The Military and Civilian Dual Application Intelligent Equipment Forum/Expo 2018 opened in Chongqing on March 28. It is sponsored by China Ordinance Science Research Institute with the coordination of Chongqing Commerce Commission, Chongqing High-tech Zone, China Ordinance Society, China Command and Control Society, China Ordinance Investment and Administration Co., Ltd. and lots of other entities. Lots of well-known generals, military experts and academics have been invited to the forum.
On display at the expo are a large number of major equipment and innovation for making the military powerful including enhanced Beidou Navigation System (China’s GDP), powered exoskeleton, lunar rover, etc. What attracts keenest interest is the above model of a wield fighter jet. People wonder if that will be J-20’s next generation of fighter jet.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Is J-20’s next generation of fighter jet like that? It is showcased at Intelligent Equipment Expo 2018” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
In its report “Official again mentions Chinese air forces’ future bomber! Prouder with greater self-confidence this time”, mil.huanqiu.com quotes He Shengqiang, responsible person of China’s bomber research team as saying that China’s future bomber must satisfy the requirements for first-class military and meet the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. He believes that the design of China’s future bomber will be leader in its mode of combat application and technological standards.
He said that on TV screen in CCTV’s “Military Report” program on the drill of China’s new H-6K medium-range bombers. The program describes how PLA air force’s Shenwei brigade has overcome jamming, penetrated radar networks, identified decoys and hit its targets in the drill.
On TV screen, Guo Cuangping, a H-6K pilot, says that he used H-6K’s advanced equipment to tell real targets from decoys and effectively hit the targets.,
Then He Shengqiang, the person in charge of the research and development of H-6K was interviewed on H-6K’s characteristics and performance. He says that with H-6K, Chinese air force has initially obtained the long-range strike capabilities that cover China’s entire territories. That is what his team has developed for the air force to obtain integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defense.
On their continuous efforts for the future, he said the above about China’s future bombers.
That is not the first time China’s future bomber was mentioned. As far back as September 1, 2016, the then air force commander Ma Xiaotian says, “We are now developing a new generation of long-range strike bomber. You will see it in the future”
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Official again mentions Chinese air forces’ future bomber! Prouder with greater self-confidence this time” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese).
Reuters Staff March 29, 2018
(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.)
By John Kemp
LONDON (Reuters) – China’s new crude oil futures contract, which began trading this week, has a good chance of confounding the doubters and becoming a regional benchmark where other contracts have failed.
The history of futures and options trading is littered with new contracts launched amid great fanfare but which subsequently failed to develop sufficient liquidity and have been discontinued or faded into irrelevance.
But the new crude futures contract launched on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange comes after years of meticulous preparation and has many of the ingredients needed to be successful.
Three elements determine the success or failure of a new futures contract, according to an extensive literature review prepared for the Shanghai Futures Exchange three years ago.
The contract must fulfill a commercial need for hedging. It must succeed in attracting a pool of speculators. And public policy must not be too adverse (“Why some futures contracts succeed and others fail”, Till, 2014).
China’s new oil futures contract clearly meets the first two criteria and has a fair chance of succeeding on the third as well.
MEETING A HEDGING NEED
China has already overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest crude importer, so there is a clear need to hedge the resulting price risks.
The need for a new contract and its basic features were showcased two years ago in a presentation by China’s leading crude importer (“Review of current and potential Asian oil benchmarks”, Unipec, 2016).
China’s refiners import mostly medium and heavy sour crudes, which trade at a substantial discount to lighter and sweeter oils.
The two main existing benchmarks, Brent and U.S. light sweet crude, also known as WTI, are based on light low-sulfur crude oils.
In contrast, the new Shanghai futures contract is based on a basket of medium and heavy crudes from the Middle East and China itself with a significantly higher sulfur content.
The new futures contract approximates the sort of crudes that China is importing much more closely than Brent or WTI.
Foreign crudes deliverable against the contract include oils from the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Iraq, which all trade freely.
But they also closely resemble other grades China imports in significant volumes, including crude from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia.
The new contract is denominated in yuan rather than U.S. dollars, allowing refiners to manage their price risks more effectively.
The contract should have no difficulty in attracting a pool of speculators to provide liquidity since China has a large number of domestic traders and brokers familiar with commodity markets.
China has already launched several highly successful contracts, including steel, iron ore and copper, all of which have become liquid benchmarks.
There is a large community of domestic speculators and a network of brokerages, which should help the new contract succeed.
China has many of the network characteristics that have made Chicago, New York, London and Singapore successful futures trading hubs.
The biggest source of uncertainty surrounds the attitude of the government towards price volatility and its willingness to allow fairly unrestricted futures trading.
China’s government has not always been comfortable with extreme price swings and high levels of speculative activity, and has periodically intervened in the markets.
But the same impulses have been seen in other futures trading centers, at least historically, and China’s regulatory interventions have not prevented the successful development of contracts for other commodities.
Given China’s increasing dependence on crude imports and ambition to be a global financial center, the government has a strong strategic interest in ensuring the new contract becomes a successful benchmark.
The new crude contract has some distinctive characteristics and restrictions that have drawn adverse comment (“China aims to challenge Brent, WTI oil with crude futures launch”, Reuters, March 23).
There are strict limits on the number of canceled orders to curb spoofing but which may deter computer-driven high-frequency traders.
Trading is restricted to three distinct periods each day, rather than being nearly continuous, and there will be lengthy non-trading periods during national holidays.
But most of these restrictions have a sound rationale, including concentrating liquidity, and they are likely to be relaxed as the contract becomes more established.
None of them appears likely to deter liquidity.
China’s new crude futures are unlikely to displace the Brent and WTI light sweet benchmarks in the United States and Europe.
But they have a fair chance of successfully becoming a regional benchmark for the medium and heavy sour crudes favored by refiners in Asia (“Shanghai crude futures complete globalization of oil markets”, Reuters, March 28).
“Why some futures contracts succeed and others fail: a survey of relevant research”, Till, 2004
“Futures markets under renewed attack”, Working, 1963
“Economics of futures trading commercial and personal profit”, Hieronymous, 1977
“The role of WTI as a crude oil benchmark”, CME, 2010
“U.S. regulators and speculators: a long history of confrontation”, Lewis, 2009
“Speculation on the stock and produce exchanges of the United States”, Emery, 1896
Editing by Dale Hudson
Source: Reuters “China’s crude oil futures contract should confound the skeptics: Kemp”
Note: This is Reuters’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
The above are photos of the three outfits for North Korean leader Kim Jung-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju when she accompanies Kim in his Beijing visit. SCMP says, “North Korea’s first lady has become an instant hit in China with her fashionable looks after accompanying her husband Kim Jong-un in a surprise visit to China” in its report “Kim Jong-un wife’s fashion sense a hit with China’s public” yesterday.
In the report, SCMP says that some Chinese web users “compared Ri’s look with that of South Korean celebrities, saying she was ‘as pretty as Song Hye-kyo’, a popular actress in China”.
Song was chosen as one of the 100 beautiful faces in the world 7 times from 2000 to 2016 with the highest ranking of the 5th.
We post Song’s photo below:
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report.
Christine Kim, Ben Blanchard March 28, 2018
SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – Accompanied by his wife, greeted by honor guards, and entertained at banquets, Kim Jong Un made his international debut as North Korea’s leader by being wined and dined in the capital of the world’s most populous country.
Kim’s “unofficial” visit to China this week marks his first known trip outside the North since taking power in late 2011, and it helped burnish the image he has recently been cultivating as a leader who has to be shown respect by the world’s most powerful.
Despite recent chilly relations between the neighbors, Chinese President Xi Jinping rolled out an actual red carpet for Kim, who arrived from Pyongyang in a 21-car bulletproof train.
“Just look at Kim’s big smile on his face while he’s shaking hands with Xi,” said Kim Yong-hyun, professor of North Korean studies at South Korea’s Dongguk University. “Although it was Kim’s first trip outside North Korea since he took power, he looked quite confident, posing himself as a world player equal to China’s Xi.”
The surprise visit to Beijing comes as Kim has launched a diplomatic offensive, proposing upcoming summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump.
In line with the previous three visits by Kim’s father to China, the Chinese government described the trip as unofficial, with no North Korean flags hung around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as happens with state visits.
But Chinese state television gave similar coverage to Kim’s meetings with Xi as they did to Xi’s meetings with Trump last year, with an unusually long 14-minute report of what Xi and Kim discussed and where and how they met, though the initial secrecy of the trip meant no live coverage of the welcome ceremony.
The images showed the two men chatting in a friendly way, and Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan also greeting Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju. Kim and Ri were shown waving out of a window as their car drew away.
In making the trip to Beijing in the customized train, Kim sought to highlight his place as the heir to his father Kim Jong Il, said Aidan Foster-Carter, an honorary senior research fellow at Britain’s Leeds University. His father had also gone to China by train on his visits.
“Ordinary mortals just take the plane,” he said. “The train sets the precedent of following in daddy’s footsteps.”
But by making his wife a key figure in the Beijing trip, Kim parted from his father’s behavior and mirrored the ways of today’s modern country leaders.
Kim Jong Il had never been seen abroad with any of his wives, though he was believed to have been accompanied by the woman suspected of being his fourth wife on visits to China and Russia, yet it was never announced officially.
“Unlike his father, Kim Jong Un presented Ri Sol Ju as first lady of North Korea, emphasizing her status and portraying his image as a normal leader,” said Dongkuk University’s Kim. “It appears to be a well-calculated tactic that would help turn Kim’s hostile and unfavorable image to a gentle and sane one.”
LEGITIMACY AT HOME AND ABROAD
As the leader of a country often called reclusive and strange, Kim is also much younger than many world leaders, a difference that gets additional resonance in Asia, where respectful deference to elders is widely upheld.
Estimated to be 34, Kim is decades younger than 64-year-old Xi, 65-year-old Moon, and Trump, who is 71.
Frosty relations between Beijing and Pyongyang since Kim took office had seen state-to-state relations deteriorate, but the two sides have always maintained party-to-party ceremonies and traditions, such as sending envoys to share the outcomes of key party meetings, according to diplomats.
Kim officially cast his visit in the same light, saying he felt obligated to come congratulate Xi in person on his recent re-appointment as president, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s account of the trip.
China’s most senior party diplomat, Politburo member Yang Jiechi, attended the main meeting between Xi and Kim, along with Wang Huning, the party’s top theoretician. The government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, was also there, though at the far end of the table.
From the North, Kim Jong Un brought with him the country’s most high-profile officials, including vice chairman of the Workers’ Party Central Committee Choe Ryong Hae, Politburo member Ri Su Yong, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, and Kim Yong Chol, a former intelligence chief who now handles inter-Korean affairs.
Taking nearly all of his closest aides highlights the confidence he may be feeling now that he has secured his position, showing that he doesn’t fear there could be a coup against him during his time away, said Yang Moo-jin, professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
“We saw many high-ranking officials with Kim, but almost none from the military. One could worry about a military coup, but the fact that he made this trip as he did shows he’s completely in charge of the military as well as all of North Korea’s internal networks,” Yang said.
Reporting by Christine Kim and Heekyong Yang in SEOUL and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Additional reporting by Christian Shepherd in BEIJING; Editing by Josh Smith and Martin Howell
Source: Reuters “North Korea’s Kim seen building global status in trip to China”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Ben Blanchard, Joyce Lee March 27, 2018
BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – China said on Wednesday it won a pledge from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to denuclearize the Korean peninsula during a meeting with President Xi Jinping, who pledged in return that China would uphold its friendship with its isolated neighbour.
After two days of speculation, China announced on Wednesday that Kim had visited Beijing and met Xi during what the official Xinhua news agency called an unofficial visit from Sunday to Wednesday.
The trip was Kim’s first known journey abroad since he assumed power in 2011 and is believed by analysts to serve as preparation for upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States.
Beijing has traditionally been the closest ally of secretive North Korea, but ties have been frayed by North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and China’s backing of tough U.N. sanctions in response.
Xinhua cited Kim as telling Xi that the situation on the Korean peninsula is starting to improve because North Korea has taken the initiative to ease tensions and put forward proposals for peace talks.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim Jong Un said, according to Xinhua.
North Korea is willing to talk with the United States and hold a summit between the two countries, he said.
“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace,” Kim said.
Xi told Kim in return that both sides had stated repeatedly that their traditional friendship should be passed on and developed better.
“This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-North Korea ties. This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time,” Xi said.
Xinhua published a photograph of Kim and Xi shaking hands in front of the flags of the two nations.
Speculation about a possible visit by Kim to Beijing was rife earlier this week after a train similar to the one used by Kim’s father was seen in the Chinese capital, along with heavy security and a large motorcade.
Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, Xinhua said.
Xi had accepted an invitation from Kim to visit North Korea, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.
Improving ties between North Korea and China would be a positive sign before planned summits involving the two Koreas and the United States, a senior South Korean official said on Tuesday.
Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, met then-president Jiang Zemin in China in 2000 before a summit between the two Koreas in June that year. That visit was seen at the time as reaffirmation of close ties with Beijing.
Additional reporting by David Stanway in SHANGHAI; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Paul Tait
Source: Reuters “China’s Xi affirms friendship with North Korean leader, gets denuclearization pledge”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
James Pearson, Greg Torode March 27, 2018
HANOI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show.
The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises.
The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.
The photos, taken on Monday, show what appear to be at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of the Chinese military’s growing naval might.
Sailing in a line formation more suited to visual propaganda than hard military maneuvers, the flotilla was headed by what appeared to be submarines, with aircraft above.
Jeffrey Lewis, a security expert at the California-based based Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies, said the images showed the first confirmation that the carrier was joining the drills.
“It’s an incredible picture,” he said. “That’s the big news to me. Confirmation that, yes, the carrier participated in the exercise.”
While the Liaoning has previously entered the South China Sea as part of drills in uncontested training grounds south of Hainan, its annual exercises are closely watched by regional and international powers eyeing Beijing’s growing military might.
It is unclear where the flotilla was headed, or how long operations will last. China’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
Collin Koh, a security expert at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, described the deployment as unusual for its size and scope.
“Judging by the images, it does seem they are keen to show that elements of the South Sea Fleet are able to routinely join up with the carrier strike group from Dalian in the north,” he said.
“It does seem they want to show inter-fleet interoperability – something the (Chinese) navy has been quietly working on for some time.”
Chinese naval and coast guard forces have expanded rapidly in recent years and now patrol the vast swathes of the South China Sea, but little is known about their combat readiness and co-ordination.
Koh said as well as the destroyers, frigates and submarines that would ordinarily support a carrier, the flotilla appeared to include a large oiler for re-supply as well as smaller corvettes and possibly fast attack catamarans.
“While it highlights an extensive ability to deploy, we are still left to guess at the PLAN’s combat readiness,” Koh said.
As well as Vietnam, China’s claims in the South China Sea are disputed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei while Taiwan also has claims.
The exercises come amid fresh signs of tension in the resource-rich waterway, with Vietnam recently halting oil exploration off its coast by Spanish firm Repsol under pressure from Beijing.
Beijing also objected to a so-called freedom of navigation patrol by a U.S. warship last week close to one of its artificial islands in the Spratlys archipelago further south.
Reporting By Greg Torode and James Pearson, additional reporting by Ben Blanchard. Editing by Lincoln Feast.
Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Satellite images reveal show of force by Chinese navy in South China Sea”