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China Faces $11 Trillion Hidden Debt Crisis

Chinese authorities recognise the severe risks to financial stability and overall growth, prompting a systematic approach to address the problem…reports Asian Lite News

China is facing a looming financial crisis as it endeavours to address a colossal hidden debt problem within its banking system, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Cities and provinces across the nation have amassed a staggering amount of undisclosed debt through years of unchecked borrowing and spending, with estimates ranging from USD 7 trillion to USD 11 trillion in off-balance-sheet government debt, including corporate bonds issued by local government financing vehicles.

The extent of the issue remains uncertain, but it has become evident that local governments’ debt levels are unsustainable amid slowing economic growth and deflationary pressures. Economists warn that a significant portion of the hidden debt, estimated between USD 400 billion and over USD 800 billion, is at high risk of default, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Chinese authorities recognise the severe risks to financial stability and overall growth, prompting a systematic approach to address the problem. They are initiating efforts to replace some hidden debt with new, explicit government debt, aiming to avert a wave of defaults that could lead to a nationwide financial crisis.

Yao Yu, founder of YY Rating, emphasises the potential consequences: “Once a local-government financing vehicle defaults, the situation can easily get out of hand.” These financing vehicles represent a significant portion of China’s domestic corporate bond market, and defaults could disrupt funding for other borrowers.

China’s central government has expressed the importance of preventing and resolving the risk of hidden debts. In November, authorities warned that bankers and local government officials would be held accountable for life if they engaged in new hidden debt issuance. The People’s Bank of China governor, Pan Gongsheng, pledged emergency liquidity support to regions burdened with high debt.

Moody’s Investors Service recently lowered its outlook on China’s credit rating to negative, citing increased support for financially stressed local governments and state-owned enterprises, along with risks to economic growth, according to The Wall Street Journal.

China has grappled with hidden debt risks for over a decade, with previous efforts between 2015 and 2018 attempting to address the issue. However, local governments, under pressure to stimulate growth, embarked on another borrowing spree. UBS reports that domestic banks’ exposure to local government financing vehicles was around USD 6.9 trillion at the end of last year, representing about 13 per cent of the banking sector’s total assets.

Financial strains are emerging as some cities and provinces face challenges due to a property downturn and extensive spending to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Urgent measures include the issuance of special refinancing bonds to replace off-balance-sheet debt, with around USD 200 billion raised in such bonds by nearly 30 Chinese provinces and cities since October.

While these efforts aim to alleviate immediate liquidity problems, sceptics argue that they represent more of a refinancing plan than a restructuring plan. The potential long-term impact on China’s economic growth is a concern, as fiscal resources may increasingly be allocated to debt repayment. A fundamental solution involves restructuring local government financing vehicles’ debt to make them commercially viable entities, a challenging task in itself, The Wall Street Journal reported. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Italy formally exits China’s BRI

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Italy formally exits China’s BRI

The withdrawal was initially reported by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which stated that Beijing was informed of the much-awaited decision three days ago…reports Asian Lite News

Italy has taken an exit from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, four years after becoming the only Group of Seven (G7) nation to sign up for it.

The withdrawal was initially reported by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which stated that Beijing was informed of the much-awaited decision three days ago. Italy was the first significant Western country to join the project in 2019, despite US worries about China acquiring control over vital infrastructure and technologies.According to an auto-translation of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the formal exit of Rome from the project occurred through the cancellation of the agreement by the Italian government.

China’s Belt and Road.

In the end, after weeks of confidential negotiations and some diplomatic misunderstandings, Italy produced a verbal note, accompanied it with promises of strategic friendship capable of relaunching relations between the two states, and delivered it in Beijing to the Chinese government authorities, the Italian publication Corriere della Sera reported.It is advantageous for both that there was little public announcement of the official cancellation (none of the two countries released a statement).

Beijing is in charge of a project that has partially fallen into financial difficulties.The Silk Road Memorandum was notably signed by then-Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy and Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 23, 2019, according to Corriere della Sera.

Notably, it was upon taking office last year, that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stated her intention to pull out of the BRI, citing the absence of significant advantages for her country, Al Jazeera reported.It was earlier in September this year that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had said that leaving the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) also known as Silk Road does not compromise relations with China.

According to Italian media, Corriere della Sera daily, it was on the sidelines of the G20 Summit here in Delhi this year, that the Italian PM met Chinese Premier Li Qiang and shared her plan to pull out of the BRI.In the press conference on the last day of the G20 Summit, Meloni turned to talk about the conversation she had with the head of the Chinese government.

“A cordial and constructive dialogue on how we can deepen our bilateral partnership… I intend to keep my commitment to visit China…It makes more sense to go to China when we have more information on our bilateral cooperation and how to develop it,” Meloni said at the conference, according to the Italian media report.”Leaving the Silk Road does not compromise relations, but the decision still has to be taken,” the prime minister assured.

“The Italian government was invited to the Belt and Road Forum, but yesterday we didn’t talk about it,” Meloni said at the conference. (ANI)

ALSO READ: ‘Vajra Prahar’: Indo-US Joint Special Forces Exercise Continues in Meghalaya

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Beijing’s Hidden Agenda in Gaza Strip

Analysts say China has a long-term game plan in mind in criticizing Israel and condoning Hamas; to gain favour in the Middle East as well as with countries sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in regions such as Africa and Latin America and wean them away from the fold of the United States .. writes Dr Haroon Rashid

The Hamas terror attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip have provided Beijing with the opportunity to fish in troubled water. Instead of working with the world community to find a solution to the crisis, the mandarins of the Communist Party of China are trying to muddy the water even more to increase their geopolitical influence in the Middle East and fulfil the ambition of China emerging as a superpower.

In the light of such a Chinese design, there is much merit in the stand of India to abstain from voting in the recent motion before the United Nations for a ceasefire in Gaza. For one thing, New Delhi cannot side with the cause of terror; particularly in view of the fact that India itself is one of the worst victims of terror sponsored by Islamic fundamentalism. But India has seen through the game of China and New Delhi is now doubly cautious so that the Chinese designs in the Middle East do not succeed.

President of the United States Joe Biden gave a hint on October 26 in a joint Press conference in Washington with Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese of what Beijing could be up to in the Gaza Strip. He said he was convinced that one of the reasons why Hamas launched the terrorist attack on Israel was the recent announcement in the G-20 Summit in New Delhi of the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor that would integrate the entire region with a railroad network. If this is true, it is all the more the reason New Delhi should not take any stand that will encourage Hamas in any way. And, Presidents of the United States usually do not talk through the hat.

The new economic corridor was jointly announced by the U.S., India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union on the occasion of the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September. Many see this as an alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative of China. India is a member of I2U2, a partnership formed at the initiative of the United States in 2021; the three other members of the partnership being Israel, the UAE and the USA. This partnership identifies bankable projects and initiatives to tackle challenges confronting the world. Some see in this initiative an alternative offered by the democratic world to the growing influence of Beijing in the Gulf countries and beyond, in Africa.

Behind the Hamas attack in Israel could have been a wily ploy to instigate Israel to launch an attack on Gaza Strip so that the entire Islamic world is antagonized and the Gulf countries decide not to do anything with a partnership with Israel as a member, say analysts. The question remains then if Hamas has been working at the behest of any vested interest; and who this vested interest is. So far, Beijing has not condemned in strong terms the terror attack launched by Hamas that killed about 1,400 people in Israel. A large number of Israeli citizens were also taken hostage by Hamas. On the other hand, Beijing has criticized Tel Aviv in strong terms, saying the Israeli response has been out of proportion with the offence committed by Hamas.

Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi has gone on record saying that the acts of Israel in Gaza to target Hamas had “gone beyond self-defence.” In its first statement following the Hamas attack and initial Israeli reaction, China had urged both sides to “exercise restraint” and opt for a “two-state solution.” In response, senior official in the Israeli embassy in Beijing Yuval Waks had expressed disappointment. Israel thought China was a friend, he said. “When people are being murdered, slaughtered in the streets, this s not the time to call for a two-state solution,” he said.

Analysts say China has a long-term game plan in mind in criticizing Israel and condoning Hamas; to gain favour in the Middle East as well as with countries sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in regions such as Africa and Latin America and wean them away from the fold of the United States. “China is clearly afraid of offending the Arab side,” former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, now with Washington-based think-tank Middle East Institute, has been quoted as saying.

But in making such statements, Beijing has really been working on a long-term game-plan and thinking far beyond the Middle East. Through its anti-Israel rhetoric, Beijing is trying to get close to nations where it has plans to extend investment in infrastructure under the Belt and Road Initiative, from highways to polluting thermal power plants to massive new ports. These are the countries in Africa and Latin America which often say the fight of the Palestinians against Israel is something like fighting colonization. South Africa, for instance, has said that “the new conflagration has arisen from the continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land and oppression of the people.”

Euronews has commented that Chinese state agents are using the information chaos surrounding the war between Israel and Hamas to Beijing’s advantage; glorifying violence, promoting hate and helping to spread false claims on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East; posting misinformation  to promote anti-Semitic feelings and phobia in Islamic countries.

A study by the U.K. – based Institute for Strategic Dialogue which monitors the spread of extremism and misinformation online, has found that Chinese agents are exploiting the crisis to advance the geopolitical agenda of Beijing. Data collected from Facebook and X accounts belonging to officials of the Communist Party of China, diplomatic representatives and the state media between October 7 and 18, right after the surprise attack of Hamas on Israel, indicate that Beijing is using the information chaos to serve the interests of China. “While Facebook posts remained neutral, insisting on condemning all acts that harm civilians, Chinese state media accounts on X denounced the U.S. for supposedly seeking economic advantage from the escalation,” the report is quoted to have said. “The same accounts have called out Western politicians and mainstream media for turning a ‘blind eye’ to the victims of Gaza.”

Senior Analyst of ID Julia Smirnova has been quoted to have said: “It may not come as a surprise that authoritarian states are trying to exploit the confusion around the  Israel – Hamas conflict to advance their own geopolitical agenda,” and to “deepen mistrust towards democratic institutions and the media.”

Notably, in June 2023 President of China Xi Jinping and President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas finalized a “strategic partnership,” with Beijing pledging to increase cooperation with and funding to the Palestinian Authority. “China and Palestine are close friends and partners who trust and support each other,” President Xi was quoted to have said on the occasion.”

It will surely help the cause of China in Taiwan if the U.S. becomes too busy managing the two wars which are already raging in two corners of the globe, in Ukraine and Gaza Strip. It will thus help the Chinese strategy to extend moral support to the terrorist group Hamas, if stopping short of actually extending material support to them. There is one factor, however, which may prevent Beijing from openly supporting the cause of terror. Alienating Israel may come at a high cost for China, say analysts. China has a lucrative tech-sector trade with Israel, with Beijing often importing more than $1 billion worth of semiconductors a year from Israel.

China has been one of four countries that had voted in favour of a U.N. Security Council resolution drafted by Russia on October 16, urging a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel – Hamas war that was rejected for not condemning the surprise attack of Hamas on Israel. There were five votes in favour and four against. For the Security Council to adopt a resolution, the proposal must receive at least nine votes in favour; with none of its five permanent members opposing or casting a veto.

“This makes it clear where China stands,” the Time magazine has commented. “China’s unwillingness to condemn Hamas and its call for an end to violence on both sides may stem from the interest in keeping itself in the good grace of Arab states in the region where China is eyeing an ambitious economic expansion — through the BRI.”

The war in Palestine has alarmed China as the region is crucial to the BRI for its energy exports. Chinese investments and construction projects in Saudi Arabia and the UAE under BRI have totalled $56.28 billion and $40.81 billion, according to the Time magazine. In this backdrop, the formation of the I2U2 partnership has clearly unnerved China as the partnership is challenging the BRI. Beijing has no qualms about extending moral support to a terrorist group like Hamas to protect its vested interests in the Middle East.

ALSO READ: China, US Discuss Preventing Spread of Gaza War

ALSO READ: Why Did China’s BRI Falter in Nepal?

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China, US Discuss Preventing Spread of Gaza War

Wang Yi reiterated Beijing’s calls for a two-state solution to the conflict, stressing that “any arrangement involving the future of Palestine must reflect the will of the Palestinian people….reports Asian Lite News

The top diplomats from China and the US discussed the war between Israel and the Hamas group in a call, Beijing and Washington said on Wednesday, the media reported.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “reiterated the imperative of all parties working to prevent the conflict from spreading,” according to the US State Department.

Beijing said that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed in turn that, regarding the war, “the top priority is to ceasefire and end the war as soon as possible”.

“Major countries must adhere to fairness and justice, uphold objectivity and impartiality, demonstrate calm and rationality, and make every effort to cool down the situation and prevent larger-scale humanitarian disasters,” Wang said, according to the Foreign Ministry.

He reiterated Beijing’s calls for a two-state solution to the conflict, stressing that “any arrangement involving the future of Palestine must reflect the will of the Palestinian people,” The Times of Israel reported.

“China is willing to work with all parties to make efforts to this end,” he said.

‘Fierce battles’ continue in Gaza

 The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Wednesday that “fierce battles” with Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip continue, as the Israeli Air Force carries out strikes against more than 250 targets, the media reported.

In a statement, it said that the 7th Armoured Brigade directed strikes on two rocket launchers used in the barrages on central Israel on Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported.

The IAF strikes also hit several Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, alongside infrastructure belonging to the miltant groups, the military said.

The IDF added that the Kfir Brigade killed a group of Hamas operatives who were near a school in northern Gaza. Later, the soldiers found and destroyed a tunnel shaft and weapons in the area.

In another school in northern Gaza, the soldiers found weapons, according to the IDF.

‘No UN-designated safe zones’

 A UN spokesman has refuted the US claim that civilians in Gaza should seek refuge in UN-designated safe places.

In response to US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller’s suggestion that Gazans should seek refuge in UN-designated sites that are listed by Israel as “deconfliction zones”, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said on Tuesday there are no such things in Gaza, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Well, let’s be clear. There are no UN-designated safe zones in Gaza. I think all my senior colleagues have been very clear, including the secretary-general, saying there are no safe places in Gaza,” said Dujarric.

“There are shelters that fly the UN flag that are sheltering thousands and thousands and thousands of people — men, women, and children who are trying to stay alive and get some food, get some water. We have seen, since the beginning of this conflict, that those places that fly the UN flag are not safe either,” he said.

Asked where people in Gaza should go when they are ordered to evacuate, Miller said, “People should go to the UN-designated sites where — that are on Israeli lists as deconfliction zones that should not be the target of military campaigns.”

“There are already people who are sheltering in those. As the (Israeli military) campaign moves to the south (of Gaza) and Israel evacuates specific neighbourhoods or orders specific neighbourhoods to be evacuated, that is where people should go,” he said.

Netanyahu Rejects Int’l Force Post-War

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea that an international force could be responsible for security in the Gaza Strip after the war, saying that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) should retain control of the disarmament of Gaza, CNN reported on Wednesday.

According to CNN, this is not the first time Netanyahu has called for post-war Israeli military control in Gaza.

“On the day after, Gaza must be disarmed. And in order for Gaza to be disarmed, there’s only one force that can ensure that — and this force is the IDF,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday during a news conference. “No international force can be responsible for that,” he said, adding, “We saw what happened to other places where international forces were brought for disarmament purposes.”

In November, Netanyahu told CNN that Israel’s security role in a post-war Gaza would be an “over-riding, over-reaching military envelope,” but did not explain what that meant.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military encircled the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of the general staff said, CNN reported.

“Sixty days after the war began, our forces are now encircling the Khan Yunis area in the southern Gaza Strip,” IDF chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said on Tuesday, adding, “Simultaneously, we continue to secure our accomplishments in the northern Gaza Strip.”

ALSO READ: GCC Condemns ‘Genocide’ in Gaza, Urges Ceasefire

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Why Did China’s BRI Falter in Nepal?

Highlighting Nepal’s complex diplomatic ties with the two major powers, China and India, Lord Bruce talked about the difficulties Kathmandu faces in pursuing its foreign policy….reports Asian Lite News

The Democracy Forum (TDF) conducted a webinar titled ‘Why has China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) failed to take off in Nepal.’ During this session, panelists shared their insights and perspectives on the factors contributing to the project’s lack of progress.

All issues encompassing funding and transparency concerns and the nation’s complicated geopolitical position were discussed in the webinar.

The panel included Lord Bruce, Humphrey Hawkesly, Barry Gardiner, Andrew G Ross, Samir Sharma, Kamal Dev Bhattrai, and Prashanti Poudyal.

In June, Nepal’s foreign minister confirmed that not a single project in the country had been carried out under the initiative after China claimed that the Pokhara International Airport would be the BRI’s flagship project.

In the discussion led by Humphrey Hawkesly, TDF President Lord Bruce spoke about the complexities surrounding the Chinese project while providing a recap of recent events.

“In 2017, Nepal signed up for China’s Belt and Road Initiative. However, nothing has been accomplished after six years. No Memorandum of Understanding within the BRI framework was signed by the Prime Minister of Nepal during his eight-day visit to China in September,” said Lord Bruce.

Highlighting Nepal’s complex diplomatic ties with the two major powers, China and India, Lord Bruce talked about the difficulties Kathmandu faces in pursuing its foreign policy.

Highlighting Nepal’s complex diplomatic ties with the two major powers, China and India, Lord Bruce talked about the difficulties Kathmandu faces in pursuing its foreign policy.

In this context, the TDF president mentioned the Millennium Challenge Corporation Nepal Compact, a grant of USD 500 million from the United States for infrastructure projects.

“The MCC posed concerns regarding Nepal’s alignment in the global geopolitical landscape, entangled between the objectives of the United States, China, and India,” said Bruce.

Andrew Ross, a senior lecturer at the University of Dundee, first talked about the Chinese initiative in the broader geopolitical power game and said that the reconstruction of the ancient Silk Route seeks to strengthen Beijing’s economic leadership.

Ross said that the visually appealing projects are making the countries wary. “It is being viewed with considerable anxiety in relation to non-performing assets and the implications of non-meeting debt obligations,” he added.

Prashanti Poudyal, a Research Fellow, cited Nepal’s inability to afford high-interest loans for significant infrastructure projects as a reason behind a cautious and strategic approach by Nepali leaders.

“The BRI loans are much higher than the loans provided by other multilateral organisations. The average interest rate of the BRI projects is 4.2 per cent with a grace period of less than two years and a maturity length of less than ten years,” said Poudyal.

She also added that the experiences of regional neighbours like Sri Lanka and Pakistan acted as a cautionary tale for Nepal.

In the webinar, the complexity of Nepal’s geopolitical situation was also emphasised. Nepal’s reluctance to fully embrace the BRI was linked to concerns about its constitutional obligation of non-alignment.

In the discussion, it was also pointed out that Nepal sees BRI as a discrete project rather than an all-encompassing endeavour, which stops Kathmandu from fully embracing it.

Political instability, a non-friendly atmosphere for investment, and the fear that Chinese interference might lead to financial disaster are some of the reasons behind the non-implementation of Chinese projects in Nepal, the participants noted. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Belarusian President to Meet Xi in China

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China alleges US combat ship ‘illegally’ entered territorial waters

China is in dispute with several of its neighbors over its extensive claims of territorial waters in the South China Sea….reports Asian Lite News

China’s military on Monday said a US combat ship illegally entered waters adjacent to the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed South China Sea atoll. “The US seriously undermined regional peace and stability,” said a spokesperson for China’s Southern Theater of Operations in a statement.

The spokesperson also said the US deliberately disrupted the South China Sea and seriously violated China’s sovereignty.

China is in dispute with several of its neighbors over its extensive claims of territorial waters in the South China Sea.

In recent months it has had several confrontations with Philippine vessels, and also protested about US ships patrolling the disputed areas.

The spokesperson said the Chinese People’s Liberation Army organized maritime troops to follow and monitor the US ship., and that “its troops in the theater are on high alert at all times to resolutely defend national sovereignty.”

On Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guard deployed two of its vessels in the South China Sea after monitoring an “alarming” increase in the number of Chinese maritime militia vessels at a reef within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Meanwhile, the Philippines inaugurated a new coast guard monitoring base Friday on an island occupied by Filipino forces in the disputed South China Sea and plans to expand joint patrols with the US and Australia to counter China’s “pure bullying” in the strategic waterway, a Philippine security official said.

High-seas faceoffs between Chinese and Philippine ships have intensified this year in the contested waters, fueling fears of a larger conflict that could involve the US. The US has repeatedly warned that it’s obligated to defend the Philippines, its oldest treaty ally in Asia, if Filipino forces come under an armed attack, including in the South China Sea.

China has accused the US of meddling in an Asian dispute and sowing discord in the region.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano and other Philippine officials flew to Thitu Island on an air force plane on Friday and led a ceremony to open the newly constructed, two-story center that will have radar, ship-tracking and other monitoring equipment to monitor China’s actions in the hotly disputed waters and other problems, including sea accidents.

“It’s no longer gray zone. It’s pure bullying,” Ano told reporters after the seaside ceremony, describing the actions of Chinese ships as openly flouting international law.

Dwarfed by China’s military might, the Philippines decided this year to allow an expansion of the US military presence in its local camps under a 2014 defense pact.

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BSF Recovers China-Made Drone in Punjab

As per the release, the recovered drone is a quadcopter (model: DJI Mavic 3 classic, Made in China)….reports Asian Lite News

Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday recovered a Chinese-made drone in Khalra village of Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, according to a press release by BSF Punjab Frontier.

According to the official release, on December 1, during the evening hours, based on specific information regarding the presence of a drone, a search operation was launched by BSF on the outskirts of Village Khalra, District Tarn Taran.

Further, during the search operation, at about 06:35 pm, a drone was recovered from the farming field adjacent to Village-Khalra, the release stated.

As per the release, the recovered drone is a quadcopter (model: DJI Mavic 3 classic, Made in China).

Yet another attempt by smugglers to smuggle narcotics via drone was foiled by the BSF, the force said in the release.

On November 18, the Border Security Force (BSF) recovered a drone in Wan village in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, according to a press release by the BSF Punjab Frontier.

According to the official release, the BSF troops, while carrying out area domination patrols ahead of border fencing, observed a suspicious item in the farming field near Wan village at around 4:40 pm on Saturday.

Further, during the detailed search of the area, the BSF troops recovered a drone from the farming field ahead of the border fence, according to the official statement.

As per the release, the recovered drone was a ‘Made in China’ quadcopter (Model: JI Mavic 3 Classic).

In the recent past, there have been multiple attempts at cross-border smuggling of contraband items with the help of such drones and BSF and the Punjab police have foiled multiple such attempts.

Earlier, on the intervening nights of November 14 and 15, the BSF recovered another China-made Pakistani quadcopter drone in Tarn Taran district.

The Central Armed Police Force intercepted the movement of a suspected drone near the Village Mianwali District of Tarn Taran. As per the laid-down drill, BSF troops immediately reached out to intercept the drone. (ANI)

ALSO READ: BSF Seizes China-made Drones in Drug Smuggling Crackdown

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Uyghurs Protest at UN Against China’s Actions

The protesters held posters and placards that read, “Independence is the only way forward for East Turkistan” and “Stop China’s Uyghur genocide.”…reports Asian Lite News

Members of the Uyghur community, guided by the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE), staged a demonstration outside the United Nations headquarters in the US, highlighting China’s perceived hypocrisy. The Uyghurs called on the international community to confront the China-East Turkistan conflict and “take action against China’s continuous campaign involving colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan.”

The protest was held simultaneously as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi led a UNSC meeting on the Israel-Hamas conflict and “served to expose China’s hypocrisy and denounce its colonial and genocidal policies in Occupied East Turkistan.” The protesters held posters and placards that read, “Independence is the only way forward for East Turkistan” and “Stop China’s Uyghur genocide.”

In the press release, the East Turkistan Government in Exile stated that the protest was not only a show of resistance but a powerful statement against the hypocrisy of the Chinese government. It said that Wang Yi in his address advocated for the “right of the Palestinian people to statehood” and “their right to existence.” However, China wages a brutal campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan with the goal to stop the restoration of East Turkistan’s independence.

The East Turkistan Government in Exile said that the duplicity was the central theme of the East Turkistani protest. East Turkistan Government in Exile’s Foreign Minister, Salih Hudayar, participated in the protest and expressed his outrage at China’s duplicity.

In the press release, Salih Hudayar said, “The hypocrisy of the Chinese government, which calls for recognition and support of Palestinian statehood while simultaneously opposing and denying East Turkistani statehood and the most basic human rights to the people of East Turkistan, must be exposed and challenged.”

“The global community cannot claim to stand for justice and peace while allowing such blatant double standards to persist,” he added.

The protest represented a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for East Turkistan’s freedom. Mamtimin Ala, President of the East Turkistan Government in Exile, who was not present at the protest, reiterated East Turkistan’s call for the international community’s support, according to the press release.

Mamtimin Ala said, “The East Turkistani people have shown unwavering determination in their fight for independence. It’s high time the international community recognizes and actively supports East Turkistani people’s right to statehood and struggle for decolonization and independence.”

The East Turkistan Government in Exile urged governments, international bodies, and all advocates for justice to join in solidarity with East Turkistan and take measures towards resolving the China-East Turkistan conflict

ALSO READ: Uyghur Inmates in Keriye Prison Forced into Farm Labor

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Kissinger’s Demise: Xi Extends Condolences to Biden

Kissinger died on Wednesday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 100…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday conveyed his condolences to US President Joe Biden over the demise of Henry Kissinger, a former US Secretary of State and a key player in thawing tensions between China and the US in 1972, the Global Times reported.

Kissinger died on Wednesday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 100, The Washington Post reported.

Xi sent his deepest sympathies and best wishes to Kissinger’s family on behalf of the Chinese government and people, as well as in his name.

According to the Global Times, Xi Jinping, in his message, said Kissinger was a world-renowned strategist and an old friend and good friend of the Chinese people.

With an outstanding strategic vision, Kissinger made historic contributions to the normalisation of China-US relations, which has not only benefited the two countries but also changed the world, Xi said.

Xi further said that “Kissinger had made it his lifelong pursuit to promote the development of China-US relations and enhance the friendship between the two peoples, and his name will always be associated with China-US relations,” according to Global Times.

Following Kissinger’s secret trip to China in 1971, a foundation was laid for then-US President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China the following year and the eventual normalisation of US-China ties was also made possible by him.

The top US diplomat, who was born in Germany, has since made over 100 trips to China, with the most recent trip occurring in July 2023, Global Times reported.

Kissinger’s death was announced in a statement by his consulting firm, which did not mention the cause. Kissinger, a scholar, statesman and celebrity diplomat held unparalleled power over US foreign policy during the administrations of US Presidents – Richard M Nixon and Gerald Ford and afterwards as a consultant and writer, shared opinions that shaped global politics and business, according to The Washington Post report.

Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born in Germany’s Furth on May 27, 1923. He was 12 years old when the Nuremberg Laws stripped Germany’s Jews of their citizenship. Sponsored by a relative in New York, Kissinger and his family left Germany and moved to the US in August 1938. He became Henry after he moved to the US.

As the only person ever to be White House National Security Advisor and US Secretary of State at the same time, he had control over US foreign policy that has rarely been equalled by anyone who was not the president, The Washington Post reported.

Kissinger and Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the secret negotiations that led to the 1973 Paris Agreement and ended the participation of the US military in the Vietnam War. His “shuttle diplomacy” after the 1973 Middle East war helped stabilise ties between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

With his German accent, incisive wit, owlish looks and zest for socialising in Hollywood, he was instantly recognised across the world. When he was appointed US Secretary of State, a Gallup poll found him to be the most admired person in the country, the report said.

Even in his final years, he continued to write books and participate in conferences and parties. In July 2023, at the age of 100, Kissinger visited China. During his visit to China, he received a warm welcome from senior Chinese officials, who praised him for being a statesman unrivalled in the US.

His visit to Beijing came amid strained ties between the US and China.

Notably, the ties between the US and China became strained after then-US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022, which China claims part of its territory. (ANI)

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Xi Intensifies Push for Taiwan’s Absorption into Mainland China

The Taipei government is, however, planning a democratic presidential election on January 13, a three-way race in which voters consider an outcome that could well define the island’s future…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese President Xi Jinping has redoubled efforts to build pressure to force Taiwan’s absorption into mainland China, CNN reported, adding that the country is sending warships and warplanes ever closer to Taiwan, even into and through its airspace.

The Taipei government is, however, planning a democratic presidential election on January 13, a three-way race in which voters consider an outcome that could well define the island’s future, according to the report.

Further, according to CNN, this is happening with determined American political, diplomatic and military support, including Biden being clearer than previous presidents that the US will defend Taiwan.

Despite GOP foot-dragging in Congress, Biden has included funding for Taiwan as well as Ukraine and Israel in a new aid package — an all-but-unprecedented effort at American assistance for democracies under threat.

The US President has managed the relationship with Beijing rather than rupturing it in ways that could be dangerous. He recently succeeded in reopening military-to-military channels of communication with China for the first time since Beijing severed them after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August 2022.

China’s military recently released an animation depicting the journey to reunite two halves of a torn scroll across the Taiwan Strait, according to CNN.

This comes as a reference to the country’s longstanding goal of “reunification” with the democratic, self-ruled island.

The Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) released the animation to mark National Day, the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and is the latest short film to capitalize on nationalist sentiment over historic Chinese treasures held overseas.

China’s ruling Communist Party claims Taiwan, home to 24 million residents, as its territory — despite never having controlled it. It has long vowed to “reunify” Taiwan with the Chinese mainland, by force if necessary. (ANI)

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