Posts tagged ‘United States’

19/04/2015

U.S., China top dumping of electronic waste; little recycled | Reuters

The United States and China contributed most to record mountains of electronic waste such as cellphones, hair dryers and fridges in 2014 and less than a sixth ended up recycled worldwide, a U.N. study said on Sunday.

Overall, 41.8 million tonnes of “e-waste” — defined as any device with an electric cord or battery — were dumped around the globe in 2014 and only an estimated 6.5 million tonnes were taken for recycling, the United Nations University (UNU) said.

“Worldwide, e-waste constitutes a valuable ‘urban mine’, a large potential reservoir of recyclable materials,” said David Malone, the U.N. under-secretary-general and rector of UNU.

The report estimated that the discarded materials, including gold, silver, iron and copper, was worth some $52 billion.

The United States led e-waste dumping with 7.1 million tonnes in 2014, ahead of China on 6.0 million and followed by Japan, Germany and India, it said.

The United States, where individual states run e-waste laws, reported collection of 1 million tonnes for 2012 while China said it collected 1.3 million tonnes of equipment such as TVs, refrigerators and laptops in 2013.

via U.S., China top dumping of electronic waste; little recycled | Reuters.

19/04/2015

Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth | Reuters

Foreign automakers continue to plough money into factories in China, the world’s largest car market, even as the biggest economic slowdown in a quarter of a century crimps sales growth.

Employees work at the third factory of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile company, after its inauguration ceremony, in Wuhan, in this July 2, 2013 file photo.  REUTERS/China Daily/Files

Market leaders Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and General Motors (GM.N) show no sign of letting up on their planned investments, while Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Ford Motor (F.N) are also pursuing new China expansion plans.

That’s in spite of the economic slowdown further depressing the car market in January-March, when sales grew only 3.9 percent, compared to 9.2 percent a year ago and way below the 7 percent growth that the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicts for this year.

via Foreign automakers double down on China bets despite slowing growth | Reuters.

18/04/2015

Apple Grows its Own Solar Farms in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Call it savvy public relations or plain good investing, but Apple is becoming a solar-power developer in China.

News Thursday that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is partnering with SunPower., a major U.S. solar-panel maker, to build two solar power plants in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, highlights Apple’s attempts to offset its growing carbon footprint in China, where it is expanding at a rapid pace.

Although financial terms weren’t disclosed, SunPower said Thursday that Apple will co-own the projects, which have the combined capacity of 40 megawatts.

Apple has previously said it wants to be carbon neutral everywhere it operates, but that admirable goal is considerably absent in China, where the bulk of its products are made. Until now, unhappiness over air pollution mainly has been directed at the Chinese government, but Apple — already under fire over labor and customer-support issues –could become a major target. Initiatives like these could go a long way toward making sure its image in China remains favorable.

Apple tends to be financially involved in clean-energy projects only when they provide electricity for its operations. Apple and SunPower, for example, have partnered together in the U.S. to develop six solar power plants, all of which provide at least some power to Apple’s facilities.

In this case, however, Apple’s solar plants are being built in Sichuan’s remote Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefectures, far from Apple’s corporate offices, retail stores or manufacturing partners. The region is known for its rolling grasslands, where herders take yaks and sheep to graze, and where multi-colored Tibetan prayer flags are strung up along the slopes of hills.

In an interview on Thursday with China’s official Xinhua news agency, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said the solar plants will be located in grasslands primarily used for raising yaks. Ms. Jackson, who was previously head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Apple will take care to minimize the impact of construction on the environment. An Apple spokeswoman said Friday in an email that Apple and its local partners won’t use cement to install solar panels or dig trenches for wires during construction.

Apple has been expanding quickly in China as it attempts to go after the country’s burgeoning middle class. The company currently has 21 retail stores in mainland China and hopes to double that number by the end of next year. Although Apple’s latest efforts to produce clean energy in China might be a drop in the bucket when compared with amount of fossil fuels consumed by its manufacturing partners, Ms. Jackson told Xinhua that the company hopes to lead by example for its more than 330 suppliers.

Apple’s latest projects join a wave of new solar farms under construction in western China. Solar-panel makers, Chinese policy banks and other clean-energy developers are all piling into the business after China revived its solar industry amid the country’s ambitious targets to add as much as 18 gigawatts of solar-power capacity by the end of this year.

via Apple Grows its Own Solar Farms in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

10/04/2015

Banyan: Where all Silk Roads lead | The Economist

NOT content with both purifying the Chinese Communist Party which he heads and with reforming his country, China’s president, Xi Jinping, also wants to reshape the economic and political order in Asia. With the flair that Chinese leaders share for pithy but rather bewildering encapsulations, his vision for the continent is summed up in official jargon as “One Belt, One Road”. As Mr Xi describes it, most recently last month at the Boao Forum, China’s tropical-beach imitation of Davos’s ski slopes, the belt-road concept will “answer the call of our time for regional and global co-operation”. Not everybody is convinced. Some see it as no more than an empty slogan; others as a thinly disguised Chinese plot to supplant America as Asia’s predominant power. Both criticisms seem misplaced. Mr Xi is serious about the idea. And it is less a “plot” than a public manifesto.

Mr Xi first floated the idea in 2013, in Kazakhstan. He mooted a “a Silk Road economic belt” of improved infrastructure along the main strands of what, centuries ago, was the network of overland routes used by silk traders and others to carry merchandise to and from China through Central Asia and Russia to northern Europe and Venice on the Adriatic. In Indonesia, Mr Xi proposed “a 21st-century maritime Silk Road”, reaching Europe by sea from cities on China’s south-eastern seaboard via Vietnam, Indonesia itself, India, Sri Lanka, east Africa and the Suez Canal. At the time, the proposals sounded rather fluffy—the sort of thing travelling leaders often trot out, harking back to a distant past of supposedly harmonious exchanges.

In the past few months, however, the idea has been given a real push. China has gone further toward putting its money where Mr Xi’s mouth is. It has promised $50 billion to its new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which despite American opposition has sparked a race in which 47 countries have applied to join as founding shareholders. China has earmarked a further $40 billion for a “Silk Road fund”, to invest in infrastructure along the land belt and the maritime road. One motive for this splurge is self-interest. Chinese firms hope to win many of the engineering projects—roads, railways, ports and pipelines—that the new “connectivity” will demand. Improved transport links will benefit Chinese exporters. And helping its neighbours’ development will create new markets. That China seems to have realised this has led to comparisons with the Marshall Plan, America’s aid to help western Europe rebuild after the second world war.

China does not like that analogy, since it sees the Marshall Plan as part of America’s containment of the Soviet Union. It insists that its initiatives are for the benefit of all of humanity and are—favourite catchphrase—“win-win”. But it certainly hopes money and investment can win friends. Yan Xuetong, a prominent Chinese international-relations expert, has argued that the country needs to “purchase” friendly relationships with its neighbours.

In Central Asia, battered by low oil prices and plummeting remittances from migrant workers in Russia, the prospect of greater Chinese involvement is welcomed. Russia itself, though wary of China’s steady erosion of its influence in the former Soviet states of the region, is now too dependent on Chinese goodwill to do other than cheer. On the maritime route, however, suspicion of Chinese intentions is rife. Its arrogant behaviour in the South China Sea, where it is engaged in a construction spree to turn disputed rocks into disputed islands, has given the impression that it feels it can simply bully its smaller neighbours.

So the initial reaction in South-East Asia to the belt and road has been sceptical. In Malaysia, where the government’s usual response to a proposal from China is to applaud first and ask questions later, the defence minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, has said the maritime Silk Road has “raised questions” and that it must come across as a joint (that is, regional) initiative, rather than as a solely Chinese one. Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, who says he wants to turn his country into a “global maritime fulcrum”, was doubtful at first. But he now seems inclined to help—unsurprisingly since his own plan involves massive investment in ports and other infrastructure to which, he hopes, China will contribute. A visit to China last month yielded a joint statement promising a “maritime partnership” and describing his and Mr Xi’s visions as “complementary”. But Mr Joko had also made clear before arriving in Beijing that Indonesia did not accept China’s territorial claims in South-East Asian waters.

In India, another new leader, Narendra Modi, the prime minister, has his own approach to these issues. He visited Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles last month, three Indian Ocean countries to which he promised greater co-operation and spelled out India’s own interests as a maritime power. This was not presented as a riposte to China’s plans. But in January Mr Modi and Barack Obama produced a joint “strategic vision”. Implicitly, India’s response to China’s maritime ambitions has been to reinvigorate ties with small neighbours and to cleave closer to America.

via Banyan: Where all Silk Roads lead | The Economist.

08/04/2015

China to open 10 new air corridors to ease congestion -China Daily | Reuters

China plans to open 10 new air corridors to help ease chronic air traffic congestion and address the problem of frequent flight delays, the official China Daily said on Wednesday, citing a senior aviation official.

China Eastern Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, in this July 29, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Aly Song

“Over the past 10 years, the number of flights using China’s airspace has been increasing 10 percent year-on-year, but our airspace that can be used by civilian airlines is only one-third of that in the United States,”, Chen Jinjun, director of the air traffic management division of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), was quoted as saying.

The new routes will allow aircraft to travel to and return from a destination along two separate lanes, Chen said. On exsting routes they take the same lane at different altitudes.

Chen did not provide a timetable for the initiative or the location of the new routes. Chen and CAAC’s air traffic control officials were not immediately available for comment.

Last week, the CAAC opened the GuangzhouLanzhou air corridor, which can handle more than 400 flights every day and covers 32 airports in six provinces.

China has been scrambling to build airports across the country to keep pace with its fast-growing civil aviation market, but its military-controlled airspace has made flight delays the norm.

via China to open 10 new air corridors to ease congestion -China Daily | Reuters.

08/04/2015

China Life, Ping An take majority stake in $500 million Boston property project | Reuters

China’s two biggest insurers are funding the majority of a $500 million commercial real estate project in the United States, a person with knowledge of the deal said, in the latest offshore property investment by China’s cash-rich financial institutions.

China Life Insurance Co Ltd (601628.SS)(2628.HK) and Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd (601318.SS)(2318.HK) have partnered New York developer Tishman Speyer Properties LP in a deal that will see each party invest about $167 million in the first phase redevelopment of Boston‘s Pier 4, the person said.

Tishman Speyer declined to provide immediate comment, while China Life declined to comment and Ping An could not be reached. The Wall Street Journal reported the tie-up early on Wednesday.

Chinese insurers have been on a shopping spree over the past three years since a ban on foreign property investment was lifted. They are permitted to invest abroad up to 15 percent of their roughly 10.5 trillion yuan ($1.69 trillion) in assets.

China Life and Ping An have invested in property in London, and Boston would be their first project in the United States.

via China Life, Ping An take majority stake in $500 million Boston property project | Reuters.

07/04/2015

India launches air quality index to give pollution information – BBC News

India has launched its first air quality index, to provide real time information about pollution levels.

The index, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will initially monitor air quality in 10 cities.

Last year the Environmental Preference Index ranked India 174 out of 178 countries for air quality.

The rising and health-endangering pollution has been mainly blamed on a huge increase in vehicles, particularly diesel-driven cars, on Indian roads.

Polluting industries, open burning of refuse and leaves, massive quantities of construction waste and substantial loss of forests have also led to high pollution levels in cities.

A World Health Organization (WHO) survey last year found that 13 of the most polluted 20 cities in the world were in India. The capital, Delhi, was the most polluted city in the world, the survey said.

It is a leading cause of premature death in India, with about 620,000 people dying every year from pollution-related diseases, says the WHO.

On Monday, Mr Modi said India “has to take the lead in guiding the world on thinking of ways to combat climate change”.

via India launches air quality index to give pollution information – BBC News.

04/04/2015

Yemen crisis: China evacuates citizens and foreigners from Aden – BBC News

China’s navy has evacuated 225 foreign nationals and almost 600 Chinese citizens from Yemen‘s southern port of Aden, amid fierce fighting there.

Chinese navy receives evacuees from Aden, 2 Apr 15

China says it is the first time its military has rescued foreign nationals from a danger zone.

Houthi rebels in the city have been fighting troops loyal to ousted Yemeni President, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

On Friday, the rebels withdrew from the presidential palace, following Saudi-led air strikes.

Over the past two weeks, fighting in Yemen has left more than 500 people dead and some 1,700 wounded, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said.

Warplanes have dropped weapons and medical aid to fighters defending Aden

This week, Shia Houthi rebels pushed through to the heart of Aden using tanks and armoured vehicles.

But on Friday they were forced from the Crater neighbourhood and the presidential palace they overran the day before.

Saudi-backed fighters loyal to Mr Hadi also say they received an airdrop of arms supplies from coalition planes.

Elsewhere in Yemen, a military base in the south-eastern port city of Mukalla was taken over by al-Qaeda militants on Friday. It happened a day after fighters broke into the town’s jail freeing prisoners.

A military official said al-Qaeda “took the headquarters of the 2nd Military Region in the afternoon without resistance”.

Chinese naval frigates were carrying out anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia when they were diverted to Yemen to evacuate people trapped by the fighting.

The evacuees were taken by naval frigates across the Red Sea to Djibouti, to take flights home.

The non-Chinese evacuees included 176 people from Pakistan, said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. There were smaller numbers from other countries, including Ethiopia, Singapore, the UK, Italy and Germany.

Ms Hua said it was the first time China had helped evacuate foreign citizens – and only the second time that China has used warships to evacuate its own citizens from a conflict zone, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

via Yemen crisis: China evacuates citizens and foreigners from Aden – BBC News.

03/04/2015

Hindus to be world’s 3rd largest population by 2050, says Pew Research Centre’s religious report – The Hindu

The world population of Hindus will grow rapidly between now and 2050, based on a relatively high expansion rate and the youth profile of this community. The largest global growth, however, will be among Muslims, outpacing the growth of every other religion’s population.

Hindus will become the world’s third largest population by 2050 while India will overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population, according to a new study.

This was a key result of an in-depth study on “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050,” by the Pew Research Center, which sought to explain “Why Muslims Are Rising Fastest” in terms of the community’s higher fertility – 3.1 children per woman – and the fact that 34 per cent of Muslims are below the age of 15 years.

The Pew growth projections report says that India would retain a Hindu majority but would also have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.

Worldwide, the Hindu population is projected to rise by 34 per cent over the period, from a little over 1 billion to nearly 1.4 billion, roughly keeping pace with overall population growth, the report noted.

By 2050, Hindus will be third, making up 14.9 per cent of the world’s total population, followed by people who do not affiliate with any religion, accounting for 13.2 per cent, the report said.

People with no religious affiliation currently have the third largest share of the world’s total population.

The Hindu population’s fertility rate, at 2.4 children per woman, is second to the Muslim figure, but ranks above Jewish and Buddhist fertility, respectively at 2.3 and 1.6 children per woman.

Further, 30 per cent of Hindus are below the age of 15, which is lower than the corresponding number for Muslims, while at the other end of the age spectrum seven per cent of Muslims were above 60 years old in 2010 and the figure for Hindus was eight per cent.

The Pew study found that Muslims would nearly double their numbers in Europe to more than ten per cent by 2050 and would outnumber Christians worldwide by 2070, according to the forecast of the growth of religions around the world.

In North America, the Hindu share of the population was expected to nearly double in the decades ahead, the report’s authors said, up from 0.7 per cent in 2010 to 1.3 per cent in 2050, when migration is included in the projection models.

However, without including migration effects the Hindu share of the region’s population would remain “about the same.”

via Hindus to be world’s 3rd largest population by 2050, says Pew Research Centre’s religious report – The Hindu.

03/04/2015

A New Cancer Drug, Made in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Xian-Ping Lu left his job as director of research at drug maker Galderma R&D in Princeton, N.J., to co-found a biotech company to develop new medicines in his native China. As the WSJ’s Shirley S. Wang reports:

It took more than 14 years but the bet could be paying off. In February, Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences’ first therapy, a medication for a rare type of lymph-node cancer, hit the market in China.

The willingness of veterans like Dr. Lu and others to leave multinational drug companies for Chinese startups reflects a growing optimism in the industry here. The goal, encouraged by the government, is to move the Chinese drug industry beyond generic medicines and drugs based on ones developed in the West.

Chipscreen’s drug, called chidamide, or Epidaza, was developed from start to finish in China. The medicine is the first of its kind approved for sale in China, and just the fourth in a new class globally. Dr. Lu estimates the research cost of chidamide was about $70 million, or about one-tenth what it would have cost to develop in the U.S.

“They are a good example of the potential for innovation in China,” said Angus Cole, director at Monitor Deloitte and pharmaceuticals and biotechnology lead in China.

China’s spending on pharmaceuticals is expected to top $107 billion in 2015, up from $26 billion in 2007, according to Deloitte China. It will become the world’s second-largest drug market, after the U.S., by 2020, according to an analysis published last year in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice.

via A New Cancer Drug, Made in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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