Emergence of China’s New Very Advanced Strategic Bomber

B8 strategic bomber

B8 strategic bomber

China is developing a medium- to long-range strategic bomber said to be developed entirely on its own.

However, the bomber’s design is based Russian TU16 and Tu160. As China is now developing large airliner jointly with Russia, it is possible that China can get some help from Russia as there is a Chinese-Russian alliance against the US now.

There is not much information about the bomber so far. It is only known that to make it undetectable, it carries its weapons inside and China is now able to use revolving missile launch pods for its missiles as such pods have already been used on China’s WU-10 attack helicopters.

The US depends on its nuclear weapons and air force to maintain its world hegemony. Helping China surpass the US in strategic nuclear weapons and air force will put an end to the hegemony. It means a lot for Russia who is under the pressure of US sanctions.

After all, the bombers will solely be used as strategic nuclear weapons against the US They are no threats to Russia as neither Russia nor China wants to fight a nuclear war between them. The US, however, will certainly use its nuclear weapons against China if it has lost a conventional war with China but is still superior in nuclear weapons.

On the other hand, if there are military conflicts between Russia and China, what Russia shall worry is China’s large army equipped with increasingly advanced weapons instead of air force. That is why Russia is willing to sell China its most advanced Su-35 fighter jets and S300 air defense system.

Just as this blogger said in his previous posts, Chinese-Russian cooperation in weapon development add wings to two tigers.

Source: qianzhan.com “Emergence of a new type bomber in Chinese air force with very advanced functions and performance” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China Begins Building Large Type 055 destroyer rival to US Arleigh Burke

Flag at the ceremony on commencement of construction of 055 destroyer

Flag at the ceremony on commencement of construction of 055 destroyer

According to huanqiu.com, a picture of the ceremony on the commencement of the construction of Type 055 destroyer in December was posted on a well-known military forum.

However, it is unknown whether it is true. However as some tests on the ground of the structure of the destroyer have been carried out recently, the picture is now a hot media topic.

According to foreign media reports and relevant information, Type 055’s over 10,000 ton displacement enables it to carry two helicopters and 96 vertical launch units. It is a rival to the improved version of US Arleigh Burke class destroyer in terms of stealth, defense, fire power and other functions and performance.

Source: huanqiu.com “055 destroyer marks Chinese navy’s entry into the era of large destroyers comparable to US Arleigh Burke class” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 430,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 18 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

China: Anti-corruption Storm Spreads Abroad

In my post “Canada, China to sign deal on return of fugitives’ seized assets” on December 17, I said, “Only when those who have become rich through corruption cannot retain their assets abroad can China’s anti-corruption storm be really effective. According to Reuters, China and Canada are to sign a deal on recovering the assets such corrupt criminals have moved to Canada. Canada, Australia and the United States are the top destinations of immigration and transfer of ill-gotten assets for Chinese corrupt officials and criminals.

If China can bring back those criminals to justice and recover their stolen assets, it will complete the awe it has created among them and greatly damp their desire to make such illegal gain.

Today Reuters says that China is also discussing with the US and Australia for that. The following is the full text of Reuters report on that:

Beijing looks at U.S. deal to recover dirty assets: China Daily

China is looking at signing an agreement with the United States to target assets illegally taken out of China by corrupt officials, a state-run newspaper said on Monday, as the government tightens the screws in its anti-graft battle.

China has vowed to pursue a search, dubbed Operation “Fox Hunt,” beyond its borders for corrupt officials and business executives, and their assets.

But Western countries have balked at extradition deals with China, partly out of concern about the integrity of its judicial system and treatment of prisoners. Rights groups say authorities use torture, and the death penalty is common in corruption cases.
The China Daily said the central People’s Bank of China was talking to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) about an agreement targeting ill-gotten assets in the United States.

FinCEN spokesman Stephen Hudak declined to comment directly on whether negotiations with China were underway. Hudak said the agency “often engages with foreign partners to share information in order to protect the financial system from money laundering, corruption, and terrorist finance.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at a press briefing Monday that no agreement was under consideration, but pointed to existing agreements that touched on recovering criminal assets. “There’s no additional agreement… currently being considered,” Rathke said.

Chinese state media reported earlier in December that Beijing is set to finalize such a deal with Canada.

The central bank was also looking at a deal with Australia, the China Daily said, citing Zhang Xiaoming, deputy head of the Finance Ministry’s legal assistance and foreign affairs department.

“After the agreements are made, China will share intelligence with the U.S. and Australia, which will also offer information to their enforcement agencies to conduct further investigations,” Zhang told the English-language paper.

Last year FinCEN signed what it described as an “unprecedented” agreement with Mexican authorities to share information that could help combat money laundering to terrorist financing, focused on international criminal groups in the U.S. and Mexico.

While FinCEN receives and analyzes suspicious financial transaction data, and can share that data with others, it does not have the ability to freeze funds. A representative of the Justice Department, which would need to seek a court order to freeze or seize assets, said U.S. and Chinese officials had discussed the issue of recovering assets earlier in December. The representative declined to provide further details.

Source: Reuters “Beijing looks at U.S. deal to recover dirty assets: China Daily”

Related posts at tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com:

China: Severe Anti-corruption Storm on the Horizon dated August 31, 2013

China’s top graft buster urges ‘shock and awe’ for offenders to intensify anti-corruption storm dated October 23, 2013

China: Xi Jinping’s Anti-corruption Storm Sweeps Chinese Military dated November 6, 2013

Canada, China to sign deal on return of fugitives’ seized assets dated December 17

China’s Xi calls for tighter ideological control in universities

Chinese President Xi Jinping waits for leaders to arrive before the opening ceremony in the Expo Center at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, in this May 21, 2014 file photo.  Credit: Reuters/Aly Song/Files

Chinese President Xi Jinping waits for leaders to arrive before the opening ceremony in the Expo Center at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, in this May 21, 2014 file photo.
Credit: Reuters/Aly Song/Files

People outside China usually regard China’s ideological control as originated from communism. That is entirely a misunderstanding.

Since Emperor Wudi (157BC to 87BC) of the Han Dynasty decided to adopt Confucianism as the dominant ideology, China had imposed strict Confucianist ideological control until the 1911 democratic revolution.

The only difference now is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants to impose Marxist ideological control.

The following is the full text of Reuters report on Chinese President Xi Jinping imposing ideological control in Chinese colleges:

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater “ideological guidance” in China’s universities and urged the study of Marxism, state media reported on Monday, as the country tightens control on Western ideology.

Xi’s comments are the latest sign of his politically conservative agenda and come amid a ratcheting up of controls over the media, dissidents and the internet.

China’s Communist Party has signaled that it will not embark on political reform, despite hopes that Xi, the son of a former liberal-minded vice premier, may loosen up.

Xi said universities had to “shoulder the burden of learning and researching the dissemination of Marxism”, Xinhua state news agency said.

Xi called on the authorities to step up the party’s “leadership and guidance” in universities as well as to “strengthen and improve the ideological and political work”.

The campuses should “cultivate and practice the core values of socialism in their teaching”, Xi said.

Curricula and speech at Chinese universities are tightly controlled by the government, though students have at times pushed the limits, including during the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests that were brutally suppressed by the army.

An influential party journal said in September that one of China’s top universities, Peking University, had urged students and teachers to “fight” criticism of the party.

Last year, a liberal Chinese economist who had been an outspoken critic of the party was expelled from Peking University after he called for democratic reforms.

Xi has espoused old school Maoism as he seeks to court powerful conservative elements in the party. Like many officials before him, Xi is steeped in the party’s long-held belief that loosening control too quickly, or even at all, could lead to chaos and the break up of the country.

Xi’s administration has overseen a crackdown on dissidents and on freedom of expression that many rights activists say is the most sustained and severe in years.

Last week, Chinese media reported that a university in northwestern China had banned Christmas, calling it a “kitsch” foreign celebration unbefitting of the country’s own traditions and made students watch propaganda films instead.

Source: Reuters “China’s Xi calls for tighter ideological control in universities”

PLA Looks Down on Perry Class Frigates, Apache Taiwan Gets from US

US supply of 4 Perry class frigates to Taiwan has become a hot topic, but a PLA major says that even with such weapons, Taiwan lags behind China by 2 decades. Especially, Perry class frigates are outdated warships that the US is decommissioning and selling to get some funds to ease the effect of the reduction in US military budget.

However, even if the US is willing to sell Taiwan some really advanced weapons, it takes time for Taiwan to learn how to operate them and provide logistic services for them; therefore, the US is unable to help Taiwan if a war breaks out now.

Over the past decade, PLA has commissioned lots of advanced weapons and set up a combat system much superior to Taiwan’s. The war now be of such a large scale that Taiwan cannot afford.

If the war across the strait emerges in the future, China is enhancing its military strength much faster than Taiwan. Taiwan will be hopeless especially when China has commissioned its J-20 stealth fighter jets and hypersonic weapons and built its homegrown aircraft carrier.

According to the major, China wants a peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue. For that purpose, China has to develop its military to make it far more superior to Taiwan’s.

The US knows well that it is unable to help Taiwan but only wants to make money by selling some outdated weapons to Taiwan. Taiwan knows well such weapons cannot help, but at least the sales show that the US is on its side. That gives Taiwan a sense of security.

Source: qianzhan.com “Major: PLA looks down on Perry, Apache not even if US provides Taiwan with such weapons for three more armies” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China to list legal places of worship, ‘root out’ illegal: Xinhua

China is to publish online details of legal religious venues, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, apparently in an effort to identify unsanctioned groups as part of an effort to “root out illegal religious activities”.

Names and addresses for “all Buddhist and Taoist venues” would be published within two years, Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, told a conference on Friday, according to the news agency.

Xinhua made no mention of other religions but it quoted Wang as saying the information would help stop illegal religious activity in unauthorized locations.

The government’s attitude toward religion has softened significantly in recent decades, and people are allowed to practice religion at sanctioned institutions that are required to preach and practice loyalty to the government.

Despite the rules, unsanctioned religious movements, which the authorities call cults, have proliferated in recent years, and the government has grown increasingly active in trying to discourage their growth.

A court jailed 21 members of banned religious group Quannengshen and executed two this year after members were accused of murdering a woman.

Beijing also maintains a ban on the Falun Gong church, which has become one of the most strident public opponents of the Chinese Communist Party.

Anti-cult messages are prolific on message boards in some city neighborhoods, and suspicion can extend to established religions.

The government is locked in a long-running dispute with the Vatican over who appoints Catholic bishops, and in recent months some officials have removed crosses from Christian churches and banned Christmas symbolism.

The government is even more suspicious of Islam, and has tried to discourage traditional Muslim practice in the Xinjiang autonomous region. It has also tried to suppress political activism among Tibetan Buddhists.

The government describes resistance to its rule in Muslim and Tibetan Buddhist communities as inspired by outside forces trying to dismember China, and defends its religious policy as suitable for “reasonable practitioners”.

Source: Reuters “China to list legal places of worship, ‘root out’ illegal: Xinhua”

China Police Hinder Parents’ Efforts to Find Their Kidnapped Kids

Zhang Xiuhong shows a ripped poster of her missing teenaged daughter, which she says was damaged by the police. Photo: AP

Zhang Xiuhong shows a ripped poster of her missing teenaged daughter, which she says was damaged by the police. Photo: AP

Every year tens of thousands kids are kidnapped and quite a few of them cannot be found back. It is natural that if the police fail to find back kidnapped kids, parents have to band together to find them on their own. However, that is not the case in China. Chinese police persecuted the parents for doing so.

This blogger describes in his book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition the fear caused by Tiananmen to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Protests by the Chinese saying, “Once Bitten by a Snake, One Is Scared All One’s Life at the Mere Sight of a Rope”

He call it CCP’s Tiananmen Syndromem which makes CCP suppress any mass protest whatever in order to prevent such protest from growing into one like the Tiananmen Protests that may threaten CCP’s monopoly of state power.

When lots of babies had kidney stones as their milk powder had been tainted by Melamine, Zhao Lianhai founded Home for Kidney Stone Babies to fight for such babies’ rights and share information on the way to take care of such babies. Zhao was arrested for that and imprisoned three years for that. His story is given in the first Chapter of the book as follows:

Zhao Lianhai, founder of Home for Kidney Stone Babies, a concern group for victims of melamine-poisoned milk, was brought to court in handcuffs and shackles for fighting for victimized babies’ rights. The handcuffs were not removed until his lawyers protested, but his feet remained in shackles for hours throughout the hearing. What felony did he commit so as to be humiliated like that?

According to his prosecutor, Zhao Lianhai “maliciously made the tainted milk incident an issue on the Internet, instigated and gathered people to shout slogans and hold illegal assemblies and thus seriously disrupted public order.” In fact, Zhao’s website helped families with babies poisoned by tainted milk share their experiences, maintained a database of medical records and provided practical help such as medical information about children sick due to tainted milk. Since the government itself made public the evils done by the enterprises that sold the tainted milk and the trials and verdicts of the cases of the managers of those enterprises, what was Zhao’s website wrong in doing so?

As reported by Hong Kong and Western media, the prosecutor knew well himself that the protests lead by Zhao Lianhai were entirely peaceful and gave rise to no serious disturbance. The protesters merely shouted some slogans and held some assemblies without permission. Article 290 of China’s Criminal Law provides, “Where people are gathered to disturb public order to such a serious extent that work in general, production, business operation, teaching or scientific research cannot go on and heavy losses are caused, the ringleaders shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years;” Since no work in general, production, business operation, teaching or scientific research was affected nor any losses caused, the disturbance was by no means serious. There is, therefore, no ground to prosecute Zhao!

As for holding some harmless assemblies without permission, Zhao Lianhai contacted government officials times and again but was pressured instead supported by them. Since government officials tried hard to cover up the evils done, how could Zhao get permission for the assemblies? Zhao and others were justified in holding peaceful assemblies without permission. They had such rights according to China’s constitution.

Moreover, Zhao Lianhai’s own only baby had kidney stones due to the tainted milk. How can he be accused of maliciously exploiting the incident to make trouble? As a victim’s father, Zhao himself has the right to express his anger peacefully on the Internet and in the streets. Is CCP top leader Hu Jintao’s “putting the people first” in his Scientific Outlook on Development empty talks? No, judging by what Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao had done, they did have put the people first in lots of things they had done. Why Zhao Lianhai was treated so callously then?

CCP’s Tiananmen Syndrome
The attack that CCP suffered from Tiananmen Protests was like the bite of a snake, which threatened Party’s very survival. The protests led by Zhao Lianhai though quite harmless like a rope compared with the “snake” the Tiananmen Protests, CCP was scared just as described by the Chinese saying that served as the first subhead: “Once bitten by a snake, one is scared all one’s life at the mere sight of a rope.” That was why CCP made such a show to humiliate and punish Zhao Lianhai. I would like to call this CCP’s Tiananmen Syndrome. It makes CCP suppress any mass protest whatever in order to prevent such protest from growing into one like the Tiananmen Protests that may threaten CCP’s monopoly of state power.

Those passages explain the reason why missing kids’ parents could not find help from authorities in their own efforts to find their kids, but instead have been harassed by police for doing so.

The following is the full text of Taipei Times report on their predicament:

Parents’ lonely search for missing kids

BLACK HOLE: Parents in China said harassment and government indifference hindered their efforts to band together to fight child-trafficking and find their children


In the grainy video, Zhang Xiuhong can see her daughter ride her bike down a country road on her way to school one spring afternoon six years ago.

In the next shot, Yao Li rides down a driveway a few moments after her classmates walk by. Then, the pictures stop: The 15-year-old disappeared just minutes after that surveillance footage was taken, leaving only a shoe in a nearby ditch as a clue.

Zhang and her husband have since searched all over China for Yao Li, hoping to rescue her from a child-trafficking industry that swallows up thousands of boys and girls every year. Along the way, the couple have also been harassed, arrested and jailed repeatedly by police officers who accuse them of stirring up trouble by joining with other parents and taking their search to the streets.

“We go out and search, and then all these police surround us,” Zhang said in the dingy room she and her husband share near where her daughter was last seen. “Nobody is watching for my daughter. Nobody is doing anything. How can we have any more hope?”

In a tightly monitored society where authorities detain even relatives of air crash victims demanding government action, Zhang and other parents of missing children have learned that they must fight on two fronts.

First, they are up against a sprawling, opaque network of abductors and illegal buyers and sellers of children. Since police efforts to find children often leave parents unsatisfied, they must negotiate with authorities to hunt for the kids themselves.

As many as 70,000 children are estimated to be kidnapped every year in China for illegal adoption, forced labor or sex trafficking, making it one of the world’s biggest markets for abducted children, according to the state-run newspaper China Daily.

By comparison, in the US, about 100 children are abducted annually by people who are strangers to them, said the Polly Klaas Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing crimes against children and assisting in the recovery of missing ones.

The US Department of State said in its annual trafficking report this year that China “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.”

Chinese authorities have tried to show that they are tackling the problem, including launching a special anti-kidnapping task force in 2009, which state-run media outlets report has busted 11,000 trafficking gangs and rescued more than 54,000 children across the nation.

In October, the issue was highlighted in the Chinese-produced movie Dearest, which told the true story of a couple who found their abducted son after searching for three years.

Still, many parents say they toil largely on their own, with the police at best leaving them alone.

Xiao Chaohua, whose son was five years old when he disappeared outside his shop in 2007, said appeals to government-run TV to broadcast pictures and names of individual children are largely rejected, as are suggestions to develop a Chinese version of the US “Amber Alert” warning systems to spread information about missing children through roadway signs or other means.

“They will not broadcast it because if they do, it will expose one of China’s problems — that children go missing here,” Xiao said.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security, which runs the anti-kidnapping task force, did not respond to several telephone calls and a fax seeking comment.

International nonprofit group Save The Children China director Pia Macrae said that Chinese police departments are often more willing to help families with greater means, and even then frequently do not tell parents what they are doing.

“The parents feel uncommunicated to and want to take actions,” Macrae said. “We have seen a real effort to reach out from the police to improve things and we hope it will get better.”

While China has strengthened laws against trafficking and raised more public awareness of the issue, several parents said they were operating on their own.

However, they also said police harassment usually starts when they gather in groups of more than 20, wearing poster boards and handing out fliers with pictures of their children.

Xiao said police have also stopped him when he drives his van, which is pasted with photographs of missing children.

Chinese police departments regularly crack down on any groups they perceive to be organizing without government approval and threatening official authority, no matter the cause.

However, the parents of missing children refuse to give up.

About 1,000 families have formed a Beijing-based support group that shares leads about missing children and negotiates with police to allow parents to search for their children. They often go to cities where child and sex-trafficking rings are reported to be operating and try to track down suspected traffickers.

“I have dedicated myself to finding him,” Xiao said of his son. “If I stop, I cannot do anything because I will be thinking of him.”

Over the past six years, the group has found two children, both of them abducted from small cities and sold to adoptive families, Xiao said. The group found one boy in an orphanage in central Henan Province, rejected by his purchasers because of a heart condition and just days from being sent overseas for adoption.

After China toughened its anti-trafficking laws in 2009, prices for abducted children shot up as much as tenfold — US$32,000 for boys and nearly US$10,000 for girls, he said. Children considered particularly attractive fetch even higher prices.

Wu Xingfo, whose one-year-old son was kidnapped while sleeping at home in 2008 in Shanxi Province, said he, too, has been harassed by police officers for trying to find his child.

“All the parents in Shanxi created our own group to find our children, but the government said our effort was causing trouble in society,” Wu said. “I have been imprisoned for two days. They have torn up the photographs I have passed around of my son. I do not understand why the police do not take this seriously. It is like you lost a dog or a purse to them.”

Zhang said she felt her “heart run cold” when police stormed a rally of more than a dozen parents that she was attending in July in Guangzhou, near where the nation’s biggest trafficking networks are reported to operate.

Like Xiao, Zhang and her husband, Yao Fuji, spoke with a haunting lack of emotion, clearly exhausted from years of anguish.

“They say that China has human rights, but this is not the case at all, not a single bit,” Yao said. “Before this happened with our child, we thought everything was great, just like we saw on TV. Now, we know it is all fake.”

As her husband spoke, Zhang silently replayed the video of her daughter riding to school, rewinding again and again to the moment she appeared on screen, just before she vanished.

Source: Taipei Times “Parents’ lonely search for missing kids”

Source: Chan Kai Yee Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition

High-speed Rails for China’s Silk Road, Silk Road Economic Belt

China has long had an extensive rail network but in recent years has emphasised the development of super fast trains (AFP Photo/Wang Zhao)

China has long had an extensive rail network but in recent years has emphasised the development of super fast trains (AFP Photo/Wang Zhao)

A high-speed train is on its way to Beijing, from Nanning, southern China's Guangxi province, on June 13, 2014 (AFP Photo/-)

A high-speed train is on its way to Beijing, from Nanning, southern China’s Guangxi province, on June 13, 2014 (AFP Photo/-)

China’s official TV media CCTV reported that China opened three fast railways linking its east yesterday. They are Lanzhou-Urumqi, Guiyang-Guangzhou and Nanning-Guangzhou fast railways.

The first one, more than 1,700 km long has been built not only for the rich resources in West China but also a section for China’s silk road, parts of which will be built in Central Asia and Russia. When the fast rails that have been planned in those areas have been built, they together with Chinese fast rail network will provide fast railway link between China and Europe. It is of vital importance as with such land routes china will be able to maintain the links between it and Europe even if its maritime trade lifelines are cut by powerful US navy.

The other two fast rails will provide links with Southeast Asia and may provide an alternative trade route to Middle East and Europe that China calls maritime Silk Road.

FP also published a report on the three railways yesterday. It said that according to Chinese official media, there will be 16,000 kilometers of fast railway in China by 2020. However, according to CCTV, due to the opening to traffic of the three new railways, China now has more than 15,000 kilometers of fast railway.

It seems that China is speeding up the construction of its infrastructure when it encounters an economic slowdown now.

The following is the full text of AFP’s report on the three new fast railways:

China extends high-speed rail network to Xinjiang

Beijing (AFP) – China tied the restive far-western region of Xinjiang closer to the rest of the country Friday, opening a high-speed rail line between its remote capital and a city nearly 1,800 kilometres away.

A bullet train capable of speeds of up to 250 kilometres an hour departed the Western Chinese city of Lanzhou for Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, with female attendants in ethnic costumes serving 622 passengers, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) showed.

The line, the first connecting Xinjiang to a neighbouring region stretches through rugged terrain including vast deserts, the high-altitude Qilian mountain range, an ancient section of the Great Wall and strong wind zones, slashing travel time between the two cities by half to under 12 hours, CCTV said.

China also launched two other fast rail lines on Friday, meaning more than 3,200 kilometres (1,984 miles) of high-speed track was put into use in a single day, highlighting the rapid development of the country’s network.

The Western high-speed railway comes as China is pushing a Silk Road Economic Belt to boost commercial ties with countries in Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, and ultimately to Europe.

Also opening on Friday were lines linking the prosperous southern commercial hub of Guangzhou with Guiyang in the underdeveloped province of Guizhou, and Nanning in neighbouring Guangxi province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China has long boasted an extensive rail system but in recent years has pushed the development of super-fast trains that have slashed travel times between major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and made rail travel competitive with flying.

– Resource rich –

Xinjiang, a vast area bordering Central Asia, is home to Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups. It has long had a population of Han, China’s dominant nationality, whose numbers have increased strongly over the past half century through migration.

Though rich in natural resources such as oil and gas, the region has been the scene of ethnic and religious unrest characterised by clashes between local groups and authorities as well as violence both inside and outside the region that Chinese authorities have classified as religious-inspired terrorism.

China is engaged in a crackdown on militancy in the region and earlier this month a court condemned eight people to death for two deadly attacks in Urumqi, state media said, bringing the number of death penalties or executions announced for Xinjiang-related violence to around 50 since June.

According to Xinhua, the line linking Gansu’s capital of Lanzhou to Urumqi is 1,776 kilometres long and its trains are designed to travel at a maximum speed of 250 kilometres an hour.

Construction on the rail line started in November 2009, Chinese media reported previously. A section linking Urumqi and the Xinjiang city of Hami opened last month.

Also this month, a line that cut train travel times between the commercial hubs of Shanghai and Guangzhou from 16 hours to seven began operations.

Completion of another high-speed line linking Beijing and Lanzhou in 2017 will cut train travel times between the Chinese capital and Urumqi from 41 hours previously to just 16, Xinhua said in a report last month.

Only begun in 1999, China’s high-speed rail network has quickly become the largest in the world, with more than 11,000 kilometres of track in service during 2013, with the total expected to reach 16,000 kilometres by 2020, according to official media.

In late 2012, China opened what it hailed as the world’s longest high-speed train line linking Beijing in the north with Guangzhou, near Hong Kong.

The high-speed network, however, has been plagued by graft and safety scandals following its rapid expansion, with a deadly collision in July 2011 killing more than three dozen people.

The accident triggered a flood of criticism of the government and accusations that the authorities had compromised safety in its rush to expand.

Source: AFP “China extends high-speed rail network to Xinjiang”

Source: CCTV “Three Fast Railways Open to Traffic to link with Silk Road, Silk Road Economic Belt” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

When Will Enmity between India and China End?

Since Mao’s foolish military attack at India, there has been tension between China and India along their disputed border for half a century.

Now China is giving Nepal substantial aid in order to prevent Dalai Lama’s followers from crossing Chinese-Nepalese border to go to Dalai Lama. It certainly has nothing to do with China’s border dispute with India, but India has to take a counter move to provide $1 billion loan to Nepal.

It is easy to cause enmity but half a century’s efforts are not enough to remove the enmity and restore centuries of good neighborly relations between China and India.

The following is Reuters report on India’s rivalry with China in courting Repal:

China raises Nepal aid five-fold in regional diplomacy push

China will increase official aid to Nepal by more than five times from fiscal 2015-16, officials said on Friday, to develop infrastructure in the landlocked nation where regional rival India has long wielded political influence.

The jump in assistance was announced after talks between visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Nepali counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, part of a deepening engagement which is expected to lead to a visit by President Xi Jinping next year.

Both India and China have been courting the Himalayan nation as they worry about its slow transition from a constitutional monarchy to a republic and the end of a 10-year civil war in 2006 that has left deep divides.

China is concerned about the presence of Tibetans in Nepal, many of whom have crossed the treacherous Himalayas from their homeland. On Friday, Wang laid the foundations of a police academy to train officers of Nepal’s Armed Police Force that guards districts bordering Tibet.

Beijing will build the police academy as a gift on top of the annual aid of $128 million, up from the current $24 million, Krishna Prasad Devakota, a Nepal finance ministry official, said.

“As neighbors China and Nepal have common security needs … we need to work together to crack down on illegal border crossings and transnational crimes,” Wang told reporters.

Traditionally, Tibetan exiles captured by Nepali police were handed to the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees for their onward journey to India where the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is based.

But China says the refugees are illegal migrants and has been pressing Nepal to crush their movement. The number of Tibetans entering Nepal from China has fallen from about 2,500 six years ago to just about 200 a year.

Beijing’s greater involvement in Nepal comes as India steps up its own engagement with its neighbors.

India has signed a deal to allow the import and export of electricity, a long pending demand of Nepal, and is expected to boost investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector with a potential to generate up to 42,000 megawatts of electricity.

India, which shares a long and porous border with Nepal, has also announced a $1 billion soft loan, part of moves to woo back its neighbor.

Source: Reuters “China raises Nepal aid five-fold in regional diplomacy push”