China can weigh reconnaissance on US

(Global Times) 08:16, August 28, 2014

China and the US started a two-day meeting at the Pentagon on Wednesday to negotiate a code of conduct on the high seas, in the wake of a Chinese fighter jet intercepting a US spy plane near the Hainan Island. Although the meeting was set up before this incident, it is believed the near-miss will make a difference during the negotiations.
Given the fact that Washington’s determination to continue its short-range surveillance of China is as strong as China’s commitment to drive US planes away, whether the 2001 mid-air collision could recur has become a Sword of Damocles above their heads.
The new strategic trajectory of Asia-Pacific, namely China is growing stronger and a containment circle drawn by the US and its allies is taking shape, is changing the mindsets of both sides to define specific conflicts. If the 2001 incident happened again, the possibility of an all-out crisis between both sides will increase.

Continue reading “China can weigh reconnaissance on US”

Modern slavery generates $150 billion in profits globally per year – ILO

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Tue, 20 May 2014 07:44 AM

Author: Astrid ZweynertMore news from our correspondents

March 24, 2014. REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of forced labourers around the world are generating an estimated $150 billion a year in profits for those who exploit them, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Tuesday.

Two thirds, or $99 billion, came from commercial sexual exploitation, while another $51 billion resulted from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture and other economic activities, according to the ILO report, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour.


Continue reading “Modern slavery generates $150 billion in profits globally per year – ILO”

Commentary: It’s U.S., Japan that need to clarify military intentionsBy

EEV: A commentary from the Peoples Daily Online are views of the Chinese Government. Language is very symbolic in this region. This is a pretty serious escalation. It was just a week a ago they publicly mocked Ambassador Locke.

The South China Sea, showing surrounding count...
The South China Sea, showing surrounding countries and neighbouring seas and oceans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-Japan, for its part, has already become a recidivous troublemaker in the region and set the world’s nerves on edge as increasingly rampant rightist elements attempt to deny history, sabotage the postwar world order and scuttle the pacifist constitution.

Deng Yushan (Xinhua) 11:23, March 06, 2014

BEIJING, March 5 — The newly revealed 12.2-percent increase of Chinese military spending to 132 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 has unsurprisingly met with an immediate outcry of “concerns” and “worries” from certain countries. Continue reading “Commentary: It’s U.S., Japan that need to clarify military intentionsBy”

This is the Racist Editorial on Ambassador Locke / Goodbye, Luo Shi Fei!

EEV: Bing Translator  / Original Below

February 27, 2014, at 20:37 source: China News Network

Locke is a United States-born third-generation Chinese-American, his “yellow skin and white heart” banana person property into President Obama’s diplomatic advantage. United States Pacific revealed a new strategy, selecting during his tenure. Because, a person to be letting you down, always left to the people, “I’m doing this for your sake” impression. Dang United States in the Asia-Pacific and constantly stirring up the eddies, creating contradictions when a traveler on the surface of living abroad for a long time, with black hair and yellow skin, vessel for the United States applauded. Really played a good soft-shoe routine.

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...
Official portrait of United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Banana, however long, “yellow skin” is always to be rotting, not only “white heart” out, becomes sick of “black”. Luo Shi may think yellow-skinned appearance alone is not enough. Experienced United States political campaigns-show Luo Shi understands use of the media. As a result, a variety of “light truck line tours, backpack, coach Jane” drama took turns to take the stage. At first, indeed made plain good Chinese eyes. But then I think, puts the business class, splendor, and “accidentally” in front of the camera to sit in economy class, eat fast food, and rich people and the occasional farmhouse and photo upload “for show” what’s the difference? Luo Shi for show, I can’t say, at least American media said long Jing Junjun, running for Governor of the State of the State of Washington during his term for territorial corporate bribery has always been “we have”. Continue reading “This is the Racist Editorial on Ambassador Locke / Goodbye, Luo Shi Fei!”

NSA asked Japan to tap regionwide fiber-optic cables in 2011


The U.S. National Security Agency sought the Japanese government’s cooperation in 2011 over wiretapping fiber-optic cables carrying phone and Internet data across the Asia-Pacific region, but the request was rejected, sources said Saturday.The agency’s overture was apparently aimed at gathering information on China given that Japan is at the heart of optical cables that connect various parts of the region. But Tokyo turned down the proposal, citing legal restrictions and a shortage of personnel, the sources said.

The NSA asked Tokyo if it could intercept personal information from communication data passing through Japan via cables connecting it, China and other regional areas, including Internet activity and phone calls, they said.

Faced with China’s growing presence in the cyberworld and the need to bolster information about international terrorists, the United States may have been looking into whether Japan, its top regional ally, could offer help similar to that provided by Britain, according to the sources.

Based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, British newspaper The Guardian reported that the agency had been sharing data intercepted by Britain’s spy agency, GCHQ, through transatlantic cables since 2011.

But Tokyo decided it could not do so because under current legislation, it cannot intercept such communications even if the aim is to prevent a terrorist act. Japan also has a substantially smaller number of intelligence personnel, compared with the NSA’s estimated 30,000 employees, the sources said.

A separate source familiar with intelligence activities of major nations said the volume of data that would need to be intercepted from fiber-optic cables would require a massive number of workers and the assistance of the private sector.

Satellite Wars: China unveils ‘cheaper’ answer to GPS

Published: 27 December, 2012, 22:33 Edited: 27 December, 2012, 22:33


China’s rapidly-expanding rival to GPS, called BeiDou, has become available to customers across Asia-Pacific for the first time. It aims to claim a fifth of the satellite services market in the region in just three years.

Previously, the satellite constellation was only used by the country’s military and government services. Now, it is being commercialized.

“The services now available include positioning, navigation, timing and short messages for China and surrounding areas. We hope BeiDou conquers 15 to 20 percent of the satellite services market in the Asia Pacific by 2015,” BeiDou spokesman Ran Chengqi announced at a press conference in Beijing, reported by Xinhua news agency.

China says that as it expands worldwide, the state-funded navigation system will bring in revenues of more than $60 billion a year.

At the moment, a user receiving BeiDou’s signal can determine their position to within ten meters. Most civilian GPS users are given positional data that is out by no more than 2 meters, but BeiDou’s makers say their services will be much cheaper than those of the US-government owned GPS.

BeiDou, which is the Chinese term for the Big Dipper star, is also expanding at an impressive rate, meaning it will soon be able to bridge the performance gap.

While GPS has been active since the 1970s, and has satellites in orbit that have been operating for two decades, BeiDou launched the first of its current generation satellites only five years ago.

GPS comprises 30 satellites, while BeiDou already has over fifteen, and is going to have another forty in orbit by the time the network is complete in 2020, at the cost of another $6 billion, according to Ran. The greater the number of satellites, the easier it is for the system to calculate location, time and velocity of moving objects.

But even if it matches the performance of the more established rival, BeiDou faces a long road to dislodging it from its dominance. As of now, 95 percent of equipment in China that uses a positioning system – and that includes mobile phones, navigators, watches and ATMs – relies on GPS services. The Chinese satellite data market is estimated to be worth almost $20 billion.

While BeiDou cannot be expected to supplant its successful predecessor instantaneously, many devices may be manufactured to receive signals from both of the systems, particularly with the government encouraging local producers to support the system. BeiDou receiver chips are currently more expensive than those for GPS, but prices should come down as they become more common.

Even if BeiDou does not hit its financial targets, it is still likely to be supported by Beijing at the behest of its armed forces, who are reluctant to rely on a foreign signal in all of its key military operations and equipment.  BeiDou’s first incarnation – which was launched in 2000 and consists of 4 satellites – was a largely military program.

The global satellite navigation segment has become a crowded marketplace over the past decade, and looks to become even more so. Russia recently completed its constellation of Glonass satellites (though it has since lost one). Europe is unrolling its Galileo system, while other countries such as India and Japan plan to develop at least regional navigation networks.

Whether these systems can truly compete with already accepted and functionally efficient GPS, or whether  they will remain vanity projects for emerging and powerful states, will be the big question over the next decade.

US intensifies military encirclement of China

Nov 24, 2012 11:48 Moscow Time

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“With the emergence of China as the world’s second-largest economy and its concomitant renewal of (comparatively minor) territorial claims in the East China Sea and South China Sea, the stage is set for a U.S.-Chinese confrontation of a nature and on a scale not seen since before the Sino-Soviet split of 1960”, Rick Rozoff, Stop Nato International.

Following the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization throughout Europe over the past thirteen years, every European nation is now a full member of or involved in one or more partnership arrangements with the U.S.-led military bloc (except for Cyprus, which, however, is under intensified pressure to join the Partnership for Peace program). Having thus enforced a cordon sanitaire on Russia’s western and much of its southern frontier, it was inevitable that the U.S. and its allies would next move to encircle, quarantine and ultimately confront China.

In the past decade the Pentagon has begun conducting annual multinational military exercises in countries bordering China (Khaan Quest in Mongolia, Steppe Eagle in Kazakhstan) and near it (Angkor Sentinel in Cambodia), has with its NATO allies waged war and moved into bases in nations bordering China – Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan – as well as nearby Uzbekistan, and, even before the official announcement of the strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region, acquired the use of new military facilities in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.

President Obama’s current visit to Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s simultaneous trip to Australia, Cambodia and Thailand are exemplary of this trend.

Early this year NATO announced the launching of its latest, and first non-geographically specific, partnership program, Partners Across the Globe, which began with the incorporation of eight Asia-Pacific nations: Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Korea.

Since the summer of 2010 the U.S. has been courting the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), several of whom are embroiled in island disputes with China, for inclusion into a rapidly evolving Asian analogue of NATO. This includes the eight above-mentioned new NATO partners and is intended to be a super-Cold War era-like bloc, subsuming the former members of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS) into a systematic initiative aimed against China.

The so-called “Asia-Pacific pivot” also entails the deployment of 60 percent of total American naval assets – quantitatively the largest and qualitatively the most technologically advanced and lethal in the world – to the Asia-Pacific region. Even before that, the U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility had included over 50 percent of the world’s surface, more than 100 million square miles, with U.S. Central Command bordering China and India in the other direction. The U.S. Seventh Fleet, tasked to patrol the waters of the Asia-Pacific, is the largest overseas naval force in the world and will be further enhanced by the U.S. Navy’s intensified deployment to the region. The U.S. has eleven of the world’s twelve nuclear aircraft carriers and all eleven supercarriers.

Washington is also incorporating several Asia-Pacific nations into its global interceptor missile grid, in its initial avatar launched in conjunction with NATO and the so-called European Phased Adaptive Approach, which will station increasingly longer-range land-based missiles in Romania and Poland. This in addition to Aegis class cruisers and destroyers equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors in the Mediterranean and likely later in the Baltic, Norwegian, Black and even Barents Seas.

The Pentagon’s partners in the Asia-Pacific wing of the international missile system, which targets China, as the European version does Russia, include to date Japan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan, with the Philippines reported to be the future host of two Forward-Based X-Band Radar-Transportable interceptor sites of the sort deployed to Turkey at the beginning of this year and to Israel in 2008.

China is a key component of the two groups representing the greatest potential for a multi-polar world, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russia, its partner in both, confronting the same threats from the West, must, in its own interest as well as those of world peace and equilibrium, support China against American brinkmanship and gunboat diplomacy.

For the first time more millionaires call Asia-Pacific, instead of North America, ‘home’

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:10 EDT

Swimming pool on a sunny day.Pattaya city in Thailand via Shutterstock

Asia-Pacific has overtaken North America as home to the most millionaires for the first time, boosted by a rise in the number of wealthy in China and Japan, a report released on Wednesday showed.

The region had 3.37 million high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2011 compared to North America’s 3.35 million, a study jointly published by consulting firm Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management found.

Europe possessed 3.17 million HNWIs, which are defined as those having investable assets of $1 million or more excluding their primary residence and luxury possessions including art.


“Asia-Pacific is now home to more high net worth individuals than any other region for the first time,” Barend Janssens, head of emerging markets for RBC, told a press conference in Singapore.

Asia-Pacific overtook Europe in 2010 to take second place and a strong growth in the millionaire population — particularly in Japan and China — coupled with a fall in the number of the rich in North America led to the region taking first, Janssens said.

“The most significant finding is that Asia-Pacific’s population of high net worth individuals grew at a rate of 1.6 percent in 2011, twice the rate of the global population of 0.8 percent,” he said.

“This is driven by growth in Japan of up to 4.8 percent and China of up to 5.2 percent.”

Japanese formed the bulk of the HNWIs in the Asia-Pacific, constituting 54.1 percent of the total regional population of the rich.

China and Australia ranked second and third at 16.7 percent and 5.3 percent respectively.


Together, the three countries accounted for 76.1 percent of HNWIs in the region.

Despite hosting the most HNWIs, Asia-Pacific still lagged behind in terms of total investable wealth at $10.7 trillion, compared to $11.4 trillion for North America.

International factors such as the eurozone crisis coupled with domestic issues, including, sinking property prices and inflation bit into the pockets of millionaires, said Claire Sauvanaud, vice president of Capgemini Asia-Pacific.

International capital outflows from the region also held back its rich, with China and India seeing $1.6 billion and $4.09 billion in foreign institutional investor funds leave their markets last year, data showed.

But Sauvanaud said the region — led by economic powerhouses China and India — would be able to weather the problems.

“The diverse nature of Asia-Pacific exports and economies means the outlook for the region as a whole remains very strong,” she stated.

“China and India are the ones to watch. Despite their challenges they are likely to remain two of the fastest-growing economies in the world in the very near future.”

[Swimming pool on a sunny day.Pattaya city in Thailand, via]

The malaria species rampant in the Asia-Pacific region has been a significant driver of evolution of the human genome, a new study has shown.

‘Benign’ Malaria Key Driver of Human Evolution in Asia-Pacific

ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2012)

Professor Ivo Mueller led a study that showed the malaria species rampant in the Asia-Pacific region has been a significant driver of evolution of the human genome

An international team of researchers has shown that Plasmodium vivax malaria, the most prevalent malaria species in the Asia-Pacific, is a significant cause of genetic evolution that provides protection against malaria.

Their finding challenges the widely-accepted theory that Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most lethal form of malaria, is the only malaria parasite capable of driving genome evolution in humans. The study was published today in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Professor Ivo Mueller from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB) led the study, with colleagues from the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Centre of Global Health and Diseases, US, and the University of Western Australia.

Malaria is a devastating parasitic disease that kills up to one million people a year. It is a major cause of poverty and a barrier to economic development. Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria infection.

“Humans and malaria parasites have been co-evolving for thousands of years,” Professor Mueller said. “Malaria has been a major force in the evolution of the human genome, with gene mutations that provide humans with some protection against the disease being preserved through natural selection because they aid in survival.”

Professor Mueller said the study has challenged the perception that P. falciparum malaria is the only malaria species that affects human genome evolution. “It has long been assumed that Plasmodium falciparum, the species that causes the most severe disease and most deaths from malaria, is the most important driver of this gene selection in humans,” Professor Mueller said. “Our results suggest that P. vivax malaria, though until recently widely considered to be a ‘benign’ form of malaria, actually causes severe enough disease to provide evolutionary selection pressures in the Asia-Pacific.”

Professor Mueller said that the research team was interested in whether P. vivax malaria might be the cause of the unusually high rates of Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO), a hereditary red blood cell disorder, in the Asia-Pacific region. “SAO occurs in approximately 10 to 15 per cent of the population in parts of the South West Pacific and is caused by a hereditary mutation in a single copy of a gene that makes a red blood cell membrane protein. This is almost an absurdly high frequency when you consider that inheriting two copies of the mutation is invariably fatal, so we figured it must confer a strong advantage to the carriers,” he said.

The research team looked at the incidence of P. vivax and P. falciparum infections in three studies that included a total of 1975 children in Papua New Guinea aged 0-14 years. “We found that SAO-positive children were significantly protected against P. vivax infection, with 46 per cent reduction of clinical disease in infants with little or no immunity, and 52-55 per cent reduction in the risk of infection in older children. We also saw a significant decrease in parasite numbers in infants and older children, which is linked to a decrease in risk of clinical disease,” Professor Mueller said.

The finding could have dramatic implications for future malaria vaccine design and development, Professor Mueller said. “Studying the mechanisms that cause SAO-positive people to be protected against P. vivax malaria could help us to better understand the mechanics of infection and help us to identify better targets for a malaria vaccine,” he said.

The research was supported by the MalariaGEN Consortium, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Research and Development, AusAID and the Victorian Government