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Lianhe Zaobao: 27 Countries on “The Belt and Road” Have “Garbage” Level Sovereign Credit Ratings

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that a number of international studies have shown that most of the projects under China’s grand “The Belt and Road” plan do not show sound financial returns. When the top three international rating agencies ranked the 68 partner countries China included in “The Belt and Road” plan, 27 showed they suffered from “Garbage” level sovereign credit. Among the rest of the countries, 14 (including Afghanistan, Iran and Syria) either were not rated, or the respective governments withdrew their rating requests. “The Belt and Road” plan estimates that, over a ten year period, it will achieve a spending level of US$1.2 trillion on such infrastructure projects as railways, roads, ports, and power grids. Financial and banking experts suggested that it would be a better idea to classify the plan as a geopolitical investment rather than a profitable financial program. China has so far spent or committed to spend over US$500 billion, which does not include large commercial bank loans. The source for most of this spending is China-backed investment funds.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, October 28, 2017
http://www.zaobao.com.sg/finance/china/story20171028-806533

RFI Chinese: Chinese Drug Lords Replace South Americans as Primary U.S. Drug Suppliers

Radio France Internationale (RFI) recently reported that U.S. President Trump declared national public health emergencies twice this year because of the opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, China is the supplier of almost the entire source of opioid type drugs, the main one being Fentanyl. Fentanyl is around ten times stronger than Heroin. Proven records show that at least 12 Chinese drug companies have had online commercials claiming they could export Fentanyl to the United States and Canada for US$2,750 per kilogram. Most of the Chinese Fentanyl was first shipped to Mexico and then smuggled into the United States. The Chinese supplied all of the opioid drugs that a recently captured New York 34-person drug dealership retailed. In fact, all of the drug cartels that were cracked down on this year sourced their opioid drugs from China. The latest illegal marijuana-planting group arrested in California after the state’s legalization of marijuana was Chinese and Chinese sources funded the group.

Source: RFI Chinese, October 31, 2017
http://bit.ly/2A85LSA

North Korean Nuclear Test Site Collapses Causing 200 Deaths

Major Taiwanese news group Eastern Media International recently reported, based on sources from North Korea, South Korea, and Japan that North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site suffered a major mountain structural change. This resulted in large-scale collapses of the underground tunnels for nuclear tests. North Korea completed its sixth nuclear test on September 3. A collapse occurred around September 10 burying around 100 workers. During the rescue mission, a second collapse took the lives of roughly another 100, mainly rescue staff. South Korean officials thought that, after the last test, the nuclear site had a big hole, the size of around 100 meters. If North Korea conducts more nuclear tests under the current conditions, serious radioactive leaks may occur. Three small scale earthquakes occurred after the last nuclear test. Scientists expressed the belief that structural collapses caused those quakes.

Sources: Eastern Media International, October 31, 2017
https://www.ettoday.net/news/20171031/1042620.htm

Global Times: Russia Delivered S-400 Missiles to China

Global Times recently reported that Russia’s latest air defense missile system, the S-400 “Growler” (NATO name: SA-21) was a huge success and has been threatening the U.S. Patriot air defense missile’s market share even among U.S allies, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia. According to the U.S. magazine The National Interest, the efficiency of the Russian S-400 has been “a game changer in the Middle East.” The S-400 can destroy any missiles within a range of 40 to 400 kilometers. It is designed to shoot down long-range reconnaissance aircraft. With the help of special radar, an S-400 can detect stealth fighter jets as well. There is no Patriot model that can match S-400’s capabilities. China was the first country that reached a deal with Russia for a supply of the S-400 supply; not long-ago Russia delivered the first shipment of that deal. This recent delivery was enough of a supply to equip several regiments.

Sources:
1. Global Times, October 28, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-10/11340625.html
2. The National Interest, “Russia’s S-400 Is a Game Changer in the Middle East, October 17, 2017                                http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russias-s-400-game-changer-the-middle-east-america-should-22760

 

CRN: Xi Jinping Set Six “Must-Do” Requirements for High Ranking Military Officials

China Review News (CRN) recently reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping attended an important meeting with high ranking military leaders immediately after the new generation of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission (chaired by Xi) was formed. Xi delivered a speech at the meeting setting six “must-do” disciplines for all high ranking military officials. The top requirement is loyalty to the Party and obeying the Party’s commands. Next to the top must-do comes the strict capability to win battles and wars. The third is to have passion for military reforms and innovation. As the forth must-do, Xi asked for scientific coordination and management. Next, he also wanted to push strong discipline and toughness in administration. Lastly, the speech demanded military “leadership by example,” and with high spirits. Xi’s “new era” military strategy focuses on strengthening military power. The improvement plan will take a top-down approach and start with high ranking generals. Political loyalty is repeatedly emphasized as the key competence for all members of the military leadership team.

Source: China Review News, October 29, 2017
http://bj.crntt.com/doc/1048/6/0/3/104860379.html?coluid=4&kindid=21&docid=104860379&mdate=1029111643

LTN: The FBI Nearly Arrested Chinese Officials

The major Taiwanese news source, Liberty Times Network (LTN), recently reported that China sent four State Security officials to the United States in May to try to convince the exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui to return to China. One of the four agents was Liu Yanping, Secretary of the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Ministry of State Security. The Chinese government asked Guo to stop talking about topics involving political scandal, as he had been doing for months. The FBI followed the Chinese agents for their entire trip and nearly arrested them before they boarded their return flight. However, because the White House, the State Department, the Department of Justice, and the Pentagon could not reach an agreement on this action, they called off the arrest. In the end, the FBI did confiscate the cell phones that belonged to the Chinese officials. The U.S. government decided to protect Guo Wengui, due to his deep insider knowledge of Chinese politics, and because of his use as a “bargaining chip.”

Source: Liberty Times Network, October 23, 2017
http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/2231269

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