Archive for February, 2012


* Shanghai to spend $1.6b to curb air pollution

China Daily: “Shanghai will spend 10.3 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) on air pollution reduction over the next three years, local environmental protection authorities said Wednesday.

The amount represents a 40-percent increase over the amount spent over the last three years combined, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection said in a statement.

Shanghai will also begin using the PM2.5 air quality standard in June, a much stricter standard than the PM10 standard currently in place. The PM2.5 standard applies to fine particles thatare believed to pose greater health risks than larger particles.

Local environmental protection authorities will help coal-fired power plants cut emissions and help coal-fired boilers find clean energy sources, the statement said.

In addition, the city will implement the tighter National 5 vehicle emission standard, equivalent to the Euro 5 emission standard applied to passenger and light vehicles in EU member countries,in 2013 or 2014, it said.”

Yet another piece of positive news about the environonment.


* Indian strike hits banking, transport sectors

The Hindu: “Public sector banking operations remained paralysed throughout the country while transport services were hit in some States as the nationwide 24-hour strike called by 11 major trade unions evoked a mixed response.

Central trade unions have sponsored the strike demanding guarantee of labour rights, end to the contract labour system, bringing workers in the unorganised sector under the social security net and pension benefit for all workers.”


* Chinese naval escort squads to Somali waters escorted 4,411 vessels in three years

Xinhua: “Chinese naval escort squads to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters have completed 409 missions and escorted 4,411 Chinese and foreign vessels over the past three years.

To date, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has sent 10 batches of escort fleets with 25 vessels, 22 helicopters and more than 8,400 officers and soldiers to this area, Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy, said at a forum on the escort missions held Wednesday.

The fleets have rescued 40 ships from pirates’ pursuits, taken care of eight vessels that were attacked and released by the pirates, and offered humanitarian aid to foreign vessels four times, Wu said.

The fleets also escorted four ships delivering humanitarian supplies for the World Food Programme and provided adequate protection to the ships and the crewmembers, Wu said.”

China has been a strong contributor to UN forces, mainly in infantry terms. Now it is contributing its share in naval terms. Slowly, but surely, China is taking up its role as the world’s number 2 power.

Only in one area it will stand back, and that is in not interfering in internal affairs or ‘regime change’, despite criticisms from around the world – such as wrt to Syria, Iran, North Korea and Zimbabwe. It wants the world to respect its internal affairs such as Tibet and Xinjiang ; so it practices what it preaches.


* Beijing urban areas to halt underground water extraction

China Daily: “Underground water extraction will be halted by 2014 in the urban areas of Beijing asauthorities seek to prevent further land subsidence, or sinking, in the city.

The 800 water extraction wells within the fifth ring road areas in 2012 will be closed as part ofan effort to conserve underground water, Yu Yaping, a publicity official at the Beijing WaterAuthority, said.

Beijing urban areas to halt underground water extraction

The North-South Water Diversion Project will bring 1 billion cubicmeters of water supply to Beijing in 2014. The water could satisfyone-third of the total water demand in Beijing, which was 3.6 billioncubic meters in 2011.

The water diversion project is designed to take water from China’slongest river, the Yangtze River, to feed the drought-prone areasin the north, including Beijing and Tianjin.”

Yet another example of government action on environmental issues.

See also:


* Good news for the world – China aims to cut industrial energy consumption.

China Daily: “China aims to cut its energy consumption per unit of industrial value-added output by21 percent during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), the Ministry of Industry andInformation Technology said Monday.

China is expected to save the equivalent of 670 million tons of coal during the five years,according to the country’s industrial energy conservation plan for the 2011-2015 period postedon the ministry’s website.

The plan also sets detailed targets for cuts by several energy-intensive sectors. The steel,nonferrous, petrochemical and electronics industries are required to reduce their energy useper unit of value-added output by 18 percent from 2010.

The chemical engineering, building materials and textile sectors must cut their energyconsumption per unit of output by 20 percent, while the machinery industry should target a 22-percent fall in energy use per unit of output, according to the plan.

The government has adopted a slew of measures to promote energy savings and emissionreductions and to ease its increasing thirst for energy, including phasing out polluting industriesand building energy-saving buildings.”

As I commented elsewhere, China seems to have decided that the Year of the Dragon (c2012) is the year it will crackdown on corruption, migrants’ and individual rights, pollution and other environmental issues.


* World Bank report: China needs a new economic strategy

AP: “China needs a new economic strategy after three decades of rapid growth and must reduce the dominance of state companies and promote free markets to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income society, the World Bank and Chinese researchers said Monday.

The recommendations in a report on development of the world’s second-largest economy through 2030 come amid debate in the ruling Communist Party over the future course of reform as a new generation of leaders prepare to take office this year.

The report’s emphasis on curbing state industry clashes with Beijing’s strategy over the past decade of building government-owned champions in fields from banking to technology and is likely to provoke opposition.”

This report is cleverly timed to coincide with the top leadership changes later in the year.


* Legal battle over iPad brand

ABC News: “The battle between an ailing Chinese electronics maker and Apple Inc. over the iPad name is just as much a tale of obsolescence in the fast-moving global technology industry as it is a legal row over a trademark.

When businessman Rowell Yang Long-san launched his own iPAD-branded device in 2000, a decade before Apple unveiled its hit tablet, he declared it received an “overwhelming market response.”

“We are confident that we will be one of the major players in the new post-PC era — the information appliance era,” Yang said in the announcement of his new Internet Personal Access Device, which was jointly developed with National Semiconductor.

But unlike Apple’s iPad, introduced in 2010, Proview’s version failed to hit the market sweet spot that might have made it a hit. Today, the company is deeply in debt and threatened with removal from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

But Proview still claims ownership of the trademark in China and is waging its fight on multiple fronts: court cases, asking commercial authorities to ban iPad sales in dozens of Chinese cities, and seeking a ban on exports of iPads from China where Apple supplier Foxconn employs about a million people in manufacturing the sleek tablet computer.”

This law suit shows that copyright and IPR cuts both ways!

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* Thousands in lead-laden area to move

China Daily: “Thousands of villagers in the lead-contaminated regions of Lingbao, in Central China’s Henan province, are scheduled to move in May into newly-built houses that area safer distance from lead refineries, local government officials said.

Zhao Tie’an, head of Yuling township in Lingbao, told China Daily that the government has built 102 houses for the residents of Xiayao village, where 355 out of 364 children under age 14 were found to have excessive lead in their blood last July.”

There seems to be a concerted effort by Government to counter the effects of pollution and corrusption.  This is one of several actions announced in the last few weeks alone.


* Indian Defence Minister reacts to China’s statement on Arunachal Pradesh

Times of India: “Defence minister A K Antony on Monday slammed China for raising objections to his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, describing Beijing’s comments on the issue as “most unfortunate” and “really objectionable”.

He said Arunachal is an integral part of India asJammu and Kashmir and as defence minister it is his right and duty to visit the state, which has recently celebrated 25th anniversary of its statehood.

“I was surprised to see such a reaction. I feel it is most unfortunate and, at the same time, it is really objectionable,” he told reporters here.

See my post yesterday on this topic from Xinhua


* China asks India to cooperate to maintain border stability

Xinhua: “A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Saturday asked India to work with China to maintain peace and stability in border areas.

Spokesman Hong Lei made the remark when asked to make comment on a news report of Indian officials participating in activities organized by the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” region.

The report said the officials pledged to guarantee the “safety” of the strategically important region.

Hong said China’s stance on Sino-Indian border issues, including disputes regarding the eastern section, has been consistent and clear-cut.

China advocates seeking a fair and rational solution through equal and friendly negotiations, the spokesman said.

He also called on India to refrain from taking any action that could complicate the issue.”

Unlike all other countries with which China has a shared border, India is the only country that has stoutly insisted on honouring a British (McMohan) drawn border and refuses to re-negotiate.

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