Views Digest

September, 2013

  • 28 September

    China Goes West, to Kazakhstan’s Benefit

      It is no coincidence that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Kazakhstan accorded with the start of commercial output from the Kashagan field, arguably the biggest oil and gas field in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region. At the Palace of Independence in Astana, President Xi and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since independence, signed 22 trade …

  • 28 September

    Iran to Unveil New Submarine, UAVs, Fighter Jets

      Over the last few days Iranian defense and military leaders have announced that they will soon unveil a slew of new domestically built weapon systems, including submarines, advanced torpedoes, surveillance and possibly combat UAVs, fighter jets and various kinds of missiles. Shortly after taking over the Defense Ministry, for instance, Hossein Dehqan announced that Iran would be unveiling a …

  • 28 September

    China Finds the Lost Kingdom

      One of the most isolated regions in Asia, Mustang lies in the north of Nepal, nestled between the Chinese border on the Tibetan plateau and the Nepalese provinces of Dolop and Manang on the other. For centuries, this land has been closely linked by language and culture to Tibet. Indeed, many believe that Tibetan culture, region and traditions are …

  • 27 September

    US and Chinese Interests Align in Pakistan

      Although Barack Obama and Xi Jinping sported wide grins and open collars at a June summit in California, the forced collegial atmosphere didn’t pass the smell test. “There is enormous scope for future cooperation between China and the U.S.” President Xi told skeptical reporters at a press conference following the bilateral meeting. The cordial rhetoric proved unconvincing to the assembled press corps, …

  • 27 September

    Worldwide Solar Power Installations to Overtake Wind

      This article was published by the Center for American Progress Action. In 2013, more global solar photovoltaic capacity will be installed than wind power capacity — the first year that’s ever happened, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). There are several distinct forms of solar power — such as thermal solar, which is used to heat water, or concentrated solar, which augments thermal …

  • 27 September

    Enforcing Peace in Pakistan’s Largest City

      Having obtained consensus from all the political parties for a dialogue with those terrorists who are misusing religion as a platform, the Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan turned its attention to the militant-infested crucially important city of Karachi. Law and order being a provincial subject, the federal government cannot deal directly with the problem without sending the provincial government …

  • 27 September

    A Sugar Rush That Could Fuel The Indian Economy

      The public and media were outraged recently after a suggestion that petrol (gas) stations could be closed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. to curb consumption. Oil import is the heaviest burden on India’s foreign exchange, at $144 billion last year. The situation could get worse, given the potential for an increase in crude prices with further destabilization in …

  • 26 September

    Obamacare Will Cost Much Less Than Expected

      This article was published by the Center for American Progress Action. When uninsured Americans begin enrolling in Obamacare’s new health care exchanges on Oct. 1, the overwhelming majority — 95 percent — will face health care premiums that are 16 percent lower, on average, than the government had previously projected, according to a new report released on Wednesday by the Obama administration. …

  • 26 September

    Uncertain Future of Myanmar’s Democratic Reforms

      John Blaxland recently acknowledged that return to military rule in Myanmar is becoming an increasingly marginal (but not impossible) prospect. The expected international and domestic retaliatory actions to a return to military rule in Myanmar are a major deterrent, as they could potentially derail Myanmar’s political stability, economic development and threaten important cease-fires. This, combined with an entrenched position in the …

  • 26 September

    Pakistan’s Dismal Education Prospects

      The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child recently published a report noting that Pakistan has the world’s second-largest number of children out of school, while in April 2012 UNICEF indicated that some 20 million Pakistani children, including an estimated 7.3 million of primary school age, are not in school. This phenomenon is one of the by-products …