Tibet plans eco-friendly ban
Local officials in Tibet plan to ban the mining of gold, mercury, arsenic and peat to preserve mineral resources and protect the environment, state media reported yesterday. "Mercury and arsenic mining can pollute water supplies, peat mining can destroy wetlands and gold mining can ruin grasslands and rivers," Wang Baosheng, director of Tibet's Land and Resources Department, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. The report did not say when the ban would come into effect.
Energy initiative launched
Google and Intel are leading a consortium of major technology companies in an effort to sharply reduce the amount of power wasted by personal computers and servers. The energy-saving effort, announced on Tuesday, is called the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Companies agreeing to Climate Savers standards will try to build machines that are at least 90 percent efficient in their power use by promoting new technologies, setting new standards and encouraging more efficient use by consumers. The group envisions better power management in computers, roughly equivalent to taking 11 million cars off the highway.
China's ICBC looks overseas
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (中國工商銀行, ICBC), the nation's largest lender, has applied for US and Russian banking licenses as it seeks to expand internationally, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing the bank's chairman. "We have applied to regulatory authorities in the US, Russia and other places to set up operations," Jiang Jianqing (姜建清) told the newspaper. ICBC is now one of the world's biggest banks by market capitalization. Only 3.1 percent of its pre-tax profits came from outside China last year.
Cucumber soda hits Japan
Japanese are staying cool as a cucumber this summer with "Pepsi Ice Cucumber" -- a new soda based on the crisp green gourd. The soft drink, which hit stores here on Tuesday, doesn't actually have any cucumber in it -- but has been artificially flavored to resemble "the refreshing taste of a fresh cucumber," said Aya Takemoto, spokeswoman of Japan's Pepsi distributor, Suntory Ltd. "We wanted a flavor that makes people think of keeping cool in the summer heat," Takemoto said. "We thought the cucumber was just perfect." The soda is on sale just for the summer and only in Japan and Suntory aims to sell 200,000 cases over the next three months.
China hits back at US food
China has launched a crackdown on US food imports, seizing "rancid" pistachio nuts and vowing tough inspections in the wake of Washington's own offensive rejecting suspect Chinese food and drug ingredients. China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine told inspectors to step up checks of pistachio nuts from the US after a 20 tonne shipment was found to have rotting nuts infested with ants, Xinhua news agency reported late on Tuesday. The pistachio shipment would be destroyed, it said. Last week, China destroyed or returned nutritional supplement capsules and raisins from the US after detecting unacceptable levels of bacteria.
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,