China’s developing space program took another major step forward on Saturday with the launch of its Long March 7 rocket, a new class of booster capable of lifting up to 13.5 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The primary payload of the flight was a dummy version of its next-generation crew capsule and some CubeSats. Continue reading »
Tesla Motors has reportedly signed a non-binding agreement with Chinese government-owned company Jinqiao Group to construct a Tesla production plant in the city of Shanghai.
Watch the video here:
A violent hailstorm hit China’s Shanxi province. Watch as baseball-sized pieces of hail smash through car windows.
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Crop Losses Follow
Rare Snowstorms abound across the planet. Mid-June and every continent received snow across both hemispheres. Record snows in Argentina/Chile, New York state, Russia, China, Finland
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“We expressed our serious concerns over recent and ongoing developments, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and which may have the potential to undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea.” That is what was said in a statement issued by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)… before it was immediately retracted.
Following a China-ASEAN meeting in the southern Chinese city of Yuxi, an ASEAN statement was issued by Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry that expressed deep concerns over tensions in the South China Sea, however just hours later the statement was mysteriously retracted. Continue reading »
The Chinese military has a new warplane with an unusual purpose: to beam propaganda and disinformation into hostile territory.
In that way, the new, four-engine Y-8GX7 psychological operations plane—also known by its Chinese name, Gaoxin-7—is analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s EC-130J, which it says “conducts military information support operations and civil affairs broadcasts in F.M. radio, television and military communications bands.” Continue reading »
China plans to continue to develop the South China Sea. This time, Beijing has set a goal to build an oceanic ‘space station’, as deep as 3,000 meters underwater, Bloomberg reports, quoting a Science Ministry presentation.
If successful, this will be the first project for long-term human habitation at such depths.
“Having this kind of long-term inhabited station has not been attempted this deep, but it is certainly possible. Manned submersibles have gone to those depths for almost 50 years. The challenge is operating it for months at a time,” Bryan Clark from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments told Bloomberg. Continue reading »
According to Sputnik, back in January the People’s Liberation Army Air Force was preparing to develop a new fleet of stealth fighters and heavy transport aircraft. The heavy transport aircraft, the Xian Y-20 transport, was going to be built in order to give Beijing a “fast and reliable platform” to deliver arms and soldiers over long distances. Continue reading »
Analysts say it is unusual to see snow at this time of year.
1 Jun 2016 – Snow fell in the city of Mudanjiang of China’s northernmost province of Heilongjiang Tuesday morning at the beginning of summer.
The snow lasted for about five hours and accumulated to about 10 centimeters in some areas.
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Protectionists are on the cusp of a “Pyrrhic victory” over China.
No one will like the results when it happens.
A huge global trade war is on the horizon, regardless of whether Hillary or Trump wins the election.
The die is cast: US Steel Given Green Light to Seek China Import Ban. Continue reading »
Based on a new report by Fathom Consulting, it appears that China is also dramatically misreporting what may be the one most critical for social stability metric, its unemployment rate, which when stripped away of the political propaganda, is more than three times greater than the officially reported rate. According to Fathom, China’s underemployment Indicator has tripled to 12.9% since 2012 even while the official jobless rate has hovered near 4% for five years.
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Moscow and Beijing are to sign a deal to produce a new wide-body passenger aircraft by end of June, reports Life News citing Russian ministerial sources.
The project is part of a reported $13 billion aviation cooperation deal signed in 2014 during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China. Continue reading »
It is no secret that the relationship between the United States and China has been strained for quite some time. Earlier this month when the US sailed its guided missile destroyer the USS William P. Lawrence within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, it ended in China scrambling of two fighter jets and three warships to shadow the destroyer and convince it to leave the area.
The US admitted that it sailed the USS William P. Lawrence by the disputed island in order to “challenge excessive maritime claims” made by China. In turn, China had this to say about the US effort: “This action by the U.S. side threatened China’s sovereignty and security interests, endangered the staff and facilities on the reef, and damaged regional peace and stability.” Continue reading »
The ultimate goal of China’s latest Five-Year-Plan is to overtake Germany, Japan, and the United States in terms of manufacturing sophistication. To make that happen, the government needs Chinese manufacturers to adopt robots by the millions. The manufacturing hub for the electronics industry, Kunshan, in Jiangsu province is proving that that initiative is well underway. The transition from human to robot workers may upend Chinese society. “You can make the argument that robotic technology is the way to save manufacturing in China,” says Yasheng Huang, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “But China also has a huge labor force. What are you going to do with them?” For now, that question remains unanswered, but that won’t stop from unleashing the biggest robotic revolution seen in recent years.
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We have reported for years that Russia and China have been doing everything they can to displace the use (and influence) of the US dollar. Of course, as the US has been playing geopolitical games, China and Russia have been working on strengthening their relationship with one another. At the end of 2015, China had become Russia’s biggest oil customer, and as of April, Russian oil shipments to China hit a record high. Russia has also surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest crude exporter to China.
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Today we learned that not only was China going through with its unprecedented debt-for-equity swap, but it has already equitized over $220 billion in non-performing loans. Note: these are not traditional, Chapter 11 prepacks where the debt is converted into equity and the debt holder gets the keys to the company. In this case, it is the Chinese government itself which indirectly via state-owned banks, has become the de facto owner of countless companies.
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Just days after a report that two Chinese J-11 fighter jets buzzed a US spy plane above the South China Sea, Beijing has officially escalated its displeasure at US surveillance up the chain of command and as Reuters reports, Beijing has demanded an end to all U.S. surveillance near China. “It must be pointed out that U.S. military planes frequently carry out reconnaissance in Chinese coastal waters, seriously endangering Chinese maritime security,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei Hong told reporters, adding that “we demand that the United States immediately cease this type of close reconnaissance activity to avoid having this sort of incident happening again.”…
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H/t reader squodgy:
“Now in view of the BDI, Caterpillar, Truck orders and so on, this was inevitable, and about two years overdue.
I still don’t understand why these geniuses didn’t see the writing on the wall when it was obvious five years ago that economic growth was unsustainable.
Global overcapacity, plunging demand, and a price war
In the first quarter, South Korean shipbuilders saw their orders collapse by 94.1% to 170,000 compensated gross tons (CGT), compared to the prior year. In terms of dollars, orders collapsed 94% from $6.5 billion in Q1 2015 in to just $390 million.
Now that China’s brief infatuation with “rationalizing” excess capacity in its massively glutted (and insolvent) steel sector is over after lasting all of 2-3 months, China is back to doing what it did in late 2015 (and what it has always done) when as we reported, a surge in Chinese exports led to the first salvos in the trade war between China – the world’s biggest exporter of various steel products and is responsible for half the entire world’s steel output – and countries who are importing dumped Chinese products at the expense of their own steel and mining industries.
Nowhere has this trade tension been more obvious than in the UK, where in recent months angry, protesting steel workers have been demanding rising protectionist steps against a country they, rightfully, see as unleashing a global commodity deflation driven by out of control, and unprofitable by highly subsidized, production by Chinese steel mills. Continue reading »