National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia— The First edition of the Eurasian Research on Modern China-Eurasia Conference was held on October 26-27, 2018. This conference was organized by “‘China-Eurasia’ Council for Political and Strategic Research”, Foundation, Armenia and Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia. It was supported by the Diplomatic Foundation of Armenia and the Transport Project Implementation Organization, Armenia and Modern Diplomacy, Greece.
The Academician, Prof., Dr. Sci. Ruben Safrastyan (Director, Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences) opened the China-Eurasia Conference with his key note speech on the current situation of Chinese studies in Armenia. He emphasized the importance of this conference, mentioning that it would be very important to testify researches on China’s relations with the other Eurasian countries.
In turn, Dr. Mher Sahakyan (Founding head of the Eurasian Research on Modern China-Eurasia Conference and the Head of the “‘China-Eurasia” Council for Political and Strategic Research”) in his speech mentioned, that the main aim of this conference was providing a platform for researchers who do research on China-Eurasia relations. The Conference was an occasion to facilitate exchanges on common research subjects, compare perspectives and methodologies and promote interdisciplinary dialogue.
Dr. Robert Ghazaryan, Deputy Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, NAS, Armenia, co-organizer of this conference, mentioned that the research on China’s modern policy in the Eurasian region has important political, economic and scientific significance for the political and analytical circles of the Republic of Armenia.
Among speakers were Dr.Ma Bin (Fudan University, China), Connor Judge (PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London, Great Britain),Dr.Srdjan Uljevic (American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyz Republic), Dr.June Wang (City University of Hong Kong, China), Dr.Anna Zalinyan (Anania Shirakatsy Lyceum, Armenia), Zachary Paikin (University of Kent, Great Britain, Senior Editor at Global Brief Magazine), Dr.Anatoly Tsvyk(RUDN University, Russia),Konstantin Tasits (Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Russia), Dr.Jukka Aukia(University of Turku, Finland), Dr. Uzma Siraj (Federal Urdu University Islamabad, Pakistan), Dr. Mher Sahakyan (“China-Eurasia” Council for Political and Strategic Research, Armenia), Dr.Ma Xiaoyun (Party School of CPC Tongling Municipal Committee, China), Gabriel de Rezende Piccinini(University of Minho, Portugal; Brazil), Dr. Anahit Parzyan (“‘China-Eurasia’ Council for Political and Strategic Research”, Foundation, Armenia), Dr. Robert Tumanyan (Hunan University, China), Izabella Muradyan(Chinese Centre Culture and Science, Armenia),Luiza Grigoryan (European University in Armenia),Dai Yulong (PhD Candidate, Nanjing University, China), Dr. Vakhtang Charaia (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia),Gabriela Radu (Strategic Analyst, Romania),Saren Abgaryan (PhD Candidate, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China), Dr. Shota Gulbani(Caucasus International University Georgia), Andranik Hovhannisyan (PhD Student, Russian-Armenian University, Armenia),Oganesyan Arusyak(PhD Candidate, RUDN University, Russia), KhubrikovBadma (Buryat State University, Russia).
Among invited honorable guests of the conference were Ambassador of the Kazakhstan in Armenia, H.E. Mr. Timur Urazaev, Academician-Secretary of the Department of Armenology and Social Sciences, Prof., Dr. Sci. Yuri Suvaryan, Mr.Dmitry Semenovich, Senior Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus and others.
The conference was an important international contribution on modern China-Eurasia Research, as it stood an important academician platform for the scholars to present and discuss contemporary issues related to China’s political and economic relations with Eurasian countries.
UNIDO and Kenya to increase cooperation for inclusive and sustainable industrial development
LI Yong, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), arrived for a two day official visit to Kenya where he will meet numerous high-level government and private sector representatives, including H. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the Africa Heads of State and Government who are also Champions for the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).
During his official visit, LI Yong will also meet with the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with whom he will have the opportunity to discuss stronger collaboration, including through UNIDO’s Programme for Country Partnership (PCP), the Organization’s innovative model for accelerating inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Further, the UNIDO Director General will meet key private sector representatives, including from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and will pay a visit to the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI). The two day visit will allow LI Yong to also meet with donors and development partners, including the UN Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) as well as, inter alia, the Head of Development Cooperation and Acting Ambassador of the EU delegation to Kenya and the Ambassador of Italy to Kenya.
UN Security Council discusses Kashmir- China urges India and Pakistan to ease tensions
The Security Council considered the volatile situation surrounding Kashmir on Friday, addressing the issue in a meeting focused solely on the dispute, within the UN body dedicated to resolving matters of international peace and security, for the first time since 1965.
Although the meeting took place behind closed doors in New York, the Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, spoke to reporters outside the chamber following deliberations, urging both India and Pakistan to “refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate” what was an already “tense and very dangerous” situation.
The Indian-administered part of the majority-Muslim region, known as Jammu and Kashmir had its special status within the constitution revoked by the Indian Government on 5 August, placing it under tighter central control. Pakistan has argued that the move violates international law.
The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area, which both countries claim in its entirety, with the areas under separate administration, divided by a so-called Line of Control. The UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on any ceasefire violations.
“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter…and applicable Security Council resolutions”, said the statement. “The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means”, in accordance with the UN Charter.
Ambassador Zhang said Council members had “expressed their serious concern” concerning the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir…The Kashmir issue should be resolved properly through peaceful means, in accordance with the UN Charter, the relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.”
Pakistan requested the Security Council meeting on 13 August, and it was subsequently called for by Permament Member, China.
Speaking to reporters outside the chamber, Pakistan’s Ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi said the meeting had allowed “the voice of the people of the occupied Kashmir” to be heard “in the highest diplomatic forum of the world.” She argued that “the fact that this meeting took place, is testimony to the fact that this is an international dispute.”
She said that “as far as my country is concerned, we stand ready for a peaceful settlement of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. I think today’s meeting nullifies India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter for India. Today the whole world is discussing the occupied state and the situation there.”
Speaking a few minutes later, India’s Ambassador, Syed Akbaruddin, said that “our national position was, and remains, that matters related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, are entirely an internal matter of India…The recent decisions taken by the Government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, socio-economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.”
He said that the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir had announced measures which would return the region towards a state of “normalcy”
“India remains committed to ensure that the situation there remains calm and peaceful. We are committed to all the agreements that we have signed on this issue.”
But without naming names, he stated that “of particular concern is that one state is using terminology of jihad against and promoting violence in India, including by their leaders”, adding that India was committed to the principle “that all issues between India and Pakistan, as well as India and any other country, will be resolved bilaterally, peacefully, and in a manner that behooves normal inter-state relations between countries.”
ADB to Help Drive Modernization in First Loan for Sri Lanka’s Railway Sector
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $160 million loan to modernize the operations and improve the efficiency of Sri Lanka Railways, the country’s railway operator, by upgrading its infrastructure and technical capacity. This is ADB’s first loan in Sri Lanka’s railway sector.
“There is a need to improve public transportation in Sri Lanka to serve a growing population, expected to reach 25 million by 2050,” said ADB Transport Specialist Mr. Johan Georget. “An improved railway system will help promote the development of services and industries across Sri Lanka, as well as put the railway as a viable transportation mode of choice for the people. This is particularly the case in suburban Colombo, where the impacts of traffic congestion are strongly felt by all road commuters as vehicle numbers have doubled between 2008 and 2018, while rail commuters often face overcrowded trains.”
Sri Lanka Railways moves 136.7 million passengers and 2 million tons of goods annually. However, the market share of the railway sector has progressively declined over the years, while the country’s railway infrastructure is overdue for significant upgrades and modernization. The network’s signaling and telecommunication systems are outdated, and the paper tickets are manually printed for all ticket classes and station pairs. Sri Lanka Railways owns 250 diesel locomotives and multiple units, but only about three-quarters of them are operational and half of the fleet is more than 30 years old.
The Railway Efficiency Improvement Project will finance the modernization of the country’s railway system in several aspects to improve the operations, maintenance, safety, skills development, and technical capacity of Sri Lanka Railways. The project will provide a modern multichannel—paper, mobile, and smart card—ticketing system, and will also install a state-of-the-art telecommunications system, which will replace the original system installed in 1985, and allow for two-way communications with train drivers and reduce train delays. The project will also finance a new operations headquarters and train control center, provide infrastructure and equipment for the maintenance of track and rolling stock, and improve railway safety. The technical training center of Sri Lanka Railways will be upgraded and new courses will be developed to provide future graduates with knowledge of modern railway technologies.
The project will also strengthen the capacity and readiness for future railway projects. This will include a detailed study for the Kandy suburban railway network; a study on transit-oriented development and land value capture; the preparation of a railway asset inventory and a land management strategy; and the modernization of the information technology and maintenance capacity of Sri Lanka Railways.
The total cost of the project is $192 million, with the Government of Sri Lanka providing $32 million. The expected project completion date is the end of 2024.
In Myanmar, Better Oversight of Forests a Vital Step in Transition to Rule of Law
Authors: Art Blundell and Khin Saw Htay For the first time, the Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MEITI) has opened...
Presidential elections – 2020, or does Trump have “federal reserve”?
On July 31, the US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee cut interest rates – the first such move in 11...
Short Letter vs. Long Telegram: US Ambassador Huntsman Departs Moscow
The resignation of US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman is a good occasion to take stock of one of the...
Internship tips from an intern who became an owner and CEO
Internships can be a valuable opportunity to start your full-time working career, and change your life. Fatih Ozmen went from...
Abrogation of Article 370 and Indian Plan for Plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir
Since 2014 India is being ruled by a Hindu ultra-nationalist party of Bhartiya Jannta Party (BJP) and extremist Narendra Modi...
Addressing Economic Challenges in Africa Through Deep Investments
The African continent comprises a diverse collection of countries, each with its own set of challenges. The governance of individual...
The Threat to Life from Ocean Microplastics
Authors: Meena Miriam Yust and Arshad Khan When Chelsea Rochman at the University of Toronto and colleagues began their study on medakas...
Middle East1 day ago
“Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen.”
South Asia2 days ago
The Likely Outcome of Narendra Modi’s Unconstitutional Seizure of Kashmir
Americas3 days ago
U.S.-North Korea Nuclear War: Assessing Plausible Risks
East Asia2 days ago
Deeper meanings of the Hong Kong protests: Is China a gamechanger or yet another winner?
Defense2 days ago
Kashmir: A Nuclear Flash Point
Middle East2 days ago
Business and boxing: two sides of the same coin
Americas1 day ago
The third Fox News shock to Trump
South Asia2 days ago
Indian Subcontinent Independence and Economies Lagging Counterparts