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Found 31 results

  1. https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/9254/blizzard-has-removed-blitzchung-from-grandmasters-and-banned-him-from-competing-in-hearthstone-following-his-on-stream-hong-kong-protest "Last Sunday, Hong Kong Hearthstone player Ng "blitzchung" Wai Chung caused quite the stir. As reported by Inven Global, Blitzchung appeared on the official Hearthstone Taiwan stream after his Grandmasters match wearing a gas mask, before shouting "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!" in protest against China's actions in the region..."
  2. BEIJING (Reuters) - An American citizen working at the U.S. consulate in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has reported suffering from “abnormal” sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday. The embassy, which issued a health alert to Americans living in China, said it could not link the case to health issues suffered by U.S. government staff in Cuba dating back to late 2016. However, later on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers that the “sonic attack” in China was “medically similar” to the incidents in Cuba. The unnamed American citizen assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had reported a variety of “physical symptoms” dating from late 2017 to April this year, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in an email. The worker was sent to the United States for further evaluation. “The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI),” the embassy said. The State Department was taking the incident very seriously and working to determine the cause and impact, the embassy said. Pompeo said that medical teams were heading to Guangzhou to investigate the incident. The State Department added the Chinese government told the embassy it is also investigating and taking appropriate measures. “We cannot at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities,” a U.S. embassy official told Reuters. China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. government on Wednesday issued a health alert to Americans in China, warning them about the incident it described as “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure”. “While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source. Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present,” the emailed alert said. The cause of those incidents remains unresolved. The Canadian government in April said it would remove families of diplomats posted to Cuba after Canadian personnel there in 2017 also reported similar health symptoms. Reporting by Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Susan Thomas Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
  3. BEIJING (Reuters) - After declaring they were ready to fight sexual harassment on university campuses, the Chinese authorities now appear to be seeking to contain a nascent #MeToo movement. On Jan. 14, China’s education ministry announced it had stripped a professor at Beihang University in Beijing, who is facing sexual harassment allegations, of an academic title and said it will not tolerate activity that harms students and will look into setting up a robust mechanism to prevent sexual harassment. A week later, more than fifty professors put their names to an online proposal calling for a detailed and strict set of rules to combat campus sexual harassment. But a march planned that day from Beihang to the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), another Beijing school where a professor has faced accusations of harassment, was canceled by organizers, two sources involved in its planning told Reuters. The organizers declined to say why it was called off, but three would-be participants, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said they were told by their school not to attend. Neither university would comment on the proposed march. There has also been censorship of online postings supporting the #MeToo movement and some universities have warned students to tone down the campaign, according to women rights activists and students. The education ministry declined to respond to phone calls and faxes seeking comment. The authorities have been slowly acknowledging in state-media commentaries that there is a systematic problem of sexual harassment on Chinese college campuses. On Jan. 7, the Chinese Communist Party’s paper, the People’s Daily, said that victims of sexual harassment should be shown support if they go public with allegations, and the Guangming Daily, another official party publication, said on Jan. 17 that the issue of sexual harassment in education cannot be ignored. But while the issue of sexual harassment has become increasingly high profile on campuses in China, there have - in contrast to the United States - been few public allegations of sexual harassment in other areas of Chinese society, including politics, business and entertainment. A third of Chinese college students say they have suffered sexual violence or sexual assault, according to data from the China Family Planning Association released in 2016, with the most common allegations being that they were harassed with sexual language and forced to kiss someone or suffered inappropriate touching. LOCKED THE DOOR The catalyst for a Chinese #MeToo-style movement came on Dec. 31 when Luo Xixi, a U.S.-based Chinese software engineer, published a blog post accusing Chen Xiaowu, a professor at Beihang, of sexual harassment. In her post, Luo republished an account, originally run anonymously on Chinese website Zhihu.com in October 2017, of an evening 12 years ago when she alleges Chen had driven her to a house off-campus, locked the door and tried to force himself upon her. She said he relented when she started crying and said she was a virgin. After conducting an investigation, Beihang said Chen was found to have sexually harassed students and was removed from his positions at the university. The education ministry stripped him of a title soon after. Beihang declined to comment further. In an interview with the Beijing Youth Daily published on Jan. 1, Chen said he had not broken any regulations and said the accuracy of the claims against him would be determined by the investigation. He has not spoken publicly since the investigation came to its conclusion. Reuters was unable to contact Chen for comment. Luo told Reuters by phone that the responses of the university, state-media, the ministry and the Chinese public, have been overwhelmingly and unexpectedly positive. She said the university initially had been slow to respond after she contacted them in October. “They would take action bit by bit, saying that they have not yet had instructions from above, that there is no relevant law and regulation, that there is no precedent to follow,” she said. But once her named post went viral and the People’s Daily ran a commentary supporting her decision to go public, Beihang was swift to take action. “I was very satisfied with the speed of progress afterwards,” she said. The response is very different from some by the authorities in the recent past. In 2015, authorities detained five activists, later dubbed the “Feminist Five,” who were planning to defy government warnings to demonstrate against sexual harassment on public transport for International Women’s Day. The activists were released a month later. MOLESTATION ALLEGATION A second recent allegation was made anonymously, also on Zhihu.com, against UIBE professor Xue Yuan who was accused by the poster of having molested a student and ripped her clothing in university dormitories. Xue has not responded publicly to the accusations. Reuters was unable to contact him for comment. UIBE launched an investigation into the accusations and it recalled Xue from overseas to aid in the probe, according to a statement from the university. UIBE did not respond to questions sent by Reuters. Women’s rights activists applauded the ministry’s moves against Chen and UIBE’s investigation of Xue as a positive first step, but say they worry that online censorship and the authorities’ fears of grassroots movements causing social instability could prevent real change in dealing with sexual harassment at universities. The ministry has not yet released regulations that provide a clear definition of sexual harassment, activists say. Students have in recent weeks posted open letters on social media calling for better prevention of campus sexual harassment. So far, there are more than 70, with hundreds of signatures. But Zhang Leilei, a women’s rights activist, told Reuters that some of the letters on social media calling attention to the issue have been deleted. Reuters independently confirmed this was the case. Chinese authorities regularly censor discussion of issues that might spur collective action. The country’s cyberspace regulator did not respond to a request for comment. More than 10 universities have also summoned students to warn them against drawing too much attention to their complaints, Zhang said. Xiao Meili, an activist whose open letter early this month calling for better sexual harassment prevention at the Communication University of China has been used as a template by others, said authorities’ likely want to try to “stabilize” the movement. “If there was no censorship, if students were not called in for talks with their teachers, then the movement would be much wider and the conversation would be deeper,” she said. One university in northern China warned student authors of an open letter not to post publicly about their demands for better harassment prevention measures as they might bring “dishonor” to the school, one of the students said, asking that their name and their school’s not be used. And an interview on harassment with Bai Benfeng, the head of Tsinghua University’s postgraduate student Communist Party organization, published on Jan. 22 by a university paper, had been removed by the following day. Bai had said that Tsinghua, a top Chinese university, had a system where a single report of unethical behavior could jeopardize a teacher’s position, but that sexual harassment education was inadequate for both teachers and students. Tsinghua did not respond to a request for comment. Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Tony Munroe and Martin Howell Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-harassment-insight/chinas-metoo-movement-in-colleges-initially-encouraged-by-authorities-then-frustrated-idUSKBN1FJ33W?il=0 Personal Comment From Bors: This really has become the new millenniums pedophile craze.
  4. Chinese image licensing company Visual China Group (000681.SZ) said it acquired on Friday the image division and content licensing unit of photo library Corbis Entertainment, owned by Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) co-founder Bill Gates. The company signed another deal with media service provider Getty Images to distribute Corbis' images and content to customers, thus bringing in a major photo library and an image distributor to China. Getty Images would distribute Corbis' content, creating a collection of over 200 million images and videos and certain archived historical contents for creative and editorial use. Following the sale of its image assets, Corbis will be rebranded and its other businesses will operate under a new brand name. As per the deal, Visual China's division, Unity Glory, will own and manage the images and motion archives, names and trademarks associated with Corbis Images, Corbis Motion and Veer licensing brands. The financial terms for the deal were not disclosed. After a transition period, Getty Images said it would offer Corbis creative stills, Corbis Motion content and Corbis archival and documentary content to its customers outside China. Corbis, which is one of the leading image service provider like Reuters, was represented by Allen & Company LLC in the sale. (Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-corbis-m-a-vcg-idUSKCN0V101L
  5. Taiwan is an internal matter for China, there is only one China in the world and the island's election neither changes this reality nor international acceptance of it, China's government said after the pro-independence opposition won a landslide. Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a convincing victory in both presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday. President-elect Tsai pledged to maintain peace with giant neighbor China, which claims Taiwan as its sacred territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control. Shortly after her victory, China's Taiwan Affairs Office warned it would oppose any move towards independence and that Beijing was determined to defend the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. In a short statement released just before midnight on Saturday, China's Foreign Ministry said no matter what changes there may be on the island, China would never change its policy of opposing Taiwan's formal independence. RELATED COVERAGE › White House congratulates Taiwan presidential victor, urges peace with China "The Taiwan issue is an internal matter for China," it said. "There is only one China in the world, the mainland and Taiwan both belong to one China and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity will not brook being broken up," the ministry added. RELATED VIDEO Polls open in Taiwan's hotly contested presidential elections Taiwan presidential frontrunner Tsai Ing-wen casts votes "The results of the Taiwan region election does not change this basic fact and the consensus of the international community." China hopes the world will continue to uphold a "one China" principle, oppose any form of Taiwan independence and takes "real steps" to support the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait, it added. RELATED COVERAGE › Taiwan's Tsai, growing up, says never thought of becoming president Tsai has been thrust into one of Asia's toughest and most dangerous jobs, with China pointing hundreds of missiles at the island it claims, decades after the losing Nationalists fled from Mao Zedong's Communists to Taiwan in the Chinese civil war in 1949. Tsai will have to balance the superpower interests of China, which is also Taiwan's largest trading partner, and the United States with those of her freewheeling, democratic home. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-election-idUSKCN0UT2HQ Personal Comment From Bors:
  6. Actually just pollution. They've hit record highs, maxing out existing measurement equipment, in terms of contamination of air. Chinese leadership is talking a lot about ecology and cleaning up the environment, but the situation there is beyond dire today. For the second day now, the pollution index has been beyond measurement. Literally the index doesn't go high enough. Permissible standards for small hard particles in the air are 25 parts per million, in Beijing they're at 945. The top photo is Beijing today, the bottom photo is the same landscape, on a good day. Visibility is gone at point-blank ranges. 2100 industrial enterprises have been ordered shut down until the air clears a little, though some continue production anyway. However the problem is too diverse. Only 32% comes from industry, another 20 from transportation, and the final 48% are the result of coal power plants. They're making jokes now, that the plan to stop global warming is a blanket of smog blotting out the sun. http://varlamov.ru/1528498.html Personal Comment:
  7. Apparently the US has sent a destroyer near Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. As things had been developing lately it really seems like there is some kind of cold war going on, the media seems to deliberately avoid linking the recent events together but it seems to suspicious. I do not personally think that it's smart to provoke both China and Russia at the same time. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/world/asia/challenging-chinese-claims-us-sends-warship-near-artificial-island-chain.html
  8. "Nation to end ban on sale of game consoles as part of establishment of new free-trade zone in Shanghai." "As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the news was announced today by the country's high-ranking State Council as part of the establishment of a new free-trade zone in Shanghai. Foreign companies that operate sales and production within the new trade zone will be able to sell products throughout China, so long as they are approved by the Ministry of Culture. Though consoles are officially banned in China, The Wall Street Journal points out that they have been readily available through "unofficial channels" like private retail outlets in malls. The news comes after Microsoft announced this week an investment of $237 million into a joint venture with Chinese TV company BesTV in the free-trade zone to create "family games and related services." China enacted the console ban in 2000, blocking the sale of systems over concerns about potential harm to the physical and mental development of children. Touch-enabled devices and smartphones, like the iPhone and iPad, are allowed because they are not deemed gaming devices. " Sources: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304795804579100601154426712.html http://www.gamespot.com/news/china-lifts-13-year-console-ban-6415060 Personal Comment: Well this is interesting, this will end up in a huge drop in the League of Legends and World of Warcraft playerbase in china, mostly because DotA 2 is near coming out of beta (and chinese users prefer DotA over LoL), and also console games are going to be sold which many players will try.
  9. The latest incidents of deadly violence in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang indicate that Beijing's policies towards ethnic minorities have reached a dead end. China's Autonomous Region of Xinjiang is more than four times larger than Germany, yet it has only 22 million inhabitants. Muslim Uighurs make up around 45 percent of the region's population. But they may soon lose their majority status as Han Chinese pour into Xinjiang in ever-increasing numbers. When the People's Liberation Army marched into the territory 64 years ago, Han Chinese accounted for just 6 percent of its population. This development is tied to Beijing's ongoing policy of promoting large-scale migration into the remote and under-developed Western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet. Officially, the policy was designed, among other things, to support local inhabitants. But in reality this has only led to the locals feeling marginalized and suppressed, especially when it comes to their religious practices. Events like the "ethnic-harmony education month" held last May in Shanshan County have done nothing to change this. Last June 35, people were killed in clashes in Shanshan. A suppressed minority Chinese politics expert Willy Lam believes the situation won't change as long as Beijing doesn't shift tack. "Police and plainclothes security personnel maintain tight surveillance over most monasteries and mosques in Tibet and Xinjiang. The personal movements of religious leaders suspected to have anti-Beijing inclinations are kept under even closer scrutiny," Lam told DW. Lam, who is a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, added that "authorities in many Uighur-dominated towns have also forbidden Muslims to practice Ramadan and other religious rites. The teaching of Muslim religion and the Uighur language has consistently been cut in high schools and universities," he said. According to a report by the UK-based "Economist" magazine, in Turpan - the prefecture where the latest deadly clashes took place - the authorities had been waging a campaign to persuade Uighur men not to grow long beards and women not to wear the veil or other Islamic clothing. Those living in neighborhoods where all residents complied were given preferential access to loans and government-sponsored job-training schemes, the report stated. Links to Syrian rebels? But the Chinese government doesn't put the blame for the growing tensions on flawed decisions taken by Beijing or local leaders - they are instead accusing extremist separatists. The Chinese state newspaper "Global Times" reported that Uighurs had traveled to Syria, where they were "radicalized" allegedly fighting alongside Syrian rebels. The paper cited a Chinese anti-terrorism official who said that around 100 people had done the same over the past year. In a separate story, the newspaper quoted Syria's ambassador to China, Imad Moustafa, as saying that at least 30 members of the militant East Turkistan Islamic Movement, which seeks independence for Xinjiang, had entered Syria to fight government forces in Aleppo. 'Not purely a terrorism issue' Raffaello Pantucci, an expert on China and Central Asia at the Royal United Services Institute - a London-based think tank - told the Associated Press (AP) it was plausible that some Uighurs who identify with radical Islamist ideology might participate in the Syrian conflict. "That there are Uighurs who are probably radicalized going into the battlefield in Syria is not entirely surprising. But whether this is an organized thing from the East Turkistan movement or its elements, it's difficult to know," Pantucci said. Terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna told the AP he was also sceptical, since the Pakistan-based movement is believed to have only about 100 members and support from a few hundred other people. But rather than being driven purely by religious extremism, unrest in Xinjiang is largely fueled by tensions and anger over Beijing's policies in the region, said Gunaratna, who heads a terrorism research center in Singapore. He added that the government's hard-line approach could be driving people to join separatist groups. "China has to address this not only as a pure terrorism issue, but more as an inter-ethnic, inter-religious issue." A new approach Some experts say there are signs that Beijing might change its approach towards Tibet. Lam points to Yu Zhengsheng, a politburo member in charge of Tibet and Xinjiang, who earlier this year dropped hints to representative Tibetan figures in and out of China that Beijing might consider resuming long-stalled talks with emissaries of the Dalai Lama. More recently, Chinese authorities allowed monks in several monasteries to openly display portraits of the Dalai Lama, who is still the most revered leader in the greater Tibet region. Jin Wei, a director of ethnic and religious affairs at the Central Party School in Beijing, seems to have publicly broken away from the party orthodoxy on Tibet. Referring to the Dalai Lama, she said in a recent interview with the Hong Kong-based magazine "Asia Weekly": "We cannot just simply treat and regard him as an enemy." Doing this, she added, would trigger the ire of people who simply want to maintain their culture and traditions. Jin believes there is a possibility that the "political struggle" between Beijing and the Dalai Lama might evolve into an ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Tibetans. Meanwhile, Beijing continues to rely on an intensified army presence in Xinjiang. Authorities also are offering rewards of up to $16,300 for information on terrorist activity that may help solve major terror crimes or lead to the arrest of terror suspects. It says those who knowingly shelter, protect or help "violent terrorist criminals" will be prosecuted. http://www.dw.de/ethnic-tensions-escalating-in-xinjiang/a-16932346 Personal Comment From Bors: Ahhhhh Poor Xi Xia...just can't get a break, fucked by the Chin, Fucked by the Khan, Fucked by the Communists.
  10. By Melanie Lee SHANGHAI | Sat Mar 23, 2013 A Jiaotong University campus is seen at Zhangjiang High Technology Park, on the outskirts of Shanghai March 16, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria (Reuters) - Faculty members at a top Chinese university have collaborated for years on technical research papers with a People's Liberation Army (PLA) unit accused of being at the heart of China's alleged cyber-war against Western commercial targets. Several papers on computer network security and intrusion detection, easily accessed on the Internet, were co-authored by researchers at PLA Unit 61398, allegedly an operational unit actively engaged in cyber-espionage, and faculty at Shanghai Jiaotong University, a centre of academic excellence with ties to some of the world's top universities and attended by the country's political and business elite. The apparent working relationship between the PLA unit and Shanghai Jiaotong is in contrast to common practice in most developed nations, where university professors in recent decades have been reluctant to cooperate with operational intelligence gathering units. The issue of cyber-security is testing ties between the world's two biggest economies, prompting U.S. President Barack Obama to raise concerns over computer hacking in a phone call with new Chinese President Xi Jinping. China denies it engages in state-sponsored hacking, saying it is a victim of cyber-attacks from the United States. There is no evidence to suggest any Shanghai Jiaotong academics who co-authored papers with Unit 61398 worked with anyone directly engaged in cyber-espionage operations, as opposed to research. "The issue is operational activity - whether these research institutions have been involved in actual intelligence operations," said James Lewis, director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "That's something the U.S. does not do." "(In the U.S.) there's a clear line between an academic researcher and people engaged in operational (intelligence gathering) activities." Shanghai Jiaotong declined to comment. CO-AUTHORS In reviewing the links between the PLA and Shanghai Jiaotong - whose alumni include former President Jiang Zemin, the head of China's top automaker and the former CEO of its most popular Internal portal - Reuters found at least three papers on cyber- warfare on a document-sharing web site that were co-authored by university faculty members and PLA researchers. The papers, on network security and attack detection, state on their title pages they were written by Unit 61398 researchers and professors at Shanghai Jiaotong's School of Information Security Engineering (SISE). In one 2007 paper on how to improve security by designing a collaborative network monitoring system, PLA researcher Chen Yi-qun worked with Xue Zhi, the vice-president of SISE and the school's Communist Party branch secretary. According to his biography on the school's website, Xue is credited with developing China's leading infiltrative cyber-attack platform. Calls and emails to Xue were not answered. Reuters was unable to find contact details for Chen. Fan Lei, an associate professor at Shanghai Jiaotong whose main research areas are network security management and cryptography, also co-authored a paper with Chen. Fan told Reuters he has no links with Unit 61398 and his work with Chen in 2010 was because Chen was a SISE graduate student. Fan said he was unaware Chen was with the PLA when they collaborated. Both of the papers Chen co-wrote with SISE professors stated he was with the PLA unit. Cyber-security experts say the publicly available papers and China's National Information Security Engineering Centre are ostensibly about securing computer networks. "The research seems to be defensive, but cyber-security research in general can be dual purpose," said Adam Meyers, director of intelligence at CrowdStrike, a security technology company based in Irvine, California. Figuring out how best to defend networks, by definition, means thinking about the most effective means of attack, he noted. Efforts to reach the PLA for comment on its collaboration with Shanghai Jiaotong were unsuccessful. TECH PARK NEIGHBORS Set amid manicured lawns, Shanghai Jiaotong University is one of China's top four colleges, turning out brilliant technical engineers much in demand by both domestic companies and foreign multinationals. Its reputation has led to tie-ups with elite universities abroad. Last month, Mandiant Corp, a private U.S.-based security firm, accused China's military of cyber-espionage on U.S. and other English-speaking companies, identifying Unit 61398 and its location at a building on the outskirts of Shanghai. China said the report was baseless and lacked "technical proof". "SISE at Shanghai Jiaotong has provided support" to PLA Unit 61398 - known more formally as General Staff Department (GSD), Third Department, Second Bureau - said Russell Hsiao, author of papers on China's cyber-warfare capabilities for Project 2049 Institute, a Virginia-based think-tank, who drew his research from the technical papers and government reports. He said another Shanghai Jiaotong department, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, also did research work with another PLA unit. A Project 2049 report last year found the GSD's Third Department had oversight of "information security engineering bases" in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin. The GSD Third Department's Shanghai base is in an industrial park housing mainly government research institutes and high-tech firms. The SISE building is in the same development, 40 kms from the university's main Minhang campus. Across the street from SISE is the National Information Security Engineering Center, a building commissioned in 2003 by PLA Unit 61398. Also part of the base is the Ministry of Public Security's Third Research Institute, which researches digital forensics and network security. AUTO RESEARCH Shanghai Jiaotong is not officially linked to China's military. SISE says on its website its goal is to speed up the development of China's information security sector and address the national shortage of information security professionals. Shanghai Jiaotong set up a joint institute in China's second city in 2006 with the University of Michigan - seeking, it says on its web site, to "develop innovative and highly reputable education and research programs in various engineering fields." A spokesman for the U.S. college said it has no relationship with SISE. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh also had a partnership with Shanghai Jiaotong's School of Electronic, Information and Electrical Engineering, and Singapore Management University said it ended a tie-up with SISE last June. Among the industries in the United States allegedly targeted by Unit 61398, as recently as last year according to Mandiant, is transportation, including the auto sector. The University of Michigan collaborates closely with Detroit-based automakers on research projects, and is one of three colleges that comprise the University Research Corridor, which spent $300 million on R&D projects over the last five years. Nearly a third of that was funded by private industry, according to local consultant the Anderson Economic Group. "There was no indication in 2010 that the joint institute was involved in any way and that also is the case today. We do, of course, watch the news reports on these issues carefully," said Rick Fitzgerald, a University of Michigan spokesman, referring to a New York Times report in 2010 citing investigators' claims to have tracked cyber-attacks against Google Inc to Shanghai Jiaotong and an eastern Chinese vocational school. (Additional reporting by Jim Finkle and Joseph Menn in SAN FRANCISCO; Editing by Ian Geoghegan) http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/24/net-us-china-cybersecurity-university-idUSBRE92N01120130324 Personal Comment From Bors: This is definitely the future and its definitely a scary one when the people in power know painfully little about how it works.
  11. The Chinese interwebs recently surfaced with pics of the Chinese copypaste of the Boston Dynamics Alpha Dog robot. The Alpha Dog is a 4-legged robot designed to work like a pack mule, helping soldiers carry cargo across mountain trails, where conventional vehicles can't go. Pics of the Chinese copypasta here: http://bmpd.livejournal.com/437484.html Video of Boston Dynamics original here: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-09/11/autonomous-robot-dog Unsuprising. I do have to wonder however, DARPA's been at this for a while, and they're only now getting to the point where they intend to field test the robot with real marine units. It's nowhere near production. The Chinese must be even further behind.
  12. By Manuel Mogato MANILA | Thu Nov 22, 2012 (Reuters) - The Philippines and Vietnam condemned Chinese passports containing a map of China's disputed maritime claims on Thursday, branding the new design a violation of their sovereignty. The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view. Stand-offs between Chinese vessels and the Philippine and Vietnamese navies in the South China Sea have become more common as China increases patrols in waters believed to hold vast reserves of oil and natural gas. "The Philippines strongly protests the inclusion of the nine-dash lines in the e-passport as such image covers an area that is clearly part of the Philippines' territory and maritime domain," Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Thursday, referring to the lines on the passport map. Vietnam had written to China in protest against the new passports and had asked it to "reverse their incorrect content", said Luong Thanh Nghi, a spokesman for Vietnam's foreign ministry. "This action by China has violated Vietnam's sovereignty to the Paracel and Spratly islands as well as our sovereign rights and jurisdiction to related maritime areas in the South China Sea, or the East Sea," he told a news conference. Malaysia and Brunei are also claimants in the dispute which overshadowed an Asian leaders' summit in Cambodia this week. China is also embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan. China's foreign ministry said in a faxed response to questions that the new passports met international standards. "The passports' maps with their outlines of China are not targeting a specific country. China is willing to actively communicate with the relevant countries and promote the healthy development of Sino-foreign personnel exchanges," it said. It was not clear when China began printing the new passports. The dispute spilled over into Southeast Asia's normally serene government summits this year, with China accused of seeking to stall debate and divide the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the issue. Philippine diplomats accused China at this week's summit in Phnom Penh of using its influence over host Cambodia to push a formal statement saying that ASEAN did not want to "internationalize" the dispute. The Philippines, which sees its alliance with the United States as a crucial check on China's claims at a time when the United States is shifting its military focus back to Asia, protested to Cambodia and succeeded in having that clause removed from the final statement. (Additional reporting by Sui-Lee Wee in Beijing and Ngo Chau in Hanoi; writing by Stuart Grudgings in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Nick Macfie) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/22/us-china-southchinasea-idUSBRE8AL09Q20121122 Personal Comment From Bors: The Chinese just simply don't give a shit about anyone else - they pay lip service when it suits them and outright ignore it when it does as well.
  13. By Charlie Zhu and David Lague HONG KONG | Tue Oct 16, 2012 (Reuters) - As China's ruling Communist Party prepares for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition next month, it is planning a daunting step - breaking up the monopolies enjoyed by its gargantuan state-owned enterprises. The monopolists have other ideas. One of the most powerful of all Chinese state-owned giants is the power-grid operator, State Grid Corp, led by the politically savvy engineer Liu Zhenya. This summer, with blackouts paralyzing neighbor India, he seized an opportunity. Liu called his managers together for an urgent conference in Beijing to explore what lessons the world's biggest utility could learn from the Indian crisis. His conclusion: Beijing should preserve State Grid's monopoly over the transmission and distribution of power to 1.1 billion people across 90 percent of China. "In light of the recent series of large-scale power cuts abroad, it is of crucial importance to stick to the right path of power industry reform," Liu told his team on the afternoon of July 31, as a swathe of India suffered blackouts for a second day running. Preserving State Grid and its 1.6 million employees as a single entity "will be conducive to supply security," Liu added, according to a State Grid official citing a company memo. It is hardly surprising that the 61-year-old veteran engineer, who rose up through state-owned power units in his native Shandong Province, favors the status quo. What is remarkable is that he openly contradicts the views of his political masters. China's outgoing Premier, Wen Jiabao, vowed in a speech earlier this year that Beijing would push ahead with monopoly- busting. "We must move ahead with reform of the railway, power and other industries, complete and implement policies and measures aimed at promoting the development of the non-state economy, break monopolies and lower industry thresholds for new entrants," Wen said. All signs are that the next leaders of China - Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to replace Hu Jintao as paramount leader, and Li Keqiang, on tap to succeed Wen as premier - will generally stick to that script. Critics say the sheer size and market dominance of big state owned enterprises (SOEs) creates a drag on the economy through vast opportunity for corruption and waste, leading to higher costs for consumers. In the lead up to the transition, Beijing has been engulfed in one of its biggest and most disruptive scandals in decades: The disgrace of party princeling and charismatic leadership contender, Bo Xilai, and the suspended death sentence handed down to his wife, Gu Kailai, for the murder of a British businessman. The sensational implosion of Bo's political career and public revelations of greed and corruption exposed deep fault lines and bitter factionalism at the top at a time of slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy. When the new leadership is in place, it will be under immediate pressure to break the grip of inefficient SOEs and reinvigorate China's three-decade-long economic miracle. But on economic policy, too, there's division within the party. PARTY'S MONSTERS The increasingly powerful SOEs are a monster of the party's own creation. After languishing through the 1990s, China's state sector came roaring back over the last decade to straddle vast swathes of the economy. A catalyst for the resurgence of SOEs were decisions taken a decade ago to reaffirm the primacy of state ownership as a key plank in the party's authoritarian rule. Dozens of industry heavyweights were carved out and nurtured and many smaller, inefficient SOEs were shut down or sold. While private business expanded, many of these protected and privileged state companies also thrived through the ensuing period of torrid economic growth. Today, SOEs and affiliated businesses account for more than half of Chinese economic output and employment. Of the 70 mainland companies on the 2012 Fortune Global 500 list, 65 are state-owned. State Grid is the world's seventh-biggest company. Oil giants Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp, parent of PetroChina, rank fifth and sixth, respectively. The total profits of CNPC and state-owned China Mobile Ltd were higher than those of China's 500 largest private firms combined in 2010, according to government figures. The SOEs have grown so dominant that economists accuse them of stifling innovation and restricting opportunities for private companies, which now account for almost all employment growth, according to government figures. "With export growth expected to slow in the coming years, China will need to break the monopolies of SOEs and unleash the growth potential of the private sector," says Zhu Jianfang, chief economist at Beijing-based Citic Securities. The reforms sought by the Communist leadership are limited nonetheless. The party isn't launching a fundamental attack on public ownership or pushing for widespread privatization of the state leviathans. It aims to split SOEs into smaller units or bring in more private investment to state-dominated sectors including energy, telecommunications, railways and banking, on the theory that doing so will reinvigorate the world's second-largest economy at a time of flagging growth. The state's dominance of strategic industries including banking, defense, resources, power, telecommunications and transportation will almost certainly remain firmly in place. "The new leaders may introduce more competition to some industries now monopolized by SOEs," said Qiu Xiaohua, former chief of China's National Bureau of Statistics. "But, they will definitely abide by the basic principle - which is keeping public ownership as the backbone of the economy." Debate over the future role of big SOEs in China's economy has been heating up in the run-up to the leadership change, expected to be formalized at the 18th party Congress scheduled to start in Beijing on November 8. PRIVATE SECTOR'S ROLE It is too early to tell if the incoming team will have the stomach for battle with the biggest SOEs such as State Grid. But regulatory sources told Reuters they expect the new leadership to widen the private sector's role in the economy, citing the background of some top incoming officials and their work experience in provinces where entrepreneurs play a key role. They note that Xi Jinping, widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as China's top leader, held top posts in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces along with a stint in Shanghai - all at the forefront of China's vibrant market economy. In resisting change, Liu and other big SOE bosses fight from a position of strength: They dominate key strategic industries with almost unlimited access to finance from state-owned banks, and enjoy strong political connections. They are all appointed by the party and many are political heavyweights in their own right. Liu is an alternate member of the party's 204-member central committee, China's top ruling body. These defenders of the SOEs are not going easily. Their argument is that state-run leviathans have been a key driver of China's economic success, as the dominant players in the infrastructure and industrial boom that laid a solid foundation for long-term economic growth. In a lengthy article last month, Qiushi magazine, the party's top journal of Marxist theory, said state monopolies were serving the country well. The article warned that criticism of SOEs was linked to a Western conspiracy to undermine China's economic system and the competitiveness of these companies overseas. "Don't fantasize that privatization can resolve all the problems existing in industry monopolies," said Qiushi, which means "seeking truth" in Chinese. BANK COMPETITION Reformers made some progress in June, when state-owned banks were given more flexibility in setting interest rates for deposits and loans, increasing the scope for competition for deposits and clients. Chinese interest rate spreads -- the gap between lending and deposit rates -- are among the fattest in the world. Again, it was Premier Wen Jiabao leading calls for change when in April he criticized the banks for "making money far too easily." However, days before the decision was announced on June 7, the move faced strong resistance. Regulators advocating the change, including central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, and senior executives of major state-run commercial banks were locked in a heated debate at a closed-door meeting in Beijing. Xiao Gang, chairman of the giant state-owned lender Bank of China and a former deputy governor of the central bank, was among those who fought the proposal. He argued it would jeopardize China's banking sector, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. "Xiao Gang expressed strong opposition to the proposal. He became emotional during his speech, banging his hand on the table constantly," the source said. China's major state commercial banks, which the government rescued in a series of bailouts starting in 1998, are again facing a surge in bad loans that resulted from massive, government-directed lending to support Beijing's 4 trillion yuan ($638 billion) economic stimulus launched in 2008. SCANDAL AND GRAFT Critics of the SOEs are also pointing to scandal and graft in China's vast but debt-laden rail monopoly as an example of the abuses that accompany unbridled size and power. Beijing in May accused former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, of economic crimes and expelled him from the party. Liu (no relation to the State Grid chief) allegedly took huge bribes and misused his position to help the chairman of an investment company get "an enormous illegal profit," the official Xinhua news agency reported. "We are marching back towards the planned economy and crony capitalism," said Xu Xiaonian, a professor at Shanghai's China Europe International Business School, who is a vocal critic of China's state sector. State Grid's Liu has seen at close hand the impact of high-level corruption. In 2002, when he was deputy chief of State Grid's predecessor, State Power Corp, his boss, company president Gao Yan, fled overseas in the midst of a graft scandal that Beijing said involved losses of almost $1 billion. Dozens of State Power Corp officials were later arrested after authorities said investigations revealed the company had cooked its books, hidden revenue and exaggerated costs. Gao, a former provincial governor and protege of retired premier Li Peng, remains a fugitive. Within months of Gao's flight, Beijing moved to implement a blueprint for sweeping power sector reform. It split the vast State Power Corp, then owner of most of the country's transmission networks and half of its power plants, into generators and grid corporations. State Grid emerged as the dominant transmission operator, and Liu took the helm in 2004. Since then, the company has staunchly resisted pressure for further change. Until last year, it retained control over non-core businesses including engineering and construction. It only agreed earlier this year to cede its remaining power-generating businesses, worth about $7.9 billion, to state coal giant Shenhua Group. FORCEFUL CHARACTER A strongly built and forceful character, Liu cultivates an image as a leading thinker on the future of power transmission for China and the global economy. He is a regular on the international conference circuit with detailed presentations on his plans for a new breed of high-voltage lines and the importance of "smart grids". In an echo of earlier Maoist times, when urban students were sent to the countryside to learn from farmers, Liu likes to post young engineers to remote and difficult regions so they get grounded in the realities of China's power industry, according to people familiar with his leadership style. State Grid did not respond to requests for an interview with Liu for this article. Industry experts expect Liu to fight even harder to frustrate a breakup of State Grid itself. The network has total assets worth 2.21 trillion yuan ($350 billion) and reported a profit of 53.4 billion yuan last year. Reformists say that splitting it into smaller SOEs would make their books more transparent and allow greater scrutiny of its operating costs -- the basis for setting China's electricity prices -- and possibly lead to lower power tariffs. Electricity prices for industrial users, by some estimates, are about 75 percent of average tariffs in the West. But, taking into account China's much lower per capita income, power bills are more onerous. Beijing wants either to split State Grid into a transmission company and a distribution company, or divide it into several units along geographic lines. China's cabinet, the State Council, earlier this year called for trials with transmission and distribution businesses separated but it is not clear if and when they will start. BIGGER IS BETTER Liu's counter-proposal is boldly defiant: State Grid actually should become even bigger. In speeches and presentations at home and abroad, he champions the adoption of ultra high-voltage (UHV) lines to revolutionize long distance electricity transmission. This controversial, technically challenging and expensive technology is untested in large-scale networks, but it holds out the prospect of dramatically lower energy losses over long-distance transmission lines. Liu believes these lines are the answer to China's geographic energy imbalance: most of the country's coal and renewable energy resources are located in the northeast, northwest and west, while most demand is in the east and south. He has been lobbying Beijing for approval to build up to 20 cross-country UHV lines, dubbed power corridors, by 2020. Industry experts say this would cost up to $250 billion. This would allow power stations to operate close to coal mining centers, reducing the need to ship billions of tons of the fuel each year across the country by rail. It would also allow China to efficiently transmit power from distant renewable sources such as solar-panel arrays. "Building UHV grids will provide a platform for the development of large-scale energy centers and optimize allocation of massive energy resources," Liu said at a June ceremony when the party mouthpiece newspaper, the People's Daily, named him China's "Energy Man of the Year". BUREAUCRATIC BACKLASH Some industry experts say this vast new network would also entrench State Grid's transmission monopoly. There are signs, however, that Liu faces a bureaucratic backlash. "The UHV technology is not widely used in the world, so it does not make sense for him to propose so many projects in one go," says Yan Shi, a Shanghai-based energy analyst at securities house UOB Kay Hian. "It makes sense if you just propose to experiment with the technology in a small place first." The National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agency, has so far only approved five of the UHV lines proposed by State Grid. It wants more time to assess the economics, technical details and environmental impact of the multi-billion dollar projects. "There is a huge conflict going on here," says Adam Worthington, head of regional utilities, renewables and coal research at Macquarie Securities. While the debate continues, State Grid's Liu continues to push his view that what's good for his company is good for China. Keeping State Grid whole, he is telling other Chinese officials, will help avert blackouts like those that hit India, where there was a lack of coordination among its fragmented grid networks and distributors. "Whether we are big or not does not really matter," says an official at State Grid, describing the president's views. "The key is whether we are healthy." ($1 = 6.3145 Chinese yuan) (Additional reporting by Victoria Bi; editing by Bill Tarrant and Michael Williams) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/16/us-china-soe-idUSBRE89F1MP20121016 Personal Comment From Bors: NONONONO! Fuck NO! China, if you're going to go more capitalist, do it in the TERTIARY SECTOR not the PRIMARY SECTOR!
  14. Anti-Japan protests have broken out across China, with thousands of people mobbing the Japanese embassy in Beijing. Tensions between the two countries have risen over a disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea. Thousands of protesters hurled rocks and bottles at the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday, as tensions between Asia's two largest economies escalated over a row involving a disputed chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Riot police sought to stop the angry mob from breaching the embassy, as chanting protesters burned Japanese flags. "Return our islands! Japanese devils get out," some of the protesters shouted. Reuters news agency reported that one protester held a sign reading: "For the respect of the motherland, we must go to war with Japan." Protests were being held in at least a dozen other Chinese cities, with only a few reports of clashes, according to the Associated Press. The Japanese foreign minister, Koichiro Gemba, cut short a trip to Australia and returned to Tokyo early Saturday to address the situation. "I'd like to underscore that we should never let the situation escalate," Gemba told reporters on Friday. "We have strong hopes the Chinese government will respond to the situation in an appropriate and also a calm manner." Long-running dispute The Japanese government on Tuesday announced its purchase of the Senkaku island chain from its private Japanese owner. Beijing also claims the islands, which its calls the Diaoyu, and dispatched surveillance vessels to the area on Friday in response to Tokyo's announcement. The current row began in August when Japan detained a group of Chinese activists who had landed on the island chain. Although the islands are uninhabited, they are close to potentially large oil and gas reserves. China's Communist Party normally does not allow protests to take place. But Beijing is under popular pressure, fuelled by historical memories of the Japanese occupation of China during World War Two, to take a tough stand against Tokyo. The Chinese tabloid Global Times, published by the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, called on Beijing to hold its ground against Tokyo. "China should be confident about strategically overwhelming Japan," the tabloid wrote, adding that the Chinese armed forces should "increase their preparation and intensify their deterrence" against Japan. slk/jlw (AP, AFP, Reuters) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16243293,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: That feeling when resources are looking like they'll become a martial issue and Australia is cutting 10 billion from it's already tiny defence budget and we are almost entirely resource dependent.
  15. Date: 30.08.2012 Author: Ian Johnson China has assured Europe of its confidence in the eurozone at the start of a two-day visit to Beijing by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said China would "continue to invest in the EU." At a joint press conference after talks, Wen said: "China has always had confidence in the eurozone, and we are happy to see greater use of the renminbi [China's currency] by European countries in trade and economic transactions." "Strengthening practical cooperation between China and the EU is conducive to overcoming the eurozone debt problem," Wen said. Governments within the EU had the wisdom to solve the problem, he said, adding that Italy, Greece and Spain must step up their resolve to implement reforms. His remarks match hopes often expressed in Europe that China would deploy its large foreign exchange reserves to invest in EU bailout funds for over-indebted eurozone nations, which also include Portugal, Greece and Ireland. Merkel told reporters that "many reforms" were taking place and that there was an "absolute political will to turn the euro into a strong currency again." Merkel is on her second visit to Beijing in just seven months, accompanied by a 100-member delegation, including business chiefs and seven of her cabinet ministers China orders 50 Airbus planes Shortly after her arrival, China's official news agency Xinhua said ICBC Leasing had signed a 2.8 billion euro order to purchase fifty A320 passenger planes from Airbus, the European constructor. ICBC Leasing is part of China's state-run Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The two governments said China had also signed an agreement to extend the life of an Airbus assembly plant in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, Wen's home city, which Merkel will visit on Friday. Other Sino-German cooperation agreements signed span the car industry, communications, energy and health. Westerwelle highlights Syria German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who is among the visiting cabinet members, said he would press China to use its influence in war-torn Syria on the government of President Bashar Assad "We expect that China's readiness to send a clear message with us to the Assad regime will grow," he said. Within the UN Security Council this year, China and Russia have used their vetoes to block draft resolutions on intervention sought by Arabic and Western nations. Westerwelle said Germany would in October open its fifth general consulate in China in the city of Shenyang. "The fact that we are holding government consultations for the second time and that half the cabinet flew half-way around the world reflects the exceptional breadth and depth of our relationship." "For us, China is one of the formative powers of the twenty-first century," Westerwelle said after landing in Beijing. ipj/rg (dpa, AFP, Reuters) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16206497,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Two powerful econo-cheats meeting in the spirit of cooperation. How touching.
  16. By David Lague Tue Aug 28, 2012 A half-built Chinese-owned aircraft carrier Varyag, which is to be converted into a floating casino in China, is towed and escorted by a flotilla of tugboats and pilot ships past the Leandros Tower Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's PC3 surveillance plane flies around the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu in China, October 13, 2011. A part of the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku isles in Japan, Diaoyu in China, is seen in the East China Sea in this aerial view photo taken in October, 2010. (Reuters) - When Japanese activists scrambled ashore on a disputed island chain in the East China Sea this month, one of China's most hawkish military commentators proposed an uncharacteristically mild response. Retired Major General Luo Yuan suggested naming China's new aircraft carrier Diaoyu, after the Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. It would demonstrate China's sovereignty over the islands known as the Senkakus in Japanese, he said. For a notable hardliner, it was one of the least bellicose reactions he has advocated throughout a series of territorial rows that have soured China's ties with its neighbors in recent months. More typical was General Luo's warning in April that the Chinese navy would "strike hard" if provoked during a dispute with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. One possible reason for General Luo's restraint, military analysts say, is he knows it could be towards the end of the decade before China can actually deploy the new carrier to the disputed islands or any other trouble spot. Despite public anticipation in China that the carrier -- a refitted, Soviet-era vessel bought from Ukraine -- will soon become the flagship of a powerful navy, defense experts say it lacks the strike aircraft, weapons, electronics, training and logistical support it needs to become a fighting warship. "There is considerable uncertainty involved, but it could take anything from three to five years," said Carlo Kopp, the Melbourne, Australia based co-founder of Air Power Australia, an independent military think tank. SEA TRIALS The refitted carrier, commonly known by its original name, Varyag, returned to Dalian in northeast China last month after its ninth sea trial, according to reports in the official Chinese media. Some Chinese military researchers had speculated earlier that it would be commissioned into the navy this year. However, senior People's Liberation Army officers have played down these expectations, making it clear the 60,000-tonne carrier was far from operational readiness and would undergo an extensive schedule of trials and exercises. "The Great Wall wasn't built in a day," Colonel Lin Bai from the General Armaments Department, was quoted as saying on official government news websites after the Varyag returned to port. Even when the Varyag is operational, it will only have a limited operational role, mostly for training and evaluation ahead of the anticipated launch of China's first domestically built carriers after 2015, military analysts say. Reports in unofficial Chinese military blogs and websites say China planned to build these carriers at Jiangnan Shipyard's Chanxing Island shipbuilding base near Shanghai. However, professional and amateur analysts who study satellite images of Chinese shipyards have been unable to find any evidence of construction. In its annual report on the Chinese military published earlier this year, the Pentagon said construction may have started on some components of the indigenous carriers. SYMBOL OF BUILD-UP While an effective carrier may be years away, the program has become a symbol of China's three-decade long build-up that has seen a sprawling land-based force with largely obsolete weapons transformed into a trimmed down, better trained military with modern warships and submarines, strike aircraft and an arsenal of precision missiles. For the Chinese navy, the addition of carriers has been a top priority as it builds a force capable of deploying far from the Chinese mainland. Senior commanders have long argued these warships would enhance Beijing's capacity to enforce claims over Taiwan and hotly disputed territories in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Chinese military analysts have speculated the Varyag will be based at China's new naval base at Yalong on the southern tip of Hainan Island, close to the disputed Spratley and Paracel Island groups. Carriers and their long-range strike aircraft would also enhance the PLA's capacity to protect key sea lanes that carry China's massive foreign trade, they say. The commissioning of complex and expensive warships has considerable domestic propaganda value for the ruling Communist Party as a demonstration that China is becoming a top-ranked naval power. The U.S. Navy's fleet of 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers allow it to control vast areas of the earth's surface and airspace. Only a handful of other nations including Britain, France, India and Russia deploy militarily effective carriers. "Aircraft carriers are incomparable and cannot be replaced by other weapons," wrote Senior Captain Li Jie, a researcher at the Chinese Naval Research Institute in an August 21 commentary published on websites linked to the Chinese military. "If a big power wants to become a strong power, it has to develop aircraft carriers." CLOSING TECHNOLOGICAL GAP China originally bought the Varyag in 1998 claiming it wanted to turn the ship, which had been stripped of its engines and anything of military value, into a "floating casino". The extended period of trials and preparations for the carrier suggests it has yet to get it on a wartime footing, let alone close the technological gap with more advanced navies. One major challenge China faces is building a fleet of specialized fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to operate from a carrier's flight deck. China is working on developing a new strike aircraft, designated the J-15, that appears to be a reverse-engineered version of Russia's Su-33 fighter, according to photographs and video footage published on Chinese websites. The Su-33 is the Russian jet that would have flown from the carrier if it had joined the Soviet navy. China already has fully imported and domestically built versions of similar Russian fighters, but experts say adapting flight control software, avionics, weapons, radars and airframes for much more demanding carrier operations is complex and expensive. "There are a whole range of engineering and operational tasks the Chinese need to work through before they have an aircraft they can reliably operate from a carrier," says Kopp, who studied China's aircraft carrier aviation program for a research paper his think tank published earlier this year. What appeared to be a mock-up of the J-15 was seen on the Varyag's flight deck when it berthed at Dalian last month. The Chinese navy is also short of helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning and search and rescue missions, according to Chinese and Western military analysts. CARRIER STRATEGY It also will need to develop a strategy and doctrine for deploying and protecting the carrier on missions far from the Chinese coast, they say. U.S. carriers rely on a screen of supporting surface warships, supply vessels and nuclear attack submarines for protection. China's determination to operate carriers is sending a strong signal about its determination to enforce its territorial claims, analysts say. In a study on China's maritime strategy published earlier this year, Japan's National Institute of Defence Studies, the Japanese military's policy research arm, said basing China's first aircraft carrier at Hainan would shift the balance of power in an area of intense territorial competition. "Should the Varyag be deployed to the South China Fleet, it would enable China to demonstrate its dominant naval power to the disputing states, which in the end could trigger a new arms race in the region," the study said. (Reporting By David Lague; editing by Bill Tarrant) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/28/us-china-carrier-idUSBRE87R15X20120828 Personal Comment From Bors: What the Title and pictures suggest: "China has bought an aircraft carrier for potential use action/threat against Japan" What the Article says: "A Chinese firm bought an old Russian mothball bucket so they can turn it into a floating casino and make money" Fuck you, Reuters.
  17. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-29/xi-jinping-millionaire-relations-reveal-fortunes-of-elite.html Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China’s next president, warned officials on a 2004 anti-graft conference call: “Rein in your spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use power for personal gain.” As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment, according to public documents compiled by Bloomberg. Those interests include investments in companies with total assets of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company. The figures don’t account for liabilities and thus don’t reflect the family’s net worth. No assets were traced to Xi, who turns 59 this month; his wife Peng Liyuan, 49, a famous People’s Liberation Army singer; or their daughter, the documents show. There is no indication Xi intervened to advance his relatives’ business transactions, or of any wrongdoing by Xi or his extended family. While the investments are obscured from public view by multiple holding companies, government restrictions on access to company documents and in some cases online censorship, they are identified in thousands of pages of regulatory filings. The trail also leads to a hillside villa overlooking the South China Sea in Hong Kong, with an estimated value of $31.5 million. The doorbell ringer dangles from its wires, and neighbors say the house has been empty for years. The family owns at least six other Hong Kong properties with a combined estimated value of $24.1 million. READ THE REST FROM THE LINK. =============== What? oooooooooh. Right. I forget. Communism is equality for all 99%, not the 1%. The 1% who are top party officials don't share in the general poverty. They take all the good things in life... while the rest of the people enjoy equal poverty and poor living conditions and exploitation. This is communism in its best possible form.
  18. A Chinese spacecraft has successfully completed the country's first manual docking in orbit. The operation is a further step towards a planned space station. The Shenzhou 9 capsule completed the maneuver with the Tiangong 1 orbiting lab module shortly before 0500 GMT on Sunday. The docking was shown live on national television. The spacecraft had already conducted an automated docking, carried out by remote control from a ground base in China, with theTiangong 1 on June 18, a day after leaving earth. The three Chinese astronauts on board have been living and working in the module for the past week. They returned to the capsule early on Sunday and disconnected in preparation for the manual re-docking. The crew includes 33-year-old Liu Yang, China's first female space traveler. Its mission, China's fourth manned one, is expected to last at least 10 days Risky procedure The operation was an important test of the docking technique needed for building a space station, which China plans to do by 2020. Only the United States and Russia have so far sent independently maintained space stations into orbit. Manual docking is a risky procedure, as the two vessels involved must come together very gently to avoid damage. China's planned space station is to be about one-sixth the size of the 16-nation International Space Station. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16046797,00.html Well.... 1/6th of the size of an international space station that is your own... is not bad at all. We here in the west need to shape up.
  19. The Arctic and its vast energy reserves were a key focus of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's recent trip to Europe, fueling concerns about Beijing's preparations for an ice-free Arctic Ocean. It may seem surprising that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, leader of the world's most populous nation, should begin his Europe tour with a stop in Iceland, a remote island with a population of just 320,000. But the move is in line with a wider Chinese strategy to gain a strategic foothold in the Arctic. Global climate change is opening up the once inaccessible region for shipping and industrial development. A 2011 report by the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program (AMAP) says that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Estimates suggest the polar ice cap might disappear completely during the summer season as soon as 2040, perhaps much earlier. That would enable commercial shipping routes between Asia and Europe as well as between Asia and North America. Last year, international companies increasingly used the northern sea route along the Russian coast to transport gas and other goods to Asia. But it's not just shipping rights and trading interests which are driving China's push in the Arctic. The area is also home to huge natural resources. Estimates suggest around 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil reserves and at least 30 percent of its gas are buried under the Arctic ice. As the world's largest energy consumer, China is hugely interested in Arctic exploration. And the Arctic also has substantial reserves of gold, diamonds, zinc and iron. Who owns the Arctic? Five countries are considered “Arctic states†- Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Denmark (along with Greenland and the Faeroe Islands). Finland, Sweden and Iceland are also members of the Arctic Council which deals with the future development of the North Pole region. China, Japan, South Korea and the European Union are trying to achieve permanent observer status. The move has to be approved by all eight members of the Arctic Council. Permanent observer status grants countries invitations to all Arctic Council meetings and a better chance of contributing to discussions. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a coastal nation can claim exclusive economic rights to natural resources on or beneath the sea floor up to 200 nautical miles (370km) beyond its land territory. But if the continental shelf extends beyond that distance, the country must provide evidence to a UN commission which will then make recommendations about establishing an outer limit. The US has not ratified the convention. Scramble for the Arctic With the chances of exploiting the Arctic region for economic purposes increasing, several Arctic neighbors have stepped up their military activities in the far north. Potential conflicts over maritime borders also affect shipping routes. The Northwest Passage that could significantly reduce the distance between Europe and Asia runs through Canadian territory. Canada claims the waters as a national shipping route. The US and the EU on the other hand say the area is international territory. The Northeast Passage that runs along the Russian coast reduces the distance between Shanghai and Hamburg by around 6,400 kilometers (3,970 miles) and cuts a week off delivery times compared to the conventional route via the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal. Russia is keen on using transit fees to finance the expansion of its infrastructure. According to the Journal of Energy and Security, around 46 percent of the Chinese gross national product is linked to shipping. China also imports 85 percent of its energy from abroad. It's little surprise then that China is pushing ahead in the race for the Arctic to gain access to crucial sea routes. Unease over Chinese ambitions On one hand, China's ambitions in the Arctic are treated with suspicion. But at the same time, Scandinavian countries are eager to boost trade with the rising economic giant and gain access to its vast market. Last year, Iceland's government rejected a plan by multi-millionaire Chinese developer Huang Nubo to build a sprawling tourist resort in the northeast corner of the island, saying it did not meet legal requirements on foreign ownership. There was speculation that the tourist resort was a cover for Chinese plans to build a port or even a naval base. Huang Nubo is now negotiating a new plan with Icelandic municipalities in which he would instead lease the property. Since 2004, China has had its own research station on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen. Beijing is currently building a huge ice-breaker to be completed in 2013, and has planned several research expeditions to the Arctic in the coming years. Chinaseeks to assuage concerns So far, China hasn't unveiled an official Arctic policy. But the world's second-largest economy is apparently preparing to play a key role in securing the region's riches. "Countries closer to the Arctic, such as Iceland, Russia, Canada, and a few other European countries may tend to wish the Arctic were private or that they had priority to develop it," Cui Hongjian, head of the European department of the China Institute for International Studies, told reporters before Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Europe. "But China insists that the Arctic belongs to everyone just like the moon." Chinese officials have also sought to play down fears about Beijing's aspirations in the Arctic. "China is willing to make contributions towards the peace, stability and sustainable development of the Arctic region, and it is on that basis that China seeks cooperation with Iceland," Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Song Tao told reporters last week. Last week's meetings between Wen and Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir resulted in agreements to cooperate in the Arctic region, in marine and polar science and in geothermal energy. A threat to the environment? The growing scramble to secure economic interests in the Arctic region has sparked concerns among environmental activists. Many are worried about the lack of binding rules that would protect the Arctic from commercial exploitation. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working on a polar code for the region. But negotiations over environmental guidelines have been postponed to 2013. Lars Erik Mangset, a maritime expert at the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Norway, said new rules are urgently needed to make the increasing ship traffic safer and more eco-friendly. "It's unacceptable that these regions which are of global importance aren't protected and that commercial interests get priority over development of environmental guidelines," Mangset set. He added that the region would remain dangerous for shipping and oil platforms even if polar ice melted rapidly. Shipping accidents and gas disasters would be difficult to control in these remote areas. Insurance company Lloyds recently published a study on the Arctic that supports the concerns of environmental groups. "The consequences of a catastrophe in the Arctic could be much worse than in other regions," the study says. It recommends strong governance, well-planned risk management and urgent investment in Arctic research to minimize dangers. Author: Irene Quaile / sp Editor: Michael Lawton http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15911711,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Chinas got her finger in everyone fucken pie...all over Africa there are millions of Chinese building expanding new urban developments to service the oil operations they have running there and now they're eyeing the arctic?
  20. A 6-year-old boy's penis was bitten off by his father yesterday morning in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The father was believed to be suffering mental disorder at that time. Local media reported that doctors had restored the boy's penis with a surgery but he may still risk lifetime disability. The boy is now in safe condition and may need long-term psychological therapy to heal his trauma. Witnesses said the father, 32, was taking the boy and his four-year-old sister, all naked, for a walk in the street. He asked the boy to bite his penis and when the boy refused, he attacked him. When people realized what had happened, they rushed to rescue the boy who was already screaming with blood gushing out of his crotch. They nailed down the father to the ground and picked up the penis that was thrown into the shrubs. Police detained the father and the boy was rushed to a hospital. The girl was later picked up by her relatives. The divorced father lived with his children in a rented room about 500 meters away from the site of attack. Neighbors said he used to treat his children well until this year when he looked abnormal. The man was jobless and about 90,000 yuan in debts after his wife left him in 2010 over their business failure. Neighbors saw him pretending to strangle his son on the balcony recently. When his landlord asked him to pay the rent, he said he would go begging with his children. The man has been sent to a hospital for medical treatment, Shenzhen police said. The incident has raised voices for early intervention if a custodian shows incapability to look after his or her child. http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=496150&type=National Personal Comment What the fuck, man?
  21. The German Chancellor has touched down in the Chinese capital, accompanied by top business figures and politicians of all stripes. Her three-day tour will address economic ties, eurozone debt woes, Iran, Syria, and more Merkel will meet Wen Jiabao later on Thursday Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning for a three-day visit. Merkel traveled with an entourage of top business leaders and members of parliament from all the major German political parties. Bilateral economic ties are likely to dominate the agenda; Merkel's first appointment was a lunch-time meeting where she addressed representatives from the financial sector. Merkel called for better regulation of financial instruments like hedge funds, and also said that credit ratings agencies had become too influential, and were worsening the eurozone's debt-related problems. One of Merkel's goals is to convince the Chinese government to invest some of its currency reserves in eurozone sovereign bonds, and she praised recent EU efforts to deal with its debt difficulties - saying the single european currency had "made Europe stronger." "Europe is growing closer together in the crisis," Merkel said. "Every country has to do its homework, but we're staying united, because a collective currency should be defended collectively." This seemed to be a response to local experts who had said in the run up to Merkel's visit that it was unlikely the government would invest heavily in the troubled eurozone. "The European Union has a unified currency, but no unified financial system ensuring that each country keeps its promises to reduce its debt," economist Shen Jiru said in an interview with the Global Times newspaper. "Pumping more money in won't solve the problem." Merkel also said in her speech that China could help solve Europe's debt problems, without elaborating on how. The chancellor was also set to meet young Chinese people who had spent time studying in Germany, before being received with full military honors by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday afternoon. Syrian resolution "necessary" On an international level, Merkel and Wen are expected to discuss recently-imposed EU sanctions, primarily targeting the oil industry, against Iran, and the ongoing unrest in Syria. Germany has been one of the countries leading the push for a UN Security Council resolution condemning violence against Syrians by President Bashar al-Assad's security forces. Merkel said in Beijing that she "thought it important that we try to find a common tongue" on the issue. "It is necesary that the UN Security Council passes a collective resolution," Merkel concluded. China has so far refused to impose sanctions against Iran, saying they would achieve nothing, while also arguing against any UN Security Council resolution against the Syrian regime that might lead to forced regime change or military intervention. msh/ng (dapd, dpa) http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15711369,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Merkel: Wen...It's just unfair...Iran needs to be punished Jiabao: For what exactly, Angela? Merkel: For researching nuclear power and being anti-western. Jiabao: That's a bad policy! We don't do that at all here in China - we're developing nuclear power and we've bought most of the west!
  22. BEIJING | Sat Nov 5, 2011 (Reuters) - China is confident that Europe will be able to overcome its debt crisis, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, adding stability in the eurozone was crucial for the global economic recovery. Yang, however, made no mention about increasing investment in Europe in his statement late on Saturday on President Hu Jintao's trip to the G20 leaders' meeting in southern France. "We believe that Europe has the complete wisdom and ability to solve the debt problem," Yang said in remarks published on the Foreign Ministry's website. "China has always supported Europe's response to the international financial crisis and its economic recovery efforts," he said. The euro zone has been looking to China play a role in supporting its rescue fund by investing some of its $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves -- the world's largest. But there are limits to what Beijing can actually deliver, Cheng Siwei, a former top Chinese lawmaker, said on Saturday, even though China is willing to help Europe, its largest export market, to deal with the debt crisis. Leaders of the world's major economies, meeting on the French Riviera, told Europe to sort out its own problems and deferred until next year any move to provide more crisis-fighting resources to the International Monetary Fund. Yang said that Hu emphasized during his trip "the development and the recovery of the European economy to achieve recovery" of the global economy. (Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/06/us-china-europe-hu-idUSTRE7A504X20111106 Personal Comment From Bors: Euro falls, then China is harder pressed to raise her currency...course they wants Euro to pull finger out...
  23. The Chinese Development Bank is ready to invest 30 billion dollars in various projects worlwide. Part of the money will probably be invested in Serbia as well, as the Chinese are interested in investing funds in infrastructure, energy and agriculture. Serbian business people were advised of the fact during a recent visit of a Serbian busines and parliamentary delegation to China, led by the Serbian Parliament speaker. The Serbian delegation was on a visit to China from August 26 to 30, at the invitation of the president of Permanent Commitee of the Pan-Chinese People’s Congress, Vu Bangguo. During a return visit of Chinese Vice-President Si Jiping, it was emphasized that China continues supporting Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that the Chinese politics counts on cooperation with the Western Balkans. The two countries’ officials signed several bilateral agreements. The Chinese government granted Serbia a privileged loan of 300 million USD for the contruction of the „Kostolac†thermal power plant. The signed documents also include an agreement on economic and technical cooperation, as well as letters of intent for irrevocable aid of 10 million juans for medical equipment and a donation of five million juans for the training of human resources in Serbia. Representatives of the Chinese Development Bank showed an interest for the financing and construction of railway Corridor 10 through Serbia and the Belgrade-Southern Adriatic motorway, i.e. Corridor 11. Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Đukić Dejanović said that firm cooperation of the two countries’ parliaments had been agreed upon, as well as the realization of a loan contract for the revitalization of the „Kostolac†thermal power plant. The director of Serbia's „Kostolac†thermal power plant, Dragan Jovanović, said in Beijing, after talks with the governor of the “Eksim†bank, that the loan is worth 300 million USD and that only procedural issues have remained, which issues are to be resolved by the Bank in a month. An agreement has been signed with “CMEK†( China National Machines and Equipment Import and Export Corporation ) a leading company in the field of electric energy, whcih agreement refers to the revitalization of thermal blocks in the Kostolac†thermal power plant, some 80km east of Belgrade, and the construction of a complete plant for removing sulphur. Besides, some infrastructural facilities required for the process, such as the railroad, part of the road network and a port on the Danube are to be built. The second phase envisages the construction of a new energy unit, of 350 MW in power and the enlargement of the “Drmno†pit. The entire arrangement would cost 718 million dollars. According to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, economic cooperation with China is not going on in line with true potentials. The most significant form of economic cooperation is trade in merchandise, which has been on a rise laterly, but the Serbian side has suffered a big deficit. In 2010, China was at the fourth position on the list of Serbia’s foreign trade partners, after Germany, Russia and Italy. Economic cooperation, trade exchange and investments were in the focus of talks of the two countries’ presidents two years ago, in August 2009, when the Serbian president visited China. On that occasion, a strategic partnership was agreed upon and mutual relations were increased to a higher level. Source; Radio Srbija http://www.balkans.com/open-news.php?uniquenumber=118358 Personal Comment From Bors: Anybody else see a trend emerging here? China's being a busy boy hopping around all over the place.
  24. An employee looks up while working along a production line in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, June 8, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Aly Song By Nick Zieminski NEW YORK | Fri Aug 12, 2011 (Reuters) - For years, low prices on China-sourced goods helped dampen inflation in the United States. Now China's efforts to boost domestic consumer spending, reducing reliance on exports, are leading to higher costs for multinationals that manufacture goods there. Eventually, China could export its inflation. Conglomerates ranging from Emerson Electric (EMR.N) to Honeywell International (HON.N) feel pressure on margins from double-digit wage increases in China. So have toymaker Mattel (MAT.O), fast-food chain Yum! Brands (YUM.N) and computer maker Dell (DELL.O), analysts and investors say. They have plenty of options besides raising prices, such as embracing automation or moving to China's less-developed interior. Some companies relegate China costs to the category of minor headache; others point to long-term benefits from richer Chinese consumers. But the topic has became a talking point during the earnings season now winding down. "Input cost increases have been a steady headwind to margins for some time now," Fairchild Semiconductor International (FCS.N) Chief Financial Officer Mark Frey said last month. "Metals and energy pricing, forex and China wage inflation are more difficult to forecast. Yum, the No. 1 Western restaurant brand in the world's fastest-growing major economy, generates a third of its profit from China. It said its full-year margins will dip this year, citing labor inflation in the mid-to-high teens. "I do believe that labor inflation will continue high for quite a while," Yum CFO Rick Carucci said on the company's earnings conference call. He called commodity prices another "wild card" for the company. GO WEST, YOUNG MAN Nearly a third of Emerson Electric's total workforce is in China, where it employs more than 40,000 people. Amid 20 percent wage increases, the company has said it could move some production to China's interior, and it might move 20 percent of its capacity to other Asian countries. "The economy is going into a more costly mode," CEO David Farr said on Emerson's second-quarter conference call. "We are going to have to refix where we're manufacturing." Emerson's network power business was the only of its five units to show lower operating profits in the latest quarter. The company cited labor inflation among the causes. "A lot of the wage increase is to keep civil unrest at a minimum," said William Blair analyst Nick Heymann, who said suicides at an Apple (AAPL.O) supplier and the "Arab Spring" protests have alarmed Beijing. "These guys have watched North Africa and the Middle East with a lot of trepidation." A related, complicating factor is that local competitors, many state-owned and not too worried about margins, are challenging companies like Emerson on price, Heymann said. Multinationals have figured out they cannot compete on cost: they must differentiate their products, making them smaller, faster or more energy-efficient. Then, depending on the product, they might be able to ask for higher prices. Others, such as makers of labor-intensive shoes and toys, have to take into account a cost-conscious consumer now potentially facing a new recession. Still, Hasbro and Mattel have pushed through price increases this year, and Hasbro's CEO has said China remains its preferred manufacturing hub. MANUFACTURING A CONSUMER CULTURE China this year adopted a five-year plan that calls for 7 percent growth in per-capita income, ahead of earlier targets, and fresh investment in research and development, to boost domestic consumption and modernize its economy. Manufacturing wages are a fraction of those in the United States but are narrowing the gap, both fueling and responding to China's inflation, now at three-year highs. Between 1978 and 2009, wages jumped almost 13 percent a year, six times the pace of U.S. wage rises, according to BernsteinResearch. Since 2006, that growth has accelerated. By 2015, wages around Shanghai, adjusted for productivity, will be 61 percent of those in low-cost U.S. states like Alabama, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Transport and other considerations further shrink that gap. "Wages are getting large enough that you start to feel the difference," said Hal Sirkin, a BCG senior partner, who said U.S. companies are looking at alternative manufacturing sites. "One of the answers is to start moving back to the U.S." The next few years will bring a wave of reinvestment by U.S. multinational manufacturers in their home base, as rising wages and a strong yuan currency make China a less attractive production center, BCG predicts. Its July BCG paper names 14 companies rethinking where they produce goods, including NCR (NCR.N), Ford (F.N), Flextronics (FLEX.O), Ashland (ASH.N), and Jarden's (JAH.N) Coleman unit. Where China once had ample labor, and supply was well balanced with demand, that equilibrium has broken down, BCG argues. The change does not mean shutting Chinese factories and firing workers; it means selectively scaling back future expansion or investment. China's size will ensure it remains a major global player. China's well-developed infrastructure is an advantage over other countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. And any short-term hit to margins has to be balanced against the long-term opportunity in a richer China. For many producers, costs such as oil and metals are a bigger headache than the soaring cost of labor. "I'm not that worried about it," Honeywell CEO Dave Cote said, referring to wage inflation. "I don't put it up there in one of these economic perils kind of categories." Manufacturers including Honeywell are looking inland, where wages are lower, Cote said, or they are automating production. "You'd look at it in the past and say, instead of a machine, it's worth having 10 people do it," Cote said. "Well, that may not be true anymore." Cote's comment points to a crucial silver lining for some U.S. companies. If factories invest in machines, that helps Emerson and Rockwell Automation (ROK.N). If China expands its consumer middle class, the Yums of the world benefit as families eat out more or adopt a protein-rich diet. Ultimately, the success of that drive to shore up China's consumer base may determine how U.S. companies perceive the risks and rewards of operating in China. "The customer base in China is just so immense," said Tim Hanley, Deloitte LLP U.S. Process & Industrial Products Leader. "Companies that were in China as a low-cost exporting base recognize they need to be there. That's where demand is." (Editing by Dave Zimmerman) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/12/us-usa-manufacturing-china-idUSTRE77B2IV20110812 Personal Comment From Bors: Boous Hoous that they have to pay some decent wages (or less arseholish ones) for a change.
  25. August 7, 2011 New generation ... crusading Chongqing politician Bo Xilai. Photo: Getty Images A maverick politician is taking on the Chinese mafia as he tries to restore the People's Republic's communist roots, writes John Garnaut in Chongqing. Wang Li started feeling edgy when her mother wasn't home by tea. She called her mother's mobile phone and the voice on the other end sounded calm and reassuring but still she jumped in her maroon Mercedes-Benz and sped through the winding Chongqing streets to find her. Wang's mother, Chen Meirong, had traded her bus conductor's job for a taxi, then a clothes shop and a restaurant, and had now taken the leap into real estate. Wang parked at the Daisi Hotel and strode through the revolving doors, where she found her mother surrounded by 30 muscular men all dressed in black. They sported shaved heads or crew cuts and addressed each other as ''Big Brother''. Restoration of the People's Republic's communist roots is kicking off in Chongqing. On the table was a contract to transfer Chen's 220 million yuan ($30 million) tract of land over to the government-owned Chongqing International Trust Co, which Chen had spent 10 hours refusing to sign. Chen turned to her daughter with what she thought was perfect composure and told her to go home ahead of her because their business remained unfinished. But Wang grabbed her mother's wrist, sent a table of tea cups flying and yelled as hard and as high-pitched as her body would allow: ''If there is a dispute we can solve it later because YOU HAVE TO LET HER EAT!'' And Wang marched her mother back out the revolving doors to safety. Welcome to Chongqing circa February 2008, the booming Yangtze River metropolis where government-mafia collusion opened the door for China's maverick-princeling politician Bo Xilai to make his stand. Bo did not stop Chen's business being stolen from her but two of the shaved-headed men who bailed her up in that hotel lobby, Chen Kun-zhi and Yang Yun, are among the 4000 mobsters and official patrons Bo has thrown in jail. With equal audacity, Bo revived the revolutionary iconography and techniques of mass mobilisation that had been dormant since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. He sent 200,000 officials ''down to the countryside'' to learn from the people, in a tribute to what Mao had done before him. He channelled billions of dollars into ostensibly socialist housing programs and even banned commercial advertising on his city's television station and filled it with 24-hour ''red'' revolutionary programming. Bo's amorphous ''Chongqing model'', as it is now known, is popular as well as polarising. Bo is now the poster-boy for China's resurgent new left while his strongman methods are an object of despair among many on the liberal right. In short, Bo lit a virtual bomb beneath a colourless, consensus-driven Communist Party that faces ever-growing social tensions and is struggling to articulate a rationale for its continued dictatorship. Wang Kang, a Chongqing intellectual who is steeped in Communist Party history as well as China's ancient classics, believes even the actors are not fully aware of the ancient dynastic forces that are at play on Bo Xilai's political stage. ''All through Chinese history, power has been transmitted down through bloodlines,'' says Kang. ''Bo has extraordinary capabilities and is not just representing his father, Bo Yibo, who made a special contribution to the revolution, but his father's generation.'' Wang says the President, Hu Jintao, will soon disappear from history and China's princelings, the children of the communist revolution, are moving now to fill that void. The Bo Xilai performance - whether nation-changing or colourful sideshow - reached a new peak when Bo's ''sing Red'' campaign was taken up across the country for the party's recent 90th birthday celebrations. Sections of the national bureaucracy were temporarily paralysed while officials were drafted into singing paeans to Mao. But there are also signs that the Bo Xilai phenomenon is struggling to maintain momentum as next year's crucial 18th party congress, and modern Chinese reality, draws nearer. Waves of public pressure led Bo's security apparatus to drop a controversial court cases against the Beijing lawyer Li Zhuang, who had dared to defend gangsters in his city. Netizens were up in arms again when Bo sent an internet critic to a year's ''labour reform'' for posting a derogatory remark. Bo's ''Red Channel'', which started with such fanfare, now suffers random programming interruptions and has tumbled down the ratings charts, after being deprived of advertising revenue. Even Yang Fan, the co-author of Chongqing Model, which is on prominent display in the city's bookstores, is having second thoughts. ''His program should include democracy, rule of law, market economy but now it is too close to the old left and new left and the Cultural Revolution,'' says Yang, an economics professor at China University of Political Science and Law. Yang's U-turn from booster to critic is significant. He was a student at Beijing's elite No. 4 Middle School, where he watched several ''princeling'' classmates hounded out of school as their parents were purged, humiliated and even destroyed during Mao's rolling campaigns. One of his close classmates was the younger brother of Bo Xilai. Bo's father, Bo Yibo, one of the country's top leaders, was arrested and mercilessly beaten during the Cultural Revolution. Tragically, his mother committed ''suicide'', to use the official term - frequently a euphemism for murder. Yang recited a seven-character Chinese aphorism: a daughter-in law suffers for years at the hands of her mother-in law until becoming one herself. ''Maybe Bo has this psychology and is becoming a mini-Mao,'' Yang says. ''Bo shouldn't sacrifice China's future for his own ambition … Bo's problems in Chongqing will be exposed and it will become chaotic.'' And now Bo's most popular campaign, against the local mafia, may be reaching its natural limits before any satisfying resolution. The headquarters of Chongqing International Trust Co, known locally as Guotou, is a faux colonial-era building in this crowded city's busiest intersection, on the corner of Peace and People Power roads. The company is ostensibly owned and controlled by the Chongqing city government, although customers and anonymous internet reports claim a majority of shares are in the hands of the chief executive, Weng Zhenjie, a graduate from the PLA Telecommunications Academy, who occupies an expansive office on the building's 10th floor. A retired Guotou official, who has combed through the company's reports, told The Sun-Herald he reported Weng's dealings to the national securities regulator - including along with the assertion that most of the company's income was illegal. One victim of mafia-backed financial thuggery, a property developer called Zhang Mingyu, has filed multiple complaints about Weng in Beijing and Chongqing. He wants the mayor of Chongqing, Huang Qifan, to know that he is in Beijing, working on his case, and hopes Huang is working on it, too. Zhang has hired a prominent lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, as back-up in case he gets arrested. Pu says it's not yet time for Zhang to sue to get his property back but it it may be soon, when Chongqing politics begin to shift and other victims come out of the woodwork. When Chen Meirong was rescued by her daughter from the lobby of the Daisi Hotel she went straight home and wrote her will. Her daughter, Wang Li, is a single mother, like her mother and her grandmother. She had kept house for the family and cared for her six younger siblings since she was old enough to cook. She did the shopping, even bought her mother's clothes, while Chen worked all day and most of the night building their modest business. Guotou went on to steal her property development, now worth perhaps 500 million yuan and left her with only debts to her workers and suppliers. Chen suffered a breakdown, spending eight months in and out of hospital, so her poised and headstrong daughter took control of business. ''I had thought my mother was strong, so strong that she could solve any problem, but I felt this time she had lost her way,'' says Wang. ''We had to get the money back to our suppliers who had helped us in the past.'' Wang repeatedly tried to contact management at Guotou even if only to confirm that the company had swindled them, to no avail. ''I wasn't scared, I wasn't emotional, I just felt I must meet the Guotou leaders today and be prepared if they refused.'' Wang picked up a container of petrol and drove down People Power Road. Her mother called. Wang's voice was calm and she told her mother she wasn't doing anything. But Chen clambered out of her hospital bed and followed her down the road. Wang's maroon Mercedes pulled up outside the great double doors of Guotou headquarters and she strode through the marble atrium, underneath the chandelier and past the screens where an elevator would be waiting to take her to Weng Zhenjie's office. Security guards fanned in front of her, so she doused herself with petrol and demanded they let her through. Then police bowled through the door, at the same time as her mother, Chen, and they tackled the lighter from her hand. Wang has been released from 12 months' detention after being sentenced without trial for disturbing public order. The family never got its money back but life is returning to normal. ''The police now come within three minutes when ordinary people call,'' says Wang approvingly, pointing to the police cars outside the Guotou offices on People Power Road. ''Before Bo Xilai arrived they would never come at all.'' Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/bo-paints-the-town-red-invokes-mao-and-jails-gangsters-20110806-1igi7.html#ixzz1UJR9Ew3f Personal Comment From Bors: I am skeptical. Of how many men were in that hotel lobby, only two get jailed by Bo and they are both likely as not little more than hired guns. Which means it's probably a publicity stunt that's the result of a deal between this new fella who thinks he's Mao and the mafia who are pulling a kind of quit pro quo thing.
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