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China Reform Monitor - No. 1274
PLA warns Taiwan against considering THAAD;
China eyeing water pipeline from Russia
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
March 28, 2017
The Kyrgyz news agency Central Asian News published a scathing analysis of China’s use of soft loans to create a dependency relationship with Tajikistan. “Many states, including Tajikistan, have fallen for the Chinese credit hoax. Why is China investing in a stagnating country such as Tajikistan? Because Tajikistan is full of resources such as gold and uranium, but there is a lack of necessary equipment, technology and experts to extract them. China has successfully obtained valuable natural resources from Tajikistan for 10 years. It has almost monopolized the mining industry, becoming a sole master of all gold deposits and processing plants. In doing so, China neither has sent troops as it is practiced by the U.S. nor has organized a velvet revolution. China has just offered super soft loans unobtrusively and saying: ‘take if you want, if not we will give to others.’ With its favorable terms, China has no credit competitors in Tajikistan. But the only free cheese is in a mousetrap. To give loans to Tajikistan, China has set conditions such as: compulsory use of Chinese companies, purchase of Chinese machinery and equipment, and permission to use Chinese workers. By hooking Tajikistan on its funds and other resources, China has created a dependency relationship.”
Chinese authorities are tracking the whereabouts of six armed North Korean soldiers that deserted their posts along the border and illegally entered Changbai County, Jilin. "Chinese authorities notified residents to be on alert and immediately report their location if they are observed," Yonhap news quotes a local Chinese source as saying.
[Editor’s Note: In July 2016, five runaway North Korean soldiers broke into residents' houses in the Changbai County and robbed them. Chinese police arrested two, although in the process two policemen suffered gunshot wounds. In December 2014, a North Korean army deserter killed four Chinese citizens in a robbery attempt in the border city of Helong, Jilin. In 2013, a North Korean defector robbed and murdered an elderly Chinese couple in Yanji, Jilin, before fleeing to Beijing where he was apprehended.]
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Wang Hongguang has warned Taiwan not to follow South Korea’s lead and deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). He said the day the U.S. deployed THAAD on Taiwan would be the day the PLA "liberates" the island, the official Global Times reports.
China is prepared to build a 3,000-km pipeline to carry water from Russia’s Lake Baikal to farms, industries, and consumers in China, Windows on Asia reports. The pipeline will extend from the southwestern banks of Lake Baikal through Mongolia, across the Gobi Desert in Xinjiang to Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu. After putting up a map showing the pipeline route on its website on February 17, the Chinese Institute for Water Resources and Hydrological Research took it down and refused to provide copies to Mongol or Russian journalists, AsiaRussia reports. Previous Chinese proposals for water diversion projects from Russia were rejected.
Fighting between the Myanmar military and rebels has forced more than 20,000 people to flee from Myanmar's northern border areas into Yunnan. At least 30 people, including five police officers and five civilians, were killed in a predawn attack by rebels in Laukkai, in Myanmar's northern Shan State near the Chinese border. "We have provided necessary assistance to them and have taken effective measures to ensure order of the border areas," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in comments carried by ABC News. He said a Chinese resident was injured by stray bullets and shells crossing the border.