Archive for the Energy Category

Time for China to go it alone? [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, Encirclement of China, Energy, Obama, South China Sea, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam on June 6, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 30, 2014

– Country will no longer allow its legitimate rights to be wantonly encroached upon by some of its neighbors –

In recent days, Vietnam has been disturbing China’s…drilling operations in the waters off Zhongjian Island…In a move to attract the world’s attention, Vietnam also invited some international journalists to the operating site.

Surprisingly, the Vietnamese government also encouraged anti-China demonstrations and even acquiesced in the riots against foreign enterprises, mostly Chinese investments in the country, which resulted in the loss of innocent lives and huge damage to property. The Vietnamese move, which finally turned out to be a farce against itself, only proved the government’s lack of deep thinking about the situation. After all, the drilling site is just 17 nautical miles from China’s Zhongjian Island, yet 150 nautical miles from Vietnamese coastline. As pointed out by Chinese officials time and again, Vietnamese vessels have to sail a long way across the stormy sea to disturb the normal operations of the Chinese company on the doorstep of China.

Meanwhile, there has also been much speculation about the timing of China’s drilling operations and the real intention behind it. Some say the drilling operations began just days after the visit of US President Barack Obama to Asia, and that by starting the drilling, China is flexing its muscles to neutralize the influence of the United States in the region. Others have taken it as response to Vietnam’s recent purchase of a patrol vessel from Japan. There are even those who say that China is resolved to act on its own wishes and will in the South China Sea, in which the drilling operations are just a starter on China’s set menu.

However, people will not understand China correctly if they do not look at a longer time frame. No one can deny the fact that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, Chinese foreign policy has been very stable and consistent over the years. Although there have been many modifications and adjustments, the fundamentals have remained unchanged over the years after opening-up to the outside world. Therefore, to understand what China is doing today, we have to review what China has done in the past…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/n/2014/0530/c90883-8735166.html

Vietnam’s anti-China riots ‘hurt its image’ [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Energy, Hong Kong, Japan, Labor, south Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam on May 15, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Li XIAOKUN and ZHANG YUNBI (China Daily)

May 15, 2014

Mobs chanting anti-Chinese slogans have set at least 15 foreign factories on fire in southern Vietnam.

An analyst said the incidents were among the country’s most serious riots and would tarnish its image as an investment and tourist destination.

The rioting started late on Tuesday when about 19,000 workers protested at a Singapore-run industrial park and others nearby in Binh Duong province, 1,120 km south of Hanoi, the capital.

Authorities said rioting and looting forced the closure of 1,000 factories, but no casualties were confirmed. About 500 people were arrested.

The incidents came after anti-China street protests over the weekend following Beijing’s recent deployment of an oil drilling rig in its territorial waters in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by Vietnam.

In a phone conversation with his Indonesian counterpart on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China wanted Vietnam to calm the situation.

“China’s stance of protecting its legal sovereign rights is firm, clear and will not change,” he said.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing had lodged protests with the Vietnamese ambassador, asking the Vietnamese “to immediately take effective steps to stop and punish these crimes, and to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Vietnam.”

Hua said Hanoi had deliberately escalated tensions by allowing its vessels to ram Chinese boats around the rig on 169 occasions on Tuesday and by arranging for reporters to cover the process.

“This was all done for show in an attempt to present a false picture and deceive the public,” she said.

Li Jinming, a Xiamen University professor of maritime law and South China Sea studies, said, “Vietnam is provoking China on land and sea in a high-stakes gamble.”

Tran Van Nam, deputy head of the province’s people’s committee, was quoted by VnExpress as saying that the protests were initially peaceful but had been hijacked by extremists who incited people to break into the factories.

Hundreds of other factories were vandalized or looted, while some security guards and technicians were assaulted, the official said.

He said people attacked factories they believed were run by companies from the Chinese mainland, but some were run by people from Taiwan, Japan or South Korea.

On Wednesday morning, nearly all the factories in the area were closed and riot police had been deployed.

Global exporter Li & Fung, which supplies retailers such as Kohl’s Corp and Wal-Mart Stores with clothing, toys and other products, said it had suspended production in Vietnam.

Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, a Taiwan manufacturer with headquarters in Hong Kong, also suspended production. It makes footwear for firms including Nike and Adidas.

Vietnamese Internet users have questioned the motivation and impact of the rioting.

“Young people should be more cautious and avoid being used by bad people. The (foreign) companies have brought jobs — what is wrong with them?” a netizen nicknamed muoihcm commented in the VnExpress report.

The Vietnamese government gave rare permission for the weekend protests, which were enthusiastically covered by state media.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Research Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “It is high-profile propaganda for the Vietnamese authorities and media regarding the collision of ships in the South China Sea that enraged public opinion and resulted in the riots.

“The incident will not only harm relations with China but also endanger Vietnam’s international image, especially as an investment and tourist destination.”

Wang Jian and Xinhua contributed to this story.

Article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/8627942.html

China: Stop oil rig harassment by Vietnamese [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Energy, South China Sea, Vietnam on May 15, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Zhang Yunbi and Pu Zhendon (China Daily)

May 9, 2014

Beijing demanded on Thursday that Hanoi cease its harassing actions against a Chinese oil rig in waters off an island in the South China Sea and called for dialogue to end the conflict.

Since May 2, Vietnam has carried out intensive disruptions of a Chinese company’s normal oil drilling in waters administered by China. China is deeply surprised and shocked, said Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, on Thursday.

Yi said the Xisha Islands are inherent territory of China and there are no disputes in this area. The oil rig operation is undertaken by China Oilfield Services Ltd, and it is a normal drilling activity in the coastal waters off the Xisha Islands of China.

The oil rig operation, which is only 31 km from Zhongjian Island, is completely within waters off China’s Xisha Islands, and the operation completely falls within the area of China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.

From Saturday to Wednesday, Vietnam dispatched 36 vessels of various kinds that rammed Chinese vessels as many as 171 times.

The Chinese vessels are only government and civilian vessels. But the Vietnamese have many armed vessels deployed to the scene…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90785/8621951.html

Article’s original title: “China: Stop oil rig harassment”

See also related Xinhua article: “Commentary: Vietnamese harassment disrupts, complicates South China Sea situation” – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-05/11/c_133325622.htm

Eight Chinese cities in Liaoning Province fined for air pollution [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Dalian, Energy, Environmental protection, Liaoning Province on December 18, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

SHENYANG, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) — Local governments in eight cities in northeast China’s Liaoning Province have been fined a total of 54.2 million yuan (8.9 million U.S. dollars) for air pollution, the provincial department of environment protection said Tuesday.

The fines, the first the provincial agency has imposed on lower-level governments, send a clear signal that the provincial government is becoming more serious about tackling air pollution.

The tough penalties come as severely polluted air has become a main source of complaints and frustration over health concerns among urban residents.

Choking smog attracted wide attention again last week as it blanketed 100 cities across more than half the country. Many rushed to buy face masks and air purifiers to ward it off, and primary and middle schools in the eastern city of Nanjing were even forced to close for two days.

According to a regulation which went into effect last year, the Liaoning provincial government evaluates 14 cities on indicators of PM10 (particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter), sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Shenyang, capital of Liaoning, was ordered to pay a fine of 34.6 million yuan. Seven other cities, including Dalian and Anshan, were fined 19.6 million yuan.

Zhu Jinghai, head of the provincial department of environment protection, said all the fines would be spent in the fight against severe air pollution.

Decades of breakneck economic growth, the coal-dominated energy mix and lax environmental law enforcement are blamed for the prominent pollution in Liaoning and other parts of China…

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-12/10/c_132956993.htm

19 industries in China to shed capacity [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Economy, Energy, Environmental protection on August 5, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By ZHENG YANGPENG (China Daily)
July 27, 2013

Move marks the government’s determination to cut overcapacity, reform economy

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has ordered the closure of many factories in 19 industries where overproduction has led to price-cutting wars, affirming its determination to push ahead with a painful makeover of the economy.

More than 1,400 companies in 19 industries in China were told to cut production capacity, according to a statement by the ministry on Thursday.

Cement, steelmaking, ferroalloys, electrolytic aluminum, copper smelting, chemical fiber and papermaking are among industries required to cut excess capacity. Papermaking and cement are the two industries that involved the largest number of companies in the latest campaign.

Local governments and companies were ordered to stop production by the end of September. The deadline for elimination was set for the end of this year, the ministry’s statement said.

Nineteen public companies were on the list. Shares in BBMG Corp, Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co and Shandong Chenming Paper Holdings Ltd slid more than 2 percent after they were cited on the list.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.51 percent to 2,010.85 on Friday. The SZSE Component Index dropped 0.65 percent to 7,843.36.

“This detailed list shows the government is serious in its efforts to restructure the economy and is prepared to tolerate the necessary pain,” Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc in Hong Kong, wrote in a note. “This reinforces our view that aggressive policy stimulus is unlikely in 2012 [sic] and that growth should trend down.”

More than 92 million metric tons of excess cement capacity and about 7 million tons of excess steel production capacity are expected to be wiped out under the government’s plan, Zhang said.

Several of the listed companies affected released announcements on Friday, declaring the shutting down of listed excess capacity had little effect on their business.

Xinxiang Bailu Chemical Fiber Co Ltd, one of the 19 public companies, said the shutting down of 20,000 tons of viscose capacity, as required by the ministry, had already been decided at an April meeting of the company. Revenue from the viscose capacity only accounted for 7 percent of the company’s income. Its share price gained 3.66 percent by the end of trading on Friday.

Shandong Chenming Paper Holdings Ltd said on Friday that among the 284,200 tons of pulp capacity that was ordered to be cut, 220,000 tons belonged to Wuhan Chenming, a subsidiary of the parent company. This capacity had been eliminated by the end of last year and the production line was being dismantled. Other outdated facilities had either been halted or sold to local companies.

Lin Jian, a metallurgy industry analyst with Zheshang Securities Co Ltd, said the shutting down of lead- and copper-smelting capacity was beneficial for these businesses.

“The shutdown will help to reverse the over-supply situation in these industries. From a medium- to long-term perspective, it will stabilize metal prices and improve the profitability of leading companies in these industries,” Lin said.

As much as 879,000 tons of lead smelting and 665,000 tons of copper smelting capacity were ordered to be cut, accounting for 19 percent and 11 percent of national capacity, respectively.

The ministry’s decision to eliminate excess capacity was accompanied by efforts to foster emerging industries that are considered to be promising in the future.

A ministry news conference on Wednesday said it will strive to boost the demand for information technology and support the battle to fight air pollution.

China aims to boost spending on the IT industry at a rate of more than 20 percent annually through 2013 to 2015, according to a State Council meeting on July 12.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90778/8343322.html

Jilin officials, executives punished over deadly poultry plant fire, colliery blasts [Xinhua]

Posted in Changchun, China, Corruption, Employment, Energy, Jilin Province, Labor, Law enforcement on July 10, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) — More than 100 Chinese officials and enterprise executives found to be responsible for two deadly workplace accidents were prosecuted, sacked, demoted or given disciplinary punishment, the State Council said Saturday.

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, said in a statement it had approved an investigation report regarding the two deadly accidents in northeastern province of Jilin as well as a punishment proposal for those responsible for the accidents that left 174 people dead in total.

Thirty-five people including government officials and company executives would be transferred to the judicial authorities for prosecution, while 73 others, including Jilin’s deputy governor Gu Chunli, deputy governor and police chief Huang Guanchun, and former top work safety official Jin Hua, have been given disciplinary sanctions.

The Jilin provincial government was ordered by the State Council to conduct self-criticism.

A fire ripped through a poultry plant owned by the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Dehui City on June 3 , leaving 121 dead and 76 injured.

The fire came months after two coal mine blasts that occurred on March 29 and April 1, respectively, at the Babao Coal Mine in Baishan City, Jilin Province, killed 53 people and injured 20 others.

Both cases are “extraordinarily significant liability accidents,” the report said, indicating human errors, particularly the lack of work safety supervision, are to blame.

In the Dehui fire accident, an electrical short has been identified as the direct cause, and the short ignited “combustible goods” nearby and the heat set off “physical explosions” of ammonia equipment and pipelines, according to the report.

Meanwhile, lack of safety measures within the workshop as well as lax supervision by fire-control, construction, and work safety supervision authorities are also to blame for the accident, the report said.

Nineteen people including the company’s board chairman Jia Yushan, general manager Zhang Yushen, and firefighting officials in Dehui and Changchun, capital of Jilin, as well as local government officials were subject to judicial punishment.

Apart from deputy governor Huang Guanchun, those who were given disciplinary punishment also include Changchun Mayor Jiang Qiaying, and Li Shutian, general director of the provincial firefighting brigade.

Dehui city’s Party chief Zhang Dexiang, mayor Liu Changchun, and police chief Wang Hua’an were dismissed from their posts.

Dereliction of duty was also reported in the Babao Coal Mine blasts, according to the investigation report.

Due to insufficient fire-preventing measures, self-ignition of coal led to gas blasts in the mine, the report said, referring to the direct cause of the blasts.

After the initial blasts and 36 fatalities on March 29, the company violated a production ban by sending workers into the pit again, where a gas blast on April 1 killed 17 people and injured 8, according to the investigation report.

Meanwhile, poor management at the mine and lax supervision from the Baishan municipal government and related authorities are also to blame for the accident, the report said.

Sixteen people, including Zhao Xianwen, board chairman and general manager of Tonghua Mining Company, which owns the mine, as well as his deputies, have been prosecuted.

Baishan Mayor Peng Yonglin and his deputy were also given disciplinary sanctions along with Jilin’s deputy governor Gu Chunli and former top work safety official Jin Hua.

Yuan Yuqing, board chairman of Jilin Provincial Coal Industry Group, the parent company of Tonghua Mining Company, was sacked while the general manager of the group Jia Liming was demoted.

The State Council has ordered the governments of all levels in Jilin and related authorities as well as enterprises to draw lessons from the accidents and carry out thorough safety checks so as to ensure work safety.

Editor: Chen Zhi

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-07/07/c_124968402.htm

China mulls BBQ ban in major cities to combat air pollution [Xinhua]

Posted in Alternative Energy, China, Energy, Environmental protection, Law enforcement on February 23, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

YES – DO IT. Chinese don’t barbeque in their backyards, like US citizens. Chinese don’t have backyards. The BBQ this article is talking about are private restaurants and street vendors who BBQ on the street using rinky-dink troughs; the fuel is some sub-standard charcoal which just pours out clouds of thick smoke. Popular with the masses, but extremely deleterious and a kind of widespread blight on the streets of China — Zuo Shou

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — The pressures of severe air pollution have prompted China’s environmental watchdog to consider pushing forward a legal ban on barbecues in densely populated urban areas.

Barbecues should be strictly controlled in cities to cut emissions of pollutants, according to a draft technical guideline issued earlier this month by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) to solicit public opinions.

The draft especially advises major cities to adopt legislation banning barbecue-related activities.

On Wednesday, an anonymous official with the MEP said the guideline is designed to provide a package solution to the country’s PM2.5 air pollution problem.

PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which can embed deeply in people’s lungs.

The official called on the public to abstain from barbecues in cities and adopt a more environmentally-friendly way of life through various means, including reducing energy consumption in the cooking process, using food preparation techniques that produce less smoke and less pollution and setting off fewer firecrackers.

A Sunday report from the MEP attributed the higher-than-normal PM2.5 readings during the Spring Festival holiday to the use of firecrackers, which people set off as a traditional way of celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The draft also specifies response measures in industrial, agricultural and other sectors to reduce pollution, including better oil quality for cars and more efficient uses of energy.

It also proposes “significantly reducing” PM2.5 by 2020.

Once adopted, the guideline would serve as a suggestion and reference, according to the draft.

Article link: