Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘tajikistan’

Putin promotes ‘Eurasian Schengen’ in first program article

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

Vladimir Putin has proposed the creation of a new international power nexus between Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in an article in the Izvestia daily.

The Izvestia article, published on Tuesday, mainly covers the economic dimension of the proposed union, but also touches upon the political aspects of the project.

Putin writes that the creation of the joint economic space in 2012 is an integration project of prime importance and will constitute a historic landmark not only for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but for all countries in the post-Soviet space.

“We suggest creating a powerful supra-national union capable of becoming a pole in the modern world, and at the same time an effective connection between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region.”

The Prime Minister also states that the Customs Union started in 2011 and the anticipated joint economic space would form the basis for a future Eurasian Economic Union and later the Eurasian Union – a political organization similar to the European Union today.

The Russian Prime Minister describes the Eurasian Union as an open project. “We welcome other partners to join it, first of all the countries of the Commonwealth [of Independent States], but we are not going to hurry or push anyone,”Putin writes. Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s Security Chief Goes on Tour—How Is Asia Reacting?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 24, 2011

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Over the past week, as I’ve traveled across Asia, I’ve discovered an unlikely partner in my continental peregrinations:

China's Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang arrives for a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 17, 2011. (Photo: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters)

China’s security chief Zhou Yongkang. The senior Chinese envoy’s travels have taken him to Nepal, Laos, Cambodia and Tajikistan. The final stop is Mongolia, where Zhou is expected to head on Tuesday.

In Zhou’s wake, the narrative has tended to follow the same plot-line: first, China’s state media proclaims “mutually beneficial cooperation” and “longstanding friendship” between Beijing and the local government. Then a raft of trade deals or bequeathing of military goodies is announced. Finally, an undercurrent of unease follows, with regional analysts wondering about China’s growing economic and security might.

Last Saturday, Zhou was in Cambodia, where he met with Prime Minister Hun Sen. In addition to various mining, road-construction and farming deals, China has agreed to supply nearly $200 million in helicopters to Cambodia. Beijing is already the Southeast Asian nation’s largest foreign investor, and Hun Sen, who has quietly evolved into one of Asia’s longest-serving strongmen, has been vociferous in his support of China. His enthusiasm for Chinese largesse stands in marked contrast to his feelings toward Western donors who tend to attach pesky strings like human-rights commitments to their aid. The Phnom Penh Post quoted a local researcher worrying that “Cambodia will become subservient to China.” Read the rest of this entry »

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