#AceNewsReport – Oct.14: Heavy rains hit Shanxi in recent days, the country’s biggest coal producing province, after record floods struck the mining region of Henan in July.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Business News China floods: Coal price hits fresh high as mines shut as XI decides its time to open more mines to supply the energy just as #COP26 is due to begin & Thermal coal on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange rose by over 10% on Tuesday so on Friday, Beijing reportedly ordered China’s coal mines to boost output.
The floods further complicate China’s efforts to increase fuel supplies to ease its deepening energy crisis.
Shanxi Province, which produced around a third of China’s coal supplies this year, was forced to temporarily shut dozens of mines due to flooding. Although some sites are now slowly resuming operations.
At least 15 people have died during the severe flooding that has affected more than 1.76 million people in the province, local officials said on Tuesday.
Torrential rain last week led to houses collapsing and triggered landslides across more than 70 districts and cities in the northern province.
Even before the flooding, China was already facing an energy shortage which has caused power cuts in large parts of the country.
In recent weeks, energy firms have been forced to limit electricity supplies to millions of homes and business.
The move was the latest attempt by authorities to increase coal supplies after prices hit record highs and electricity shortages forced energy firms to ration power.
Since last month, a series of power cuts has forced factories to cut back production or stop operations completely
Manufacturing hubs in the northeast of China have been hit particularly hard.
The latest rise in the price of thermal coal prices comes on top of a 12% jump on Monday.
Energy prices have been rising across the world as the global economy starts to emerge from the pandemic.
On Monday, the cost of Brent crude hit its highest since level October 2018, while US-traded oil touched a fresh seven-year-high.
China is a country caught in the middle of a global struggle – to develop but also be green
#AceNewsReport – Oct.10: Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants, which in total supply around 70% of India’s electricity, have fuel stocks of less than three days, data from the federal grid operator showed…..
#AceDailyNews says according to Reuters Indian states suffer power cuts as coal stocks shrink but government says their are plenty of stocks ……The shortages in India – the world’s largest coal consumer after China – follow widespread outages in neighbouring China, which has shut factories and schools to manage the crisis.
India’s power ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, the Indian Express newspaper quoted power minister R.K. Singh as saying: “There is nowhere that we have not been able to supply the quantity of power demanded.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.09: Inner Mongolia and Shanxi told coal miners to lift combined annual production capacity by more than 160 million tonnes, while China’s cabinet said market coal-fired power prices may now fluctuate up to 20% from base rates, an increase on previous limits, or more for high energy consuming sectors.
#AceDailyNews says according to Reuters China eyes coal output boost, higher power prices to ease shortages as they dig in on coal, oil gains as energy crisis deepens
China ordered miners in Inner Mongolia to ramp up coal production and oil prices jumped on Friday as a record surge in the cost of gas revived demand for the most polluting fossil fuels to keep factories open and homes heated.
The rebound in economic activity from coronavirus restrictions has exposed alarmingly low supplies of natural gas leaving traders, industry executives and governments scrambling as the northern hemisphere heads into winter.
The energy crisis, which has led to fuel shortages and blackouts in some countries, has highlighted the difficulty in cutting the global economy’s dependency on fossil fuels as world leaders seek to revive efforts to tackle climate change at talks next month in Glasgow.
In China, where coal production had been curtailed to meet climate goals, officials have ordered more than 70 coal mines in Inner Mongolia to ramp up production by nearly 100 million tonnes or 10%, as the world’s largest exporter battles its worst power shortages in years.
Russia’s Gazprom, a key supplier of gas to China, calmed fears that a fire at a major gas processing plant could worsen the situation, saying it was able to continue exporting gas to China as normal.
The pricing adjustment is designed to prevent high energy consumption, state media reported, adding that prices for residential and agricultural users, as well as public welfare initiatives, would be kept stable.
#AceDailyNews says according to Taiwan Air Defence say that a record number of China planes enter Taiwan air defence zone and Monday’s incursion marks the fourth straight day of incursions by Chinese aircraft, with almost 150 aircraft sent into Taiwan’s defence zone in total after China warns Taiwan independence ‘means war’
Some analysts say the flights could be seen as a warning to Taiwan’s president ahead of the island’s national day: Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province: However, democratic Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign state.
In an essay for Foreign Affairs magazine on Tuesday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen warned there would be “catastrophic” consequences for peace and democracy in Asia if the island were to fall to China: It would signal that in today’s global contest of values, authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy,” she wrote.Ms Tsai added that while Taiwan did not seek confrontation, Taiwan would “do whatever it takes to defend itself”.
Taiwan has been reporting for more than a year that China’s air force has been repeatedly flying nearby: The latest Chinese mission included 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which all flew in an area near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands, according to a map provided by the Taiwanese government: Four more Chinese fighters were spotted late on Monday, taking the total to 56 aircraft in one day.
Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), accused Beijing of “seriously damaging the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”……….We demand the Beijing authorities immediately stop its non-peaceful and irresponsible provocative actions,” MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng said in a statement: China is the culprit for causing tensions between the two sides of the (Taiwan) Strait and it has further threatened regional security and order,” he added, saying Taiwan “will never compromise and yield” to threats……
In response, China accused Washington of being the provocateurs, while warning against supporting Taiwanese independence.
“Engaging in Taiwan independence is a dead end. China will take all steps needed and firmly smash any Taiwan independence plots,” the ministry said.
The US should stop supporting and “inflating” Taiwan separatist forces, it added.
Analysts have previously warned that Beijing is becoming increasingly concerned that Taiwan’s government is moving the island towards a formal declaration of independence and wanted to warn President Tsai against taking steps in that direction.
Ms Tsai, however, has repeatedly said that Taiwan is already an independent state, making any formal declaration unnecessary.
The island has its own constitution, military, and democratically elected leaders.
China has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve unification with Taiwan.
China and Taiwan: The basics
Why do China and Taiwan have poor relations? China and Taiwan were divided during a civil war in the 1940s, but Beijing insists the island will be reclaimed at some point, by force if necessary
How is Taiwan governed? The island has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and about 300,000 active troops in its armed forces
Who recognises Taiwan? Only a few countries recognise Taiwan. Most recognise the Chinese government in Beijing instead. The US has no official ties with Taiwan but does have a law which requires it to provide the island with the means to defend itself
#AceNewsReport – Sept.30: The chip crisis turned dire when the coronavirus hit. As demand for electronics was skyrocketing in the spring of 2020, manufacturers warned they were running short of semiconductors — key components needed to make devices from smartphones to cars…..
#AceDailyNews says that with China on the rise as a ‘superpower’ the US and EU forge alliance on technology and form ‘Trade & Technology Council Alliance’
With Beijing on the rise as a tech superpower, Brussels and Washington want to close ranks. But divisions loom over the new “Trade and Technology Council” alliance — and previous efforts have a mixed track record…….
They had good reasons: In the following months, the shortage forced factories to shut down assembly lines. Tech companies postponed product launches. Computers were delivered months too late.
Worried about the fallout, politicians from Washington D.C. to Berlin called up chip-manufacturing countries and asked them to help prioritize orders from their countries.
But there was only so much they could do: The chips, which are made by just a handful of firms, are notoriously hard to produce. And there just were not enough for everyone.
That is why manufacturing more chips in Europe and the US will be high up on the agenda when top US and EU officials gather on Wednesday in Pittsburgh for the first meeting of the “EU-US Trade and Technology Council” (TTC).
“We commit to building a US-EU partnership … to design and produce the most powerful and resource-efficient semiconductors,” the White House said in a statement.
Other discussions at the TTC will be about coming up with principles for artificial intelligence technology; how to boost cybersecurity in an increasingly unstable digital world; and how to push joint technology standards on the international stage.
The meeting will be co-chaired by the EU’s digital chief Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
Far from seeing eye to eye
The chip crisis was an eye-opening moment for policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic, illustrating how important access to technology has become for maintaining geopolitical dominance, according to conversations with US and EU officials involved in preparing the TTC meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.
But finding common ground during the two-day meeting will not be easy.
The EU’s digital chief Margrethe Vestager and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis will co-chair the TTC meeting
The US and the EU have been at loggerheads over how to regulate new technology for years.
While Brussels is pushing for tough rules, arguing they are needed to protect the fundamental rights of Europeans, Washington has mostly advocated a market-driven, hands-off approach, warning that too many rules could hamper innovation.
Finding a middle ground would help both sides, said Marietje Schaake, the policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center.
“If the US and the EU worked together better, that would actually be a pretty strong combination — it would bring the geopolitical strength from the US to the EU, and it would bring the rights-and-freedoms strength from the EU to the US,” said Schaake, who served as a member of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019.
“But it does require political agreement — and so far, there has not been a great meeting of the minds.”
A ‘New Cold War’?
The elephant in the negotiation room is how to deal with China.
In recent years, China’s tech companies have grown into some of the biggest in the world. This has raised concerns in the US that Beijing could soon dominate certain sensitive technologies and use that as a strategic advantage — and it has prompted some observers to speak of a “New Cold War.”
EU officials, meanwhile, have been eager to stress that the new alliance should primarily be about working together, rather than targeting one particular country. The bloc has so far taken a less confrontational course on Beijing, not least because some of its 27 member countries have close economic ties with China and remain divided over how to deal with the country.
But Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian leadership style has officials in Washington and Brussels alarmed, said Stormy-Annika Mildner, the executive director of think tank Aspen Institute Germany.
“Both sides feel a greater threat from China, and a greater need to work together,” Mildner said, adding that this could set the TTC apart from previous trans-Atlantic efforts kicked off under George W. Bush or Barack Obama, which all started with similarly grand ambitions for trans-Atlantic cooperation — but eventually led nowhere.
“The world around us is just completely different from back then,” Mildner said, “And China is one key reason for that.”
How much can governments really do?
One of the areas where both sides hope to close ranks is that of producing semiconductors. Manufacturing the tiny chips is extremely complicated. It includes hundreds of steps, takes months to complete, and requires factories worth billions.
Making the tiny semiconductors is notoriously difficult
China has declared it a top national priority to soon run that entire production process on its own territory — something no country can currently do.
At the TTC, officials will speak about how to deal with foreign investment in the semiconductors industry. They will also discuss how to coordinate their own plans for how the EU and the US can become less dependent on global supply chains.
And the US and EU should think about how to better collaborate in the research and development of new technology, said Jan-Peter Kleinhans, a semiconductor expert at think tank Stiftung Neue Verantwortung.
Kleinhans cautioned that when it comes to tackling the global chip crisis, there is only so much governments can do.
“Yes, public money, if spent properly, can help with building new production capacities,” he said.
But Kleinhans added that more is needed to tackle the current shortage — such as making global supply chains more transparent or giving a halt to rising raw material prices that have exacerbated the crisis.
“That’s something only companies can do,” he said. “And that’s why no one truly knows when we’ll be out of this crisis.”
#AceNewsReport – Sept.28: The firm says major industrial output cuts caused by power outages add “significant downside pressures: It estimates as much as 44% of China’s industrial activity has been affected.
#AceDailyNews says according to media reports Goldman Sachs has cut China growth forecast over power outages as it now expects the world’s second largest economy to expand by 7.8% this year, down from its previous prediction of 8.2%.
The power supply crunch, caused by environmental controls, supply constraints and soaring prices, has left some factories and homes without electricity.
The energy shortage at first affected manufacturers across the country, many of whom have had to curb or stop production in recent weeks.
A document seen by the BBC shows that the largest port in northern China at Tianjin has been affected by a shortage of electricity. Power rationing for cranes that lift cargo between ships and the shore is expected to continue until the end of the week.
People living in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces have complained on social media about the lack of heating, and lifts and traffic lights not working. Provincial authorities have been scrambling to guarantee electricity and heating for residents.
Japanese finance giant Nomura, Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley and China International Capital Corporation have also either downgraded their economic growth forecasts for China or warned of lower growth because of the power disruptions.
The Chinese economy is already grappling with the impact of tough new regulations of some of the country’s biggest industries such as property developers and technology companies.
“Considerable uncertainty remains with respect to the fourth quarter, with both upside and downside risks relating principally to the government’s approach to managing the Evergrande stresses, the strictness of environmental target enforcement and the degree of policy easing,” Goldman said.
On Monday, without mentioning Evergrande by name, China’s central bank promised to protect consumers exposed to the housing market.
The announcement by the People’s Bank of China has been seen as a signal that authorities are ready to act to stop any fallout from the Evergrande crisis spreading to other parts of the economy.
Global markets have been rocked in recent days as investors fret about the company’s ability to make interest repayments on its more than $300bn (£219bn) of debt.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.27: China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty, even though most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being governed by Beijing….
In Xi’s letter, a copy of which was released by the KMT, he said both parties had had “good interactions” based on their joint opposition to Taiwan independence.
“At present, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is complex and grim. All the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation must work together with one heart and go forward together,” wrote Xi, who is also head of the Communist Party.
He expressed hope that both parties could cooperate on “seeking peace in the Taiwan Strait, seeking national reunification and seeking national revitalization.”
Chu, who badly lost the 2016 presidential election to current President Tsai Ing-wen, responded to Xi that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait were “all the children of the Yellow Emperor” – in other words, all Han Chinese.
Chu blamed Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for tensions with Beijing after pursuing anti-China policies.
Chu, who met Xi in China in 2015, said he hoped to “seek common ground and respect differences, increase mutual trust and geniality, strengthen exchanges and cooperation so as to allow the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations.”
Under outgoing KMT leader Johnny Chiang’s 17-month tenure, high-level contacts with China stalled amid military tensions and suspicion in Beijing the party was not sufficiently committed to the idea Taiwan was part of “one China.”
As well as losing the 2016 polls, the KMT were trounced in elections last year after failing to shake DPP accusations they were Beijing’s lackeys.
China refuses to talk to Tsai, calling her a separatist. She says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, the island’s formal name, and that only Taiwan’s people have the right to decide their own future.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.27: China’s broadcasting regulator said it will encourage online producers to create “healthy” cartoons and clamp down violent, vulgar or pornographic content, as Beijing steps up efforts to bring its thriving entertainment industry to heel…..
#AceDailyNews says that according to The National Radio and Television Administration said in an notice posted late on Friday that children and young people were the main audience for cartoons, and qualified agencies need to broadcast content that “upholds truth, goodness and beauty”.
China’s ruling Communist Party has stepped up a campaign to clean up its entertainment industry in recent months, taking action against “online idols” and promising tougher penalties for celebrities who engage in illegal or unethical behaviour.
The campaigns have been part of a wider effort to intervene in all aspects of the country’s culture and economy, with the government also promising to tackle inequality, soaring property prices and profit-seeking education institutions.
The Communist Party celebrated its centenary in July, and President Xi Jinping marked the occasion by promising to “enhance” the party’s powers and strengthen the unity of the Chinese people.
Reuters: Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by William Mallard
#AceNewsReport – Sept.26: We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states,” U.S. President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint statement after the talks…..
#AceDailyNews according to Reuters …..Quad leaders press for free Indo-Pacific, with wary eye on China with a two-hour meeting at the White House of the Quad, as the grouping of four major democracies is called, will be watched closely in Beijing, which criticized the group as “doomed to fail.”
While China was not mentioned in the public remarks by the four leaders or in the lengthy joint statement and a factsheet issued afterwards, Beijing was clearly top of mind.
Their statement made frequent mention of the leaders’ insistence on rules-based behavior in a region where China has been trying to flex its muscles.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.25: Chinese government agencies including the country’s securities regulator and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on Friday that all cryptocurrency-related business activities are illegal and vowed to clamp down on illicit activities involving digital currencies.
#AceDailyNews says that according CNN Business report Bitcoin plummets after China intensifies cryptocurrency crackdown as agencies said that overseas crypto exchanges would be blocked from providing services to Chinese residents through the internet. Bitcoin (XBT) fell about 5% on the news. Ethereum, another leading cryptocurrency, was down 9%.
The agencies said that China would develop “new systems” to counter risks posed by cryptocurrencies. China will gradually start shutting down crypto mining operations, and no new mining projects will be permitted, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a separate statement.
The announcements are the latest in a series of tough measures from China on cryptocurrencies. In May, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told a group of finance officials that the government would “clamp down on bitcoin mining and trading activity” as part of its goal to achieve financial stability. And finance and banking watchdogs said that financial institutions and payment companies should not participate in any transactions related to cryptocurrency, nor should they provide crypto-related services to their clients.The measures aren’t just about curtailing financial risk. The computers needed for bitcoin mining eat up a ton of computing power and electricity, raising concerns about the cost to the environment.
China was on track to generate more than 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2024, according to a Nature Communications study. That’s more than the total annual carbon emissions output from the Czech Republic and Qatar in 2016.
That kind of output is also disastrous for China’s ambitious climate plans. President Xi Jinping has vowed to make his country carbon neutral by 2060, and the country is already struggling to contain carbon emissions from other industries.
— CNN Business’ Laura He contributed to this report
#AceNewsReport – Sept.22: In a statement filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in mainland China, Hengda Real Estate Group said it had reached an agreement with holders of the onshore bond over the repayment……
#AceDailyNews says that Evergrande the Crisis-hit firm strikes China debt deal for the amount due for the domestic bond which is estimated to be $35.9m (£26.3m) ………….The announcement will offer some relief to investors concerned over the company’s debt crisis.
However, the world’s most indebted developer is also due to make a $83.5m interest payment on an overseas bond on Thursday.
However, the statement did not reveal how much interest would be paid or when any payment would be made, saying only that the bond “has already been resolved through private negotiations”.
The filing also did not mention the offshore bond.
Under agreements with investors, the company has a 30-day grace period before a missed payment on the offshore bond would become a default.
The firm’s problems have sent shockwaves around global markets over concerns it may be about to collapse.
Evergrande has been struggling to meet repayments on its debts of more than $300bn.
Earlier in the week, the company started to repay investors in its wealth management business with property as it struggled to find cash to meet its liabilities.
On Monday, Evergrande also reportedly missed interest payments to at least two of its biggest lenders.
Some analysts have cautioned that the failure of such a large and heavily-indebted property developer could have a major impact on the Chinese economy, which could potentially spread to the global financial system.
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which was closed on Monday and Tuesday, was around 0.7% lower in Wednesday’s trade.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is closed on Wednesday for the annual mid-autumn festival.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.21: Hainan is an island province off the south of the mainland, and includes a municipality in the disputed Paracel Islands from which it administers China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
#AceDailyNews says just as Aukus bilateralagreementto build nuclear submarines is signed to patrol the ‘South China Sea’ Beijing adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet as the 5,560-ton Hai Xun 03 which was launched on Tuesday and will become the largest ocean patrol ship under the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), the official China News Service reported, adding that it would help Hainan authorities to enforce jurisdiction independently.
Chinese official documents suggest that China regards Hainan’s jurisdiction as covering around two million square kilometers of maritime area, though boundaries are not clearly demarcated and that jurisdiction is not recognized by its neighbors.
According to news reports, the Hai Xun 03 will conduct maritime patrol and law enforcement, search-and-rescue, emergency coordination and command; and prevention and control of ship pollution “in the South China Sea and surrounding waters.”
China claims “historical rights” to most of the South China Sea but its claims are not supported by international law and are widely contested – including its assertion of the right to police disputed seas.
“Besides the coastguard force, the MSA also has a role in fronting China’s maritime sovereignty and rights protection,” notes Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
“If Hai Xun 03 is deployed on a regular basis to the Spratlys for example, it won’t be particularly out of the blue since MSA has deployed large patrol vessels before to the area.”
According to Koh, the deployment would “still contribute towards reinforcing the impression that Beijing exercises jurisdiction in the South China Sea, and it contributes to its narrative also about providing so-called ‘common public goods’ to mariners in the area.”
China has invested heavily in patrol vessels and coastguard even as international criticism of its conduct in the South China Sea to assert its sweeping claims there has grown.
The Hai Xun 03 is 128.6 meters long, travels at 20 knots, and has a range of around 10,000 nautical miles. It can also patrol at sea for 60 days without supplies.
The ship has a maritime data center equipped with advanced integrated monitoring systems, according to Chinese media. It’s also designed with a hangar to carry multiple helicopters.
The ship is expected to be officially commissioned in March 2022. China’s maritime surveillance fleet, which far exceeds those of its Southeast Asian neighbors, is estimated at more than 300 vessels but only a handful are above 3,000 tons.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.17: Japan has been expanding its Self-Defense Forces, adding state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets and converting warships to aircraft carriers for them. It is also building new destroyers, submarines and missiles, all the while noting its military expenditure still pales in comparison with China’s increased military spending.
“Against Chinese action to Senkaku Islands and other parts of the East China Sea … we have to demonstrate that the government of Japan is resolutely defending our territory with the greater number of Japanese coast guard vessels than that of China,” Kishi said. “There is no territorial dispute relating to the Senkaku Islands between Japan and other countries,” he added.
Tensions over the uninhabited rocky chain — 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo but only a third of that distance from Shanghai — have simmered for years, and claims over them date back centuries.
When tensions spiked over the islands in 2012, it sparked a groundswell of nationalist sentiment in China. Public protests broke out in dozens of Chinese cities, with Japanese-branded cars smashed, Japanese stores and restaurants vandalized, and debris hurled at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.
At the governmental level, China has been just as strident as Kishi is in claiming the island chain.
Minamikojima, Kitakojima and Uotsuri islands, part of the five main islands in the Senkaku group in the East China Sea, on September 11, 2013.
“The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are an inherent part of China’s territory, and it is our inherent right to carry out patrols and law enforcement activities in these waters,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement last year.China has been backing its claims in the region with its ships, and by establishing new laws that give its coast guard expanded powers.
According to Japanese authorities, Chinese Coast Guard vessels have ventured into Japanese territorial waters, or within 12 nautical miles of Japanese land, a total of 88 times between January 1 and the end of August. While in the contiguous zone, waters between islands but not within 12 miles of shore, there have been 851 Chinese incursions.
Experts say China’s strategy is to put its forces in places in and around contested areas and exert Beijing’s law and authority over them. Such action makes the Chinese claims seem like due course.
“Exercising coastal state rights is an important step in corroborating sovereignty through practice,” said Alessio Patalano, professor of war and strategy at King’s College in London.
Kishi has taken notice.
China Marine Surveillance vessels (front and middle) cruise with a Japan Coast Guard ship near Kitakojima and Minamikojima of the disputed Senkaku Islands on April 23, 2013.
“There are actions that continue to challenge an integral part of Japan’s sovereign territory. These actions are making it a fait accompli,” he said.
That “integral” Japanese territory extends even closer to another possible flashpoint in the Japan-China relationship.
Taiwan’s importance to Japan
Japan’s westernmost island is at the very end of a string of Japanese possessions paralleling the Chinese coast and extending south some 700 miles (1,125 kilometers) from the main island of Kyushu, through the military hub of Okinawa and the resort island of Ishigaki, to the tiny island of Yonaguni.
With its 11 square miles of rock and population of fewer than 2,000 people, Yonaguni sits only 68 miles (110 kilometers) from Taiwan, the democratically governed island over which Beijing claims sovereignty.
Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war more than seven decades ago.
Taiwanese soldiers are seen holding grenade launchers and machine guns and driving tanks, during a military exercise, in Tainan, Taiwan, on September 14, 2021.
However, Beijing continues to view Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory even though the Chinese Communist Party has never governed it.
China has been stepping up its military pressure on Taiwan. In June, it sent over two dozen warplanes near the island, prompting Taiwan to alert its air defenses.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping says Taiwan must be brought under Beijing’s control and has not ruled out the use of force in making that happen.
That, said Kishi, has Tokyo in a constant state of vigilance.When Tokyo released its annual defense white paper in July, it contained its strongest language ever on Taiwan, saying “stabilizing the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for Japan’s security.”
At the time, Kishi said it should be monitored with “a sense of crisis.”
In his interview with CNN, he gave specifics.
“What’s happening in Taiwan is directly linked to Japan,” he said, noting the island sits astride his country’s “energy lifeline.”
“Ninety percent of energy that Japan uses is imported through the areas around Taiwan,” Kishi said.
It’s a vulnerability that Tokyo has to mitigate.
“What could happen in Taiwan could likely be an issue for Japan, and in that case, Japan will have to take the necessary response to that situation,” Kishi said, while stressing that tension should be diffused through dialogue, not violence.
But Tokyo isn’t just using words to back up its claims. It’s also beefing up its military defenses, putting missiles and troops on Yonaguni and planning to do the same to nearby Ishigaki in the near future.
“This is to demonstrate our strong will to defend our southwestern area of Japanese territory,” Kishi said.
In that regard, Tokyo has a key ally in its corner, the United States.Tokyo and Washington share a mutual defense treaty, meaning the US is obligated to defend Japanese territory.
US President Joe Biden reaffirmed that security commitment shortly after his inauguration in January, with a White House statement specifically mentioning the Senkakus.
Kishi said this week that alliance is being strengthened, and in commenting on the Senkakus situation, said Washington has Tokyo’s back.
“We will continue to conduct bilateral training with the US and multilateral training with other partners to strengthen our posture and contribute to the peace and stability of this region,” he said, noting that naval exercises have been held or scheduled with partners including France, the United Kingdom and Germany.
While lining up partners, Japan is also improving its own arsenal, including developing and acquiring weapons systems that can strike areas well beyond Japanese territory.
Without saying what areas those longer range systems might target, the Japanese defense minister said it was important for the country’s military to have the right equipment to defend it from any threat.
CNN’s Eric Cheung, Emiko Jozuka and Junko Ogura contributed to this report.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.16: According to the criminal complaint affidavit, between October 2016 and November 2020, Express Gene received numerous wire transfers from accounts in Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, totaling almost $3.5 million. It is alleged that some of the money received was used by Express Gene and its principals to purchase genetic sequencing equipment from U.S. manufacturers and ship them to Iran without a license from the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to export the machines, despite sanctions on Iran.
#AceDailyNews reports that three Florida residents have been charged in federal district court in Miami with crimes related to their alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, and money laundering…..
Defendants Mohammad Faghihi, 52, his wife Farzeneh Modarresi, 53, and his sister Faezeh Faghihi, 50, operated Florida company Express Gene: The incoming money also was used by F. Faghihi and Modarresi to fund the 2019 purchase of the Express Gene property, says the affidavit.
On Feb. 20, Faghihi arrived at Miami International Airport from Iran, where he was inspected by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. According to the charging documents, during his inspection by CBP officers, Faghihi made false statements, including that he did not practice his profession in Iran or conduct any type of research in Iran. In fact, according to the affidavit, Faghihi was the director of a laboratory within Shiraz University of Medical Science in Iran bearing his name: “Dr. Faghihi’s Medical Genetic Center,”. In addition, his luggage contained 17 vials of unknown biological substances covered with ice packs and concealed beneath bread and other food items, according to the affidavit. All the vials were subject to regulations.
From approximately 2013 to approximately 2020, Faghihi was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami (UM), Miller School of Medicine. During this period, he was the principal investigator on several National Institute of Health (NIH) grants awarded in February 2013, December 2016 and June 2017. It is alleged that Express Gene and Faghihi received large deposits from international wires during this period, but they were not disclosed as required to either UM or NIH’s financial conflict of interest reporting system.
Defendants made their initial federal court appearances today. Their pretrial detention hearings will take place tomorrow, Sept. 15, at 10:00 a.m. in federal magistrate court in Miami.
All defendants are charged with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States and conspiring to commit money laundering. Faghihi and Modarresi are also charged with the unlawful exports of goods to Iran, and smuggling goods out of the United States. Faghihi and F. Faghihi were charged with smuggling goods into the United States and making false statements. Faghihi is further charged with wire fraud.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the Justice Department’s National Security Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge George Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Director Vernon Foret of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Miami Field Office made the announcement.
FBI Miami and CBP Miami are investigating the case. The University of Miami provided invaluable assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Thakur and Senior Litigation Counsel Randy Hummel of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Menno Goedman of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.16: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has made modernising the armed forces — well-armed but dwarfed by China’s — and increasing defence spending a priority, especially as Beijing ramps up its military and diplomatic pressure against the island it claims as “sacred” Chinese territory.
The new money, which comes on top of planned military spending of T$471.7 billion for 2022, will need to be approved by the Parliament, which is likely as Mr Tsai’s ruling party has a large majority.
“The Chinese communists have continued to invest heavily in national defence budgets, its military strength has grown rapidly, and it has frequently dispatched aircraft and ships to invade and harass our seas and airspace,” Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said in a statement after a weekly Cabinet meeting.
“In the face of severe threats from the enemy, the nation’s military is actively engaged in military building and preparation work, and it is urgent to obtain mature and rapid mass-production weapons and equipment in a short period of time.”
Deputy Defence Minister Wang Shin-lung said the new arms would all be made domestically, as Taiwan boosted its own production prowess. However, the United States will probably remain an important parts and technology provider.
Cruise missiles, warships to be purchased
Taiwan has been keen to demonstrate it can defend itself, especially amid questions about whether the United States would come to its aid if China attacked.
“Only if we ensure our security and show determination will the international community think well of us,” Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng said.
“Others will only help us if we help ourselves.”
The weapons Taiwan aims to buy with the money include cruise missiles and warships, the ministry added.
Taiwan has been testing new, long-range missiles off its southern and eastern coasts, and while it has not given details, diplomats and experts have said they are likely to be able to hit targets far into China.
The additional cash will likely be well received in Washington, which has been pushing Taiwan to modernise its military to make it more mobile so it can become a “porcupine”, hard for China to attack.
Taiwan has already put into service a new class of highly agile stealth warships, which Taiwan refers to as “aircraft carrier killers” due to their missile complement, and is developing its own submarines.
The announcement comes as Taiwan is in the middle of its annual Han Kuang military drills.
On Thursday, Taiwan’s army simulated fending off an invasion, firing artillery out to sea from a beach on its southern coast.
A pattern of intrusions
Taiwan has complained for more than a year of repeated missions by China’s air force near the self-ruled island.
Earlier this month, Taiwan scrambled its air force against renewed Chinese military activity, with its defence ministry reporting that 19 aircraft, including nuclear-capable bombers, had flown into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.
It has often occurred in the south-western part of its air defence zone, near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.16: Officials banned the 4 June vigil for the victims of China’s deadly crackdown on protesters, citing Covid measures: Critics believe the decision was part of a push to silence the opposition.
#AceDailyNews says that H.K Activists have been jailed for between 6-10-months for joining the banned ‘Tiananmen Vigil’ there were among 12 people who pleaded guilty to participating in the event and three were given suspended sentences……
Despite the ban, thousands of people turned up to light candles and sing songs in 2020. Smaller crowds did the same this year, when authorities banned the event, again citing pandemic restrictions on public gatherings.
Albert Ho, a veteran vigil organiser and former vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, the organiser of the vigils, was handed a 10-month sentence for incitement and attending the event.
Former lawmaker Eddie Chu and Figo Chan, a former leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, known for organising large-scale pro-democracy rallies, were also given jail terms.
“The defendants ignored and belittled a genuine public health crisis,” District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock said.
“They wrongly and arrogantly believed their common purpose was more important than protecting the community or the public’s right to protection from a serious health risk.”
The sentencing came a week after several leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance were arrested under the national security law imposed by Beijing last year. They were accused of working as a “foreign agent”, which they deny.
The legislation criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Critics say it is aimed at crushing dissent but China says it is meant to maintain stability.
Reacting to the sentencing, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director Yamini Mishra said this was “another outrageous attack on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”.
“Depressingly, this unjust verdict was entirely expected amid the accelerating collapse of human rights in Hong Kong,” she added.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.14: Ant could also be forced to hand over the user data that underpins its loans decisions to a new credit scoring firm, which would be partly state-owned, the report said.
#AceNewsDesk says that Alibaba shares slides on report China plans for regulators who want to break up Alipay, which is China’s biggest payments app with a separate platform for the app’s profitable lending operation that would be created under the plan who is believed to have more than a billion users, according to the Financial Times.
It would be the latest move by Beijing to tighten its grip on big businesses.
Alibaba shares closed 4.2% lower in Hong Kong trade on Monday.
Ant Group did not immediately respond to a request for information from the BBC.
This would not be the first time that Ant Group has been targeted by the Chinese government.
The business empire of Jack Ma, the co-founder of both Ant Group and Alibaba, has been hit by a series of high-profile regulatory measures.
Chinese authorities started to show increasing interest in Ant Group in October last year after Mr Ma criticised regulators, suggesting that they were stifling innovation.
The following month, regulators scuppered the record $37bn (£27bn) share market launch of Ant Group.How a little Ant became a financial giant
In April, Alibaba was hit with a record $2.8bn fine over monopoly concerns.
At the same time, Chinese regulators called on Ant to conduct a sweeping business overhaul, including restructuring itself into a financial holding firm.
It was also told to fold its two micro-loan services, Jiebei and Huabei, into the new finance firm.
Ant will not be the only Chinese online lender to be affected by the new rules, the FT report said.
In recent months, Chinese regulators have been targeting other internet giants in a wide-ranging crackdown which has included competition and privacy issues, as well as user data and cryptocurrencies.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.06: In other words, the U.S. – including each of the major cities – is outperforming the world when it comes to emissions: All this data begs a question of our elected leaders who say we have to do more for our environment…
#AceDailyNews says that Iowa Climate has said that 23 of the world’s top 25 greenhouse gas emitting cities are in China with New York City being the first American city to appear, at No. 26. Out of the top 75, just four other American cities are listed – San Diego, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles – all of them ranked 41 or higher….
We are already leading the world in terms of environmental regulations and controls, and again, we’ve – by far – reduced our emissions more than any country year after year for more than 20 years.
By 2025, we will be more than two-thirds of the way to reaching our targeted emissions reduction of 28% from 2005 levels under the Paris Climate Agreement, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. Part of that is owing to the good work we’ve done in our cities to reduce emissions.
Contrast this with the facts about China, which recently won plaudits from many in the “we must do more” crowd for promising to stop increasing emissions before 2030. While we’re cutting our emissions, China’s pollution by then will have surged an estimated 14%-25%. On top of that, China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 exceeded those of the entire developed world.
Say that again: more than the entire developed world.
Those are facts, undisputed by even the most hardcore anti-business zealot masquerading as an environmentalist.
“Dirtiest cities” isn’t the correct phrase to use because the “new tally” is of urban greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, not actual pollutants; however the author raises a very good question…
All this data begs a question of our elected leaders who say we have to do more for our environment…
Why are our politicians badgering us about pollution? Particularly, the non-pollutant CO2? Whether or not you view GHG emissions to be a problem, the United States have done more to reduce GHG emissions than has any other nation.
BP’s recently released Statistical Review of World Energy 2020 shows that in 2019 the United States led all nations in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions for the 10th time this century. U.S. CO2 emissions fell 152 million metric tons in 2019, three percent below 2018 levels, according to BP.
This continues a trend that has been observed more often than not since since the turn of the century. In fact, BP data show that the U.S. has reduced CO2 emissions a world-leading 755 million metric tons since 2000, outpacing the next four leading nations combined.
Experts agree that fuel-shifting to clean-burning natural gas from higher-emitting fuels in the power sector is the primary reason the U.S. has achieved these reductions over the past decade-plus. For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently noted:
“The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt. US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period.
A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall US emissions in 2019. Coal-fired power plants faced even stronger competition from natural gas-fired generation, with benchmark gas prices an average of 45% lower than 2018 levels. As a result, gas increased its share in electricity generation to a record high of 37%.”
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that from 2005 to 2018, a rapid shift to natural gas in the power sector reduced U.S. CO2emissions 57 percent more than the emissions reductions realized through renewables, as the following Energy In Depth graphic shows.
Yet, we’re supposed to blithely starve to death while freezing in the dark because the wind doesn’t always blow at just the right speed and the Sun doesn’t always shine, so that Red China can do whatever they want?
If there is a GHG emissions problem, it’s in Red China.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.31: The rules, published by the National Press and Publication Administration, said users under the age of 18 would be able to play games only from 8:00pm to 9:00pm on those three days of the week……
#AceDailyNews says that Beijing places new restrictions on under-age gamers as part of crackdown on Chinese tech giants under tough new rules, teenagers and children will be restricted to just one hour of gameplay on Fridays, weekends and holidays: The measures come in response to growing concerns over gaming addiction, according to China’s Xinhua news agency
Online gaming companies will be barred from providing gaming services to younger users, in any form, outside those hours.
Companies will be forced to ensure they have put real-name verification systems in place, said the regulator, which oversees the country’s video games market.
Previously, China limited the amount of time minors could access online games to three hours on holidays, or 1.5 hours on other days.
The new rules come amid a broad crackdown by Beijing on China’s tech giants, such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings.
The abrupt changes have unnerved investors, hammering Chinese shares traded at home and abroad.
The National Press and Publication Administration also told Xinhua it planned to increase the frequency and intensity of inspections for online gaming companies.
This would ensure they were putting in place time limits and anti-addiction systems, the regulator said.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.23: The Chinese embassy in Pakistan strongly condemns this act of terrorism, extends its sincere sympathies to the injured of both countries, and expresses its deep condolences to the innocent victims in Pakistan,” it said in a statement.
#AceDailyNews says that according to the embassy the attack happened on Friday evening at the Gwadar East Bay Expressway project in Balochistan, in south-western Pakistan….The statement said several wounded people were sent to a hospital in Gwadar for treatment.
The embassy called on Pakistan’s authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and severely punish the perpetrators.
According to Pakistan’s ARY News, the attacker detonated himself about 15 metres from the motorcade at 7:00pm local time.
Two children, playing nearby, died in the attack while two others were injured, it added.
Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting, described the attack as “a game of sabotage”.
“[The] attack in Gawader is just another expression of game of sabotage against economic vision of great leadership of China and Pakistan,” Mr Chaudhry wrote.
In July, a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying workers to a dam construction site in northern Pakistan, killing 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistani Taliban militants known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were behind those attacks.
The TTP said it was not involved.
Beijing is investing more than $US65 billion ($91 million) in infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, under its wider Belt and Road initiative.