Tianwan NPP – the largest object of economic cooperation between Russia and China

In the PRC, there are currently 50 operating industrial nuclear reactors with a total electrical capacity of 47.5 GW. According to this indicator, China is second only to the United States and France. Although, unlike the latter, where nuclear power accounts for over 70% of the country’s total electricity generation, China has only 5%; seven years ago, the figure was two times lower, and the capacity of all power units was 16 GW.

Russia has made and continues to make a significant contribution to the development of the PRC’s nuclear power industry. Through the efforts of Rosatom, the Tianwan nuclear power plant is being built. It is located in the area of ​​the same name in the Lianyungang city district of Jiangsu province. At the moment, its capacity is 5.5 GW. The facility is the largest within the framework of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation.

Start of construction

The construction of nuclear power plants in eastern China began in 1999. Then the operating capacity of nuclear power in the Asian country was only 2 GW. The Russian company had signed a general contract for the construction of the facility two years earlier with the newly formed JNPC ( Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation ).

© 风 之 清扬 / CC BY-SA 3.0 (Construction of the Tianwan NPP, 2010)

Atomstroyexport CJSC – Engineering Division of Rosatom State Corporation – according to the agreements, it was to complete the project of the future plant, supply the necessary materials and equipment, carry out construction and installation work and train Chinese personnel for the further operation of the nuclear power plant.

The AES-91 project, developed by specialists from the St. Petersburg Institute Atomenergoproekt ( now JSC Atomproekt ), was taken as a basis . On its basis, the detailed design of two power units with VVER-1000/320 reactors was carried out. They were put into operation as part of the first stage in the summer of 2007.

At the Tianwan NPP, Russian specialists for the first time used a system of passive protection that was new at that time. Called the Melt Localization Device. This tapered metal structure is installed under the reactor vessel. In the event of a severe accident, retains the melt and solid fragments of the destroyed core, providing insulation for the foundation under the vessel and the reactor building. Thanks to the introduction of the new technology, six years after the launch of the nuclear power plant, its first two power units were recognized as the safest in China. The station began to generate 15 billion kWh annually.

Second stage

Successful cooperation contributed to the continuation of joint work. Russia and China agreed on in the fall of 2009, and in March 2010 they signed a new contract worth $ 1.7 billion for the construction of the second stage. These are power units 3 and 4. According to official publication of Rosatom reported that the negotiations were not easy.

© Mihha2 / CC BY-SA 3.0 / wikimapia.org (Construction of the Tianwan NPP)

By this time, Beijing was cooperating with the Americans, Japanese and French in the field of nuclear energy. Their own projects were also developed. Therefore, the competition for the construction of the next two power units at the Tianwan NPP was serious. The Russian side hoped to sign the treaty back in 2008, but the discussions dragged on.

As a result, taking into account the level of safety and technical and economic indicators, the Chinese side still gave preference to the Russian project. Moreover, it was refined from the technical and operational sides, based on the experience of the accident that occurred in March 2011 at the Fukushima-1 NPP.

The second stage was launched in December 2012. Power unit No. 3 was commissioned at the beginning, and No. 4 at the end of 2018. Everything related to the operation of the nuclear reactor was designed by JSC Atomproekt, the construction, installation and commissioning works were carried out by the Chinese with the participation of specialists from Russia. Chinese President Xi Jinping called the Tianwan NPP an exemplary cooperation project.

New stage

The third stage was implemented by China on its own. The ACPR1000 reactors were installed on the blocks No. 5 and No. 6, which are based on the French project of the M310 reactor.

In the year of completion of the second stage, another agreement was concluded with the Russian side. According to which Atomstroyexport will be engaged in the design of Units 7 and 8. Later, a general contract was signed for construction. These will be new power units with pressurized water power reactors of generation “3+” and with a capacity of 1150 MW each ( VVER-1200 ). Then it was reported that the pouring of the first concrete of power unit No. 7 will begin in 2021. In March of this year, the head of the State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” Alexei Likhachev confirmed that work on the construction of the fourth stage of the nuclear power plant should begin in late spring.

After the fourth stage is completed, the Tianwan NPP with a total capacity of 8.1 GW will become the largest nuclear power plant on the planet. Until 2011, this was the Japanese Kashiwazaki-kariva ( 8.2 GW ), but after the accident at Fukushima-1, all seven of its units were stopped for modernization. This year, the sixth and seventh are to be restarted, but the fate of units 1-5 is still unknown, it is quite possible that they will never resume work.

Hypocritical US puts pressure on China over the environment…

Hypocritical US puts pressure on China over the environment… but it’s happy for Japan to dump radioactive waste

By Tom Fowdy

The US is framing China as a partner on climate change. However, in reality, its bid to make Beijing reduce emissions is politically motivated. And its approval of Japan’s plans to dispose of Fukushima waste exposes its dual standards.

Despite the growing stand-off between the United States and China, John Kerry is in town to talk climate change. Appointed by Joe Biden as the US special envoy on climate. Kerry landed in Shanghai on Thursday seeking commitment from China on carbon emissions.

The Biden administration has talked about the need to secure ‘cooperation’ from China on tackling global warming, but there’s little good faith to be found. Sparks won’t fly here. The environment is ultimately just another front to vilify Beijing.

Earlier this week, the US raised eyebrows as it gave open backing to Japan’s bid to release contaminated nuclear water from the Fukushima power plant into the sea. Predictably, the move drew angry protest from both China and South Korea. Yet, on the other hand, when Kerry arrived in Shanghai, he said he wanted to hold China to account on its climate pledges. A clear case of double standards in Beijing’s eyes, and also demonstrating that even so-called ‘cooperation’ is being framed with tough talk.

It’s clear the US isn’t asking China to be a partner on climate change. It is in Shanghai solely to make demands and talk down to it.

Scapegoating of China

While the Biden administration is, objectively speaking, more concerned about global climate issues than President Trump ever was, having re-joined the Paris climate accord, scapegoating China on the environment has remained a consistent theme within Washington, and there is a political incentive in doing so.

Despite the fact that China actually files more renewable energy patents than any country in the world. And despite China steaming ahead on electric cars, buses and other sustainable resources. The country is persistently stereotyped by the mainstream media as being a gigantic and notorious polluter. The Trump administration aggressively pursued this narrative in order to ramp up the idea of China as a threat. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even going as far as accusing Beijing of killing people in other countries through air pollution.

Of course, objectively speaking, there is a serious middle ground. We cannot deny the reality that China has an enormous population and the world’s largest industrial base. In terms of global carbon emissions obviously it matters a great deal. One cannot defeat climate change without securing China’s participation.

But one cannot also play down the notion that Beijing is being singled out on this matter. Why was Washington so quick to overlook Tokyo’s proposed dumping of radioactive waste, despite the implications it could have for the ocean? Why is it ignored that there are places with far worse air quality than China such as New Delhi, as well as cities in Bangladesh or Pakistan? Climate change is a global issue, which requires global participation. However, China is being given special treatment.

The goal is to constrain China’s development

The climate change debate is a convenient way to try to constrain China’s development by attempting to force it away from the one thing it needs the most right now, despite its strides in renewables – coal.

As a developing industrial nation, China’s need for energy is constantly surging. Coal is the most affordable and accessible commodity. Making it essential for sustained GDP growth, but it accounts for 40% of its carbon emissions. Renewables matter, but they cannot overnight satisfy the needs of 1.4 billion people and ‘the world’s factory’.

It’s for this reason that China is the largest importer of coal in the world. And so it should come as no surprise that John Kerry is demanding that China stop building new coal-fired fuel stations. A recent study found that if China is to meet its target of zero net emissions by 2060, it needs to reduce most of its capacity.

This makes for a difficult dilemma for China, which has committed to reducing emissions. However, it cannot easily divert from its existing development model. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Therefore, even though Kerry’s visit is depicted as a mission to seek accord, in reality, it is political and subtly confrontational. Plus smacks of hypocrisy, given America’s tolerance of Japan’s Fukushima decision. It’s clear that while the Earth might be warming up, the freezing of the relationship between China and the US continues apace as the new Cold War intensifies.

Tom Fowdy is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

This is the chart that western media does not want you to see

China determined to build iron ore hub in Africa

World’s largest untapped iron ore reserve could be online by 2025, expert says

KEN MORIYASU, Nikkei Asia chief desk editor

There was a time when Japan, like China today, was the rising power in the East. That kept military planners in the West awake at night.

“It is very certain that no other nation at the present time is spending so large a part of its revenue on naval preparations,” military author Hector Bywater wrote in the 1921 book “Sea-Power in the Pacific — A Study of the American-Japanese Naval Problem.”

But Japan had a critical weakness: a lack of steel.

“Since the close of the Great War, shipbuilding in Japan has been seriously hampered by the difficulty of obtaining steel,” Bywater observed in his book. He accurately predicted a naval conflict between Imperial Japan and the U.S. two decades later.

Japan had imported large quantities of American steel under a special agreement between the two governments prior to 1917. Then the U.S. imposed a steel embargo that stemmed the flow to the Asian country.

“So serious has the shortage become of late that the output of tonnage in Japan during 1920 was 25% short of the forecast of 800,000 tons which had been made in January of that year,” Bywater wrote. “This scarcity of steel reacted on the naval program, delaying the launch and completion of ships.”

The armored cruiser Izumo, flagship of the Third Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, is seen in Shanghai in 1937. Japan struggled to procure steel after the U.S. enacted an embargo in 1917.   © Getty Images

China learning from history

Chinese state planners looking to learn from history would quickly notice that the glaring vulnerability for Beijing today is its dependence on iron ore from Australia. While Beijing has tried to squeeze and punish Canberra for proposing an international investigation into the roots of COVID-19, it has been unable to wrestle itself away from Australian iron ore, which accounts for over 60% of China’s imports.

Australia deepens its connection to the Quad grouping with the U.S., Japan and India, forming a de facto anti-China tag team in the Indo-Pacific. Beijing has found it increasingly uncomfortable to depend so much on Canberra for iron ore. Also the basic material behind its own military buildup.

But that dependence may very well change by 2025, says Peter O’Connor, senior analyst of metals and mining at Australian investment firm Shaw and Partners.

“They are very serious” about diversifying supply and flattening the cost curve of iron ore.

The top focus for China’s diversification push is Guinea. An impoverished but mineral rich country in West Africa. A 110 km range of hills called Simandou is said to hold the world’s largest reserve of untapped high-quality iron ore.

Commodity watchers have known of Guinea’s potential for many years. However, the lack of infrastructure has hamstrung such development efforts. A roughly 650 km railroad would need to be built from scratch. And also a modern port from which the iron ore would be shipped.

Cost calculations have always discouraged potential entrants, such as Rio Tinto. But Beijing has more incentive to carry out the project than mere return on investment calculations. Because China needs to avoid the fate of Japan in the early 20th century.

Infrastructure building – not a problem for China

“Infrastructure is a function of time, money, the willingness to invest and, more importantly, the capability.”

China is building railroads around the globe through its Belt and Road Initiative and has no shortage of experience.

But what about the funding?

China currently buys 1 billion to 1.1 billion tons of iron ore yearly from third parties, O’Connor said.

“For every $1 the Chinese can lower the long-term iron ore price … that’s $1 per ton times a billion. It is a billion dollars of saving per year. It’s not just about diversity, it’s about lowering the price. It is not about the return on equity or return on capital of the actual investment. It is more about the benefit of the longer-term structure of the price.”

The long-term trajectory envisions the price of iron ore dropping to around $60 per ton from around $160 currently.

The project to develop Simandou has been split into four blocks. China holds either a direct or indirect stake in every one of them. The area holds an estimated 2.4 billion tons of ore graded at over 65.5%.

“Extraction of Simandou’s iron ore reserves would transform the global market and catapult Guinea into an iron ore export powerhouse alongside Australia and Brazil,” Lauren Johnston, a research associate at the SOAS China Institute of the University of London, told Nikkei.

“Group of 77 plus China”

If China unlocks Simandou’s reserves and drives a drop in international iron ore prices, “it could see selective commodity markets increasingly driven by intra-developing country dynamics,” Johnston said.

China would find such waters easier to navigate than having to do business with Quad member Australia.

Guinea is this year’s chair of the “Group of 77 plus China” at the United Nations. It is a grouping of 134 developing countries that form a large voting bloc China can depend on. Guinea has actively made statements on behalf of the group since assuming the chairmanship in January.

Johnston predicted that China would be pleased if progress on Simandou were achieved ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. It is to be held in neighboring Senegal this year. It is the first time the Beijing-led gathering — held every three years — will be hosted by a West African country.

China is “preparing the pathway” to develop Simandou, with an expeditious 2025 timetable. That would seem stretched if you’re talking about a Western producer in Australia or Brazil. However, it is entirely plausible that China could be producing in that time frame.”

This article was originally published by NIKKEI ASIA

Iran and China Sign ‘Historic’ 25-Year $400 Billion Strategic Partnership Agreement

The signing ceremony came after years of intense behind-the-scenes negotiations. Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposing a draft version of a comprehensive agreement with Tehran during his 2016 visit to Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the highly anticipated Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement after more than five years of grueling talks.

The comprehensive agreement, signed in Tehran on Saturday, consists of 20 articles, and although details of the pact have yet to be provided, local media indicates that it likely covers everything from political and cultural ties to “security and defence” and “regional and international” cooperation.

The deal reportedly envisions increasing bilateral trade over 10-fold to $600 billion per year. It promises Iran Chinese investment of as much as $400 billion. Mainly into the Middle Eastern nation’s oil, gas, petrochemicals, renewable energy and nuclear energy infrastructure. Tehran is committing to becoming a major reliable source of energy for Beijing.

Bringing Iran into the grasp of Belt and Road infrastructure scheme

The accord also brings Iran into the grasp of Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure scheme. An ambitious scheme worth the equivalent of over $1 trillion. It is aiming to link China to Europe and Africa via a series of new land- and sea-based infrastructure projects across dozens of nations.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani praised the signing of the agreement. He expressed gratitude to Beijing for its support for Tehran in the international arena in the face of unilateral US sanctions, including insofar as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal is concerned.

Rouhani went on to suggest that the US military presence in West Asia is the root cause of regional instability. He stressed the importance of collective efforts by regional parties to ensure regional security. Also including via Iran’s proposed Hormuz Peace Initiative mechanism.

Foreign Minister Zarif called the agreement a “historic 25-year strategic roadmap.” Then said he and Foreign Minister Wang had an “excellent exchange on expansion of global, regional and bilateral cooperation in the context of our comprehensive strategic partnership.”

“The nail in the coffin ending US imperialist hegemony over West Asia”

Wang echoed the Iranian officials’ sentiments, saying “relations between the two countries have now reached the level of strategic partnership.” Also that “China seeks to comprehensively improve relations with Iran.”

The foreign minister added that China’s ties with Tehran “will not be affected by the current situation, but will be permanent and strategic,” noting that “unlike some countries,” Iran “does not change its position because of a phone call.”

Independent investigative journalist Ben Norton called the deal “huge.” He characterized it as “the nail in the coffin ending US imperialist hegemony over West Asia.”

Bloomberg described the inking of the deal as a “challenge” to the Biden administration. As the latter works to “rally allies” against Beijing. “Iran’s closer integration with China may help shore up its economy against the impact of [US sanctions]. It is sending a clear signal to the Biden administration of Tehran’s intentions.”

A draft version of the agreement is thought to have been leaked by the New York Times last year. It is envisioning security cooperation, intelligence sharing, joint drills, and dramatically expanded economic ties. Tehran did not confirm the authenticity of the leaked document at the time. However it admitted that it was indeed negotiating a major 25-year strategic partnership agreement with Beijing.

After the Biden administration made clear that it would not lift sanctions and return to the nuclear deal unless Iran dramatically reduced its uranium enrichment activities, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced that “the post-US era” had begun.

China’s Economic Recovery Statistics

China’s National Bureau of Statistics has released key data on the country’s economic recovery. Concentrating on the first two months of 2021, and comparing to the same periods in 2020 and 2019

In February, China’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.6%, above the 50% threshold for 12 consecutive months. Furthermore, the expected index of enterprise production and operation activities rose to 59.2%, 1.3% higher than in January.

Service Industry Business Activity Index in Expansion 

  • The national service industry production index increased by 31.1% YoY and 14.1% from January-February 2019, with a two-year average growth rate of 6.8%.
  • The real estate industry increased by 51.4% YoY, with a two-year average growth rate of 11.8%.
  • Information transmission, software, and information technology service industries increased by 26.1% YoY, with a two-year average growth rate of 14.4%.
  • February 2021 service business activity index reached 50.8%, remaining above the threshold for 12 consecutive months.
  • Business activity indexes for retail, catering, entertainment, and other household consumption-related industries were all in the expansionary range.

CPI Drop vs. PPI Growth

Between January and February, the national consumer prices fell by 0.3% YoY. This included:

  • 0.9% YoY increase for the categories of food, tobacco, and alcohol, of which tobacco, alcohol, and pork fell by 9.6%, grain rose by 1.5%, fresh fruits rose by 2.2%, and fresh vegetables rose by 6.9%.
  • -0.3% in housing prices and clothing. 
  • -0.1% in prices of daily necessities and services.
  • -3.3% for transportation and communications.
  • 0.3% for education, culture, and entertainment.
  • 0.4% for health care.

At the same time, the national factory prices for industrial producers rose by 1% YoY. From January to February, the purchasing prices of industrial producers nationwide increased by 1.6% YoY.

Investment Growth in Fixed Assets 

National investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) reached RMB 4,523.6 billion in two months, with a YoY increase of 35%. Since January 2021, fixed asset investment has increased by 2.43%.

Trade in Goods

  • The total value of trade in goods reached RMB 5,441.8 billion in the first two months of 2021, with a YoY increase of 32.2%.
  • Among these, exports saw an increase of 50.1%, while imports accounted for an increase of 14.5%.
  • From January to February, exports of mechanical and electrical products increased by 54.1% YoY, accounting for 60.3% of total exports.
  • General goods trade accounted for 61.6% of total trade, increasing 1% over the same period last year.

Urban Unemployment Dropped 

  • 1.48 million new jobs were created in cities and towns across the country at the beginning of 2021.
  • In January, the nationwide urban unemployment rate was 5.4%. It rose 0.1% in February, basically remaining stable over the past 3 quarters.
  • The unemployment survey rate among the urban registered population was 5.7%, and the unemployment rate inclusive of all population working in the cities was 5.2%.
  • The unemployment rates of the population aged 16-24 and the population aged 25-59 were 13.1% and 5.0%. The youth population between ages 16-24 remains the highest unemployed cohort.
  • The average weekly working hours of employees in national enterprises were recorded at 46.3 hours.

Huawei Releases IP White Paper, and the state of China’s IP Ownership

Huawei’s number of global patent applications rose sharply after 2010, most notably in comparison to Qualcomm. The patent applications measured here are not exclusive to 5G, and do not pertain to the same categories. However, the sharp rise since 2010 indicates the strong growth in investments in R&D by Huawei. 

This trend also coincides with the larger Chinese initiatives to invest in innovation over the past decade, particularly post the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. 

Based on the empiricals of international patent filings, 

  • China overtook Germany as the world’s third largest patent filer in 2011. 
  • China overtook Japan as the world’s second largest patent filing in 2017.
  • China overtook the US as the world’s largest patent filer in 2019. 

China Becomes Top Filer of International Patents in 2019

China turns to innovation as rare earth boom

The high demand for magnetic materials from makers of appliances and electric vehicles has helped drive a multi-faceted recovery for the sector, causing a rise in prices for rare earth – and enabling rare earth companies to undertake more research and development

 By Chris Gill

ATF) On Monday (March 1), a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official publicly explained the phenomenon of China’s “rare earths being sold at the price of cabbages.” He also noted bluntly that Japan is worth studying to learn how to develop high-end rare earths, as their neighbour dominates the technologies for them. And that, China’s Science and Technology Daily said, is obvious to all in the industry.

Chairman Mao once famously said “seek truth from facts” due to historical reasons and other factors. And there is indeed a gap between China’s rare earth industry and developed countries, the paper noted. It said the gap is becoming more of a driving force, prompting China’s rare earth sector to continue to catch up and progress.

In Baotou, the paper said it saw a continuous vacuum casting furnace made by Showa Denko, and rented from Japan by Jinmenghui Magnetics company. “After introducing this production equipment, we have innovated again. In addition to the cooling process of the castings, the castings currently produced by the company are the best castings for processing neodymium iron boron magnets in the industry,” Sun Xiping, the person in charge of the company, said.

Development of the industry is advancing

China’s Rare Earth Industry Prosperity Index Report, compiled by the Xinhua Index division at China’s Economic Information Service, says in the fourth quarter of last year China’s rare earth industry rated 109.26 points, which is high. Six sub-indices on market performance, production and operation, employee status, inventory status, financing status and technological innovation are all above the prosperity line and in the “prosperity” range.

“In the sub-indices, the market performance scored the highest at 120.27 points. From the supply side, the domestic rare earth industry integration ended, Myanmar’s mixed rare earth carbonate imports fell, and the overall tight supply supported price increases.

“The high demand is for magnetic materials, and the multi-faceted recovery in demand has promoted the rise of rare earth prices,” according to analyst Huang Rong, who said Rare Earth Products Exchange, the increase in the proportion of domestic home appliances such as inverter air conditioners has promoted a rise in demand for magnetic materials, while the global new energy vehicles (NEV) will help maintain a high growth rate.

Technical innovation index

Those factors will drive a growth in demand for high-performance NdFeB. Mid-to-high-end magnetic material companies have fully resumed work and production. They continue to expand. Demand for replenishment has brought a linked increase in the price of light and heavy rare earths.

In addition, the technical innovation index was put at 108.11 points, which was also in the “prosperity” range. Compared with the third quarter, the score of this index rose by 2.23 points, an increase of 2.1%. Technological innovation indicators mainly investigate how companies expect to invest in science and technology research and development the first quarter of 2021.

According to Xinhua Index Division’s results, more than 70% of companies surveyed companies expect the first quarter of this year to have the same level of technological innovation as the last quarter of 2020. But 16% of them still expect to R&D investment will increase in this quarter, while 13.5% expect the number of R&D staff will also increase. More than half of these companies had patented technologies, and some had independently developed production equipment that accounted for more than 90% of all production equipment.

Rare earth technology innovation accumulates thinly

Yan Huizhong, a technical expert and senior engineer at Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute, said: “Regardless of innovation models, the key to transforming China’s rare earth resource advantages into economic gains lies in improving the level of rare earth applications. On the basis of continuing to play the role of promoting supply-side structural reforms, with the strength of the pulling effect of demand-side structural reforms, we strive to reach the downstream market and industry,” Yan said.

Their innovation aims to continuously expand the application of rare earths. And to stimulate the development of the rare earth industry with the demand of the domestic rare-earth value chain and manufacturing. China is hoping for a leap in development.

At present, the new high-capacity La-Y-Ni hydrogen storage material developed by Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute has an actual discharge capacity of 390 mAh/g. That exceeds the theoretical capacity of traditional LaNi5 hydrogen storage alloys and solves the problem of high-capacity La-Mg-.

The Ni-based hydrogen storage alloy is difficult to prepare. Coming up with a comprehensive performance to meet market demand and breakthrough foreign patent restrictions is a part of the effort.

Research and development

“We have independently developed a new generation of rare earth lanthanum, yttrium and nickel hydrogen storage materials, and have authorised invention patents in China, Japan, and the United States. We are stepping up efforts to develop industrial application technologies in response to market demand,” Yan Huizhong said.

The successful research and development of rare earth magnesium-nickel-based hydrogen storage alloy electrode materials also provides a variety of possibilities for the development of hydrogen storage materials. In 2017, a new rare earth hydrogen storage alloy production demonstration line with an annual output of 200 tonnes was completed at the Rare Earth Center.

“The production line completely relies on independent innovation and independent intellectual property rights in production technology. And, equipment and product design too. The product has been promoted and applied in many domestic power battery companies such as Corun, which has greatly promoted China’s high-tech industry, providing safety, easy recovery, technological progress and industrial competitiveness of water-based nickel-metal hydride power batteries.”

Steel for high-speed rail

The rapid development of domestic high-speed railways requires extremely high-end steel rails. The rare earth ferro-alloy additives they developed for rare earth steel have been tried out in domestic scientific research institutions and iron and steel enterprises. With good results, and the overall technology had reached the lead internationally.

In terms of medical treatments, Baotou Xibaobowei Medical System Co, has established an industry with an annual output of 100 magnetic resonance equipment in the research and development, production and service of rare earth permanent magnetic resonance imaging instruments. Chemical bases and large-scale R&D centres have continued to develop a variety of rare earth permanent magnetic resonance products with independent intellectual property rights that are suitable for popular use at the grassroots level, creating a national brand of large-scale medical equipment.

Yan Huizhong said the international division of labour in the industrial chain and globalisation of the economy was a major trend. Based on this, relying on innovation would gradually form a new development pattern with domestic and international cycles as the main body and mutual promotion of domestic and international cycles, and make better use of the international and domestic markets.

The rare earth industry could only achieve stronger and sustainable development with the blessing of science and technology.

Silk Road News – Eurasia News Online – 01

China pledges to build ‘Polar Silk Road’ by developing Arctic shipping routes

Beijing has announced this week its intention to construct a “Polar Silk Road”. It will actively participate in the development of Arctic and Antarctic regions as part of its new 2021-2025 “five-year plan.”

According to the plan published on Friday, China would “participate in pragmatic cooperation in the North Pole”. And “raise its ability to participate in the protection and utilization of the South Pole.”

The plans to extend the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping routes were announced back in 2018. China said at the time that it wanted to create new freight routes linking Asia and Europe. It raised concerns about the fragile environment of the region. It also said it would encourage enterprises to build infrastructure and conduct commercial trial voyages. That will be paving the way for Arctic shipping routes that would form a “Polar Silk Road.”

Land territories in the Arctic cover an area of around 8 million square km. Sovereignty belonging to Russia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and the United States. The Arctic Ocean is more than 12 million square km. The countries that border it, along with other nations, share maritime rights and interests according to international law.

A major stake in the Russian Yamal LNG project

Despite being a non-Arctic state, China is increasingly active in the polar region. It became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013. The country has a major stake in the Russian Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. It is expected to supply China with four million tons of LNG per year.

China also announced plans to launch a new satellite to track shipping routes and monitor changes in sea ice in the Arctic. It plans to launch the satellite in 2022.

Focused on trade-boosting infrastructure projects along the path of the ancient Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to connect China to Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

China building digital Silk Road stretching from Asia through Africa to Europe

The final stretch of a cross-border fiber optic cable is set to be laid by China in Pakistan to create the Digital Silk Road (DSR), Nikkei Asia reports. The DSR is part of the broader Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The fiber cable will link to the Pakistan East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) submarine cable in the Arabian Sea, to service countries participating in BRI, and Europe. It is currently being laid between Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city and the port cities of Karachi and Gwadar. The $240-million project, which is in partnership with China’s Huawei Technologies, was approved by the government last week.

The laying of sea cable in Pakistan’s territorial waters will begin in March, following government approval this month for Cybernet, a local internet service provider, to construct an Arabian Sea landing station in Karachi.

The Mediterranean section of the cable is already being laid, and runs from Egypt to France. The 15,000 kilometer-long cable is expected to go into service later this year.

The PEACE cable will provide the shortest direct internet route between participating countries, and will drastically reduce internet data transfer speeds. It is expected to help reduce Pakistan’s exposure to internet outages from damaged submarine cables by providing an additional route for internet connectivity.

According to Eyck Freymann, author of ‘One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World,’ the BRI is evolving to place less emphasis on traditional heavy infrastructure, and more on high-tech cooperation and digital services.

He told Nikkei Asia that “Beijing wants to dominate the physical infrastructure underlying global communications, particularly the internet,” adding: “This will give it an advantage in internationalizing its tech sector and pursuing future tech-related deals with partner countries.”

The ambitious multi-trillion-dollar BRI initiative (or the new Silk Road), announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to boost connectivity and cooperation between East Asia, Europe, and East Africa. It is expected to significantly boost global trade, cutting trading costs in half for the countries involved, according to expert estimates.