Archive for ‘China alert’

25/06/2015

China says economic losses from drug abuse hit $81 billion a year | Reuters

China on Wednesday gave its first-ever assessment of the scourge of drug abuse, saying it caused annual economic losses of 500 billion yuan ($80.54 billion) and as many as 49,000 deaths last year.

China has intensified a crackdown on drugs as the rise of a new urban class with greater disposable income has fueled a surge in the numbers of drug addicts.

In its fight on drug abuse, the government arrested a string of celebrities, including the son of Hong Kong kungfu movie star Jackie Chan. Jaycee Chan, 32, was released in February, after serving a six-month jail sentence on drug charges.

China has more than 14 million drug users, Liu Yuejin, assistant minister of public security, told a news conference.

“The direct economic losses caused by drug use in the entire country have hit 500 billion yuan annually,” Liu said.

Drug abuse had killed at least 49,000 registered users by the end of 2014 and fueled a rise in crimes such as murder, abduction and rape, Liu added.

China’s share of synthetic drug users eclipsed heroin users for the first time last year, according to an annual report on the drug situation.

By the end of 2014, China had about 1.2 million users of methamphetamine, up almost 41 percent from a year earlier.

Two major overseas drug sources for China are southeast Asia’s “Golden Triangle,” where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet, and south Asia’s “Golden Crescent“, which includes Afghanistan and Pakistan, Liu said.

Heroin and methamphetamine are being smuggled into China’s southwestern province of Yunnan and region of Guangxi, which both border Southeast Asia, Liu added.

To fight this situation, China was strengthening law enforcement cooperation with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and other countries, he said.

via China says economic losses from drug abuse hit $81 billion a year | Reuters.

25/06/2015

Indian and Chinese Car Makers Out-Earn U.S. Rivals – India Real Time – WSJ

U.S. auto makers’ ability to finance costly technology and emissions requirements from earnings will be tested by a broader group of strong competitors that for the first time include more profitable Indian and Chinese car makers.

Top auto makers in China and India earned 37.5% more profit excluding preferred dividends in fiscal 2014 than their U.S. counterparts, joining European and Japanese auto companies in out-earning the Detroit Three, said AlixPartners LLP, a New York-based consulting firm with a global automotive practice. Its 2015 automotive outlook, released on Tuesday, shows emerging Asian auto makers last year generated margins that were about double those of General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Chrysler unit.

The emergence of Asian powerhouses—notably India’s Tata Motors Ltd. and China’s SAIC Motor Corp. and Great Wall Motor Co.—represents the latest dent in Detroit’s once-global dominance. Over the past 15 years, U.S. auto makers went from delivering more than 60% of world-wide car-company profit to delivering about 17%, the consulting firm said.

The trend raises questions about the global competitiveness of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler on the eve of labor negotiations with the United Auto Workers union and amid an aggressive push by Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne for industry consolidation. The U.S. market is on pace for 17 million light-vehicle sales in 2015, the best year in more than a decade, but Detroit needs better returns to develop self-driving cars and electric powertrains and to combat new entrants like Google Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc.

via Indian and Chinese Car Makers Out-Earn U.S. Rivals – India Real Time – WSJ.

25/06/2015

Indians Buy Gold as Chinese Shift to Stocks – India Real Time – WSJ

The rapid run-up in Chinese shares this year is dimming the allure of another popular investment: gold. Luckily for fans of the metal, demand is looking healthy in India, the other big retail market in Asia.

The divergence between gold’s two biggest consumers is unusual. Normally, gold buyers in both countries snap up the metal when it is cheap, hoping prices will surge as they did in 2011, when gold nearly hit $2,000 an ounce. Individuals in both countries tend to sell when gold gets expensive.

This year, as gold prices have meandered around the $1,200 an ounce mark, shares have been more of a draw for Chinese investors. The Shanghai market is up 41%, while mainland Chinese investors have helped push Hong Kong shares up nearly 16%.

“Everybody wants to get on to the stock-market bandwagon,” said Victor Thianpiriya, a precious-metals analyst with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “It is having a big impact on jewelry demand.”

China’s gold imports may tumble by as much as 20% this year, Mr. Thianpiriya forecasts.

via Indians Buy Gold as Chinese Shift to Stocks – India Real Time – WSJ.

25/06/2015

At least 18 dead in attack in China’s Xinjiang: Radio Free Asia | Reuters

At least 18 people are dead after ethnic Uighurs attacked police with knives and bombs at a traffic checkpoint in China’s western Xinjiang region, Radio Free Asia reported on Wednesday.

The attack occurred on Monday in a district of the southern city of Kashgar, where tensions between Muslim Uighurs that call the region home and the majority Han Chinese have led to bloodshed in recent years.

Suspects killed several police officers with knives and bombs after speeding through a traffic checkpoint in a car in Kashgar’s Tahtakoruk district, U.S.-based Radio Free Asia said, citing Turghun Memet, an officer at a nearby police station.

Armed police responded to the attack and killed 15 suspects “designated as terrorists,” Radio Free Asia cited Memet as saying.

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomo...

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomous region highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png The orange area is Aksai Chin, a part of Xinjiang which is claimed by India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The attack comes at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a sensitive time in Xinjiang after an uptick in attacks over the past three years in which hundreds have died, blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants.

Repeated calls to the Xinjiang government news office were not answered. Such incidents are frequently reported in overseas media but not confirmed by the Chinese government until days later, if ever.

Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say repressive government policies in Xinjiang, including controls on Islam and on Uighur culture, have provoked unrest, a claim that Beijing denies.

via At least 18 dead in attack in China’s Xinjiang: Radio Free Asia | Reuters.

23/06/2015

China unveils plans for V-Day parade|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn

China on Tuesday announced plans for this year’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II, including inviting militaries of other countries to participate in a parade on Sept. 3.

China unveils plans for V-Day parade

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, will attend the event and deliver an important speech, an official said at a press conference on Tuesday.

At the event, Xi will award medals to veterans and generals who participated in the war and family dependents of the deceased.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. It will be the first time for the country to hold a special parade to commemorate the victory.

Japan signed the formal surrender on Sept. 2, 1945, and China celebrated its victory the following day. September 3 was declared Victory Day.

 

via China unveils plans for V-Day parade|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn.

23/06/2015

Who wants to be a mandarin? | The Economist

GOVERNMENT jobs have long been prized in China. Most years new records are set for the number of people sitting civil-service exams. University students, for all their disenchantment with politics, have been flocking to join the Communist Party in the hope of getting a leg-up into the bureaucracy. Such a career has offered security and perks aplenty. The only drawback has been pitifully low wages. This month officials are to get their first pay rises in nearly a decade; even so, many are heading for the door. Students are showing signs of losing interest in the career. Civil servants are anxious.

The reason is President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption, the most intense and sustained in the party’s history. It has made it harder to trouser the bribes that have traditionally supplemented those meagre official salaries. Many civil servants now fear a knock on the door by agents of the party’s anti-corruption department. In 2014 it punished 232,000 officials, 30% more than in the previous year. That was still only about 3% of officialdom, but the publicity surrounding these cases has compounded anxieties. Many officials are being taken, with their spouses, to learn a lesson by visiting their former colleagues in prison.

A Chinese job-search website, Zhaopin.com, reported that in the three weeks after the lunar new-year holiday in February more than 10,000 government workers quit their jobs to seek greener pastures, mainly in the finance, property and technology industries—an increase of nearly one-third over the same period in 2014. The company attributed this to a new emphasis on frugality in government work. Lavish meals are now banned (much to the chagrin of restaurants, which have suffered falls in profits). Governments are no longer allowed to build fancy offices for themselves. Stricter controls have been imposed on the size of ministers’ offices and temperature settings in government buildings. The receiving of gifts and donations of cash, once common features of bureaucratic life, has become far riskier. Earlier this year an investigation revealed the diversion by the Shaanxi provincial government of 89m yuan ($14.4m) in disaster relief funds toward the construction of new homes for civil servants. Officials do receive housing benefits, but not enough to cover the kind of well-appointed accommodation to which they aspire.

via Who wants to be a mandarin? | The Economist.

23/06/2015

China’s Air is Much Worse Than India’s, World Bank Report Shows – China Real Time Report – WSJ

India’s capital may have the worst air quality in the world on some days, but a new report shows that nationally, the air in the world’s second-most-populous country is far less polluted than in China.

In fact, China’s air is more than twice as dirty as India’s, according to recently released estimates by the World Bank.

The bank’s “Little Green Data Book” of environmental indicators, unveiled last week, included a new gauge of air pollution. To the standard measures of environmental health–including forest cover and carbon emissions–it added PM 2.5 levels, which measure airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns.

These tiny pollutants are microscopic and can enter the lungs and even pollute a person’s blood stream. They are linked to severe health problems including lung cancer.

“These data show that in many parts of the world exposure to air pollution is increasing at an alarming rate and has become the main environmental threat to health,” the forward of the World Bank book said. “Exposure to ambient PM 2.5 pollution in 2010 resulted in more than 3.2 million premature deaths globally.”

Using this measure, India’s air is far from clean. The World Bank data put the South Asian nation’s annual mean PM 2.5 at 32 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s three times the bank’s recommended level of 10 or less, but in line with the global average. It is also well below China’s mean annual exposure of 73 micrograms per cubic meter. .

Of the 200 countries in the book, only the United Arab Emirates did worse than China.

India’s environmental rankings fared better than China’s in other categories as well. India’s energy use and carbon emissions per capita were less than one third of those in China.

India’s PM 2.5 air pollution average is on par with other fast-growing Asian countries, but will likely rise as its economy expands.

The World Bank data showed that air quality deteriorates as countries evolve from lower income levels and become more affluent. Air only starts to improve once countries attain high-income status, which the World Bank defines as having gross national income per capita of $12,746 or more.

via China’s Air is Much Worse Than India’s, World Bank Report Shows – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

18/06/2015

U.S. tech firm Cisco to invest $10 billion in China expansion | Reuters

Cisco (CSCO.O) plans to invest more than $10 billion in China along with local business partners over the next several years, the U.S. network equipment maker said on Wednesday, as it seeks to shore up its position against strong domestic rivals.

A visitor walks past a Cisco advertising panel at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Cisco, the world’s biggest maker of switching equipment and routers that run the Internet, announced the investment plans following high-level meetings between top executives and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and other government agency leaders.

A statement issued by the Silicon Valley company provided the broad outlines of how it planned to invest but did not detail any specific spending or timelines for doing so.

It said in a statement it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, to expand investment.

This will be used to fund innovation, equity investment, research and development and job creation, Cisco said.

It also signed an MoU with the Association of Universities (Colleges) of Applied Science (AUAS) to advance technical training of information and communications engineers.

The company said it will invest in a four-year network engineer training program with 100 universities and colleges of applied science recommended by AUAS.

Cisco is looking to capitalize on initiatives promoted by the Chinese government including “China Manufacturing 2025″, “Internet+” and its strategy to deliver more services as cloud-based Internet services.

The move comes as pressure has grown on foreign technology firms in the world’s biggest Internet market as Beijing has moved to promote domestic technology suppliers it says are needed to protect state secrets and data.

Earlier this year, a Reuters analysis found Cisco was among U.S. technology firms which had been dropped from state procurement lists in recent years.

Cisco and arch-rival Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] of China have been battling each other for a decade. Political controversies over ties to their respective governments have raised questions about their futures on each other’s lucrative home turf.

In 2013, John Chambers, Cisco’s long-serving chairman and chief executive, acknowledged that security controversies had stymied the company’s moves to expand in China.

Chambers took part in the recent meetings with Chinese government officials along with CEO-Designate Chuck Robbins, who is scheduled to take over as chief executive in July. Chambers will remain as executive chairman of the company.

via U.S. tech firm Cisco to invest $10 billion in China expansion | Reuters.

18/06/2015

China steps up controls in unruly Xinjiang as Ramadan approaches | Reuters

Some local governments in China’s unruly far western region of Xinjiang are stepping up controls on the Islamic faith followed by the Uighur people ahead of Ramadan, including making officials swear they will not fast.

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomo...

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomous region highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png The orange area is Aksai Chin, a part of Xinjiang which is claimed by India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The holy month, which begins this week, is a sensitive time in Xinjiang following an uptick in deadly attacks blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants over the past three years in which hundreds have died.

In recent days, state media and government websites in Xinjiang have published stories and official notices demanding that party members, civil servants, students and teachers in particular do not to observe Ramadan, something that happened last year too.

In Jinghe county near the Kazakh border, food safety officials decided last week that they would “guide and encourage” halal restaurants to stay open as normal during Ramadan, the government said on its website.

Those that do stay open would get fewer visits from food safety inspectors, it added.

Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan, during which many abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

Other government institutions have given similar instructions.

via China steps up controls in unruly Xinjiang as Ramadan approaches | Reuters.

18/06/2015

China military says two more top officers probed for graft | Reuters

China’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that two more former senior officers were being investigated for corruption, as part of a sweeping campaign against graft which has already felled dozens of senior people.

In a brief statement, the ministry said that Kou Tie, former commander of the Heilongjiang military region in northern China, had been put under investigation last November for suspected “serious discipline violations”. He was handed over to military prosecutors last month.

The other officer was named as Liu Zhanqi, a former communications division commander for the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, also suspected of “serious discipline violations”, common wording for corruption. He was handed to military prosecutors last month as well.

The ministry gave no further details. Neither case had been reported before.

Weeding out graft in the military is a top goal of President Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, which controls China’s 2.3 million-strong armed forces.

Serving and retired Chinese military officers have said military graft is so pervasive it could undermine China’s ability to wage war, and dozens of senior officers have been taken down.

The anti-graft drive in the military comes as Xi steps up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas, though China has not fought a war in decades.

via China military says two more top officers probed for graft | Reuters.

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