Category Archives: China
China’s thrill-seeking nouveau riche are being offered a £50,000 trip of a lifetime – hunting down endangered polar bears, the Daily Mail can reveal.
The expensive price tag for the 10-day expedition across the polar ice pack in Canada includes the services of a taxidermist, who at the end of the hunt turns the trophy specimens into prized rugs for the “rookie” hunters’ living rooms.
‘The polar bear is the most extreme of natural enemies in North America,’ declares the Beijing-based I Love Hunting Club in its brochure.
Included in the cost are luxury facilities, hunting licenses issued by the Canadian Government, visas, an interpreter, “rifles and bullets” and the “highest standard of outdoor sports insurance”.
‘Each hunter is allowed to kill one male only. We then turn them into rugs.
‘Many Chinese buy expensive polar rugs smuggled into China. But these cost up to £40,000 pound each, so going to hunt for your own is attractive to my clients,’ said the hunting club’s owner, Scott Lupien, a professional hunter from California.
Mr Lupien says his club caters to two kinds of clients – experienced enthusiasts and novice tycoons seeking their first kill.
‘I also teach the Chinese about conservation. That is an important part of the trip. Hunting by quota helps endangered species,’ said Mr Lupien, who also offers hunting trips to South Africa, the US and South America.
‘If a male runs into a female with cubs, it attacks the cubs. Hunting males actually helps the young population survive,’ claimed fluent Chinese-speaker Mr Lupien, 43, who has been running his club in China for four years.
‘The animal rights guys know this but they don’t want to admit it. And if you believe the ice caps are melting as some claim, these bears are going to die anyway, so you may as well hunt them,’ he told the Daily Mail.
Mr Lupien’s website, 52safari.com, shows numerous videos of Chinese hunters shooting lions, zebra, gazelles, moose, black bears and mountain lions, among other species.
The “only professional hunting club” in China was last night condemned by international animal rights groups and the public.
read more at www.dailymail.co.uk
- We’re shooting polar bears?!? (macleans.ca)
- Elite Hunting Club for Chinese Millionaires Sparks Anger (ibtimes.com)
- Government-sponsored polar bear hunting in Canada? (switchboard.nrdc.org)
Chinese hackers gained control over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in November, which could have allowed them delete sensitive files, add user accounts to mission-critical systems, upload hacking tools, and more — all at a central repository of U.S. space technology, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon by the Office of the Inspector General.
That report revealed scant details of an ongoing investigation into the incident against the Pasadena, Calif., lab, noting only that cyberattacks against the JPL involved Chinese-based Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
Paul K. Martin, NASA’s inspector general, put his conclusions bluntly.
“The attackers had full functional control over these networks,” he wrote.
JPL is a jewel in NASA’s space technology crown.
Beyond a wealth of exploration programs, such as the recent GRAIL mission to study the moon and the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory, JPL manages the Deep Space Network, a network of antenna complexes on several continents that monitors both outer space and planet Earth.
Martin released written testimony about the attacks in the report “NASA Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Agency’s Information Security,” presented to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee investigations panel on Wednesday. It details a host of security lapses and breaches of protocol at the space agency.
read more at www.foxnews.com
* Foreign Ministry spokesman says Tibet ‘projects have not affected lower stream regions in India’
*Hong says Chinese officials have briefed India on development
BEIJING: China denied Friday that a dam it was building on a major river in Tibet was impacting the lower reaches of the waterway in India, despite complaints that water-levels there were plunging.
The Brahmaputra has its source in China’s southwestern Tibet region where it is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo, and it enters India in the mountainous, remote northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, where it is called the Siang.
The 1,800-mile (2,900 kilometre) river then descends into the plains of adjoining Assam state and ends in Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal, along the way supplying water to hundreds of millions of farmers and residents.
Local Indian state lawmaker Tako Dabi told AFP Thursday he suspected China was diverting river water resulting in an estimated 40 percent drop in the flow at the Indian town of Pasighat.
“Our projects have not affected the lower stream regions, including those in India,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters when asked of his nation’s water usage on the river.
read more at www.dailytimes.com.pk
China’s leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, kicked off a key visit to Turkey on Monday night to boost already blossoming commercial ties between the two rising powers.
Xi, who is expected to be president of the world’s most populous nation next year, is set to have talks with Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a written statement he delivered upon his arrival in Ankara on Monday night.
Xi’s key visit to Turkey came following a week-long trip to the US and Ireland last week.
Trade Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Ankara Governor Alaaddin Yüksel greeted the Chinese vice president upon his arrival.
He said in the written statement that he came to Turkey on the invitation of President Abdullah Gül, aiming to deepen, what he described as, “understanding and friendship” between the two nations.
The last high-level visit to China by Turkish officials was in 2009, when Gül visited China, followed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s trip to Turkey a year later. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also paid a six-day visit to China in late 2010 and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, came to Turkey in January of 2010.
read more at www.todayszaman.com
Japan and China agreed they will jointly respond to any funding request from the International Monetary Fund, which is looking to more than double the size of its war chest to help countries deal with the euro zone crisis.
Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi, after meetings with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Finance Minister Xie Xuren, said the two countries were ready to support the IMF but further efforts by euro zone members were necessary.
“What we agreed on…is that European countries need to do more, although (the situation), including Greece, is headed in a good direction,” Azumi told reporters in Beijing.
“We can expect some sort of request from the IMF to those including the United States, Japan and China. We agreed that Japan and China will coordinate closely and will jointly respond to IMF.”
The IMF is seeking to raise US$600 billion in new resources to help deal wit the euro zone debt crisis but countries outside of the 17-country euro bloc want to see its members stump up more money before they commit additional resources to the IMF.
Azumi said the two sides did not discuss the specific size of any funding support for the IMF although a Japanese finance ministry official said Tokyo was willing to commit a “sizeable” amount.
“The idea is Japan and China will coordinate, not compete, on any IMF action,” the official said, adding that both countries were fully aware of their importance in dealing with the crisis.
China, which has been consistently reluctant to make firm financial commitments, is seen as having the financial firepower to bail out some European governments given its US$3.2 trillion worth foreign exchange reserves at hand.
Earlier in the month, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the world’s No. 2 economy is considering increasing its participation in the European rescue funds and is still studying how it might go about doing it, including possibly through the IMF.
Vice foreign minister in Damascus to meet Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, as violent crackdown on protests continues.
Syrian government forces have continued a crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government, despite the arrival of a Chinese diplomat for talks on the unrest.
Zhai Jun, China’s vice foreign minister, is due to hold talks on Saturday with the Syrian president on resolving the country’s crisis.
Demonstrations against began in March last year, and unrest has so far claimed thousands of lives, according to UN estimates, as the government continues to suppress protests and the armed opposition has taken to carrying out attacks on Syrian security forces.
China joined Russia in vetoing a recent UN Security Council resolution that would call for an immediate halt to violence and for the president to abide by an Arab League plan to step down.
Before leaving for Damascus, Zhai said: “China does not approve of the use of force to interfere in Syria or the forceful pushing of a so-called regime change.”
Upon arriving in the Syrian capital, he said he would strive to “play a positive role” and “make some contribution” to
seeking a “proper solution to the Syrian issue”, the Xinhua news agency said.
The UN general assembly passed a similar, but non-binding, resolution, on Thursday.
China’s embassy in Damascus said Zhai would meet his Syrian counterpart on Friday night, hold talks with Assad on Saturday and also meet opposition figures in Damascus.
Zhai’s comments came as US defence officials told a US network that “a good number” of unmanned US military and intelligence drones are operating in the skies over Syria to monitor Assad’s government forces attacks against civilians and armed opposition.
“The officials said this surveillance is not in preparation for US military intervention,” NBC News reported on Friday.
‘No intention to intervene’
In Turkey, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western alliance had no intention of intervening in Syria even in the event of a UN mandate to protect civilians, and urged Middle East countries to find a way to end the spiralling violence.Rasmussen said on Friday that he also rejected the possibility of providing logistical support for proposed “humanitarian corridors” to ferry relief to towns and cities embroiled in violence.
“We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria,” Rasmussen said in an interview with Reuters news agency, during a visit to mark the 60th anniversary of Turkey joining the alliance.
The diplomatic developments came as gunfire and loud explosions were heard on Friday in Damascus, the Syrian capital, while the bombardment of Homs by security forces entered a 13th day.
Activist groups said tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets after the main weekly Muslim prayers, from Deraa in the south to Aleppo and Idlib in the north and Deir ez-Zour in the east to areas around Damascus.
The Local Co-ordination Committees, an umbrella organisation of opposition groups, said security forces opened fire on some protests, which came in response to a call by internet-based activists for a rally for a “new phase of popular resistance”.
In Damascus, one civilian died and 12 were wounded, some critically, when they were fired on at a demonstration in the Mazze neighbourhood, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based opposition group, said.
The SOHR said at least 10,000 people demonstrated in the southern town of Dael, in Deraa, the cradle of the uprising which human rights groups say has cost more than 6,000 lives in the past 11 months.
Other rallies were staged in the towns of Jasem, Inkhel and Nimr al-Hara, where security forces wounded some demonstrators when they opened fire on them.
In Homs, rockets crashed into opposition strongholds at the rate of four a minute on Friday, according to one political activist who said the central Syrian city was facing a humanitarian crisis.”It’s the most violent in 14 days. It’s unbelievable – extreme violence the like of which we have never seen before,” HadiAbdullah, of the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution, another opposition group, said.
A tank fired into a residential part of Homs before bursts of machinegun fire clattered across the neighbourhood, according to a video uploaded by activists to YouTube.
“The regime troops are still shelling at the moment but are reluctant to enter Bab Amr [neighbourhood]. They are on the periphery and are moving slowly. The army will lose if it begins urban warfare,” Omar Shakir, a prominent activist, said.
International rights groups have estimated that the assault on Homs has killed almost 400 people, and a medic reached on Skype said 1,800 have been wounded.
“There are injuries that cannot be treated because of a lack of medical equipment,” Ali al-Hazzuri said.
“There are casualties who are close to dying.”
Nine bodies of unidentified people were found on Friday morning in Homs, according to the SOHR, which also reported the heaviest shelling in the city for two weeks.
Al Jazeera and agencies