Coal-state Democrat set to scupper Biden clean energy plans

President Joe Biden is likely to abandon a clean energy programme that was the centrepiece of his efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions at home, US media reported, because of opposition from a swing-vote Democratic senator from a state with a historically large coal industry. Funding to replace coal- and gas-fired plants with wind, solar and nuclear generation was part of a massive budget bill that Biden is struggling to get through Congress. The New York Times reported that White House staff members are now rewriting the legislation without the…

China, coal and COP26: can the world’s biggest emitter give up its dirty habit?

When he was a little boy in the 1980s, Wang Xiaojun was taught to be proud of his home town of Lüliang in the north-western Chinese province of Shanxi. Shanxi is China’s biggest coal-producing region, and Lüliang was a significant base for the army during the second world war. Nestled in the mountains of the dusty Loess Plateau, Lüliang, a city of 3.4 million people, has had less to shout about in recent years. A series of corruption scandals in the city brought down several high profile officials shortly after…

Beijing’s Balancing Act on China-US Relations

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Advertisement There has been a subtle, yet important reset in tone – albeit not in substantive stances, just yet – in China-U.S. relations. Much of the reset can be attributed to breakthroughs on fronts of trade negotiations, hostage diplomacy involving Meng Wanzhou and the two Michaels, and the United States’ ignominious evacuation from Afghanistan. Yet not an insignificant part of the shift, too, can be traced to Beijing’s active attempts at dialing down the temperature in the room, with moderate and reasonable success. Beijing’s Strategic De-escalation Upon arrival in the…

China’s Scripted Homicides Become a Popular Pastime

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The murders are scripted. The money is real. In cities throughout China, young people are flocking to clubs to play a game that can be translated as “scripted homicide,” where they become different characters and spend hours solving fake murders. This macabre entertainment is expected to generate more than $2 billion in revenue this year, by one count. The growing popularity has sparked some concerns from Chinese government officials about their sometimes gothic or gory content. It has also led to a proliferation of clubs and competition for new and…

‘Ecological civilisation’: an empty slogan or will China act on the environment?

This week, China took charge of hosting a major UN environmental conference for the first time, at the opening of Cop15 in Kunming. The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and largest consumer of natural resources might seem a strange choice to host talks to stop the destruction of ecosystems and mass extinctions of wildlife, but the conference marks a tipping point in China’s development and an international debut for “ecological civilisation”, a little-known phrase outside its borders with big implications for the planet. Amid uncertainty around whether President Xi Jinping…

How long can China’s zero-covid policy last?

how long can chinas zero covid policy last

Oct 16th 2021 BEIJING AND HONG KONG FROM THE outside, it resembles an army base, an expanse the size of 45 football pitches filled with rows of austere, grey, three-storey buildings. The facility (pictured) on the outskirts of the southern city of Guangzhou is China’s first purpose-built quarantine centre for people arriving from abroad. Soon guests will begin moving in to its more than 5,000 rooms. For at least two weeks, whether fully vaccinated or not, they will live in isolation, their food brought to them by robots. Listen to…

Ahead of Latest Mission, China Renews Space Cooperation Vow

ahead of latest mission china renews space cooperation vow

Advertisement Shortly ahead of sending a new three-person crew to its space station, China on Friday renewed its commitment to international cooperation in the peaceful use of space. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said sending humans into space was a “common cause of mankind,” and China would “continue to extend the depth and breadth of international cooperation and exchanges” in crewed spaceflight and “make positive contributions to the exploration of the mysteries of the universe.” China is to send two men and one woman to spend six months aboard the…

China’s booming real estate market could spell trouble for the economy | George Magnus

In China today, the buzz is all about how the government there too has stumbled into an energy crisis with widespread power cuts. Yet this and other supply shocks will eventually pass, while the $300bn (£218bn) of debt enveloping China’s second biggest property developer, Evergrande, is of greater significance. It suggests China’s long housing boom is over, and bodes badly for the increasingly troubled economy, with implications for the rest of the world too. China’s real estate market has been called the most important sector in the world economy. Valued…

Man Whose Attack on Ex-Wife Was Livestreamed Gets Death Penalty in China

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A court in China gave the death penalty to a man who murdered his ex-wife while she was livestreaming, a case that shocked the country and ignited calls for better safeguards against domestic abuse. The man, Tang Lu, committed “utterly cruel” criminal acts, the court in Sichuan Province said in Thursday’s verdict, which was handed down after a one-day hearing, according to official news reports. The case had drawn intense attention in China, where the legal system has been criticized for failing to protect women from domestic violence, even after…

LinkedIn to End Service in China, Citing ‘Challenging’ Environment

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Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016, revenue from the business has tripled. Mr. Nadella told investors in July that LinkedIn’s revenue had surpassed $10 billion in annual sales, up 27 percent from the previous year. LinkedIn declined to comment beyond its announcement. While Microsoft has tried to build a market in China for more than a decade, it has had only modest success. Last year, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, said the country accounted for less than 2 percent of its revenue. Microsoft Windows and Office are common…

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