China and Iceland announced a deal on the oil-rich Arctic region after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) flew in to Reykjavik on Friday on the first stage of a four-nation European tour.
The deal was part of a package of six agreements signed on the first day of the Chinese premier’s visit to the country, during which he held talks with his Icelandic counterpart Johanna Sigurdardottir.
The Arctic’s oil reserves were high on the agenda for energy-hungry China during the high-powered delegation’s visit to Iceland — though Sigurdardottir touted the Arctic deal as a research collaboration.
“These agreements will provide various opportunities for increased cooperation on research between Icelandic and Chinese scientists in this area,” her office said on its Web site.
Iceland’s strategic location near the Arctic has not gone unnoticed in China, the world’s biggest energy consumer: The shrinking of the polar ice cap is making the region’s mineral resources more accessible.
The retreat of the ice has also opened up the potential for a shorter cargo shipping route with Asia, which would cut the sea voyage between Shanghai and northern Europe by about 6,400km.
China’s interest in Iceland came to the fore last year when a Chinese property tycoon tried to buy a large swathe of land in the north of the country for a tourism project.
Some observers suggested property magnate Huang Nubo’s (黃怒波) purchase would help China win a foothold in the Arctic, amid general concern over Chinese investment in Europe.
That deal was eventually blocked by the Icelandic government, after officials there said China had mooted using the island as a trans-Arctic shipping port.
Wen’s visit is the first to Iceland by a Chinese premier. Sigurdardottir used the occasion to give Beijing a diplomatic nudge over human rights concerns.
Sigurdardottir had “also discussed human rights issues, civil rights and international commitments,” her office said.
“The prime minister and premier agreed to enhance relations and cooperation on gender equality in the near future,” it said.
Besides the Arctic cooperation agreement, the two sides signed five other accords, with 11 ministers and deputy ministers accompanying the Chinese leader.
They included agreements on geothermal sciences; marine and polar sciences; geothermal research; and a solar project in Iceland.
Iceland’s Orka Energy signed a deal with China Petrochemical Corporation (中國石化) of the Sinopec Group on using geothermal energy in China for heating homes and generating electricity.
As part of its ambitions in the polar region, Beijing is seeking permanent observer status on the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation among eight states bordering the region.
NXP Semiconductors NV expects its first automotive-grade 5-nanometer chip built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to become available for automakers within one-and-a-half years at the earliest, following demand for better computing performance and energy efficiency for connected vehicles, a company executive said yesterday. That would mean a significant upgrade from the 16-nanometer technology NXP adopted in its existing series of microprocessors. NXP chief technology executive Lars Reger made the remarks during a media briefing yesterday in Taipei. The latest updates came after NXP unveiled its plan to source 5-nanometer capacity from TSMC in 2021. This is Reger’s first trip to
CENTRAL BANK: The consumer price index would grow while core CPI is set to move forward at a milder rate, the governor said, adding that the GDP forecast is down The central bank yesterday kept its policy rate unchanged for the second straight quarter, saying that a rate pause would help support the economy, as consumer prices have moderated and would return to the 2 percent target next year. “The board gave unanimous support to a policy hold, although some members voiced concern over lingering inflationary pressures and called for close monitoring,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) told a media briefing after its quarterly board meeting. The consumer price index (CPI) would grow 1.83 percent next year, while core CPI after stripping out volatile items would advance a milder 1.73 percent,
SLUMP: The electronics, machinery and traditional industries posted the largest decline in the past year; overall, sectors showed gains over the previous month Taiwan’s industrial production index decreased 10.53 percent year-on-year to 91.38 last month, falling for a 15th consecutive month on an annual basis, as weak global economic growth continued to weigh on end-market demand and investment momentum, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Saturday. The industrial production index gauges output in Taiwan’s four main industries: manufacturing, electricity and gas supply, water supply, and mining and quarrying. Last month’s decline was the smallest contraction since March when the index dropped 16.03 percent from a year earlier. On a monthly basis, the index rose 7.28 percent, marking a second straight month of improvement,
Huawei Technologies Co (華為) largely omitted mention of its controversial Mate 60 smartphone series at a grand showcase of its new consumer products yesterday. The Shenzhen-based company would increase smartphone production in response to demand, said consumer division chief Richard Yu (余承東), without naming the handset triggering that surge. The Mate 60 Pro earned international notoriety with its advanced made-in-China processor last month, causing concern in Washington about Huawei’s progress toward developing in-house chipmaking capabilities despite US trade curbs. Huawei’s new phones have fired up the company’s sales and were among the top sellers in China in the week before Apple Inc’s