|Asia News Digest
Two Chinese Power Giants To Construct Nuclear Plants
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)The two biggest Chinese power producers, China Huaneng Group (CHNG) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Company Ltd. (CGNPG) of Shenzhen, have signed an agreement to jointly build the Huaneng Shandong Shidaowan nuclear power plant in Beijing. The plant will consist of four 1,000 MW pressurized water reactors (PWRs). The construction of the four units will be done in two phases. The reactors will be provided by foreign manufacturers.
This is an important endeavor for the Chinese power giants in carrying out the nation's mid-term and long-term nuclear power plans. The signing of the agreement shows that CHNG is actively participating in the construction of a nuclear power project, in addition to the nation's key project, the demonstration nuclear power station with a high-temperature air-cooled reactor.
The Huaneng Shandong Shidaowan nuclear power plant is in Rongcheng City, a city under the jurisdiction of Weihai City in northern China's Shandong Province, where there is less resettlement and sound transportation conditions. In addition to 3,800 MW of nuclear units with high-temperature air-cooled reactors planned, the site is also capable of housing 4,000 MW of nuclear power units with pressurized water reactors.
Impending Water Crisis in Asia
Nov. 30 (EIRNS)On Nov. 29, Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued a report addressing the drastic lack of water infrastructure throughout Asia. Although replete with such trendy unscientific issues as global climate change and the importance of biofuel to mitigate the petrochemical requirements of growing nations, it, however, rightly said that "there is now enough knowledge, technology and expertise available in Asia to solve all its existing and future water problems."
By far the most populous of all continents, Asia is endowed not only with people, but also with abundant water. However, inadequate management of water, lack of large integrated water-related projects which include transfer of water from water-surplus rivers to non-perennial rivers, and inter-basin transfer of water are going to lead to severe water crises. The crisis will be compounded by the fact that since the large population of Asia needs steady growth in agricultural production in the years to come, and good water management is an absolute must. Moreover, the majority of the Asian population depends on paddy, which requires a large amount of water for its growth.
The report pointed out that the use of water in Asia's energy sector is an important issue. Asian electricity consumption is rising between 5% and 8% annually, so there is a need to include the water needs of the energy sector in national policies. The study said that "not one Asian developing country has seriously assessed the current and future water requirements of its energy sector."
NSC Report Shows Failure of the U.S. War in Afghanistan
Nov. 25 (EIRNS)The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) compiled a report this month on Afghanistan, evaluating the goals set out in a late 2006 in-depth review, finding that none of the economic, governance, and security goals have been met, despite "success" in every military operation and an increased bodycount of the "bad guys." Sources close to the study told the Washington Post that the NSC found that the military victories are transitory, while Taliban control expands every month. One former senior commander in Afghanistan said that the military claims of success are "a very tactical outlook in a game that is strategic."
UN Scores Political Assassinations in the Philippines
Nov. 29 (EIRNS)The Philippines military is "in a state of denial concerning the numerous extrajudicial executions in which its soldiers are implicated," concluded Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur assigned to investigate what EIR has labeled the Philippines' "Operation Condor." Operation Condor was the assassination policy implemented by fascist Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile, under the guiding hand of George Shultz. Shultz is also the architect of two coups in the Philippines, in 1986 and 2001, through his asset Gen. Fidel Ramos (see "Shultz Brings Operation Condor to the Philippines," and certainly authorized the current murder spree against political opponents, through the same Ramos, who remains the controller of the Philippines government.
The UN report concludes that "leaders of leftist organizations are systematically hunted down, by interrogating and torturing those who may know their whereabouts, and they are often killed following a campaign of individual vilification designed to instill fear into the community." He adds that the criminal justice system is corrupted, "increasingly focused on prosecuting civil society leaders rather than their killers," who act under a cover of "prevailing impunity."
While Alston does not declare the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroya to be a puppet regime of Ramos and the military faction under Shultz's control as EIR has charged, he does report that Arroyo's "many measures" to respond to the killings "are encouraging, but they have yet to succeed, and the extrajudicial executions continue."
Dollar Collapse Brings 'Imported Inflation' to China
Nov. 27 (EIRNS)Chinese economists are warning that the crashing dollar will breed more inflation and encourage flows of speculative "hot money" into China, reports a commentary in the China Daily published yesterday. The dollar has fallen 10% against the renminbi, since the RMB was de-pegged from the U.S. currency in July 2005. The China International Capital Corporation (CICC), in a new report, warns that the dollar will keep on falling, at least until mid-2009. Economist Guo Tianyong of the Central University of Finance and Economics warned that, as the dollar falls, more speculative capital will move into China in search of profits, increasing inflation, which is already well over double the official target rate of 3%. At the same time, international prices of key commodities such as oil, grain, and raw materials are rising, stoking more of what Guo called "imported inflation." Measures such as increasing internal interest rates are next to useless against these "international factors," Guo told China Daily. Shi Jianhuai, economist at Beijing University, warned that hot money just keeps getting into China, despite authorities' efforts to control the speculative funds.
New Cross-Korean Transport System Ready To Proceed
Nov. 28 (EIRNS)Developing the cross-Korean transport system will unite the peninsula and create over 4 million new jobs, the South Korean Construction and Transportation Ministry (MOCT) announced on Nov. 25. The project will unite the entire peninsula, and link it to China and Russia. The MOCT will be investing over $3 billion equivalent, to double the volume of South Korea's transport by 2019.
The plan will create two inter-Korean railways, which will cross in an "X" at Seoul. One will go from Pusan on the southeast coast, crossing to Sinuiju on North Korea's west coast, which is on the Chinese border. The second line will go from the southwest South Korean port of Mokpo to Cheongjin in northeast North Korea, on the Russian border.
The overall plan is to make it possible to carry out the agreements reached by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at their October summit, for expanding Korean economic cooperation. Air and sea facilities will also be developed and integrated into the transport system, and the overall program will help "reduce the socio-economic costs related to logistics" and create some 4,170,000 new jobs, the MOCT said.