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Rapid Growth in China-Pakistan Scientific, Educational and Cultural Ties

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries.

More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language. China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. China-Pakistan relationship is becoming a truly multi-dimensional strategic relationship.   This new phenomenon is the subject of a Pakistani spice company television commercial featuring a young Chinese woman in Lahore making the popular biryani dish using Shan masala.

China-Pakistan Institute:

Headed by Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain, Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) is a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-political think-tank. Its goal is to promote people to people ties between the two nations in defense and diplomacy, education and energy, economy and environment, and with a particular focus on youth and women. PCI is working to promote discussions and in depth analyses with multi-faceted initiatives including conferences, lectures, exchange of visits, journals, e-magazines and documentaries.

Chinese Language:

The Chinese language department at Islamabad's National University of Modern Languages (NUML) has been around for nearly half a century, according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper. When it was first established in September 1970, there were only about 13 students who took the course.

In April 2005, Islamabad's Confucius Institute was established by The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), Beijing Language and Culture University, and NUML.

The interest and attendance of Chinese language courses at NUML has soared since the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The year 2017 saw 460 Pakistani students attending the courses.

China's Research Spending. Source: Nature 

Pakistani Students in China:

There are 22,000 Pakistani students attending universities in China, making it the fastest growing destination for Pakistanis studying abroad.

The United Kingdom still remains the top source of international education for Pakistanis.  46,640 students, the largest number of Pakistani students receiving international education anywhere, are doing so at Pakistani universities in joint degree programs established with British universities, according to UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Globally, China has become a more attractive destination for foreign students. It now ranks third after the US and the UK. This year, it is likely to move up to the second spot.

Foreign Students in China. Source: China Power

China's Strides in Science and Technology:

Why is China becoming a fast growing destination for foreign students, including Pakistanis studying abroad? A story in India's "The Wire" online magazine has explained it in terms of the rapid rate of China's progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields as follows:

America's National Science Foundation and National Science Board have recently released their biennial science and engineering indicators which provide detailed figures on research and development (R&D), innovation and engineers. But its true message is in a different direction, “China has become,” concludes Robert J. Samuelson in a column, “or is in the verge of becoming – a scientific and technical superpower. This is not entirely unexpected given the size of the Chinese economy and its massive investments in R&D, even so, he says, “the actual numbers are breathtaking”.

1. China is the 2nd largest spender in R&D after the US, accounting for 21% of the world total which is $2 trillion. It has been going up 18% a year, as compared to 4% in the US. An OECD report says that China could overtake the US in R&D spending by 2020.

2. China has overtaken the US in terms of total number of science publications. Technical papers have increased dramatically, even if their impact, as judged by citation indices, may not be that high.

3. The US continues to produce more PhDs and attract more foreign students. But new international enrollment at US colleges was down for the first time in the decade in 2017. The Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric and actions are scaring away students.

4. China has begun shifting from being an assembler of high-tech components, to a maker of super computers and aircraft and given the pattern of its investments in R&D and technology development, it is focusing on becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum communications, quantum computing, biotechnology and electric vehicles.

China-Pakistan Scientific Collaboration 2nd Strongest Among BRI Nat...


Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries. More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language.  China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. It is becoming a truly multi-dimensional relationship which will help Pakistan rise with China on the world stage.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on February 21, 2018 at 8:50am

Decades of economic development have enabled China’s leaders to modernize the country’s education and transformed China into a hub for international students. Whereas foreign students historically only traveled to China for language courses, students from around the world are increasingly drawn to China to enroll in technical courses and attain professional degrees. China’s economic boom has also created new opportunities for middle-class families to send their children to study abroad. Cultivating talent both at home and abroad will be critical for Chinese leaders as they push for an innovation-based economy driven by a well-educated workforce.

Surging International Students in China

More international students are flocking to China than ever before. According to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), over 440,000 foreigners studied in China in 2016 – marking a 35 percent increase from 2012. China attracts more international students than any other Asian power and ranks third globally, behind the United States and the United Kingdom.

According to China’s Ministry of Education (MOE), the total share of international students seeking higher-education degrees in China grew by 13 percent over the past 10 years, jumping from almost 55,000 students in 2006 to nearly 210,000 students in 2016. As a share of all foreign students in China in 2016, 33 percent pursued undergraduate degrees, while 14 percent pursued either Master or Doctorate degrees. Approximately 30 percent of students were enrolled in primary or secondary schools.

Over 50 percent of China’s inbound international students come from neighboring countries, such as South Korea, Thailand, and Russia. Students from South Korea alone account for almost 16 percent of all foreign students studying in China in 2016. By comparison, the United States draws nearly 80 percent of its foreign students from Asia and the Middle East.

Upwards of 40 percent of foreign students travel to China to study the Chinese language. While this figure is noteworthy, it marks a 15 percent drop compared with 2012. In general terms, the amount of foreign students pursuing non-language degrees is on the rise. Since 2012, the number of foreign students majoring in education, science, engineering, and agriculture doubled. Xu Tao, Director of the MOE’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, has stated that the most popular non-language degrees pursued by international students in China were medicine, engineering, economics and management. Most foreigners that study in China attend institutions in Beijing and Shanghai, with the two cities hosting about a third of all international students.

In recent years, the Chinese government has made a renewed push to appeal to overseas students by offering a greater range of scholarships. The number of Chinese government-funded international students witnessed an almost six-fold increase over the past ten years. In 2016, 40 percent of all new international students received sponsorship from the Chinese government.

Although China already hosts a sizable population of students from the 10 countries that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – around 68,000 in 2016 – Beijing is particularly focused on promoting closer education ties with these neighbors.  According to ASEAN-China Center’s Secretary-General Yang Xiping, “foreign students from Southeast Asian countries are the bridge and ...” For instance, China’s Jiangsu province recently launched a $45,000 USD scholarship fund to help draw ASEAN students to its academic institutions. China’s MOE has announced that it plans to set up 10 science and research centers by 2022 in countries of interest, such as Malaysia.

MOE has also pledged to establish a bilateral exchange program that, over the next several years, will annually send 2,500 Chinese students abroad and sponsor 10,000 foreign students to study in China. This pipeline of bilateral exchange may pave the way for foreign students from Belt and Road countries, who have already benefited from preferential government policies. Beijing currently offers 10,000 places each year for students whose home countries are identified as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The program has contributed to a considerable enrollment spike, with China attracting more than 200,000 students from 64 of the 68 Belt and Road countries in 2016. Of particular note is the increasing number of students coming from Pakistan, which has surged from about 9,500 students in 2012 to almost 19,000 students in 2016. Pakistan now stands as the  fifth-largest source of international students flowing into China.

Since 2006, China has sought to draw more students from Africa and develop closer ties by providing economic incentives. At the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, President Xi Jinping announced that China would implement “ten major plans” to boost cooperation with Africa, which includes supporting 30,000 African students with government scholarships. This effort by the Chinese government has seen major results. The number of African students in China grew from just 1,793 in 2003 to 61,594 in 2016.1 The greatest number of these students came from Ghana (5,552 students), Nigeria (4,746), and Tanzania (3,520).

China is now the second-most popular international destination for African students behind France, which has an African student body of over 95,000. By comparison, the U.S. and U.K. each host about 40,000 African students every year. Surveys conducted by Stellenbosch University’s Center for Chinese Studies show that economics and science degrees are the most popular among African students. Importantly, China’s drive to attract African students has left some observers to question whether these scholarships are offered as part of a larger soft-power strategy designed to promote China’s international image through educational cooperation.

Despite China’s growing appeal as a destination for overseas study, foreigners face certain restrictions within Chinese academia. A joint document issued by China’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Security, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 2017 outlines the rules and regulations for Chinese universities regarding overseas students. These restrictions include prohibiting religious gatherings and political activism. In addition, the statement sets requirements for universities and colleges to teach Chinese laws, regulations, cultures and customs to international students. It also includes compulsory courses in Chinese as well.

Chinese International Students Abroad

Due in part to its massive population of almost 1.4 billion people, China sends more students abroad than any other country. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), over 801,000 Chinese students pursued tertiary education abroad in 2016. The most popular subjects chosen by outbound Chinese students during the 2014-2015 academic year were business management (26.5 percent), engineering (19.7 percent), and math and computer science (12.4 percent).

Recently, the year-on-year growth rate of Chinese traveling abroad for education has slowed considerably from over 12 percent in 2009 to 0.1 percent in 2015. Notwithstanding this decline, the number of Chinese students abroad vastly surpasses that of other countries. India sends the second-highest number of post-secondary students abroad, but at a mere 255,000 students, which, combined with German (116,000) and French (81,000) students, is only a little more than half the total number of Chinese students abroad.

Most Chinese international students choose to study in English-speaking countries, with the U.S., Australia, and U.K. together attracting roughly 60 percent of China’s outbound students. A significant portion Chinese who study abroad prefer to stay within East Asia. In 2016, Japan and South Korea represented the 4th and 6th largest host countries, respectively. Hong Kong is also a popular choice among Mainland Chinese students due to its proximity and the prestige of its academic institutes. During the 2016-2017 academic year, universities in Hong Kong hosted over 12,000 Mainland Chinese students, which collectively constituted 12 percent of the Special Administrative Region’s total tertiary enrollment.

Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, not only has China received an influx of students from the countries associated with the initiative, but Chinese students have likewise flocked to Belt and Road countries. By the end of April 2017, 45 educational agreements had been signed between China and some of these countries. However, the outcome of these efforts is less than satisfactory in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, where the number of Chinese students in these countries has been decreasing since 2011.

The contribution made by Chinese students to overseas economies is considerable. Per the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), international students over the 2015-2016 academic year contributed a combined $32.8 billion to the U.S. economy – roughly 0.18 percent of the country’s GDP. Chinese constituted 31.9 percent of the 1.04 million international students who were stateside that year. A similar trend is present in the U.K., where international students generated £25.8 billion ($35.01 million USD) for the country in 2014-15. During that calendar year, 21.95 percent of international students in the U.K. were Chinese.

Many universities actively recruit Chinese students. Based on F-1 student visa dataprovided by the Department of Homeland Security, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Southern California and Purdue University welcomed more Chinese students in 2014-2015 than any other American universities. Chinese students have become a big market not only for American universities, but also for Japanese universities as a band-aid for their enrollment gap issue resulting from the country’s shrinking population.

The financial benefit of overseas Chinese students has afforded Beijing a certain degree of leverage over Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s University Entrance Committee for Mainland Chinese Students, Beijing halved the amount of students approved to study in Taiwan to just 1,000 students for the 2017-2018 academic year. This cut has been viewed by some as a response to growing cross-Strait tensions. This policy has hit certain private institutions particularly hard, such as Tamkang University, which is expected to lose $1.2 million over the next four years.

International Students Going Abroad and Staying Abroad

China’s ongoing economic development hinges on cultivating its domestic talent in science and technology, with President Xi Jinping going so far as to describe these sectors as “the main battlefields of the economy.” Such innovation necessitates that China retains its best and brightest, but this has historically proven difficult for Beijing. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education reported that 92 percent of Chinese who received science and technology doctorates in the U.S. in 2002 were still on American soil in 2007. According to a 2013 National Science Foundation report, 85.6 percent of Chinese science and engineering doctorate students planned to stay in the United States upon completion of their degrees, more so than recipients from other Asian countries like South Korea (67.9) or Japan (57.6 percent).

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 21, 2018 at 6:33pm

#SaudiArabia joins #Turkey and #China to Block #UnitedStates' effort to put #Pakistan on #FATF Terror Watch List - WSJ

Saudi Arabia joined Turkey and China in a move to block a U.S.-led attempt this week to place Pakistan on an international terror-financing watch list, according to officials involved in the process, in a rare disagreement between Riyadh and the Trump administration.

Saudi Arabia’s move on behalf of Pakistan came just days after Islamabad said it would send more than 1,000 troops to the Gulf kingdom, which has expanded its military posture in the region since its 2015 intervention in Yemen’s civil war.

A U.S. effort to reverse the decision on the watch list was under way Wednesday at a meeting in Paris of the Financial Action Task Force, a secretive international body that monitors countries’ efforts to fight terror financing and money-laundering, according to the officials involved in the process.

The officials said the U.S. effort, which included pressure on the Saudis, raised the possibility of a fresh vote on action against Pakistan as soon as Thursday. The Pakistanis were scrambling to shore up support.

The Trump administration, angry with what it sees as inadequate efforts by Islamabad to combat terror groups, has sought to ratchet up pressure on Pakistan. Last month it said it was withholding $2 billion in security aid until it sees much stronger action against militants. U.S. officials also accuse Pakistan’s military of supporting some jihadist groups as proxies against neighboring India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan denies those accusations and says there are no terrorist sanctuaries within its territory.

Saudi Arabia is a close U.S. ally, with its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, forming a personal bond with the family of President Donald Trump. It was Saudi Arabia’s surprise backing that secured the necessary opposing votes to block the U.S.

If U.S. lobbying is successful and the task force does end up adding Pakistan to its list of countries deemed “high risk” for doing too little to curb terror financing, banks, other lenders and international companies seeking to do business with the South Asian country could rethink financial ties, putting a damper on its already struggling economy.

The U.S. was supported in its effort to put Pakistan on the watch list by the U.K., France, Germany and other countries. The proposal was initiated at a working group, which is responsible for making recommendations to the 35 member nations and two regional groups that make up the FATF plenary. The meeting continues through Friday.

Pakistan was supported by China and Turkey heading into the FATF working-group meeting earlier this week. Turkey and the U.S. are allies as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, though they are at odds with one another over actions in Syria.

The Trump administration has sought to work with Beijing to constrain North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program, but China has allied with Pakistan as a foil against India, where long-simmering tensions over the border have pitted Delhi and Islamabad against one another.

Pakistan had lobbied FATF member countries to keep it off the watch list. It also took last-minute action against Pakistan-based militant group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, complying with 10-year-old United Nations sanctions against the group, which the international community holds responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.

“Our efforts paid,” said Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Twitter. “No consensus for nominating Pakistan,” he said, adding, “Grateful to friends who helped.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 27, 2018 at 7:39am

Pakistan, China agree to enhance cooperation in education sector

BEIJING: Pakistan and China have agreed to intensify the cooperation in the education sector and promote the university to university linkages and academic interaction.

Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid and President China Association for Higher Education (CAHE), Du Yubo reached an agreement during a recent meeting held at Chinese Ministry of Education.

During the meeting, Ambassador Masood Khalid expressed satisfaction over the cooperation in the education sector.

He noted that academic exchanges between the Chinese and Pakistani universities at the scholars and expert level are an important component of bilateral relations and the frequency of exchanges needs to be increased. The ambassador highlighted that the cultural and educational corridors complement – the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – is a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative.

Du Yubo greed with the ambassador’s proposals to strengthen academic exchanges and vowed to make efforts to further deepen the cooperation in the education sector.

He also briefed the ambassador on the progress of the CPEC Universities Consortium established last year.

He invited the ambassador to attend the China Higher Education Expo, the 2nd Annual Conference of the CPEC Universities Consortium in Zhejiang University and the Inaugural Meeting of the Belt and Road Research Center of CAHE in Yunnan University.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 2, 2018 at 1:40pm

What Is the Next Great Threat to America's National Security?

Stratfor Worldview 

The United States is in fact already in the middle of its next great war — even if it's only just starting to realize it. In the latest National Security Strategy, the White House highlighted China's growing technological prowess as a threat to U.S. economic and military might.

As hard as it may be for Washington to admit, China is catching up in the tech race. The question now is whether tech firms in the United States will be able to keep up with their Chinese counterparts' breakthroughs.


Promote and Protect
the U.S. National Securi 
Innovation Base
America’s business climate and legal and regulatory
systems encourage risk taking. We are a
nation of people who work hard, dream big, and
never give up. Not every country shares these
characteristics. Some instead steal or illicitly
acquire America’s hard-earned intellectual property
and proprietary information to compensate
for their own systemic weaknesses.
Every year, competitors such as China steal U.S.
intellectual property valued at hundreds of billions
of dollars. Stealing proprietary technology
and early-stage ideas allows competitors to
unfairly tap into the innovation of free societies.
Over the years, rivals have used sophisticated 

means to weaken our businesses and our economy
as facets of cyber-enabled economic warfare
and other malicious activities. In addition to
these illegal means, some actors use largely legitimate,
legal transfers and relationships to gain
access to fields, experts, and trusted foundries
that fill their capability gaps and erode America’s
long-ter m competitive adva nt ages.
We must defend our National Securi Innovation
Base (NSIB) against competitors. The NSIB is
the American network of knowledge, capabilities,
and people—including academia, National
Laboratories, and the private sector—that turns
ideas into innovations, transforms discoveries
into successful commercial products and companies,
and protects and enhances the American
way of life. e genius of creative Americans, and
the free system that enables them, is critical to
American security and prosperity.
Protecting the NSIB requires a domestic and international
response beyond the scope of any individual
company, industry, university, or government
agency. The landscape of innovation does
not divide neatly into sectors. Technologies that
are part of most weapon systems often originate
in diverse businesses as well as in universities and
colleges. Losing our innovation and technological
edge would have far-reaching negative implications
for American prosperi and power.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 4, 2018 at 7:30pm

Over 92,000 foreigners visit Pakistan since launch of CPEC

Since the start of ground work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship multi-billion dollar project of “One Belt and One Road Initiative," more than 39,000 Chinese came to Pakistan in past five years.

More than 92,204 visas were issued by the government of Pakistan to foreign nationals in an apparent effort to expand foreign investment, business opportunities and tourism in the country during this period. Over 120 Pakistani missions abroad issued 29,622 visas to foreign nationals in 2013, 10,267 visas in 2014, 22,932 visas in 2015, 13,456 visas in 2016 and over 15,927 foreign nationals came to Pakistan in 2017, revealed official data/documents Geo News has had exclusive access to.

As many as 7,859 Chinese were issued visas in 2013, the starting period for the CPEC projects soon after the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power. Following this development, Pakistani missions in China issued over 7,859 visas to Chinese citizens in 2013, 69 visas in 2014, 13,268 visas in 2015, 6,268 visas in 2016 and according to informed officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs that estimated 12,287 visas were issued to Chinese nationals by the authorities last year.

In addition to it, officials revealed to this correspondent that about 91,000 Chinese nationals visited Pakistan on tourist visas in past five years. Some 27,596 visa extensions were also granted to Chinese on recommendations of ministries of interior, foreign affairs, water and power and planning and development, a 34 percent increase as compare to 2015-16, added the officials. This frequent flow of foreign nationals encouraged foreign direct investment (FDI) which jumped 163 percent to $222.6 million in July 2017 on a year-on-year basis, revealed official data collected from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The main contributor to this foreign net inflows has been China, which is investing around $60 billion under the CPEC's initiative. Pakistan received $2.4 billion in 2016-17, highest since the PML-N government took the charge of the state’s economic affairs while FDI remained $1.45 billion in previous PPP regime.

The government under Prime Minister Youth Programme also trained over 110,000 youth, majority of them as the authorities claimed, would be associated with CPEC projects in coming years.

For security of these Chinese workers, the government of Pakistan has also deputed an estimated 37,000 security personnel to guard Chinese workers engaged in some 22 projects directly associated with the CPEC and 214 other small and mega projects in Pakistan. For this purpose, the government has deployed 15,780 military personnel trained under umbrella of the Special Security Division (SSD) and the Maritime Security Force (MSF). Balochistan would get more security, as a few wings (450 personnel) of the MSF for coastal area, six wings (6,700 personnel) of the Frontier Corps, 3,210 police constables and 1,320 Levies personnel would guard all the routes. More than 4,200 policemen, 1,290 Rangers, 5,500 private security guards and 740 Askari Guards would protect various projects linked to the economic corridor in Punjab.

Official data continued to reveal that Pakistan issued visas to 1,505 Australian nationals in 2013, 549 visas to Germans in 2013 and 575 visas were issued to German nationals in 2017. The Pakistani Embassy in New Delhi also issued over a thousand visas to Indian nationals in 2013 and 584 Indians were given Pakistani visas in 2015. As many as 786 Iranians were issued visas in 2013 and 945 visas were issued by Pakistani missions in Iran in 2016.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 15, 2018 at 8:40pm

India lost R&D centre crown to China last year

During the third quarter of 2017, Beijing attracted nine captives or global in-house centres, while India saw eight such centres announced by local and global companies, said a report by HfS Research. 

The firms that have set up R&D centres in China include BMW, which opened research unit in Shenyang. Of the nine firms, three of them have committed investments of around $930 million. At the same time, of the eight firms in India, three companies have disclosed investments of around $ .. 


Chinese, Israeli Business Leaders Urge More High-Tech Cooperation – And Patience
By Simona Shemer, NoCamels March 07, 2018 0 Comments
China, the world’s most populous country, may be a relatively minor player in the Israeli high-tech ecosystem, according to a study last month which found that Chinese investment makes up just 5 percent of the total activity, but a conference this week in Tel Aviv drew over 70 Chinese investors and business leaders who hailed the Sino-Israeli relationship and urged more cooperation in biotech, digital healthcare, and R&D.

A report in February by the Israel-based IVC Research Center said Chinese direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, and buyout activities in Israel, while on the rise (from 18 Chinese entities investing in Israeli startups in 2013 to 34 last year), were “still waiting for lift off.” The study said that despite the hype, Chinese activity in Israel was not yet significant.

The IVC report emphasized that while the Chinese market holds great potential for Israeli startup, “this market is extremely complex for Israeli high-tech companies, far more familiar with the US and European markets, where they face far fewer cultural and language barriers and more familiar business practices.”

The GoForIsrael 2018 event, organized by Cukierman & Co Investment House and Catalyst CEL Fund held this week at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, sought to mitigate some of these barriers by inviting top Chinese business figures and hosting a special panel discussion titled “Marketing strategies for Israeli companies in China.” The conference was also chaired by Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lang Properties, one of China’s biggest real-estate firms, the co-founder of philanthropy foundation Morningside, and “a pioneer of the Israeli-Chinese connection, who has contributed greatly to the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries,” Cukierman & Co. said in a statement.

The event also hosted key decision makers, business representatives, investors, venture capitalists, and leading entrepreneurs from Israel, the US, and Europe, with more than 1,000 participants in attendance. The keynote speech was given by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and panels on investing in Israeli companies across fields like biotech/pharma and digital healthcare and medical tech featured guests such as Yossi Vardi, a Chairman of International Technologies and a leading Israeli entrepreneurs, Yair Shamir, former minister of agriculture and Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund, David Braun, head of medical device company Merck Group, Nevo Alva, and the CEO of QR code startup Visualead, the first Israeli company to be acquired by Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The “Marketing strategies for Israeli companies in China” featured Visualead CEO Nevo Alva, John Chan, managing director of China Everbright Limited, a Hong Kong-based financial services company, Sean Jiang, CEO of investment and banking firm Yafo Capital, Jimmy Jin, deputy general manager of Leaguer, a company out of southern China, as well as Haggai Ravid, CEO of Cukierman & Co. who has for the past three years been living in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 1, 2018 at 10:56am

#China backs $15 billion #technology #startup investment fund to compete with #Japan’s #SoftBank. #venturecapital … via @financialtimes

Fund to look at global deals even amid concern over inflated tech valuations

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 23, 2018 at 4:23pm

The #US cannot halt #China’s march to global tech supremacy. President Xi has "proclaimed that China would blaze its own trail to become a "technology superpower". #technology

“In the past, we tightened our belts, gritted our teeth and built the two bombs [atomic and hydrogen] and a satellite,” Mr Xi said. “In the next step of tackling technology, we must cast aside illusions and rely on ourselves.”

Such rhetoric from the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong carries crucial weight. But, as a visual metaphor, the Three Gorges dam is more revealing than Mr Xi was prepared to acknowledge. Although the dam walls were built by Chinese companies, the turbines that generate its electric power were supplied — at least initially — by foreign companies.

The contradiction encapsulates China’s dilemma as it ramps up a techno-nationalist agenda. Its official “ Made in China 2025” programme calls for global leadership in various technological sectors by 2025, but its progress up the value added ladder has — to a significant degree — relied upon foreign technologies and intellectual property.

Thus, China’s response to the trade war is set to be carefully calibrated. Chinese companies are being told by Beijing to cut reliance on US technology and intellectual property in their supply chains, replacing them where possible with alternatives from Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere.

“The US is fundamentally an unreliable economic partner,” said one senior official at the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the Chinese state-holding company with combined revenues last year of Rmb26.4tn ($3.8tn). “It is just too risky to rely on them.”

Can China really live without America? The answer supplied by financial markets appears to be “no”, as reflected in the slide in the renminbi’s value against the dollar and a concurrent fall in Shanghai stock prices. But over the longer term, China looks likely to prevail in two important ways. It may be able to de-risk its supply chain by reducing reliance on US imports, notwithstanding difficulties in key areas such as semiconductors. It may also attain its goal of global excellence in tech sectors including artificial intelligence, 5G telecoms, the internet of things, self-driving cars and battery technology by 2025.

One point in China’s favour is that its de-risking activities may be applied only to imports from the US and not to components made by US companies in China. This is a significant factor: the value of products that US companies made and sold in China was about $250bn last year, almost double the $130bn in products imported from America.

The other consideration is the ready availability of alternatives to US tech products. Research by Haitong, a Chinese securities company, finds that in eight of 11 technology sectors the sales in Asia of products made in the EU, Japan, Korea and Taiwan outstrip those of products made in the US. The three sectors in which the US has clear dominance are semiconductors, semiconductor equipment and aerospace.

The semiconductor industry, therefore, is the lightning rod for US-China tech rivalry. China’s vulnerability was laid bare in April when the US banned ZTE Corp, a Chinese telecoms company, from buying American semiconductors and other technology for seven years. The sanction brought ZTE to its knees, before Washington offered a reprieve.

Yet semiconductors are also the area in which China’s ambitions are clearest. Of some $300bn committed to help deliver Made in China 2025, some $150bn is earmarked to upgrade China’s capacity in semiconductors, according to Dan Wang of the research group Gavekal.

And even in semiconductors, the US chokehold is far from total. If the sanctions on ZTE had been applied to its Chinese competitor, Huawei, the damage would have been easily contained. Huawei designs its own chips through a wholly owned subsidiary called HiSilicon, which ranks as the world’s seventh largest chip design company.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 23, 2018 at 4:28pm

A billionaire known as '#China's Elon Musk' is suspected of spying while he was a Duke student (in #America) and stealing a professor's invisibility #technology via @businessinsider

Liu Ruopeng — known as China's Elon Musk — studied at Duke University from 2006 to 2009 under David Smith, one of the world's leading experts on metamaterials.
Smith has accused Liu of taking his research and replicating it in China for his own gain.
Some observers, including a former assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, believe that Liu was sent to Smith's lab by the Chinese government.
A Chinese billionaire who studied at Duke University allegedly stole a professor's ideas behind special invisibility technology — and then developed his own prototype back in China.

Liu Ruopeng, known as China's Elon Musk, is just 35 years old and is believed to be worth $2.7 billion, according to the "Today" show.

But before he created his money-making "Future Studio" in China, Liu studied at Duke University from 2006 to 2009 under David Smith, one of the world's experts on metamaterials, or "some weird material that doesn't exist in nature," as the professor describes it.

Some observers, including a former assistant director of counterintelligence at the FBI, believe that Liu was sent to Smith's lab by the Chinese government to steal intellectual property.

Smith had been working on a prototype for an invisibility cloak, and the US military had poured millions into his research.

The invisibility cloak doesn't necessarily make a person disappear, but it makes objects invisible to microwave signals.

At one point while at Duke, Liu convinced Smith to allow him to bring his old colleagues into the lab to work on projects for the professor.

When Smith was out of the lab, the Chinese researchers took photos of the lab and its contents, and also took measurements of Smith's equipment.

Much to Smith's surprise, an exact replica of his invisibility cloak prototype was built in Liu's former lab when the Chinese researchers returned home.

"It sounds like theft," Smith said. "If we were a company you might think so."

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 23, 2018 at 4:28pm

Germany calls for global payments system free of US
Foreign minister seeks European autonomy on issues like Iran

German foreign minister Heiko Maas
Germany’s foreign minister has called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US as a means of rescuing the nuclear deal between Iran and the west that Donald Trump withdrew from in May.

Writing in the German daily Handelsblatt, Heiko Maas said Europe should not allow the US to act “over our heads and at our expense”.

“For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system,” he wrote.

Mr Maas’s intervention was the “strongest call yet for EU financial and monetary autonomy vis-à-vis US,” said Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute, a Berlin-based think-tank.

The foreign minister’s article highlights the depth of the dilemma facing European politicians as they struggle to keep the Iran deal alive while coping with the fallout of US sanctions imposed by Mr Trump against companies doing business with Tehran.

The EU has committed itself to the agreement and has vowed to protect European businesses from punitive measures adopted by Washington. But that has failed to convince EU companies, who are more interested in maintaining their access to the lucrative US market than in the more modest opportunities presented by Iran.

Last month Washington rebuffed a high-level European plea to exempt crucial industries from sanctions. Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, and Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, formally rejected an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare made by ministers from Germany, France, the UK and the EU.

[Europe must] form a counterweight when the US crosses red lines

Heiko Maas, German foreign minister
On Monday, Total, France’s largest energy company, announced it was pulling out of a big Iranian gas project, after admitting it might be affected by threatened US measures against Iran’s oil and gas industry.

Swift, a Belgium-based global payment system that facilitates many of the world’s cross-border transactions, is also affected. Unless it wins an exemption from sanctions, it will be required by the US to cut off targeted Iranian banks from its network by early November or face possible countermeasures against both its board members and the financial institutions that employ them.

These could include asset freezes and US travel bans for the individuals, and restrictions on banks’ ability to do business in the US.

Mr Maas’s words Handelsblatt come with relations between Germany and the US in their worst state for decades. Mr Trump has chastised Berlin over its large trade surplus, its relatively low military spending and its support for Nord Stream 2, a new gas pipeline that will bring Russian gas directly to Germany.

Meanwhile, Berlin has looked on in dismay as Mr Trump has withdrawn the US from the Iran deal and the Paris climate treaty, imposed import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium and appeared to question America’s commitment to Nato.

Mr Maas said it was vital for Europe to stick with the Iran deal. “Every day the agreement continues to exist is better than the highly explosive crisis that otherwise threatens the Middle East,” he said.

He also called for the creation of a “balanced partnership” with the US in which the Europeans filled the gaps left where the US withdrew from the world. Europe must, he said, “form a counterweight when the US crosses red lines”.


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