China

China to launch 300 satellites

China plans to launch 300 low-orbit satellites to provide worldwide communication services, with the first in the series to be launched later this year. The first in the 300-satellite array — known as the Hongyan constellation — is set to be launched by the end of this year. China is already developing BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to rival America’s Global Positioning System.

1st land-based comm. link between Pak and PRC

An optical fiber cable project that would be the first land-based communication link between China (PRC) and Pakistan has been launched. It will help develop the telecom sector in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and enhance the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The project includes an 820-km-long underground optical fiber cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab.

Pakistan launches 2 satellites from China

Pakistan has launched 2 indigenously built satellites into the orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. One of the satellites launched is PRSS-1, a remote sensing satellite that will enable Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in areas of land mapping & agriculture classification among others. It is the 2nd time both China & Pakistan have collaborated in the space sector.

Reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports

India and China have reached an agreement on reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports of Indian medicines, particularly cancer drugs. Both India and China slashed import tariffs of a range of products starting July 1, following the 4th round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. The agreement will also usher in great opportunities for India and other countries in the region.

China pledges 20 bn in loans for Arab states

China will provide Arab states with $20 billion in loans for economic development, as China seeks to build its influence in Middle East. The money will be earmarked for projects that will produce employment opportunities & positive social impact in Arab States. China is also prepared to provide another 1 billion yuan to countries in the region to build capacity for stability maintenance.

Most valuable bank in the emerging market

HDFC Bank has gone past Russia’s Sberbank to become the most valuable bank in the emerging market outside China. HDFC Bank was one of the top performing major banks globally in 2017. The Bank’s current market capitalization is $78.4 billion. Globally, America’s JPMorgan Chase is the most valuable with a market cap of $353 billion, followed by Bank of America at $282 billion.

25 Countries In Global Banks’ ‘High Risk’ List

China, UAE, Cyprus and significantly, Mauritius, along with 21other countries have been tagged as “high-risk jurisdictions” by global banks acting as custodians for foreign funds. It comprises the largest group of investors in the Indian stock market. Large investors and beneficial owners of these funds entering India through these high-risk jurisdictions will face close scrutiny.

RBI grants licence to Bank of China

The Reserve Bank of India has issued the license to Bank of China to launch operations in India. With this, Bank of China becomes the second Chinese bank after the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to have a branch in India. Bank of China is one of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in China. Bank of China opened its first branch in South Asia in Pakistan’s Karachi in 2017.

Agni-V to be inducted soon

India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system – Agni-V. The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, is being inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command. The missile is capable of bringing targets across China including its prominent cities like Beijing & Shanghai under its range.

China to cut tariffs on soybean from India

China will cut import tariffs on soybean and some other goods from India and four other Asian nations from July 1. China will reduce tariffs on soybean imported from India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos, and Sri Lanka from 3% to zero. This comes as a step to escalate ongoing trade war as the US is a major supplier of soybeans to China.