China has become the world's largest bilateral creditor over the past decade. The New Silk Road loans are viewed controversially: some see them as an unparalleled breakthrough for developing countries, others fear that they give Beijing too much leverage over its debtors.
Melting glaciers and increased precipitation lead to decline in salinity, which encourages biodiversity and lowers risk of harmful algae blooms. The trend could also help supply more drinking water to the region, researcher says.
Faced with the existential threat of climate change, the Indian government has come out with a list of 30 critical minerals that are central to its ongoing efforts to pivot away from a fossil fuel-intensive energy mix, The Straits Times reported this week.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are official means of payment issued by the central banks of a country, which do not exist physically but are available in digital form. Recently, technological advances have led to a significant transformation in the financial system, with the spread of cryptocurrencies weakening the state's control, and the introduction of digital central bank currencies is a way to preserve the stability of the financial system.
E-CNY, or digital yuan, is a centralised, cash-like digital currency used primarily for retail payments in China. The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, has conducted large-scale pilot programmes for the digital yuan in several cities in recent years. The introduction of the digital yuan serves two distinct but related purposes.