アジア投資銀 過剰な中国主導で大丈夫か

2014-10-31 05:15:01 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun
What does China’s plan for a new infrastructure bank portend for Asia?
アジア投資銀 過剰な中国主導で大丈夫か

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international financial organization led by China, will be established in 2015 based on a basic agreement reached recently by 21 nations, including India and nine Southeast Asian nations.
The establishment of the AIIB has been proposed by China to accelerate infrastructure building in Asia.

Demand for investment to build infrastructure, such as railways and roads, in Asia through the end of 2020 will total an estimated $8 trillion, or about ¥860 trillion.

It is true that the existing international financial organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, will face difficulty in shouldering such a huge cost by themselves.

Emerging Asian economies, which want to use infrastructure development as a locomotive for growth, understandably have high expectations for the AIIB.

Japan, however, will not participate in the AIIB because its significance and management policy are not clear. Australia and South Korea are also conspicuously absent.

In July, China also decided to set up a new development bank in collaboration with the other emerging economies in the so-called BRICS grouping, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

China apparently wants to use the AIIB and the BRICS bank to counter Japan, the United States and European countries that lead the International Monetary Fund regime and establish a new order in international financing.

A bank for China’s benefit?

In particular, the AIIB is aimed at providing China’s domestically struggling state-owned enterprises with opportunities to enter the huge market for building infrastructure in Asia. Furthermore, China apparently has a strategy to increase the number of friendly nations by utilizing its foreign currency reserves, now swollen to as much as $4 trillion.

It is also worrisome that China’s influence over the AIIB will likely be overwhelming.

The bank will be headquartered in Beijing and aims to procure $100 billion in capital. The ratio of investment will likely be decided in accordance with the scale of each economy, which will make China a majority stakeholder.

There are nagging concerns that the AIIB will recklessly provide tied loans — such as requiring Chinese companies to win infrastructure contracts — in the guise of an international financial institution and will put priority on development projects that are beneficial to China. If its loan screening becomes lax, it is feared that development projects neglecting environmental and human rights concerns will be encouraged.

A financial support framework that is excessively dependent on China could stall development projects should the Chinese economy stumble.

It is essential for Japan, the United States and other nations to jointly beef up monitoring to see if the AIIB will be operated in a way to contribute to the healthy development of the Asian region.

Nonetheless, we should take heed of the use of China’s ample funds for Asian growth. Japan, the biggest ADB stakeholder, should work to establish a proper complementary relationship between the ADB and AIIB.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 29, 2014)Speech


「イスラム国」 過激派の勧誘に惑わされるな

2014-10-30 05:06:32 | 英字新聞

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Don’t be fooled by Islamic State propaganda; united front needed
「イスラム国」 過激派の勧誘に惑わされるな

Propaganda by extremist groups justifying terrorism could generate new terrorist outrages in industrially advanced countries.

This vicious circle must be severed.

A Muslim convert, who planned to go to the Middle East, was shot dead by Canada’s parliamentary sergeant at arms after the man killed a soldier and then went on a shooting spree inside the parliament building in Ottawa.

Near Montreal, soldiers were killed and injured recently in what appeared to be a terrorist attack, while in New York, a man attacked police officers with a hatchet.

In both incidents, the perpetrators were known to be sympathizers of Islamic extremism. The New York attacker had reportedly watched the site of the extremist group Islamic State.

It is obvious that the radical beliefs of the Islamic State, which is expanding its influence in Iraq and Syria, lie behind the recent spate of attacks.

Young people from a number of countries have joined the Islamic State as combatants. Advanced countries were alert to the possibility of those fighters launching terrorist attacks when they return to their home countries.

Yet there has been no indication that any of the perpetrators of the recent attacks was a combatant who had returned home. Nevertheless, these incidents pose a new threat as they can be considered “home-grown” terrorism in advanced countries.

The recent spate of incidents is also characterized by the fact that they were each carried out by a person acting alone.

As there appears to be no conspiracy with similar-minded people, investigative authorities have great difficulty in detecting such acts of violence in advance, presenting them with a huge challenge.

Even Japanese affected

In Japan, a male university student is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department on suspicion of planning to privately engage in military combat by attempting to go to Syria to join the Islamic State as a foreign combatant.

The student allegedly received assistance on travel to Syria and converted to Islam at the advice of a former university professor, who specializes in Islamic law.

The student reportedly said: “I want to die as I’ve been fed up with this world. I wouldn’t mind being killed in Syria.” Another man, who was living with the student, was reportedly planning to go to Syria with him.

Is the clever propaganda that justifies rule by the Islamic State affecting the minds of those who feel alienated in their home country?

The Islamic State is a heinous organization that justifies mass murder and slavery. In this year alone, it has received about ¥2.2 billion in ransom money for hostages. Before U.S. warplanes bombed oil refineries operated by the Islamic State in September, the group was said to be earning about ¥100 million a day through the illicit trade of crude oil.

Supported by unprecedented funding, the terrorist organization is believed to be carrying out an extensive propaganda campaign. It is important for nations to expose the true nature of the Islamic State through such tools as the Internet.

Needless to say, the most important thing is to annihilate the Islamic State. The U.S.-led coalition has conducted more than 550 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. But the fighting is said to be fluctuating, with combatants sometimes advancing and sometimes retreating.

There also is disarray in the coalition over strategy. It is essential to restore a united front against the Islamic State.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 28, 2014)Speech