onsdag 11. januar 2017

NTNU satser stort i Kina

Besøket som har vært planlagt en stund er forventet å bli lettere å få i stand etter at de to nasjonene kom offisielt på talefot like før jul. Bovim ledsages av forskere og forskningsledere innen energi og helse. På helsesida deltar ledelsen og forskere fra Fakultet for medisin og helse, og fra energi deltar ledelse og forskere fra NTNUs tematisk satsingsområde energi. Formålet er todelt: Videreutvikle det faglige samarbeidet gjennom blant annet faglige møter og workshops, og å gjenoppta det institusjonelle samarbeidet på universitetsledernivå, i følge internasjonal koordinator Nina Sindre. Les mer

Interview: Will Xi Jinping be the new Mao?

On May 16, 1966, the Central Committee of the ruling Chinese Communist Party issued what is now known as the "516" directive, launching the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). To mark the 50th anniversary, Zhang Min of RFA's Mandarin Service spoke to California State University historian Song Yongyi, who specializes in researching a period that is still dominated by the official verdict in universities in mainland China. Read more

Before I left China, I was looking for freedom

Before I left China, I was desperately looking for something: freedom, the chance to live as an individual with dignity. This was impossible in my home country. But I was also blindly looking for something connected to the west, something non-ideological, something imaginative and romantic. But as I walked along the London streets, trying to save every penny for buses or food, I lost sight of my previous vision. London seemed no more spiritually fulfilling than home. Instead, I was faced with a world of practical problems and difficulties. Perhaps I was looking for great writers to meet or great books to read, but I could barely decipher a paragraph of English. Read more

fredag 6. januar 2017

Clearing for Lao-China Railway Begins, but Questions About the Project Still Remain

Work began on the controversial Laos-China railway as crews started clearing the right-of-way in the ancient Lao city of Luang Prabang late last month, but questions over who will get the bulk of the jobs building the $6 billion project and how much people displaced by the construction will get paid still linger.

“After the construction was officially opened in a ceremony on Dec. 25, the company is gearing up for construction,” Fasanan Thammavong, director general of Luang Prabang province’ public works and transport department told RFA’s Lao Service. It was not clear if the company he was referring to is the main Chinese partner, the state-owned China Railway Corporation, or the bilateral project. 

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China Calls Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra ‘Illegal,’ Threatens Punishment for Those Taking Part

Authorities in Tibetan-populated areas of southwestern China are warning local residents against involvement in a major Buddhist gathering in India led by exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, calling the gathering “illegal” and threatening punishment for those spreading news of the event or organizing local ceremonies in support.

More than 100,000 devotees from some 80 countries around the world have already assembled in Bodh Gaya, India—site of the enlightenment of the historical Buddha—to participate in this year’s Kalachakra empowerment, which is set to run from Jan. 11 to 13, with preparatory teachings and other events already under way. 
Thousands of pilgrims from Tibetan-populated areas of western China who had hoped to attend have been forced to return home, though, while others have been blocked from leaving China. Read more

North Korea able to test intercontinental ballistic missile this year, say experts

North Korea is capable of fulfilling its New Year’s threat to start testing an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017, bringing a long-brewing standoff with the US to the boil in the first year of a Trump administration, weapons experts have warned. Those experts said the regime in Pyongyang was likely to encounter multiple test failures in developing a two- or three-stage missile capable of reaching the continental United States or Europe, and that it would probably take a few years for such a weapon to become operational. But the first test would trigger a foreign policy crisis in Washington and western capitals. Read more

A Poem Praises Smog, and Why Not? It’s From Cancer’s Perspective

For millions of Chinese, the new year opened under an oppressive shroud of smog that has closed highways, delayed or canceled hundreds of flights and shut down schools, forcing some students to follow their lessons from home through online streaming. The toxic air has also drawn attention to a poem written by a Chinese surgeon from the viewpoint of an ambitious lung cancer that revels in the “delicious mist and haze.” The poem was first published in English in the October issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, under the title “I Long to Be King.” Excerpts from the poem were posted in Chinese this week in The Paper, a news website, and widely reported on by other Chinese media. Read more

torsdag 5. januar 2017

Jeg skal til India. Blir du med?

I februar venter et nytt eventyr. Jeg skal til India - som reiseleder. Blir du med? Vi besøker Delhi, beundrer Taj Mahal, gjør oss kjent med Rajasthan, "Kongenes land" og avslutter vår reise i oldtidsbyen Varanasi, hinduenes hellige møtested ved Ganges. Les mer

With Choice of Trade Negotiator, Trump Prepares to Confront Mexico and China

President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday named as his chief trade negotiator a Washington lawyer who has long advocated protectionist policies, the latest sign that Mr. Trump intends to fulfill his campaign promise to get tough with China, Mexico and other trading partners. Mr. Trump also renewed his episodic campaign to persuade American companies to expand domestic manufacturing, criticizing General Motors via Twitter on Tuesday morning for making in Mexico some of the Chevrolet Cruze hatchbacks it sells domestically. Hours later, Mr. Trump claimed credit after Ford said it would expand vehicle production in Flat Rock, MichRead more

Torbjørn Færøvik: Kinas politiske vinter

Kina, fyrverkeriets hjemland, har innledet det nye året med salutter og smell og patosfylte hyllester til landets lederskap. Partisjef Xi Jinping talte til nasjonen i det statlige fjernsynet og lovet folket et enda bedre liv i 2017. Også norske myndigheter og norsk næringsliv synes å ha store forhåpninger til Kina i året som kommer. Etter at Norge forleden ble tatt til nåde i Beijing, er det duket for nye delegasjonsreiser til stormakten i øst. Går alt etter planen, kan den tosidige frihandelsavtalen som nesten var ferdigforhandlet i 2010, bli en realitet. Det sier seg selv at en slik avtale kan få stor økonomisk betydning, ikke minst for et lite land som Norge.

Why Donald Trump should make North Korea a top priority

The Obama administration's failed policy of"strategic patience" toward Pyongyang contributed to the rapid development of North Korea's arsenal of mass destruction. The acceleration of its nuclear and ballistic missile program represents a grave threat to global peace and stability -- and a direct threat to the American homeland in the immediate future. Read more

China tells Donald Trump to lay off Twitter

China has slammed US President-elect Donald Trump over his use of Twitter to conduct international diplomacy in a commentary published by the country's official news agency Xinhua. Trump has earned a reputation for making unpredictable statements on Twitter that often depart from long-standing US policies and he's made several controversial comments about China. "The obsession with 'Twitter diplomacy' is undesirable," said the bylined commentary, which only appeared on the agency's Chinese website. Xinhua is the biggest and most influential of China's state-run media. Read more

China hits back at 'extreme' tariffs from rival economies

China has criticised “extreme” tariffs on its exports amid concerns in Beijing thatDonald Trump will embark on a policy of protectionism as US president. Trump has pledged to hit Chinese goods with tariffs of up to 45% and said cheap imports are “killing” US manufacturers. The president-elect has also appointed one of China’s fiercest critics to key trade post and said he will label the Asian country a currency manipulator on his first day in office, 20 January. But China’s ministry of commerce says it has already been hit with a record number of retaliatory trade measures from rival economies and trading blocs in 2016. Read more

Apple Removes New York Times Apps From Its Store in China

Apple, complying with what it said was a request from Chinese authorities, removed news apps created by The New York Times from its app store in China late last month. The move limits access to one of the few remaining channels for readers in mainland China to read The Times without resorting to special software. The government began blocking The Times’s websites in 2012, after a series of articles on the wealth amassed by the family of Wen Jiabao, who was then prime minister, but it had struggled in recent months to prevent readers from using the Chinese-language app. Read more

onsdag 4. januar 2017

China Takes a Chain Saw to a Center of Tibetan Buddhism

Atop a hill, a growling chain saw drowned out loudspeakers broadcasting a lama’s chants from a nearby temple. The chain saw, wielded by workers demolishing a row of homes, signaled the imminent end of thousands of hand-built monastic dwellings here at Larung Gar, the world’s largest Buddhist institute. Since its founding in 1980, Larung Gar has grown into an extraordinary and surreal sprawl — countless red-painted dwellings surrounding temples, stupas and large prayer wheels. The homes are spread over the walls of this remote Tibetan valley like strawberry jam slathered on a scone. Read more

China Needs to Get Over the Dalai Lama's Visit to Mongolia

Dalai Lama’s visit is not a China-Mongolia bilateral issue. It is Mongolia’s internal, domestic issue, concerning the people’s rights under its Constitution. In accordance with the Mongolia’s constitutional rights, citizens of Mongolia, particularly those who believe in Buddhism, have the rights to accept, allow, and appreciate the visit of His Holiness. The Dalai Lama was invited by the Center of Mongolian Buddhism, the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, and was accepted by the people. Read more

Mongolia, With Deep Ties to Dalai Lama, Turns From Him Toward China

Mongolia, whose rulers played a role in establishing the Dalai Lamacenturies ago, no longer welcomes him. Remarks by its foreign minister this past month were the latest sign that another country had withered under pressure from China over the contentious issue of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader. The minister, Tsend Munkh-Orgil, told the Onoodor newspaper that the government “feels sorry” for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Mongolia in November and that the Dalai Lama “probably won’t be visiting Mongolia again during this administration,” according to Bloomberg News. The Foreign Ministry confirmed the remarks, according to The Associated Press. Read more

In Banning Ivory Trade, China Saw Benefits for Itself, Too

China’s vow to shut down its commercial ivory trade by the end of this year was welcomed by environmentalists as a turning point in the fight against poachers. Activists cheered the government’s pledge for swift action, and the state-run news media called it a “monumental win for elephants.” But in making the decision, announced on Friday, to bring the world’s largest ivory market to a halt, the Chinese government also saw benefits for itself. The ban reinforced President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corrupt officials, who have been known to use ivory products as bribes. It galvanized support among African allies, which have long pressed Beijing to help curb poaching, as China looks to expand its influence on the continent. Read more