China has reportedly conducted a third flight test for its new ultra-high speed strike vehicle – capable of travelling at up to eight times the speed of sound, in what experts suspect is part of the development of its strategic nuclear program.
Read more » RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/news/211575-china-hypersonic-missile-test/
CHINA’S STRATEGIC SHIFT TOWARD THE REGION OF THE FOUR SEAS: THE MIDDLE KINGDOM ARRIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Since the Arab Spring, China has been quietly asserting its influence and fortifying its foothold in the Middle East, while the United States pivots to the Asia Pacific after a decade of war. It is aligning with states that have problematic relations with the West and are also geo-strategically placed on the littoral of the “Four Seas”–the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf. Paradoxically, the U.S. eastward pivot is matched by the resurgent Middle Kingdom’s westward pivot across its new Silk Road, and threatens to outflank the citadel of American geo-strategies in the region.
INTRODUCTION: CHINA’S STRATEGIC INTERESTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
China’s interest in the Middle East is first and foremost energy-driven. In 1993, when it became a net oil importer for the first time, Beijing embarked on a “go out” (zhouchuqu) policy to procure energy assets abroad to feed its growing economy. The legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rests on continued economic growth and delivering a rising standard of living for the Chinese population. As a corollary, China is also concerned about security of energy supply lines and Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCS). Because the United States is considered its main opponent in the international system, China is wary of U.S. naval dominance and the risk of choking China’s energy supply through the Malacca Straits should hostilities break out over Taiwan. This is referred to as the “Malacca Dilemma,” where 80 percent of China’s oil imports traverse this chokepoint that is vulnerable to piracy and U.S. blockade. Indeed, given increasing tension in the three flash points of the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Straits, this concern is even more pressing for the Chinese leadership.
The Middle East is also a strategic logistics and trade hub for China’s exports and market access in Europe and Africa. China understands the importance of having strong economic foundations for military power and sees that continued market access for their exports to fuel China’s economy would build up their war chest to further underwrite military modernization. The EU is currently China’s largest trading partner ahead of the United States. Moreover, China also has vast interests on the African continent–both via infrastructure projects and long-term energy supply contracts. More than 1 million Chinese are in Africa (up from about 100,000 in the early 2000s), with trade at $120 billion in 2011. In 2009, China overtook the United States to become Africa’s number one trading partner. As such, the Middle East is a strategic region that connects Europe, Africa, and Asia markets.
Thus, given the Middle East’s location as a trade hub linking the three continents, a vital region for market access, and site of vast energy reserves to fuel China’s continued economic growth, the CCP deems the Middle East as a high priority on its foreign policy agenda. As the United States “pivots” towards Asia, China will naturally seek strategic depth in areas that were once dominated by the United States and its Western allies. This is even more so in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
China continues to ramp up its space activities, which include a new launch complex, more powerful boosters and the construction of a large space station, as well as plans for complex robotic missions to the moon and Mars.
For example, China’s “little fly” spacecraft looped around the moonand returned to Earth Nov. 1 (Beijing time) after eight days of flight, parachuting safely down in northern China’s Inner Mongolia.
The capsule used seven kinds of thermal protection materials, returning data that will be applied to China’s Chang’e 5 robotic lunar sample return mission, which is slated to launch in 2017 from the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. [Greatest Moon Missions of All Time]
Read more » http://www.space.com/27893-china-space-program-moon-mars.html?adbid=10152483784056466&adbpl=fb&adbpr=17610706465&cmpid=514630_20141203_36643077
Move over Trans-Siberian: China launches ‘world’s longest’ train route
The 82-wagon cargo train is expected to take 21 days to travel 6,200 miles, passing through six countries between China and Spain.
Dubbed Yixinou, the train left Yiwu, an industrial center less than 200 miles south of Shanghai, on Tuesday and is expected to reach Madrid in December after traversing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France, reports the Local.se.
Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/207447-china-spain-longest-train/
White House calls on China to halt cyber espionage
China’s military upstaged the Asian economic summit in Beijing this week by conducting flights tests of a new stealth jet prototype, as the White House called on Beijing to halt its cyber attacks.
Demonstration flights by the new J-31 fighter jet—China’s second new radar-evading warplane—were a key feature at a major arms show in Zhuhai, located near Macau, on Monday.
The J-31 flights coincided with President Obama’s visit to Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting. In a speech and meetings with Chinese leaders, Obama called on China to curtail cyber theft of trade secrets.
China obtained secrets from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter through cyber attacks against a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin. The technology has shown up in China’s first stealth jet, the J-20, and in the J-31. Both of the jets’ design features and equipment are similar to those of the F-35.
The Chinese warplanes are part of a major buildup of air power by China that includes the two new stealth fighters, development of a new strategic bomber, purchase of Russian Su-35 jets, and development of advanced air defense missile systems. China also is building up its conventional and nuclear missile forces.
President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a memorandum of understanding on the so-called “western” gas supplies route to China. The agreement paves the way for a contract that would make China the biggest consumer of Russian gas.
Russia’s so-called “western” or “Altay” route would supply 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China.
The new supply line comes in addition to the “eastern” route, through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline, which will annually deliver 38 bcm of gas to China. Work on that pipeline route has already begun after a $400 billion deal was clinched in May.
“After we have launched supplies via the “western route,” the volume of gas deliveries to China can exceed the current volumes of export to Europe,” Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller told reporters, commenting on the deal.
Speaking to journalists on the eve of his visit to Beijing, Putin was optimistic about prospects for the new gas deal with China.
“We have reached an understanding in principle concerning the opening of the western route,” Putin said. “We have already agreed on many technical and commercial aspects of this project, laying a good basis for reaching final arrangements.”
The “western” route deal is one of the 17 agreements signed at the Sunday meeting between Putin and Xi.
Read more » RT
Pakistan, China sign 19 agreements, MoUs relating to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and electricity generation New pacts pave way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan Chinese president, PM Sharif say Pakistan-China are ‘iron friends’, aim to create green channel for release of funds for development projects in Pakistan PM assures crackdown on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and maintaining regional stability China on Saturday promised Pakistan investments worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums mostly centred on the energy sector as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People during his three-day visit to Beijing to discuss bilateral relations and the regional situation in Beijing.
Read more » Pakistan Today
China has developed and successfully tested a highly accurate laser defense system against light drones. The homemade machine boasts a two-kilometer range and can down “various small aircraft” within five seconds of locating its target.
Read more » RT
Beijing has launched the $100 billion Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Australia, Indonesia and South Korea were absent following hidden pressure from Washington concerned about the new challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Read more »RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/business/198928-china-world-bank-rival/
India has unveiled plans to build a mountain road along the disputed border with China in the country’s remote north-east.
The $6.5bn (£4.06bn), 1,800km (1,118 miles) all-weather road will stretch from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state to where the borders of India and China meet with Myanmar.
The road will connect sparsely populated and poorly-connected hill communities living in four large frontier districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
It will also help farmers in the mountainous region to transport their organic crops and medicinal herbs to low-lying and busy markets in neighbouring Assam state.
“This road will not boost our defences but help connect far flung communities for economic development denied to them for so long,” says India’s junior home minister Khiren Rijiju, himself a resident of Arunachal Pradesh.
But Indian military officials say the road will help consolidate Indian defences.
This represents a change in Indian military thinking that has so far opposed developing roads near the border, in case it is used by the Chinese during a conflict for speedy movement inside Indian territory.
The road, however, could could ignite fresh tensions between India and China.
The world’s two most populous countries disagree over the demarcation of several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.
Read more » BBC
China’s foreign minister made it clear Beijing would not allow other countries to meddle into its ‘internal affairs’, responding in this way to US Secretary of State’s call for Beijing to grant Hong Kong the “highest possible degree of autonomy.”
The American and the Chinese heads of foreign offices exchanged their views on the massive protests in Hong Kong before their talks at the US State Department on Wednesday.
“Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “All countries should respect China’s sovereignty. And this is also a basic principle governing international relations. I believe for any country, for any society, no one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order.”
Wang added he believed the current Hong Kong leadership was able to handle the large-scale sit-ins by itself.
Read more » http://rt.com/news/192404-china-us-internal-affairs/
Which South Asian country is more important for China’s future?
By Mu Chunshan
Among China’s relations with Asian neighbors, its ties with the countries in South Asia are generally considered to be the weakest. Now, with Sino-Japan tensions over the East China Sea and conflict with many Southeast Asian countries over the South China Sea, the role of South Asian countries has become more prominent. South Asia is now a focus in China’s regional strategy, as shown by President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the area.
When it comes to South Asia, people think of India and Pakistan first. China has an “all weather friendship” with Pakistan but an ambivalent, often testy relationship with India. But the future is sometimes different from both the past and the present. Moving forward, which country is more important for China? Even without a clear answer, just puzzling through this question can help make many issues clear.
In fact, we only to need to answer two questions to know whether India or Pakistan is more important for China. First, which one is a major power? Second, which one can better help China realize its interests?
Which is the major power, India or Pakistan? The answer is relatively simple — India. When it comes to international influence, India is part of BRICS and the G20 and is a leader of the developing world through the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement. India is well poised to become a major power in the world arena.
The answer is even more obvious from the economic perspective. According to the World Bank, India’s GDP in 2013 was roughly $1.9 trillion. By contrast, Pakistan’s GDP was only $236 billion, only about 12 percent of India’s. In 2013, India was the 10th largest economy in the world in terms of GDP.
India’s economy is just beginning to boom; its growth rate in 2013 was 4.5 percent. Experts believe that India today is like China in the mid-1980s, poised for rapid economic growth. Despite many difficulties, there is no reason for India’s economic growth to come to a halt. By contrast, Pakistan has not enjoyed the same type of economic growth in the past decade. Of course, at 1.2 billion, India’s population is far greater than Pakistan’s, but even when looking at per capita GDP India outranks Pakistan. The gap between two countries will probably widen in the future, placing Pakistan at even more of a disadvantage when compared with India.
Hong Kong (CNN) — Police are in a tense standoff with tens of thousands of pro-democracy student demonstrators, recently joined by the like-minded Occupy Central movement, which has announced the formal start of a campaign of civil disobedience in the Chinese territory.
Read more » CNN
by Asfia Afzal
Pakistan’s women cricket team fought their way to victory in the final of the Asian Games women twenty 20 cricket tournament beating Bangladesh by 59 runs.
The women’s team outclassed defending champion China with a nine-wicket win in the semi final of Asian Games 2014 played at Yeonhui Cricket Ground, in Inheon on Thursday.
With the victory the team was through to the final of the Incheon Asian Games to face Bangladesh, where they successfully won the first gold medal for the Pakistani nation in the Asian games.
Bangladesh’s team played their best in the semis and defeated the Sri Lankan Women side by 25 runs in the second semi-final to seal their spot in the finals but Pakistan’s team stole their win in finals with 97 runs against Bangladesh’s 38 runs.
Read more » Business Recorder
Baku-APA. Forty rioters died in a series of explosions in Luntai County of northwest China’s Xinjiang on Sunday, and six civilians, two police officers and two auxiliary policemen were killed, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Another two rioters were captured by the police, according to the official Tianshan website.
The blasts hit a shop, an open fair and two police stations around 5 p.m. Sunday, the website said.
Xinjiang police said it was an “organized and serious” terrorist attack.
AHMEDABAD: India’s new prime minister rolled out the red carpet for Xi Jinping in his home town on Wednesday, as the Chinese president began a maiden visit with both sides seeking to reset the relationship between Asia’s rival superpowers.
Narendra Modi has pulled out all the stops for Xi’s arrival, organising an intimate riverside dinner in Ahmedabad, the main city in his home state of Gujarat, where giant billboards in Chinese, Gujarati and English have been put up to welcome him.
Read more » DAWN
Pakistan political crisis prompts China President to postpone Pakistan visit: Sources
Sources say Chinese President did not get security clearance to continue with the scheduled tour.
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday postponed his official visit to Pakistan after his security team withdrew the security clearance owing to the sit-in protest marches and ongoing political crisis in Pakistan, Dunya News reported citing sources.
Chinese President was offered to hold the meetings in Lahore as an alternative but the security clearance was not given by his team citing Lahore being densely populated as the reason.
Courtesy: Dunya News
Proposals for two accelerators could see country become collider capital of the world.
For decades, Europe and the United States have led the way when it comes to high-energy particle colliders. But a proposal by China that is quietly gathering momentum has raised the possibility that the country could soon position itself at the forefront of particle physics.
Scientists at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing, working with international collaborators, are planning to build a ‘Higgs factory’ by 2028 — a 52-kilometre underground ring that would smash together electrons and positrons. Collisions of these fundamental particles would allow the Higgs boson to be studied with greater precision than at the much smaller Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europe’s particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.
Physicists say that the proposed US$3-billion machine is within technological grasp and is considered conservative in scope and cost. But China hopes that it would also be a stepping stone to a next-generation collider — a super proton–proton collider — in the same tunnel.
Read more » nature international weekly magazine
The leaders of the five Brics countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn (£58.3bn) development bank and emergency reserve fund.
The Brics group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries.
The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India.
Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a Brics summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday.
A new player
At first, the bank will start off with $50bn in initial capital.
The emergency reserve fund – which was announced as a “Contingency Reserve Arrangement” – will also have $100bn, and will help developing nations avoid “short-term liquidity pressures, promote further Brics cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements”.
The creation of the Brics bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.
Brics nations have criticised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for not giving developing nations enough voting rights.
One of the goals for the bank – whose creation has been discussed for some time – would be to increase the amount of money loaned to developing countries to help with infrastructure projects.
Chuck Hagel: Beijing ‘destabilising’ South China Sea
Chuck Hagel: “China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea “Hagel:
The US defence secretary has accused China of “destabilising” the South China Sea, saying its action threatened the region’s long-term progress. Chuck Hagel said the US would “not look the other way” when nations ignored international rules. Mr Hagel was speaking at a three-day summit – the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore – that involves the US and South-East Asian countries.
Read more » BBC
Reuters – By Sui-Lee Wee
BEIJING (Reuters) – China summoned the U.S. ambassador after the United States accused five Chinese military officers of hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets, warning Washington it could take further action, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Read more » Yahoo News
The thing about globalization is that it involves the whole world. Hence Russia exercises its option to pivot East when faced with an obdurate West.
Bubbles share a core attitude of mind: complete incapacity to recognize that the real world may not correspond to your immediate surroundings. Thus investors become absorbed by manias from tulip bulbs to the South Sea, the internet et al, and fail to realize that ‘asset’ values have fundamentally decoupled from reality.
Read more » http://rt.com/op-edge/160212-russia-china-gas-deal-east/
Yesterday, China’s state press outlets unveiled the CRH500, a new challenger to the record for conventional-wheeled high-speed trains. Its target is to break 310.7 miles per hour (500kph), which would make it as fast as the regional planes that have been flying everyone home for the holidays.
The 310.7 mph record is faster than the 304 mph max cruising speed of the Candian-built and commonly America-used Bombardier Dash 8 (100 Series), a popular regional plane with over 90 individual airline companies flying over one thousand of them all around the world. US Airways flies Bombardier Dash 8s regularly and if you flew a small plane this year, there’s a chance that you were on a Bombardier.
Car News China reports that this one-off test train is “the first of a new series real-world trains from manufacturer CSR Sifang Locomotive.” So we can expect to find these things racing between Beijing and Shanghai as fast as the little planes that serve as America’s high-speed intercity transportation.
A squadron of Russia’s Navy Pacific Fleet has arrived in Shanghai to participate in joint Russian-Chinese naval training dubbed ‘Joint Sea-2014’. The drills in the northern part of the East China Sea start on Tuesday and will go on until May 26.
The Russian squadron consists of six battleships and support vessels: the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, missile cruiser Varyag, anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, large landing ship Admiral Nevelskoy, anti-surface destroyer Bystry, tanker Ilim and ocean tug Kalar.
Stalin-Mao Roles Reverse as Putin Courts China Investment
The Russian leader starts a two-day visit to China today, seeking to complete an agreement on natural gas supplies to the world’s second-largest economy, held up for more than a decade because of a debate over the price. The contract is “nearly finalized,” Putin told Chinese media in aninterview published yesterday.
Putin is looking to cement ties with China as the conflict in Ukraine alienates him from the U.S. and its European allies. The relationship with China, Russia’s biggest trading partner after the two-way volume surged sevenfold in the past decade to $94 billion last year, is becoming even more important as escalating sanctions threaten to tip the economy into recession.
“As Russia’s relations with the West deteriorate, its ties with China will need to grow stronger,” Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said by e-mail. “Beijing, rather than Moscow, will be the senior power.”
That role reversal is underscored by the disparity of the two countries’ economic development during the past 35 years. In 1979, as Deng Xiaoping started an economic overhaul, China’s output was 40 percent of the Soviet Russian Republic’s — the present-day Russian Federation, according to astudy published this year by the Center for European Reform. By 2010, China’s economy had become four times the size of Russia’s, it said.
A historic, long-term deal for the delivery of Russian gas to China that has been 10 years in the making is 98 percent ready, Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky has said. All that’s needed are the two countries’ signatures, he added.
Read more » RT
BY ISHAAN THAROOR
China is planning to build a train line that would, in theory, connect Beijing to the United States. According to a report in the Beijing Times, citing an expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese officials are considering a route that would start in the country’s northeast, thread through eastern Siberia and cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile long underwater tunnel into Alaska.
“Right now we’re already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years,” says Wang Mengshu, the engineer cited in the article. The proposed“China-Russia-Canada-America” line would be some 8,000 miles long, 1,800 miles longer than the Trans-Siberian railroad. The tunnel that the Chinese would help bore beneath the icy seas would be four times the length of what traverses the English Channel.
That’s reason enough to be skeptical of the project, of which there are few details beyond what was attributed to the one official cited by the state-run Beijing Times. Meanwhile, a report in the state-run China Daily insists the country does have the technology and means to complete a construction project of this scale, including another tunnel that would link the Chinese province of Fujian with nearby Taiwan.
In the past half decade or so, China has embarked on an astonishing rail construction spree, laying down tens of thousands of miles tracks and launching myriad high-speed lines. It has signaled its intent to build a “New Silk Road” – a heavy-duty freight network through Central Asia that would connect with Europe via rail rather than the old caravans that once bridged West and East. A map that appeared on Xinhua’s news site outlines the route below, alongside a parallel vision for a “maritime Silk Road.”
Chinese researchers at the Applied Superconductivity Laboratory of Southwest Jiaotong University claim their fast transportation concept based on magnetic levitation (Maglev) technology could potentially be three times faster than an airplane.
Maglev technology was first proposed in the mid-20th century. Nowadays, the Shanghai Maglev Train can reach speeds of over 430 kilometers (260 miles) per hour and is the world’s fastest passenger-carrying train.
The “Super-Maglev” could, however, beat even that. Chinese researchers have been testing a concept train encapsulated in a vacuum tube, thus decreasing the speed limitations imposed by air resistance on regular Maglev trains.
Should the project be successful, the workable prototype will set the standard for the future evacuation tube transportation (ETT).
“ETT systems might allow HTS Maglev trains to attain speeds in a new order of magnitude, such as super-high 3,000 km (1,800 miles) per hour, which could be applied to some military or space launch systems,”Dr. Deng Zigang, who’s been developing the technology for years, told The Daily Mail.
In purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, India is now the world’s third largest economy — surpassing Japan.
By Ankit Panda
In a sliver of good economic news during an Indian election that is widely focused on economic growth, the World Bank announced in a report on Tuesday that India overtook Japan as the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). According to the World Bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) data, India holds a 6.4 percent share of global GDP on a PPP basis. The United States remains in first place with a 17.1 percent share and China trails it at 14.9 percent. Japan, while still the world’s third largest economy in nominal terms, holds a 4.8 percent share of global wealth.
Read more » THE DIPLOMAT