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Links 1 through 10 of 328 by Keith Porter tagged china

Chinese involvement in North Africa shows no signs of slowing down as the economic giant continues its hunt for resources.

The first country in North Africa to establish diplomatic ties and cooperative relations with China is today also the State with the deepest ties in the region to the Republic.

Egypt, although not as rich in natural resources as its neighbors, has developed a relationship with China based more on technological exchange, development of economic zones and infrastructure construction.

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Established in 1985, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) had its 16th summit meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan, late last month. Apart from the fact that Bhutan hosted its first SAARC summit, there was hardly anything that inspired confidence in this largely moribund organization that is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding this year.

Covering at least 1.5 billion people across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan, SAARC is one of the largest regional organizations in the world. But its achievements so far have been so minimal that even its constituents have become lackadaisical in their attitudes toward it. The state of regional cooperation in South Asia can be gleaned from the fact that Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani went to Bhutan via Nepal, using Chinese territory in Tibet rather than the straightforward route through India.

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In the past two weeks, Chinese leaders have tangled with the United States over the following issues: Iran sanctions, climate change, arms sales to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama, cyberattacks, military modernization and exchange rates.

A single sentence in the Pentagon's 105-page Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) this week even elicited a Chinese reaction. The QDR report said China's military development raises "legitimate questions" about its future conduct and intentions. Pentagon planners have regularly made that point in the past, but Beijing immediately announced its "dissatisfaction" with the comment.

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As China and India look to recover from the 2009 global economic recession, India's growth ultimately might be more sustainable. The differences lie in the type of recession-fighting stimulus plans the governments chose and India's relatively limited reliance on international markets.

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New tensions arise in the long standing Kashmiri conflict between India and Pakistan over water security. India has begun to construct a dam in the Jhuleum River, a river allocated to Pakistan under the "Indus Water Treaty 1960." However, Pakistan has also begun dam construction in the region, with the help of the Chinese. India is concerned about the deepening role China plays in Pakistani infrastructure projects; especially after the Chinese government blocked a $60 million "Asian Development Bank" loan to help India with flood management in the Kashmir area.

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China is currently pursuing oil resources in unstable countries without regard for the political risk entailed. While that might play well in the short- to medium-term, it could cost China dearly down the line, argue Matthew Hulbert of CSS ETH in Zurich and Dr. Christian Brütsch of the University of Zurich.

eightened levels of risk in politically unstable oil-producing countries allow relatively easy access for major Chinese oil companies in markets that would otherwise be tougher nuts to crack. What better way to get your foot in the doors of oil producers than in the absence of Western counterparts?

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1: China today, say many analysts, is in a comparable position to U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century... an emerging power that the dominant global power of the time is trying to downplay. Then it was Great Britain vs. the United States. Now it is the United States vs. China.
2: China's rapid economic expansion continues to outpace growth in the United States, 8.9 percent in the last quarter versus 3.5 percent in the United States giving Beijing huge economic leverage.
3: China is on the brink of overtaking Japan as the world's second biggest economy and could overtake by some estimates (PricewaterhouseCoopers) the U.S. economy in overall size (though not GDP a head) by 2025 and be 130 percent bigger than the U.S. economy by 2050

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The problem is similar, if less extreme, for the world’s other rising powers. Their per capita emissions may be lower than China’s and NGOs less terrified of offending them. But still, a country like India has 17% of the world’s population – which gives it quite a stake in our collective future. It is also massively vulnerable to a changing climate (especially as a lack of water disrupts food production). But yet India is notoriously rubbish at international climate talks. So all the more credit to Malini Mehra, from the Center for Social Markets, for her persistent (and unusual) attempts to shine a light on India’s failings. “In recent months, India has sought to challenge its image overseas, and in growing quarters at home, as recalcitrant and obstructionist on climate change,” she writes in her latest critique.

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The world's largest country has a long way to go, but there's no question it's changing for the better.

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China overtook the United States as South Africa's biggest export destination in the first half of 2009, reinforcing the Asian country's push to build trade links with Africa. South African Trade and Industry Department data also showed on Friday that China replaced Germany as its largest country trade partner. The European Union remains, by far, South Africa's largest regional trading partner for both imports and exports.Data for South Africa -- Africa's biggest economy -- showed exports to China stood at R27,6-billion for the year to June, against R35,8-billion for the whole of 2008.Exports to the US were R19,1-billion compared with R66,5-billion for 2008.

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