First shipment of Australian coal to China at dock in two years

(Bloomberg) – Australia’s first coal shipment to China in more than two years is about to dock, providing clear evidence of a clear thaw in trade relations between the two countries after months of diplomatic talks.

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The bulk carrier Magic Eclipse dropped anchor off the southern port city of Zhanjiang on Thursday morning, according to Bloomberg maritime data. It transports metallurgical coal mined in Australia to the Chinese market. Zhanjiang is a center of steel production in China.

The Australian government welcomes “any action taken to remove barriers to trade,” Trade Secretary Don Farrell said in a statement on Thursday.

China imposed informal restrictions on the use of Australian coal in 2020 after then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 in Wuhan earlier this year.

Trade sanctions ordered by Beijing also extended to lucrative agricultural exports such as wine, barley and lobster. China is Australia’s largest trading partner.

However, diplomatic relations between Canberra and Beijing have steadily improved following the election of a centre-left Labor government in May. Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with his counterpart Farrell on Monday for the first bilateral trade talks in more than two years.

The two ministers agreed to “intensify the dialogue” to ensure “the rapid and full resumption of trade”.

A second shipment of coal from Australia is expected to dock in China later this month, cementing renewed trade ties.

(Updates with Commerce Secretary’s statement in third paragraph.)

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#shipment #Australian #coal #China #dock #years

China unveils massive blockchain cluster that could be a taste of our dystopian future

Chinese media has revealed details of the country’s massive blockchain efforts to manage its people’s data, and what it is capable of is almost unthinkable.

As a result BJD (opens in a new tab), the Beijing-based giant known as “Honeycomb” has 1,000 high-performance servers, the total of which is capable of processing 240 million smart contract transactions per second.

It is said that data security and privacy with much data verification will underpin transactions across a range of industries including travel, online shopping, hospital registrations, settlements business-to-business financing, government cooperation and many more.

Honeycomb blockchain cluster

Chang’an Chain, the country’s native two-year-old “independently governable blockchain hardware and software technology system,” is behind this latest development in Beijing.

Some have touted this as an important moment for China, as countries like the United States have imposed a series of restrictions preventing trade in certain technologies.

The fact that the country is able to support such extensive construction and development is proof that it may no longer need contributions from other countries and is ahead of many others.

BJD claims that the blockchain cluster could serve to break down “islands of information”, allowing more than 80 departments and 16 districts to collaborate and share data more efficiently, all with the aim of establishing the “coordination” of its system of governance.

The report points out that this would “make people’s lives much easier”, but for many it could just be another step in the wrong direction as the republic continues to collect more data on its citizens.

About the registry (opens in a new tab)


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Analysis – China has reason to remain calm after US shoots down alleged spy balloon

By Ryan Woo and Greg Torode

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China may react to the United States’ launch of its alleged spy balloon after warning of “serious repercussions”, but analysts say every move is likely to be finely calibrated to prevent relations from unraveling. deteriorate, both parties attempted to repair.

Regional analysts and diplomats are closely watching China’s response after a US fighter jet shot down what Beijing said was a mistaken weather-monitoring vehicle in the Atlantic Ocean off South Carolina on Saturday.

China condemned Sunday’s attack as an “overreaction” and said it reserved the right to use necessary means to deal with “similar situations”, without giving further details.

Some analysts said they would be scanning the seas and skies of East Asia for signs of tension amid growing deployments of ships and planes from China and the United States and from their allies.

But as bilateral tensions have risen in recent days over the balloon crash, Beijing and Washington have sought to rekindle ties.

The discovery of the balloon in the upper atmosphere over North America prompted the United States to postpone Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing this week. The trip came following a November summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

The two sides are widely seen as keen to stabilize their relationship after a turbulent few years, with the Biden administration wary of tensions fueling disputes and Xi predicting a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy after a severe COVID-19 outbreak has the burglary at the mind.

The path to rebuilding U.S.-China relations likely remains on track, said Zhao Tong, senior fellow at the China office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and visiting fellow at Princeton University.

“Both sides still share a strong interest in stabilizing the bilateral relationship and handling it responsibly,” Zhao told Reuters.

Sweep under the carpet

Collin Koh, a security researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, predicted that China would continue to respond vigorously to US military reconnaissance patrols, but refrain from confrontation.

Even in the quietest of times, Chinese forces actively follow U.S. military patrols, especially at sea, amid tensions over Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea, according to regional military attachés.

“Against manned platforms, one would expect China to exercise restraint, but vis-à-vis unmanned platforms, it becomes more dangerous – especially if Beijing thinks it is possible to contain the fallout since there is no crew,” Koh said.

He pointed to China’s seizure of a US underwater glider used by an oceanographic research vessel off the Philippines in December 2016. The Chinese navy then returned it to a US warship.

Christopher Twomey, a security researcher at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, said any Chinese response would be limited.

“I would expect them to protest moderately, but I hope to sweep this under the rug and restore the progress of high profile visits within a few months,” Twomey said privately.

Zhu Feng, executive dean of Nanjing University’s School of International Studies, said US officials should stop “hype” to ensure a smooth return to the normalized communications they previously demanded. in Beijing.

Zhu expressed hope that “the two governments can turn the page as soon as possible so that China-US relations can return to an institutionalized channel of communication and dialogue.”

Some analysts are monitoring Chinese state media and online activity for clues to calls for a tougher response, as China’s mainstream state media has been limited to reporting official statements.

There was little evidence on China’s heavily censored social media that nationalist anger was being stoked by the incident, with many netizens wondering what the commotion over a balloon was.

“Now China can decommission its satellites!” joked one user.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing and Greg Torode in Hong Kong; Editing by William Mallard)


#Analysis #China #reason #remain #calm #shoots #alleged #spy #balloon

Can the surveillance balloon be located in China?

Surveillance balloons track prevailing winds

The US has accused China of dropping a surveillance balloon over sensitive US territory, but what evidence is there that it came from China?

Chinese authorities now say it is theirs but say it is for scientific research and has gone off the rails.

Where was the ball seen?

According to US authorities, the balloon was monitored as it passed over the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and Canadian territory before emerging over the town of Billings, Montana on Wednesday, where it was been spotted in the sky by locals.

Map showing Montana, Billings and Malmstrom Air Force Base

The Pentagon says it tracked the balloon over US airspace with manned aircraft and the surveillance device flew over sensitive locations.

Do we know where the ball comes from?

Not sure. We don’t have flight tracking data like we would have for airliners, for example, so we have to look to other sources of information.

One technique used to estimate the trajectory of particles or objects at high altitudes is to use a model based on wind speed and direction.

Map showing the balloon’s possible route from China to the United States

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Department (NOAA) has developed such a model (known as HYSPLIT) based on winds at altitudes above 14,000 m (46,000 ft).

“Its main application,” says BBC Weather’s Simon King, “is to calculate the transport and spread of things like pollutants and hazardous substances through the atmosphere.

“The model also works in reverse – what is called the return trajectory – where we can see where anything that is carried in the air is coming from, such as pollutants, ash or other materials.

“In the case of the balloon over the United States, this return path can show where the air carrying the balloon is coming from and, by analyzing the direction and speed of the wind, where it will fly in the future. “

American meteorologist Dan Satterfield used this model to calculate a possible route that the surveillance balloon took and took shared their findings online.

From the position sighted in Montana on Feb. 1, he estimated a possible return route for the ball based on wind data from central China.

It should be emphasized that this is not the actual trajectory of the surveillance balloon, but an analysis based on the model developed by the US government agency NOAA.

Graphic of a high-altitude balloon showing a helium-filled balloon, solar panels, and an instrument bay that can hold cameras, radar, and communications equipment. They can fly at altitudes of 80,000 to 120,000 feet, higher than fighter jets and airliners


#surveillance #balloon #located #China

To Confront China… Asian Country Grants America ‘4 Military Bases’

Philippine and US officials said in a joint statement that Washington and Manila agreed to expand an existing agreement to include four new sites “in strategic areas of the country.”

The agreement was reached during a visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Manila, as the two countries seek to repair ties that were strained in recent years under former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who advocated a rapprochement with China, but the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos appears keen about reversing this trend.

“The Philippines and the United States are proud to announce their plans to accelerate the full implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, by agreeing to identify four new agreed sites in strategic regions of the country,” the statement said.

Before the statement was released, a senior Philippine official told AFP that talks were underway on a possible fifth rule.

The two countries have a decades-old security alliance that includes a mutual defense agreement and an enhanced defense cooperation agreement signed in 2014 that allows US forces to be present in 5 Philippine bases, including those near disputed waters, and allows the US military to store defense equipment and supplies in these bases.

#Confront #China #Asian #Country #Grants #America #Military #Bases

ASTERIX and OBELIX The Middle Kingdom: An Analysis of Programmed Failure (Review) – JEUXACTU

Asterix and Obelix the Middle Kingdom: An Analysis of Programmed Failure (Review)gamesactu ,