Tag Archive: China

Defacement message

Defaced pages urged Chinese people to stage their own protests

The Anonymous hacking group claims to have defaced almost 500 websites in China.

Targets hit in the mass defacement included government sites, its official agencies, trade groups and many others.

A message put on the hacked sites said the attack was carried out to protest against the Chinese government’s strict control of its citizens.

It urged Chinese people to join Anonymous and stage their own protests against the regime.

Attack pattern

The announcement about the defacements was made via anAnonymous China account that was established in March. A list of the 485 sites affected was put on the Pastebin website. Separate Pastebin messages posted email addresses and other personal details stolen when sites were penetrated.

Sites defaced had the same message posted to them that chided the nation’s government for its repressive policies.

It read: “Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall.”

China has one of the most comprehensive web surveillance systems in the world, known as the Great Firewall of China, that reinforces its broader social controls. The system polices where Chinese people can go online and tries to restrict what they can talk about.

On defaced pages, the Anonymous attackers also posted links to advice that could help people avoid official scrutiny of what they do and say online. Much of the advice was in English so it is unclear how much help it would be.

There has been no official confirmation of the defacements. News wires reported that government officials had denied any had taken place.

However, many of the sites listed are now offline and a few others displayed a hacked page for a long time rather than their own homepage.



Jaguar in ChinaJaguar believes there is great appetite for its models in China

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Chery Automobile have agreed a joint venture that should pave the way for production of Jaguar and Land Rover cars in China.

A new, jointly owned company will be formed, with a view to also establish a research and development facility.

The company will also aim to develop and manufacture new models, as well as set up engine manufacturing operations and create a sales network in China.

The two firms said they wished to “leverage” their respective strengths.

“Demand for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles continues to increase significantly in China,” JLR’s chief executive Ralf Speth and Chery’s chief executive Yin Tongyao said in a joint statement.

“We believe that JLR and Chery can jointly realise the potential of these iconic brands in the world’s largest car market.”

Chery predominantly makes smaller, less luxurious cars than JLR, but has good knowledge of the Chinese market.

JLR is owned by Indian Tata Motors.

Some Polish coins (l) and a woman walking out of an Apple shop (r). THINKSTOCK/Reuters

“At $500 billion, Apple is worth more than Poland” – so shouted the headlines last week. Can the technology giant really be worth more than this entire country? No, and here’s why.

CNN started this news line, which was picked up by media organisations around the world.

It seems like an amazing fact – that Apple’s stock market value, or market cap, of $506bn (£323bn) makes it worth more than Poland, whose Gross Domestic Product is about $470bn (£300bn).

This would make Apple around the 20th biggest economy in the world.

But it is not true. It makes no sense to compare the two like this. You might as well compare… apples and pears.

This is because the market value of a company is linked to the expected value of all future profits. GDP, on the other hand, is a measure of the value of goods and services a country has produced in a single year.

It is possible to compare the size of a company and a country, but it has to be done properly, says Prof Paul De Grauwe, of the London School of Economics.

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More or Less: Behind the stats

Listen to More or Less on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, or download the free podcast

“We would have to make a forecast of future growth of GDP in Poland, and then you would take the present value and use an interest rate,” he says.

“My guess is that it would multiply the Polish number by a factor of at least five.”

This would give Poland a comparative value of almost $2.5 trillion (£1.6tn), putting it well ahead of Apple.

There is another respectable way to compare the two. For this, calculate Apple’s “added value” and compare that to Poland’s GDP. (The Financial Times’ business glossary defines added value as “an increase in the value of something that has been worked on, so that it can be sold in a new form”.)

This makes sense because GDP is essentially a measure of a country’s added value – it is the value of all the goods and services there, minus anything that has been imported.

“We would take the sales of Apple and subtract everything that is in the iPhone, but that Apple has not produced itself,” De Grauwe says.

“For example, some chips, or the screen, which has been produced in China somewhere. And the difference then is what you could call the value added by Apple. And that we compare with GDP which is the value added in Poland.”

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Just looking at the size doesn’t tell us much about relative power of the company v the country”

Paul De Grauwe

Apple’s relative value would shrink four or five-fold if you did the comparison this way, De Grauwe estimates. This would make it the 56thlargest economy in the world, not the 20th. It would be 36 places behind Poland, just ahead of Bangladesh and just behind Vietnam.

Even with these corrections, it is true that Apple is a big company.

But if a company is bigger than a country, does that mean it is more powerful?

Not necessarily, says De Grauwe.

“Just looking at the size doesn’t tell us much about relative power of the company v the country. Countries are still sovereign in the sense they can set the rules of the game. They can tax companies, and they do.”

And he points out that companies tend to have much more dramatic ups and downs in their fortunes than countries. The market cap – properly called “market capitalisation” – of a company is calculated by multiplying the current value of a single one of its shares by the number of shares in existence.

“When you take the market cap of a company like Apple this can change very quickly,” says De Grauwe. “It is quite possible that in five years the market cap of Apple could have dropped to $100bn or $200bn.

“Look what happened to Microsoft. Not so long ago Microsoft was the biggest company in the world. Now it has weighed down. The price of a company’s shares can move up a lot, but can [also] crash.”


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The BBC’s Paul Wood reporting from inside Homs: “There’s been pretty constant shelling”

Heavy artillery fire has been rocking Homs, as Syrian troops step up an assault on the restive city.

A BBC correspondent there describes almost constant blasts, in the fiercest attack in the 11-month uprising.

US President Barack Obama said it was important to resolve the conflict without outside military intervention.

Meanwhile, Russia and China defended their veto of a UN draft resolution criticising Syria – a move that angered opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

Later the US State Department said it had closed its embassy in Damascus and pulled out all remaining staff because of security concerns.

Washington had warned in January that it would close the embassy if the government did not step up security.

‘Not safe at all’

Homs, one of the main centres of resistance to Mr Assad’s rule, has been under attack from government forces for several days.

Shelling resumed shortly after daybreak on Monday, says BBC’s Paul Wood who has managed to get into the city.

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image of Paul Wood Paul Wood BBC News, Homs

It was a quiet night until just after dawn, when we started hearing mortars falling – about one every 30 seconds. Some heavy artillery has also been used.

Some people have now got out onto their balconies to shout, “God is great!” We also had quite a lot of small-arms fire from rebels fighters. That is a pretty futile gesture. It is Kalashnikovs against big guns.

Most people have been getting inside, hiding in the stairwells to put as much concrete between them and the street as possible.

We’re hearing a report this morning from an eyewitness saying the government troops have been moving up to the outskirts of this part of Homs – not armoured vehicles or tanks, but infantry troops.

They haven’t yet gone through the first rebel checkpoint. It is not yet an invasion, but that is what people fear over the next day or so.

Eyewitness Danny Abdul Dayem told the BBC the army was using rockets for the first time, with more than 300 falling on his locality since dawn.

“It’s not safe at all, a rocket could land in this house right now,” he said

Some rebels fighters have been firing automatic weapons in return, in what our correspondent calls a futile gesture.

The rebels claim that the shelling has hit a field hospital in the Baba Amr district, causing casualties. However, our correspondent says this is impossible to verify.

The facility is treating dozens of people wounded in previous assaults on Homs.

Mr Dayem said only one field hospital with four doctors was still operating in the city, and it was virtually impossible to get additional medication without being shot.

Another anti-government campaigner told the BBC the government was also using helicopters and tanks in the assault.

Activists say at least 15 people have been killed so far on Monday.

Syrian state TV said “terrorist gangs” had blown up buildings in Homs.

The state-run Sana news agency reported that an oil pipeline near the city had been hit by an explosion on Monday. It also blamed “terrorists”.

Both Syrian media and activists are also reporting clashes in the northern city of Idlib and the town of Zabadani, north-west of Damascus.

The government says it is fighting foreign-backed armed groups. Thousands of former army soldiers have defected to the rebel side, forming the Free Syrian Army.


The Syrian opposition says Saturday’s veto by China and Russia of a UN draft resolution condemning the crackdown will encourage the government to act without restraint.

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France and Germany will not abandon the Syrian people”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday called the veto a “travesty”.

President Obama vowed to apply sanctions and put pressure on Mr Assad.

“I think it is very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention. And I think that’s possible,” he said in an interview for the NBC network’s Today programme broadcast on Monday.

He added that a negotiated solution was possible and said the US was “relentless” in demanding that Mr Assad leave power.

On Monday a spokesman for UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Russia and China are protecting a regime that is killing thousands of people. We find their position incomprehensible and inexcusable.”

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Homs resident: “I watched a three-year-old girl dying”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he would discuss the situation in Syria with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev later on Monday.

“France and Germany will not abandon the Syrian people,” Mr Sarkozy said after a meeting in Paris with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We will not accept that the international community remains blocked.”

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the resolution, drafted by Arab and European countries, would have meant taking sides in a civil war.

Speaking in Bahrain on Monday, he said encouraging “armed extremist groups” would only cause more casualties, and said Moscow supported peaceful dialogue in Syria.

Mr Lavrov is due to travel to Damascus on Tuesday for talks with President Assad.

The Chinese government also defended its veto. It said the draft resolution would only have complicated matters, and said Beijing sought to “avoid the scourge of armed conflict”.

Human rights groups and activists say more than 7,000 people have been killed by Syrian security forces since the uprising began last March.

The UN stopped estimating the death toll in Syria after it passed 5,400 in January, saying it was too difficult to confirm.

President Assad’s government says at least 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed fighting “armed gangs and terrorists”.

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Syria Crisis

Analysts say there could be a protracted legal dispute, with the EU unlikely to give way.

China has “banned” all airlines in the country from joining the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

The authorities have also barred the airlines from increasing their fares or adding new charges for the scheme.

The ban comes just weeks after the China Air Transport Association said its members did not support the ETS.

The scheme, implemented from 1 January, levies a charge on flights in EU airspace based on carbon emissions.

‘Severe challenges’

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They would be able to stop the Chinese airlines from flying to the EU, but that could see retaliatory action by China”

Siva Govindasamy Flightglobal

The scheme has come in for severe criticism not just from China but also from other countries such as the US and Canada.

China has claimed that the plan could cost Chinese airlines 95m euros ($124m, £79m) in extra annual costs.

Analysts said that given the global economic conditions and an uncertain outlook for the travel industry, airlines were wary of the scheme hurting their profits.

“The sector is already facing quite severe challenges,” Chris De Lavigne of Frost & Sullivan told the BBC.

“The airline industry as a whole has already been hit by high fuel costs in the past couple of years and no one wants additional cost factors coming in.”

According to EU estimates, the scheme will see the cost of air fares rise by between 2 and 12 euros per passenger.

‘Very tricky’

The move by the Chinese authorities is likely to complicate the issue as the EU will have to decide on what measures it will take from here on.

“It is going to be very tricky. You have to wait and see how the EU will react,” Siva Govindasamy of Flightglobal told the BBC.

“They would be able to stop the Chinese airlines from flying to the EU, but that could see retaliatory action by China which will not be good for either side,” he added.

Analysts said that given the differences between the various parties involved, the matter may have to be resolved by an international body.

“It could potentially end up on the desk of the World Trade Organization as the countries who are against it have said it is an unfair trade practice,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Mr Lavigne.

“Both sides have claimed that this is either fair or unfair, so it is very difficult to see how this is going to shape up.”

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Aerospace and Defence

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4 February 2012 Last updated at 18:52 GMT Help

An Arab and Western-backed resolution condemning the violent crackdown in Syria has been vetoed at the UN Security Council by Russia and China.

Speaking shortly after the vote in New York, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said that Washington was “disgusted” and that the Security Council was being “held hostage by a couple of members”.

Moscow and Beijing rejected the draft resolution despite strong international condemnation of recent violence in Syria.

The vote came hours after activists accused Syrian security forces of killing at least 55 people at Homs.

Speaking shortly after the vote in New York, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said that Washington was “disgusted” by the move.

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Rice: Blood on hands of China, Russia

  • China and Russia veto a draft resolution calling for the Syrian regime to stop killings
  • In 2010, China was Syria’s 3rd largest importer, according to EC data
  • Analyst: The value of Syrian contracts with Russia likely exceeds $4 billion
  • China and Russia say they support an end to the violence but disagreed with the draft

(CNN) — As international leaders express outrage over mass killings in Syria — and lament the inability to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution denouncing the Syrian regime — questions linger about the two countries behind the impasse.

On Saturday, China and Russia vetoed a draft resolution that would have demanded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stop the killing and answer calls aimed at finding a Syrian-led solution to the 11-month crisis.

Analysts say both China and Russia have their reasons to maintain good relations with Syria.

Russia is one of Syria’s biggest arms supplier. And China ranked as Syria’s third-largest importer in 2010, according to data from the European Commission.

Syrian crisis continues as UN fails

Rice: We won’t turn our backs on Syrians

Arab League reaction to U.N. veto

Failed Syrian vote may increase violence

“Beijing’s renewed interest in Damascus—the traditional terminus node of the ancient Silk Road … indicates that China sees Syria as an important trading hub,” according to a 2010 report from The Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based research and analysis institute.

Even as reports mounted that the Syrian government was killing protesters en masse, the Chinese foreign ministry issued a statement in August noting the “steady development” of friendly relations “over the past 50 years and more.”

“China and Syria gave each other understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core and major interests,” the statement said. “China showed consistent understanding and firm support for Syria’s position on the Golan Heights while Syria remained committed to the one China position and rendered China staunch support on matters related to Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights.”

Last week, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations said the killing of innocent civilians must stop, but also said he is against “pushing through” a regime change.

An earlier version of the U.N. Security Council draft resolution called for al-Assad to step down and delegate his powers to his deputy, but that element was not in the draft voted on by members Saturday.

“China is of the view that the Syrian people’s request for reform and safeguard of their interests should be respected,” Li Baodong said Tuesday, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. “It is imperative to put an immediate end to all violence in Syria and oppose and stop the killing of innocent civilians.

“At the same time, an inclusive political process with a wide participation of all Syrian parties must be started without delay to speed up reform and resolve differences and disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultations,” he said.

Russia also has an economic interest in Syria.

The total value of Syrian contracts with the Russian defense industry likely exceeds $4 billion, according to Jeffrey Mankoff, an adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Russia and Eurasia Program.

He noted the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated the value of Russian arms sales to Syria at $162 million per year in both 2009 and 2010.

Moscow also signed a $550 million deal with Syria for combat training jets.

Russia also leases a naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartus, giving the Russian navy its only direct access to the Mediterranean, Mankoff said.

As Western leaders sought to pry al-Assad from power, Moscow sent an aircraft-carrying missile cruiser to Syrian waters in a show of support last month and shipped Syrian troops a consignment of Yakhont cruise missiles, according to Daniel Treisman, a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Speaking after the Saturday vote, ambassadors from both Russia and China said they do support an end to the violence but felt the resolution did not address the crisis properly.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the text “did not adequately reflect the real state of affairs and sent an unbalanced signal” to the various sides in Syria. He noted that the minister for foreign affairs will visit Damascus to hold a meeting with al-Assad this week.

Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong called on all parties in Syria to restore order as soon as possible. But he said the text would have served only to “complicate the issue” and would “prejudge the result of dialogue.”

China and Russia vetoed another Security Council resolution in October that would have called for an immediate halt to the crackdown, which United Nations officials have said resulted in an estimated 6,000 deaths since protests began nearly a year ago.

With the Security Council failing to approve a resolution, what happens next is unclear.

But as the diplomatic stalemate continues, the death toll in Syria climbs even higher. The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists that organizes and documents protests, said the violence has killed more than 7,300.

The book was banned in the province of Hunan, China beginning in 1931. The censor, General Ho Chien found it an insult to humans to have animals acting in the same complex manner as a human. His fear was that kids would think humans and animals were equal and on the same level.

He thought that it would be disastrous. The ban has since been removed. Other books have been banned from countries before, too. The 1945 book, Animal Farm, was banned from being published for 2 years during WWII. It was also banned in Kenya in 1991 for criticizing corrupt leaders. It was then banned in the United Arab Emirates in 2002.


China’s economic growth slows to 8.9%

China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, grew at its slowest pace in more than two years, latest government figures show.

Gross domestic product expanded by 8.9% in the three months to the end of December, from a year earlier. That is down from 9.1% in the previous quarter.

The statistics bureau data showed that growth for the full year was 9.2%, down from 10.3% in 2010.

Analysts said they expect the economy to slow further this year.

“Looking at the rest of 2012, you are going to see an even sharper slowdown in the first quarter because of the effect of monetary tightening,” said Arjuna Mahendran, chief Asia strategist at HSBC Private Bank.

“It will pick up later in the year.”

Growth concerns

China has previously been one of the fastest-growing economies in recent years.

However, stimulus measures implemented by the government have created the risk of asset bubbles developing and China is looking at ways of gently slowing growth to what it sees as more sustainable levels.

These measures have included a curb on lending to prevent overheating in the property and investment markets, and tightened monetary supply.

Tuesday’s data showed that real estate investment in China rose 27.9% in 2011, down from an annual growth rate of 29.9% between January and November, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

A worker operates machines for making yarn at a textile factory in China's Anhui province Slowing exports to Europe and the fear of property bubbles have hindered growth

However, it is not just domestic factors influencing growth. Another reason for the slide is the slowdown in exports because of weakening demand from Europe and the US.

Data showed output from factories and workshops in the country rose 13.9% for all of 2011, which is a slower pace than in 2010.


Some analysts are now calling for China to alter its growth strategy towards more sustainable levels, even if it is slower.

“If you look at the composition of the growth, it is overwhelmingly delivered by an investment boom,” said Patrick Chovanec, associate professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in Beijing.

“They have to focus on a sustainable development path, away from investment and more focussed on domestic markets here in China”.

Chinese authorities have been trying to boost levels of domestic consumption to reduce the country’s reliance on exports.

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (left) meets Saudi Arabia's Prince Nayef in Riyadh on 14 January 2012
Chinese Premier Wen Jianbao is currently visited Gulf oil-producing nations including Saudi Arabia

China has criticised sanctions imposed by the US on a Chinese firm for selling refined petroleum products to Iran.

China’s foreign ministry said imposing unilateral sanctions on Zhuhai Zhenrong based on US law was “unreasonable”.

The US said on Thursday Zhuhai Zhenrong was one of three international firms to be punished for dealing with Iran.

It comes as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Arab oil-producing nations amid fears of major sanctions-related disruption to Iranian oil exports.

Mr Wen visited Saudi Arabia – China’s biggest source of imported oil – on Saturday.

He told Saudi Prince Nayef both countries are “in important stages of development and there are broad prospects for enhancing cooperation,” China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reports.

“Both sides must strive together to expand trade and co-operation, upstream and downstream, in crude oil and natural gas,” Mr Wen added.

During his visit, state-run Saudi oil giant Aramco and China’s Sinopec finalised an initial agreement to build an oil refinery in the Red Sea city of Yanbu to deal with 400,000 barrels per day.

Sanctions biting

Later on Saturday, Beijing denounced Washington’s decision to punish Zhuhai Zhenrong.

“Imposing sanctions on a Chinese company based on a domestic (US) law is totally unreasonable and does not conform to the spirit or content of the UN Security Council resolutions about the Iran nuclear issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.

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If the oil producing nations on the Persian Gulf decide to substitute Iran’s oil, then they will be held responsible for what happens”

Mohammad Ali Khatibi Iran’s Opec representative

“China expressed its strong dissatisfaction and adamant opposition,” he added.

Washington has accused Zhuhai Zhenrong of being the largest supplier of refined petroleum products to Iran.

The US state department said the sanctions – preventing the firms from receiving US export licences, US Export Import Bank financing or any loans over $10m from US financial institutions – were part of efforts to persuade Iran to rein in its nuclear ambitions.

The European Union has also agreed to follow the US by freezing Iranian central bank assets and impose an embargo on oil imports.

The sanctions on Iranian oil exports are of particular concern to China, which is under pressure to secure enough energy supplies to keep its economy going.

Iran is currently China’s third largest supplier of oil, followed by Angola and Saudi Arabia.

Tehran has warned its Gulf neighbours against making up the shortfall in oil exports as the US and EU sanctions start to bite.

“We would not consider these actions to be friendly,” Tehran’s Opec representative, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, was quoted as saying on Sunday.

“If the oil producing nations on the Persian Gulf decide to substitute Iran’s oil, then they will be held responsible for what happens,” he added, in the Sharq newspaper’s report.

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