Posts tagged ‘aviation’


Keeping pure and true | The Economist

CHINA’S cities abound with restaurants and food stalls catering to Muslims as well as to the many other Chinese who relish the distinctive cuisines for which the country’s Muslims are renowned.

So popular are kebabs cooked by Muslim Uighurs on the streets of Beijing that the city banned outdoor grills in 2014 in order to reduce smoke, which officials said was exacerbating the capital’s notorious smog (the air today is hardly less noxious).

Often such food is claimed to be qing zhen, meaning “pure and true”, or halal, prepared according to traditional Islamic regulations. But who can tell? Last year angry Muslims besieged a halal bakery in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, after pork sausages were found in the shop’s delivery van. There have been several scandals in recent years involving rat meat or pork being sold as lamb. These have spread Muslim mistrust of domestically produced halal products.

In response, some local governments have introduced regulations requiring food purporting to be halal to be just that (though not going into detail of what halal means, such as the slaughter of animals with a knife by a Muslim). Earlier this year, however, the national legislature suspended its work on a bill that would apply such stipulations countrywide.

There is much demand for one. Local rules are often poorly enforced. Advocates of a national law say a lack of unified standards is hampering exports to Muslim countries. According to Wang Guoliang of the Islamic Association of China, the country’s halal food industry makes up a negligible 0.1% of the global market.

The government began drafting a national halal law in 2002. But Muslim communities in China have varying definitions of the term. Work on the bill was slow. Each year, during the legislature’s annual session in March, Muslim delegates called for faster progress. But there were opponents, too. Some scholars argued that the government should not regulate on matters relating to religious faith. Others said that by giving in to the Muslims’ demands, China would encourage them to press for more concessions and ultimately form their own enclaves run by sharia.

Such views may have given pause to China’s leaders. In April, at a high-level meeting on religious affairs, President Xi Jinping said religion should be prevented from interfering with the law. That month Wang Zhengwei, a Muslim official who had been pushing for halal legislation, was removed from his post as the head of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.

Also in April, the Communist Party chief of Ningxia urged officials to “sharpen [their] vigilance” against the use of halal labels on products such as toilet paper, toothpaste and cosmetics. And the government of Qinghai province ordered the inspection of Muslim-only toilets and hospital rooms, as well as shops catering to Muslims, to make sure that halal symbols were being used only on food. Xinjiang, the far-western region that is home to the Uighurs, recently introduced an anti-terrorism law threatening punishment of those who “overextend” halal rules. Officials clearly worry that those who do so might be the same sort of people who embrace jihad.

Ismael An, a Muslim writer, says this is overreacting. “Supporters of the halal law are not the so-called extremists, because real extremists don’t make demands through legislation,” he says. On the internet, however, a small but vocal group of Islamophobes has been calling for a boycott of halal-certified products. They say the price of such goods factors in payments to Islamic groups that grant the certificates—they do not want to give the religion even indirect support. Ironically, it is the non-Muslim love of Muslim food that will ensure the campaign will not succeed.

Source: Keeping pure and true | The Economist


Hainan Airlines to buy 30 Boeing 787-9 jets, worth $7.7 billion by list price | Reuters

Hainan Airlines Co Ltd (600221.SS), China’s fourth-largest carrier, said on Wednesday it plans to order 30 Boeing Co (BA.N) B787-9 jets as it seeks to expand international routes to tap into growing demand for overseas travel from China.

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013.  REUTERS/Jim Young

The order would be the biggest this year for the jet, worth $7.7 billion (5 billion pounds) according to list prices. It would also boost the aircraft maker’s 787 programme backlog to 855 planes.

China’s airline passengers are increasingly looking beyond the mainland for travel opportunities. In 2014, Chinese travellers made more than 100 million trips overseas in a year for the first time, up sharply from 8.4 million in 1998, official data show.

Hainan Airlines added two long-haul routes to North America and Western Europe last year and plans major international expansion this year, Cai Zhiquan, a brand manager told Reuters. On Thursday. it reported net profit jumped 20 percent in 2014 to 2.59 billion yuan ($417 million).

“We’ll be flying from major hubs in China to second- or third-tier cities overseas,” said Cai. “At the same time, we’ll also open up more routes from inland Chinese cities to major hub cities elsewhere.”

via Hainan Airlines to buy 30 Boeing 787-9 jets, worth $7.7 billion by list price | Reuters.


Family support planned for aging population – China –

China will support the role of family in providing care to the elderly as the country responds to the rapid aging of its population, a top health and population official of China said during the 2014 World Family Summit.

“China will actively respond to population aging and include it as part of China’s national plan for development,” Li Bin, minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said during the summit, which concluded on Wednesday in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. “The government will help families increase their capacity for elder care and provide more training to them.”

To cope with its rapidly aging population, China will establish social security and health support networks for the elderly and provide a better environment to serve the elderly, she said.

The government will create policies targeted at the development of families and invest more human resources to help families guard against potential risks, she said in a speech during the summit.

The number of people aged 60 or above in China reached 202 million last year, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the country’s population, according to a report released by the commission in November.

More than 20 percent of families in China had at least one member aged 65 or older in 2010, and almost half of all people aged 65 or above live with their children, according to the report. Most elderly Chinese are still cared for by their families, the report said.

A severe shortage of quality elderly-care institutions and traditional beliefs are the major reasons family members mostly care for their own elderly, experts said.

via Family support planned for aging population – China –


China’s Military Recruits Monkeys to Protect Air Force Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The Chinese air force has a new secret weapon to protect one of its bases: macaques.

These fuzzy new recruits have been called upon after numerous methods to rid a base of an abundance of migrating birds—from sending  soldiers scampering high up into trees to training eagles and setting up sound and light effects—fell flat. Birds are a headache world-wide in the aviation industry because they can get stuck in the engines of aircraft.

Soldiers have trained the monkeys, according to the official People’s Liberation Army-run news portal, to scamper up trees and rip down the birds’ nests, with one monkey able to destroy six to eight birds’ nests per day. Two macaques have cleared about 180 nests in the month since the PLA adopted them, according to the report.

The macaques’ odor is also said to repel the birds from rebuilding their nests at the same spots, according to a local expert whom the report quotes.

via China’s Military Recruits Monkeys to Protect Air Force Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta

UPDATE 5-U.S. FAA downgrades India aviation rating; Air India, Jet hit | Reuters

U.S. authorities have downgraded India\’s aviation safety rating, citing a lack of safety oversight, meaning the country\’s carriers cannot increase flights to the world\’s biggest aviation market and face extra checks for existing ones.

Seal of the United States Federal Aviation Adm...

India said it expected to resolve by March all concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, including appointing an adequate number of flight operation inspectors, and would ask the U.S. regulator to review its decision.

\”The FAA has determined that India at this time is not in compliance with the international standards for aviation safety oversight,\” the U.S. regulator said in extracts from a communication released by the Indian government on Friday.

via UPDATE 5-U.S. FAA downgrades India aviation rating; Air India, Jet hit | Reuters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Softer Landings at Mumbai’s New Airport Terminal – India Real Time – WSJ

Travelers arriving at Mumbai’s international airport can soon expect to be rid of the long immigration lines, chaotic baggage claim experience, and hopefully, the stench.

On Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated a new terminal at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which will be operational starting February 12.

The new T2  international terminal will be able to accommodate 40 million passengers per year — nearly a third more than the old terminal, according to a spokesman for GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd., which has been operating the Mumbai airport in partnership with the Airport Authority of India since 2006. The new terminal cost around 55 billion rupees ($890 million) to build, the spokesman added.

The last time a new airport terminal created such a buzz in India was when the T3 terminal was launched at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, with its automatic walkways, aerobridges and a sports bar. The terminal boasted an Indian look partly thanks to its installation of a series of giant hands showing “mudras” or hand gestures that are typical of classical Indian dance forms.

Photo courtesy GVK

The art wall at the new airport terminal, Mumbai.

The new Mumbai terminal may well outdo that, with a 1.9 mile art wall displaying around 7,000 works of contemporary Indian art and lotus-shaped chandeliers at the boarding gates.

The terminal’s design draws inspiration from the peacock, India’s national bird.

via Softer Landings at Mumbai’s New Airport Terminal – India Real Time – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta

China has technology to build VTOL J-20 stealth fighter jet

A few days ago, a dual-hull aircraft carrier, today a VTOL fighter. Are these for real or ‘western’ paranoia?

See also:

China Daily Mail

According to Russian Military-Industry Courier weekly and US Aviation News Weekly speculation, China has obtained from Russia the technology for a VTOLfighter jet, and will probably develop a VTOL version of the J-20 stealth fighter jet.

The technology was formerly used in Russia’s Yak-141 VTOL fighter.

A prototype of the R-79-300 engine used in the Yak-141 was sold to China in 1996. In 1998, Russia transferred technology related to the nozzle of the engine to China.

The engine is a vector thrust turbofan with maximum thrust of 8,994 kg, which can be raised to 15,500 kg with additional boosting. Its nozzle can turn 95 degrees downwards with a lifespan of 1,500 rotations.

The Yak-141 is able to take off within a short distance of 5 metres.

It has set many world records for VTOL fighters, including climbing to 12,000 meters in 116.2 seconds with effective load of…

View original post 122 more words


Off the Menu: Hong Kong Government Bans Shark’s Fin

Austerity and anti-graft comes to the rescue of sharks (whose fins are cut and hence the fish bleed to death).

WSJ: “Hong Kong may be the capital of the world’s shark’s fin trade, but as environmentalists step up their campaign against the delicacy, even this city’s government has declared it off-limits.

Last year, China’s government announced it would stop serving shark’s fin soup at official banquets, a move that was heralded by green groups around the world, though it will likely take years to come into effect. Now, Hong Kong is following suit, banning the dish at official events and requesting civil servants to refrain from eating it at other functions, along with other endangered species such as bluefin tuna and black moss. The move comes as international companies from luxury Shangri-La hotel chain to Cathay Pacific Airways have declared they will refuse to serve or carry most shark’s fin.

Altogether, said Allen To of the World Wildlife Foundation, more than 150 corporations have pledged not to serve the dish—a gelatinous, stringy soup that’s believed to have curative properties—at their own banquets. “But it’s still very common at wedding banquets,” said Mr. To, noting that at local restaurants, it can be more expensive for couples to swap out shark’s fin soup for other luxury dishes such as abalone or bird’s nest soup.”

via Off the Menu: Hong Kong Government Bans Shark’s Fin – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


IAF inducts its biggest transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster III

Times of India: “Giving a major thrust to IAF‘s capability to swiftly move troops and tanks to battle fronts, defence minister A K Antony on Monday formally inducted its biggest 70-tonne C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft into service at the Hindon Air Base.

Thirteen C-17 Globemaster III aircraft fly ove...

Thirteen C-17 Globemaster III aircraft fly over the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia during low level tactical training Dec. 20, 2005. These C-17 planes are assigned to the 437th and 315th Airlift Wings at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plane’s induction is a giant stride for the force and it will perform tactical and non-traditional operations also, he said.

The C-17 Globemaster III aircraft has been procured from the US under a deal expected to be over Rs 20,000 crore. A symbolic key of the plane was presented by the Minister to the unit’s commanding officer to mark its induction.

Speaking on the occasion, IAF chief NAK Browne said the plane will be operated from the advanced landing grounds in the northeastern states as well as from high altitude bases in north and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.”

via IAF inducts its biggest transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster III – The Times of India.


Will China’s economy crash? “After many years of euphoria over China’s rapid growth and the country’s apparently inevitable rise to global economic dominance, the China story has taken a serious turn for the worse. China, it now seems, is about to collapse, and along the way it may well bring the world economy down with it.

China Demolition

Fortunately, the new story may be as muddled as the old one.

China’s economic model has relied heavily on investment and debt. It shouldn’t be a surprise that after many years of tremendous growth driven at first by badly needed investments, Chinese spending on infrastructure and manufacturing capacity is slowing down.

During the same period, debt levels surged as borrowed money poured into more highways, airports, steel mills, shipyards, high-speed railways, and apartment and office buildings than the country could productively use.

Michael Pettis

A few economists predicted as far back as 2006 that China would face a serious debt problem. By 2010, it became obvious even to the most excited of China bulls that this was indeed happening.

To protect itself from the risk of a debt crisis, China must bring spending to a halt. Beijing now wants to rebalance the economy away from its excessive reliance on investment and debt, and to increase the role of consumption as a driver of growth.

But this cannot happen except at lower growth rates.

China debt Fareed’s Take: China’s slowing growth

So what happens next — will China collapse? Probably not. A financial collapse is effectively a kind of bank run, and as long as government credibility remains high, banks are guaranteed and capital controls are maintained, it is unlikely that China will experience anything like a bank run.

What is far more likely is that in the coming years, China’s gross domestic product growth rate will continue to decline as the country focuses on stimulating consumption.

Growth rates during the administration of President Xi Jinping are unlikely to exceed 3% to 4% on average if the economic rebalancing is managed well.

Will the slower growth rate be a disaster for China? Certainly, it would be huge departure from the growth rate of roughly 10% a year for nearly three decades. Would much lower growth rates create high unemployment and huge dislocations for the economy? Some are worried about such scenarios. But the Chinese economy has so far shown a lot of resilience despite passing storms such as the global financial crisis.

Beijing has huge challenges ahead. China’s growth has been a boon to large businesses, the state, the powerful and the wealthy elite. What the Chinese government needs to do is recalibrate growth so that average household incomes can rise and consumers have more money to spend.

This will not be easy to pull off, but there are positive signs. Xi’s government seems determined to make the necessary changes, even at the expense of much slower growth.

Even if GDP growth declines but average Chinese household income grows at 5% to 6% a year, it would put China in the right direction.

As for the rest of the world, there’s no reason to panic over China’s economic slowdown. Contrary to popular beliefs, China is not the global engine of growth; it is merely the largest arithmetic.”

via Opinion: Will China’s economy crash? –

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India