Terrawatch: what the world can learn from China’s sinking city

Fissures and sinkholes are the norm in China’s Shanxi province. Intensive agriculture combined with major coal production has put huge pressure on water resources and sucked the earth dry, leaving the city of Taiyuan, with a population of 5 million, and the surrounding area suffering some of the highest subsidence rates in the world. Pipelines, roads, bridges and railways need constant repairs, and gaping cracks in buildings have resulted in entire communities having to be rehoused. Since 2003, the Chinese government has been trying to solve this problem by diverting…

China’s Silence on Peng Shuai Shows Limits of Beijing’s Propaganda

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When the Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai accused a former top leader of sexual assault earlier this month, the authorities turned to a tried-and-true strategy. At home, the country’s censors scrubbed away any mention of the allegations. Abroad, a few state-affiliated journalists focused narrowly on trying to quash concerns about Ms. Peng’s safety. Beijing seems to be relying on a two-pronged approach of maintaining the silence and waiting for the world to move on. The approach suggests that the country’s sprawling propaganda apparatus has limited options for shifting the narrative…

How Tesla Helps China’s Firms Compete With the U.S.

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Forty-two years ago, Liu Siong Song built machines to help factories make cheap toys and watches. Then he made them for motorcycle companies. Now he helps Tesla, in the words of Elon Musk, “make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made.” Mr. Liu, 69, may have come full circle, in a sense, but he also may play a role in the future of driving. His company is one of the emerging Chinese manufacturers competing aggressively and competently with traditional players in the United States, Japan and…

UK spy chief suggests Beijing risks ‘miscalculation’ over west’s resolve

China is at risk of “miscalculating through over-confidence” over Taiwan, said the MI6 head, Richard Moore, in a statement clearly intended to warn Beijing to back off any attempt to seize control of the island. Giving a rare speech, Britain’s foreign intelligence chief said in London that China was at risk of “believing its own propaganda” and that the country had become “the single greatest priority” for MI6 for the first time in its history. Moore did not mention Taiwan explicitly, but the status of the country, whose independence is…

Despite Xi’s Pledge, China Is Financing Coal Power Plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina

despite xis pledge china is financing coal power plants in bosnia and herzegovina

Advertisement Mile Krstic is expecting a new neighbor. Just a few hundred meters from his house in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ground has been prepared for the new coal-fired power station Ugljevik III, which is being built by Chinese and Polish-Chinese firms. Krstic’s house is already surrounded by the city’s substantial coal industry: Ugljevik I, one of Europe’s most polluting coal-fired power stations, is directly in front of it, and his backyard looks onto the huge Bogutovo Selo open pit coal mine. The burning of…

Covid live: Minister says ‘I’d rather over-react’ to variant as mask mandates back in England; Japan confirms first Omicron case

EasyJet said near-term bookings had weakened since the new Omicron variant was identified amid concerns over travel restrictions, but it still expects passenger numbers to return to close to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the summer. The airline reported a loss before tax of £1.1bn for the year to 30 September, wider than the £835m loss made in 2020, but the figure was better than analysts had expected. Johan Lundgren, the chief executive, said that while “many uncertainties remain as we navigate the winter”, the airline expects to benefit…

What to Know About Mining in Congo

what to know about mining in congo

What to Know About Mining in Congo Dionne Searcey and Eric Lipton📍Reporting from Democratic Republic of Congo The price of cobalt has skyrocketed in recent years, and the impact is clear in the cobalt-rich area near Kasulo. Trucks driving vats of chemicals rumble onto giant mines that produce hundreds of thousands of tons of ore. But regular people, and sometimes children, also grab a pickax and start digging. They’re known as artisanal miners, as opposed to industrial miners. NYT

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