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Oil leak in Bo Sea: China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) marries ConocoPhillips

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

After the first announcement of the oil leak event, both CNOOC and ConocoPhillips have formally confirmed the accident. The firms are strictly critised by the public not only because they were intended to fool the people in the first place, but also arrogantly and perfunctorily dealt with the accident afterwards.

Under the stress from the general public, the two firms now lowered down their heads and their attitude to cooperate with SOA to carry out solutions of the aftermath.

Although there is not any official report saying how much damage they have caused environmentally and economically, one fact can be assured – it is not the first time of oil leak of their drill platforms and there seems to be cover-ups therefore the public is not aware.

24th,Aug ConocoPhillips Press Confernece in Beijing ©2011 Xinhuanet

24th,Aug ConocoPhillips Press Confernece in Beijing ©2011 Xinhuanet

Timeline of the oil leak event

4th , April Oil slick appeared in Peng Lai, Bo Sea.

17th, June Drill broke down in Platform C.

30th, June State Oceanic Administration (SOA) initiated an investigation. CNOOC and ConocoPhillips didn’t have official response.

1st, July CNOOC officially confirmed the oil leak.

1st, July ConocoPhillips officially confirmed the oil leak, emergency protocols had been carried out, the situation was under control and the recycle work was almost complete.

3rd, July CNOOC said the area exposed in the oil leak is as small as 200 m2. This situation was contained.

5th, July SOA press conference announced the exposure was 840 km2. The exposure was contained.

The angry anchor

On 22nd, August, Li Wenjing who is the anchor of CCTV channel 13, was interrupted by the program editor and producer by inserting a nonsense advertisement in order not to let her carry on her arguments towards the event and CNOOC. She was so angry but did not have any alternatives.

 

Is pork still affordable?

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao hosted the Executive Meeting of the State Council on Tuesday, 12th July, during which a ‘sustainable’ control of pork price was decided.

Famous pork dish: Chairman Mao's braised pork in brown sauce

Famous pork dish: Chairman Mao's braised pork in brown sauce

During the last month, the pork price has been raised dramatically in both rural and urban China. The raise has become a major concern of citizens and caused a chain of price-rising of living goods.

Hunan Province, which has the largest number of swine standing stock, says that the number is on the raise. However compared to the same period of last year, the number has been declined by 4.93 per cent.

Piggy price 33.5 Yuan/KG

According to Lei Wang from zhue.com.cn, the average piggy price of 470 markets by the end of June is 33.5 Yuan per kilo, raised by 131.7 per cent from the same period last year.

Pork price 26.56 Yuan/KG

The pork price reached 26.56 Yuan per kilo till 14:00 13, July, which is raised by 1 per cent compared to 12, July.

The normal pork price from around Beijing has raised above 20 Yuan per kilo. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that the pork price in the second week of June has risen by 63.6 per cent compared to June 2010. From 4 to 10 July, the average pork price is 25.17 Yuan per kilo, reaching the highest of the year.

When the Prime Minister Wen visited a market last week, he said to the grocers that the pork price would be stable in the next two months. He also asked them not to worry too much.

Inflation issue

Yuhui Liu from Institute of Finance, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences concludes that the inflation that China is suffering from is caused by both easy-money policy and poor investment rate.

Pork in local market © Yangcheng Evening News

Pork in local market © Yangcheng Evening News

The easy-money policy has been interfering China’s economy since 2003. In the last eight years, the expedition speed of the finance factor has been far ahead of the growth of economic aggregate. In the bigger picture, China’s economy is at a turning point. The inflation has been long rooted in this situation. The housing policy reform in 1998 and the market-driven land-purchasing request a large amount of currency.

The inflation is following a pattern from over-amount of currency, assets bubbles to consumer price inflation. The consumer price inflation consists of urban service sector and food price. In the case of pork price, both pork processing and pork itself has requested more money which undoubtedly contributes to the highest pork price in the year.

On the other hand, the poor investment rate makes the case worse. In case of China, the government and state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) control the economic arteries by occupying the materials and sources and the power of changing related policies. This inevitably over-estimates the growth of the economy.

Liu also suggests that it is time to nourish middle-class and to promote social equity in the country. He says the government and the SOEs must give the fortune back to the families instead of taking it from them to spur economic growth.

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Rain floods Beijing

June 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The fourth turn of plum rain reaches major cities within China during the last few days.

Water floods the subway entrance of Tao Ranting Station, Line 4 © XINHUA NET

Water floods the subway entrance of Tao Ranting Station, Line 4 © XINHUA NET

The capital city, Beijing, was facing heavy rain since the Thursday, 23 June. The rain is estimated to last for two days, with its peak arriving this afternoon. Public transport, including the highway, bus, subway and air-traffic was heavily influenced, causing giant traffic jams underground, on the ground and in the air.

Inner-city motor way

According to Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, the inner-city motor ways are suffering from water-flooding and certain road sections have a water level of one meter. The traffic arteries, including western, northern and southern third and fourth ring roads have severe traffic jams. The Bureau also says the situation is not optimistic.

Subway

The situation of subway is not better. Subway line one and thirteen are having incoming water-flood in some sections, which forcing the close-down of several stations. Subway line thirteen is among the worst because of the short circuit caused by exposure of train cables to the water. The short circuit even make a district off-power from Xi Zhimen to Da Zhongsi area.

Parking aprons of Beijing Capital International Airport © jinfuda 502

Parking aprons of Beijing Capital International Airport © jinfuda 502

Airplane

Beijing Capital International Airport has its 40 per cent flights cancelled. The number of people whose flights are delayed and cancelled are hard to estimate. One Weibo user shows a picture he takes at the airport, indicating the water on the  parking apron has submerged the air jet’s wheels.

Flood caused by heavy rain on 18, June in Wuhan © CNHUBEI

Flood caused by heavy rain on 18, June in Wuhan © CNHUBEI

The statistics show that the rain gives an average amount of 100 mm to the vast western part of the city. The most flooded area is Mo Shikou, with the amount of 173.2 mm.

Beijing is not alone

The Southern part of China has also suffered from heavy rain. Some cities such as Wuhan  has faced even worse situation.

Wuhan, also know as the river-city, has built its anti-flood and drainage system on a once-a-year base. However even the 34.5mm/hr draining speed cannot meet the rain on Saturday, 18 June, which is the heaviest rain ever in the last 13 years.

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Chinese Prime Minister Wen draws smiling face in Fukushima

May 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen visited a shelter in Fukushima, Japan today. The Prime Minister drew a smiling face and encouraged the Japanese people to ‘live on with a smile’.

Prime Minister Wen drawing a smiling face in Fukushima © XinHua 2011

Prime Minister Wen drawing a smiling face in Fukushima © XinHua 2011

Prime Minister Wen is on a trip to send condolences and aid to the Japanese people who have suffered from the catastrophe in Fukushima, the city ripped off by a powerful earthquake and devastating tsunami on March 11. He was asked to write an inscription by a woman. Prime Minister Wen not only drew a smiling face on the board, but also wrote “live on with a smile”.

The Prime Minister said: “It is my own decision to come to Fukushima. Why do I come here? Because this place has suffered from a tri-catastrophe which consists of the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear leak.

“Therefore I believe by visiting here we can express the deepest condolences and compassion from the Chinese people to the Japanese people.

“The painting I drew means two things: faith and courage. I believe having these two, and only by having these two can the Japanese people embrace a bright future.”

He also carries the message that China is ready to extend more material and economic support in the aftermath relief task.

According to China Daily, the country will soon “send two business groups to Japan for opportunities in cooperation in the disaster relief and reconstruction sector as well as investment to Japan.”

Wen Jiabao effect

Moundsman No.35 © XinHua 2007

Moundsman No.35 © XinHua 2007

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen has a broad welcomed reputation not only in China but also in Japan. It is believed that he is the best government image to the Japanese people and his visit will indeed brings a more open and constructive governmental as well as non-governmental culture between the two neighbours.

The Prime Minister’s ice-breaking visit to Japan during April 11 to 13, 2007 posts an international positive effect to the political culture and also eases the tight tension all those years. It was the first Prime Minister visit after six year and a half.

Wen is widely remembered as the Moundsman No.35 for his baseball game with Ritsumei University baseball team.

Kim Jong Il on the move

The thing is, during the time Wen visits the Fukushima shelter, the DPR Korea leader Kim Jong Il is on his ‘special train’ to Beijing.

The media argues that Kim’s visit to Beijing means he wants to hold a closer relation with the Chinese Communist Party at this very time to hamper the Japan and the South. Kim seldom goes abroad, however, he has conducted three trips continuously to China (May and August, 2010 and May 2011). And it is “very weird” according to Ifeng (Phoenix online).

Optimus Kuan Kung lands Shen Yang

May 9, 2011 2 comments

A 9.7-metre high Kuan Kung (Guan Yu) figure transformer was displayed outside a shopping mall in Shen Yang, the provincial capital of Liao Ning yesterday.


The Optimus Kuan Kung is designed and built by Bi Heng, a student from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, as his graduation piece.

Bi Heng, majors in Sculpturing, said that the official name of Optimus Kuan Kung was “Jie Fang”, which means liberation.

“It’s not a copycat. The idea I want to express by this sculpture is to encourage people to push themselves, to be self-renewal by adopting oversea technologies.” He said.

The Jie Fang lorry, credit: Jie Da

The Jie Fang lorry, credit: Jie Da

The Jie Fang lorry

The original appearance of his giant sculpture comes from an old lorry “Jie Fang”. The lorry, made in Shen Yang FAW (First Auto Work) Automotive Company, is widely used around China after 1956.

He said that the lorry represented the spirit of hard-working Chinese people and it witnessed the development of the country.

The Kuan Kung figure

When asked why transform the lorry into Kuan Kung, he said that it was a known-to-all figure.

Optimus Kuan Kung

Optimus Kuan Kung

Kuan Kung is a Chinese historical figure, which represents loyalty, bravery and faith. Some places in China (HK and Taiwan) honour him the God of War.

“My idea is to art up our daily used stuff. The idea came to me in the winter of 2006, before the movie Transformers was out.

“It costs almost RMB 300,000 (£ 30,000). And I managed to have the fund by myself, like moonlighting for the Department of Sculpturing.” He said.

There are thousands of people going to view the Optimus Kuan Kung during the day and the number of clicks on its Youku video clip is up to 306836.

UN: Civilians used as shells and killed during Sri Lanka civil war

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

UN said that the shelling by the Sri Lanka government in May 2009, the final stage of the 26-year-long civil war, had killed most of tens of thousands of civilians.

A soldier searches a schoolbag

A soldier searches a schoolbag

Tamil rebel, namely LTTE (Tamil Tiger), was also accused of using civilians as human shields by the UN panel. The UN urged an independent international investigation on the fact but the Sri Lanka government rejected the final report. The Sri Lanka government also said the report was biased and fraudulent.

Lakshman Hulugalle, the government spokesman, said: “The Sri Lankan army is not responsible and [the] Sri Lankan government is not responsible [of the using human shields and therewith deceases].

“We never shelled or we never bombed. We never targeted innocent civilians. It’s wrong allegation and we can prove it.”

The government had asked the UN not to publish the report as it could damage reconciliation efforts.

Report of the Secretary-general’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka

the UN Report

The UN report

The Report of the Secretary-general’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka constructs a brutal image of the battle in northern Sri Lanka. It also describes prisoners being shot in the head and women raped while runners being executed.

Experts from the UN said there were “credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international rights law was committed both by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

A formal and public recognition of the government’s responsibility for the civilian casualties in the last stage of the war was urged by the UN.

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Is the world ready: Chinese tourists are coming

April 4, 2011 1 comment

According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group, China’s emerging travel sector is rocketing, but the world seems not ready for it.

Chinese backpackers in Swansea, UK

Chinese backpackers in Swansea, UK

It is suggested in the report that the income of foreign trips from mainland China would have grown by 14 per cent every year, which would contribute to a market of $ 838 billion in total.

Different from western travelers, Chinese travelers highly rely on Travel Agencies to plan and execute the trips. It is of great tendency that they will only go to the places and live in the hotels which have been suggested by the agencies.

On the other hand, the luxury goods are the lasting favor of Chinese tourists. According to statistics from CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, 56 per cent of those luxury goods are sold to Chinese customers.Dealing with this situation, retailers such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry employ Asian faces as their selling consultants.

Reasons behind oversea travels

  • With the booming of the economy, Chinese tourists are more likely to take tours abroad instead of going somewhere domestic. China’s GDP outstripped that of Japan in the second season of this year and led the country to the second biggest economy in the world. More citizens in China admit that they now have enough saving to enjoy an exotic trip and they are willing to do it.
  • The saturation of tourism market of domestic destinations and the lack of following-up service also donate to the trend of going abroad. The over-heated tourism market has been in place since 2008, following the Olympic Games in Beijing. After the successful-holding of 2010 Shanghai EXPO, millions of Chinese people consider foreign destinations good places to go because they scenes are different and the service are good.

Mrs. Yang, a 51-year-old mother, said: “It’s in their (foreigners) mind to provide good service. It’s not like here (in China), people have the certain prejudice that ‘why shall I service you?’, though the idea has been changing over the years.”

World Tourism Organisation said in 2009 Japan had spent $ 25 billion in foreign tourism, whereas China had spent $ 44 billion.

With the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, it can be assumed that the outbound of tourists will decline, which will make the global tourism market rely on the Chinese more. But the ability of digesting this piece of cake is in doubt.

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