• Experts call for strong China-South Asia partnership under Belt and Road Initiative

    Ramesh Tiwari
    April 30, 2017
    Experts call for strong China-South Asia partnership under Belt and Road Initiative

    Kathmandu (Xinhua) -Experts stressed on strong partnership between China and South Asia under the framework of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative so as to achieve regional economic integration, prosperity, stability and create a win-win situation.

    They made the remarks during a one-day seminar entitled “One Belt, One Road and South Asia” organized here by the China Study Centre  here on April 28 .

    Addressing the program, Bangladeshi expert Humayun Kabir said China and South Asian countries can find a common ground to collaborate under the Belt and Road Initiative.

    “This is the era of mutual interdependence between various countries of the world. I believe that cooperation between China and South Asian region under the framework will help achieve regional economic integration, prosperity and stability by creating a win-win situation,” he said.

    Former Nepali Foreign Secretary Madhuraman Acharya said “The concept of the Belt and Road Initiative has brought up several new opportunities in connectivity and economic integration between China and South Asia.”

    He said the Belt and Road Initiative has become a matter of geopolitical significance to countries in South Asia including Nepal.

    Sundar Nath Bhattarai, acting chairman of the China Study Centre, said countries in South Asia and China will spare no efforts to expand mutual and inclusive cooperation.

    Luxman Siriwardena, an expert from Sri Lanka, said the Belt and Road Initiative will facilitate global trade by developing infrastructures.

    “As a pioneer member, Sri Lankan political leadership and policy makers strongly believe that the Belt and Road Initiative will undoubtedly contribute to the long-term socio-economic development of the country,” he said.

    Siriwardena said the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will have a direct effect on Sri Lanka’s trade, investment and tourism resulting in substantial contribution to the nation’s economy.

    Addressing the function as the chief guest, Nepali Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the Belt and Road Initiative will benefit the entire South Asian region including Nepal.

    “Nepal wants to become a part of the Belt and Road Initiative and reap benefit from this,” he said.

    Dr. Dai Yonghong, director of the Institute of South Asia Studies at the Sichuan University of China, said China wants active participation of all countries from South Asia region in the Belt and Road Initiative.

    “The Belt and Road (Initiative) is a very good proposal for all countries around the world including South Asian countries. Cooperation between China and South Asian countries will be beneficial for the peoples of the entire region through regional economic integration,” he said, adding that the concept is open and inclusive.

    Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said the Belt and Road Initiative is the most important public product that China provides to the world.

    “China welcomes the South Asian countries to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people to people bonds as their five major goals with the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,” said the ambassador.

    The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

    April 2017

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      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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