Factbox: Key details from fifth plenum of China’s Communist Party

By Reuters Staff


BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Central Committee, the largest of the ruling Communist Party’s top decision-making bodies, have concluded a four-day meeting on China’s economic and social policy goals for the next five years.

The final blueprint will be approved and published when the National People’s Congress, or parliament, meets in its annual session next year.

Below are some key details from the communique of the plenum, the fifth meeting of the Central Committee since the once-in-five years Communist Party congress in 2017, as released by state media on Thursday. Longer-term goals were also discussed.


Party leadership said in the communique that the value of China’s gross domestic product is expected to exceed 100 trillion yuan ($14.92 trillion) this year. That is just a touch more than in 2019, and puts China on course to narrowly miss a previous goal of doubling GDP in the decade to 2020, as the economy needs to grow at least 5.6% this year to hit the target. The communique also said China will aim to achieve sustained and healthy economic development in 2021-2025, with a focus on higher quality growth. It remains unclear whether a numerical growth target would be set for the five-year period when the plan is published next year. The party also made no mention of doubling GDP over the next decade, but added that China will aim to raise per capita GDP to the level of moderately developed nations by 2035.


Little was disclosed for the moment on how China would implement the “dual circulation” model, first proposed by Xi in May. The strategy is for China to depend mainly on “domestic circulation” for its next phase of development, supported by external resources through “international circulation”. In the communique, the party said the model would be promoted, combining efforts to expand domestic demand with supply-side reforms.


Investors were awaiting new steps on boosting China’s technological innovation, key to moving the world’s second-largest economy up the global value chain, especially with the United States’ strangling supply of parts to Chinese tech giants. The communique said China would make technological self-sufficiency a “strategic support” for national development, with an aim to achieve major breakthroughs in key technologies by 2035. It also said China would strengthen national security capabilities and maintain “strategic composure” in the face of newly emerged challenges and conflicts internationally. Defence capabilities would be beefed up in line with the economy, the communique said.


The communique said China would speed up and push forward green and low-carbon development. There was no immediate word on boosting strategic reserves across commodities and energy to ensure self-sufficiency.


The party said in the communique that China would deepen reforms in all aspects, but gave few details. It reiterated that China would let the market play a decisive role in resources allocation. China would also make a “major breakthrough” in reforms on property rights. The party said China would promote coordinated regional development and a new urbanisation drive. Economists say China’s urban-rural income gap is widening, and development disparities between prosperous coastal provinces and the hinterland have increased.


China is facing what experts describe as a demographic time-bomb as its elderly population is increasing while its workforce is dwindling, partly due to a one-child policy in place for around four decades. The party decided in a previous plenum in 2015 to ditch that policy. In Thursday’s communique, the party said China would implement strategies to address the ageing population, without elaborating.


The communique said China would promote Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland and peaceful cross-straits development. China regards Taiwan as a wayward province to be brought back under its sovereignty by force, if necessary. China would also maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macau.

(This story corrects to say this year’s GDP is expected to exceed 100 trillion yuan, not reach 100 trillion yuan)

Reporting by Ryan Woo and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Mark Potter

Source: Reuters “Factbox: Key details from fifth plenum of China’s Communist Party”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Bring American Security Home by Ending China’s Rare Earth Monopoly

By John AdamsApril 29, 2020

Bring American Security Home by Ending China’s Rare Earth MonopolyAP Photo/U.S. Department of Agriculture, Peggy Greb

As economies around the world remain shuttered to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the cost of America’s reliance on foreign sources of critical resources has become painfully clear. The laudable actions of American manufacturers, as they shift their production toward making desperately needed medical devices and personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, are a testament to America’s ability to rise to meet challenges that threaten the nation. However admirable these efforts may be, the American people would be better served if they were not necessary, and instead, we had made the needed investments to create and maintain a robust manufacturing sector across key products. When America and the world emerge from the pandemic, we must learn from this experience to ensure that our nation can meet our critical needs not only in medical equipment but in a host of key sectors on which our national supply security depends.

This necessity started to become clear to the world long before the pandemic even reached America. As COVID-19 spread in China and manufacturers there closed in response, the threats to global supply chains became apparent in products ranging from medical equipment to smartphones to electric motors, and aircraft and, indeed, military platforms. But, America’s overreliance on China as a source of critical products is not new. We must urgently remedy this dependence.

America’s complete dependence on China for the critical minerals and metals that play essential roles in our defense systems and critical infrastructure is alarming. Today, China could cripple our industrial supply chain by shutting off the tap for these “rare earth” minerals, as the vast majority of these minerals are mined in China, and even the small percentage that are mined in the U.S. are exported to China for necessary processing. The President, Congress, and our Department of Defense have all publicly recognized this risk as a critical vulnerability that must be addressed.

Our rare earth dependence on China is not only dangerous but completely unnecessary. Our nation holds significant reserves of these critical minerals and metals, and at one point was the world leader in rare earths’ production. The U.S. Geological Survey has identified over ten rare earth deposits in the United States. One of those, Bear Lodge in northeastern Wyoming, not only represents a significant source of vital rare earth elements here at home but will use a new rare earth separation technology that will, for the first time in years, remove China from the processing supply chain that underpins our nation’s ongoing dependence.

In short, the United States can, should, and must develop its own domestic source of rare earths, but as in so many manufacturing sectors, attempting to find a foothold in a market dominated by the Chinese government’s state-subsidized monopoly of the global industry requires the support of our own government. A “Key Finding” of the 2018 Report to the President Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the U.S. identified China’s “significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security.”

The Chinese Communist Party demonstrated its willingness to weaponize supplies of rare earths in 2010, when it threatened to withhold shipments of these critical products to Japan, in response to a territorial dispute. We must build our domestic capacity to ensure that we are not similarly threatened.

Source: RealClear Defense “Bring American Security Home by Ending China’s Rare Earth Monopoly”

Note: This is RealClear Defense’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

China’s chip market set to achieve self-reliance within two years

By Harry Baldock, Total Telecom

Tuesday 27 October 20

Under the pressure of US sanctions, China’s semiconductor industry is developing rapidly to accommodate soaring domestic demand

US sanctions against Chinese telecoms and technology firms have been relentless this year, having profound consequences for the telecoms industry around the world. Perhaps the most significant of these sanctions were those introduced in August, which restricted semiconductor companies from selling chips developed or produced using US software or technology to Huawei without first obtaining a licence.

But while these sanctions were, of course, a significant blow to Huawei, they could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Chinese semiconductor industry, which is now scaling up rapidly to meet domestic demand. This increased demand goes hand in hand with numerous policies being introduced by the Chinese government to nurture growth, including major tax breaks for companies creating 28nm and even 65nm nodes.

As a result, this favourable environment is fostering rapid private and public investment throughout the country; 72 companies received a total of around $3.8 billion in financing from the start of the second quarter to July 23rd this year, with overall investment in the industry in Q2 reaching ten-fold that of the same time last year. Backed by huge chip foundries like Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited, the country’s 28nm chip industry is expected to scale rapidly and achieve domestic self-sufficiency within the next two years.

While 28nm nodes are not at the cutting edge of process technologies in the same sense as 5nm and 7nm, it is a mainstay of industrial applications, being found in everything from cars and planes to TVs and air-conditioners. In addition, China’s homegrown chip tech continues to make breakthroughs – SMIC’s FinFET N+1, which some are calling the “Chinese version” of the 7nm process, was announced earlier this month, bringing with it significant reductions in power consumption (57%), logic area (63%), and System on Chip area (55%), as well as boosting performance by 20%.

Ultimately, SMIC is not positioning N+1 as a direct competitor to traditional 7nm, arguing that it is instead targeted specifically for low-power applications, but the announcement nonetheless sends a clear message to the global semiconductor industry: necessity is the mother of invention. With US sanctions leaving the Chinese chip industry little choice but to quite literally reinvent itself, it will not be long before we see major breakthroughs in technologies to rival those of the West.

Source: Total Telecom “China’s chip market set to achieve self-reliance within two years”

Note: This is Total Telecom’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Regarding Taiwan, China Only Draws the Bow but Does Not Shoot

There have been lots of US provocation on China including selling weapons to Taiwan, sending warships to Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, launching trade and tech war attacks, etc. As a reisult, there have been lots of speculation that such provocations may trigger a war between China and the US and even World War III.

However, though upset, China has taken no military actions that may trigger a war.


For trade and tech wars, a hot war may entirely block China’s exports to the US and hinder its imports of technological goods; therefore, it will only worsen the problems caused to China.

What about the South China Sea?

The disputes among various claimants there are about the fishing and energy resources. The Philippines started the Scarborough standoff to forbid China’s fishing there, China retaliated with the banning of Philippine fishing not only on the Scarborough Shelf but even the sea areas around it. The US did not send its navy to help the Philippines so that China took full control of the shelf and the areas around it and did not allow the Philippines to fish there.

The ban has not been lifted until Philippine President Duterte took initiative to improve relations with China.

Since the US and its allies’ navigation and military drills in the South China Sea do not hurt China’s rights and interests over the resources there, why shall China take the risk to start a war?

What about Taiwan?

As for US naval presence in the Taiwan Strait, China only protested. Regarding US planned sales of weapons to Taiwan, according to AP’s report “US announces planned $2.37 billion weapon sale to Taiwan” on October 27, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, says. “In order to safeguard national interests, China decided to impose sanctions on the American companies that were involved in arms sales to Taiwan,”

No war but sanctions only!

In fact, the arms sales facilitate China’s strategy of drawing the bow but not shoot.

China only carries out routine military drills near Taiwan to create tensions so that Taiwan capital and talent flee while outside capital and talent dare not enter Taiwan. Purchase of advanced weapons will dry up Taiwan’s financial resources for economic development. Merely draw the bow without shooting is quite enough for China’s strategy to contain Taiwan. China is certainly not so stupid as to start a war to take over Taiwan if Taiwan does not declare independence as the war will hurt but not benefit China economically. China has its grand peaceful domestic projects to focus on, which will greatly enrich and strengthen China to enable it to surpass the US by far. Why shall it fight any war?

I will provide details of the projects in my future posts.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on AP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-beijing-defense-contracts-china-taiwan-aa2253de3f7646be801511afcca2b9a4.

China experiencing a drone ‘revolution’ in agriculture

Farmers are becoming proficient drone pilots, as they monitor their crops, distribute seeds and fertilize more efficiently


OCTOBER 26, 2020

Agricultural experts say a drone is 50 to 80 times faster than the traditional way of spraying pesticides on a farm. Credit: China Daily.

While China is leading the way in military uses for drones, it is facing a revolution of sorts in another sector.

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones in agriculture is expanding in China at a speed unmatched in other countries thanks to advances in autonomous navigation technology and the presence of competent operators, Nikkei Asia reported this week.

Justin Gong, co-founder of XAG, a Guangzhou-based drone company that specializes in working with small-scale farmers, told Fortune magazine that his company’s drones help farmers monitor their crops, distribute seeds and fertilize more efficiently.

According to Gong, XAG now has 42,000 drones flying over 1.2 million flights every day.

“Drones are over 10 times more efficient than skilled manpower and they are cost-effective and environmentally friendly,” said Li Liping, a major grain grower in the county-level city of Xiangxiang in central China’s Hunan Province, Xinhua reported.

The 51-year-old farmer, who learned to fly the machine three years ago, said he no longer needed to wade through the fields to spray and fertilize since drones have replaced manual work.

“It was so exciting to see the drone taking off,” said Li as he recalled the first time he used the machine in the summer of 2018.

As the Covid-19 epidemic wanes across China, farmers are encouraged by local governments to expand their planting areas and increase their production input. The city of Xiangxiang, for example, is ready to see a bumper summer harvest of early rice.

Li has grown some 20 more hectares of early rice this year and expects to see a major rise in grain output with drones being a great help, Xinhua reported.

Xiao Jianliang, an owner of another major farmland in Xiangxiang, has also benefited greatly from the use of drones in agriculture.

Xiao said he acquired his drone license in late 2017 after a 15-day intensive training program, and the skill of flying drones has brought him additional income as the machine boosts the efficiency of sowing and crop-dusting.

Farmers like Li and Xiao are among a growing number of Chinese farmers who are introducing smarter and innovative ideas to boost their agricultural production, Xinhua reported.

They are skilled drone pilots, capable of designing the most efficient flight routes and heights, analyzing the flight path to fill the gap and calculating the precise amount of fertilizer and pesticide for the land.

“A revolution in agricultural production is taking place because of mechanization and intelligent intensive farming, especially in pioneering areas like Xiangxiang,” said Li Xiangping, an agricultural expert in Hunan.

As the demand for the machine is predicted to rise in the coming years, farmers including Li and Xiao also expect more intelligent and economical drones equipped with longer battery life. Fierce competition is also making drone prices plummet.

As part of the nation’s efforts to boost smart farming, drones are coming to be more involved in the sector. Moreover, an intense competition in the agricultural drone market is making the drone prices plummet, CGTN.com reported.

He Guozhu, a 58-year-old farmer in south China’s Guangdong Province, says the warm climate in this part of the country enables farmers to grow two rounds of crops annually.

He switched to the new technology to spray pesticides for the first year, as agricultural drones are no longer some rocket science for many Chinese farmers.

“I started using drones in March. We used to use the traditional way of spraying pesticides, carrying a tank on our backs,” he told CGTN.com.

“Using a drone can be a bit more costly, but farmers won’t breathe in toxic pesticides while working. It’s hard to find farm laborers, and most are old right now, as young people leave for cities,” said He.

He feels the pinch brought by the exodus of young people to big cities, part of the ramifications of China’s urbanization.

He himself manages a land that measures nearly eight hectares, as his children – like many other youngsters in his village – have left for city for a different life. The drone is capable of spraying his patch of field in about an hour, which used to be a week with eight people., CGTN.com reported.

“A drone is 50 to 80 times faster than the traditional way of spraying pesticides,” said Luo Xiantian, an agricultural drone operator.

Two big drone making companies in China, including DJI and XAG, take up some 80% of the Chinese market shares. Further, both companies have extensive networks abroad, with DJI focused on making camera drones and XAG on agricultural drones.

In September of last year, DJI unveiled a new drone model dedicated to agriculture, which is believed to be the world’s first fully integrated multi-spectral imaging drone built to power farming and enable an efficient environmental land management.

“These drones are very effective if large-scale plant diseases and insect plagues happen, which is the reason why they have been widely used in China in recent years, especially since 2017. Drone technologies have been growing fast, but the fierce competition in the drone market is driving the prices lower,” said professor Lan Yubin from South China Agricultural University.

According to DroneFromChina.com, DJI plans to further invest 10 million yuan in agricultural drones and on cultivating drone operators — it will also open 1,000 brick-and-mortar retail stores, train over 20,000 professional drone operators and establish more than 600 training branches across the nation.

Source: Asia Times “China experiencing a drone ‘revolution’ in agriculture”

Note: This is Asia Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Xi Jinping outlines plans for many years ahead

Central Committee will lay out the 14th 5-year plan this week; Sustaining steady growth will be the priority, amid expectations that top leaders could announce fresh reforms to spur domestic demand, innovation and self-reliance under Xi’s “dual circulation” strategy

by Chris Gill

Oct 27

Xi Jinping outlines plans for many years ahead


President Xi Jinping, left, and Premier Li Kequiang are seen at the National Party Congress last May. Party heavyweights from the Central Committee will thrash out plans this week for the next five years. They also want to set the direction for the next decade and a half. File photo: Reuters.

(ATF) China’s leadership has announced the country’s plans for national development over the next five years – and the general direction to 2035.

This year is the final one of the 13th Five-Year Plan, so the party heavyweights are laying out the 14th Five-Year Plan.

President and General Secretary Xi Jinping attaches great importance to this task – outlining development goals, ideas, and measures for the half-decade ahead. So, officials have been doing in-depth local inspections, focusing on old problems and new challenges; are all under intense discussion as various factions push their interests.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing on the morning of Monday October 26. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee, gave a work report to the plenary meeting on behalf of the Political Bureau, and addressed the formal Proposals on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and Long-Term Goals for 2035.

China has formulated and implemented thirteen five-year plans since 1953.

These plans have led the development of China, especially after the “capitalist road” faction of Deng Xiaoping took over after the death of Chairman Mao. It took decades to complete the industrialization process and become the second largest economy in the world. But the country’s rapid growth has been unprecedented.

From 2015 to 2020, the period of the 13th Five-Year Plan was a decisive stage for achieving their CCP’s goal of creating a “well-off society”.

Bid to avoid stagnation

China’s top leaders are seeking to balance growth and reforms to avoid stagnation amid an uncertain global outlook and deepening tensions with the United States.

President Xi and the Central Committee will spend four days behind closed doors laying out the 14th blueprint for economic and social development.

The plan and its execution will be crucial for China to avoid the so-called “middle income” trap, policy insiders say, referring to the struggle that many economies endure when trying to boost productivity and shift towards higher value-added industries.

“Although the Chinese government has been calling for a transition in the development model for a number of years, we think the next five years will be particularly important, both politically and economically,” Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a note ahead of the Plenum. It was the fifth meeting of the Central Committee since the 2017 party congress.

Sustaining steady growth will be the priority, even as expectations grow that top leaders could announce fresh reforms to spur domestic demand, innovation and self-reliance under Xi’s new “dual circulation” strategy, policy insiders said.

Investors also will be closely watching to see if China moves to a more flexible economic growth target, after dropping it this year for the first time since 2002 due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis. Some analysts said dropping growth targets would reduce the country’s reliance on debt-fueled stimulus and encourage more productive investment.

China, where the Covid-19 outbreak first emerged, has mounted a robust economic rebound after quashing the domestic spread of the virus, but global prospects remain gloomy and the pandemic has added to tensions with the United States.

“China’s potential growth rate will slow further due to the aging population, weakening effects from investment in driving growth and diminishing dividends from globalisation,” said Tang Jianwei, senior economist at Bank of Communications.

“To reverse the slowdown, we need deep-rooted reforms.”

Lower growth target

Policy sources have told Reuters that China’s leaders are set to endorse a lower growth target compared with 2016-2020.

Government think tanks and economists have made recommendations for average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth targets including “around 5%”, 5-5.5% to 5-6%, the sources said.

The plan to be discussed and approved by leaders next week is expected to be unveiled at the annual parliament meeting in early 2021.

“We need to maintain a balance between development, stability, and risk prevention,” said a policy insider. “Macro adjustments will be more difficult and this will present a test for policymakers.”

Inward shift; hukou reforms?

Xi’s strategy to guide the next phase of development, which points to an inward economic shift, has fanned calls by government advisers for reforms to unleash domestic growth drivers, including loosening curbs on residency and land rights and boosting household incomes.

Speeding up reform of the household registration “hukou” system would enable migrant workers to enjoy more social welfare benefits, while land reform would enable farmers get a bigger share of the gains from land deals. Both measures would spur urbanisation and consumption.

Expected moves to further free up interest rates and expand the role of capital markets would address distortions in credit allocation that see huge state banks lend to state companies while the private sector is often deprived of credit.

Chinese leaders are also expected to discuss further plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions and ease reliance on imported technology, especially semiconductors, as Washington squeezes Chinese tech giants including Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

With reporting by Reuters

Source: Asia Times Financial “Xi Jinping outlines plans for many years ahead”

Note: This is Asia Times Financial’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

No Tit-for-tat Responses as China Certain to Win Trade, Tech Wars

When the US began its trade war attacks at China, there were lots of speculation that China will retaliate with rare metals, but China did not.

In my posts, I repeatedly said that US trade war attacks play into China’s hands as China is switching from export- and investment-geared economic growth to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led growth. Such a switch requires the removal of lots of export-geared enterprises that may result in serious unemployment. Now, US trade war instead of CCP’s switch will be blamed for such unemployment. The US will be CCP’s scapegoat for China’s problem of unemployment caused by the switch.

The Chinese workers who have lost their jobs are mainly old uneducated or poorly educated people. Through their unemployment, the US helped the Chinese authorities to teach them to attach great importance to their children’s education and urge their children to study hard in order to be qualified for jobs of innovation and creation with higher pay.

China has been setting up industrial parks in Silk Road belt including Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. When Chinese enterprises geared for exports have moved to those industrial parks, they may exploit the cheap land and labor resources and export their products to the US free of US tariff hikes.

US trade war attacks facilitates China’s switch to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic grown and make China’s export-geared enterprises more profitable due to reduction of their land and labor costs.

For American people, before Chinese enterprises have moved to Silk Road belt, they have to pay high tariffs for the import of Chinese goods necessary for their livelihood.

As the jobs China loses are all labor-intensive characterized by low wages not attractive to Americans, the trade war has failed to bring back jobs to the US.

As US trade war attacks have failed to hurt China, there is certainly no need for China to use rare metals to retaliate.

Seeing that trade war does not work, Trump launched tech war attacks to suppress China’s rise. The heaviest attack is its restriction to the supply of semiconductor to China.

Again, there is much speculation that China will retaliate with rare metals. Multibelief.com published experienced journalist Dave G. Houser’s article “Rare-earth elements spark resource war” on July 1 that worries China may restrict supply of rare earth metals to retaliate. The writer regards the retaliation as so serious at to give rise to a resource war.

As China has a monopoly over the supply of rare earth metals, the article says “Recognizing the nation’s vulnerability, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated Project REACT — short for Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies — to develop cost-effective alternatives to rare earths. No good substitutes have been discovered to date.”

In addition, the article says, “Congress may get in on the act, however, as it considers legislation aimed at reviving the nearly dormant U.S. rare earth industry.”

However nearly 4 months has pasted, China has taken no actions to restrict the supply. Why? As I pointed out in my post “Trump’s Tech War Hurts China Short-term, but US, Its Faithful Allies Long-term” on October 10, according to economics, the restrictions of supply will only give rise to short-term difficulties in lack of supply. The shortage will cause rise in prices and correspoding rise in profit, resulting in flow of capital and talent into relevant Chinese industries to earn higher profits. That will reduce the shortage of supply. Finally, the emergence of new enterprises and expansion of old enterprises in the industries will intensify competition with the enterprises in the US and its faithful allies that have imposed the restrictions. As a result, the US and its faithful allies will not only lose China’s vast market but also encounter fiercer competition in the industries.

China is confident that in the long-run the US will suffer by its tech war moves; therefore it is wise not to restrict the supply of rare earth metals to maintain its market share.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on multibriefs.com’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/rare-earth-elements-spark-resource-war/engineering.

China’s Xi Avoids Upsetting US in His Korean War Speech

Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) says in its October-23 article “China’s Xi Jinping invokes military might with US in mind”, “Beijing frequently uses war anniversaries to fire thinly covered warnings to the US of the military strength of the ‘new China’”.

That is true if what the HKFP article says is about China’s military parades to mark anniversaries, but the word “covered” is not relevant. As the Obama administration began provoking Chinas by its denial of China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea, its pivot to Asia and its efforts to set up the Trans-Pacific Partnership to contain China, China has to strengthen its national defense and make others, including the US, aware of its strength in order to prevent war. Trump’s provocations make that even more necessary. Such show of force to prevent war is not covered but open.

However, that is irrelevant with Xi’s speech marking the 70th anniversary of China sending volunteers to fight the Korean War.

Chinese troops did defeat the US with poor weapons, but that is irrelevant to the comparison of capabilities between Chinese and US military now. China’s capabilities 70 years ago to defeat the US has nothing to do with the comparison now 70 years later. What Xi wants to make clear is China’s willpower to defend its sovereignty and interests in spite of its enemy’s strength.

Xi said nothing about China’s military capabilities in his speech; therefore, in fact, nothing in Xi’s speech invokes China military might.

I have repeated in my posts that China shall not give tit-for-tat response to US provocations. China’s restrained responses have proved that. In response to US trade war attacks, Xi says China has to focus on doing its own jobs well to attain its goal to achieve modernization by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Though China responded US tariff hikes with some hikes on US goods, and said it would retaliate US restriction to Huawei, it has not taken any serious actions so far. That proves that China does not pursue confrontation in spite of US provocations.

Xi’s speech also reflects his desire to avoid upsetting the US. In full text of the speech, he mentioned the United States and US troops by name and he said that China will “counter war with war, counter war with weapons” but the paragraphs containing such wording have all been deleted in CCTV’s report on the speech.

China wants win-win cooperation with the US to benefit both sides and does not want a war with the US whether a hot, trade or tech war. The tensions now created by the US may trigger a war between China and the US but I am sure that China will not fire the first shot unless US troops help Taiwan seek independence or hinder China’s exploitation of resources in the South China Sea.

I don’t think the US will take either of the above actions to start a war. Like China, American people do not want such as war.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Hong Kong Free Press’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/23/chinas-xi-jinping-invokes-military-on-might-with-us-in-mind/

New nuclear engine concept could help realize 3-month trips to Mars

By David Szondy

October 25, 2020


The concept engine is twice as efficient as chemical rocketsUSNC-Tech


Seattle-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has developed a concept for a new Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine and delivered it to NASA. Claimed to be safer and more reliable than previous NTP designs and with far greater efficiency than a chemical rocket, the concept could help realize the goal of using nuclear propulsion to revolutionize deep space travel, reducing Earth-Mars travel time to just three months.

Because chemical rockets are already near their theoretical limits and electric space propulsion systems have such low thrust, rocket engineers continue to seek ways to build more efficient, more powerful engines using some variant of nuclear energy. If properly designed, such nuclear rockets could have several times the efficiency of the chemical variety. The problem is to produce a nuclear reactor that is light enough and safe enough for use outside the Earth’s atmosphere – especially if the spacecraft is carrying a crew.

According to Dr. Michael Eades, principal engineer at USNC-Tech, the new concept engine is more reliable than previous NTP designs and can produce twice the specific impulse of a chemical rocket. Specific impulse is a measure of a rocket’s efficiency.

To fuel the concept, UNSC-Tech uses a Fully Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel to power the engine’s reactor. This fuel is based on High-Assay Low Enriched Uranium (HALEU), which is derived from reprocessed civilian nuclear fuel and is enriched to between 5 and 20 percent – greater than that of civilian reactors and less than that of naval reactors. The fuel is then encapsulated into particles coated with zirconium carbide (ZrC).

The company claims that this fuel is much more rugged than conventional nuclear fuels and can operate at high temperatures. This produces safer reactor designs and a high thrust and specific impulse that could previously only be obtained with highly-enriched uranium. In addition, such fuel can be produced with current supply chains and manufacturing plants.

It is hoped the new concept could lead to nuclear engines that reduce deep space mission times drastically, with a crewed mission to Mars arriving in as little as three months. Beyond that, the concept is aimed at a commercial market as well as with NASA and the US Department of Defense, allowing for more ambitious private missions.

“Key to USNC-Tech’s design is a conscious overlap between terrestrial and space reactor technologies,” says Dr. Paolo Venneri, CEO of USNC-Tech. “This allows us to leverage the advancements in nuclear technology and infrastructure from terrestrial systems and apply them to our space reactors.”

The project is part of a study managed by Analytical Mechanics Associates (AMA) for the space agency regarding NTP flight. USNC-Tech says the concept was “designed to enable a successful near-term system demonstration and reduce barriers to full-scale deployment,” but we suspect a sixth month round trip to Mars is probably still some way off.

Source: Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies

Source: newatlas.com “New nuclear engine concept could help realize 3-month trips to Mars”

Note: This is newatlas.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Huawei wants to kill off Microsoft Office and Google Docs for good

By Barclay Ballard

October 23

Huawei Docs takes on Microsoft Office, Google Docs and Apple iCloud in battle of the suites

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei has announced that it is entering the world of office productivity software. The announcement of Huawei Docs, which contains the likes of Document, Spreadsheet and Presentation, aims to serve as alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint respectively.

Huawei Docs is available to users of Huawei Mate 40 devices based in more than 100 countries and supports document editing across 50-plus formats. Real-time syncing through Huawei Drive also means users can make changes to the same documents across multiple devices using their Huawei ID.

The launch marks Huawei’s first foray into the world of office software suites and could propel the Chinese smartphone maker to even higher sales figures. Although the firm holds top spot for global sales, it has struggled in the west partly because its phones cannot run Google software. If well-received, Huawei Docs may help plug this gap.

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More announcements

The Huawei Docs announcement came at the Huawei Mate 40 Series smartphone launch event and was accompanied by a number of other interesting additions to the Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem.

Huawei also announced an update to its own official search engine app, Petal Search, which is available in over 170 countries. Results are also now available in a visually richer format, presented as information cards rather than weblinks. Visual and voice search functionality, both supported by Huawei’s AI capabilities, make for a more holistic search experience.

Finally, Petal Maps represents Huawei’s attempt to enter the navigation app market, offering map displays, driving routes and favorite place lists for users in more than 140 countries. Real-time public transport information is also available in some major cities and ‘air press’ gestures enable drivers to switch between navigation and map modes safely and conveniently.

Source: techradar.com “Huawei wants to kill off Microsoft Office and Google Docs for good”

Note: This is techradar.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.