Saturday, May 16, 2015
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed the notion that China' s proposals including the Asia Security concept and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are geared to squeeze the United States outside Asia.
"We always believe that Asia should be an open and inclusive Asia," Wang said. "The U.S. is an important country in the Asia-Pacific region, and we welcome the positive and constructive role of the U.S. in Asia- Pacific affairs."
Wang made the remarks when answering a journalist' s question in regard of the view that the recent Chinese proposals including the AIIB are geared to challenge the position and role of the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region and squeeze the United States outside Asia, following his talks with visiting U.S. Secretary John Kerry.
China' s proposal of setting up the AIIB, which focuses on filling the gap in infrastructure investment in Asia, received widespread support. A total of 57 countries have submitted applications to be the founding members of AIIB.
"Among them 23 are from regions outside of Asia." Wang said. This demonstrates China' s efforts in putting its belief that Asia should be an open and inclusive Asia into practical actions.
In response to China' s proposal of AIIB, Kerry said the U.S. welcomes the AIIB and encourages the AIIB to allocate a significant percentage of its resources to clean and renewable energy and sustainable environmental projects, which he discussed during the talks with Wang.
Recent time has seen increasing interactions and cooperation between China and the U.S., with frequent high-level visits by officials from the two countries.
Kerry said there are three key meetings that China and the U.S. are working together for preparations, namely the 7th round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June, the summit between Chinese president Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in September, and the Paris Conference on climate change in December.
Despite some differences between U.S. and China, both Wang and Kerry believe that they can seek common ground and narrow their differences through talks.
"It is OK to have differences, as long as we can avoid misunderstanding and more importantly miscalculations." Wang said.
Hindustan Times Foreign Editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri explains whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Mongolia remains a courtesy visit or is actually slated to further bilateral cooperation in diverse areas. On the second leg of his visit, Modi will visit Mongolia and meet Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorjto, thereby becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country. Finally, he will conclude his three-nation tour with a visit to South Korea to boast bilateral ties and invite companies to 'Make in India'.
In a prisoner swap this week, a militant group released 19 of 31 Afghan Hazara men kidnapped in February. The kidnapping raised fears in this minority community of being targeted in sectarian attacks.
By Chris Cillizza
"The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend," President Obama said Friday in the aftermath of the death of legendary musician B.B. King.
Obama actually joined King on stage at the White House back in February 2012 to sing a few bars of "Sweet Home Chicago". King as well as Ry Cooder, Mick Jagger and many others were at the executive mansion for a celebration of the blues, one in a series of concerts held at the White House to honor American music.
As WaPo music critic Chris Richards wrote at the time: "Previous performances in the series have saluted the music of the civil rights era, Motown and Broadway, as well as jazz, country (twice), classical and Latin music. Now, to mark Black History Month, the Obamas honored the blues, arguably the most influential of any American musical genre."
As summit meetings usually do, this one concluded with an upbeat joint statement, reaffirming a “strong partnership” between the United States and the gulf states, Sunni-dominated nations that consider Shiite Iran their main adversary. This could not, however, conceal sharp and persistent differences over a deal that is intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions.
American officials assured the gulf leaders that “the objective is to deny Iran the ability to obtain a nuclear weapon,” but The Associated Press quoted Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, warning, “It would be too early to prejudge what we accept, what we don’t accept.”
The most overt evidence of the unsettled ties between the United States and its longstanding Arab allies was a decision by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to stay home, after the White House announced he would be at the meeting. Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, also a no-show, chose to attend a horse show in Britain. A more ominous sign of tension was the threat by Saudi Arabia — and to a lesser extent, other Arab states — to match whatever nuclear enrichment capability Iran is allowed to keep under the agreement. “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, said recently in Seoul, South Korea.
It is hard to see how threatening and snubbing a president who is offering crucial assistance to the Saudi-led war in Yemen and who still has two years left in office advances Arab interests. Even so, Mr. Obama could have done a better job of calming Arab insecurities long before he invited the gulf leaders to Camp David.
The Sunni Arabs have two main worries. One is that the nuclear agreement with Iran would leave Iran with a limited capability to produce nuclear fuel for energy and medical purposes, instead of ending it outright. They also worry that Iran’s re-entry into the international community after decades of isolation would mean that Washington’s loyalties would henceforth be divided and that America could no longer be counted on to defend them.
Mr. Obama tried to address that in the joint statement, which declared, “The United States policy to use all elements of power to secure our core interests in the Gulf region, and to deter and confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War, is unequivocal.” But he stopped short, and wisely so, of offering a formal pact similar to the NATO treaty that some Arab leaders had wanted but that could drag the United States into Middle East conflicts.
There is little doubt that the regional landscape, politically and diplomatically, is shifting. Senior American and Iranian officials, who had no contact after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, now hold regular negotiations. International business is poised to take advantage of Iran’s investment potential once sanctions are lifted, pumping billions of dollars into Iran’s ravaged economy.
Nevertheless, it is perverse for Arab leaders who once considered Iran’s nuclear program their gravest threat to complain about a deal intended to diminish that threat. A more rational fear is that when sanctions are lifted, Iran, which is causing trouble in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, will have more resources with which to expand its influence.
Administration officials have a reasonable comeback: They say Iran is far more likely to use the money freed up by the lifting of sanctions to meet accumulated domestic needs. They argue that many of Iran’s recent political gains owed more to the weakness of disintegrating states like Yemen than to Iran’s inherent strength. And they seem pretty clear-eyed about the fact that while a nuclear deal may open room for cooperation with Iran on other issues, Iran’s long history of bad behavior argues strongly for caution in all dealings with Tehran.
A verifiable nuclear deal that limits Iran’s abilities has the best chance of keeping Iran from a nuclear weapon. The solution definitely does not lie in threats by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to build up their own nuclear capabilities, which could set off a new arms race and inflame the region even more.
Pakistan has been placed at number 10 out of 19 countries in the list of 'The Failed State Index: Most vulnerable countries, 2014', compiled by the 'Fund for Peace', a Washington based international NGO, which was founded in 1957 and works to prevent violent conflict and promotes sustainable security. While South Sudan has been ranked number one as a failed state and Afghanistan number seven, Iraq stood at number thirteen. Each country is ranked according to twelve economic, social political and military indicators.Pakistan's appearing in the list of failed states collated by a credible American NGO of 50 years' standing is plausible.
- See more at: http://www.merinews.com/article/pakistan-manifestation-of-failed-state/15906469.shtml#sthash.iLxpiQzF.dpuf