Lessons in the "china" Category

The Green Wall of China

Today, let’s talk about ‘The Green Wall of China’. This is a huge area of land that stretches right across the northern part of China where a great wall of trees has been planted to try to stop the expansion of the Gobi Desert.

Since 1978 the Chinese government has been planting these trees to try to reverse the widespread deforestation that previously took place in China. Recent studies have suggested the project, which is actually called ‘The Three-North Shelter Forest Programme’, has been a success. They found year-on-year the increased vegetation has helped lower the levels of dust storm intensity. By 2050, 100 billion trees will be planted across a tenth of the country.

Hong Kong Students Protest

The eyes of the world are watching closely what is going on in Hong Kong - where tens of thousands of students have been demonstrating peacefully against their government.

‘The Umbrella Revolution’, as it’s known, is happening because students there are calling for full democracy and the city’s right to elect its new leader without any interference or rubber stamping interference from China’s leaders in Beijing.

Category: Hong Kong / Elections / Students

Rare earth metals shortage

Look at your mobile phone, Blackberry or low energy light bulb. Now ask yourself what is inside it? Yes, it is made with different components. The technology is great. But what are the components made with?

The chances are some of them are made with rare earth metals. Where do these rare earth metals come from? The answer is probably China. Certainly 95% of the world’s rare earth metals are currently mined there. So why should you worry about it?

Simple, if China stops the exports of these rare earth metals then your mobile phone can’t be built, as it needs certain components made with these rare earth metals to build a part of it. As it goes, China has decided to slash exports of these rare earth metals that have left the West scrabbling for alternative sources.

Category: Technology / Economic / Business

Is Africa a new Chinese colony?

Less than one hundred years ago Africa was still being colonised by the western imperial powers. Large parts had still yet to be discovered. The British Empire was nearing its peak with red covering many countries on the new map of the African continent. France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Belgium all had colonies there. Yet today where are they all?

Having kicked out their imperial western masters and gained their independence today’s African leaders have turned their backs on the west. Instead they have set their eyes firmly towards the east. China has emerged as the new Asian tiger – or should that be dragon. Hungry for raw materials, land and energy China has for a number of years now been quietly doing massive amounts of new business all over the African continent.

Thousands and thousands of Chinese have been relocated to Africa to organise and deliver many precious raw materials. China desperately needs them due to its own shortage of raw materials. Over the last decade a staggering 750,000 Chinese have resettled in Africa. Many more are coming. Africa is rapidly becoming a new Chinese colony or satellite state.

Diplomatic English - Flip Flop Diplomacy

How many diplomats wear flip flops at work? Not many I hear you say! Certainly few would meet the American president at the White House in Washington wearing them. Least of all in the middle of a harsh freezing winter in February! So who in the diplomatic world might wear them then? The answer was the Dalai Lama. Naturally, he was no ordinary visitor. His mere presence or impending presence was enough to send the Chinese government into a diplomatic overdrive of threats and retaliation. The question was would the Obama government listen to any of it? The visit would certainly test the administration’s commitment to human rights and for its willingness to stand up to China. Before his arrival nothing was left to chance by the White House that minutely choreographed the diplomatic visit. It was as important how the Dalai Lama was to be received as what was to be discussed behind closed doors with him.