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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 23rd, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

From the Federation of World Peace and Love
on the Eve of the Eastern New Year.
Subject: Invitation to Promote “An Era of Conscience”Jan. 20, 2014

Dear Mr. Pincas Jawetz,

We wish that 2014 will be filled with endless blessings, good health and safety.

A kind heart and good intentions generate the positive energies necessary to safeguard the world’s sustainable future. A good start is the key to great success. At the beginning of the New Year, you are cordially invited to speak good words, do good deeds, make conscience-inspired wishes and take part in the movement of “An Era of Conscience”. It is expected that the movement will spread messages of goodness and promote good deeds to benefit people around the world.

In this time of turbulence and uneasiness, unusual phenomenon frequently impacts our environment. It is difficult to tell true from false, good from bad and right from wrong. People’s hearts are surrounded by anxiety and uncertainty. We would like to evoke positive energies to stabilize the world through the movement of creating “An Era of Conscience.” Through collective efforts, the inner calling for kindness and goodness will be awakened and we will reconstruct a world with harmony and stability to enjoy the peace dividend of the era of conscience. Positive influences will forge connections between individuals, families, societies and nations to encompass the planet. In 2014, our efforts can restore inner peace and respect for human rights to make conscience prevail.

A good word of conscience and a practical action from you will bring hope and light to the earth. The adoption of conscience-driven values will help create a peaceful new world. You are cordially invited to share your wish or a practical experience with us about “An Era of Conscience” through words (Send to FOWPAL mail box:info@fowpal.org), a 3-minute video or audio recording, or other presentable means such as comics or paintings. (video and audio files can be uploaded at FOWPAL website: www.fowpal.org, in “An Era of Conscience”).

Your participation in this movement is highly appreciated. We will start the movement of “An Era of Conscience” globally on February 16, 2014. Your thoughts will be shared with people from different nations through videos, media and the internet so that the world will be inspired by your visions and actions. The promotion and dissemination of this movement around the globe will quickly spread.

Your participation will surely encourage more people to follow suit. We also would like to invite you to promote this movement in your country. It is anticipated that the consolidated positive energies will shape a world of peace and happiness.

We look forward to your reply and wish you and your family a year of peace and health.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
President of Federation of World Peace and Love
President of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy
Honorary Vice-President and member of Advisory Board of AWC,
NGO in Consultative Status with ECOSOC and Associated with the UN DPI

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 23rd, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

The New York event took place at the Austrian Consulate General, Monday,  October 21, 2013, and was hosted by Consul General, Ambassador Georg Heidl.

Leader of the group was Josef Mantl, the Editor of the “Communicating Sustainability” volume published in Austria, CEO of JMC – Communications that Moves – and a spokesman for the Al Gore campaign for Sustainability.

With him came to the US Mr. Mario J Mueller, General Manager of SFL Technologies (Green Tech Valley of Styria based in Graz); Klaus Tritscher, CEO of EnTri Consulting (Environmental and Infrastructure Services) & Co-initiator of Vienna based “Green Tech Bridge USA-Austria; Gery Keszler, Founder of the Vienna Life Ball – an organization that has a US admirer in the personality of former President Bill Clinton; they were joined on the panel by American partners – Robert Bell, Co-Founder of the Intelligent Community Forum & Co-Author of the volume “Seizing Our Destiny” – Helen Todd, CEO of Socially Squared Social Media Management, a Media Consulting firm – and Leo Borchardt, a New York and London Attorney an associate in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department assigned to the Mergers and Acquisitions Group and for the panel tried to analyze the difficulties that sustainable development encountered .

While most of the speakers dealt with communication issues – two of the Austrian members of the panel are represent active technology companies.

SFL is a company that looks at buildings’ envelope for potential to save energy in passive ways, but also with photovoltaics in order to find new ways to provide for the structure’s energy needs. I understood they are active in Hungary as well. Mueller spoke of Smart Cities of the future and the fact that we do not have an energy problem but an energy harvesting problem. Ultimately all energy comes from the sun and it is good for millions of years.

ENTRI are Project Financing specialists and moved into the Renewable energy area. Sustainability makes economic sense and Dr. Tritscher told us about the example of Haiti that was the sugar supplier of France. People made a lot of money in Haiti and France from the sugar cane industry but the clearing of forests in order to have more sugar producing land has impoverished this wrong headed economy and turned Haiti from a rich island to one of the poorest countries in the world. The lesson is that it is not only environmentally wise, but also economically wise to invest in Sustainability. His company just helped organize financing for photovoltaics in Senegal.

Robert Bell was the first to speak after the host and Mr. Mantl. He introduced the concept of Sustainability and what we can do with it. We want to learn to create growth by using less resources and creating less waste. He as well spoke of homes and cities and the vision that people who care for their homes are stronger people. The volume he co-authored with John Jung and Louis Zacharilla  – “Seizing Our Destiny” – tells the story of seven cities that managed to keep pace with a more innovative world. In the process, they offer lessons on how to innovate in governing, how to build political will for change, and how to understand and adapt creatively to the demands of the new century. The seven cities are Quebbec City, Riverside Californis, Saint John New Brunswick, Stratford Ontario, Oulu Finland, and Tuichung City Taiwan.  None of these are big cities in their respective countries, but they have been able to grow against the world trends.

With the UN making Vienna to its hub for SUSTAINABLE ENERGY 4 ALL Austria will become a focal point for above topics.

 

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 10th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

IISS-US Panel Discussion
East Asia’s Maritime Disputes and the US Rebalance.

Christian Le Mière
Research Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, IISS

Michael McDevitt
Senior Fellow, Center for Naval Analyses

Ely Ratner
Fellow, Center for a New American Security


Thursday, December 13, 2012
Refreshments 4:45 pm – 5:00 pm
Discussion 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

IISS-US
2121 K Street, NW

Suite 801

Washington, DC 20037


Please RSVP by following this link.

The panelists will address East Asia’s maritime disputes in the context of the US rebalance to Asia. The discussion will cover the future of the rebalance, naval strategy, and A2/AD.

Mr. Le Mière is Research Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security at the IISS. He is responsible for maritime analysis for the Institute’s flagship Military Balance and is currently working on a book about the South China Sea for the Institute’s Adelphi series. He was the editor of Jane’s Intelligence Review and Jane’s Intelligence Weekly until he joined the Institute in 2010. Mr. Le Mière studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford and holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London.

Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, US Navy (Ret.) is a Senior Fellow with CNA Strategic Studies. During his navy career, McDevitt spent his operational time in the Pacific, including a two year assignment in Sasebo, Japan. He held four at-sea commands, including an aircraft carrier battle-group. He was the Director of the East Asia Policy office for the Secretary of Defense during the George H.W. Bush Administration. He also served for two years as the Director for Strategy, War Plans and Policy (J-5) for US CINCPAC. McDevitt concluded his 34 year active duty career as the Commandant of the National War College in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and holds his Master’s Degree in US Diplomatic History in East Asia from Georgetown University.

Dr. Ely Ratner is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security focusing on US national security strategy in Asia, China’s foreign relations in the region, and the US-China bilateral relationship. Prior to joining CNAS, he was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow serving in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the State Department as the lead political officer covering China’s external relations in Asia. Dr. Ratner received his PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and his BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

This meeting will be moderated by Randolph Bell,
Managing Director, IISS
__________________________
events-washington@iiss.org
202-659-1490

IISS-US, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC 20037

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 29th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Background of the Founding of the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra: The Orchestra is part of the The New York based Shen Yun Performing Arts established in 2006 following the 2001 founded NTD – New Tang Dynasty TV project. These are projects in which the Vhinese -American Communittee reaserts itself.   Shen Yun started as a display of traditional Chinese dance accompanied by Chinese music. Out Of the music groups of the Shen Yun now grew the full fledged Symphony Orchestra.

ABOUT NTD AS TOLD BY NTD: Headquartered in New York City, New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television serves more than 100 million potential viewers globally. NTD’s flagship news lineup strives to provide insightful coverage of China with the highest ethical standards of Western journalism.

NTD broadcasts directly into parts of Mainland China, in Chinese, via satellite, providing truthful information about China and the world – an uncensored alternative to China’s state-run, and state-slanted, media.

NTD’s cultural programs and Global Competition Series also aim to revive traditional culture undermined by communist rule.  Through web, iNTD mobile application, satellite, cable channels and anti-censorship iPPOTV, NTD deliveries diversified content  anywhere around the world.

I was told further  that NTD was established in 2001 following the reality that in China there was a good feeling about the 9/11 attack – this because it was viewed as an effort to show that the US is not omnipotent. It was a group of Chinese-Americans with means, Falun Gong practitioners, that sponsored the establishing of this TV Channel in order to create a focal source to tell the people of China world realities.

Since its founding, NTD has expanded to include English, Spanish, Japanese, French, and a few other language editions. Its content offerings include news and analysis, arts and culture, travel, entertainment news, health and lifestyle, and children’ programming.

The station’s critical reporting on the Communist Party of China has prompted censorship by China and alleged interference with its reporting and business operations by the Chinese Government.

NTD began broadcasting via satellite in North America in February 2002, and expanded its audience into mainland China in April 2004. At present, the station’s satellite coverage reaches Asia and Europe. It used to operate also via Australia but this has been stopped. The name is after the Tang Dynasty (June 18, 618 – October 8, 690 and March 3, 705 – June 1, 907).
———-

EPOCH TIMES is the print and internet media connected to NTD TV. Their website says: Having witnessed events like Tiananmen Square and the persecution of the spiritual group Falun Gong, and at a great risk to themselves and their loved ones, a group of Chinese-Americans started publishing The Epoch Times in the Chinese language in the U.S. Some reporters in China were jailed, and some suffered severe torture.

Integrity and truthfulness in reporting, together with the stories that really matter, are cornerstones to The Epoch Times.

The first newspaper was published in New York in May 2000, with the web launch in August 2000. Local editions published by regional bureaus soon followed, making it the largest of any Chinese-language newspaper outside of Mainland China and Taiwan. Thus the Chinese original paper pre-dates the establishing of the NTD TV, but the English version was started at the same time as NTD TV.

The first English edition launched online in 2003 followed by the first print edition in 2004. The Epoch Times staff has an unwavering commitment to objective reporting and socially responsible business practices, as well as respect for human rights and freedom. From our own website and media experience, we noted Epoch Times as it started out in New York because it had an excellent Environmental page. Later we learned that Epoch Times could not get a UN Media accreditation because of China objection.

Today, The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languagesin 35 countries across five continents. These include print and web editions in Chinese, English, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian, as well as web versions in Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Vietnamese, Swedish, Turkish, and Portuguese.

The Tang Dynasty, with its capital at Chang’an (present-day Xi’an), which at the time was the most populous city in the world, is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization—equal to, or surpassing that of, the earlier Han Dynasty—a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivalled that of the Han Dynasty. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people.
Under the Tangs China was multi-religious – with Religions – Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion.
China under the Tang Dynasty (teal) circa 700 AD, Tibet was not part of Tang China!

Falun Gong or Falun Dafa (literally means “Dharma Wheel Practice“) is a spiritual discipline first introduced in China in 1992 through public lectures by its founder, Li Hongzhi. It combines the practice of meditation and slow-moving qigong exercises with a moral philosophy. Falun Gong emphasizes morality and the cultivation of virtue in its central tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to better health and, ultimately, spiritual enlightenment.

Falun Gong emerged at the end of China’s “qigong boom”—a period which saw the proliferation of similar practices of meditation, slow-moving exercises and regulated breathing. It differs from other qigong schools in its absence of fees or formal membership, lack of daily rituals of worship, its greater emphasis on morality, and the theological nature of its teachings. Western academics have described Falun Gong as a qigong discipline, a “spiritual movement” based on the teachings of its founder, a “cultivation system” in the tradition of Chinese antiquity, and sometimes a religion or new religious movement.

Although the practice initially enjoyed considerable support from Chinese officialdom, by the mid- to late-1990s, the Communist Party and public security organs increasingly viewed Falun Gong as a potential threat due to its size, independence from the state, and spiritual teachings. By 1999, some estimates placed the number of Falun Gong adherents in the tens of millions.

On 20 July 1999, after three years of mounting tensions between the Falun Gong group in China and the Chinese government, the Communist Party leadership initiated a nationwide crackdown and multifaceted propaganda campaign intended to eradicate the practice. In October 1999 it declared Falun Gong a “heretical organization” and blocked Internet access to websites that mention Falun Gong. Human rights groups report that Falun Gong practitioners in China are subject to a wide range of human rights abuses; hundreds of thousands are believed to have been imprisoned extrajudicially, and practitioners in detention are subject to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of thought reform at the hands of Chinese authorities. In the years since the suppression campaign began, Falun Gong adherents have emerged as a prominent voice in the Chinese dissident community, advocating for greater human rights and an end to Communist Party rule.

Li Hongzhi has lived in the United States since 1996, and Falun Gong has a sizable global constituency; inside China, some sources estimate that millions may continue to practice Falun Gong in spite of suppression. Hundreds of thousands are believed to practice Falun Gong outside China across some 70 countries worldwide.

I was told that in a short way – the concept at the base of these organizations is – GIVE A VOICE TO THE VOICELESS. So, clearly, this is very political.

———–

The above introduction comes to explain that there is a link between the cultural aspects of SHEN YUN and a religious-political movement that the leaders of communist China saw as potential competition for the minds of the people. Many of the persecuted Falun Gong practitioners fled and appreciate the freedom they enjoy in new lands, but immersed in an attempt to hold on to the original, pre-communist  culture of China, they came up with the cultural institutions we mentioned here.

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts was established in 2006 with the specific mission of reviving 5,000 years of as stated – “divinely inspired” Chinese culture.

SHEN YUN is translated as “the beauty of the divine” and the idea is that this dance and music aspire to achieve an experience so profound, beautiful and joyful that it evokes a sense of the heavens.

After more than 60 years of Communist rule in China, and especially after the Cultural Revolution, Chinese traditional culture has been all but completely demolished. However, the deeper spiritual core of the ancient culture, with its values of benevolence, honor, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity, as well as a reverence for the gods and the heavens, cannot be destroyed.

In order to restore and revive Chinese traditional culture, a group of overseas Chinese artists established Shen Yun in New York in 2006. About 90 artists embarked on Shen Yun’s tour in 2007, in the first year, including a dance troupe, an orchestra, solo singers and musicians, emcees, and production staff. By 2009, Shen Yun had already grown to three performance troupes and orchestras of comparable size. Today, Shen Yun counts many winners of international dance and vocal competitions among its artists, and the orchestras include many musicians from world-renowned symphonies and conservatories.

Shen Yun Performing Arts’ rapid growth has enabled it to reach all corners of the globe. The group will only continue to expand, and in the not-too-distant future, Shen Yun will have many companies touring around the world simultaneously. Shen Yun has become thus a diaspora based Chinese old culture Ambassador to the World – to be in this position until complete freedom will be allowed in China; on the other hand, enjoying the freedoms in their new lands makes Shen Yun also into a tool of their new hosts, like America, as they enrich the stew of these host countries as well.

———-

THE SHEN YUN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DEBUT AT CARNEGIE HALL, OCTOBER 28, 2012:

This is a full size symphonic orchestra that presented regular classic music as well as the chinese music they want to preserve – doing this they will find a way to the normal orchestra circuit and not be dependent only on pure Chinese audiences – then, clearly, Chinese audiences want to hear also this other repertoir.

The concert was opened by the orchestra playing The Star-Spangled Banner that was not followed by the Chinese anthem – clearly a sign that this was an AMERICAN ORCHESTRA or if you wish a Chinese-American started orchestra – not of Chinese government inspiration.

There were three co-conductors – but it was clear that the main conductor was the  Soviet educated Bulgarian-American Milen Nachev. In addition there were Keng-Wei Kuo who hails from Taiwan, and Dr. Antonia Joy Wilson who is an established conductor of her own, but also the wife of Mr. Nachev.

The repertoir included Vivaldi,  Rimsky Korsakov, and Beethoven and 13 Chinese compositions but what I looked for was who conducts what and was very pleased to see that Mr. Kuo did not get all the Chinese music.

So it Mr. Nachev who conducted “What is the Meaning of Life?,” “”Honor Your vow,” “Hope of Returning Home,” “The Purpose of Life,” “The Song in my Heart,” and “Divine Compassion” who was a World Premiere and is by Junyi Tan and Y. Deng.

Dr. Wilson conducted “No Regret.” This left only six compositions for Mr. Kuo.

Five of the pieces that Mr. Nachev conducted are based on old texts and are presented in the program also in English translation.

The remaining two compositions not conducted by Mr. Kuo are defined as Pieces with Modern Themes and are only instrumental music.

Thus “No regret” begins with a cheerful folk melody representing life in a village. Then the police arrives to make an arrest on the basis of beliefs. They catch the fugitive and beat him to death. Then divine fairies come to take him to heaven.

“Divine Compassion” is even more pointed as is about the Falun Dafa as power of good in fight with evil in order to transform the world. The forces of good triumph at the end and a new era and blessing and prosperity begins for humankind.

Another instrumental piece that attracted my attention was by Yuan Gao and was described as Tibetan-Inspired Music. It is called “Khata for the Gods.” Khata is the white scarf that is presented in a gesture of respect. This Khata is offered to Buddha. This is a song of hope for the harvest next year. Was there also a political meaning? Perhaps.

In the vocal parts – the two sopranos and the three tenors were all Chinese and had very good voices.

The only other stand-outs were the two excellent trumpets in the Vivaldi piece and I was surprised to see that they returned to the orchestra and were not outsiders. One of them is Alexander Wilson and I wonder if he is not related to the the pair of conductors. The other is Kaspar Maertig from Germany. Both of them are members of Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 10th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

CHINA DAILY – ASIA PACIFIC has sections on Asia Pacific, Mainland China, HK/Macao, and Taiwan – quite balanced news and tacitly reminding the US that there are global issues that are unfettered by the US elections. Simply said – the US Administration must be engaged all the time and cannot afford the luxury of taking time out while electing the President of Ohio and Florida.

Some articles today are:

Washington does not accept Japan’s claims to Diaoyu Islands

By Zhao Shengnan
October 9, 2012 – 9:00am www.chinadailyapac.com

A US Congressional report said Washington has never recognized Japan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and takes no position over the territorial row between Japan and China.

The report, published on Sept 25 by the Congressional Research Service, said the US recognizes only Japan’s administrative power over the Diaoyu Islands after the Okinawa Reversion Treaty was signed in 1971.

China-Japan relations hit the lowest point in years after Tokyo’s so-called purchase of the Diaoyu Islands on Sept 10, a move sparking wide protest across China. The islands have been Chinese territory for centuries.

During Senate deliberations on whether to consent to the ratification of the treaty, the US State Department asserted that the US took a neutral position with regard to the competing claims of Japan and China, despite the US’ return of the islands to Japanese administration.

“Department officials asserted that reversion of administrative rights to Japan did not prejudice any claims to the islands,” said the report from the Congress’ think tank, the public-policy research arm of the US Congress.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Monday said he noted the US’ neutral position on the Diaoyu Islands in the report and added he hopes the US will “walk the talk”.

Analysts said the report, which reflects the Obama administration’s stance over the territorial row between its ally and China, is an effort to ease the escalating tension but can hardly change the US’ Japan-tilt policy.

However, according to the report, the Diaoyu Islands fall under the scope of the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty since 1972, which stipulates that the US is bound to protect “the territories under the administration of Japan”.

Under the treaty, the US guarantees Japan’s security in return for the right to station US troops – about 50,000 – in dozens of bases throughout the Japanese archipelago.

Washington has been ambiguous on the Diaoyu Islands issue as it supports Tokyo with the US-Japan Security Treaty, but has warned Tokyo not to break the “red line” of China or cause large-scale conflicts, said Feng Wei, an expert on Japanese studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Both Japan and the US have made some compromises in front of China’s all-round countermeasures over the issue, and “Washington is especially worried that the China-Japan territorial dispute could threaten US and Japan’s economy as well as the Asia-Pacific stability amid its strategic pivot to the region”, he said.

On Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba delivered a written statement to Taiwan saying that the Japanese government hopes to resume talks on fishing in the waters in the East China Sea.

But at the same time, two US aircraft carrier strike groups have been deployed since mid-September to the Western Pacific in an apparent attempt to keep the activities of the Chinese military in check and as a response to China’s launch of its first aircraft carrier at the end of September, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun said on Oct 6.

Hong told a regular news conference that Chinese marine surveillance ships and fishery patrol ships will continue their official duties in waters near the Diaoyu Islands, which are under China’s jurisdiction.

Fishery authorities said on Saturday that five fishery patrol ships were in the area during the National Day holiday from Sept 30 through Sunday to continue their patrol missions. Four Chinese marine surveillance ships also arrived in the waters on Oct 2.

“Safeguarding China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is the Chinese military’s sacred duty,” Hong said.

He also once again urged Tokyo to correct its mistakes and return to negotiations to resolve the dispute, as well as to strictly comply with the one-China policy and properly handle relevant issues.

In sensitive situations like this, favoring one party helps little in de-escalating a potentially violent conflict, Mike Honda, a Japanese-American and US representative for California, said on his blog earlier this month.

“If this conflict becomes violent on the East China Sea, we will see shipping thwarted, more factories closed, costs of imports climb and other foreign policy decisions affected,” he said.

zhaoshengnan@chinadaily.com.cn

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China boosts economic diplomacy

By Li Xiaokun , Zhao Shengnan
October 10, 2012 – 9:07am www.chinadailyapac.com

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday established the Department of International Economic Affairs to serve economic diplomacy, which is increasingly important in China’s diplomatic blueprint.

The move shows that Beijing has recognized its increasing power in the economic field and is moving forward to make better use of it, Chinese experts said.

A rapidly growing number of international business disputes intertwined with political factors forced the Foreign Ministry to set up the new body to protect national economic security, they added.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily briefing on Tuesday that the new body will assume responsibility for international economic affairs including preparation for, and follow-up actions resulting from, Chinese leaders’ attendance at significant events such as the G20 and APEC summits, and meetings of BRICS countries.

The department is set to work with other Chinese government organs to make arrangements for the country to cooperate in economic and development fields within the United Nations and other international and regional cooperation frameworks, Hong said.

It will also focus on research work on issues such as global economic governance, international economic and financial situation and regional economic cooperation, he added.

Zhang Jun, former Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands, was appointed as the first chief of the newly established department.

Zhang, 52, returned from the Netherlands in July. He previously served as deputy director-general of the ministry’s international department from 2002 to 2004.

Economic topics closely related to politics are increasingly dominating major international forums like the G20, said Zhu Caihua, vice-dean of the School of International Economy under the China Foreign Affairs University.

That is why China needs a specialized organ to study relevant strategies, she said.

“China’s soaring economic strength enables it to provide due assistance to developing countries and the European Union hit by the debt crisis. These moves also give China more say and flexibility in foreign relations,” she said.

Hong said China is willing to strengthen financial cooperation with Europe, when commenting on the inaugural board meeting of the European Stability Mechanism in Luxembourg on Monday.

Earlier this year, Premier Wen Jiabao said China was considering how to get “more deeply involved” in resolving Europe’s debt crisis through the mechanism and European Financial Stability Facility.

Another case where the new department can play an important role is the recent spontaneous boycott by Chinese of Japanese products to protest Tokyo’s so-called purchase of Diaoyu Islands in September.

The Chinese government did not instigate these boycotts, and called for rational patriotism after Japanese-owned businesses were looted and damaged in some Chinese cities.

The new department will also help handle economic disputes with political backgrounds, which cannot be solved solely by the Ministry of Commerce, Zhu said.

On Sept 6, the EU launched an anti-dumping investigation of Chinese solar panels, involving more than $20 billion in Chinese exports, the largest so far. The move constitutes a test of the EU’s commitment to free trade.

In the run-up to the US presidential election in November, both US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney frequently blamed China for domestic economic woes.

The latest case is a report by the US House Intelligence Committee accusing two Chinese technology firms – Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp – of posing a national security threat to the US.

A spokesman for Huawei on Monday refuted the allegation, saying “the report is little more than an exercise in China-bashing and misguided protectionism”.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at the inaugural ceremony on Tuesday that the new department will help safeguard China’s national development interests and economic security, and contribute to world economic growth.

State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who is in charge of foreign policies, has required the Foreign Ministry to “deeply understand the reality and long-term significance of intensifying economic diplomacy under the new situation”.

Still, experts warned when handling business disputes China should be prudent with economic sanctions, a double-edged sword with an adverse effect.

The Foreign Ministry has expanded its organization based on the development of China’s foreign relations, said Dong Manyuan, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies.

The ministry set up the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs in 2009 and increased its news conferences from twice to five times a week in 2011.

Contact the writers at lixiaokun@chinadaily.com.cn and  zhaoshengnan at chinadaily.com.cn

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Firms help create jobs in US

By Chen Weihua (in the Mainland China section of China Daily Asia Pacific)
October 9, 2012 – 8:56am www.chinadailyapac.com

1 of 1
People line up to meet the Los Angeles Lakers star Robery Horry (right) at the Haier stand at 2012 International CES, a consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chinese appliance maker has hired 350 people in its South Carolina plant. (Provided to China Daily)

Direct investment deals add 27,000 to payrolls in the country since 2000

Although US politicians often raise fears about Chinese investment stealing US jobs and posing threats to national security, analysts paint a very different picture.

The latest report released by New York-based Rhodium Group shows that the 600 Chinese direct investment transactions made between 2000 and 2012 support 27,000 jobs in the United States today, compared with 10,000 jobs five years ago.

The companies in the study are all US subsidiaries with Chinese majority ownership. They do not include those in which Chinese hold a minority interest – which account for $8 billion, or 40 percent of Chinese investment in the US during the 12 years – or indirect job creation related to the construction of factories or at suppliers. For example, Tianjin Pipe Corp’s new steel plant in Texas is estimated to employ up to 2,000 construction workers.

The study on the employment impact of Chinese FDI in the US also finds that more than $3.5 billion worth of greenfield investment, or investment in new facilities, since 2000 has created 8,000 US jobs.

Major job creators include auto parts maker Wanxiang, which employs 6,000 Americans, mostly in Illinois; appliance maker Haier hiring 350 in South Carolina; telecom equipment firm Huawei with 1,500 in California, Texas and New Jersey; and Sany, which runs a facility in Georgia employing more than 130 people.

Admitting that the impact on US jobs of mergers and acquisitions is less clear, the study finds that the 170 transactions in which Chinese investors have majority control of US firms were “overwhelmingly positive”.

“We see no evidence of asset-stripping behavior and find that most Chinese parent firms have maintained or added staff after acquiring companies in the US,” wrote Thilo Hanemann, research director of Rhodium Group, and Adam Lysenko, research analyst at Rhodium.

Compared with previous owners, Chinese investors were able to inject capital to maintain expenditure in times of crisis, bring better access to the fast-growing Chinese market and create synergies with existing operations in China that increased the value of US assets.

Even the few acquisitions that have resulted in job losses have not been subject to asset stripping by Chinese companies, but rather structural adjustment and reorganization of value chains to react to changes in costs or demand, according to the report.

Although the 27,000 jobs associated with Chinese investment now make up less than 1 percent of the 6 million jobs created by US-based foreign affiliates, the report emphasized that the potential is huge, given that Chinese FDI is expected to increase dramatically in the coming decade.

It projects that if the US can attract between $150 billion of Chinese global outbound investment by 2020, there will be 300,000 Americans on the payroll of Chinese US affiliates. Rhodium expects total Chinese outbound investment to hit $1 trillion by 2020.

The report, however, noted that such a result is not guaranteed. Chinese companies will only continue to invest in the US if the US manages to sustain its attractiveness to foreign investors by fixing its structural problems.

“If fear mongering and populism gain the upper hand, Chinese firms may choose more hospitable investment destinations in Europe or Asia to expand their overseas business and generate jobs there,” the report said.

The report also called for improved corporate governance and transparency on the part of Chinese investors and less Chinese government involvement in overseas investment decisions.

Both Hanemann and Dan Rosen, a partner at Rhodium Group, do not believe that US President Barack Obama’s recent executive order requiring Ralls Corp, owned by executives of China’s Sany Group, to abandon a wind farm project near a military base in Oregon and divest all related assets is politically motivated or signals a more restrictive US policy toward Chinese investment.

But Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, described Obama’s decision as sending the wrong message.

Saying Obama was the first president in 22 years to issue a formal order blocking foreign investment into the US on national security grounds, Alden said the decision will unfortunately be seen as yet another signal – this time from the highest possible level – that the US does not really want Chinese investment.

“And for an economy still struggling to create jobs, that’s the wrong signal to send,” Alden said.

He said the Obama administration had handled the case “abysmally”.

“If the location of the wind farm did indeed pose real security concerns, the US government should have worked quietly with the company to help it find a reasonable way to divest,” he said. “By forcing a presidential action, it becomes a big, public slapdown to another Chinese company. That is not in the economic interest of the US that needs all the foreign investment it can get.”

Joel Backaler, director of the Frontier Strategy Group in Washington, said that Obama’s motivation may have been to help his presidential campaign. “Cracking down on China” is a spotlight issue for both Democratic and Republican parties.

“If future investment decisions by Chinese companies meet similar resistance, though, the end result of such decisions will hinder, not help the US economic recovery,” Backaler wrote in the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

chenweihua@chinadaily.com.cn

———————————-

Betting on a diversified economy in Macao.

By Li Tao
October 10, 2012 – 10:20am www.chinadailyapac.com

1 of 1

Despite being crowned the gaming capital of the world, the Macao Special Administrative Region is striving to become a more diversified economy as its gambling business has weighed way too much on the region’s overall growth.

It is a city where almost all the local residents are more or less implicated to its one and only compellingly dominated business: gambling. As the only place that has a legalized gaming sector throughout the Chinese territory till today, the importance of buoyant gaming economy to Macao remains phenomenal.

A 20-year-old Macao resident, who does not want to identify himself, told China Daily that although he didn’t even study at a university, after working only two years as a dealer in one of the most prestigious casinos in the city, he is now able to earn almost 17,000 patacas ($2,130) a month.

This compares with the median monthly wage of 10,000 patacas reported in a Macao government employment survey for the third quarter of 2011 — a historic high record in the city, which also outstripped the median HK$13,000 ($1,677) earned by its neighboring Hong Kong people.

“To many of us who are content with the status quo, working in a casino is almost a guaranteed life-time job,” the dealer said, adding that the casinos in Macao these days generally have to put in a great deal of effort to recruit new employees as the number of applicants are so huge due to the low entrance threshold.

Other data also demonstrated the city’s extreme over reliance on gambling revenue these days. By the end of 2011, over 50,000 local residents of Macao’s 345,000 working population were working in the gaming and related sector, such as hotel and restaurants inside the casinos.

At the same time, the booming gaming industry accounts for over 60 percent of the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) today, and which even pays nearly 90 percent of the total taxes that the local government collects every year, according to news reports.

Concerns over the monotonous money-making pattern never stop reverberating in Macao since the city’s casino operators have seen explosive gains from the visitors particularly from the mainland. Some skeptics even pictured a bleak outlook for Macao, claiming that the whole economy will fall out once dice players no longer favor the city any more.

Doubts are also supported by sharp contracting gambling revenue results starting this year, after the city’s casino operators reported poorer results, a direct contrast to the enormous profits growth of some 40 percent over the past few years.

Gaming revenue in the world’s biggest gambling hub this July rose only a tepid 1.5 percent to 24.6 billion patacas compared with the 24.2 billion patacas a year earlier, according to Macao’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, representing the slowest pace since June 2009 when the city was impacted by the previous financial tsunami.

Global rating agency Fitch in July revised its Macao gaming revenue growth forecast to 10 to 12 percent for this year from the previous 15 percent. It cited reasons including a “more cautious view with respect to the near-term impact of the slowdown on the mainland”.

“Buying Macao’s casino stocks is like gambling these days,” said Alvin Chung, a Hong Kong-based associate director of Prudential Brokerage. “Growth of new arrivals to Macao have subsided notably, but casino operators have not even planned to halt their expansion plans, giving rise to greater opportunities for over capacity within the market, “ Chung added.

Casino operators, apparently, view it in a different way. Las Vegas Sands Corp, the world’s largest gambling group, launched its Sands Cotai Central integrated resort in Macao’s Cotai Strip this April. The project’s construction was once suspended in 2008 due to financial stress, according to the company.

US billionaire Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the group, is still convinced that its Chinese arm Sands China Ltd has yet to fully benefit from the wealth spurs among the middle-class on the mainland.

“We wouldn’t be expanding if there is no future here,” Adelson said in Macao on September 20 during the launch ceremony of its third hotel project within the resort.

“(Currently) about 13 percent of the US population visit Las Vegas each year. If it is the same story for the Chinese, the numbers will reach nearly 200 million here.”

Adelson’s bullish plan also accompanies the fact that unlike other traditional casinos which primarily feature gambling, the newly launched integrated resorts in Macao today, including Sands Cotai Central, are basically giant complexes congregated with shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, as well as some gaming places — which are not even conspicuous in the resort.

Ricardo Siu, an associate professor of business economics at the University of Macau, told China Daily that the casino operators are also determined to seek ways to diversify their business combinations in Macao as they’ve also realized that solely having gaming attractions for the visitors alone are unlikely to be sustainable if there are no other profitable channels to explore.

The move is also in line with the Central Government’s blueprint, which dates back to the year 2006, when a goal to diversify Macao’s gambling-dependent economy was set in its 11th Five-Year Plan. In the latest 12th Five-Year Plan starting 2011, the Central Government further positioned the city as a global center of tourism and leisure.

“It is not even an option. It is a must-do,” said Siu. “Since the Macao government liberalized the gambling industry in 2002, concerns over the sector has never ceased as the city relies too much on the gaming sector. Meanwhile, people also worry that the single pillared economy will be doomed once favorable policies from the Central Government fade out.”

The crux in diversifying the Macao’s economy is to boost growth of non-gaming revenues, Siu said that this was the philosophy, but in reality, it is really something easy to say but hard to achieve, particularly over the short period.

Even integrated resorts like Sands Cotai Central, which enlists over 200 shops, high-end restaurants, theaters as well as three branded hotels that provide nearly 6,000 rooms, is still unable to highlight the importance of non-gaming revenues at the moment, according to Edward Tracy, chief executive of Sands China

Without disclosing any solid data, Tracy said the non-gaming gains only take up about 12 percent of the company’s total revenue in the resort, remaining a relatively small part due to the extremely huge income from gambling.

Gambling revenue reached 268 billion patacas in Macao last year, almost six times the Las Vegas Strip’s $6.07 billion, according to data from gambling authorities of the two sides.

Estimating that Macao’s non-gaming revenue will continue to play a minor part even in the next decade, Siu said he supported the idea of stimulating developments in other areas of the economy that have failed to keep up with the gaming sector.

“Macao should be transformed from a casino gaming place to a more family and business travel destination, meaning the city should not be concerned with filling up the casinos with visitors, but also a place where everyone could come to and relax with their families over the weekends,” said Siu.

According to government reports, 16.16 million visitors from Chinese mainland visited Macao in 2011, accounting for 58 percent of the city’s total visitor arrivals.

Davis Fong, director of the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming at the University of Macau believes people shouldn’t make such a fuss on Macao’s over reliance on gaming as each city needs a clear identification of its own positioning, and for Macao which is labeled as a gaming capital of the world has proven to be a success.

It is an era in which metropolitan areas compete with one another, rather than just single economies. While neighboring Hong Kong is positioned as a global financial center and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) is famous for its manufacturing bases, Macao which is themed to attract tourists all over the world, has also fully played out its own advantages, according to Fong.

“On the other hand, the inflow of people to any part of the metropolitan area is tipped to benefit the overall economy particularly after transportation facilities connecting the region are fully put into use,” Fong said.

After a bridge being built across the Pearl River estuary to link Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao is completed in 2016, transportation convenience between the three cities will become greatly enhanced.

“It means the inflow of visitors to Macao will be further lifted, with more travelers from Hong Kong and the mainland who may initially only prepare to spend some time in Macao,” added Fong.

litao@chinadailyhk.com

—————————————–

and in the Taiwan section of the paper:

A senior member of Taiwan’s opposition party Frank Hsieh left Beijing on Monday after concluding a high-profile visit to the mainland, which experts expect to prompt more non-…


The mainland and Taiwan signed two agreements on Thursday — on investment protection and promotion, and customs cooperation.

——————————————
and under ASIAN LEADERS:

An Australian Man of Energy Who Heads the  Australia-China Business Council.

By Karl Wilson
September 28, 2012 -  www.chinadailyapac.com

As a young boy growing up in Western Australia, a job in the resources sector was as far away from Frank Tudor’s mind as possible.

“I thought I was destined for life in the academic world, probably teaching science or mathematics,” says the CEO and managing director of Western Australia’s regional and remote electricity provider Horizon Power.

Tudor, who is also national president of the Australia China Business Council, joined the West Australian government-owned Horizon six years ago after a successful career with Woodside, Australia’s biggest oil and gas producer.

Working for BP and Woodside saw the family moving quite a bit in his early working life.

Tudor says he was interested in renewable energy and the impact it was going to have on the industry within Western Australia.

The resources-rich state, especially in iron ore that is feeding China’s enormous economic growth, occupies roughly a third of the entire continent of Australia and is home to less than two million people.

“Horizon was a good starting point; it operated in some interesting parts of the state across the complete supply chain through generation to retail.

“There were a lot of natural energy sources, such as wind and solar, and there was an opportunity to see what difference that could make (to) the state’s energy.”

Tudor went in as the general manager at Horizon. Then he was appointed CEO in April 2011. He was given the mandate to shape the strategy and work closely with the board.

“I also wanted to stay with my family in Western Australia,” he adds.

Tudor says family is important to him. “I like to keep a good balance between the two,” he says.

Speaking from his home in Perth, Tudor says his time with BP and Woodside opened many doors in China and enabled him to build relationships that are still in place.

“It never occurred to me when I was studying mechanical engineering at Curtin (University) that I would end up working in the oil and gas industry,” he says.

“It was a friend of the family (who) asked me if I would like some vocational work at BP’s Kwinana oil refinery just south of Perth. I said yes and towards the end of my studies, a full-time position came up at the refinery and I took it.

“It wasn’t planned …”

Kwinana is the largest refinery in Australia with a capacity of 137,000 barrels of crude oil a day. It is the only refinery in Western Australia.

“Within a couple of years I was in London with BP where I stayed for 10 years, then to Perth, then to Melbourne and back to Perth,” Tudor says. “All up I was with BP for just over 20 years before moving to Woodside.”

He says his experience with BP helped to widen his horizons and gave him an understanding of the emerging economic power that China has become.

The early 1990s saw him in Papua New Guinea for BP, developing gas interests for the growing Chinese energy market.

“The global financial crisis, however, hit much of that on the head,” he says. “But China was still expanding, still growing.”

In early 2000 he moved to Woodside, which had already developed strong ties with China through its massive North West Shelf oil and gas project off the northern coast of Western Australia.

Vast quantities of natural gas and condensate were discovered beneath the sea bed on the North West continental shelf in the 1970s.

The discovery marked the birth of Australia’s largest oil and gas resource development.

Since then more than A$27 billion ($28 billion) has been invested in facilities which today include offshore production platforms and sub-sea infrastructure, onshore processing and storage facilities at the Karratha gas plant.

They also include loading facilities, jetties, associated infrastructure and liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships.

Between 2003 and 2005 Tudor headed up Woodside’s business development operations in China and “up the foundation for the PetroChina gas deal on Browse which has since lapsed”, he says.

It was a 2007 agreement between PetroChina and Woodside for the potential sale of two million to three million tons of LNG per year from the Browse LNG development facility off the north-west coast of Western Australia.

“That was about the time I started to get involved with the Australia China Business Council,” he says. “For me it seemed like a pretty good fit.

“On the one hand you had China with an insatiable appetite for resources to drive its industrial base, and on the other, Australia, rich in the resources China wanted.”

Tudor sees the role of the council as a bridge builder between Australia and China and a hub for the “many ideas driving debate and highlighting opportunities associated with the Sino-Australian relationship”.

Some of the current debate in Australia over China’s investments in it, he says, is “frankly, ill informed”.

“We need to change those perceptions,” he says. “Australians need to understand just how important China is, not only for the country but to individual households.”

As a country, Australia is unique among industrialized nations as a net exporter of commodities and a net importer of manufactured goods.

“We have valuable commodities and increasingly manufactured goods and services that China needs to fuel its massive industrialization and urbanization,” he says. “At the same time we import manufactured goods and to a lesser extent services that China can supply at much lower prices than we could produce them.

“Australian households have a strong appetite for variety and value in consumer goods which China supplies, such as clothing, computers, telecoms equipment, toys, games, sporting goods, furniture and chemicals.”

He says that in 2010-11 the average value of trade with China per household in Australia was worth A$13,470 – a 93 percent increase since 2006-2007.

“These are the sort of messages we need to get across … not the ill-informed political rhetoric of some,” he says. “Education is the key.”

And Tudor knows what he is talking about when it comes to education. He has degrees from Perth’s Curtin University, London School of Economics, and the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales.

In 2008 he completed an eight-week advanced management program at Harvard Business School.

“I remember meeting a man when I first started at BP who inspired me a great deal,” he recalls.

“His name was Marcel Dell and he had emigrated from Europe. He came here with nothing but a desire to do well. He went to night school and later went on to university and a senior position with BP at Kwinana.

“I also think he may have been instrumental in my going to London with BP. He showed me what can be achieved if you work hard for it and the value of education.

“I see this all the time in China.”

Tudor says Australia lacks a coherent strategy towards China and he hopes that the government’s long awaited white paper on Australia in the Asian century will be a good start.

“Industry, academia, states and the federal government need to work much more closely to create such a strategy, and become much more tactful in the way we engage.

“Despite what we read in some sections of the media in Australia, China is playing an active role in Australia, moving from simple off-taking to investment in onshore infrastructure and greenfield developments right across the Australian economy.”

Tudor says with China’s middle class growing there are numerous opportunities for Australian companies to invest.

“You are starting to see that in education, legal and financial services. The opportunities are there, we just need to go out and do it,” he says. “Getting in the door is half the battle.”

Bio
FRANK TUDOR
CEO and managing director, Horizon Power

CAREER MILESTONES

2006-present: Joins Horizon Power as general manager and becomes its CEO in 2011

2009-present: Chairman of the board and national president of the Australia China Business Council

1980-2006: Holds a number of senior positions at BP and Woodside

EDUCATION

First class degrees in engineering, economics and business administration

QUICK TAKES

Role model:

I guess if I were to choose someone it would be a guy I got to know at the Kwinana refinery by the name of Marcel Dell. Marcel was an emigrant from Europe who started off as a boiler maker, put himself through night school, then went on to university where he got first class honours in mechanical engineering.

He went on to build an impressive career at BP. Yes, if I were to choose someone it would be him. He sort of epitomized what Australia is all about.

Walking the tightrope between work and family:

Switched from alcohol to coffee. Jokes aside, family is very important to me. I think it is important to understand that. I try not to let work interfere in that balance.

How do you relax?

I like to windsurf. There is plenty of water although we do have some large fish … fish with very sharp teeth (sharks).

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 10th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

September 10, 2012 – TODAY’S TOP STORIES of the JAPAN TIMES online:
=========================

[NATIONAL NEWS]
Noda speaks with China, South Korea leaders, seeks to view disputes from ‘broad viewpoints’
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday that Tokyo wants to handle rising tensions between the two countries over the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea “from broad viewpoints.”
[MORE] ->
www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120910a1.html

[NATIONAL NEWS]
Clinton says U.S. will do what it can to calm East Asia territorial rows
www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120910a6.html

[NATIONAL NEWS]
Putin expresses desire to settle all pending issues with Japan
www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120910a7.html

[NATIONAL NEWS]
Japan seeks to resume talks with North Korea soon
www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120910a8.html

[NATIONAL NEWS]
New energy policy postponed amid lack of consensus
www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120910a9.html

[NATIONAL NEWS]
Tens of thousands converge in Okinawa to protest Osprey deployment
Tens of thousands of people gathered for a rally in Okinawa on Sunday to protest against the planned deployment of U.S. Ospreys in the prefecture in the face of a series of problems involving the tilt-rotor military aircraft.
[MORE] ->
www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120910a2.html

LATEST OP-ED STORIES:

Tokyo-Seoul: enough is enough!

By RALPH COSSA

The political leadership in Tokyo and Seoul apparently has never learned a cardinal rule of diplomacy: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Will ASEAN step up to try to bridge Japan-China rift?

By PAVIN CHACHAVALPONGPUN

ASEAN has assiduously sought to assuage tensions between Japan and China by giving both more room to maneuver so that each feels less victimized.

Nationalists making waves in Japan-China ties

By FRANK CHING

Although Japan and China re-established diplomatic ties 40 years ago, their territorial dispute over uninhabited islets has left them loath to celebrate.

———————————–

AND FROM CHINA DAILY:

President Hu: Tokyo ‘must realize this is serious’

President Hu Jintao urged the Japanese government on Sunday to realize the seriousness of the tension over the Diaoyu Islands and stop ”nationalization”.

Putin rules out trade war with EU

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday dismissed any talk of a trade war with Europe over a European Commission competition investigation into state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom.

More Top Stories

China has major role in world economic recovery

‘Foreign investment, capital’ spur growth

China welcomes FDI and encourages ODI

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 19th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Monday, Aug. 20, 2012
News photo
Marking the territory: Japanese nationalists raise Hinomaru flags on an islet at the heart of a territorial row with China on Sunday. No one was reportedly arrested over the incident.KYODO

No arrests as nationalists respond to Hong Kong landing

Rightwingers land on Senkakus, hoist flags

AFP-Jiji

SENKAKU, Islands Okinawa Pref. — In a move likely to further inflame tensions with Beijing, Japanese nationalists raised Hinomaru flags on one of the islets at the heart of a corrosive territorial row with China on Sunday.

Around a dozen members of the rightwing group Gambare Nippon (Hang in There Japan) swam ashore from a 20-boat flotilla carrying activists and lawmakers.

The landing comes just days after Tokyo deported pro-Beijing protesters who landed on the same islet, which is part of the Senkaku Islands.

The chain is administered by Japan but claimed by China, which calls it the Diaoyu, and Taiwan, which calls it the Tiaoyutai.

China, which fiercely claims the archipelago, had warned against acts “harming” its territorial sovereignty.

Eiji Kosaka, a politician from Tokyo and one of the men who made it to the islet, said the group planted Japanese flags on the mountainside and on shore.

“It is very sad that the Japanese government is doing nothing with these islands,” he said, adding the expedition had been “a great success.”

By midmorning, all of the approximately 150 participants, including eight lawmakers, were back on the boats and headed back to Ishigaki Island, southwest of the main island of Okinawa. They had spent around five hours at the disputed islets.

Japan Coast Guard ships had urged the activists not to land, with officers boarding some of the vessels to question people. No arrests were made.

Before the voyage, Kenichi Kojima, a politician from Kanagawa Prefecture, said the trip was about who owned the archipelago, which is believed to harbor rich mineral resources.

“I want to show the international community that these islands are ours. It is Japan’s future at stake,” he said.

Diet lawmaker Keiko Yamatani said most countries recognize Japan’s sovereignty over the island chain, but added: “I think this kind of expedition will help raise awareness around the world.”

Organizers, who had been refused permission by Tokyo to go ashore, said ahead of their departure that they would be holding a ceremony aboard the boats to remember some of those who died in World War II.

Beijing on Saturday rebuked Japan over the island visit.

“China has made solemn representations to Japan, demanding that it immediately cease actions harming China’s territorial sovereignty,” the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Japan plans to replace its ambassador to China possibly in October amid the growing territorial row, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Sunday. The ambassador, Uichiro Niwa, sparked controversy in June when he warned that the TokyoMetropolitan Government’s plan to buy some of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between the Asian powers. He has been under pressure from both ruling and opposition parties to resign for misrepresenting Tokyo’s position that the islands are an integral part of Japanese territory, the daily said.

The dispute over the islands is one of the major stumbling blocks — along with issues related to Japan’s invasion of China during the war — to smooth relations between Asia’s two top economies. Tensions spiked as Japan deported 14 pro-China activists who sailed to the islands from Hong Kong. Some managed to land on Uotsuri, the largest islet in the group, becoming the first non-Japanese to set foot on any part of the archipelago since 2004.

“China reiterates that any unilateral action taken by Japan regarding” the islands is “illegal and invalid,” a Foreign Ministry statement said, adding that any such actions will not undermine its claim over the territory.

Separately, ruling Democratic Party of Japan heavyweight Seiji Maehara said Saturday that the coast guard should be beefed up to defend the islands. “Coast guard officials are doing their best, and so the government and the ruling parties will discuss how to strengthen our backup to them,” the DPJ policy chief said.

The renewed dispute comes amid rising tensions between Japan and South Korea over South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s recent visit to Dokdo, a group of Korean-controlled islets roughly halfway between the two countries. Japan calls the islands Takeshima.

==================

Monday, Aug. 20, 2012


Taiwan summons ambassador to protest latest Senkaku landing

Kyodo

TAIPEI — Taiwanese Foreign Minister Timothy Yang summoned Japan’s de facto ambassador on Sunday to lodge a protest over the landing the same day of 10 Japanese on Uotsuri, the largest islet in the disputed Senkaku Islands chain.

Describing the move as a “provocative act,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Yang told Sumio Tarui that the provocation had dramatically heightened tensions in the East China Sea.

The uninhabited islets, which Japan controls, are also claimed by Taiwan and China, which call them the Tiaoyutai and Diaoyu, respectively.

Yang requested that Japan stop any action infringing on Taiwan’s territorial sovereignty, repeating that the islands belong to the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, in terms of history, geography, geology and international law and that no unilateral action will change this historic fact.

Yang also called on Japanese authorities to exercise self-restraint and consider President Ma Ying-jeou’s initiative for a peaceful settlement and joint development of the resource-rich waters nearby, which he said would help bring closure to the territorial dispute and maintain peace and stability in the region.

The Japanese landing followed the arrest and deportation of 14 Chinese, including activists from Hong Kong, who landed on Uotsuri last week. They landed on Wednesday and were deported on Friday.

Taiwan does not have diplomatic relations with Japan.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 28th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

South China Sea: Maritime Lanes and Territorial Claims.

An area known by three different names — South China Sea, East Sea and West Philippine Sea — the waters surrounding the Spratly and Paracel Islands are some of the most contested in the world owing largely to the energy reserves believed to lie beneath them.

China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Brunei all have claims to this area.

While China has called the area a “core interest” of sovereignty, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton also explained that, “The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation open access to Asia’s maritime domain.”

Competing claims over territory and energy have become a source of international tension and threaten peaceful passage through this waterway.

For the parties involved, there is little alternative but to arrive at a negotiate settlement, yet therein lies the challenge — China prefers bilateral negotiations while the other economies of Southeast Asia prefer multilateral discussions through ASEAN.

Will resolution be found and how will this conflict unfold in light of the U.S. “strategic pivot” to the region?

Please join:

Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS),

Huang Jing, Professor and Director of Center on Asia and Globalization (CAG) at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), and

Hung Nguyen, Associate Professor of Government and International Politics at the George Mason University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, for a discussion on the tense territorial disputes and maritime conflicts in the South China Sea.

The program will be moderated by Amanda Drury, co-anchor of CNBC’s Street Signs.

4 June 2012
6:30pm - 9:00pm

725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York, NY


This program is sponsored by HBO.

Can’t make it to this program? Tune into AsiaSociety.org/Live at 6:30 pm ET for a free live video webcast. Online viewers are encouraged to submit questions tomoderator@asiasociety.org during the webcast.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 8th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

At the start of the new millennium the Dalai Lama issued eighteen rules for living.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

=====================================================

We repeat the CHAI DALAI LAMA RULES FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM:

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 8th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

JAN. 11-15 | LINCOLN CENTER, DAVID H. KOCH THEATER

Visit http://www.ShenYun2012.com/NYC

Ticket Hotline: 800-818-2393
ShenYunPerformingArts.org

JOIN GOLDEN NETWORKING
FOR A SOUL-STIRRING EVENT NEXT WEEK AT LINCOLN CENTER
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Embrace traditional Chinese culture as it was meant to be — a beautiful blend of artistry, energy, and grace, through brilliantly choreographed dance and uplifting, original orchestral compositions. See ancient legends of virtue brought to life alongside modern tales of courage. Hear soaring songs by masterful vocalists that will move and inspire.

Experience a sense of grandeur and enchantment like no other with this unique, thrilling, and unforgettable performance that celebrates the glory of an ancient civilization.

Shen Yun 2011, Joy Behar

“A beautiful show…
fantastic! If you ever get a chance to see it, you should.”
—Joy Behar, Co-host of ABC’s
The View
“A mesmerizing performance…extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary.
—Donna Karan, creator of DKNY
5,000 years of Chinese
music and dance in one night.”
The New York Times

JANUARY 11-15, 2012
LINCOLN CENTER, DAVID H. KOCH THEATER

Shen Yun 2012 Video

Presented by:

SHEN YUN PROMOTIONS INTERNATIONAL

All individuals’ quotes were originally published by The Epoch Times and NTD Television.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 31st, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The internal debate in Japan brakes out slowly into the news from Japan – as per The Japan Times online: 

Japan Industry Minister Banri Kaieda instructed nuclear plant operators Wednesday to compile emergency safety measures to prevent radiation leaks in the event that their power and cooling systems fail, as happened in the Fukushima crisis.

Utilities, which operate 45 nuclear reactors nationwide excluding the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, were instructed to compile a new safety manual and submit it to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency by around mid-April.

The Fukushima emergency developed because Tokyo Electric Power Co. could not immediately secure an alternative power source after the reactors’ cooling systems were  disabled, or tap the huge amounts of water needed to cool spent fuel storage pools, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

METI thus instructed plant operators to compile emergency safety measures that will avert another nuclear crisis even if massive tsunami were to again cut electricity and shut down the cooling systems.

“I want plant operators to place power supply vehicles to secure electricity and firetrucks to provide water to spent fuel storage pools and reactors in times of emergency,” Kaieda told a hastily arranged news conference.

“I want the manuals compiled and training carried out.”

The NISA, the government’s nuclear watchdog, will check the utilities’ safety measures by the end of April.

After a thorough review of the Fukushima No. 1 crisis is carried out, METI plans to draw up drastic safety measures, including instructing operators to place a reserve electric system to pump seawater and building seawalls to protect against tsunami.

Asked if he believes there was a problem in the government’s safety monitoring system, Kaieda said, “At this point, I don’t think there was any problem.

“We need to thoroughly look into the nuclear incident, and it will then become clear what the problem was,” he said.

——————————————-

French experts:

PARIS (Kyodo) A French atomic fuel company said Tuesday its president is visiting Japan with five of the country’s nuclear experts to help on the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to Radio France.

Anne Lauvergeon, president of Areva SA, and the experts are expected to offer assistance in removing contaminated water accumulating inside the plant’s reactors, a task currently considered to be of the highest importance because the water has been hindering repair work.

According to Radio France, the five specialize in the removal of radioactive contaminants and in the management of nuclear waste storage pools.

Lauvergeon planned to visit the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Wednesday before meeting with top officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the broadcaster reported.

Areva is commissioned by Japanese power companies to process uranium-plutonium mixed-oxide fuel. MOX fuel used in the No. 3 reactor at Fukushima was manufactured by Areva and was shipped from France in 1999.

Lauvergeon’s visit appears to underline France’s full commitment to support Japan, which asked for its help.

 ——————————————-

Thursday, March 31, 2011

excerpt from Bloomberg

Reactors may take three decades to decommission.
 search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20…

Four of the plant’s six reactors became useless when seawater was used to cool them after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out generators running its cooling systems. The entire station will likely be decommissioned, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday.

The damaged reactors need to be demolished after they have cooled and radioactive materials are removed and stored, said Tomoko Murakami, a nuclear researcher at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.

The process will take longer than the 12 years needed to decommission the Three Mile Island reactor in Pennsylvania following a partial meltdown, said Hironobu Unesaki, a nuclear engineering professor at Kyoto University.

“Lack of public support may force the decommissioning of all six reactors,” said Daniel Aldrich, a political science professor at Purdue University in Indiana. Tepco “will try to salvage two if it can find public support, which may be unlikely.”

Kan has blamed inadequate tsunami defenses at the plant for the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986, saying the safety standards set by Tepco were too low.

Efforts to cool fuel rods at the four reactors have been hindered by detection of radiation levels that can prove fatal for a person exposed for several hours.

Japanese authorities rated the Fukushima accident a 5 on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 7-step scale for nuclear incidents, under which each extra point represents a tenfold increase in seriousness.

At Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island in 1979, one reactor partially melted in the worst U.S. accident, earning a 5 rating.

Its $973 million repair and cleanup took almost 12 years to complete, according to a report on the World Nuclear Association’s website. More than 1,000 workers were involved in designing and conducting the cleanup operation, the report said.

Ukraine is unable to fund alone the cost of a new sarcophagus to cover the burned out reactor at Chernobyl, scheduled to be in place by 2014.

The 110 meter-high arched containment structure has a 1.55 billion euro ($2.2 billion) total price tag and the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has so far raised about 65 percent of that.

The Fukushima reactors may take about three decades to decommission, based on Japan’s sole attempt to dismantle a commercial reactor, said Murakami of the Institute of Energy Economics.

Japan Atomic Power Co. began decommissioning a 166-megawatt reactor at Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 1998 after the unit had completed 32 years of operations, according to documents posted on the company’s website.

The project will be completed by March 2021, or after 23 years of work, and cost ¥88.5 billion, the documents show.

Japan Atomic Power took three years through June 2001 to stabilize and remove nuclear fuels from the reactor core.

————————————–

For reporting on the Fukushima plant radioactivity zone – please see:  Permalink | | Email This Article Email This Article
Posted in Austria and Central Europe, Brussels, China, Copenhagen COP15, European Union, France, Futurism, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Policy Lessons from Mad Cow Disease, Real World's News, Reporting from Washington DC, Taiwan, UN Commission on Sustainable Development, Vienna

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 27th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Japan Times on line, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010

EDITORIAL

Fear of studying abroad

Data disclosed by the education ministry on Wednesday confirms that fewer and fewer Japanese students are studying abroad. After the number of students studying overseas hit a peak of 82,945 in 2004, it declined for four straight years. In 2008 it dropped a staggering 11 percent from 2007 to 66,833. Of these, 29,264 were in the United States (down 13.9 percent from 2007), 16,733 in China (down 10.2 percent) and 4,465 in Britain (down 21.7 percent).

In this age of globalization, it is imperative that Japanese develop abilities to compete and cooperate with people from other countries through the experience of living and studying abroad. The government, educators and enterprises must take necessary steps to encourage and help students to study abroad.

While the number of Japanese students studying abroad has been falling, the number of foreign students studying in Japan as of May 1 stood at a record 141,774 — a rise of 6.8 percent from a year before, according to the Japan Student Services Organization, an independent administrative corporation. Chinese made up the biggest group with 86,173 (up 9 percent), followed by South Koreans with 20,202 (up 3 percent), Taiwanese with 5,297 (down 0.7 percent), Vietnamese with 3,597 (up 12.4 percent) and Malaysians with 2,465 (up 2.9 percent).

A likely reason for the fall in the number of students studying abroad is a fear among students that if they study abroad, they may lose a chance to find employment when they come back to Japan from their studies. This is because many enterprises stop accepting applications before students reach the fourth year of college. Students have to start visiting enterprises to find job opportunities quite early.

Enterprises can rectify the situation by changing their recruitment practice. Universities could lighten the burden of returning students by setting up a semester specially timed for their return. The government should financially help students who want to study overseas. Both the government and private sectors should realize that a decline in the number of students studying abroad could have a devastating effect on the future of Japan.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 7th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Frank Lavin is now Chairman, Public Affairs, Asia Pacific, at Edelman – the largest PR company in the Asia-Pacific region. He previously was Under Secretary for International Trade at the US Department of Commerce and Ambassador to Singapore. In those capacities he was responsible for Trade agreements with China, India, Singapore – among his other imprint on US Asian commerce policy. Now he lives in Hong Kong.

When the US was in a position that there might not have been a US pavilion at this year’s -  six months long – May 1 to Oct 31, 2010 – World Fair in Shanghai, he volunteered to organize one with the help of business companies, and the friendly assistance of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Now he can look and say – we did it! It took him a mere one year to put up a respectable “Great Hall of the American People” pavilion.

This fair will have three times as many visitors as the New York World Fair and will be the largest ever in every respect – in size – number of countries exhibiting – 189, number of heads of State visiting 100. There are 240 pavilions that include 57 that are not by governments – such as IOs, NGOs, and businesses. 40 million visitors have already seen it by August 14th. It is expected that 60 million Chinese and 10 million foreigners, will have seen the Fair by the time it closes.

I found it extremely interesting that the Fair includes pavilions for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao – very nice and non-controversial -  and the Chinese go and see them. Also interesting that in their statistics these lands are counted as foreign. I wonder how are displayed the Chinese provinces and how the competition between them is handled? Is a decentralized vuew of China allowed in the Chinese huge and very beautiful red and white Chinese pavilion?

The main item in the US pavilion is a film that shows a girl that sees through her window the need to plant a tree in order to beautify the neighborhood. This is a subtle way to tell the visitors – mainly Chinese – that with initiative and cooperation, one can change the world for the better. It is not a government, but the individual human spirit that does it. You learn that you are responsible for the environment and your actions count. The overall theme of this year’s Fair is “Better City , Better Life, so there is nothing revolutionary in the US story here except this interpretation that it calls for an individual response to environmental needs.

It is hoped that this will be appreciated by the average person in the region – the fact that the US did not come to toot its horn by showing off achievements of the past – the US makes rather attempts at cooperation with the Chinese in many areas of common interest. That reminded me of the G2 approach that President Obama initiated ahead of going to Copenhagen – now we see that it could also be a people’s action if people are ready to do what is right for their communities. Maybe we should recommend that Americans also go to see this US pavilion in Shanghai.

Asked what else he could have done for the pavilion, Frank Lavin said that besides the content for the 30 minutes he planed for there are several minutes of waiting time in line that could have been used. For the people in lines outside – there is entertainment that changes – visiting bands – so on. Several people in the Asia Society audience have already been to see the pavilion, quite a few more said that they are scheduled to go. Michael Roberts, Executive Director, New York Public Programs at Asia Society chaired the event.

————————————————————–

THE UPDATE:

Above we posted on August 27, 2010, but now we got the posting that was done by The Asia Society and a bit of the actual tape – so we include these in the UPDATE.

The Shanghai Expo:
Inside ‘The World’s Largest Event.’

Frank Lavin explains how the US Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo emphasizes what Americans and Chinese have in common. (1 min., 48 sec.)

Frank Lavin explains how the US Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo emphasizes what Americans and Chinese have in common. (1 min., 48 sec.)

NEW YORK, August 26, 2010 – “The Shanghai Expo, at an annualized rate about 150 million people a year, would be something like eight or nine times what the number one theme park in the world does, which is Disney World,” said ambassador Frank Lavin, Chairman of the USA Pavilion’s Steering Committee, referring to the number of people who will visit the 2010 Expo. “In fact, it is not just the largest World’s Fair in history, but this is the largest event in human history.”

Speaking at Asia Society’s New York Headquarters, the former US Ambassador to Singapore was sharing his insider’s perspective on the Shanghai Expo, the latest incarnation of the World’s Fair that runs from May 1 to October 31, 2010.

Lavin helped organize this year’s United States Pavilion. He explained that since the average Expo attendee spends only 30 minutes in each pavilion, early decisions were made not to treat the American exhibit as a “college seminar course in US history,” but to present a “show, don’t tell” narrative of American society and culture.

By exposing millions of Chinese to unfamiliar countries and cultures, Lavin said the Expo is an important opportunity to educate the country’s citizens about the rest of the world. Although 47 million Chinese will travel abroad this year, more than 50 percent will only visit the semi-autonomous enclaves of Hong Kong and Macao. With over 90 percent of the 70 million fairgoers Chinese, the Expo is accessible to a much larger population of Chinese citizens who want to experience foreign cultures.

Asked about how the United States pavilion’s message will help its public diplomacy with China, he responded, “Of course there are many issues where the United States and China have different points of view.”  But at the American Pavilion, “The average Chinese fairgoer is going to see that he or she has a lot in common with the same American in a similar position.” He concluded that the media tends to only focus our few disagreements, rather than our many points of commonality.

Although the 2010 Expo will be the most attended event in human history, American attendance is quite low. Lavin noted, however, that this isn’t because Americans aren’t interested in foreign cultures; rather, “When an American goes to visit China, he is not going to go to the Expo. He is going to go to the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, and see the sights of Beijing and Shanghai.”

Reported by Zachary Raske

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 19th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


China Wants Business with Latin America.
By Mitch Moxley

BEIJING, Aug 18, 2010 (IPS) – China, now the world’s second largest economy with a ferocious appetite for resources, is aggressively strengthening relations with Latin American countries, but this has not been without roadblocks.

According to a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), released in May, China will displace the European Union as the region’s second largest trading partner by the middle of 2011. Latin American countries are actively exploring cooperative arrangements with China in the fields of mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure and science and technology, the report said.

China has in recent years diversified its investment in Latin America, from natural resources to manufacturing and the services industry, according to a July report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Latin American Studies. China’s interest in Latin America ranges from oil from Venezuela to timber from Guyana and soybeans from Brazil.

Zhang Sengen, executive director of the Institute of Chinese International Economic Relations, said Latin America has dual appeal for China: It has abundant resources, which are needed to fuel China’s future growth, and it is a huge market for Chinese products – with 560 million consumers and a combined Gross Domestic Product of 4 trillion U.S. dollars.

“Latin America is a very attractive spot for Chinese investment,” Zhang said.

China’s foreign direct investment in Latin America reached 24.8 billion dollars in 2008, making up 14.6 percent of China’s total foreign direct investment, according to figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Meanwhile, Latin American investment in China hit 112.6 billion dollars, roughly 14 percent of the total foreign capital China absorbed.

Exports from Latin American countries to China are expected to reach 19.3 percent of the total by 2020, up from 7.6 percent in 2009, according to the ECLAC report.

China has prided itself on what it calls a “win-win” relationship with Latin America, in which the region sells China raw materials, such as copper, iron and oil, while Latin American countries receive goods from China, including mobile phones and cars.

But relations have not been altogether smooth. Across the region, a growing wariness about trade with China has also been emerging.

In Brazil and Argentina, manufacturers have accused China of dumping products in their markets, prompting new tariffs on some Chinese importers. Other countries worry about China’s aggressive efforts to win access to energy reserves.

In Peru, a state-owned Chinese company has faced a nearly two-decade long revolt from mine workers, featuring repeated strikes, clashes with police and arson attacks, ‘The New York Times’ reported earlier in August. Disputes at the mine, founded in 1992 by steelmaker Shougang Corp, focus on wages, environmental damage and the company’s treatment of local residents.

Wang Peng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Latin American Studies, said Chinese companies in Latin America need to do proper risk assessment and better protect the local environment. “There are more NGOs in other countries than in China, and many of them focus on environmental protection,” Wang told IPS. “If our companies violate local environmental laws, no wonder tension happens.”

Despite the problems, relations continue to develop. In April, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Brazil, a move that was heralded in China’s state media as a significant step in cementing relations with Latin America.

“China and Latin American countries, all as developing countries, share extensive common interest. China has always attached great importance to its relations with these countries,” Vice Foreign Minister Li Jinzhang said at a press conference in April, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

During the meetings, Brazil and China inked a joint action plan for 2010 to 2014 and reached agreements in the fields of culture, energy, finance, science and technology and product quality inspection, according to Xinhua.

China is Brazil’s largest trading partner and biggest export market. Trade with Chile, China’s second largest trading partner in the region, reached a record 17.7 billion dollars in 2009.

Oil-rich Venezuela is China’s fifth largest trading partner in Latin America with a trade volume of 7.15 billion dollars in 2009. In March that year, Su Zhenxing, director of the CAAS’s Institute of Latin American Studies, told ‘Beijing Business Today’ that Latin America will become a leading strategic provider of crude oil.

Jiang Shixue, vice president of the Chinese Association of Latin American Studies and deputy director-general of the Chinese Centre for the Third World Studies, said China’s interest in Latin America is not just economic, but also political.

Of the 23 countries in the world that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, 12 are in Latin America. China can gain leverage over these countries through investment incentives, Jiang said.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 13th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

China seeks to reduce Internet users’ anonymity.

By ANITA CHANG

 

The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 13, 2010.
BEIJING — A leading Chinese Internet regulator has vowed to reduce anonymity in China’s portion of cyberspace, calling for new rules to require people to use their real names when buying a mobile phone or going online, according to a human rights group.
 

 

In an address to the national legislature in April, Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, called for perfecting the extensive system of censorship the government uses to manage the fast-evolving Internet, according to a text of the speech obtained by New York-based Human Rights in China.
 

 

China’s regime has a complicated relationship with the freewheeling Internet, reflected in its recent standoff with Google over censorship of search results. China this week confirmed it had renewed Google’s license to operate, after it agreed to stop automatically rerouting users to its Hong Kong site, which is not subject to China’s online censorship.

The Internet is China’s most open and lively forum for discussion, despite already pervasive censorship, but stricter controls could constrain users. The country’s online population has surged past 400 million, making it the world’s largest.

Chen’s comments were reported only briefly when they were made in April. Human Rights in China said the government quickly removed a full transcript posted on the legislature’s website. But the group said it found an unexpurgated text and the discrepancies show that Beijing is wary that its push for tighter information control might prove unpopular. 

Wang said holes that needed to be plugged included ways people could post comments or access information anonymously, according to the transcript published this week in the group’s magazine China Rights Forum.

“We will make the Internet real name system a reality as soon as possible, implement a nationwide cell phone real name system, and gradually apply the real name registration system to online interactive processes,” the journal quoted Wang as saying.

As part of that Internet “real name system,” forum moderators would have to use their real names as would users of online bulletin boards, and anonymous comments on news stories would be removed, Wang is quoted as saying.

The State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to a faxed request asking whether certain sections of Wang’s address to the legislature were altered in the official transcript.

Wang’s comments are in line with recent government statements that indicate a growing uneasiness toward the multitude of opinions found online. A Beijing-backed think tank this month accused the U.S. and other Western governments of using social-networking sites such as Facebook to spur political unrest and called for stepped-up scrutiny.

China has blocked sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, although technologically savvy users can easily jump the so-called “Great Firewall” with proxy servers or other alternatives. Websites about human rights and dissidents are also routinely banned.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 13th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010 10:31 AM
Bottom-UP- Approach
BY GEORGE SAEMANE FROM HONIARA
 www.solomontimes.com/letter.aspx?…

Thank you Dr. Tara for your analytical and thought provoking article that painted the true picture of the last four years.

I pledge no addition or edition of your opinion but simply to ask those who are intending to contest the next election not to hide behind politic rhetoric to confuse the voters to vote for you.

Please give us a clear definition of how our villages are going to included in your plan and do not cover it with pictures of utopia because we know things will get tougher.

We want people who can distinguish between their entitlements and public money.

Marginalization of the villages in meaningful development of villages is an old issue, we have hoped to instill change in the previous elections but failed.

Most new MPs who we banked on were caught unprepared by, gold, glory and you name it.

In this election the loudest voice calling for change are the existing politicians and they are doing this by forming Political Parties left, right and center. Is this not a political ploy to divid us to vote them in, only to find that they throw their different colors and wear the same coats we see in the last house?

Old times we know your works and some a below satisfactory, you have nothing to prove cause your history has already proven who you are and what you are capable of doing.

New Kids on the Block, please if you are going to represent us then go in and do not be lured by power,money and entertainment. We want our villages to have good water supply, sanitation, improved housing, road systems and skills to run our canteens, grow our cocoa, coconut plantations etc. We want to be players in the economic activities in this nation.

We believe you have enough money to achieve the above in the next 12 years if our friend in need and indeed Taiwan continues t help us

Please do not confuse us in the name of dialogue by linking us with the Arab league, they have enough internal problems. Please do not allow us to bear part of their problem. History has shown over and over again that money is linked to human resource.

Old Timers there is still time for you to change your attitudes to deserve our votes. There is room for improvements

New candidates you must be a changed person to induce change . For we can only offer what we have.

Let us forget about “Bottom up Approach”, Rural Advancement” and Rural Development to talk more about Village Development, after all Solomon Islands is made up of villages.

God Bless our villages and Solomon Islands.

————————————

Wednesday, July 07, 2010 8:21 PM
Green Party Charter
BY PAUL DRAKE FROM NEW ZEALAND
 www.solomontimes.com/letter.aspx?…

Dear Editor; a couple of weeks ago I wrote to the Solomon Times suggesting that a Solomon Island Green Party be formed.

I have had quite a few enquiries for the Green Party (NZ) constitution from Solomon Islanders in Brisbane, Wellington Taiwan and Japan and I hope they take the initiative and form a SIGP by the next election.

I have read a very good letter from Travis Kalione advising voters to steer clear of candidates making promises. I agree promises are cheap!

Those standing for parliament, however should state very clearly what they stand for; eg. Labour or business etc.
“A man who does not stand for something.
Will fall for anything”
G.K. Chesterton.

This is the Aotearoa New Zealand Charter:

The charter is the founding document of the Green Party of Aotearoa , New Zealand.

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi [The Treaty of Waitangi] as the founding document of Aotearoa NZ; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa NZ; and commits to the following four principles.
[Tangata Whenua; means the 1st people of the land]

Ecological Wisdom:
The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are a part of the natural world.
This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

Social Responsibility:
Unlimited material growth is impossible; therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resourses, both locally and globally.

Appropriate Decision Making:
For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

Non Violence:
Non violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

The above is the Greens philosophy in a nut shell, the constitution is an elaboration of the above.

The Charter is simply a declaration of what a party or individual stands for.

The above document can be used as a good yard stick to measure the other parties in the coming election.

Any more inquiries are welcome you can e-mail me at ekard at slingshot.co.nz

God bless

Paul Drake

————————

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:20 AM
SI Independence Celebrated in Adelaide, South Australia
BY APOLLOS KALIALAHA IN ADELAIDE

The highlights on the occasion were the Warriors welcome performed by the community’s men and the community’s Children singing the two National Anthems of Solomon Islands and Australia.

The Solomon Islands Community in Adelaide, South Australia, has celebrated the Solomon Islands 32nd Independence Day on the 10th July, 2010.

It was a real Pacific Island atmosphere, as those took part and attended included friends from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, North Solomons, Tuvalu and Tongan communities. Others were friends, in-laws and Ex-RAMSI officers.

The two special guests on the occasion were the South Australian Lieutenant Governor Mr Hieu Van Le and the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia His Excellency Mr. Beraki Gino. The Governor in his speech spoke highly of the effort that the Solomon Islands community has put together to register their community in the Multicultural Community of South Australia.

In his capacity as Chairman of South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, the Governor has pledged his support for the Solomon Islands Community just as any newly formed community in South Australia. Solomon Islands High Commission to Australia His Excellency Mr. Beraki Gino has congratulated the group and thanked them for inviting him to this historical event.

“Because this is the first official event the community has hosted since becoming a community last year, it was indeed an honor to be part of the celebration,” he said.

As guest of honor he cut the Solomon Islands birthday cake, kindly donated by a PNG family who are very close to the SI community. The High Commissioner hosted a breakfast with the Solomon Islands community before catching his flight back to Canberra the next day.

The highlights on the occasion were the Warriors welcome performed by the community’s men and the community’s Children singing the two National Anthems of Solomon Islands and Australia. Food for the night was an Island dinner menu, something that really impressed most of the guests.

President of the Solomon Islands Wantok Association of South Australia, Apollos Kalialaha thanked the Solomon Islands community and guests for their attendance.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 20th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

APEC to pursue low-carbon technologies: Nuke power to be promoted as low-emission energy source;
new plant construction urged.

FUKUI (Kyodo) Energy ministers from Pacific Rim economies agreed Saturday to embark on a project to create low-carbon model cities using energy-efficient technologies and urged the promotion of nuclear power as an environmentally friendly energy source.

The one-day meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the city of Fukui was hosted by Japan, this year’s APEC chair. At the meeting, which focused on energy security and other matters, participants also concurred that fossil fuels will continue to play a key role in the region, which includes such emerging economies as China, and attached importance to enhancing preparedness for oil supply disruption such as by collaborating with the International Energy Agency over energy response workshops and exercises.

As introducing low-carbon technologies in city planning is essential to responding to increasing energy consumption in urban areas, APEC said in a declaration issued after the meeting that they have launched a Low-Carbon Model Town Project to present “successful models for coordinated usage” of the advanced technologies.

The model cities would likely feature a “smart grid” advanced power transmission network or buildings with facilities for renewable energy generation.

Smart grid, which uses information technology, is an efficient power transmission network that is expected to encourage the use of renewable energy such as solar and wind, because it can give stability to the output of electricity supplied by the fluctuating power sources.

Meanwhile, the declaration stipulated that the deployment of renewable energy, nuclear energy, and power generation involving carbon capture and storage technology should be “promoted,” calling these three “low emission” power sources.

Noting that a growing number of interested economies are using nuclear power to diversify their energy mix and limit carbon emissions, the declaration also referred to the need to assess the emissions reduction potential of nuclear power in APEC.

Toward new nuclear power plant construction, the declaration also said “solid financial frameworks, as well as cooperation among member economies and with relevant multilateral organizations” could be of help.

It is the first time for APEC to clearly stipulate the promotion of building new nuclear power plants, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 29th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 worldfocus.org/blog/2010/03/29/ai…

March 29, 2010
Air pollution worsens from world’s biggest emitter nation.

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dalai Lama voices support for Uighurs

By Jamil Anderlini and Kathrin Hille in Beijing
Published: March 10 2010, newsessentials.blogspot.com/…/dalai-lama-voices-support-for-uighurs.html

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, expressed solidarity and support for Muslim Uighurs on Wednesday, raising the spectre for Beijing of closer co-ordination between opponents of Chinese rule and minority groups in territories that have seen ethnic rioting in the past two years.

His comments came in a blistering attack on the ruling Communist party’s policies in his homeland that was timed to mark the anniversary of a Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule in 2008 and the 51st anniversary of the uprising that led to the Dalai Lama’s flight to India.“Let us also remember the people of East Turkestan [China’s Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region] who have experienced great difficulties and increased oppression, and the Chinese intellectuals campaigning for greater freedom who have received severe sentences. I would like to express my solidarity and stand firmly with them,” the Dalai Lama said in his statement.

There has been little co-ordination or communication between Tibetan and Uighur groups. The 2008 uprising in Tibet was separate from the bloody ethnic riots that broke out in Xinjiang last year.

Beijing’s response to the unrest has been heavy-handed, with a massive influx of troops into both regions and “patriotic re-education” campaigns.

The World Uighur Congress, an exile organisation, welcomed the Dalai Lama’s remarks and appealed to Beijing to respect the political will of the Tibetan and Uighur people.

“We both face the threat of suppression of our religion, cultural extinction and large-scale Chinese migration into our homelands,” it said.

A Chinese foreign ministry official referred questions to the United Front Department saying that any issues related to Tibet and the Dalai Lama were a domestic affair and not the foreign ministry’s responsibility. The United Front Department could not be reached for comment.

Posted by World Watch.

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Had China accepted the reality that it needs to allow more self-government to its ethnic and politically different component  regions – there would be no problem with the reintegration of Taiwan as part of a confederation of friendly states and cities.     We say this all the time on this website and we think it would be in China’s interest.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 7th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

In Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – the news were the record snow. So, that keeps them busy – the need to dig out from under that snow.

So far as governing goes, the Village Voice – that is Greenwich Village in new York City – wrote that the Republicans won a 41-59 majority as a result from the Massachusetts avalanche.

The new weather predictions are that the President will set now the agenda and expect the Democrats to follow – AMEN!       That is leadership – for God’s sake with 59 still standing – what do they wait for?

Further – he – that is Obama – will try to brow-beat the Republicans to cooperate first. The American people say Washington is too partisan ? If that were true the 59 would be good enough – but really? Who are the Obstructionists?

If Obama invites the Republicans to come on board that would be very clever – it would tell the Democrats to stop being obstructionists.

But, politics might be such that the Republicans feel comfortable to project that they are THE PARTY OF NO!

How do you pull out a rabbit from your top-hat? How do you change unemployment rates with nothing happening in the economy? The Republicans might be happy to see the Administration collapse – the country collapse – so who cares about OSAMA!

Obama tells the Democrats – we will be losers together if you do not shape up and they returned – SHOW US THE WAY!

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Next topic:  How long can the World’s biggest borrower continue to be the World’s biggest power?

If we get to the point that we have a difficulty to sell our treasuries in the world we will cease to be a big power – that came from Greenspan – the former head of the Federal Reserve. Henry Paulson, the present holder of that job seemed less convincing.

David Walker, former US Controller General – head of the GAO – now head of te Peterson Foundation – wrote a book on the US deficit that has reached now $1.56 trillion and this is untenable.

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Fareed Zakharia on China-US relations – a US – China economic war is MAD – that is Mutual Assured Destruction – he thinks that the two are symbiotically bound now. I think he is wrong. China has such a huge internal market that it can continue well by producing just for their own people without exports to the US. They may not want to do that because it would mean a too soon push at increasing China’s middle class and risking folks ask for a mellowing down of the political regime. But nevertheless, this does not assure an immediate rebellion. In the US rather – a rebellion is possible – or a call for some real war – internally or externally.

To the latest two skirmishes – the US sending $6.4 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan, and Obama hosting The Dalai Lama at the White House. Both topics are not new. The military hardware agreement with Taiwan was agreed in 2001, and the Dalai Lama has visited every single US previous President since he landed in India. Why did the Chinese get excited right now? That is before the April visit they will be making themselves to the White House? What about the Iran sanctions and the fact that Obama was left to wait outside that China conference room in Copenhagen? Are we going to see some muscle show here?

Christiane Amanpour, on her program had as guest Victor Gao, of the China National Association of International Studies.

He pointed out that the US sells weapons to Taiwan that it does not allow for sale to China. China is now the largest credit maker to the US. What if China buys less for several months? Is 2010 going to be the year that Obama gets tough and China gets nasty? Neither of them can afford a real trade war.

David Rothkopf affirmed that “we are interconnected” so we have to develop a different approach.

Victor Cha – he was on China desk at the National  Security Council. He said – This is a MUTUAL HOSTAGE GAME – both sides lose.

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Fareed Zakharia in Davos, had in front of an audience a half hour interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

It started out with Fareed pointing out the two main problems he thinks are facing Jordan: Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Islamic fighting movement, but he was brushed aside by the King who continued coming back to the Israeli – Palestinian problem.

Fareed said that no-one has yet lost money by betting against Peace in the Middle East, but the King countered that the credibility of the US is at stake. We desperately need the undivided attention of the US – he said. If God forbid we cross the line of the viability of the 2 State Solution, what are we left with – continuing warfare – or even worse – the One State solution that many Israelis dread?

Fareed wanted to know if there is a Jordan option and was told flatly by the King that it will not work – Jordan absolutely does not want the West Bank. Are we talking of a viable entity? A third of the UN do not recognize Israel now.  The building of the wall has made Israel safer Fareed said and he spoke with President Peres who believes in a two States solution for the future of Israel but because of the security threats they think only of today and not the future.

The King disagreed – the injustice felt towards the Palestinian people pushes all other issues. He thinks that if you solved the problem of the Palestinians why should Iran then want the nuclear power. It does not make any sense for them to continue on that path. For now, it is the Palestinian issue that propels Iran’s efforts. When asked if he thinks that if not for the Israeli – Palestinian issue, there would be no Islamic terrorism? The King retreated by saying that – for evil to succeed – is for good men to do nothing. Evil will always exist – the evil always will be evil. On November 9, 2005 we had our own 9/11 and proportionately we lost twice as many people as the US casualties. The Israeli-Palestinian issue is is incendiary that it drives everything else.

Fareed suggested that Professor Bernard Lewis explained that it was rather because of the lack of openness in the Muslim world that created the Al Qaeda – it was against Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We have 400 million young people in the Islamic world that need a direction. My role is to create a viable political Middle Class. If you want to move your country it is education – education – education. Bahrain speaks our language – so is a list of young countries that agree.

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Christiane Amanpour had a panel on security issues and wanted to know what are the real security problems today. Surely it was not what you would have expected to hear. She was told:

- Outer Space

- The Open Sea

- The Cyber Space

- The Polar Ice Caps.

So far as the conventional thinking she was told that Washington and Beijing have less to fear from each other then from failed States like Somalia.

When satellites become more crucial they become targets. Where are the National borders in cyber-space? Most governments cannot even define a cyber attack.

Zbigniew Brzezinski said that we have to define the nature of the threat. Today it is not as lethal as it was when within 6 hours we could have had 80 million casualties in the cold war. But today attacks are less predictable even though less lethal.

The US still has a higher sophisticated technology capability. The Google issue is a cyberthreat. Are the hackers from China government? Do they really come from China? We may have to retaliatete selectively and we must have a foreign policy that does not object to this.

The way the domestic policy goes now, will Obama continue the international engagement that he started out with so well? Now we have gridlock.

Brzezinski called for Presidential leadership. Also – the President should persevere with the Iran effort.

The other topic is the Israeli -Palestinian conflict. Rhetorically Obama gets an A, For Performance a B or B-

On space – we must avoid a nuclear race in space – we must have the capacity to shoot down satellites and space vehicles.

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From the Kathie Crowley show – her interview with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, I picked up one fleting issue – the names of the countries the Secretary mentioned as friends to work with in the present world. She clearly mentioned the big two China and India, but then she spoke also of other major economies – Brazil, South Africa and Turkey. I mention this here because it vindicates our recent decision to move Turkey to the Home-page of www.SustainabiliTank.info and it seems that we were right.

Clearly, there were no Europeans mentioned in that segment, neither Mexico nor Canada or Japan.

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