The End Of All Crossroads

Where the TAXI makes a stop, to ponder upon which road mayhap be true

Category: China

Bus driver cannibal gnaws woman’s face

“It was then that Dong started biting Du’s face, leaving her covered in blood and weeping as passers-by tried to pull the attacker off his victim.”

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Daily Mail July 03, 2012 9:44AM

THE recent terrifying spate of ‘cannibal attacks’ seems to have spread to China, as a drunk bus driver was caught on camera gnawing at a woman’s face in a horrific random attack.

The unfortunate woman will apparently require plastic surgery to repair the damage done by her crazed attacker.

According to local news reports, the driver, named Dong, had been drinking heavily during lunch with his friends before the outburst on Tuesday.

He then ran on to the road in the city of Wenzhou, in south-east China, and stood in front of the car being driven by a woman named Du, stopping her from moving.

Dong climbed on the car’s hood and started beating the vehicle while the panicked woman screamed for help.

When she left the car and tried to escape, the bus driver leaped on top of her and wrestled her to the ground.

It was then that Dong started biting Du’s face, leaving her covered in blood and weeping as passers-by tried to pull the attacker off his victim.

Witnesses said that the bus driver had gone ‘crazy’ and was successfully resisting attempts to subdue him.

When police arrived, they managed to take Dong into custody, bringing the appalling rampage to an end.

Du was taken to hospital, where doctors said she would need surgery to repair her nose and lips.

The incident comes in the wake of a number of similar attacks committed by drugged-up psychopaths in the U.S.

Perhaps the best-known of these came in May, when Rudy Eugene chewed a homeless man’s face off before being shot dead by police.

 

SOURCE:
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/bus-driver-cannibal-gnaws-womans-face/story-e6freuy9-1226415360372

Clashes over Internet rules to mark Dubai meeting

“More than 900 proposed regulatory changes have been proposed, but details have not been made public. Broad consensus is needed to adopt any items — the first major review of the U.N.’s telecommunications protocols since 1988, well before the Internet age.”

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By BRIAN MURPHY
— Dec. 3 8:50 AM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.N.’s top telecommunications overseer sought Monday to quell worries about greater Internet controls emerging from global talks in Dubai, but any attempts for major Web regulations will likely face stiff opposition from groups led by a high-powered U.S. delegation.

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The 11-day conference, seeking to update codes last reviewed when the Web was virtually unknown, highlights the fundamental shift from tightly managed telecommunications networks to the borderless sweep of the Internet.

Some at the Dubai conference, including a 123-member U.S. delegation with envoys from tech giants such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., worry that any new U.N. oversight could be used by nations such as China and Russia to justify further tightening of Web blocks and monitoring.

“Love the free and open Internet? Tell the world’s governments to keep it that way,” said a message on the main search page of Google.com with a link for comments directed to the Dubai conference, which opened Monday.

The agenda for the gathering of more than 1,900 participants from 193 nations covers possible new rules for a broad range of services such as the Internet, mobile roaming fees and satellite and fixed-line communications. Questions include how much sway the U.N. can exert over efforts such as battling cyber-crimes and expanding the Internet into developing nations.

The secretary-general of the U.N. International Telecommunications Union, Hamadoun Toure, said that accusations that the meeting could limit Web freedoms are “completely untrue” and predicted only “light-touch” regulations.

“Many countries will come to reaffirm their desire to see freedom of expression embedded in this conference,” he told reporters.

But the head of the American contingent, Ambassador Terry Kramer, said the U.S. would propose taking all Internet-related discussions off the table and concentrating on already regulated services such as phone networks.

“What we don’t want to do is bring in all the private networks, the Internet networks, the government networks, etc.,” he told The Associated Press. “That opens the door to censorship.”

The outcome of the Dubai gathering is far from certain.

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More than 900 proposed regulatory changes have been proposed, but details have not been made public. Broad consensus is needed to adopt any items — the first major review of the U.N.’s telecommunications protocols since 1988, well before the Internet age.

The gathering is also powerless to force nations to change their Internet policies, such as China’s notorious “Great Firewall” and widespread blackouts of political opposition sites in places including Iran and the Gulf Arab states. Last week, Syria’s Internet and telephone services disappeared for two days during some of the worst fighting in months to hit the capital, Damascus.

Kramer told reporters last week in Washington that all efforts should be made to avoid a “Balkanization” of the Internet in which each country would impose its own rules and standards that could disrupt the flow of commerce and information.

“That opens the door … to content censorship,” he said.

The International Trade Union Confederation, representing labor groups in more than 150 countries, claimed a bloc that includes China, Russia and several Middle East nations seeks to “pave the way for future restrictions on both Internet content or its users.”

“It is clear that some governments have an interest in changing the rules and regulations of the Internet,” the confederation said in statement Monday.

Another battle that will likely take place in Dubai is over European-backed suggestions to change the pay structure of the Web to force content providers — such as Google, Facebook Inc. and others — to kick in an extra fee to reach users across borders.

“Potentially, the content developers — they could be Googles, they could be universities — would end up being charged potentially to have traffic sent abroad,” said Kramer in Dubai. “Either way, you slow down Internet traffic and you actually exacerbate the digital divide, the income divide, because you have a lot of people who are accessing things for free.”

Advocates of the changes say the money raised could pay to expand broadband infrastructures in developing countries.

Toure said he hoped for a “landmark” accord on trying to bring broadband Internet to developing countries. “The Internet remains out of reach for two-thirds of world’s people,” said Toure, who is from Mali.

The U.N. telecommunications agency dates back to 1865, when the telegraph revolutionized the speed of information. Over the decades, it has expanded to include telephone, satellite and other advances in communications.

SOURCE:

Gold could be the panacea for global banking woes: Sprott

SPOILER: DO-NOT-FALL-FOR-THAT!! This all-coming ‘goldrush’ is artificially supported in order to actually KEEP the US Dollar’s status-quo in tradings – that is, until it finally collapses.

I repeat: BEWARE. Do not fall for that trick, as it’s what banks would like the most. That’s exactly why they pay people like this to write essays like these.

I warned ye.

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Marc Howe | November 30, 2012

On the eve of the implementation of the Basel III capital rules governing the world’s largest financial institutions veteran investor Eric Sprott points to gold as the most convenient and over-looked solution to the global banking system’s woes.

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The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, responsible for devising guidelines for the world’s leading financial institutions, has spent the past four years since the Great Financial Crisis drafting a new set of international banking regulations to prevent the recurrence of similar catastrophes.

The new rules are slated to take effect on 1 January 2013, yet only months prior to their scheduled implementation they have already triggered refractory responses – particularly in the United States, due to their complexity and adverse impact on profits.

In a trenchant essay on the new regulations Sprott highlights what he believes to be one of their chief defects – their treatment of gold as an asset class.

Sprott notes that Basel III regulators cling to the notion that AAA-government securities should comprise the preponderance of high quality liquid assets which banks are required to hold.

Such securities are no longer esteemed by the financial community as safe harbor holdings due to the sovereign risk issues blighting a number of indebted nation-states, as well as the propensity of governments to issue blithely issue debt.

According to Sprott, precious metals such as gold could be the solution to the instability of the global banking system were they conferred with a heightened liquidity profile under the new Basel III framework.

Sprott writes that this would “open the door for gold to compete with cash and government bonds on bank balance sheets – and provide banks with an asset that actually has the chance to appreciate.”

Non-Western central banks have already cottoned on to this and included gold as a key component of their foreign exchange reserves, while two banking jurisdictions in particular – Turkey and China – “have openly incorporated gold into their capital structures.”

The People’s Bank of China recently made remarks which would imply that the government wishes to capitalize on their growing gold stockpile by integrating the domestic market with the international market, and Sprott speculates that China “may have already cornered most of the world’s physical gold supply” in anticipation of the day that Western banks realize that the precious metal is preferable to Treasuries.

 

SOURCE:
http://www.mining.com/gold-is-the-panacea-for-global-banking-woes-sprott-53227/

Goodbye Petrodollar, Hello Agri-Dollar?

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/24/2012 09:50 -0500

When it comes to firmly established, currency-for-commodity, self reinforcing systems in the past century of human history, nothing comes close to the petrodollar: it is safe to say that few things have shaped the face of the modern world and defined the reserve currency as much as the $2.3 trillion/year energy exports denominated exclusively in US dollars (although recent confirmations of previously inconceivable exclusions such as Turkey’s oil-for-gold trade with Iran are increasingly putting the petrodollar status quo under the microscope). But that is the past, and with rapid changes in modern technology and extraction efficiency, leading to such offshoots are renewable and shale, the days of the petrodollar “as defined” may be over. So what new trade regime may be the dominant one for the next several decades? According to some, for now mostly overheard whispering in the hallways, the primary commodity imbalance that will shape the face of global trade in the coming years is not that of energy, but that of food, driven by constantly rising food prices due to a fragmented supply-side unable to catch up with increasing demand, one in which China will play a dominant role but not due to its commodity extraction and/or processing supremacy, but the contrary: due to its soaring deficit for agricultural products, and in which such legacy trade deficit culprits as the US will suddenly enjoy a huge advantage in both trade and geopolitical terms. Coming soon: the agri-dollar.

But first, some perspectives from Karim Bitar on CEO of Genus, on what is sure to be the biggest marginal player of the agri-dollar revolution, China, whose attempt to redefine itself as a consumption-driven superpower will fail epically and very violently, unless it is able to find a way to feed its massive, rising middle class in a cheap and efficient manner. But before that even, take note of the following chart which takes all you know about global trade surplus and deficit when narrowed down to what may soon be that all important agricultural (hence food) category, and flips it around on its head.

Karim Bitar on China:

Structurally, China is at a huge disadvantage as it accounts for 20% of the world’s population, but only 7% of arable land. Compare that with Brazil which has the reverse of those ratios. What that does for a country like China is to incentivise the adoption of technification. Let’s look at their porcine market, which represents 50% of global production and consumption. In China, to slaughter roughly 600 mn pigs per year, which is about six times the demand in the US, they have a breeding herd of about 50 mn animals. In the US, the comparable number is only about 6 mn so there is a huge productivity lag.

Owing to its structural disadvantages, China is much more focused on increasing efficiency. For that, it needs to accelerate technification. So, we’re seeing a whole series of government incentives at a national level, a provincial level and a local level, focusing on the need to move toward integrated pork production because that’s a key way to optimise total economics, both in terms of pig production, slaughtering, processing and also actually taking the pork out into the marketplace.

The Chinese government is important as a customer to us because of its clarity of vision on food security. It has seen the Arab Spring, and it is cognisant of the strong socio-political implications of higher food prices. Pork prices could account for about 25% of the CPI, so it knows it can be a major issue. It’s because of all these pressures, that China is more focused on responding to the food challenge. It’s a sort of a burning platform there.

…Take milk production in China and India. China is basically trying to leapfrog and avoid small-scale farming by adopting a US model. In the US, you tend to have very large herds. Today about 30% of US milk production is from herds of 2,000 plus, and we expect that to reach 60% within the next five years. Today in China, there are already several hundred dairy herds of over 1,000. However in India, there’ll be less than 50. The average dairy herd size is closer to five, so it’s very fragmented. So the reality is that a place like China, because of government policies, subsidies and a much more demanding focused approach to becoming self-sufficient, has a much greater ability to respond to a supply challenge rapidly.

The problem for China, and to a lesser extent India, however one defines it, is that it will need increasingly more food, processed with ever greater efficiency for the current conservative regime to be able to preserve the status quo, all else equal. And for a suddenly very food trade deficit-vulnerable China, it means that the biggest winners may be Brazil, the US and Canada. Oh and Africa. The only question is how China will adapt in a new world in which it finds itself in an odd position: a competitive trade disadvantage, especially its primary nemesis: the USA.

So for those curious how a world may look like under the Agri-dollar, read on for some timely views from GS’ Hugo Scott-Gall.

Meaty problems, simmering solutions

What potential impacts could a further re-pricing of food have on the world? Why might food re-price? Because demand is set to rise faster than supply can respond. The forces pushing demand higher are well known, population growth, urbanisation and changing middle class size and tastes. In terms of economic evolution, the food price surge comes after the energy price surge, as industrialisation segues into consumption growth (high-income countries consume about 30% more calories than low income nations, but the difference in value is about eight times). Here, we are keenly interested in how the supply side can respond, both in terms of where and how solutions are found, and who is supplying them. We are drawn towards an analogy with the energy industry here: the energy industry has invested heavily in efficiency, and through innovation, clusters of excellence, and access to capital has created solutions, the most obvious of which are renewable energy and shale. The key question for us is, can and will something similar happen in food?

It’s hard to argue that the ingredients that sparked energy’s supply-side response are all present in the food supply chain. In food, there’s huge fragmentation, a lack of coordination, shortages of capital in support industries (infrastructure) and only pockets of isolated innovation. We suspect that the supply-side response may well remain uncoordinated and slower than in other industries. But things are changing. Those who disagree with Thomas Malthus will always back human ingenuity. As well as looking at where the innovators in the supply chain are (from page 10), and where there are sustainably high returns through IP (e.g., seeds, enzymes etc.), we need to think about the macro and micro economic impacts of higher food prices, and soberingly, the geo-political ones.

Slimming down

Could the demand destruction that higher energy prices have precipitated occur in food? There are some important differences between the two that make resolving food imbalances tougher. Food consumption is very fragmented and there is less scope for substitution.

Changing eating habits is much harder than changing the fuel burnt for power. And, ultimately, food spend is less discretionary that energy, i.e., the scope for efficient consumption is more limited and consumers will not (and cannot) voluntarily delay consumption, let alone structurally reduce it. This means that higher food prices, especially in economies where food is a greater portion of household spending, will lead to either lower consumption of discretionary items or a reduced ability to service debt (with consequent effects on asset prices). When oil prices spiked in the late 1970s, US consumers spent c.9% of their income on energy vs. an average of 7% over the previous decade. And yet, the total savings rate rose by c.2% as they overcompensated on spending cuts on other items. 2007-09 saw a similar phenomenon too. Even the most cursory browse through history shows that high food costs can act as a political tinderbox (so too high youth unemployment), and we believe there is a degree of overconfidence with regard to the economic impact of food prices in the West: food costs relative to incomes may look manageable, but when there is no buffer (i.e., a minimal savings rate) then there are problems. Food spend as a percentage of total household consumption expenditure is a relatively benign 14% in the US, versus c.20% for most major European nations and Japan. This rises to c.40% for China and 45% for India. Of course, as wages rise, the proportion of food within total consumption expenditure falls, but that is only after consumption hits a ceiling. Currently, India and China consume about 2,300 and 2,900 calories per capita per day, compared to a DM average of about 3,400. If the two countries eat like the West, then food production must rise by 12%. And if the rest of the world catches up to these levels then that number is north of 50%.

The scramble for Africa’s eggs

In terms of ownership of resources, food, like energy, can be broken into haves and have-nots. While there are countries that have been successful without resources, it is quite clear that inheriting advantages (in this case good soil, climate and water) makes life easier. But that, of course, is only half the battle; what is also required is organisation, capital, education and collaboration to make it happen. Take Africa. It has 60% of the world’s uncultivated land, enviable demographics and lots of water (though not evenly distributed). Basic infrastructure, consolidation of agricultural land and minimal use of fertilisers and crop protection could do wonders for agricultural output in the region. But that’s easier said than done. Several African economies also need better access to information, education, property rights and access to markets and capital. Put another way, it needs better institutions. If Africa does deliver over the coming decades, rising food prices will alter the economics of investing in the region. The next scramble for Africa should be about food (while it is about hard commodities now and in the late 19th century it was about empire size). Fertiliser consumption has a diminishing incremental impact on yields, but Africa (along with several developing economies elsewhere) is far from touching that ceiling. Currently, Africa accounts for just 3% of global agricultural trade, with South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire together accounting for a third of the entire continent’s exports. But if the world wants to feed itself then it needs Africa to emerge as an agricultural powerhouse.

Higher up the production curve is China, which has been industrialising its agriculture as it seeks to move towards self sufficiency. Power consumed by agricultural machinery has almost doubled over the last decade, while the number of tractors per household has tripled, driving per hectare output up by an average of more than 20% over the same period.

Even so, in just the last 10 years China has gone from surplus to deficit in several meat, vegetable and cereal categories. So a lot more needs to be done, and a shortage of water could also prove to be an impediment, especially in some of its remote areas.

The power of the pampas

With significant surpluses in soybeans, maize, meat and oilseeds, Brazil and Argentina have led the Latin American continent in terms of food trade. Current surpluses are 6x and 3x 2000 levels, versus only a 30% increase in the previous decade, and are rising. A key impediment to boosting exports is infrastructure. Food has to travel a long way just to reach the port, and then further still to reach other markets. Forty days is possibly acceptable for iron ore to reach China on a ship from Brazil, but that would prevent several perishable food items from being exported. And hence, solution providers in terms of durability, packaging, refrigeration and processing will be in demand. Also, while you could attribute a lot of the agricultural success of LatAm economies to good conditions, they have also benefitted from the adoption of agricultural innovation. For instance, more than a third of crops planted in the region are as seeds that are genetically modified, versus more than 45% in the US and about 12% in Asia. Genetically modified crops are not new. They provide solutions to some of the most frequent constraints on agricultural yields (resistance to environmental challenges including drought and more efficient absorption of soil nutrients, fertilisers and water) or add value by enhancing nutrient composition or the shelf life of the crop. And while the adoption of GM crops and seeds is far from wholehearted, particularly in Europe, it’s most certainly a key part of the solution in economies that are set to face a more severe food shortage.

The last mango in Paris?

Europe’s deficit/surplus makes for interesting reading. Seventeen of the 27 EU countries face a food trade deficit, and yet, the EU overall recorded a surplus (barely) in 2010 for only the second time in the last 50 years (see chart). Broken down further, the UK is the largest food importer, followed by Germany and Italy, while the Netherlands and France lead exports thanks to their very large processing industries. If Europe’s future is one of relative economic decline, then reduced purchasing power when bidding for scarce food resources is an unappetising prospect. Therefore, it needs all
the innovative solutions it can muster, or import substitution will have to increase. It’s important to note that being in overall surplus or deficit can mask variety at the category level, i.e., Europe is a net importer of beef, fruit & vegetables, and corn, while its exports are helped by alcohol and wine specifically. Japan, in particular, is very challenged. It is the only country in the preceding table to show a deficit in every single food category.

We conclude our trip around the world in North America. Large-scale production, access to markets, a home to innovation
and favourable regulation has meant that the US (and Canada) continues to dominate some of the key agricultural resources such as soybeans, corn, fodder, wheat and oilseeds. Put this self sufficiency together with the medium-term potential for energy self sufficiency and relatively good demographics (better than China), and a rosier prognosis for the US, versus the rest of the Western world and parts of Asia, begins to fall into place.

Agri-dollars on the rise

Before we conclude, we need to devote a few lines to the geo-political and macro economic consequences of higher food prices. It’s likely that countries will act increasingly strategically to secure food supply, and that protections (e.g., high export tariffs) may well rise. It is also likely that there are special bi-lateral deals to access stable and secure food supply.

This could obviously damage the integrity of the WTO-sponsored system. Another consequence might be the emergence of agri-dollars, in the same way that petro-dollars emerged in the 1970s. This may seem far fetched (the value of the world’s energy exports is US$2.3 tn compared to US$1.08 tn for agriculture) but it’s important to think through the consequences. The big exporters, especially those with the scope to grow their output, may well have sustainable surpluses that can be reinvested into their economies (or extracted by a narrow part of society). Similarly, the consequence of being a net importer will be an effective tax on consumption: disposable income in the US would jump if oil was US$25/bbl.

As we have said, we would expect the big gainers of a meaningful rise in food prices in real terms to be Brazil, the US and Canada, while Japan, South Korea and the UK would face challenges. The top chart is important: look how China’s surplus has turned to deficit. What will happen if the Chinese middle class swells as it is expected to? And that’s the rub; what we have been used to in terms of food’s importance is set to change. How food moves around the world is likely to change, and the flow of currency around the world will also likely be impacted.

 

SOURCE:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-24/goodbye-petrodollar-hello-agri-dollar

Rash of Sinkholes Appear in China’s Harbin

By Fang Xiao & Ariel Tian
Epoch Times Staff

Created: August 20, 2012
Last Updated: August 24, 2012

China’s northeastern city of Harbin has suffered a sudden appearance of sinkholes this month, triggering a feverish discussion on Chinese social media sites about their cause and what they mean.

 

A Harbin resident uploaded this image via his cellular phone, showing a purported sinkhole that appeared in the northeastern Chinese city. A rash of sinkholes hit Harbin recently, prompting questions from citizens as to why. (Weibo.com)

Around seven sinkholes appeared in the city between Aug. 8 and 17, killing two and injuring two more, Chinese Internet news portal Sina reported. Two cars also fell into sinkholes that opened up in the middle of two roads.

Mr. Tang, a computer technician at an electronics store in Harbin’s Nangang District, told The Epoch Times that he witnessed a sinkhole appear near Jiahua Road several days ago.

“A man who was walking on the street fell and suddenly disappeared,” he recalled.

“There was no sign of him anywhere … and it was as if nothing had happened. It was like he disappeared into thin air. It was horrifying.”

Harbin local Mr. Chiang, who also lives in Nangang District, told The Epoch Times that sinkholes are now a relatively common phenomenon in the city, adding that residents say they formed due to the construction of an underground railroad system.

Sinkholes in urban areas can be caused by rainwater seeping through the pavement, but Chiang said in Harbin, they also occur in dry weather.

In recent years, sinkholes have appeared in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

More than 50 cities across China have experienced sinkholes, according to a report by the State Council released February. According to the Party mouthpiece People’s Daily, the widespread construction of skyscrapers and poor development of underground water drainage systems is to blame.

Sinkholes have attracted a great deal of attention on China’s social media sites, including the popular Sina Weibo microblogging service.

Some users think that sinkholes are a bad omen. “The 2012 Judgment Day seems really close,” one netizen said on Weibo Monday, referring to the deluge of sinkholes that recently appeared in Harbin. “How ridiculous.”

One user said, however, that the problem is due to “obvious engineering quality problems [and] has little to do with natural disasters.”

Others pointed out that bad infrastructure caused by local government corruption is the real cause.

“Harbin government officials should be ashamed of themselves,” a Weibo user wrote, for “the countless human tragedies” and treating its citizens’ “lives as a trivial thing.”

SOURCE:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/rash-of-sinkholes-appear-in-china-s-harbin-281681.html

China’s neighbours protest its passport map grab

China has redrawn the map printed in its passports to lay claim to almost all of the South China Sea, infuriating its southeast Asian neighbours.

By Malcolm Moore, Beijing
12:09PM GMT 22 Nov 2012

In the new passports, a nine-dash line has been printed that hugs the coast of the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and some of Indonesia, scooping up several islands that are claimed both by China and by its neighbours.

China has printed nearly six million of the new passports since it quietly introduced them in April, judging by the average monthly application rate.

On Thursday, the Philippines joined Vietnam in voicing its anger at the new map.

China angers neighbours with sea claims on new passports (China Daily Mail – click for sourcepage)

“The Philippines strongly protests the inclusion of the nine-dash lines in the e-passport as such image covers an area that is clearly part of the Philippines’ territory and maritime domain,” said Albert del Rosario, a foreign affairs spokesman.

Immigration officials in other countries worry that they will implicitly recognise China’s territorial claims simply by stamping the new passports.

The issue was brought to light by keen-eyed Vietnamese officials who are in the process of renewing six-month visas for Chinese businessmen.

“I think it is one very poisonous step by Beijing among their thousands of malevolent actions,” said Nguyen Quang, a former adviser to the Vietnamese government, to the Financial Times.

In response, Vietnamese immigration is refusing to paste visas inside the new passports, instead putting the visa on a separate, detached, page.

“When I tried to cross the border, the officials refused to stamp my visa,” said David Li, 19, from Guangdong province, who ran into problems getting into Vietnam on Nov 19.

“They claimed my visa was invalid. They said it was because on the new passport’s map, the South China Sea part of China’s marine border crossed Vietnam’s territory, so if they stamped on it, it means they acknowledge China’s claim,” he added.

Mr Li said two other passengers on his flight also had problems with their new passports, and that he was forced to buy a new visa for 50,000 Vietnamese dong (£1.50).

Kien Deng, a Chinese travel agent who has worked in Vietnam for three years, said the Vietnamese officials had used the map for their financial advantage, charging a fee of 30 yuan (£3) to holders of the offending passport in order to insert a new visa.

“They are playing a cheeky trick which makes foreigners like us suffer,” he said. “There are 20,000 students who visit Vietnam from China every year, and 70,000 businessmen in Hanoi and at least as many again in Saigon. So it adds up to a huge amount,” he said.

The new passport also stakes a claim to the Diaoyu or Senkakku islands, which have been a great source of friction between China and Japan.

However, the scale of the islands is so small as to be invisible, and Japan has not yet lodged a complaint, according to the Financial Times.

Additional reporting by Valentina Luo

SOURCE:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/96

Reflexions – I

The contemporary individual is led to believe that it is endowed with the freedom of its own expressiveness while being sociable among many other beings of Nature – but is blinded by the glare of the constant, attractively shiny trails that consumerism of commercial society lays upon its natural environment: the TV; the radio; the magazine; the newspaper.

The word. Religion.

It is gradually deprived, in fact, of its own freedom to exercise and employ as much as the motor and mental skills bequeathed to it since before its birth. With this collective blindness, winged rampant silence resonates above and below the shroud of the invalid who stood behind before the end of this rat race.

The Palestinians, the ‘rebels’; soldiers. You and me. We are all innocent angels in a war in which you and I – and we all – subsist. And, worse, we finance.

Every deposit, every service, every transaction – and more: even at the time which your money, that thing made by unbacked paper used to trade for objects from the material or ‘divine’ realms, is supposedly untouched – it is charged, taxed and insured by the mercantile system: either by the bureaucracy or by the supposedly free enterprise – which, in fact, is nothing more than huge, leviathanic transoceanic plutocracy conglomerates of bellicose bureaucrats, parasitary privatizers and monarchical masons.

And who would benefit from the whole process of the mercantile profit system – and/or its total collapse? Well, the ones that for so long Fed this very system. We’re talking about generations of people unrelated to you that, in turn, not only created all possible forms of interaction inbetween the natural world and you – both now increasingly artificial – but also remould and reshape the processes of social interactions throughout the Planet all long the eons – and worse, subverting It by validating all the supposed merits and pretenses of the System using thus the Academy; the Sciences; the Philosophies so that the mercantile system processes never break definitely.

Each of us have a brief idea of at least some of what I wrote, and I have faith and hope that every day, across the globe, people actually reflect upon all that – gradually stripping off partisan, religious, political , sectarian, extremist labels and -isms.

You people need to start waking up. This is but even much more serious – and infinitely greater than what’s demonstrated here. This text is just a draft of an idea for a post, I’ll improve it alongtime.

Why Is China Building Gigantic Structures In The Middle Of The Desert?

Jesus Diaz
14 November, 2011 7:58 AM

This is crazy. New photos have appeared in Google Maps showing unidentified titanic structures in the middle of the Chinese desert. The first one is an intricate network of what appears to be huge metallic stripes. Is this a military experiment? Updated.

They seem to be wide lines drawn with some white material. Or maybe the dust have been dug by machinery.

It’s located in Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu, north of the Shule River, which crosses the Tibetan Plateau to the west into the Kumtag Desert. It covers an area approximately 1.6km long by more than 914m wide.

The tracks are perfectly executed, and they seem to be designed to be seen from orbit.

Perhaps it’s some kind of targeting or calibrating grid for Chinese spy satellites? Maybe it’s a QR code for aliens? Nobody really knows.

You can check it out yourself in Google Maps [links @ the end of this post].

The second structure seems to be some kind of giant targeting grid, also north of the Shule river.

If you zoom in, you can see vehicles destroyed. It’s west of what seems to be a fairly big electrical station or a radio station similar to HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program located near Gakona, Alaska, and funded by the US Air Force, the US Navy, the University of Alaska and DARPA.

You can investigate here and tell us what you think in the comments.

The third one I don’t know what the hell it is either, and it’s perhaps the craziest of them all: thousands of lines intersecting in a titanic grid that is about 30km long. Another targeting grid? A big practical joke? You can inspect it here. [Google Maps, Google Maps and Google Maps via Reddit]

Update: Readers are finding even more weird stuff.

The Chinese have been building huge structures in the desert for a long time. Back in 2006, they built this 1:20 scale model of disputed border region between China and India. That’s a terrain model 0.7km wide by almost 1km tall. Uncanny. Why would they build such a model of a terrain? To play a 1:20 scale war with 1:20 scale tanks? Mind boggling.

SOURCE: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/11/why-is-china-building-gigantic-structures-in-the-middle-of-the-desert/

GMAPS IMAGES’ COORDINATES LINKS
http://g.co/maps/jxc9u
http://g.co/maps/kc573
http://g.co/maps/gzahp
http://g.co/maps/aqdar
http://g.co/maps/vgdf7
http://g.co/maps/375xc

What The Hell Is China Building Here?

Jesus Diaz
17 November, 2012 5:00 AM

Not happy with building mysterious gigantic structures in the desert, the Chinese are now building inter-dimensional portals in the middle of their cities. I mean, come on, what the hell is this 157m high metal structure in the the city of Fushun, in northeast China’s Liaoning province?

It’s made of an astounding 3000 tons of steel and it will glow at night — decorated with 12,000 LED lights. According to Fushun Municipal Government’s officials, this titanic structure does absolutely nothing except serve as an elevated sighting position. They claim it is pretty “landscape architecture” — like the Eiffel Tower. It uses four elevators to take people to the top.

The Chinese media has been harsh about the building after a blogger posted these photos on Sina Weibo, which is the country’s “largest microblog platform”. Not surprising, since this thing costs $US16 million.

According to Fushun’s Urban Construction Bureau, the “Ring of Life” means “a round sky and a path leading to a paradise in heaven.”

SOURCE: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/11/what-the-hell-is-china-building-here/