China likely to build on reef near Philippines: Minister

In an interview with AFP, Delfin Lorenzana said he believed China would eventually reclaim Scarborough Shoal, just 230 kilometres from the main Philippine island of Luzon.

Beijing has already built up a number of islets and reefs in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, installing military facilities on several of them.

Analysts say similar installations on nearby Scarborough Shoal could give China effective military control over the disputed Sea – something the US has said it is not prepared to accept. Tiếp tục đọc “China likely to build on reef near Philippines: Minister”

‘Irrational’ Coal Plants May Hamper China’s Climate Change Efforts

The China Kingho Energy Group’s coal-to-gas plant in Chuluqay, Xinjiang, China, in 2014. Credit Benjamin Haas/Bloomberg

YINING, China — When scientists and environmental scholars scan the grim industrial landscape of China, a certain coal plant near the rugged Kazakhstan border stands out.

On the outside, it looks like any other modern energy plant — shiny metal towers loom over the grassy grounds, and workers in hard hats stroll the campus. But in those towers, a rare and contentious process is underway, spewing an alarming amount of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas accelerating climate change.

The plant and others like it undermine China’s aim of being a global leader on efforts to limit climate change.

The plant, in the country’s far west, converts coal to synthetic natural gas. The process, called coal-to-gas or coal gasification, has been criticized by Chinese and foreign scholars and policy makers. For one thing, it is relatively expensive. It also requires enormous amounts of water, which exacerbates the chronic water crisis in northern China. And worst of all, critics say, it emits more carbon dioxide than traditional methods of energy production, even other coal-based ways.

Continue reading on New York Times

The 30-Years War in Vietnam

Viet Minh in battle in Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam. Credit Collection Jean-Claude Labbe/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images

It should go without saying that the Vietnam War is remembered by different people in very different ways. Most Americans remember it as a war fought between 1965 and 1975 that bogged down their military in a struggle to prevent the Communists from marching into Southeast Asia, deeply dividing Americans as it did. The French remember their loss there as a decade-long conflict, fought from 1945 to 1954, when they tried to hold on to the Asian pearl of their colonial empire until losing it in a place called Dien Bien Phu.

The Vietnamese, in contrast, see the war as a national liberation struggle, or as a civil conflict, depending on which side they were on, ending in victory in 1975 for one side and tragedy for the other. For the Vietnamese, it was above all a 30-year conflict transforming direct and indirect forms of fighting into a brutal conflagration, one that would end up claiming over three million Vietnamese lives.

The point is not that one perspective is better or more accurate than the other. What’s important, rather, is to understand how the colonial war, the civil war and the Cold War intertwined to produce such a deadly conflagration by 1967.

Continue reading on New York Times

Debate Flares Over China’s Inclusion at Vatican Organ Trafficking Meeting

New York times, 

Dr. Huang Jiefu, co-chairman of the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee of China, at a meeting on organ trafficking at the Vatican on Tuesday. Credit Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

BEIJING — A politely worded but testy debate has flared over a Vatican conference on human organ trafficking, with a group of ethicists warning that China will use the participation of its most senior transplant official to convince the world that it has overhauled its organ procurement system.

In a letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome, where the two-day Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism began on Tuesday, 11 ethicists wrote: “Our concern is with the harvesting and trafficking of organs from executed prisoners in China.”

China has admitted that it extracted organs from death row prisoners for decades, in what critics have called a serious violation of the rights of inmates who cannot give genuine consent. Since Jan. 1, 2015, Chinese officials have said they no longer use prisoners’ organs, though doubts persist.

Continue reading on New York Times

Duterte Gives ‘Rotten’ Officers Choice: Go to Terrorist Hotbed or Go Home

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines assailed police officers during a live broadcast on Tuesday. Credit Robinson Ninal/Presidential Photographers Division, via Associated Press

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines angrily dressed down more than 200 police officers on national television on Tuesday, presenting them with a thorny ultimatum: Resign or be shipped off to a terrorist hotbed known for beheadings and attacks on police stations.

Mr. Duterte accused the 228 officers of a litany of criminal and professional misdeeds, including corruption, drug use and dealing, and, in one high-profile case, the kidnapping and murder of a South Korean businessman.

Calling the group of National Police officers from Manila, the capital, “rotten to the core,” Mr. Duterte said he was ordering them to Basilan, an island in the country’s restive south and home to the Islamic terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf.

Continue reading on New York Times

Đà Nẵng “chạy nước rút” đón APEC 2017

THANH HẢI 9:19 AM, 03/02/2017

Chưa đầy 10 tháng nữa, APEC 2017 sẽ được tổ chức tại Đà Nẵng. Đây là một sự kiện lớn của Việt Nam, là cột mốc lịch sử của Đà Nẵng trong công cuộc phát triển kinh tế-xã hội. Ngay từ những ngày đầu tiên của năm mới Đinh Dậu 2017, không khí đón APEC đã ngập tràn Đà Nẵng …

Tiếp tục đọc “Đà Nẵng “chạy nước rút” đón APEC 2017″