Malaysia To Scrap $22 Billion Worth Of China-Backed Projects

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NORTH KOREAN NEWS AGENCY NDTV)

 

Malaysia To Scrap $22 Billion Worth Of China-Backed Projects

Mahathir Mohamad’s government has suspended China-backed projects worth more than $22 billion including a major rail link.

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Malaysia To Scrap $22 Billion Worth Of China-Backed Projects

Mahathir is expected to meet President Xi Jinping Monday afternoon. (Reuters)

KUALA LUMPUR/BEIJING: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called on China’s top leadership Monday to help solve his country’s fiscal problems, as he tries to revise major Beijing-backed projects signed under his scandal-plagued predecessor.

The 93-year-old leader, who returned for a second stint as premier following a shock election win in May, has railed against a series of deals struck with Chinese state-owned companies by the administration of toppled leader Najib Razak.

His government has suspended China-backed projects worth more than $22 billion, including a major rail link, and Mahathir had pledged to raise the issue of what he views as unfair terms related to some of the deals on his five-day trip.

During a press conference with Premier Li Keqiang at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Mahathir thanked China for agreeing to increase imports of speciality agricultural products, such as durian.

But even as he welcomed the agreements, Mahathir also said he expected more from the world’s second-largest economy.

“I believe that China will look sympathetically towards the problems that we have to resolve and perhaps help us in resolving some of our internal fiscal problems,” he said.

Mahathir, who is expected to meet President Xi Jinping Monday afternoon, also warned that wealthy countries should not use their riches to take advantage of less developed nations.

“There is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries just in terms of open free trade. It must also be fair trade,” he said.

Li said that he hoped the two countries would be able to achieve “balance” in their trade relations.

 Financial woes

During his nine-year rule, Najib was accused of cutting quick deals with Beijing in return for help paying off debts linked to a massive financial scandal that ultimately helped bring down his long-ruling coalition.

Last week, Mahathir had said he would try to cancel or modify the previous administration’s agreements with China, stressing that “the most important thing is for us to save money”.

As well as the rail link, which would have run from the Thai border to Kuala Lumpur, the government has suspended a China-backed project to build pipelines after alleging that almost all the money for the work was paid out but only a fraction of the project had been completed.

Mahathir is trying to reduce Malaysia’s national debt, which has ballooned to some $250 billion.

Despite the threat to revise China-linked contracts, Mahathir is seeking to strengthen business ties with Beijing during the trip.

He met the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, in the eastern city of Hangzhou on Saturday. Mahathir also oversaw the signing of a cooperation agreement between Chinese auto firm Geely and troubled Malaysian carmaker Proton.

Geely in May took a 49.9 percent stake in Proton.

China is the top trading partner of Malaysia, which is home to a substantial ethnic Chinese minority.

Relations were warm under the previous government, and Chinese investment in the country surged as Beijing signed deals for major infrastructure and construction projects.

But critics said there was often a lack of transparency and the terms, such as interest rates on loans, were unfavourable to Malaysia, fuelling suspicions about Najib’s real motives.

Najib and his cronies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from a sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, in an audacious fraud.

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Since losing power, Najib has been charged over the scandal and will stand trial. He denies any wrongdoing.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

India’s Top Army General: “Chinese Have Finally Arrived”

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S NDTV)

 

“Chinese Have Finally Arrived”: Army Chief’s Take On Beijing’s Strengths

General Bipin Rawat said China did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy.

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'Chinese Have Finally Arrived': Army Chief's Take On Beijing's Strengths

Army chief General Bipin Rawat said the world is looking to India to counterbalance China.

NEW DELHI:  Army chief General Bipin Rawat today lauded China’s military might, saying they understood the importance of ratcheting up defence prowess alongside their economy. The world, he said, is looking at India to provide a counterbalance and added a criticism of what he called “a belief” regarding defence expenditure at home.

“The Chinese have finally arrived. I can say that,” General Rawat declared at a function in Delhi. “They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy. That is why they stand strong today in international world order, challenging the might of USA.”

In the current situation, India, he said, needs to focus on its military. “The world community is looking to us as a net security provider… to counterbalance the rise of China”.

Indicating what might be a hindrance to that goal, General Rawat said there is a “belief” that defence expenditure is a burden on the state. “They believe that whatever is put in defence – it is something that comes without any returns. I want to dispel that myth”.

The army has already said the defence allocation in this year’s budget, Rs. 21,338 crore, is inadequate. A senior army officer, Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand, has also told a parliamentary panel that a whopping 68 per cent of army equipment is vintage and its budget is cannot cover the existing projects, let alone fund modernisation.

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The army chief also said today that military exercises with China will resume soon, marking an upswing in the relation between the two nations, which took a downturn last year following the 73-day stand-off at Doklam, which was resolved in August. Following the stand-off, the annual military exercise did not take place. “The relationship had turned sour, but I think it is all getting over now,” General Rawat said.

The diplomatic engagement between the two nations has been back on track with the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to India to attend the Russia India China Foreign Ministers meeting. Next month, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to visit Chi

Tense Face-Off Between Tiger And Bear Caught On Camera

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NDTV)

 

At Tadoba Reserve, Tense Face-Off Between Tiger And Bear Caught On Camera

A vicious encounter between an adult tiger and a sloth bear at Maharashtra’s Tadoba National Park has been caught on camera. Scroll down to see the startling footage.

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At Tadoba Reserve, Tense Face-Off Between Tiger And Bear Caught On Camera

Caught on camera: A face-off between a tiger and sloth bear at Maharashtra’s Tadoba National Park

NEW DELHI: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Viral video captures face-off between tiger, bear at Tadoba National Park
  2. Sloth bear was protecting her cub, says naturalist who filmed footage
  3. Fur saved injured sloth bear from further attack, explains animal expert

A viral video from Maharashtra’s Tadoba National Park captures a violent face-off between an adult tiger and a sloth bear. The video, taken on Wednesday during an afternoon safari, shows the encounter between two fierce members of the animal kingdom.

The video begins with the tiger chasing away the bear but suddenly, the sloth bear charges at the tiger. A battle ensues and it is far from a playful fight. As the video progresses, the tiger tries to pin the bear down. The sloth bear tries desperately to escape the tiger’s grip. The next few tense minutes see both the tiger and the sloth bear viciously charge at each other trying to assert their dominance.

tiger vs sloth bear 650 1

The video captures a tiger and sloth bear battle it out near a water body in Tadoba National Park

Akshay Kumar, the chief naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge, tells NDTV that the tiger is 7-year-old Matkasur, a dominant male from the park who has marked the water body called Jamun Bodi, seen in the video, as his territory.

The sloth bear, a female, was headed to the water body with her young cub in search of water when the tiger, which was cooling off in the water, attacked. The mother bear, in order to protect her cub, fought back. The distressed cub roared as its mother took on the big cat.

tiger vs sloth bear 650 2

Akshay Kumar, the chief naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge, caught the incredible encounter on camera

For the defensive sloth bear, not known to be territorial, it was her motherly instinct to fight back.

“The tiger attacked the bear more than five minutes. It went after the sloth bear but she kept charging in order to protect her cub,” Mr Kumar tells NDTV. “It went on for 15 minutes. The tiger was roaring. It was a severe fight.”

Both the tiger and sloth bear suffered injuries in the attack. The young cub ran away during the fight.

Mr Kumar, who shot the video, was leading a safari with tourists when they spotted the face-off between the bear and tiger. The video went viral on social media.

Watch the incredible viral video below:

https://www.ndtv.com/video/embed-player/?site=classic&id=479906&autostart=false&autoplay=0&pWidth=650&pHeight=470&category=embed&autostart=0&i

“Sloth bears are easy game,” says Dr Anish Andheria, President of Wildlife Conservation Trust. “As you can see in the video, the sloth bear was so exhausted. They can’t outrun tigers,” he tells NDTV.

Although injured, what saved the sloth bear from further attack by the apex predator of the jungle was her fur.

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“The only thing that saves the bear is the hair on the body, because tiger doesn’t get a grip,” Dr Andheria explains.

Tadoba National Park in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district experiences high temperatures during summer months. Due to the scarcity of water, animals congregate at a common water hole to have a drink. Although such encounters are not uncommon in the wild, it was the first time it was seen in the tourist area of the reserve.

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6 Policemen Killed In Terror Attack In Kashmir’s Anantnag

 

6 Policemen Killed In Terror Attack In Kashmir’s Anantnag

Breaking News: 6 Policemen Killed In Terror Attack In Kashmir's Anantnag

Six policemen died as terrorists attacked a police contingent in Kashmir’s Anantnag. Among the policemen was a Station House Officer.

Yesterday, a policeman, identified as Shabir Ahmad Dar, was shot near his house in Boguld village. He was taken to the district hospital, where he died, a police officer said.

This is a breaking news story. Details will be added soon. Please refresh the page for latest version.

Follow @NDTV on Twitter for breaking news and more.

India’s Delhi Elections Shows The People Have Chosen The BJP: Pro PM Modi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S NDTV)

NEW DELHI: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. “BJP headed for a big victory”, predicted Yogendra Yadav
  2. Result reflects people’s anger with Delhi government: Yogendra Yadav
  3. His party Swaraj India also contested MCD polls

Delhi has made its preference for the BJP abundantly clear, Yogendra Yadav, the founder of Swaraj India, said today, predicting, before 9 am, “the BJP is headed for a big victory” in local elections. The result, said Mr Yadav, reflects the people’s anger with the government that is headed by Arvind Kejriwal – the men were part of the same Aam Aadmi Party till two years ago when Mr Yadav and another senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan were evicted after taking on Mr Kejriwal.

The ballooning of the BJP in this election for three local corporations, Mr Yadav said, owes everything to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  “People have ended up rejecting the CM (Chief Minister) and electing the PM,” he commented on NDTV.

Mr Yadav said his own Swaraj India does not expect much today. “This is a starting point, this is not our election to gain big seats, it was a foundational election,” he claimed.

Even before the counting of results began, Mr Kejriwal repeated electronic voting machines or EVMs for being rigged, a claim he first made when his party failed to win Punjab in February’s election, defying a massive campaign fronted by him and the forecast of exit polls.

China Tells India They Should Concentrate On Their Economy, Not Aircraft Carriers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHINA TV NEWS STATION ‘NDTV’)

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India Should Focus On Economy, Not Aircraft Carriers To Counter China: Chinese Media

Chinese media projected India deploying aircraft carriers decades ahead of China in a negative light

BEJING: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. China recently celebrated the 68th anniversary of their navy
  2. China’s naval strategy has changed to increase its presence overseas
  3. China’s signature Liaoning carrier has finished its blue sea training

India should focus less on speeding up the process of building aircraft carriers to contain China in the Indian ocean and more on its economic development, Chinese official media said today. “New Delhi is perhaps too impatient to develop an aircraft carrier. The country is still in its initial stage of industrialisation, and there will be many technical obstacles that stand in the way of a build-up of aircraft carriers,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.

“In the past few decades, India and China have taken different paths in terms of aircraft carriers, but the different results achieved by the two countries point to the underlying importance of economic development,” it said.

“New Delhi should perhaps be less eager to speed up the process of building aircraft carriers in order to counter China’s growing sway in the Indian Ocean, and focus more on its economy,” it said.

China yesterday celebrated the 68th anniversary of the establishment of its navy amid massive expansion of its fleet. A fleet of three Chinese naval ships left Shanghai in the morning for a friendly visit to more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

“With the expansion of foreign trade, as well as China’s ‘One Belt and One Road’ initiative, the Chinese navy has taken on a new mission, which is to protect the country’s overseas interests,” a report in the same daily said.

As a consequence, China’s military strategy for the navy has changed and it must increase its presence overseas to meet the new requirements, military expert Song Zhongping said. As a signature achievement of the navy, the Liaoning aircraft carrier built from an empty hull of former Soviet ship has finished its blue sea training, he said.

While the Chinese navy flexed muscle with massive expansion overseas with new “logistic” based in Gwadar in Balochistan and Djibouti in the Indian Ocean, the Chinese official media sought to project India deploying aircraft carriers decades ahead of China in a negative light.

“As the world’s second-largest economy, China is now capable of building a strong navy to safeguard the security of strategic maritime channels. China’s construction of its first aircraft carrier is a result of economic development,” an article in the Global Times said.

“The country would have finished work on it several years ago if Beijing had simply wanted to engage in an arms race to have more influence in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions,” the article said. “India itself could be taken as a negative example for a build-up of aircraft carriers,” it said.

Unlike China, India operated the aircraft carrier since 1961. INS Vikrant which was purchased in 1957 played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of then East Pakistan in 1971 before it was decommissioned in 1997. Its successor INS Virat that was commissioned in 1987 has recently been decommissioned after an eventful four decades of service. It was succeeded by INS Vikramaditya, a modified version of Russian ship Admiral Gorshikov, which became operational in 2013.

The second INS Vikrant being built in Cochin Shipyard is expected to be ready by 2018.