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China Reform Monitor - No. 759
Chinese progress on Beidou satellite system;
Moscow and Beijing closing the gap on Jiangsu pipeline
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
May 6, 2009
China has completed another important part of its Beidou Satellite Navigation System after it successfully delivered a second GPS-like navigation satellite into orbit on a Long March 3C carrier rocket from its Xichang Satellite Lunching Center. This was the 116th flight of the Long March carrier rockets. The navigation satellite can provide highly precise positioning, speed detection, mapping, telecommunications, and will also be used for “national security,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The regional navigation and positioning system will be completed in 2011 and will cover China and its boarder areas. China successfully launched its first Beidou navigation satellite in April 2007.
China's netizens live in a parallel cyber universe with a distinct set of clone websites they have created and embraced because they comply with the stringent censorship compelled by the Chinese government. International websites including Google, YouTube and Wikipedia have been blocked for carrying content critical of Beijing’s policies at various points over the last few years. We have Facebook, China's has Kaixin, we have YouTube, China has Youku, we have Paypal, China uses Alipay, millions in the U.S. chat online with ICQ, but Chinese use QQ. Baidu copied Google's look and now controls over 60 percent of the China market. Taobao beat auction giant eBay, which was once dominate, but closed its Chinese website in 2006. Chinese websites are better attuned to local tastes and preferences and thanks to lax copyright enforcement are packed with Chinese drama serials, Hollywood sitcoms and even popular Singapore soap opera-videos. Chinese laws also make it difficult for these international brands to sue their Chinese copycats, Singapore’s Straits Times reports.
Beijing has hosted the International Conference on Energy in the 21st Century, attended by 30 energy ministers and representatives from 65 world countries including U.S., India, Germany, France, Nigeria, Chile, Jordan, Syria, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Argentina, and Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organized the three-day conference to discuss the future of nuclear power and was hosted by IAEA chief Mohamed Al-Baradi'i. The Iranian team included Deputy for Planning and International Affairs at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Sa'idi, AEOI's Deputy for power plants Ahmad Fayyazbakhsh and Iran's Ambassador to IAEA Ali- Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iranian official government news agency IRNA reports.
Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reports that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has said the Kremlin is “ready to show sensible flexibility" on the price of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu Province. Sechin’s comments came at the fourth meeting of the Russian-Chinese energy dialogue, during which he also signed a major intergovernmental agreement on oil cooperation.
That agreement, Sechin said in comments carried by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, would "create a new foundation for developing [Russia-China] energy cooperation. This is a unique agreement of a long-term nature, which is accompanied by financial agreements, and to implement it we have already begun building a branch from the main pipeline toward China," he said, referring to the new branch from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline that will be built toward China. Under the deal, the branch pipeline will start at Russia’s Skovorodino refinery and culminate in Mohe County in China's Heilongjiang province and will have a capacity of 15 million metric tons of oil per year. Vice Premier Wang Qishan, who signed the deal for China, called it “a significant breakthrough in bilateral energy relations." Wang said the deal includes “contracts on building the pipeline, buying and selling crude, and providing of credit between the companies of our two countries.” China agreed to provide $25 billion in loans to Rosneft and pipeline operator Transneft.