Posted inAfghanistan, Beijing, China, India, Iran, Middle East, South Asia, Turkey

The Daily Brief for Monday, 27 February 2017

Turkey and China: Beijing’s grand “One Belt, One Road” plan promises enhanced connectivity between countries of the Eurasian landmass and Turkey is eager to be part of it, writes Altay Atli. The Turkish government has already signed a number of agreements with China, mainly on cooperation in railway infrastructure development and integration of Ankara’s own road projects, and a multi-ministry working group has now been formed to deal specifically with Turkey’s future engagement.

Duterte’s political crackdown: One of the Philippine President’s fiercest critics is now behind bars on drug charges, marking a political escalation of Duterte’s anti-crime crackdown and opening a new chapter in his heavy-handed rule. George Amurao reports how Duterte first accused Senator Leila de Lima of drug dealing in August 2016, after which de Lima responded by having a Senate committee investigate Duterte’s involvement with a death squad allegedly responsible for 1,424 recorded extrajudicial killings.

ISIS in India: A drone strike in Afghanistan that killed a young Islamic State recruit from India and the first ISIS-related arrests in the western state of Gujarat at the weekend have revived fears over the spread of the terror group in the subcontinent, writes the Asia Times. The two incidents come at a time when India is increasingly concerned with the domestic growth of ISIS and the growing numbers of Indian youths who are reportedly heading to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State.

Oscar winner boycott: Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar for best foreign language film for his film The Salesman but boycotted the awards ceremony, reports Kevin Hagopian. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US,” said the director in reference to Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

Posted inChina

China Digest for Monday, 27 February 2017

Evergrande Life barred from stock trading for a year

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission(CIRC) has barred Evergrande Life from stock trading for a year after accusing it of engaging in irregular investment activities, Caixin reported on February 25. The insurance watchdog statement issued on February 24 also said Yao Zhenhua, the chairman of Foresea Life Insurance, is barred from the insurance business for 10 years, as part of the central government crackdown on aggressive insurers engaging in short-term speculation, the report added.

Privatization of JD Finance almost complete

JD Finance, the internet financial arm of Nasdaq listed, will complete its privatization soon, reported Yicai on Sunday. The report, citing sources close to, also said JD Finance recently completed a round of financing in January, raising 50 billion yuan (US$7.28 billion). The privatization move is aimed at an eventual listing in China, it added.

CSRC to crack down on ‘barbarians, capital predators and wolves’

Liu Shiyu, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), vowed to crack down on “barbarians,” “capital predators” and “rats and wolves” that target retail investors, reported Caixin on Sunday. Liu did not elaborate on who the “capital predators” were, but said the watchdog was committed to stable development of the capital markets with a focus on reforms. Separately, measures were being discussed to welcome more foreign companies’ investment by allowing them to take large stakes in domestic joint ventures, Caixin reported, citing the CSRC deputy director Fang Xinghai.

Annual output of gold to reach 500 tons by 2020: MIIT

The country aims to produce 500 tons of gold annually by the end of 2020 as part of the 13th five-year plan, Sina Finance reported on Friday, citing information released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Annual output in 2016 was 453.48 tons, while it was 450 tons in 2015.

New futures on petroleum and agricultural produce in 2017

The CSRC will launch new petroleum and agricultural produce futures in 2017, Caixin reported on Sunday afternoon, citing Fang Xinghai, deputy director of the China Securities Regulatory Commission in a conference. Fang also said the CSRC will encourage more offshore customers to take part in the country’s futures trading business.

Reform commission deputy He Lifeng promoted to director

The National Development and Reform Commission has a new director, He Lifeng, following a Friday, Caixin reported on the same day. The 62-year-old has participated in local politics in Fujian Province for 25 years. He has been the deputy director of the NDRC since 2014, and was one of the people in charge of the one belt, one road program, the report added.