China-Pakistan: China and Pakistan signed four memorandums of understanding in health, power generation and the construction of two major highways in Gilgit-Baltistan, The Associated Press of Pakistan reported 9 July.
According to the road construction agreements, China will construct the 165-kilometer (103-mile) Jaglot-Skardu road and the 135-kilometer (84-mile) Thakot-Sazin road. The projects will cost $965 million with 85 percent financing by China and 15 percent by Pakistan. The memorandums were signed after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari addressed the Pak-China Economic Cooperation Forum.
The significance of the road agreements is that the location of the roads is in the Himalayas, the most rugged regions of Pakistan that adjoin China. They will facilitate increased contacts to China. . It is unusual for there to be published in one week multiple new events about infrastructure projects in the same remote region of the Himalayas. It makes one suspect that the Chinese have found valuable mineral deposits about which they are not talking in public.
They also have a military dimension because they will improve the lines of communication in the far north of Pakistan which was the setting for the Kargil War in 1999.
Phi Beta Iota: The US fiddles and burns while China builds. The contrast could not be more depressing for those who love the idea that once was the Republic. Between the eight trillion dollar “rescue” of Wall Street that left the American middle and working classes in poverty; and the three trillion dollar war and counting–all of this from a known base of national bankruptcy declared by the Comptroller General in 2007, the US Government has been so irresponsible on so many levels as to inspire stark recognition that Animal Farm got it right–We the Sheep. The only human “system” of management that works as it should is that of collective intelligence applied for the collective good. Any “hierarchy” inevitably becomes corrupt. Truth, transparency, accountability, legitimacy, these are all terms with deep meaning that have been discarded, to our loss. This is also why India cannot challenge China in Central Asia–with 36 ongoing wars both internal and external, India has not figured out how to empower its poor to create infinite stabilizing wealth, and will lag behind China in the region for that reason.