region:south china

  • China Military Threat: Seeking New Islands to Conquer - James Stavridis - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/china-military-threat-seeking-new-islands-to-conquer

    The constant refrain was simple: The West is becoming a less reliable partner. These allies are dismayed by a U.S. administration that has repeatedly criticized its closest partners and accused them of freeloading on defense. They are also worried about weakness and distraction of a Europe facing Brexit. This is compounded as they watch China increase pressure on Taiwan to accept a “one nation, two systems” deal a la Hong Kong and militarize the #South_China_Sea by constructing artificial islands.
    […]
    There is also a less-noticed but extremely worrisome aspect to China’s increasing boldness: It seems to be building its naval capability to dominate farther into the Pacific — as far as what Western analysts call the “second island chain.

    When thinking in a geo-strategic sense about China, the island-chain formulation is helpful. Since the 1950s, U.S. planners have delineated a first island chain, running from the Japanese islands through the Philippines, and down to the tip of Southeast Asia. Dominating inside that line has been the goal of China’s recent buildup in naval and missile capabilities. But U.S. officials warn that Chinese strategists are becoming more ambitious, set on gaining influence running to the second island chain — running from Japan through the Micronesian islands to the tip of Indonesia. As with its initial forays into the South China Sea, Beijing is using “scientific” missions and hydrographic surveying ships as the tip of the spear.

    Japan and Singapore are essentially anchors at the north and south ends the island chains. They have been integrating their defense capabilities with the U.S. through training, exercises and arms purchases. They are exploring better relations with India as the Pacific and Indian Oceans are increasingly viewed as a single strategic entity. This is a crucial element in the U.S. strategy for the region. But there are changes coming.

    First, there are expectations that China will eye the third island chain, encompassing Hawaii and the Alaskan coast before dropping south down to New Zealand. This has long been regarded as the final line of strategic demarcation between the U.S. and China. Second, some analysts are beginning to talk about a fourth and even fifth island chain, both in the Indian Ocean, an increasingly crucial zone of competition between the U.S. and China.

    Two obvious Indian Ocean chains exist. The first would run from southern Pakistan (where China has created a deep-water port at Gwador) down past Diego Garcia, the lonely atoll controlled by the U.K. from which the U.S. runs enormous logistical movements into Central Asia. As a junior officer on a Navy cruiser in the 1980s, I visited Diego Garcia when it was essentially a fuel stop with a quaint palm-thatched bar. The base has expanded enormously, becoming critical to supporting U.S. and British combat efforts in the Horn of Africa and Middle East.

    The fifth and final island chain could be considered to run from the Horn of Africa – where the U.S. and China now maintain significant military bases – down to the coast of South Africa. Little wonder the U.S. military has renamed its former Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command.

    #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • Britain admits warship threat upset China | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-china-idUSL9N1YF004

    Britain on Thursday admitted that talk by its defence minister of deploying a warship in the Pacific had complicated the relationship with China.

    When asked directly on BBC radio if the relationship had been damaged by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s threat to deploy a new aircraft carrier to the Pacific, finance minister Philip Hammond said:

    It is a complex relationship and it hasn’t been made simpler by Chinese concerns about royal navy deployments in the South China Sea.

    British media reported that China cancelled trade talks with Hammond because it was upset about Williamson’s speech.

    Hammond said he was disappointed that the Chinese had reacted in the way they had.

    This is entirely premature, the aircraft carrier isn’t going to be at full operational readiness for another couple of years, no decisions have been made or even discussed about where its early deployments might be,” Hammond said.


  • #Ghost_Towns | Buildings | Architectural Review

    https://www.architectural-review.com/today/ghost-towns/8634793.article

    Though criticised by many, China’s unoccupied new settlements could have a viable future

    Earlier this year a historic landmark was reached, but with little fanfare. The fact that the people of China are now predominantly urban, was largely ignored by the Western media. By contrast, considerable attention focused on China’s new ‘ghost towns’ or kong cheng − cities such as Ordos in the Gobi desert and Zhengzhou New District in Henan Province which are still being built but are largely unoccupied.

    By some estimates, the number of vacant homes in Chinese cities is currently around 64 million: space to accommodate, perhaps, two thirds of the current US population. However, unlike the abandoned cities of rust-belt America or the shrinking cities of Europe, China’s ghost cities seem never to have been occupied in the first place. So to what extent are these deserted places symbolic of the problems of rapid Chinese urbanisation? And what is revealed by the Western discourse about them?

    Characterised by its gargantuan central Genghis Khan Plaza and vast boulevards creating open vistas to the hills of Inner Mongolia, Ordos New Town is a modern frontier city. It is located within a mineral rich region that until recently enjoyed an estimated annual economic growth rate of 40 per cent, and boasts the second highest per-capita income in China, behind only the financial capital, Shanghai.

    Having decided that the existing urban centre of 1.5 million people was too crowded, it was anticipated that the planned cultural districts and satellite developments of Ordos New Town would by now accommodate half a million people rather than the 30,000 that reputedly live there.

    Reports suggest that high profile architectural interventions such as the Ai Weiwei masterplan for 100 villas by 100 architects from 27 different countries have been shelved, although a few of the commissions struggle on.

    It seems that expectations of raising both the region’s profile (at least in ways intended) and the aesthetic esteem of its new residents have failed to materialise. Instead, attention is focused on the vacant buildings and empty concrete shells within a cityscape devoid of traffic and largely empty of people.

    Estimates suggest there’s another dozen Chinese cities with similar ghost town annexes. In the southern city of Kunming, for example, the 40-square-mile area of Chenggong is characterised by similar deserted roads, high-rises and government offices. Even in the rapidly growing metropolitan region of Shanghai, themed model towns such as Anting German Town and Thames Town have few inhabitants. In the Pearl River Delta, the New South China Mall is the world’s largest. Twice the size of the Mall of America in Minneapolis, it is another infamous example of a gui gouwu zhongxin or ‘ghost mall’.

    Located within a dynamic populated region (40 million people live within 60 miles of the new Mall), it has been used in the American documentary Utopia, Part 3 to depict a modern wasteland. With only around 10 of the 2,300 retail spaces occupied, there is an unsettling emptiness here. The sense that this is a building detached from economic and social reality is accentuated by broken display dummies, slowly gliding empty escalators, and gondolas navigating sewage-infested canals. The message is that in this ‘empty temple to consumerism’ − as described by some critics − we find an inherent truth about China’s vapid future.

    Anting German Town Shanghai

    The main square of Anting German Town outside Shanghai. One of the nine satellite European cities built around the city, it has failed to establish any sense of community. The Volkswagen factory is down the road

    Pursued through the imagery of the ghost town, the commentary on stalled elements of Chinese modernity recalls the recent fascination with what has been termed ‘ruin porn’ − apocalyptic photographs of decayed industrial structures in cities such as Detroit, as in the collection The Ruins of Detroit by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffe. These too dramatise the urban landscapes but seldom seem interested in enquiring about the origins and processes underlying them.

    In his popular work Collapse, Jared Diamond fantasised that one day in the future, tourists would stare at the ‘rusting hulks of New York’s skyscrapers’ explaining that human arrogance − overreaching ourselves − is at the root of why societies fail. In Requiem for Detroit, filmmaker Julian Temple too argues that to avoid the fate of the lost cities of the Maya, we must recognise the ‘man-made contagion’ in the ‘rusting hulks of abandoned car plants’. (It seems that even using a different metaphor is deemed to be too hubristic.)

    In terms of the discussion about Chinese ghost cities, many impugn these places as a commentary on the folly of China’s development and its speed of modernisation. Take the Guardian’s former Asia correspondent, Jonathan Watts, who has argued that individuals and civilisations bring about their own annihilation by ‘losing touch with their roots or over-consuming’. Initial signs of success often prove to be the origin of later failures, he argues. In his view, strength is nothing more than potential weakness, and the moral of the tale is that by hitting a tipping point, civilisations will fall much more quickly than they rise.

    In fact, China’s headlong rush to development means that its cities embody many extremes. For example, the city of Changsha in Hunan Province recently announced that in the space of just seven months it would build an 838 metre skyscraper creating the world’s tallest tower. Understandably, doubts exist over whether this can be achieved − the current tallest, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, took six years to build. Yet such is the outlook of a country with so much dynamic ambition, that even the seemingly impossible is not to be considered off-limits. At the other end of the scale, it was recently revealed that 30 million Chinese continue to live in caves − a reflection of under-development (not an energy efficient lifestyle choice).

    In the West, a risk averse outlook means that caution is the watchword. Not only is the idea of building new cities a distant memory, but data from the US and UK betrays that geographical mobility is reducing as people elect to stay in declining towns rather than seek new opportunities elsewhere. By contrast, China is a country on the move − quite literally. In fact the landmark 50 per cent urbanisation rate was achieved some years ago, driven by a ‘floating population’ of perhaps 200 million people, whose legal status as villagers disguises the fact they have already moved to live and work in cities.

    If cramming five to a room in the existing Anting town means easy access to jobs then why move to Anting German Town, accessible via only a single road, and surrounded by industrial districts and wasteland? But it is also clear that China is building for expansion. The notion of ‘predict and provide’ is so alien to Western planners these days, that they are appalled when particular Chinese authorities announce that they will build a new town with three-lane highways before people move there. How absurd, we say. Look, the roads are empty and unused. But in this debate, it is we who have lost our sense of the audacious.

    When assessing the ghost cities phenomenon, it seems likely that in a country growing at the breakneck speed of China, some mistakes will be made. When bureaucratic targets and technical plans inscribed in protocols and legislation are to the fore, then not all outcomes of investment programmes such as a recent $200 billion infrastructure project will work out. And yes, ghost cities do reflect some worrying economic trends, with rising house prices and the speculative stockpiling of units so that many apartments are owned but not occupied.

    But these problems need to be kept firmly in perspective. The reality is that meaningful development requires risk-taking. The ghost cities today may well prove to be viable in the longer term, as ongoing urbanisation leads to better integration with existing regions, and because by the very virtue of their creation, such areas create new opportunities that alter the existing dynamics.

    #chine #urban_matter #villes_fantômes #architecture


  • Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative : Who’s Claiming What ?

    https://amti.csis.org/maps

    Voici un site qui va énormément plaire en particulier à @simplicissimus

    AMTI’s interactive maps strive to provide the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date source of geospatial information on maritime Asia. Click a map below to explore information on Asia’s maritime claims, disputed reefs and islets, and more.
    South China Sea Features

    #mer_de_chine_méridionale #frontières #différends_frontaliers #chine #vietnam #spratleys #conflits_frontaliers #mer #partage_de_la_mer


  • Richard Haass : Iran Is The Most Likely Setting For A Major New War In 2019 | Video | RealClearPolitics
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/12/27/richard_haass_iran_is_the_most_likely_setting_for_a_major_new_war

    If I were going to place a bet on 2019, where there could well be a serious new war in the world, it wouldn’t be North Korea, it wouldn’t be the South China Sea. You never know what Mr. Putin will do in Ukraine, but I would bet on Iran, whether it is Israel vis-a-vis Iran or it is the Saudis doing something

    #arabie_saoudite #prophétie_autoréalisatrice


  • Facial recognition snares China’s air con queen Dong Mingzhu for jaywalking, but it’s not what it seems | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/article/2174564/facial-recognition-catches-chinas-air-con-queen-dong-mingzhu

    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


  • Photos Show Confrontation Between USS Decatur and a Chinese Navy Warship in South China Sea – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/photos-show-confrontation-between-uss-decatur-and-chinese-navy-warship-in-


    U.S. Navy photo showing a confrontation between the USS Decatur (left) and PRC Warship 170 (right) in the South China Sea on Sunday, September 30, 2018.
    U.S. Navy Photo

    gCaptain has just obtained photos showing a confrontation involving the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur and a Chinese Navy warship in the disputed South China Sea over the weekend. 

    The U.S. Navy confirmed the incident on Tuesday, accusing China’s navy of conducting an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver” that nearly led to a collision as the U.S. destroyer was underway “in the vicinity” of Gaven Reef in the #Spratly Islands on Sunday, September 30.

    According to a Navy spokesman, during the incident, the Chinese warship “approached within 45 yards of Decatur’s bow, after which Decatur maneuvered to prevent a collision.

    As was reported over the weekend, the USS Decatur on Sunday conducted the U.S. Navy’s latest #freedom_of_navigation operation in the South China Sea, coming within 12 nautical miles of the Gaven and Johnson Reefs claimed by China.

    China issued a statement Tuesday accusing the U.S. of violating its “indisputable sovereignty” over the #South_China_Sea islands. “We strongly urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistake and stop such provocative actions to avoid undermining China-U.S. relations and regional peace and stability,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday in a statement.

    #Spratleys #mer_de_Chine_Méridionale


  • U.S. warship sails near disputed South China Sea islands - U.S. official
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-china/u-s-warship-sails-near-disputed-south-china-sea-islands-u-s-official-idU

    The United States has criticised China’s construction of islands and military facilities in the area and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement.

    The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and are separate from political considerations.

    #Chine #Etats-Unis


  • When Canada hosted first-ever meeting of women foreign ministers, Japan sent a man | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2165371/when-canada-hosted-first-ever-meeting-women-foreign

    Female foreign ministers meeting for the first summit of its kind have vowed to bring a “women’s perspective” to foreign policy.

    The two-day meeting bringing together more than half of the world’s top women diplomats in Montreal, which began Friday, focused on topics such as conflict prevention, democratic growth and eliminating gender-based violence.

    “This meeting represented a historic occasion,” Canada’s top diplomat Chrystia Freeland said.

    “This is not about creating a pink ghetto. This is quite to the contrary. This is about highlighting the importance and the role and the rights of women and girls in the world.

    Kono took part in some of the events. He attended the meeting to highlight the “positive stance” of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration in promoting measures to empower women, Jiji Press reported.

    However Abe’s cabinet is largely dominated by men: it has only two female ministers.

    Quand un mec s’invite à une réu de femmes...
    #diplomatie #femmes #Japon


  • What the popularity of a Qing dynasty drama, The Story of Yanxi Palace, says about China’s appetite for feminism | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/united-states/article/2164662/what-popularity-qing-dynasty-drama-story-yanxi

    In China, a different type of drama is dominating the screens of millions of viewers – stories of love and palace intrigue at the court of the Qianlong Emperor (1735-1796) during the Qing dynasty and featuring his many wives and concubines. The new champion is The Story of Yanxi Palace, which set a single-day viewer record on August 12 with 530 million people tuning in, and garnered over 15 billion views by its finale on August 27. About 82 per cent of those viewers were women, according to Yi En Data, a mobile-based application monitoring viewership.

    What’s not to like? The residents of the Forbidden City looks fantastic in luxurious silk costumes with beautiful accessories. The series works even better if the female viewer imagines herself as the heroine, adored by the most powerful man, defeating every other woman to win his heart and being chosen as his favourite consort. The combination of love and power is intoxicating.

    But every time I threw myself into watching the series, something didn’t feel quite right.

    In The Story of Yanxi Palace and many similar Qing court dramas, a woman’s virtue is judged by how obedient she is to her husband, the emperor, and how many male offspring she provides him with. Her existence is defined by the status conferred on her by one man in exchange for her own identity. To be successful on this path, she must be pretty, fertile, gentle and resourceful, embodying perfection without being herself. On her deathbed, the first wife of the Qianlong Emperor is said to have yelled out, “Who am I really?”, offering an unusual feminist twist.

    “Feminism” is not a popular word in China. Occasionally, when I try to strike up a conversation about women’s rights with family or in the workplace with male friends, I am greeted with a bewildered look, followed by the blunt question: “Are you a feminist?” The next question, which is also part of the argument, is: “Chinese women already have many rights. What more do you want?”

    In theory, what Western women had to fight for over decades, such as the right to vote or access to education, was granted to Chinese women in one go. When the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, gender equality was written into the constitution. Chairman Mao declared that women in China should “hold up half the sky”.

    But not having to fight for equality means we do not appreciate the value of it. The rights were gifted to us. Consequently, decades later, we are still living in the logic of Qing court dramas, inhabiting men’s worlds, abiding by their rules and defining our values against their preferences.

    #Chine #femmes


  • Venezuela : arrivée à La Guaira du navire hôpital chinois Hé Píng Fāng Zhōu (ou Arche de la Paix)

    Buque Chino llegó a Venezuela para «iniciar operación estratégica»
    http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/politica/buque-chino-llego-venezuela-para-iniciar-operacion-estrategica_252868


    Foto: @ArmadaFANB

    Este sábado arribó al Puerto de La Guaira, estado Vargas, el Buque Hospital chino «Arca de la Paz».

    Bienvenidos. Sigamos estrechando nuestros lazos de amistad y cooperación, para la paz”, escribió Vladimir Padrino López, ministro de Defensa, en su Twitter.

    El ministro detalló que el “Arca de la Paz” atenderá a personas de todas las nacionalidades, incluyendo a 1.200 colombianos.

    La visita de este buque hospital también se inscribe en una operación defensiva estratégica. Va a ser muy satisfactorio tener este buque en Venezuela”, precisó.

    El Ministerio de Comunicación e Información detalló que el buque tiene 500 camas, 35 unidades de ciudados intensivos y 12 quirófanos.

    «Sus equipos permiten atender problemas cardiovasculares, ginecología, odontología, oftalmología, pediatría y medicina interna, entre otros», informó el Ministerio en su página web.

    • Pour l’opposition, ce sont les conseils communaux qui désigneraient («  choisiraient  ») les patients à traiter à bord du navire chinois.

      Le ministre de la Défense répond qu’il va (même !…) soigner 1200 Colombiens…
      Rocío San Miguel : Consejos comunales « escogerán » pacientes del buque chino
      http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/politica/rocio-san-miguel-consejos-comunales-escogeran-pacientes-del-buque-chino

      Rocío San Miguel, abogada y defensora de Derechos Humanos, denunció este sábado que los consejos comunales «escogerán» a los pacientes que recibirán atención médica por parte del buque hospital chino «Arca de la Paz».

    • Durée du séjour non précisé dans l’article. Lors de son escale à Papeete fin août, il était précisé qu’il repasserait à Tahiti le 22 décembre.

      Le He Ping Fang Zhou a accosté au port de Papeete | La Dépêche de TAHITI
      http://www.ladepeche.pf/he-ping-fang-zhou-a-accoste-port-de-papeete


      Photo : Yan Roy

      Le navire hôpital chinois, He Ping Fang Zhou, était attendu mardi dans la rade de Papeete. Il a finalement accosté ce vendredi matin dans le port de Papeete, après avoir passé près de trois jours au large de Tahiti, pour des raisons administratives. Cependant, le bâtiment militaire ne va pas s’attarder dans nos eaux. Il repartira dès 20 heures ce vendredi soir, après avoir refait le plein en carburant. À noter qu’un retour du navire est prévu le 22 décembre prochain, selon le calendrier des arrivées du Port autonome de Papeete.

      Pour rappel, cette « arche de la paix » a déjà pris en charge 90 000 patients, et intervient principalement dans les zones de guerre, peu équipées ou nécessitant une aide humanitaire. Le navire comprend à son bord une pharmacie, une salle de radiothérapie, un scanner, huit salles d’opération, un laboratoire d’analyses, une salle d’examens, une zone de stérilisation des instruments, des services gynécologiques, stomatologie, ophtalmologie, pédiatrie, médecine interne,…

    • Double nom, double lecture évidente : #soft_power ou #bâtiment_de_soutien_d'assaut_amphibie.

      Mystery Chinese Hospital Ship : What’s It For ? | WIRED
      (article de novembre 2008)
      https://www.wired.com/2008/11/mystery-chinese

      Late last month, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) accepted its first purpose-built floating hospital, the 10,000-ton “Ship 866.” While seemingly innocuous on the surface, ships like this are windows into an evolving military strategy for an emerging world power. Hospital ships can be used for a wide range of missions, from supporting full-scale amphibious assaults against heavily defended targets, to humanitarian “soft-power” expeditions winning hearts and minds.

      The question is: what is Ship 866 intended for? I asked two leading naval analysts for a new piece in World Politics Review.

      • It’s for #soft_power, contends Bob Work, from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He says Ship 866 has its roots in the 2004 tsunami. Many world powers sent ships to help out in the aftermath of the storm, which killed more than 200,000 people in countries bordering the Indian Ocean. But not China: the PLAN didn’t have any ships capable of assisting. “The tsunami embarrassed them,” he says. “The Chinese respond to embarrassments in very focused ways.” In this case by building a hospital ship.

      • John Pike from Globalsecurity.org disagrees. He says Ship 866 is probably intended to support the growing Chinese amphibious fleet, which in turn is meant for enforcing China’s claim to South China Sea oil reserves. It’s a far cry from humanitarian soft-power missions.

      Of course, intentions are only intentions. Regardless of the original motive, the PLAN now has a ship capable of both humanitarian missions and supporting amphibious assaults. The Chinese are still decades from matching the U.S. Navy’s huge amphibious and humanitarian fleet, but it’s a start.

      Pour mémoire, la marine états-unienne dispose de 2 navires-hôpitaux (3 fois plus gros)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USNS_Mercy_(T-AH-19)

      La France ne peut se payer ce luxe et utilise ses navires de soutien amphibie (à coque grise donc) pour ces missions humanitaires, les 3 BPC de la classe Mistral qui ont succédé aux 2 TCD de la classe Foudre.

      cf. Irma en septembre 2017
      Ouragan Irma : première mission humanitaire | colsbleus.fr : le magazine de la Marine Nationale
      http://www.colsbleus.fr/articles/10267

      A la fois bâtiment amphibie, porte-hélicoptères, bâtiment de commandement et navire hôpital, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement (BPC) présente une polyvalence exceptionnelle dont le déploiement du Tonnerre aux Antilles a montré une nouvelle fois. Mis en alerte le 8 septembre, après le passage de l’ouragan Irma, le Tonnerre a appareillé, avec un préavis très court, dès le 12 septembre, pour apporter son soutien aux populations de l’île sinistrée de Saint-Martin. Retour sur cette mission.

      Le module de rétablissement sommaire sur la plage à Saint-Martin

    • Tiens, d’ailleurs, après l’ouragan Maria à Porto-Rico en septembre-octobre 2017…

      Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Will Deploy to Colombia to Care for Venezuelan Refugees - USNI News
      (article du 20/08/2018)
      https://news.usni.org/2018/08/20/35918


      The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. Comfort will help support Hurricane Maria aid and relief operations.
      US Air Force photo.

      The Navy’s hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is being deployed to Colombia this fall to provide medical care to a growing regional humanitarian crisis, as Venezuelans steadily pour over the border to escape a deteriorating health and political climate.

      While visiting Colombia late last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced he was sending Comfort at the request of Colombia’s government. The hospital ship will assist the Colombian medical services network in providing medical care to what has been reported as an influx of more than 1 million Venezuelans into neighboring Colombia.

      The plan is for that hospital ship, USNS Comfort, to deploy this fall,” Col. Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said during a Monday media briefing. “The details are being worked out as far as a detailed timeline.

      A departure date has not been set, and medical staffing needs aboard the ship are still being determined, Manning said.


  • Russia detects missile launches from French frigate off Syria’s coast in Mediterranean — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/438676-french-frigate-mediterranean-missiles


    © French Navy

    Russian airspace control systems registered missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
    The French Navy’s newest frigate, FS Auvergne, fired rockets at around 8pm GMT on Monday, the Russian military said. “Airspace control has recorded rocket launches from the French frigate ’Auvergne,’” the ministry’s statement read. The ’Auvergne’ is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria.

    Paris denied “any involvement in [the] attack,” a French army spokesman said, as cited by AFP.

    It is a ’European multi-purpose frigate’ (FREMM) which entered the service of the French Navy in February this year. Prior to its official commissioning, the Aquitaine-class warship underwent deployment across the globe, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

    The launch was detected at around the same time that air traffic controllers at Khmeimim Airbase “lost contact” with a military Il-20 aircraft during an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia. Some 14 people were on board the plane at the time of the disappearance. A search and rescue mission is underway.

    The IDF has refused to comment on the report. Despite the fact that Israel rarely acknowledges striking specific targets inside Syria, earlier this month the IDF admitted hitting at least 202 “Iranian targets” in the country.

    As tensions over Idlib rise, Turkey and Russia on Monday agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops as part of an effort to clear the remaining jihadists from Syria.


  • Japan at the crossroad of US-China rivalry — La Cité
    https://www.lacite.info/politiquetxt/2016/5/9/japan-us-china-rivalry

    Territorial disputes in the South China Sea have persisted for decades. In addition to the important gas and oil reserves the seabed is believed to contain, rich fishing grounds, and strategic sea lanes of communication, the region is today at the center of US-China systemic rivalry. How does Japan fit into this picture?

    Lionel Fatton
    9 May 2016

    Last February, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed serious concerns about satellite images showing the deployment by China of surface-to-air missile batteries on a contested island in the Paracel chain. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea between nine countries of the region have persisted for decades. Recently, however, China’s massive land reclamation and infrastructure building projects on islands and reefs, as well as a growing militarization of disputes, have pushed international tensions up to a new level.

    #japon #chine #états-nis #pacifique #géostratégie #géopolitique


  • U.S. Was Right to Give China’s Navy the Boot - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-02/u-s-was-right-to-give-china-s-navy-the-boot

    By James Stavridis
    [ex-SACEUR]

    The vast annual military operation known as the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (simply #RIMPAC in Pentagon jargon) just concluded on the beaches of Southern California with a huge demonstration of an amphibious assault, which involves sending troops ashore from warships at sea — a highly complex maneuver whether D-Day or present day.

    The exercise is held every two years all over the Pacific Basin, and is the largest international maritime exercise in the world. It is globally regarded by naval officers as the Olympic Games of naval power. Run by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered in Pearl Harbor, it normally includes warships and troops from every branch of the U.S. armed forces, and those of than 20 foreign nations.
    […]
    But this year, in a break with recent tradition, China was “disinvited” in May because of its militarization of a variety of artificial islands in the volatile #South_China_sea, where it is sending troops and setting up combat-aircraft, runways and missile systems. There was also a distinct undercurrent of opposition to China’s presence by the Donald Trump administration, which sensibly criticizes Beijing for trade practices and theft of intellectual property.

    While I’ve repeatedly criticized Trump for his dealings with allies and foes, cutting Beijing “out of the pattern” this year was the right decision. It deprived China of not only the chance to observe and learn about allied naval practices, but also of the prestige of engaging with the top navies in the world. The increasing involvement of India — the obvious strategic counterweight to China — as well as this year’s addition of Vietnam — a growing naval actor deeply concerned about Chinese dominance in the South China Sea — sends a powerful signal.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • As new vaccine scandal grips China, parents say they’ve lost faith in the system | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2156357/new-vaccine-scandal-grips-china-parents-say-theyve-lost

    [...] 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
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2152027/china-takes-surveillance-new-heights-flock-robotic-doves-do-they

    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
    #persécutions


  • China holds missile drills in #South_China_Sea amid heightened tension | World | Reuters
    https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1JB0C9

    China’s navy carried out drills in the South China Sea to simulate fending off an aerial attack, state media said on Friday, as the country trades barbs with the United States over responsibility for heightened tension in the disputed waterway.
    […]
    China’s navy carried out a simulated missile attack in an unspecified area of the South China Sea using three target drones making flyovers of a ship formation at varying heights, the official army newspaper said.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • “South Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea were omitted” ...

    Gap apologizes after Chinese netizens slam it for T-shirt with incomplete China map - Global Times

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1102187.shtml

    US apparel company Gap apologized and vowed a more “rigorous reviews in the future” after one of its T-shirts was found with an incomplete map of China and sparked outrage among Chinese netizens on Monday.

    “Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. We’ve learned a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China. We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error,” read a statement sent to the Global Times by Gap on Monday.

    #chine #frontières #territoires #représentation #chantage (qui marche)


  • Exclusive: U.S. warships sail near South China Sea islands claimed by Beijing | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-military-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-warships-sail-near-south-china-sea-islands-claimed-by-beijing

    Two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, two U.S. officials told Reuters, in a move that drew condemnation from Beijing as President Donald Trump seeks its continued cooperation on North Korea.
    […]
    The U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Higgins guided-missile destroyer and the Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, came within 12 nautical miles of the #Paracel_Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

    The U.S. military vessels carried out maneuvering operations near Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody islands in the Paracels, one of the officials said.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale #Îles_Paracels
    #FoN #Freedom_of_Navigation

    USS Antietam, CG-54 (croiseur lance-missiles)
    USS Higgins, DDG-76 (destroyer lance-missiles)


  • US diplomat in China reports mystery symptoms in case that echoes Cuban embassy illness | South China Morning Post
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2147448/us-diplomat-china-reports-mystery-symptoms-case-echoes

    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.

    #syndrome_cubain


  • China Sends Military Plane to Third #South_China_Sea Airstrip - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-10/china-deploys-military-plane-to-third-south-china-sea-airstrip


    Subi Reef in the South China Sea.
    Source: DigitalGlobe via Getty Images.

    China has landed a military plane on the last of its three airstrips in the disputed South China Sea, a Washington-based research institution said, amid renewed complaints about the country expanding its military presence in the busy shipping lane.

    The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said satellite images from April 28 showed the first confirmed deployment of a military aircraft — a Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane — on #Subi_Reef. The structure hosts one of three runways China has built as part of a massive dredging and reclamation operation in the Spratlys chain since 2013, and was the last of three where military aircraft had been observed.

    This should be particularly concerning to the Philippines,” AMTI, a unit of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said on its website. About 100 Philippine civilians and a small military garrison are stationed on the Thitu islet, about 12 nautical miles away from Subi.

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it wasn’t aware of situation described by AMTI. “China’s peaceful construction activities on the #Spratly_Islands, including the deployment of necessary homeland defense facilities, is necessary to protect sovereignty and national security,” the ministry said in an emailed response to questions. “It is an absolute right a sovereign country enjoys and it doesn’t target any country.”

    #Spratleys #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • China installs cruise missiles on South China Sea outposts: CNBC | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-china-missiles/china-installs-cruise-missiles-on-south-china-sea-outposts-cnbc-report-idUS


    FILE PHOTO: Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.
    U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

    China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea, U.S. news network CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.

    The installations, if confirmed, would mark the first Chinese missile deployments in the Spratly Islands, where several Asian countries including Vietnam and Taiwan have rival claims.

    China has made no mention of any missile deployments but says its military facilities in the #Spratlys are purely defensive, and that it can do what it likes on its own territory.
    […]
    CNBC quoted unnamed sources as saying that according to U.S. intelligence assessments, the missiles were moved to Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef within the past 30 days.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale
    #Spratleys


  • North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed ... and that may be why Kim Jong-un suspended tests | South China Morning Post
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2143171/north-koreas-nuclear-test-site-has-collapsed-and-may-be-why-kim-jong-un

    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

      温联星研究组
      http://seis.ustc.edu.cn/research/north-korea-nuclear-test-mountain-has-collapsed


      (a)朝鲜2017年9月3日核爆、核爆8分半钟后的塌陷(标记为20170903CL)以及2017年9月23日之后的天然地震群(9月23日双事件标记为20170923EQ1、20170923EQ2,10月12日事件标记为20171012EQ)的位置(红色圆圈)及误差范围(绿色椭圆);(b)天然地震群中三个地震的震源深度及震源机制;(c)塌陷事件过程:塌陷自核爆所致的岩体破碎区(浅蓝色区域)沿黑色箭头方向近垂直塌陷至核爆产生的中心空腔(浅红色区域)

      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。

      2017年9月3日,朝鲜在其丰溪里核试验场实施了一次地下核试验,其当量为108.3±48.1千吨,为朝鲜历次核试验中最大的一次。朝鲜2017年的核爆与其自2009年以来的历次核爆均在核试验场的万塔山下进行。与历次核爆不同,丰溪里核试验场在2017年核试验后发生了几次小事件,其中包括一个发生于核爆8分半钟后震级为4.1级的事件,两个发生于9月23日和一个发生于10月12日的小事件。虽然这些小事件引起了国际社会的极度关注,但是科学界一直不清楚这些事件的性质特征。中国科大研究利用1972个地震台数据,确定了核试验后四个小事件的震源属性特征以及它们与2017年核爆中心的相对位置。研究结果表明,核爆后8分半钟的事件为万塔山自核爆中心西北方向440米处近垂直塌陷至核爆产生的中心空腔所致;而9月23日以后发生的3个小事件则是一个位于核爆中心北侧8.4千米处的另一座山体下方的天然地震群,其震源深度至少为2.4千米。

      https://doi.org/10.1002/2018GL077095

    • 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
      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2018GL077095

      Abstract
      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
      http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/04/30/optimism-about-korea-will-kill-us-all

      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
      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2018GL077649

      Abstract
      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…)


  • Vietnam halts South China Sea oil drilling project under pressure from Beijing
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-vietnam/vietnam-scraps-south-china-sea-oil-drilling-project-under-pressure-from-bei


    le bloc 07/03 dans le bassin de Nam Con Son

    Vietnam has halted an oil drilling project in the “Red Emperor” block off its southeastern coast licensed to Spanish energy firm #Repsol following pressure from China, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Friday.

    It would be the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has had to suspend a major oil development in the busy #South_China_Sea waterway under pressure from China.
    […]
    #Red_Emperor, known in Vietnamese as the #Ca_Rong_Do field, is part of Block 07/03 in the #Nam_Con_Son basin, 440 km (273 miles) off the coast of Vietnam’s southern city of Vung Tau.

    The $1-billion field of moderate size by international standards is seen as a key asset to help slow the decline of Vietnam’s stalling oil and gas production.

    But the block lies near the U-shaped “#nine-dash_line ” that marks the vast area that China claims in the sea and overlaps what it says are its own oil concessions.

    Located in waters around 350 metres (1,148 ft) deep, it is considered to be profitable from around $60 per barrel. Current Brent crude oil prices are almost $70 per barrel.

    On est très très bas, dans la #mer_de_Chine_méridionale, mais trop proche de la #ligne_en_neuf_traits

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligne_en_neuf_traits
    #langue_de_bœuf #Đường_lưỡi_bò

    #Cá_Rồng_Đỏ
    cf. https://seenthis.net/messages/617802 (avec autre carte)


  • If you’re Chinese, then being a ‘shameless’ savvy saver is likely to be in your DNA | South China Morning Post
    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2138956/if-youre-chinese-then-being-shameless-savvy-saver-likely-be

    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