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Posts Tagged ‘China’


Armed police removed four Greenpeace activists from a timber cargo ship on the South Pacific islandof Papua New Guinea.  This intrusion ended the protesters’ three-day strike against rainforest logging.  The environmentalists harnessed themselves to the transporter ship’s crane for 55 straight hours on the Aiai River.  They prevented the ship from loading logs bound for China.

Greenpeace environmentalists protest against logging in rainforests permitted by the government.

Greenpeace environmentalists protest against logging in rainforests permitted by the government.

The environmental group had been invited to the area by local landowners who were concerned about logging operations on their land.

Forests across the island of New Guinea and the nearby Solomon Islands make up a third of the world’s tropical rain forests.  Greenpeace claims that 90 percent of logging in Papua New Guinea is illegal because many concession permits have been granted by the government without proper consultation with the landowners.

A quick halt and a review of all existing logging concessions is needed in New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea Forests Minister Belden Namah vehemently disagreed the Greenpeace claims. “As far as I’m concerned all the logging activities in Papua New Guinea have been legally sanctioned,” he said.

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Three more giant pandas have been born in China, bringing the total number of new arrivals of the endangered species this year to at least 19 . The three were born at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center in the Situan province.

A Giant Panda mother and cub.

The essence of the fragility of nature: A Giant Panda mother and cub.

Eight-year-old Chengji, whose name means “achievement” in Chinese, gave birth to twins this past Saturday. They were named Yingying and Nini.

Another 18-year-old panda gave birth to her 12th baby on Sunday as well.

Giant pandas, one of the most endangered species in the world, are notoriously difficult breeders as their young are very susceptible to disease and the panda’s bamboo-based milk is very poor in nutrients.

Chinese experts say there are nearly 1,600 pandas living in the wild in China, mostly in Sichuan and neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.  Another 180 pandas are being raised in captivity in China.

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As everybody knows, the Olympics are taking place in Beijing, China as I type this.  We have seen champions in fencing, soccer, volleyball, and water polo.  But there are some Olympians who stand out above the rest. 

First off, congratulations Michael Phelps for winning 8 gold medals in a single Olympics and winning the most Olympic medals by a single person putting your name under 2 more world records.

Phelps winning his eighth event.

Phelps winning his eighth event.

Second, congratulations to Russia’s Natalia Paderina and Georgia’s Nino Salukvadze, who took the silver and bronze medals respectively on Sunday in the women’s 10-metre air pistol.  When they received their medals on the podium, they hugged and made a call for peace between their nations.  This is what the Olympics are about: creating peace and unity between nations.
Russia's Natalia Paderina, left, and Georgia's Nino Salukvadze wave during a medal ceremony.

Russian and Georgian Olympians hug in a symbollic moment of peace.

And finally, congratulations to Tuvshinbayar Naidan, who won the gold in judo Thursday. Naidan, whose nickname is “Tuvshee,” beat Kazakhstan’s Askhat Zhitkeyev in the men’s 100-kilogram class, the first medal win by a Mongolian.
Mongolia's Tuvshinbayar Naidan (in white) and Azerbaijan's Movlud Miraliyev compete.

The first Mongolian medal winner competing.

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The Chinese government declared that it will increase the development of genetically modified crops as it faces the monumental challenge of  feeding 1.3 billion people due to shrinking arable land and climate change.

How scientists create genetically modified organisms.

How scientists create genetically modified organisms.

Newly-approved plans aim to cultivate high-yielding and pest-resistant genetically modified species.  It gave no details on which crops should be developed, but it is likely that the plans call for focus on easily modified and high nutrition foods like corn and rice, the latter already being a staple food in Asia. 

Due to climate change and less land to grow large quantities of the foods, production has diminished while the population continues to rise.  Chinese leaders said that the plan was, “of strategic significance in the country’s drive to make its agricultural sector more efficient and competitive internationally.” 

The plan aims to keep annual grain output above 500 million tons by 2010 and increase production to more than 540 million tons each year by 2020.  China has become a major producer of genetically modified cotton and vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes, but it has yet to begin large-scale production of genetically modified rice, corn and soybeans.  If China wants to support its already overgrown population, I feel that this is the only way to do so.  Urbanization, global warming, and the exponentially increasing population have forced their hand, so to say (I am a proponent of using this technology).

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As most of you know, there was a deadly cyclone in Myanmar and a huge earthquake in China.  I believe that the least I could do is dedicate a post to the innocent victims of these terrible disasters and thank those who have worked to help the victims and their families.

 

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The Great Wall of China

They don’t call it great for nothing!  The Great wall is the only man-made structure that can be seen from the moon.  The ancient Chinese built the wall in 221 B.C. to ward off Mongol raiders.  When added together, the wall spans 3,750 miles.  Over a million workers including slaves, prisoners, peasants, and soldiers built the 10,000 battlements and watchtowers.  The Great Wall is like the ancient Chinese described it: a slithering dragon resting on the backs of the mountains. 

The main site is located about 50 miles northwest of Beijing, China.  The best time to visit the wall is in the late afternoon, as then all of the tour buses have left and there are much fewer people.  Even though only a third of the original wall is still standing today, the effect is no less magnificent.  This is a showcase of superb engineering and what monolithic structures humans can create. 

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