Posts Tagged ‘China’

TUNGSTEN

Posted: September 19, 2017 in North Korea, Tungsten, USA
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North Korea’s economic output might be smaller than Vermont’s, but in the production of one thing the reclusive country recently outpaced the entire United States: tungsten.

Tungsten is a rare-earth metal whose price has surged 50 percent since July.Tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal, at 3,422 degrees Celsius, making it useful in light bulbs.

Smartphone makers need tungsten because it helps withstand electronic heat in touchscreens.

Armed forces need it for its ability to harden the steel used in missiles. Automakers use 25 percent of the global supply for their cutting tools.

Most of the world’s tungsten comes from China, where the government has been exerting greater control over production, in part because domestic demand has ballooned. The country makes more cars than the U.S. and Japan combined.

The U.S. has had concerns about the increasing price of the rare-earth metal since at least the 1960s.A London-trained American-Chinese citizen, K.C. Li, was credited with first trading the mineral in the U.S. His Wah Chang Corporation was established in New York in 1916.

The only other country with good tungsten deposits is Afghanistan. I suppose it is enough reason for the US to hang on in Afghanistan and reach them democracy.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-10/china-sends-one-of-the-west-s-most-critical-materials-soaring

Photographer: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

China Sends One of the West’s Most Critical Materials Soaring

  • Tungsten prices have jumped 50 percent in the last two months
  • China is enforcing output quotas for the steel-hardening metal

The price of one of the most critical materials for the Western world’s economy and defenses is spiking faster than any major commodity.

Tungsten, used to harden steel in ballistic missiles and in drill bits, has surged more than 50 percent in the last two months amid growing concern about supply cutbacks in China, where about 80 percent of the metal comes from. The country is clamping down on polluting mines and enforcing production quotas.

“The Chinese have been trying to impose control over the production in tungsten,” said Mark Seddon, senior manager at Argus Consulting (Metals). “They’ve used environmental policy to clamp down on non-quota production.”

The price of tungsten in Europe has jumped 52 percent since early July, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. The advance has beaten all 22 major materials in the Bloomberg Commodities Index. Tungsten has gained for six straight months, the longest rally since 2012.

The European Union classes tungsten as a “critical” commodity and the British Geological Survey places it at the top of its supply-risk list of materials needed to maintain the U.K.’s economy and lifestyle. In 2012, it became a flash point when then U.S. President Barack Obama filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization against Chinese supply curbs.

China limits supply to about 91,300 metric tons a year, but routinely breaks its quota by as much as 50 percent, partly because a lot comes as a byproduct from mines that produce other metals such as molybdenum, Seddon said.

China’s Impact

It seems that tolerance has gone, at least for now. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued an edict on June 6 saying producers should stick to output quotas and that those without quotas, or which exceed the quotas, should halt production. Quotas also shouldn’t be granted to firms that infringe safety or environmental rules.

“The government wants to have control,” said Seddon, who has covered the industry for at least 15 years. “Whether this carries on into next year is more difficult to predict.”

It’s also been a wild year for many other lesser-traded metals. Prices for “light” rare earths including neodymium and praseodymium have also shot up as part of China’s mining clean-up. Battery materials such as cobalt and steel-hardener vanadium have surged, while minor precious metals like ruthenium rallied too.

Read more: Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

Tungsten, also know as wolfram, gets its name from the Swedish words for heavy stone and was first discovered in 1783. The light gray or whitish metal can be alloyed with steel to form materials that are stable at high temperatures. At more than 3,400 degrees Celsius (6,150 Fahrenheit), it has the highest melting point of any metal on Earth.

The biggest consumer is the auto industry, with about 25 percent of supply predominately used in cutting and machining tools. It’s also used in lighting, steelmaking and mining. Tungsten’s high density means it’s also used in missiles to help them penetrate defenses.

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May 25, 2017― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad lamented today over the sale of a 49.9 per cent stake in Malaysia’s national carmaker Proton, once the country’s source of pride, to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

The former prime minister, who had founded Proton Holdings in 1983 in a bid to turn Malaysia into an industrialised powerhouse, said he could not be proud of Proton’s future success because it would no longer belong to him or to Malaysia.

“I am a sissy. I cry even if Malaysians are dry-eyed. My child is lost. And soon my country. Please excuse me,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog.

“Proton the child of my brain has been sold. It is probably the beginning of the great sell-out. The process is inexorable. No other way can we earn the billions to pay our debts. The only way is to sell our assets. And eventually we will lose our country, a great country no doubt, but owned by others,” added the country’s longest serving prime minister.

The deal between Proton parent DRB-Hicom and Geely was announced yesterday, with Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani saying that Proton would remain a national car because Proton would still have a majority hold of 50.1 per cent.

International newswire Reuters reported that Geely was expected to offer Proton some vehicle technologies in order to grow its sales overseas and to recover some of the global presence Proton had lost in recent years.

Proton reportedly dominated the domestic market by 74 per cent in 1993 at its peak, but saw its market share dwindle to around 15 per cent currently due to low-quality cars, poor after-sales service and tough competition from foreign automakers.

Dr Mahathir said he was certain that Proton would now be sold all over the world.

“It will be like Singapore. Malaysians are proud of this great city-state. If it had not been sold it would be, perhaps, as well developed as Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis. Then we cannot be proud of Singapore,” he said.

“Now we can be proud of Proton. With money and superior technology it will compete with Rolls Royce and Bentley. But I cannot be proud of its success. I cannot be proud of the success of something that does not belong to me or my country. Maybe other Malaysians will, but not me,” added the 91-year-old.

Anyway heard it through the grapevine that this is:

Proton Geely’s first model

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Read hear Dr Mahathir’s Chedet


The ascendance of separatists is a crisis not only for the Hong Kong government and Beijing, which already faces independence movements in Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan. It also threatens the political power of aging leaders of Hong Kong’s democratic camp, who have been advocating political reform for decades and now find themselves outflanked by young radicals with little patience for Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian ways.

The New York Times says it all…..

HONG KONG — Two years after China’s leadership slammed the door on political reform for Hong Kong, six young candidates running on separatist platforms won seats in the Sept. 4 election for the territory’s legislature. The rapid rise of a youthful political movement intent on gaining more independence for Hong Kong is a direct result of Beijing’s tightening grip on this former British colony.

The ascendance of separatists is a crisis not only for the Hong Kong government and Beijing, which already faces independence movements in Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan. It also threatens the political power of aging leaders of Hong Kong’s democratic camp, who have been advocating political reform for decades and now find themselves outflanked by young radicals with little patience for Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian ways.

The six new separatist legislators, all under the age of 40, were inspired by the 2014 Umbrella Movement, the 79-day mass sit-in protesting Beijing’s refusal to allow democratic reforms in Hong Kong.

The Legislative Council has restricted powers, but it can block government initiatives. Thirty of the 70 LegCo seats are heavily stacked in favor of Beijing and picked by interest groups, while 40 are chosen by the general public from designated districts.

A gain of six seats by separatists, who didn’t run in every district, is remarkable in such a controlled election, considering that two years ago few Hong Kongers publicly advocated breaking from the mainland. The separatists have become a potent third force in the city’s political landscape, where the battles have long been fought between pan-democratic parties and the pro-Beijing government.

For all of their consistent calls for political reform, the territory’s older generation of democrats have been patriotic and willing to work with the mainland, an approach that is not popular among younger Hong Kongers. The youth, frustrated with Beijing and the failure of the Umbrella Movement, are pessimistic about the city’s long-term prospects and Beijing’s creeping influence. They look to the future with trepidation, despair and anger.

When the British handed Hong Kong over to the Chinese in 1997, China committed to 50 years of a “high-degree of autonomy” for the territory, where free speech and a vibrant civic culture have flourished until recently. No one knows what Beijing will do in 2047, but the fear is that Hong Kong will be completely absorbed into China.

Although the separatists are divided into distinct groups with different goals — among them, making Hong Kong a completely autonomous city-state or outright independence — they all want the post-2047 political arrangement put up for public debate. Most of them are aiming to build enough popular support to force Beijing to allow Hong Kongers to vote on a binding referendum on the city’s post-2047 future.

By contrast, the older pan-democratic parties have had little new to offer. The Democratic Party’s political centerpiece in the recent election amounted to asking Beijing to reopen the door to electoral reform. The pan-democratic leaders, in sticking to what is widely viewed by the youth as a depleted strategy, have lost the trust and respect of younger people.

China’s leaders appear to think that taking a hard line against the separatist movement can contain it. A stern postelection statement from Beijing said the Hong Kong government should punish independence activists.

This strategy will backfire. It was the heavy-handed behavior of Leung Chun-ying, the pro-Beijing Hong Kong chief executive, that has fueled the separatist movement’s growth in the last two years. Mr. Leung singled out a separatist publication for public reprimand last year, angering Hong Kongers with what they saw as an implicit threat to free speech. He banned a student leader who supported independence from attending his university’s council meetings.

Direct interference from Beijing in local affairs has made matters worse. Last year, five workers at a Hong Kong publisher of provocative political books were kidnapped and brought to the mainland where they were detained.

It may be too late for China to convince the hard-core separatists to back down, but there are steps the leadership could take to stem the growth of the movement.

Beijing should remove its central government staff from Hong Kong. The Central Liaison Office has been blamed for many of Beijing’s illegal interventions in Hong Kong affairs. Pro-Beijing politicians are regularly seen visiting the office, giving the impression they take orders directly from the mainland. Shuttering it is an easy gesture that would remove a source of conflict.

The process of appointing top officials to the city’s anticorruption commission and to university governing bodies should be reformed. The power to appoint these officials now lies with the chief executive, but Mr. Leung has shown that he lets his personal interests influence his choices. A deputy head of the office of the Independent Commission Against Corruption appeared to be forced to resign this year after she allegedly insisted on investigating financial irregularities involving Mr. Leung.

All mainland funding of politicians and unfair efforts to gain votes should be stopped. In recent elections, busloads of elderly people were brought to voting booths by pro-government supporters with the names of their preferred candidates written on their palms. After voting, they were often bused to restaurants.

But even if China’s leaders choose a policy of détente with the people of Hong Kong, Mr. Leung is not the right person to carry it out. His positions have been too overtly pro-Beijing, rankling much of the population. Replacing Mr. Leung when his term ends in March would help mend ties between Beijing and the separatists.

Without a change of the chief executive, we can expect the separatists to make more gains in the next election four years from now.


In China they say that Buddhism came from India but was developed in China. As this sign does.

The two paintings are of the Bodhidharma who brought Buddhism from India to Luyong, then the capital of imperial China.

“Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin Kung Fu. In Japan, he is known as Daruma.”

It is believed that he was a “South Indian from Kanchipuram district” and the third son of a great Indian king. His ambition lay in the Mahayana path, and so he put aside his white layman’s robe for the black robe of a monk. Lamenting the decline of the true teaching in the outlands, he subsequently crossed distant mountains and seas, traveling about propagating the teaching in Han and Wei.

If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both.Bodhidharma

SOUTH CHINA SEA TENSIONS

Posted: July 20, 2016 in China, South China Sea, USA
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The USA is upping the ante by flying its Elint planes on the reclaimed islands. China is in a hugely jingoistic mood and their social media amply reflects this. If the People Republic of China government succumbs to these pressures and opts for retaliation ala Turkey and the Russian fighter, it will get a comeuppance it could never contemplate. The US Navy is by far the most powerful military force in the world and it is raring to go.

U.S. fighter jet flies over South China Sea

U.S. fighter jet flies over South China Sea

By Yuan Can (People’s Daily Online)    13:29, July 19, 2016

A U.S. E/A-18 carrier-based fighter jet lands on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in the South China Sea on July 16, 2016. (Photo/mil.huanqiu.com)


These are the two enduring images of China. Democracy was crushed at Tiananmen in 1989, and its Economy roared as never before.

Deng Xiaoping, the same leader who sent in the tanks, also opened China to market reforms, allowing the country to escape poverty. By touring China’s south in 1992, visiting Special Economic Zones across the border from Hong Kong, Deng signaled that China was open for business. Hong Kong tycoons crossed the border with capital and manufacturing expertise, paving the path to “Made in China.”

With each passing year, even those who remember Tiananmen must ask: Is it worth looking back? Or, as the Mandarin pun has it – “xiang qian kan” which means “look to get rich”. It’s a question that global media, multinational business and foreign governments must confront as well.



“The U.S. could be poised for a third world war with China and one key to avoiding it could be found in currency accommodation, George Soros said in a recent speech to the Bretton Woods Committee in Washington D.C.

As China’s economy transitions, this could trigger a global military conflict as might other issues in the region, Soros observed. “If the transition runs into roadblocks, then there is a chance, or likelihood in fact, the leadership would foster some external conflict to keep the country united and maintain itself in power,” Soros said. “If there is a military conflict between China and an alley of the U.S., like Japan, it is not an exaggeration to say we could be on the threshold of a third world war. It could spread to the Middle East, then Europe and Africa.”

Not engaging China could be a mistake of historic proportion, he said. “It is in the interest of both parties to find accommodation because the alternative is so unpleasant. There has been a breakthrough in climate policy. There needs to be a similar breakthrough in economic policy. If not, China will align itself with Russia, and then a third war will become real.”

The third world war could already be taking shape in Europe, where “you already has an indirect war between Russia and the west, yet no one realizes this.” Russian military spending is now approaching 10 percent of its GDP, and China has made a similar commitment to spending on armaments, he observed.

After the 2008 collapse, the U.S. was being questioned and the nail in the coffin of world supremacy occurred. It was here history for the U.S. took a decided negative turn, Soros says, as U.S. President George W. Bush’s attack on Iraq “on false pretenses, I must add,” was the point at which the U.S. lost the mantle of global world leader. The U.S. had become sole ruler of world leadership after the collapse of the Soviet Union’s communistic system and in just one short decade lost this title. “This was almost exactly same period of time as Hitler’s” reign in power, less than ten years, Soros noted.

Now the world has broken up into rival camps both financially and politically, he noted, wondering how a catastrophic war will be avoided. “The big question is will they be able to keep the rivalry in bounds.””

Listen the full speech here.


For me, John Elliott is one of the top renowned American journalist based in India and his views on India is definitely worth reading and a must read for any India -Watchers. If we talk about John and his writings on India, it is immediacy, accuracy, and plain old reporting and always delivered with a gentle punch. In one of his articles, he says that Hinduism is the main obstacle to India’s modernisation and liberalisation. How true but the Indians hated it.  He is, at least in my view, the American point of view on India. Some say he works for the American CIA, but I don’t think so.

John Elliot’s latest article “China aims to block India’s place in the sun” can be found in his blog “Riding the Elephant.” Go check it out.


This nation does not belong to just the Malays. This nation does not belong to just the Muslims. This nation belongs to all Malaysians of various ethnicities and religious persuasions.

Pakatan Rakyat must be given a tight slap on the face. And I hope the ANAK BANGSA MALAYSIA movement can continue what Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional have failed to do.

Read Here what our Raja Petra got to say on Chinese, Prostitutes & Politicians.


Two red pandas also known as lesser pandas, who were abandoned by their mother shortly after birth at a north China zoo are now healthy and content, thanks to their competent wet nurse: a mother dog.

The baby pandas were born at Taiyuan Zoo in Shanxi Province on June 25.

Their mother, the first red panda bred at the zoo, was taken in from a nature reserve in the northwestern Shaanxi Province at the end of April. No one knew she was pregnant. Her plump body and bushy hair disguised her protruding belly until the babies were born.

After the panda gave birth in its pen, in broad daylight and in front of a huge crowd of visitors, it abruptly turned its back on the babies and refused to nurse them. The zoo authorities hurriedly went about to find a wet nurse a mother dog which had given birth three days before the mother panda.

The mother dog was good-natured and has sufficient milk and the baby bears seem to like it.

Compared with the baby pandas that stayed with the mother dog every day, the puppy was more like an orphan.

The mother dog thinks the two bears are its own babies and refuses to nurse its own pup.

At three weeks old, the baby pandas are more than 20 cm long, “twice their birth length”. “They move around a bit but their eyes are still not open.” Lesser pandas are small, raccoon-like mammals that feed on bamboo and are native to the Himalayas. They are also known as “red pandas” because they have reddish brown fur on the body.

The average life expectancy of lesser pandas is about 13 years, and they reach adulthood at two years old.

The species is under special protection in China, though they are less known than giant pandas. They do not adapt easily to the environment. Official statistics indicate China’s lesser panda population has dropped by 40 percent since the 1950s because of human expansion into their natural habitats.