Posts tagged ‘Germany’

24/11/2015

Dream of the bed chamber | The Economist

“SEX, sex, sexual intercourse, penis, penis, vagina.”

More than 150 undergraduates are sitting in a lecture hall at China Agricultural University in Beijing, shouting loudly. Many are sexually active, or soon will be. Yet for most it is the first sex education class they have attended.

Their instructor hopes that shouting such words will help youngsters talk more openly about sex. Lu Zhongbao, a 24-year-old forestry student, says he was told as a child that he “emerged from a rock”. When he started having sex with his university girlfriend he had little idea about contraception. This evening he arrived an hour early armed with another question: will masturbating damage his health?

It is not just China’s economy that has loosened up since 1979. The country is in the midst of a sexual revolution. A 2012 study found that more than 70% of Chinese people have sex before marriage. Other polls put that figure lower but consistently indicate that over the past 30 years, more young Chinese are doing it, with more partners, at a younger age. But a lack of sex education means that many are not protecting themselves, resulting in soaring abortion rates and a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

The Communist Party has stuck its nose into people’s bedrooms for 30 years through its harsh family-planning policies. Yet taboos on sex before marriage prevailed, the result of paternalistic—not religious—values about female chastity, with a dose of Communist asceticism thrown in. Pre-marital sex fell foul of a range of laws, including the catch-all charge of “hooliganism”, only scrapped in 1997.

The social climate remains chilly. Most news items about sex involve scandals or crimes. Schools ban pupils from dating and many deploy “morality patrols” to root out flirting or frolicking couples. Sex outside wedlock is not illegal but children born to unmarried mothers face obstacles obtaining a hukou, or household residency, that entitles them to subsidised education and welfare. Yet with greater freedom from their parents, more money and increasing exposure to permissive influences from abroad, China’s youth are clearly separating sex from procreation.

Education on the subject is compulsory in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan—societies that have some cultural similarities with China. But most Chinese schools teach only basic anatomy.

This is not entirely for lack of trying. Pilot campaigns in Shanghai and Beijing schools in the 1980s were incorporated into a nationwide programme in 1988 but it was never implemented. In 2008 the Ministry of Education included sex education in the national health and hygiene curriculum. The barriers are not just prudery. Like football, fashion and other teenage pastimes, sex (and learning about it) is seen as a distraction from studies. “Sex is not an exam subject,” says Sheng Yingyi, a 21-year-old student.

Where classes happen, most students are merely given a textbook. “Happy Middle School Students”, written for 12- to 15-year-olds in 2006 and still widely used, refers to sperm meeting egg without describing the mechanics of intercourse. A more explicit volume for primary-school pupils published in 2011, which did explain how sperm were delivered, was criticised for being pornographic.

The dominant message is to abstain. A 2013 review by UNESCO and Beijing Forestry University noted the prevalence of “terror-based” sex education, with content largely focused on the horrors of pregnancy, abortion and HIV. Earlier this month a university in Xi’an in central China ran a course entitled “No Regrets Youth” where students received a “commitment card”, essentially a pledge to remain a virgin until marriage.

Source: Dream of the bed chamber | The Economist

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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.

12/04/2015

Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Gets $2 Billion Vote of Confidence From Airbus – India Real Time – WSJ

On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Airbus Group ‘sEADSY +0.49% facilities in Toulouse, France.

He was greeted with a vote of support, from the aerospace company’s CEO, for his Make in India initiative to build up manufacturing in the South Asian country.

Airbus is “ready to manufacture in India, for India and the world,” said Airbus chief Tom Enders. “India already takes a center-stage role in our international activities and we want to even increase its contribution to our products.”

Airbus Group aims to increase its sourcing of aerospace parts from Indian companies to $2 billion in the next five years, the company informed Mr. Modi, as it seeks to diversify its supplier base and tap low-cost suppliers worldwide.

The company’s strategy to ramp up outsourcing from India comes as it competes to secure billions of dollars in deals for military hardware from the country.

India has yet to decide on a joint bid by Airbus and India’s Tata Group to make Airbus’s C295 aircraft, in a contract estimated at about $3 billion. The company is also pursuing separate deals for hundreds of helicopters from the Indian military.

India has already selected Airbus to supply six A330 multirole tanker-transport planes for an estimated $2 billion.

In a presentation to the Indian prime minister on Saturday, the company said it would work with partners in India in areas such as engineering, customer services and pilot training, and to establish centers for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of planes, according to Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.

In a statement, Airbus said it aims to produce helicopters, military planes, sensors as well as satellites in India, in partnerships with local firms. The company predicted India would India would require 1,291 new planes over the next two decades. It forecast the Indian air travel market to grow 11% each year through 2025.

via Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Gets $2 Billion Vote of Confidence From Airbus – India Real Time – WSJ.

26/03/2015

Britain launches Europe’s first yuan money-market fund | Reuters

Britain deepened its financial links with China on Wednesday with the launch of Europe’s first yuan-denominated money market fund, which allows investors to get direct exposure to China’s interbank lending market.

100 Yuan notes are seen in this illustration picture in Beijing November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The exchange-traded fund from China Construction Bank International (601939.SS), China’s second largest bank, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and can be traded in sterling, euros and yuan, Britain’s government said.

London has been keen to attract Chinese banks and encourage offshore trade in the yuan to bolster its position as the world’s main centre for foreign exchange trading.

Last year Britain became the first Western government to issue a yuan-denominated bond. On Tuesday the finance ministry’s chief economist said he viewed the yuan’s possible inclusion in the International Monetary Fund‘s currency basket as a “very live” issue.

“The launch of this (fund) will provide further opportunities for British and other global investors to invest directly into China,” said Andrea Leadsom, a junior British finance minister.

via Britain launches Europe’s first yuan money-market fund | Reuters.

31/12/2014

Chinese diplomacy 2014

China made or re-established relationships or alliances in 2014 with 167 nations (a few multiple relationships); in:

  • January: Cambodia; Ghana; Bulgaria; Peru; Mongolia; Gulf States; Belarus; France; Taiwan; India; France; Germany; Viet Nam = 13
  • February: Fiji; Greece; Afghanistan; South Korea; Sri Lanka; Hungary; USA; Pakistan; Senegal; Afghanistan; Iraq; Vietnam = 13
  • March: Saudi Arabia; UK; Poland; Cambodia; South Korea; Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and EU; Kazakhstan; USA = 12
  • April: Israel; Namibia; Timor L’este; Myanmar; Laos: Australia; Brazil; Germany; Hungary; Syrian opposition leader; Malaysia; Cuba; Britain; Ghana; South Africa; Denmark; Brunei = 17
  • May: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya; Taiwan; Iran; Turkmenistan; Bulgaria; Portugal; France; Myanmar; Kyrgyzstan; Russia; Kazakhstan; Switzerland; Azerbaijan; Turkey; Pakistan = 18
  • June: Congo; Ukraine; Angola; India; Egypt; Denmark, Finland, Ireland ; Portugal; Russia; Afghanistan; Somalia= 12
  • July: Sudan; France; Azerbaijan; Switzerland; South Korea; Germany; USA; Brazil; Argentina; Venezuela; Cuba; Bulgaria; Portugal; Indonesia; Myanmar; Laos; Canada = 17
  • August: Egypt; Mauritania; at AEAN Summit (Vietnam; Korea; Myanmar; Malaysia; Thai, India); Hungary; Burundi; Uzbekistan; Mongolia ; Vietnam; Zimbabwe; Egypt; Czech; Turkmenistan; Turkey; Antigua & Barbuda; Croatia; Madagascar; Djibouti; Singapore; Croatia = 18
  • September: Russia; Romania; Poland; Malaysia; Cuba; Tajikistan; France;  Mongolia; Pakistan; Maldives; Sri Lanka; Zimbabwe; France; India; Indonesia = 15
  • October: Italy, Jordan, Kenya; France; Zambia; Afghanistan = 6
  • November: Indonesia; Pakistan; Iraq; Cambodia, Bahrain; Jordan; Australia; Finland; New Zealand; Nepal; Fiji; Slovenia; Columbia = 14
  • December: Uzbekistan; Australia; Pakistan; Maldives; South Africa; Ireland; Tonga; Cuba; Kazakhstan; Serbia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia = 12
24/11/2014

China’s rich want to send children abroad for education – China – Chinadaily.com.cn

An overwhelming majority of China’s richest people are likely to send their children abroad for education, the United States and the United Kingdom being their first choices, according to a Hurun Report on education.

China's rich want to send children abroad for education

A Chinese student at the 2014 International Education Exhibition in Beijing on October 25, 2014. [Photo/IC]

The report said that some 80 percent of the country’s rich people have plans to send children abroad, the highest ratio in the world. By contrast, Japan has less than 1 percent and Germany has less than 10 percent of its rich people having such plans, said the report.

The rich people are most likely to send their children to the United States and the United Kingdom while other countries such as Australia, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore, France and Germany attract most of the rest.

The report also found that the students tend to get younger. The average age of the millionaires’ children is 16 years old when they were sent abroad.

Rupert Hoogewerf, publisher of the report, said ten years ago, Chinese rich people could only send their children to Canada and Australia because large number of Chinese people there. “Now, the Chinese rich people have a much broader social network, as a result of which they can find trusted people anywhere in the world and can rest assured sending children to any country.”

“Long time overseas study of these students can definitely do good to the globalization of China’s economy,” said Rupert.

via China’s rich want to send children abroad for education – China – Chinadaily.com.cn.

28/10/2014

China trainmakers CSR, CNR in talks to merge – state media | Reuters

China’s top trainmakers, China CNR and CSR Corp, are in merger talks to create a giant able to compete globally with the likes of Siemens and Bombardier, state media reported on Tuesday.

A handrail hangs in one of the 45 new train wagons that were bought from China's CNR, in a Buenos Aires' subway station February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

China built the world’s longest high-speed train network in less than a decade and has expressed its desire to export its technology. The two state-owned firms however have fiercely competed against each other while trying to sell trains abroad.

The official China Securities Journal, citing unidentified sources, said the firms had set up working groups to discuss the integration, and that investment bank China International Capital Corp had been appointed to oversee the reorganisation.

“The heads of CNR and CSR are in agreement on the companies’ integration,” the newspaper quoted an industry source as saying.

“As the State Council is in charge of this, it can be done at great speed and at the moment the biggest concern is related to their projects and personnel changes.”

CNR and CSR halted trading on Monday and subsequently issued statements saying they would resolve “major issues” as soon as possible. Trading would resume within five working days, they added.

The companies did not respond to requests for comment on the Journal report.

Last month, CNR and CSR dismissed a report by financial news magazine Caixin that the government was looking to merge the firms to create a giant that can better compete with foreign rivals such as Germany’s Siemens and Canada’s Bombardier.

A merged CNR-CSR would have combined annual revenue of about 200 billion yuan (20.28 billion pounds) based on 2013 company data, compared with Siemens’ 75.9 billion euros ($96.5 billion) revenue last year and Bombadier’s $18.2 billion (11.28 billion pounds).

Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric, a CSR subsidiary, also suspended trading. CNR is due to report third-quarter results on Wednesday, while CSR is scheduled to report on Friday, according to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

via China trainmakers CSR, CNR in talks to merge – state media | Reuters.

21/10/2014

China to pitch high-speed trains to California | Reuters

State-backed China CNR Corporation is making a pitch to sell its high-speed trains to California, signaling China’s growing export ambitions for such technology after building the world’s longest network in just seven years.

A high-speed train travelling to Guangzhou is seen running on Yongdinghe Bridge in Beijing, December 26, 2012. REUTERS/China Daily

It marks the first concrete attempt by China to sell high-speed locomotives abroad and establish itself as a credible rival to sector leaders such as Germany’s Siemens, Canada’s Bombardier and Japan’s Kawasaki.

CNR, its unit Tangshan Railway and U.S.-based SunGroup USA are submitting an expression of interest to California’s $68 billion high-speed rail project for a contract to supply up to 95 trains that can travel as fast as 354 kilometers per hour (221 miles per hour), SunGroup told Reuters.

via China to pitch high-speed trains to California | Reuters.

13/06/2014

Poland-China train leaves the station on first trip – World – Chinadaily.com.cn

The first “New Silk Road” Yuxinou railway return train from Poland to China kicked off on Thursday, the Chongqing government said.

 

Starting in Chongqing, the 11,178 km Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway passes through Xi’an, Lanzhou, Urumqi , Russia, Belarus and Poland, finally ending in Duisburg, Germany.

According to the government, it takes just 16 days on average to transport goods from China to Europe by rail, much less than via the sea.

Xu Qiang, director of the Development and Reform Commission of Chongqing Municipality, said China launched the first train from Poland to Chongqing to enhance cooperation between China and Europe.

“It is an important landmark for our New Silk Road, which will strengthen China’s bilateral economic ties with the regions along the railway,” Xu said.

In recent years, Poland and China have formed closer ties in political and economic perspectives, said Jacek Zuber, chief of the Department of International Cooperation Ministry of Infrastructure and Development of Poland.

“Yuxinou railway is one of the most important cooperation projects to us, especially as the railway will bring great opportunities to our trade with China,” he said.

The first train will bring electronic products, auto parts and steel products to Chongqing.

via Poland-China train leaves the station on first trip – World – Chinadaily.com.cn.

30/03/2014

Germany, China say renminbi hub in Frankfurt will boost trade | Reuters

A decision by Germany and China to make Frankfurt a European hub for financial transactions in the Chinese currency will give new momentum to trade between the two economic powers, Chinese President Xi Jinping and a German minister said on Saturday.

China's President Xi Jinping waves to media following a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after an agreement signing, at the Chancellery in Berlin March 28, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

In a speech to politicians and business leaders in the city of Duesseldorf, Xi said setting up the hub for the renminbi in Germany “represents an important step on the road of the internationalisation of our currency,” according to a translation.

The Bundesbank and the People’s Bank of China signed an agreement on Friday to facilitate transactions in the Chinese currency in Frankfurt and to cooperate more closely in clearing and settlement arrangements of renminbi payments.

Up to now, transactions in China’s currency, the renminbi or yuan, have been impractical for all but very large European companies that are able to involve China’s central bank in a deal, because the renminbi is not freely convertible.

via Germany, China say renminbi hub in Frankfurt will boost trade | Reuters.

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