pursuing academic education increased by 6.86 percent year-on-year to 258,122, accounting for 52.44 percent of the total.

Students studying for master’s and doctoral degrees increased by 12.28 percent to 85,062. Most international students in China have been self-funded, accounting for 87.19 percent of the total.

The official data shows that China has become the top education destination for Pakistani students as out of all of them enrolled in Chinese universities, around 7,034 are studying on scholarships.

The number of Pakistani students has risen in China mainly because of a series of preferential policies offered by the Chinese government after the launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative.

Currently, 6,156 Pakistani students are studying in Ph.D., 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs across China.

Pakistani students are studying Chinese language, engineering, medical, computer science and various other fields.

Various scholarships are provided by the Chinese government to lure international students over – most notably, students from the Belt and Road Initiative participating countries and regions have been facilitated to obtain scholarships under the Chinese Government Scholarship – Silk Road Program.

Pakistani students also enthusiastically participate in cultural activities organized different universities across China.

They set up booths decorated with traditional Pakistani stuff and beautiful posters depicting different social and cultural activities and historical places in Pakistan.

Pakistani students also represent the country in the music, essay writing, and photography competitions to be organized under the Belt and Road Initiative in China.

Riaz Haq said...

Scientists in Pakistan and Sri Lanka bet their futures on China
Researchers are turning to China for support and collaboration as their countries take centre stage in the Belt and Road Initiative.

https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-019-01125-6/index.html

In Pakistan, China has far surpassed Saudi Arabia and the United States as the leading partner in scientific collaborations, according to an analysis of co-authored papers from Elsevier’s Scopus database. ....

Take Wang, who quit her job researching the biochemistry of traditional medicines at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Food Science and Technology in Beijing to take an academic post at the University of Karachi. She misses her friends and family and it’s a wrench not to be able to play competitive table tennis. But Wang sees the Karachi move as a way to secure her future. “In China, there’s too much competition for promotions, and even as an assistant professor, I had to book flights and be the secretary for my boss. Here, I have autonomy to set my agenda and apply for my own funding,” she says. Wang is looking to work with Pakistan’s herbal-medicines industry. The medicinal plants used in formulations are mostly picked from the wild and “I want to explore whether Pakistani medicinal plants can be cultivated, as they are in China”, she says. “I also want to compare the ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine with those used in Pakistani herbal medicine. I have too many things I want to do.”

Liu is using his virology background to look into a different type of medicine. “I want to explore joint research in areas such as avian influenza or dengue,” he says. China is seeing a spike in infectious diseases in the large numbers of Chinese workers who participate on BRI projects, and Liu thinks this could be the basis for a China–Pakistan project in genomics and disease epidemiology.

The academic contacts with China are growing quickly. Every year, China offers Pakistani students around 7,000 fully funded scholarships to master’s and PhD courses. In February, its ambassador to Islamabad, Yao Jing, pledged to nearly treble these, up to 20,000 annually. Some 28,000 Pakistani students are already studying in China, and around 6,000 are doing PhDs.

And back in Pakistan, Mandarin is being rolled out as an optional language choice (after English) in schools and universities. Most public universities already have some degree of cooperation with Chinese counterparts. The latest will be Islamabad National University, which is moving into the former official residence of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who vacated it on taking office a year ago. The university has partnered with China to build a joint centre that will focus on the environment, climate change, terrestrial and marine hazards and the ocean economy, says Safdar Ali Shah, who heads the China team at Pakistan’s university regulatory body, the Higher Education Commission.

“My generation of scientists did our PhDs mostly in the UK and the USA and that is where many of us still have collaborations,” says geologist Qasim Jan, president of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and an alumnus of King’s College London. “The next generation will be different. After we are gone, most of their links will be with China,” he predicts.

--

In January, Choudhary was hosting the Wuhan virology team and researchers from other universities in China. Two months earlier, he had been in Hangzhou at a ceremony to inaugurate the Chinese branch of the Sino-Pakistan Hybrid Rice Research Center (the Karachi branch opened in 2017). The centre, a collaboration with the China National Rice Research Institute, is testing rice varieties that could be grown in some of Pakistan’s more arid regions.

Riaz Haq said...

#Digital #BRI – #China’s growing #5G clout: #China has begun building “information expressway” of fibre optic cable links to #Myanmar, #Nepal & #Kyrgyzstan to link to #Africa by undersea cable from #Pakistan which is being linked to China through #CPEC. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-edit-page/coming-digital-bri-how-chinas-growing-5g-clout-could-soon-enable-it-to-play-big-brother-to-the-world/

The second summit of the Belt and Road Initiative concluded this week amid great fanfare in Beijing. Headlines proclaimed BRI’s inexorable expansion to new countries and China’s growing footprint. But it was the ‘Digital Silk Road’ project – one of 12 subthemes discussed at the summit – that could prove to be a game changer.

While the US keeps issuing warnings about the espionage risks of using Chinese 5G network equipment and the security threat posed by Huawei devices, China’s telecom infrastructure projects keep growing. Despite the lamentations of a Cassandra-like Washington, Huawei and ZTE are acquiring access to larger markets making an end run around their Western rivals. Less visible than ports and railways of BRI, China’s expanding control over the world’s digital communications networks would give Beijing unparalleled influence. Its growing clout in surveillance tech, combined with its lead in developing superfast 5G, promises to make China a global tech challenger to the US. This significant development comes despite repeated American warnings that it might reconsider sharing sensitive intelligence with allies that allow Huawei to build 5G networks in their countries. Even the UK, which as a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing group (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) once supported a tough stand against Huawei, has now decided to allow the firm to build parts of its 5G network. Major BRI partners don’t even have an option: they are required to use only Chinese 5G suppliers, which hold 36% of all 5G patents worldwide.

Ever since the Digital Silk Road was launched in 2017, China has begun building up an “information expressway” of fibre optic cable links to Myanmar, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan. It plans to connect Africa to China by laying cables across the ocean from Pakistan which is being linked to China through its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. China has offered help to countries as far away as Cuba, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to advance cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence (AI). China’s advance as a digital connector and leading provider of 5G technology – which would form the backbone of autonomous vehicles, facial recognition technology, and AI – to an ever-growing number of developing countries raises the possibility that Chinese-style surveillance states will proliferate. Its ongoing efforts to harness AI to master big data and its ability to harvest vast amounts of such data from connected countries would give Beijing greater political influence than by merely constructing trade and transportation hubs.

Riaz Haq said...

Cary Hunag: "#China lags far behind #UnitedStates, #Europe in productivity, sophistication, #technology, management skills, #military and diplomatic strength, and “soft power” – developments in the fields of #science, #education, culture and the arts". https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3006892/if-china-thinks-its-overtaking-us-any-time-soon-heres-wake-call

The warning by the former commerce minister Chen Deming that China should not assume it will overtake the United States to become the world’s top superpower should serve as a wake-up call to those harbouring illusions about China’s place in the world while ignoring the challenges ahead.

“Do not take it for granted that China is No 2, and do not make the assumption that we will be No 1 sooner or later,” Chen told a forum organised by the Centre for China and Globalisation, a Beijing-based think tank, last Sunday.
The perception that China is the No 2 global power and on the path to become No 1 is based on two questionable assumptions – that China’s stellar growth levels, which outpace those of its main competitors, will continue on the same path, and that gross domestic product or the size of the economy equates to national power.

all these calculations assume is that China’s enviable growth patterns will continue in their present fashion – and it is far from clear that this will be the case. Indeed, the world’s second largest economy has been losing growth momentum steadily since peaking at 14.23 per cent in 2007. It slowed to 10.62 per cent in 2010, 7.29 per cent in 2014 and 6.6 per cent last year.
Tellingly, the outlook looks gloomier than any time in recent memory, with the downward trend having picked up pace quarter by quarter since the start of last year. In the first quarter the rate was 6.8 per cent, in the second it was 6.7, in the third 6.5 and in the fourth 6.4. Though growth has steadied with a better-than-expected 6.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, thanks to supporting monetary easing and fiscal stimulus, it is still the lowest rate since 1992, when Beijing began publishing quarterly GDP data.

---------

GDP is a measure of a country’s economic activities, but it does not accurately measure improvements in human well-being and it does not tell the full story about national strength.
In China’s case particularly, GDP growth is closely linked to asset bubbles, speculation and state-led capital investment. This has resulted in much overcapacity and bad debt, producing what economists call “bad GDP”.

----------------


The distinction between GDP and GDP per capita explains why America took until the end of the second world war to surpass Britain as the world’s most powerful nation, despite having surpassed it in GDP terms as early as the 1860s (at least on some estimations – the concept of GDP was dreamed up by Nobel laureate Simon Kuznets in the mid-1930s).

Riaz Haq said...

#Christian clerics in #Pakistan helping #Chinese men target poor Christian girls in Pakistan for #marriage, AP reports. #Trafficking #China #Brides https://www.cbsnews.com/news/christian-girls-chinese-men-target-poor-girls-pakistan-for-marriage-ap-report/ via @CBSNews

Gujranwala, Pakistan -- Muqadas Ashraf was just 16 when her parents married her off to a Chinese man who had come to Pakistan looking for a bride. Less than five months later, Muqadas is back in her home country, pregnant and seeking a divorce from a husband she says was abusive.


She is one of hundreds of poor Christian girls who have been trafficked to China in a market for brides that has swiftly grown in Pakistan since late last year, activists say. Brokers are aggressively seeking out girls for Chinese men, sometimes even cruising outside churches to ask for potential brides. They are being helped by Christian clerics paid to target impoverished parents in their congregation with promises of wealth in exchange for their daughters.

Parents receive several thousand dollars and are told that their new sons-in-law are wealthy Christian converts. The grooms turn out to be neither, according to several brides, their parents, an activist, pastors and government officials, all of whom spoke to The Associated Press. Once in China, the girls -- most often married against their will -- can find themselves isolated in remote rural regions, vulnerable to abuse, unable to communicate and reliant on a translation app even for a glass of water.

"This is human smuggling," said Aslam Augustine, the human rights and minorities minister in Pakistan's Punjab province, in an interview with the AP. "Greed is really responsible for these marriages ... I have met with some of these girls and they are very poor."

Augustine accused the Chinese government and its embassy in Pakistan of turning a blind eye to the practice by unquestioningly issuing visas and documents. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that, saying China has zero tolerance for illegal transnational marriage agencies.

Human Rights Watch called on China and Pakistan to take action to end bride trafficking, warning in an April 26 statement of "increasing evidence that Pakistani women and girls are at risk of sexual slavery in China."

On Monday, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency arrested eight Chinese nationals and four Pakistanis in raids in Punjab province in connection with trafficking, Geo TV reported. It said the raids followed an undercover operation that included attending an arranged marriage.

The Chinese embassy said last month that China is cooperating with Pakistan to crack down on unlawful matchmaking centers, saying "both Chinese and Pakistani youths are victims of these illegal agents."

The Associated Press interviewed more than a dozen Christian Pakistani brides and would-be brides who fled before exchanging vows. All had similar accounts of a process involving brokers and members of the clergy, including describing houses where they were taken to see potential husbands and spend their wedding nights in Islamabad, the country's capital, and Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

"It is all fraud and cheating. All the promises they make are fake," said Muqadas.

Riaz Haq said...

How China is redrawing the map of world science
The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s mega-plan for global infrastructure, will transform the lives and work of tens of thousands of researchers. By Ehsan Masood


https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-019-01124-7/index.html

As one component of this massive initiative, China is creating what it calls a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a giant oceanic loop that links the country’s shipping to the nations bordering each of the great oceans, including some in Africa and South America. Then there’s the Silk Road Economic Belt, a complicated network of six overland corridors that connect China to some of Asia and Europe’s major cities through railways, roads and maritime paths.

The signs of a scientific BRI emerged soon after Xi visited central Asia in September 2013. The following year, CAS funded an upgrade to a 1-metre telescope at Uzbekistan’s Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute. The improvement paved the way for the Uzbekistan institute to survey the northern sky in collaboration with China’s Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory. Uzbekistan has no experience in telescope making, observatory director Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev told the CAS Bulletin, so the most important technological part was done by China’s engineers. This was the beginning of much grander plans by CAS.

The BRI’s scientific component is being masterminded by Bai. Trained in China as an X-ray crystallographer, Bai worked with John Baldeschwieler at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in the mid-1980s on scanning tunnelling microscopy.

Even early in Bai’s career, it was clear he would go far, says Baldeschwieler, who remembers predicting that Bai would one day become president of CAS. During a visit to Beijing in 1995, Baldeschwieler was amazed to find that Bai had arranged a meeting with China’s then-president Jiang Zemin. “We were picked up in a small bus and taken by police escort with flashing lights through Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People.” Young boys and girls were lining the stairs on a red carpet, he recalls.

Under Bai, the science BRI has been running on three parallel tracks. In China, CAS has established five centres of excellence at its institutes, and these host the 200 PhD students that the academy trains every year.

Outside China, it has opened nine research and training centres, in Africa, central Asia, South America and south and southeast Asia — often co-funded by their host countries. The China–Brazil Joint Laboratory for Space Weather in São José dos Campos, for example, is monitoring space weather changes and developing forecast models. In Bangkok, the CAS Innovation Cooperation Center helps Thailand’s universities and technology companies to work with Chinese counterparts, and at the same time gives China a foothold in the region. And then there are hundreds of individual collaborations between CAS and universities in China and elsewhere.

The third track is what CAS is calling the Digital Belt and Road, a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.

To draw these and other activities together, CAS established a super committee of scientific research organizations in 2016. This network goes by the acronym ANSO, short for Alliance of International Science Organizations in the Belt and Road Region. Its 37 members span the globe, stretching from the Russian Academy of Sciences to the University of Chile. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris is also a founding member. As part of its activities, ANSO plans to support and organize research in BRI countries on sustainable development, including improving food security and reducing water scarcity.

Riaz Haq said...

How China is redrawing the map of world science
The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s mega-plan for global infrastructure, will transform the lives and work of tens of thousands of researchers. By Ehsan Masood


https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-019-01124-7/index.html


In Pakistan, it is co-sponsoring a range of research centres that are studying topics from rice agriculture to artificial intelligence and railway engineering. In the heart of the European Union, a Chinese–Belgian science park provides homes for companies trying to expand trade in medical devices, solar power and other technologies. And in South America, China has partnered with Chile and Argentina on astronomical centres and has gained access to some of the best observatories in the world. In total, the scientific side of the BRI involves tens of thousands of researchers and students, and hundreds of universities. There are few regions of the developing world where China’s scientific outreach does not have a footprint.

--------------------

As one component of this massive initiative, China is creating what it calls a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a giant oceanic loop that links the country’s shipping to the nations bordering each of the great oceans, including some in Africa and South America. Then there’s the Silk Road Economic Belt, a complicated network of six overland corridors that connect China to some of Asia and Europe’s major cities through railways, roads and maritime paths.

The signs of a scientific BRI emerged soon after Xi visited central Asia in September 2013. The following year, CAS funded an upgrade to a 1-metre telescope at Uzbekistan’s Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute. The improvement paved the way for the Uzbekistan institute to survey the northern sky in collaboration with China’s Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory. Uzbekistan has no experience in telescope making, observatory director Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev told the CAS Bulletin, so the most important technological part was done by China’s engineers. This was the beginning of much grander plans by CAS.

The BRI’s scientific component is being masterminded by Bai. Trained in China as an X-ray crystallographer, Bai worked with John Baldeschwieler at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in the mid-1980s on scanning tunnelling microscopy.

Even early in Bai’s career, it was clear he would go far, says Baldeschwieler, who remembers predicting that Bai would one day become president of CAS. During a visit to Beijing in 1995, Baldeschwieler was amazed to find that Bai had arranged a meeting with China’s then-president Jiang Zemin. “We were picked up in a small bus and taken by police escort with flashing lights through Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People.” Young boys and girls were lining the stairs on a red carpet, he recalls.

Under Bai, the science BRI has been running on three parallel tracks. In China, CAS has established five centres of excellence at its institutes, and these host the 200 PhD students that the academy trains every year.

Outside China, it has opened nine research and training centres, in Africa, central Asia, South America and south and southeast Asia — often co-funded by their host countries. The China–Brazil Joint Laboratory for Space Weather in São José dos Campos, for example, is monitoring space weather changes and developing forecast models. In Bangkok, the CAS Innovation Cooperation Center helps Thailand’s universities and technology companies to work with Chinese counterparts, and at the same time gives China a foothold in the region. And then there are hundreds of individual collaborations between CAS and universities in China and elsewhere.

The third track is what CAS is calling the Digital Belt and Road, a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.