publishedmedium:south china morning post

  • #Huawei ban: why Asian countries are shunning Trump’s blacklist despite concerns about China’s influence | South China Morning Post

    “Some if not all regional countries may harbour concerns about the security ramifications of using Huawei, but there are real pragmatic considerations,” said Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “Cost-wise in particular, Chinese offers for infrastructure development present more attractive propositions.”

    Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan sought to address funding worries in his speech, mentioning that the US roughly doubled a competing infrastructure fund to US$60 billion. He contrasted the American vision of a “ free and open ” region with one “where power determines place and debt determines destiny”.

    For many Asian countries, however, US funding isn’t enough to meet their needs and generally comes with too many strings attached . Myanmar, for instance, found that China was the only country willing to finance a deep-sea port and industrial estate on its coastline near Bangladesh.

    “In the end, the decision to accept or not to accept such financing rests with the recipient country and not with Beijing,” said Thaung Tun, Myanmar’s national security adviser, dismissing the notion that China would indebt the country for strategic gains.

    #Chine #Etats-Unis

  • China working on data privacy law but enforcement is a stumbling block | South China Morning Post

    En Chine des scientifiques s’inquiètent de la collection de données sans limites et des abus possibles par le gouvernment et des acteurs privés. Au niveau politique on essaye d’introduire des lois protégeant les données et la vie privée. D’après l’article les véritables problèmes se poseront lors de l’implémentation d’une nouvelle législation en la matière.

    Echo Xie 5 May, 2019 - Biometric data in particular needs to be protected from abuse from the state and businesses, analysts say
    Country is expected to have 626 million surveillance cameras fitted with facial recognition software by 2020

    In what is seen as a major step to protect citizens’ personal information, especially their biometric data, from abuse, China’s legislators are drafting a new law to safeguard data privacy, according to industry observers – but enforcement remains a major concern.

    “China’s private data protection law will be released and implemented soon, because of the fast development of technology, and the huge demand in society,” Zeng Liaoyuan, associate professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, said in an interview .

    Technology is rapidly changing life in China but relevant regulations had yet to catch up, Zeng said.

    Artificial intelligence and its many applications constitute a major component of China’s national plan. In 2017, the “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” called for the country to become the world leader in AI innovation by 2030.

    Biometrics authentication is used in computer science as an identification or access control. It includes fingerprinting, face recognition, DNA, iris recognition, palm prints and other methods.

    In particular, the use of biometric data has grown exponentially in key areas: scanning users’ fingerprints or face to pay bills, to apply for social security qualification and even to repay loans. But the lack of an overarching law lets companies gain access to vast quantities of an individual’s personal data, a practice that has raised privacy concerns.

    During the “two sessions” last month, National People’s Congress spokesman Zhang Yesui said the authorities had hastened the drafting of a law to protect personal data, but did not say when it would be completed or enacted.

    One important focus, analysts say, is ensuring that the state does not abuse its power when collecting and using private data, considering the mass surveillance systems installed in China.

    “This is a big problem in China,” said Liu Deliang, a law professor at Beijing Normal University. “Because it’s about regulating the government’s abuse of power, so it’s not only a law issue but a constitutional issue.”

    The Chinese government is a major collector and user of privacy data. According to IHS Markit, a London-based market research firm, China had 176 million surveillance cameras in operation in 2016 and the number was set to reach 626 million by 2020.

    In any proposed law, the misuse of data should be clearly defined and even the government should bear legal responsibility for its misuse, Liu said.

    “We can have legislation to prevent the government from misusing private data but the hard thing is how to enforce it.”

    Especially crucial, legal experts say, is privacy protection for biometric data.

    “Compared with other private data, biometrics has its uniqueness. It could post long-term risk and seriousness of consequence,” said Wu Shenkuo, an associate law professor at Beijing Normal University.

    “Therefore, we need to pay more attention to the scope and limitations of collecting and using biometrics.”

    Yi Tong, a lawmaker from Beijing, filed a proposal concerning biometrics legislation at the National People’s Congress session last month.

    “Once private biometric data is leaked, it’s a lifetime leak and it will put the users’ private data security into greater uncertainty, which might lead to a series of risks,” the proposal said.

    Yi suggested clarifying the boundary between state power and private rights, and strengthening the management of companies.

    In terms of governance, Wu said China should specify the qualifications entities must have before they can collect, use and process private biometric data. He also said the law should identify which regulatory agencies would certify companies’ information.

    There was a need to restrict government behaviour when collecting private data, he said, and suggested some form of compensation for those whose data was misused.

    “Private data collection at the government level might involve the need for the public interest,” he said. “In this case, in addition to ensuring the legal procedure, the damage to personal interests should be compensated.”

    Still, data leaks, or overcollecting, is common in China.

    A survey released by the China Consumers Association in August showed that more than 85 per cent of respondents had suffered some sort of data leak, such as their cellphone numbers being sold to spammers or their bank accounts being stolen.

    Another report by the association in November found that of the 100 apps it investigated, 91 had problems with overcollecting private data.

    One of them, MeituPic, an image editing software program, was criticised for collecting too much biometric data.

    The report also cited Ant Financial Services, the operator of the Alipay online payments service, for the way it collects private data, which it said was incompatible with the national standard. Ant Financial is an affiliate of Alibaba Group, which owns the South China Morning Post.

    In January last year, Ant Financial had to apologise publicly for automatically signing up users for a social credit programme without obtaining their consent.

    “When a company asks for a user’s private data, it’s unscrupulous, because we don’t have a law to limit their behaviour,” Zeng said.

    “Also it’s about business competition. Every company wants to hold its customers, and one way is to collect their information as much as possible.”

    Tencent and Alibaba, China’s two largest internet companies, did not respond to requests for comment about the pending legislation.

    #Chine #droit #vie_privée #surveillance #politique

  • Why Hong Kong cannot copy Singapore’s approach to public housing | South China Morning Post

    Le peinurie de logements sociaux à Hong Kong est le fruit de la version néolibérale du colonialisme. L’état de Singapour a resolu le problème en imposant l’achat d’appartements sociaux et en confisquant contre dédommagement des territoires privés.

    The technocratic, highly autonomous and competent Singaporean state took on the role of providing affordable housing on a near universal basis, subsidising home ownership for the vast majority. The development of public housing was effectively land reform and wealth redistribution on a scale unimaginable today in neoliberal Hong Kong, despite the superficial similarities in this sphere between the two cities.

    The state’s autonomy meant it was not subordinate to, or captured by, the interests of social groups, from big business and labour to landowners, property developers or finance. This is not to say the government rode roughshod over these groups, but it did mean it could plan and make decisions for the long-term good of the country, without having to cater too much to well-organised interests. Most citizens accepted this setup as they could see improvements all around, not least in their housing conditions.

    But to tackle the problem comprehensively, the HDB took on responsibility for all aspects of housing, including planning, development, design, building and maintenance. The initial priority was to create properly planned population centres outside the city centre but within easy reach. Between 1960 and 1965, the HDB surpassed its target by building more than 50,000 flats. HDB estates were later also developed with other considerations in mind, such as state industrialisation objectives, the avoidance of ethnic enclaves, and asset inflation.

    On the issue of land, ensuring there was enough for public housing meant repealing the 1920 Land Acquisition Ordinance and enacting the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) in 1966. This allowed the state to acquire land for any public purpose or work of public benefit, or for any residential, commercial, or industrial purpose. A subsequent amendment to the LAA in 1973 allowed officials to acquire private land in exchange for compensation below market value. The acquisitions were seldom challenged in the courts.

    Such draconian rules greatly facilitated housing and industrialisation programmes. State ownership of land rose from 31 per cent in 1949 to 44 per cent in 1960, and 76 per cent by 1985. Land reclamation did play a part in this change, along with the transfer of British military space. But to ensure a perpetual supply, Lee’s government also passed legislation to ensure the leases on state-owned land would not exceed 99 years.

    These methods are unthinkable in contemporary Hong Kong. While legally possible, the compulsory acquisition of private land for public housing is rare and generally eschewed. Although Hong Kong law allows the Land Development Corporation (LDC) to take space away from private owners at market prices, the efficacy of this law is limited. The LDC has to demonstrate there is no “undue detriment” to the interests of landowners, which is often difficult.

    Land reform almost always requires landowners’ interests be subordinate to those of the state, and especially those of the landless. This is not the case in Hong Kong.

    Lastly, to ensure the affordability of public housing, the Singapore government designed its policies to explicitly favour home ownership. The units set aside for this purpose were initially priced such that buying was a more attractive option than renting HDB homes.

    In 1968 the Singapore government went further. It increased the amount of money Singaporeans had to contribute to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) so that citizens could then use these savings to finance home purchases. The CPF was established in 1955 as a pension plan, with employees putting in 5 per cent of their monthly salary.

    The revamped CPF required monthly contributions of 6 per cent from the employee, and 6 per cent from employers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 16 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively. This demanded sacrifice on the part of citizens since it ate into their daily spending.

    Such stringent mandatory savings plans would be unlikely to garner much support in Hong Kong. Many would perceive them as paternalistic and would not accept the lower take-home pay they entail.

    In 2017, two decades after Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty, only about 36 per cent of households were in public housing and 49 per cent owned their homes.

    Unlike Singapore, where financing is facilitated by affordable public housing prices and CPF savings, ownership of public flats in Hong Kong is not supported by government policy to the same degree. A successful applicant for a flat in Hong Kong under the Home Ownership Scheme does not own the property until he or she pays a land premium determined by the market value. On acquiring the flat, the applicant pays to the government only the cost of its construction.

    Neither Singapore’s past experience nor its present circumstances suggest it should be a model for Hong Kong. While the public housing programme was hugely successful in its first 50 years, some Singaporeans now raise questions about the long-term viability of a policy based (implicitly at least) on perpetually rising flat values. Having put much of their CPF savings into securing a home, many Singaporeans today are worried about the prospect of declining values on their ageing HDB properties.

    Given how unique and context-specific Singapore’s success in public housing was, it is questionable whether it can be grafted onto contemporary Hong Kong’s context – unless its society and politics were to mimic Singapore’s, and how likely or desirable is that for Hong Kong? ■

    Lee Hsin is a PhD student at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Donald Low is a senior lecturer and professor of practice in public policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and is director of its Leadership and Public Policy Programme

    #Hong_Kong #Chine #Singapour #logement #immobilier #capitalisme

  • From Sri Lanka to Indonesia, more mothers are becoming suicide bombers – and killing their children too | South China Morning Post

    5 May, 2019 Amy Chew - The deadly new phenomenon sees women radicalised by IS ideology taking their children’s lives and their own in pursuit of martyrdom
    Experts say the rise in the radicalisation of married couples is endangering entire families

    IAs night fell on blood-soaked Sri Lanka following the carnage of Easter Sunday last month, police knocked on a door in an upscale neighbourhood – the home of two of the suicide bombers.
    They were greeted by Fatima Ibrahim, the pregnant wife of bomber Ilham Ibrahim
    . On seeing the police, she ran inside and detonated an explosive device, killing herself, her unborn child and her three sons aged five, four and nine months. Three police officers also died in the blast.
    In a similar case in March, anti-terror police arrested a suspected pro-Islamic State (IS)
    bomb-maker, Abu Hamzah, in Indonesia
    . When they went to his home to arrest his wife, Solimah, who had helped him make the bombs, she blew herself up, killing her two-year-old child.

    From Sri Lanka to Indonesia, a deadly new phenomenon is emerging – women, radicalised by IS ideology, are killing themselves and their children in their pursuit of martyrdom.

    Female suicide bombers have always featured in the annals of jihadism, going back to the Chechen Islamists in Russia known as Black Widows, but filicide by female radicals brings a dangerous new dimension to terrorism.

    “We did not have this in al-Qaeda,” said Sofyan Tsauri, former member of al-Qaeda Southeast Asia. “In Islam, jihad for a woman is to take care of the household, nurturing and educating the children, not taking up arms.”

    For these women, the maternal instinct to protect their children is supplanted by the quest for a “swift passage” into heaven, according to Nasir Abbas, a Malaysian former leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and once the most-wanted jihadist in Southeast Asia.

    He later switched sides and is now involved in deradicalisation efforts and other initiatives to counter violent extremism in Indonesia.

    “These [female suicide bombers] believe protecting their children means protecting them from turning into infidels when they are gone,” he told This Week in Asia .

    “In their twisted belief, they are convinced their children will also enter into heaven if they die with them [or] carry out the same act [of suicide bombing].”

    A significant development pointing to this new phenomenon took place when a family of six bombed three churches in Surabaya in May 2018. The perpetrators were a father, mother and four children aged between nine and 18, according to Nasir and the Indonesian police.

    The father, a wealthy businessman named Dita Oepriarto, strapped bombs on his wife and two daughters, who detonated them at a church. He made his two sons ride a motorbike laden with bombs into another church, where they blew themselves up.

    Dita then drove his car, filled with explosives, into a third church. In the space of 10 minutes, the entire family was dead. Dita’s younger son, 16-year-old Firman Halim, was seen crying inconsolably during dawn prayers at a mosque some two hours before the attack.

    “It is believed that the night before the bombings, the father told the children to prepare to die,” said Rizka Nurul, a researcher with the Institute for International Peace Building (IIPB), Indonesia’s first private deradicalisation organisation.

    The rise in the radicalisation of married couples is proving to be a danger to the lives of their children.

    “Children are in grave danger if both their parents are convinced that they must wage jihad … to atone for their sins in this lifetime by carrying out terror attacks,” said Nasir, the former JI leader. “The parents believe in bringing their children with them to heaven.”

    Women are capable of being more radical and militant than men, according to researchers in the field of countering violent extremism.

    “[This is] because women use their hearts. They can be more dangerous as they are more willing to sacrifice, compared with men who tend to be more rational as they consider costs and benefits,” said the IIPB’s Rizka.

    Such was the case with Solimah, who blew herself up in her home following the arrest of her husband, Abu Hamzah. During interrogation, he told investigators his wife was much more radical than him.

    The couple are believed to have been radicalised online by reading the teachings of Indonesia’s foremost IS ideologue, Aman Abdurrahman, who is currently on death row for inciting others to commit terror attacks in Indonesia.

    Many of these women are believed to be radicalised by their husbands and accede to their teachings as a mark of obedience to their spouse.

    “I am not surprised by [the suicide of the woman in the Sri Lanka blast] as she lives in a terrorist group’s environment,” said Ani Rufaida, lecturer in social psychology at Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic University.

    “In my prior research of wives of terrorists, most express obedience to their husbands. Only a small number of wives could reject the extreme ideology of their husbands, but they face consequences, for example, being separated from their husband,” she said. “Extremist groups require total obedience from the wife.”

    In a chilling development, some radicalised Indonesian women are requesting a suicide vest as dowry from their husbands-to-be, according to former JI leader Nasir. “These women plan to carry out suicide bombings after they are married. Several of them have been arrested,” he said.

    A counterterrorism official told This Week in Asia that a woman who requested such a vest was arrested in Klaten, Central Java, last March.

    Countering this phenomenon requires both a soft and hard approach, according to Nasir. “The deviant teaching of terror networks needs to be [made] public. We need to have continuous deradicalisation and counter violent extremism programmes,” he said, adding that this would help dismantle terror networks
    and detain their members before attacks were carried out.

    Indonesia through its National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) has established a deradicalisation programme for inmates, which works to rehabilitate their ideas about Islam through counter-narratives by religious leaders and psychologists, and equips them with skills they can use when they are eventually reintegrated into society. BNPT also focus on countering violent extremism on university campuses.

    Analysts say getting former militant leaders to work with universities and the police in deradicalisation makes these programmes more effective, as they have unparalleled insight into the minds of attackers.

    Another ex-JI member, Ali Fauzi, the younger brother of two executed Bali bombers, started his own NGO called the Circle of Peace, which is deeply involved in countering violent extremism and deradicalisation.

    Women must now be a specific focus of these programmes and other community efforts to prevent radicalisation, analysts say.

    A recent Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) report called for more women to be recruited by Indonesia’s counterterrorism police squad, Detachment 88, given the increasing number of female militants.

    “The percentage of women in the police generally remains woefully low, just over 8 per cent,” it said.

    Better programmes are also needed for pro-IS female detainees. There are currently 15 such women in detention, some of whom were involved in violence. According to IPAC, understanding the backgrounds and motivations of these women is essential for a more targeted rehabilitation programme.

    “IS may have reluctantly accepted women as combatants, but they are now encouraged to take part in operations,” the report said. “It is easy to dismiss the competence of Indonesian terrorists, but as long as they continue to subscribe to IS ideology, they remain a serious threat.”

    #Sri_Lanka #Indonésie #terrorisme #religion #islam #asie #daech

  • Facial recognition snares China’s air con queen Dong Mingzhu for jaywalking, but it’s not what it seems | South China Morning Post

    Since last year, many Chinese cities have cracked down on jaywalking by investing in facial recognition systems and AI-powered surveillance cameras

    Jaywalkers are identified and shamed by displaying their photographs on large public screens

    #reconnaissance_faciale #chine et #bugs

  • As new vaccine scandal grips China, parents say they’ve lost faith in the system | South China Morning Post

    [...] questions remain as to how inferior vaccines were able to pass through a system of checks. There has been no statement from the National Health Commission as to how the low-quality vaccine might affect children.

    Meanwhile, the Shandong edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily called on the government to take action to ease public concerns about the scandal in an editorial headlined, “Don’t let fear and anger spread”.

    It said the latest case would “lead more people to be sceptical about domestically produced vaccines” given that public confidence had barely recovered from the scandal two years ago over expired vaccines that saw 200 people arrested.

    That case in 2016 caused a public outcry when it was revealed that 570 million yuan of improperly stored or expired vaccines had been illegally sold across the country for years.

    It came after state-run China Economic Times in 2010 revealed that hundreds of children in Shanxi province had died or suffered from severe side effects because of damaged vaccines over a period of three years. Shanxi officials denied there were problems with vaccines at the time and the newspaper’s editor was sacked after the report was published.

    #vaccins #chine #santé #scandale

  • China takes surveillance to new heights with flock of robotic Doves, but do they come in peace? | South China Morning Post

    One experiment in northern China’s Inner Mongolia involved flying the birds over a flock of sheep – animals that are well known for their keen sense of hearing and ability to be easily spooked. The flock paid no attention whatsoever to the drone flying above, the person said.

    Although the technology is still in its early stages of development, its wide range of possible uses – not only for the police and military, but also in the fields of emergency response and disaster relief, environmental protection and urban planning – means the market for the drones could be worth 10 billion yuan (US$1.54 billion) in China alone, the researcher said.

    #chine #drones #surveillance #Xinjiang

  • US diplomat in China reports mystery symptoms in case that echoes Cuban embassy illness | South China Morning Post

    A US government employee in southern China has reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure, the State Department said on Wednesday, in a case that recalls the mystery illness that hit American diplomats serving in Cuba.

    In an emailed notice to American citizens in China, the department said it was not currently known what had caused the symptoms in the city of Guangzhou, where an American consulate is located.
    A US government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” the notice said.

    The US government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event.


  • North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed ... and that may be why Kim Jong-un suspended tests | South China Morning Post

    North Korea’s mountain nuclear test site has collapsed, putting China and other nearby nations at unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure, two separate groups of Chinese scientists studying the issue have confirmed. 

    The collapse after five nuclear blasts may be why North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared last Friday that he would freeze the hermit state’s nuclear and missile tests and shut down the site, one researcher said. 

    The last five of Pyongyang’s six nuclear tests have all been carried out under Mount Mantap at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea’s northwest.

    A research team led by Wen Lianxing, a geologist with the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, concluded the collapse occurred following the detonation last autumn of North Korea’s most powerful thermal nuclear warhead in a tunnel about 700 metres (2,296 feet) below the mountain’s peak. 

    The test turned the mountain into fragile fragments, the researchers found.

    Ah ! souvenirs de Beryl…

    • La page web de l’Université de science et technologie de Chine vue dans la vidéo est celle-ci



      中国科学技术大学地震与地球内部物理实验室温联星研究组通过分析地震记录,确认朝鲜自2009年以来一直用于核试验的丰溪里万塔山已塌陷。该研究成果于2018年4月23日被国际地球物理权威学术期刊《地球物理研究快报》(Geophysical Research Letters) 接收。该研究组博士生田冬冬、姚家园为共同第一作者。研究还确认,2017年9月23日和10月12日在丰溪里试验场发生的三个小事件为核试验触发的、发生在万塔山之外的一个天然地震群。


    • La page web mentionne un article publié dans le numéro du 16 avril 2018 de Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 7

      Article publié en ligne le 14 mars 2018

      North Korea’s 2017 Test and its Nontectonic Aftershock - Liu - 2018 - Geophysical Research Letters - Wiley Online Library

      Seismology illuminates physical processes occurring during underground explosions, not all yet fully understood. The thus‐far strongest North Korean test of 3 September 2017 was followed by a moderate seismic event (mL 4.1) after 8.5 min. Here we provide evidence that this aftershock was a nontectonic event which radiated seismic waves as a buried horizontal closing crack. This vigorous crack closure, occurring shortly after the blast, is studied in the North Korea test site for the first time. The event can be qualitatively explained as rapid destruction of an explosion‐generated cracked rock chimney due to cavity collapse, although other compaction processes cannot be ruled out.

      Plain Language Summary
      North Korea detonated its strongest underground nuclear test in September 2017. It attracted the public interest worldwide not only due to its significant magnitude (6.3 mb) but also because it was followed 8.5 min later by a weaker event. Was the delayed shock a secondary explosion, an earthquake provoked by the shot, or something else? We answer these questions, thanks to unique data from near‐regional broadband stations. We basically solve a simple problem—fitting observed seismograms by synthetics. The good fit means that we understand why and how the seismic waves are radiated. According to our model, the explosion created a cavity and a damaged “chimney” of rocks above it. The aftershock was neither a secondary explosion nor a triggered tectonic earthquake. It occurred due to a process comparable to a “mirror image” of the explosion, that is, a rock collapse, or compaction, for the first time documented in North Korea’s test site. Interestingly, shear fault motions, typical for natural earthquakes, were extremely small both in the explosion and in the aftershock. Small natural earthquakes also occur at the test site, and geotechnical works might trigger them. Thus, all studies related to rock stability of the site, and prevention of radioactive leakage, are important.

    • Figure 4
      Inferred interpretation of (a–c) mainshock and (d–f) nontectonic aftershock. Dominant body forces equivalent to seismic radiation are shown for an assumed depth of 1.5 km. The force couples are annotated with their relative size. Scaling factors for mainshock and aftershock are 5.33e17 and 3.40e16 Nm, respectively. The events radiated as an opening and closing horizontal crack, with a significant compensated linear vector dipole contribution. Schematic sketch (g) shows the structural elements and processes, discussed in the text. (h) Vertical components of normalized full‐band raw data of Event 1 (red) and Event 2 (black). Traces of Event 2 are plotted with opposite sign; thus, the surface waves match with Event 1. It illustrates the “mirror‐image” character of the two sources. Note also the absence of high‐frequency body phases in the records of Event 2, similar to “collapse” events (Engdahl, 1972; Ryall & Savage, 1969; Willis, 1963). Origin time is at t = 0.

    • La fermeture du site et l’effondrement de la cheminée ne convainquent pas tout le monde…

      Optimism About Korea Will Kill Us All – Foreign Policy

      Last week’s inter-Korean summit, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s declaration that he would “close” his nuclear test site by May, were greeted widely with celebration. But contrary to the hoopla, we have now arrived at an especially dangerous moment in Washington’s relationship with Pyongyang. We are on the verge of letting our hopes get in the way of our survival.

      Consider the now widespread view that North Korea’s test site is unusable or that the mountain that contains it has collapsed. This was always garbage reporting. You can download the two academic papers that are said to have originally made these claims — they say nothing of the kind. What the papers do is prove that, after North Korea’s big nuclear test in September 2017, the cavity created by the explosion collapsed in on itself. We already knew that probably happened (although it is cool to see it demonstrated through seismology).

      But the collapsing of the cavity and shrinking of the mountain do not mean the tunnels leading to it collapsed, let alone that the mountain itself had done so. And, of course, there are two other nuclear test complexes underneath entirely different mountains at the site. Kim was quoted as making this point himself: “Some said we will dismantle unusable facilities, but there are two more larger tunnels [in addition to] the original one and these are very in good condition as you will get to know that when coming and seeing them.” But commentators in the West, hoping for a diplomatic breakthrough (whether for political or more idealistic reasons), still heard what they wanted to hear about the condition of North Korea’s program.

      Les articles signalés sont d’une part celui pointé ci-dessus et aussi celui-ci (27/04/2018)

      Collapse and Earthquake Swarm after North Korea’s 3 September 2017 Nuclear Test - Tian - - Geophysical Research Letters - Wiley Online Library

      North Korea’s 3 September 2017 nuclear test was followed by several small seismic events, with one eight‐and‐a‐half minutes after the test and three on and after 23 September 2017. Seismic analysis reveals that the first event is a near vertical on‐site collapse toward the nuclear test center from 440±260 m northwest of the test site, with its seismic source best represented by a single force with a dip angle of 70°‐75° and an azimuth of ~150°, and the later events are an earthquake swarm located 8.4±1.7 km north of the test site within a region of 520 m, with a focal depth of at least 2.4 km and a focal mechanism of nearly pure strike‐slip along the north‐south direction with a high dip angle of 50°‐90°. The occurrence of the on‐site collapse calls for continued monitoring of any leaks of radioactive materials from the test site.

      (pdf téléchargeable : que de la technique…)

  • If you’re Chinese, then being a ‘shameless’ savvy saver is likely to be in your DNA | South China Morning Post

    Chinese people, like most others, love money. But to be more precise, we take great joy in scrupulously balancing between saving money and spending within our means.

    This attitude has been extolled as a virtue. In fact, it’s become so ingrained in our psyche that no matter where or how we are brought up or how we are educated, when it comes to handling money, being sensible and frugal is second nature to us.

    We often do it without thinking and feel no shame in doing so, even if we might appear penny-pinching to others.

    So there was little surprise when a recent Citibank study revealed Hong Kong is packed with a million millionaires, 68,000 of whom have at least HK$10 million (US$1.27 million) squirrelled away.

    Another report by Wealth-X, a firm that conducts research and valuations on ultra-high net worth individuals, also found that Hong Kong is a magnet for the ultra-wealthy. It was the city with the second-highest number of such residents, after New York.

    Any Chinese would tell you that accumulating wealth may be hard work, but keeping it is even harder.

    As a popular Chinese saying goes, “The first generation makes the money, the second one holds onto the inheritance, but the third one spends it.” This Chinese proverb serves as a warning and a reminder that sensible budgeting and frugality is not only a virtue but a survival mantra that needs to be etched on the mind.

    Therefore, our attitudes towards money are shaped early in life by our elders as an integral part of Chinese culture and upbringing. We are told at a very young age that to be a responsible person, we must work hard and save up a nest egg to secure our future and consequently, our family’s future.

    All Chinese are also familiar with the saying, “To store up grains in case of a famine”. This obviously is the basic principle that illustrates we may be money-oriented but it’s all for good reason.

    We are driven by a sense of responsibility to provide for our families and the fear that something might go wrong also prompts us to work hard to save up for rainy days.

    There’s no shame in being a savvy saver – even in times of prosperity
    Many of my old relatives have said that their life savings are hidden away in tin boxes stashed under their beds, cupboards or even their floorboards. I once came across a biscuit tin that contained a big wad of HK$1,000 bills, a bank book, some old photographs and some identification documents; I later found out the items belonged to one of my aunts.

    When I asked her why she stored all these valuables in a tin box, she said the items were like her life – the photographs were her past and the money was to support her now and in the future. She thought keeping “her life” in a tin box was the best way to keep it safe, as in the event of a misfortune like a fire, she would be able to quickly grab all of her valuables.

    Last week, I was having dinner with my girlfriend and when she ordered hot lemon water, I immediately asked the waiter to give her a mug of hot water instead, but with two pieces of lemon for me. The waiter took the order but gave me a funny look. I didn’t even have to explain to my girlfriend, Patty, who is an overseas Chinese, the reasoning behind my order – I wanted to save money.

    By ordering the hot water and lemon separately, the restaurant wouldn’t know how to charge us – so it would be free. We burst out laughing and both agreed that being thrifty is in our DNA. We may come from very different backgrounds but we are undeniably Chinese when it comes to our views of money.

    Famed Canadian comedian Russell Peters was spot on in one of his shows when he described a shopping experience he had when trying to get a discount from a Chinese shop owner who only gave him a reduction of 50 cents.

    He said “Chinese won’t give you a bargain … instead they will try to get every penny from you.”

    Many years ago, I heard that for every $10 a Chinese makes, they would save $9. It might sound far-fetched but it’s true that an average Chinese person saves a lot more than many of his overseas counterparts.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, from 1995 to 2005, the average urban household savings rate in China stood at 25 per cent of disposable income, with some other analysts even putting it as high as 30 per cent.

    When we have our minds set on earning that first barrel of gold, every penny counts, and we always look for a bargain. Others may laugh at our frugality or supposed stinginess, but at the end of the day, there’s no shame in being a savvy saver – even in times of prosperity.

    With that in mind, let’s finish off today with another Chinese adage and some food for thought: “When rich, think of poverty, but do not think of riches when you are poor”. In other words, there is never a bad time to save. Even when you have deep pockets, you must always be prepared for leaner times.

    Luisa Tam is a senior editor at the Post

    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Savvy saving is a way of life for Chinese

    #économie #affaires #Chine

  • China needs more water. So it’s building a rain-making network three times the size of Spain | South China Morning Post

    Tens of thousands of chambers will be built at selected locations across the Tibetan plateau to produce rainfall over a total area of about 1.6 million square kilometres (620,000 square miles), or three times the size of Spain. It will be the world’s biggest such project.

    The chambers burn solid fuel to produce silver iodide, a cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice. 

    The chambers stand on steep mountain ridges facing the moist monsoon from south Asia. As wind hits the mountain, it produces an upward draft and sweeps the particles into the clouds to induce rain and snow.

    #Chine #pluie #eau

  • Alibaba’s next moon shot is to make cities adapt to their human inhabitants, technology seer says | South China Morning Post

    Wang Jian was once called crazy by Jack Ma Yun, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, for suggesting that the company could have its own mobile operating system.

    That vision, however, proved prescient as smartphones powered by the company’s YunOS mobile operating platform, which was developed by its Alibaba Cloud subsidiary, surpassed 100 million units last year.

    In addition, many of the Hangzhou-based e-commerce company’s recent innovations are rooted in Alibaba Cloud, known as Aliyun in China, as domestic demand for data centre facilities and on-demand computing services delivered over the internet have grown rapidly.

    “It’s not about whether I’m crazy or not, it’s about this era,” Wang, the chairman of Alibaba’s technology steering committee, said in an interview in Hong Kong, where he met with some journalists to talk about his new book Being Online. “[This] is a crazy era, so many new things are happening.”

    Wang, 55, said the city of tomorrow should be able to adapt to its surroundings and inhabitants, almost like a living organism, so that municipal services like public transport, health care and education can be delivered in the right measure and time to minimise waste and optimise usage.

    Alibaba says it is on track to overtake Amazon as world’s top cloud computing services firm

    To that end, a city’s development would be better determined in future by the amount of computing resources it consumes, said Wang. At present, electricity consumption is widely regarded as the measure of development for cities, he added.

    Similarly, the day-to-day behaviour of a city’s residents now has little impact on how a city is organised as well as the way its services are planned and developed, said Wang. That would change with advanced computing technologies that are able to track human behaviour.

    “Do you want to take the bus, or is it because it’s been put there so you’re taking it?” asked Wang, using fixed bus routes as an example of how a city’s services are rigid and do not adapt quickly to changing patterns in the behaviour of its residents.

    Citing the example of a project in northern China, where railway workers were able to tell staff canteens along the line of which meals they plan to have, operators of these dining halls were able to prepare the right amount of food, leading to less waste. [Alibaba Group Holding’s annual Singles’ Day shopping festival on November 11 is a testament to the way cloud computing has changed the retail industry in China. Photo: Edward Wong]

    In its home market in the eastern coastal Chinese city of Hangzhou, Alibaba has created a so-called City Brain that uses artificial intelligence – specifically, deep learning technology that teaches computers to learn and perform tasks based on classifying data – to send out instant traffic alerts and route suggestions to motorists.

    Alibaba said traffic speed has improved by up to 11 per cent in one of Hangzhou’s districts, and that several other cities in China were now implementing smart transport programmes.

    Neil Wang, the Greater China president of consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, said integrating technology into a city’s operations enabled traffic to be monitored in real-time and fed back to users, allowing drivers to check traffic conditions and adjust their route during the journey, or even find a vacant parking space via a mobile app.

    “Creating a sustainable and self-conscious city with the help of big data technology is the main idea behind this approach,” said Wang. “Smart cities can use the latest digital technologies to improve their resource allocation, as well as the quality of life for their residents. In particular, transport, health care, and education are some of the key areas that will benefit.”

    The global smart cities market, which comprises of interrelated domains that impact urban living, is forecast to reach US$1.2 trillion by 2019, according to research company Technavio in a report published in February. These domains include industry automation, smart grid, security, education, home and building, health care, transport, and water and waste.
    Smart cities can use the latest digital technologies to improve their resource allocation, as well as the quality of life for their residents.

    New York-listed Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post, is not alone in trying to make cities more adaptable to human behaviour. Many other companies, including Google owner Alphabet, are involved in various projects around the world that integrate information technology with city planning.

    In October, Alibaba said it will double research and development spending to US$15 billion over the next three years to develop futuristic technologies that could transform whole industries, or so-called moon shot projects. To do that, the company will set up research labs around the world and hire scientists.

    For Wang, Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day shopping festival on November 11 is a testament to the way cloud computing has changed the way people shop in China. This year’s edition of the 24-hour shopping promotion chalked up a record of more than US$25 billion in sales.

    The event is made possible by the coming together of mobile payments, e-commerce and back-end logistics underpinned by cloud computing.

    Smart cities: Digital world unlocks door to the future

    “If you think about it, being able to shop at night while tucked into bed, and having that parcel land on your doorstep the next day is in itself crazy,” Wang said.

    There will be more inventions that today may look wacky but could be the norm of tomorrow, Wang said. Citing the example of Thomas Edison’s light bulb, which made it possible to demonstrate the usage of electricity, he said future applications on the internet may exceed the limits of human imagination today.

    “We’re just at the beginning of the beginning of the beginning.”

    Additional reporting by Zen Soo
    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Smart cities next idea in tech chief’s crazy era

    #Chine #e-commerce #smart-cities #surveillance #disruption

  • As Singapore’s Changi airport soars, is HK$141 billion upgrade too little too late for Hong Kong? | South China Morning Post

    Fast and free Wi-fi, clear directional signs and a fast train connection to the city are hallmarks of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), say travellers.

    Indeed, HKIA has received mostly effusive praise since it opened in July 1998. It took seven years to construct the modern, glass-roofed facility, which at the time took the city right to the forefront of regional aviation.

    But now, the accolades are in decline.

    The two-terminal, two-runway airport is lagging its arch-rival, Singapore’s Changi Airport, which on Tuesday launched its hi-tech HK$5.6 billion (US$723 million) fourth terminal.

    #aéroport #transport_aérien #asie #hongkong #dfs

  • This Fascinating City Within Hong Kong Was Lawless For Decades

    There are very few places on Earth that remain ungoverned, and even the tiniest islands and city-states tend to have rules in place for things like taxation and citizenship.

    Government control is an established reality for most of the world, but what would happen if a neighborhood in your city suddenly became a lawless free-for-all? What type of industries would emerge, and how would people cooperate within that environment to ensure basic services continued to operate?

    One example from recent history sheds light on just how such a situation could work: Kowloon Walled City.
    Kowloon Walled City

    Today’s infographic is a fantastic editorial illustration from South China Morning Post from 2013 that takes a detailed look at the inner workings of Kowloon Walled City (KWC).

    Often described as one of the most remarkable social anomalies in recent history, this bizarre enclave was more dense than any other urban area on the face of the planet.

  • Why sanctions will only fuel North Korea’s missile tests | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

    Much of the world sees Pyongyang as weak, and is seeking to make it even weaker with various sanctions.

    Pyongyang realises this, and won’t come to the table unless it feels some semblance of strength. This is the North Korean conundrum.

    Without a full-fledged ICBM capability, Kim Jong-un knows he cannot strike terror into the hearts of US decision makers.

    And North Korea is still lacking such a capability, despite its two ICBM tests in July. The latest research by scholars at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, suggests that two tests are too few to indicate a mature capacity in this regard.

    Indeed, even when considered in addition to the sixteen other missile tests Pyongyang has carried out this year, there’s little to suggest any recent breakthrough by North Korea in enhancing its offensive capabilities.

    It may be grappling with the science of atmospheric re-entry, but Pyongyang’s military scientists still have little real world evidence to go on.

    This is why Kim has already launched more missile tests this year than the 17 conducted throughout his father Kim Jong-il’s entire tenure.

    He knows that without increasing his #missile capability his hand is too weak to engage in negotiations.


  • Travel sickness: visitors turning China’s #Qinghai_Lake attraction into huge rubbish dump | South China Morning Post

    Parts of China’s Qinghai Lake – a place of outstanding natural beauty that is one of the area’s most popular travel destinations – have been turned into huge rubbish dumps by visitors and local hotels and hostels, mainland media reports.

    #Koukou_Nor (Хөх нуур, le Lac Bleu) #Mongolie_Intérieure

    côté pile

    côté face

  • Carrier pigeon captured in China reveals precious secret | South China Morning Post

    Given recent concerns in China about social unrest or even foreign espionage, it was not surprising that a civic-minded citizen in Nanjing, Jiangsu province called police on Sunday after he found a carrier pigeon at his home with suspicious note tied to its leg, a news website reports.
    The website of reported that worried policeman took the bird back to the station where they gingerly opened the note to reveal its short but direct message: “Lili, I love you!!! With love from Xiaojun.

    The bird was found to be a champion racing pigeon from Henan province and had an authorised ID band, according to the report.

    #surveillance #dénonciation

  • China calls border row with India ‘the worst in 30 years’ as both sides dig in heels | South China Morning Post

    China’s envoy to India has warned that a military stand-off along a contested part of the border in the Himalayas was the most serious confrontation between the two nations in more than 30 years.
    Last month China began building a road on territory also claimed by Bhutan, a move seen as upsetting the status quo. Although China and Bhutan have spent decades negotiating the precise border without serious incident, the tiny Himalayan kingdom sought help this time from its long-time ally, India, which sent troops onto the plateau.

    A file photo from 2008 shows a Chinese soldier next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India’s northeast Sikkim state.
    Photo: AFP

  • Is Hong Kong on the verge of a major bed bug epidemic? We talk to the experts and get some tips | South China Morning Post

    The number of infestations of the tenacious parasite is on the increase in the city, and one pest control expert believes it’s only a matter of time before things get really serious, as Hong Kong is a paradise for bed bugs
    Bed bugs possess many qualities that make them hard to get rid of. Containing an infestation is notoriously difficult due to how quickly they grow and reproduce. “An adult female bed bug can lay about 25 eggs a week. The life cycle from egg to adult takes about six weeks, which means if a single female bug finds its way into your bed, it can keep on laying fertile eggs, and by the time it’s ready to mate again, its own offspring will be reaching maturity,” Naylor says.

    This ability to inbreed means they can mutate, and produce stronger detoxifying enzymes that can break down insecticides. They can grow a thicker protective exterior that prevents insecticides from harming them.

    Modern populations of bed bugs now have widespread resistance to every major class of insecticide,” Naylor says. “So it’s not surprising that people are struggling to control the insects using conventional insecticides.

  • Westinghouse: Origins and Effects of the Downfall of a Nuclear Giant - World Nuclear Industry Status Report

    what led to this bankruptcy were two bets that Westinghouse and Toshiba made. The first bet was that there will be a growing and large market for nuclear power plants. When Toshiba acquired Westinghouse from British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL) in February 2006, the press release confidently projected: “By 2020, the global market for nuclear power generation is expected to grow by 50 percent compared with today”. At that time, the President and CEO of Toshiba estimated that there would be 10 large (1 GW) nuclear reactors built each year till 2020 amounting to 130 GW of new reactor capacity. That estimate was off by at least an order of magnitude. Much of the hype around that time was over what many saw as a coming #nuclear_renaissance

    (...) In 2013, for example, a former Vice-President of CNNC and Vice-Minister of Atomic Energy complained to South China Morning Post: “Our state leaders have put a high priority on [nuclear safety] but companies executing projects do not seem to have the same level of understanding”.


  • If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech | South China Morning Post

    In a speech the Democratic candidate gave to bankers from Goldman Sachs in October 2013, she said the Chinese “have a right to assert themselves” in the South China Sea but the US needed to “push back” to keep Beijing from getting a “chokehold over world trade”.

    #Etats-Unis #Chine

  • The race for Arctic domination par Alberto Lucas López (Design) - Visualoop

    Publishers : South China Morning Post

    To build and manage the Panama Canal, the United States pushed through Panama’s independence from Colombia and spent more on this construction project than on any other before. To create the Suez Canal, the Egyptian government leased its land to a private French company, which used forced labour to complete the project. Nowadays, the question is, will the Arctic frontier become an ecological preserve or an economic engine, an area of international cooperation or confrontation?

    #arctique #transport #transport_maritime

  • Letter from Alibaba Group to Readers of the South China Morning Post | Business Wire

    Internet-Riese Alibaba kauft “South China Morning Post” in Hongkong | heise online

    Das Blatt hat in den vergangenen Jahren etwas von seiner Bereitschaft verloren, offen über China zu berichten, auch wenn es weiter Stellung bezieht und Themen berichtet, die nicht mit Pekings Linie übereinstimmen", sagte Bob Dietz vom Komitee zum Schutz von Journalisten (CPJ) in New York der dpa. Es werde nicht lange dauern, um zu sehen, in welche Richtung sich das Blatt jetzt entwickelt.

    Letter from Alibaba Group

    Dear Readers,

    By the time you read this, you will have heard the news that Alibaba Group is acquiring the South China Morning Post.
    Our Vision

    Our vision is to grow the readership globally. We believe we can do this because the SCMP, from its base in Hong Kong, is uniquely positioned to report on China with objectivity, depth and insight, a proposition that is in high demand by readers around the English-speaking world – from New York to London to its home in Hong Kong – who care to better understand the world’s second largest economy.

    To help achieve our vision, we plan to make the SCMP more readily available. In this spirit, with enough preparation time after we take over operations, the pay wall on will come down, and you will be able to access its content for free on the Internet and on your mobile device.
    Editorial Independence

    Some have suggested that ownership by Alibaba will compromise the SCMP’s editorial independence. This criticism reflects a bias of its own, as if to say newspaper owners must espouse certain views, while those that hold opposing views are “unfit.”

    In fact, that is exactly why we think the world needs a plurality of views when it comes to China coverage. China’s rise as an economic power and its importance to world stability is too important for there to be a singular thesis.

    In reporting the news, the SCMP will be objective, accurate and fair. This means having the courage to go against conventional wisdom, and taking care to verify stories, check sources and seek all viewpoints. These day-to-day editorial decisions will be driven by editors in the newsroom, not in the corporate boardroom.

    It’s humbling to assume the responsibility of ownership of such a storied newspaper. We thank the Kuok family who have been tremendous stewards of your trust; we hope Alibaba will have an opportunity to earn your trust.


    Joseph C. Tsai
    Executive Vice Chairman
    Alibaba Group Holding Limited

    December 11, 2015

  • En Chine ça commence…
    China ‘beefs up’ social media rules by forcing people to use real-name registration | South China Morning Post

    forcing people to register with their real names if they want to use the mainland’s most popular Twitter-like service, Sina Weibo, internet forums, and other websites.

    The nation’s Cyberspace Administration did not reveal details about how the plan would be carried out in today’s announcement. (...)

    The real-name protocol means that even if a user is able to choose an internet nickname, he or she would need to register their real names with the website administrator.

    ailleurs ça continue plus ou moins…
    Facebook Changes Real-Name Policy After Uproar From Drag Queens - WSJ

    Mr. Cox said in his post that the drag-queen controversy can be traced to a single Facebook user who reported several hundred drag queens to Facebook, claiming the accounts were fake. Mr. Cox said 99% of accounts flagged in that way by other users are “bad actors doing bad things: impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams, hate speech and more.”

    #real_name #rézosocios #facebook #chine via @mb