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Posts Tagged ‘China’

Ruble-yuan settlements booming, set to reshape global finance

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 12, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (RIA Novosti / Michail Metcel)                    Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (RIA Novosti / Michail Metcel)
Settlements in local currencies between Russia and China now account for 7 percent of the bilateral trade, but the potential for growth is tremendous, experts tell RT. Yuan-ruble trade in Russia has grown 700 percent in a year.

Growing cooperation between Russia and China has become one of the hottest topics in the global economy. It is signaling the emergence of a strong alliance of one the world’s richest and strongest economies, which is expected to reshape the existing western-dominated economic model.

While energy deals between the resource – rich Russia and resource – hungry China look natural, bringing the countries’ finances closer looks like a real challenge to the US dollar system, experts agree, although the transition won’t be quick. Read the rest of this entry »

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Giant Chinese 3D printer builds 10 houses in just 1 day (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 28, 2014

Screenshot from YouTube user ChinaViewTVcreenshot from YouTube user Chin

A private company located in eastern China has printed ten full-size houses using a huge 3D printer in the space of a day. The process utilizes quick-drying cement, but the creators are being careful not to reveal the secrets of the technology.

China’s WinSun company, used a system of four 10 meter wide by 6.6 meter high printers with multi-directional sprays to create the houses. Cement and construction waste was used to build the walls layer-by-layer, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“To obtain natural stone, we have to employ miners, dig up blocks of stone and saw them into pieces. This badly damages the environment,” stated Ma Yihe, the inventor of the printers. Yihe has been designing 3D printers for 12 years and believes his process to be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Big lender’ China urges US to avoid bankruptcy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 8, 2013

China's Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao (Reuters)

China, the US government’s largest foreign creditor, is “naturally concerned about developments in the US fiscal cliff”, as Reuters quoted Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao giving the Chinese government’s first public response to the Oct 17 US deadline for raising the debt ceiling.

China currently holds 22.85 percent of the US $16.7trln debt, which makes it the biggest US creditor.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew calculated the US would run out of money by October 17 and have less than $30 billion cash in hand if Congress fails to agree on its spending plans. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cyber-war between U.S., China

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 20, 2013

Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank explains President Obama's cybersecurity policy after an executive order designed to combat cyber-terrorism was issued last week. Photo: Ann Heisenfelt, Associated Press

Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank explains President Obama’s cybersecurity policy after an executive order designed to combat cyber-terrorism was issued last week. Photo: Ann Heisenfelt, Associated Press

By James Temple

A prominent computer security firm has traced the activity of one of the world’s most sophisticated hacking groups to the gates of the Chinese military, underscoring critical weaknesses in both our cyber-defenses and trade policies.

Mandiant’s detailed 60-page analysis, first reported in the New York Times on Sunday, adds to the mounting evidence that Beijing plays a direct hand in ongoing espionage of U.S. corporations.

The Alexandria, Va., security firm explained that attacks from the group it calls APT1, or Comment Crew, originate in the same geographic location as the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398, on the edge of Shanghai. The two groups also appear to share missions, capabilities, resources, tactics and technology infrastructure.

“It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China,” the company said.

China declined to do so, however, denying the allegations and labeling the report “unprofessional.”

But Mandiant’s analysis follows a string of reports linking corporate cyber-attacks to China in recent weeks, including ones aimed at the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington Post and others. The report is also consistent with the U.S. government’s own findings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Satellite Wars: China unveils ‘cheaper’ answer to GPS

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 28, 2012

navigation-photo-beidou-facebookcom.nChina’s rapidly-expanding rival to GPS, called BeiDou, has become available to customers across Asia-Pacific for the first time. It aims to claim a fifth of the satellite services market in the region in just three years.

Previously, the satellite constellation was only used by the country’s military and government services. Now, it is being commercialized.

“The services now available include positioning, navigation, timing and short messages for China and surrounding areas. We hope BeiDou conquers 15 to 20 percent of the satellite services market in the Asia Pacific by 2015,”BeiDou spokesman Ran Chengqi announced at a press conference in Beijing, reported by Xinhua news agency.

China says that as it expands worldwide, the state-funded navigation system will bring in revenues of more than $60 billion a year.

At the moment, a user receiving BeiDou’s signal can determine their position to within ten meters. Most civilian GPS users are given positional data that is out by no more than 2 meters, but BeiDou’s makers say their services will be much cheaper than those of the US-government owned GPS.

BeiDou, which is the Chinese term for the Big Dipper star, is also expanding at an impressive rate, meaning it will soon be able to bridge the performance gap. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reaching for the stars or false dawn? Russia says next-gen spacecraft design ready

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 27, 2012

russianspacewebcom-user-zak-image.nRussia’s halting attempts to build a next generation spacecraft have received a boost after a leading constructor announced that it has completed the design of a new prototype. But seasoned space watchers await specifics before popping their corks.

“We have finished the design of the new spaceship. We took into consideration that the new craft has to be able to travel not only to the International Space Station (ISS), but also to the moon,” said Vitaly Lopota, the chief of RSC Energia, the Russian space industry’s primary spacecraft builder.

The proposed spacecraft is commonly known as PPTS (or Prospective Piloted Transport System) and RSC Energia won the tender to build it in 2009. Initially, 2015 was named as the date of the first test flight, but that was then shifted to 2018. Now, Lopota has brought the test date forward again.

“We are currently working on the first full-size model. The first test flights should take place in 2017,” he announced during a press conference in Moscow.

Currently, Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, uses a modernized Soyuz spacecraft, a basic design that flew its first mission in 1967, to deliver cosmonauts to the ISS.

On paper, PPTS sounds like a significant upgrade, although all design information is preliminary and has not been finalized by the designers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Google takes action to support open Internet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 23, 2012

An upcoming UN-organized conference on global communications aims to hammer out a treaty to safeguard “the free flow of information around the world.” Google is fighting back, saying the treaty threatens the “free and open Internet.”

Representatives from UN member-states will gather in Dubai from December 3 through 14 with the explicit aim of working out a new universal information and communication treaty that would regulate the Internet.

The conference, organized by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) has reignited a fierce debate over who should control the Web.

Google has remained unequivocal in its stance that the closed-door meeting a power grab aimed at ending public control of the Internet and strangling free speech:

“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice,” Google said on its ‘Take Action’ advocacy website.

Google, which has consistently taken a self-regulatory approach to the Internet, called the Dubai conference the“wrong place” to make decisions on the future of the Internet.

The Internet giant argued that the 42 countries set to decide the future of the Net have already moved to censor it, and that the number of regulations is only growing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Xi Jinping, China Vice President, Named Communist Party Leader

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 15, 2012

By Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING, Nov 15 (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party unveiled its new leadership line-up on Thursday to steer the world’s second-largest economy for the next five years, with Vice President Xi Jinping taking over from outgoing President Hu Jintao as party chief.

Xi was also named head of the party’s Central Military Commission, state news agency Xinhua said.

The other new members of the Politburo Standing Committee – the innermost circle of power in China’s authoritarian government – include premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and financial guru Wang Qishan, who will be in charge of fighting corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 26, 2012

By 

BEIJING — The mother of China’s prime minister was a schoolteacher in northern China. His father was ordered to tend pigs in one of Mao’s political campaigns. And during childhood, “my family was extremely poor,” the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said in a speech last year.

But now 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind — she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are Chinese Telecoms Firms Really Spying on Americans?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 10, 2012

A congressional committee warned U.S. companies against dealing with two prominent Chinese firms whose products could compromise national security
 
Executives of two major Chinese technology companies, Charles Ding, Huawei Technologies Ltd senior vice president for the U.S., left, and Zhu Jinyun, ZTE Corporation

J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Executives of two major Chinese technology companies, Charles Ding of Huawei, left, and Zhu Jinyun of ZTE, right, are sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept 13, 2012, before testifying whether their expansion in the American market poses a threat to U.S. national security

The charm offensive didn’t pay off. Last month, senior Chinese executives unaccustomed to sharp scrutiny sat in front of a foreign government and tried to explain just what their companies did. But on Oct. 8, after 11 months of study, the House Intelligence Committee recommended that American businesses stay away from computer-network products made by two Chinese firms, Huawei and ZTE, for fear that they may compromise U.S. national security. The world’s second and fifth largest information-and-communications-technology companies have large operations overseas but have failed to expand extensively in the U.S. Now, the U.S. looks like an even more distant destination.

“Based on available classified and unclassified information,” said the U.S. panel’s 52-page report, “Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems … Malicious implants in the components of critical infrastructure, such as power grids or financial networks, would also be a tremendous weapon in China’s arsenal.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Myth of Chinese Efficiency

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 3, 2012

image: Pedestrians stand before heavy traffic at an intersection in Beijing. The US embassy which has its own pollution measuring system, and which rates anything over 150 as unhealthy, was showing an index of 403, or 'hazardous' on this particular day.

ED JONES / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
Pedestrians stand before heavy traffic at an intersection in Beijing. The US embassy which has its own pollution measuring system, and which rates anything over 150 as unhealthy, was showing an index of 403, or ‘hazardous’ on this particular day.

Many people in the U.S. and Europe believe China is a model of modern transport and political effectiveness. They should try to live here.

On the road to Beijing’s international airport the other day, I noticed dark clouds moving in on the horizon. My stress level immediately spiked. Flight delays have become almost the norm here in Beijing, even on the brightest of days; a little rain would certainly spell trouble. As the drops began to splat on the windshield, I had dispiriting visions of getting stuck in Beijing and missing my connecting flight in Hong Kong — and my next deadline for TIME with it. My fears were confirmed when I arrived at the gate, where the departure time came and went. Though the sun had peeked through the clouds, the damage had already been done. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Price of Faith: Chinese Buddhist Sites Plan IPOs

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 28, 2012

STR / AFP / Getty Images

STR / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
Shaolin monks perform for visitors on Oct. 24, 2010. The temple makes millions every year from entrance fees and online sales of Shaolin items

In China today, there’s little that money can’t buy — even when it comes to faith. Many of the country’s most popular Buddhist sites are chock-full of cure-all tonics and overpriced incense. For the most part, people seem happy, or at least willing, to oblige. That changed this summer, though, when it emerged that China’s four most sacred Buddhist mountains were hatching plans to list on the Shanghai stock exchange.

In July, Mount Putuo Tourism Development Co. announced it would attempt to raise 7.5 billion yuan in a 2014 initial public offering. The company operates the tourist facilities at Putuo Shan, located on an island 20 miles (32 km) off Shanghai. Chinese state media quoted representatives of Wutai Shan in Shanxi province and Jiuhua Shan in Anhui province as saying they too had plans to raise funds on the capital markets. The fourth of China’s sacred mountains, Emei Shan in Sichuan province, completed a public listing in Shenzhen in 1997, under the incredibly auspicious ticker symbol “888.” Read the rest of this entry »

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How a Ferrari Crash May Have Unsettled China’s Leadership Transition

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 5, 2012

There is still much that is unknown about the March car crash, but it seems to have caused some serious political drama.
Andy Wong / AP

ANDY WONG / AP
Ling Jihua, a loyal aide and confidante to President Hu Jintao, left, looks on as Chinese President Hu Jintao, bottom right, signs a document after attending the closing ceremony of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on March 14, 2010

During a Beijing spring filled with salacious political gossip about the downfall of senior government official Bo Xilai, the March 18 crash of a Ferrari on the outskirts of the city was just one more shocking episode in this cloistered capital. As the rumor mill in Beijing worked overtime, I heard scandalous but totally unconfirmable whispers from Chinese journalists employed at government-run publications and other well-sourced insiders. The driver of the black Italian sports car was the son of a high-ranking government official, they alleged. There were two young women in the car. Astonishingly, the ladies were not members of China’s Han ethnic majority, but Tibetans. One (or more) of the car’s occupants had perished in the crash.

Each tantalizing, unprovable detail prompted further questions. How had the son of a Communist Party official, whose salary is relatively meager, managed to acquire a Ferrari? Tibetans have been so despondent over Communist control over their land that dozens of local youngsters have self-immolated in recent months, sparking a massive security crackdown by the Chinese government. So what were members of this oft oppressed minority doing in a vehicle supposedly driven by a party scion? Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s Economic Slowdown: Why Stimulus Is a Bad Idea

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 30, 2012

What Beijing needs to spur growth is not greater spending or easy money, but fundamental reform
Soo Hoo Zheyang / Reuters

SOO HOO ZHEYANG / REUTERS
A flour vendor naps as he waits for customers in front of his stall at a wholesale market in Beijing on May 11, 2012

Anyone who thought China was impervious to either the perilous state of the global recovery or the laws of basic economics should take a look at the data streaming out of the country in recent months. GDP growth in the second  quarter slipped to 7.6%, the slowest clip in three years. Manufacturing output and exports have been weak and the property sector has stalled. The IMF recently lowered its forecast for China’s growth in 2012 to 8% — which would be the economy’s worst performance since 1999. And with the sagging data have come louder and louder cries for greater government stimulus to pump up growth, as Beijing’s policymakers did successfully after the 2008 financial crisis. “There’s lots more the government can do to ratchet things up,” HSBC said in a recent report.

That’s exactly what China doesn’t need, however. Government policies to greatly boost growth will only exacerbate the percolating dangers within the Chinese economy — dangers that could even result in an economic crisis. Instead, the current slowdown shows how badly China needs a new growth model, and the reform necessary to build one.

(MORE: Why China Should Slow Down)

For several years now, economists have been warning that China’s growth is unbalanced and, therefore, unsustainable. The economy is too dependent on investment and exports to drive growth, they argue, and to fix that problem, Beijing has to do more to encourage domestic consumption as another pillar of development. Not much has really been done to “rebalance” the economy, however, and sometimes it seemed that didn’t much matter. As the economists babbled, the economy continued to grow. Read the rest of this entry »

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China arrests thousands in latest internet crime crackdown

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 27, 2012

Woman holding tablet showing Sina Weibo

The arrests follow other efforts to prevent users posting “false rumours” on Chinese micro-blogs

More than 10,000 suspects have been arrested and 600 criminal gangs “busted” in China’s latest cybercrime crackdown, the authorities say.

As of June, 3.2 million “harmful” messages had been deleted and 30 internet service providers punished for granting access to unlicensed sites, the Ministry of Public Security said.

The crackdown targeted pornography and the illegal sale of personal details.

But some say it is being used to censor online criticism of the government.

“Although illegal and harmful information on the internet has been sharply reduced through intensified crackdowns, fraudulent messages are still seen occasionally,” said a statement from the ministry quoted by the official Xinhua news agency. Read the rest of this entry »

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