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    Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

    Biden calls for trust with China amid airspace dispute

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, visiting China as a dispute over a new Chinese air defence zone rattles nerves around the region, said on Wednesday that relations between Washington and Beijing had to be based on trust.

    Beijing’s decision to declare an air defence identification zone in an area that includes disputed islands has triggered protests from the United States, Japan and South Korea and dominated Biden’s talks in Tokyo on Tuesday.


    The United States has made clear it will stand by treaty obligations that require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but it is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between rivals Japan and China.

    Biden told Chinese President Xi Jinping he believed Xi was a candid and constructive person.

    “In developing this new relationship, both qualities are sorely needed,” Biden said during a meeting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

    “Candor generates trust. Trust is the basis on which real change, constructive change, is made.”

    Xi said the international situation and regional landscape were “undergoing profound and complex changes”.

    “Regional issues keep cropping up and there are more pronounced global challenges such as climate change and energy security. The world is not tranquil,” he added.

    Neither made any mention of the air defence zone in remarks before reporters. Biden flies to Seoul on Thursday.

    As Biden arrived, the official English-language China Daily said in a strongly worded editorial that he “should not expect any substantial headway if he comes simply to repeat his government’s previous erroneous and one-sided remarks”.

    “If the U.S. is truly committed to lowering tensions in the region, it must first stop acquiescing to Tokyo’s dangerous brinkmanship. It must stop emboldening belligerent Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to constantly push the envelope of Japan’s encroachments and provocations.”

    Under the zone’s rules, all aircraft have to report flight plans to Chinese authorities, maintain radio contact and reply promptly to identification inquiries.

    U.S., Japanese and South Korean military aircraft have breached the zone without informing Beijing since it was announced on Nov. 23.

    India's Mars mission enters second stage; outpaces space rival China


    The success of the spacecraft, scheduled to orbit Mars by next September, would carry India into a small club of nations including the United States, Europe, and Russia, whose probes have orbited or landed on Mars.

    India's first mission to Mars left Earth's orbit in the early hours of Sunday, clearing a critical hurdle in its journey to the red planet and overtaking the recent efforts of rival Asian giant China.

    The success of the spacecraft, scheduled to orbit Mars by next September, would carry India into a small club of nations including the United States, Europe, and Russia, whose probes have orbited or landed on Mars.

    India's venture, called Mangalyaan, faces further hurdles still on its journey to Mars. Fewer than half of missions to the planet succeed.

    "While Mangalyaan takes 1.2 billion dreams to Mars, we wish you sweet dreams!" India's space agency said in a tweet soon after the event, referring to the citizens of the world's second-most populous country.

    China's Mars probe rode piggyback on a Russian spacecraft that failed to leave Earth's orbit in November 2011. The spacecraft disintegrated in the atmosphere and its fragments fell into the Pacific Ocean last year.

    India's mission showcases the country's cheap technology,  encouraging hopes it could capture more of the $304-billion global space market, which includes launching satellites for other countries, analysts say.

    "Given its cost-effective technology, India is attractive," said Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, an expert on space security at the Observer Research Foundation think-tank in Delhi.

    India's low-cost Mars mission has a price tag of 4.5 billion rupees ($73 million), just over a tenth of the cost of NASA's latest mission there, which launched on Nov. 18.

    Homegrown companies -- including India's largest infrastructure group Larsen & Toubro, one of its biggest conglomerates, Godrej & Boyce, state-owned aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Walchand Nagar Industries -- made more than two-thirds of the parts for both the probe and the rocket that launched it on November 5.

    India's probe completed six orbits around Earth before Sunday's "slingshot", which took it into a path around the sun to carry it towards Mars. The slingshot requires precise calculations to eliminate the risk of missing the new orbit.

    Nokia Lumia 800C And Lumia 610C Announced For China Telecom

    The Nokia Lumia 800C is the first CDMA Windows Phone in China. Apart from the Lumia 800C, Nokia also announced the Nokia Lumia 610C smartphone. It is also the CDMA variant of the Nokia Lumia 610 smartphone. The Nokia 610C is specially targeted at the youngsters for social networking and fast communications.

    “We’re excited to introduce our first Lumia smartphone, the Nokia 800C, to this important market with our exclusive launch partner, China Telecom. Working closely together, we’ve created a compelling, locally relevant experience on the Nokia 800C especially tailored for people in China.”


    Nokia Lumia 800C features a 3.7 inch AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 480 × 800 pixels, 1.4 GHz single core processor, 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, HD (720p) video recording and playback, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, up to 335 hrs of stand-by time and a 1450mAh battery.

    Nokia Lumia 610C features a 3.7 inch LCD display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, 256 MB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, XBOX Live Hub, up to 720 hrs of stand-by time, up to 9.5 hrs of talk-time and a 1300 mAh battery.

    North Korea moves long-range Rocket to launch Pad

    Just hours after the United States warned that North Korea would achieve nothing with threats or provocations, Pyongyang moved a long-range rocket it plans to test fire to a launch pad Monday, a South Korean defense ministry official said.

    The news broke at the start of a two-day nuclear summit in Seoul that is bringing together leaders from the United States, Russia, China and dozens of other nations to discuss how to deal with nuclear terrorism and how to secure the world's nuclear material.

    But North Korea's announcement that it plans to carry out a rocket-powered satellite launch in mid-April is overshadowing a message of international cooperation for the summit.

    South Korea has said it considers the satellite launch an attempt to develop a nuclear-armed missile, while U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday such a launch would bring repercussions.

    "Here in Korea, I want to speak directly to the leadership in Pyongyang. The United States has no hostile intent toward your country," Obama said during a speech to students at Seoul's Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

    "But by now it should be clear, your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek. They have undermined it."

    If the rocket is launched, South Korea is prepared to "track its trajectory," said the defense ministry official, who did not want to be named.

    "There are concerns that parts of the rocket may fall within South Korean territory," he said. "If that were to happen it would threaten lives and cause damage to the economy. To guard against that, they (the military) will be tracking the orbit."

    The official did not say what steps South Korea would be forced to take if it determined the rocket was falling within its territory.

    The rocket was moved to a launch pad in the northeastern portion of Dongchang-ri, a village in northwest North Korea, the official said.

    South Korea Dog Meat Festival Cancelled After Animal Rights Protests

    Dog may be a staple ingredient in various Asian cuisines, but that wasn't enough to silence South Korean animal rights activists, whose repeated protests lead to the cancellation of a Seongnam festival focused on promoting canine meat's consumption.

    As the AFP is reporting, the festival -- planned to “showcase canine food products, including barbecued dog, sausages and steamed paws” and to be held in a traditional open-air market -- quickly stirred fury from South Korean animal advocates and many Internet users, who conducted several online campaigns to force the event's cancellation. "This is making our country an international laughing stock, and making the whole world mistakenly believe that all South Koreans eat dogs," Park So-Youn, head of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth, is quoted as saying.

    The continued protests eventually led to a lack of appropriate space for the event. "We couldn't possibly go on with the plan due to endless phone calls of complaint...now there are few willing to rent us a place for the event," Ann Yong-Geun, an adviser to Korea Dog Farmers' Association and a professor of nutrition at Chung Cheong University, told AFP.

    Though the event has already garnered international headlines, just how popular dog meat truly is throughout South Korea remains a matter of debate. As the Wall Street Journal notes, dog meat soup, for example, "is not as popular as most news stories make it seem. A minority of people eat it regularly. It’s consumed most frequently in summer but is available year-round. And it’s more popular with men than women and is said to possess qualities that “help stamina.”

    Hu Jia Released: Prominent Chinese Activist Freed From Jail

    A prominent Chinese political activist imprisoned for sedition was released Sunday at the end of his more than three-year sentence, his wife said, though his freedom could be limited by continued surveillance.

    A major figure in China's dissident community, Hu Jia advocated a broad range of civil liberties before he was imprisoned in 2008. His 3 1/2-year prison sentence was set to end Sunday.

    He returned home before dawn, Hu's wife Zeng Jinyan said in an online message. "Safe, very happy. Needs to recuperate for a period of time," Zeng said in a Twitter message.

    No one answered Zeng's phones on Sunday, but she had said earlier she would announce his release on Twitter. She had visited him on Monday at the Beijing Municipal Prison.

    Hu, 37, is known for his activism with AIDS patients and orphans. The sedition charge stems from police accusations that he planned to work with foreigners to disturb the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    Hu's release comes amid one of the Chinese government's broadest campaigns of repression in years as Beijing has moved to prevent the growth of an Arab-style protest movement.

    Like other dissidents released recently from jail, Hu might be kept under some sort of continued detention in his home, although such restrictions are illegal in China.

    Hu's release comes several days after outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei were released after nearly three months in detention. He was one of the most prominent activists detained in China's sweeping crackdown on dissent, which began in February

    China Warns U.S. To Stay Out Of Sea Dispute

    China urged the United States on Wednesday to leave the South China Sea dispute to the claimant states, saying that U.S. involvement may make the situation worse, its most direct warning to Washington in recent weeks.
    Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai's comments to a small group of foreign reporters ahead of a meeting with U.S. officials in Hawaii this weekend come amid the biggest flare-up in regional tension in years over competing maritime sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.
    Tension has risen in the region in the past month on concern that China is becoming more assertive in its claim to waters believed to be rich in oil and gas.
    Part of the waters are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
    "The United States is not a claimant state to the dispute in the South China Sea and so it's better for the United States to leave the dispute to be sorted out between claimant states," Cui said.
    "While some American friends may want the United States to help in this matter, we appreciate their gesture but more often than not such gestures will only make things more complicated," he said.

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