Tag Archives: Beijing

China is angry, but what can it do about North Korea?

Xi Jinping has few options to bring Kim Jong-un into line but he also has to contend with the unpredictable Donald Trump

On Friday afternoon, the eve of North Korea’s most powerful ever nuclear test, China’s football-loving president received a gift from the world’s greatest ever player.

“Good luck,” read the handwritten message from Pelé on a canary yellow Brazil jersey handed to Xi Jinping by his South American counterpart, Michel Temer.

Continue reading China is angry, but what can it do about North Korea?

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Jared Kushner’s family is trying to raise $150 million from Chinese investors in exchange for US visas

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Organizers barred journalists on Sunday from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai to attract Chinese investment in a US real estate project linked to the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law in exchange for immigrant visas.

The two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, One Journal Square, is being developed by KABR Group and the Kushner Companies, which until recently was headed by senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Continue reading Jared Kushner’s family is trying to raise $150 million from Chinese investors in exchange for US visas

China’s Premier on N. Korea: ‘No one wants to see chaos on his doorstep’

China’s second highest-ranking official used his once-yearly press conference to underline the importance of good relations with the US.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed North Korea, the South China Sea and trade in a highly orchestrated and scripted ceremony in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

Conflict on the Korean peninsula “would only bring harm to all parties involved,” Li said, ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to the region which starts Wednesday.

“We hope that all parties can work together (to reduce tensions)” he added. “It’s just common sense that no one wants to see chaos on his doorstep.”

China is a key ally of North Korea, and has long called for more dialogue between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington. Last week, Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for North Korea to suspend its nuclear weapons program and warned that “the two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other.”

Continue reading China’s Premier on N. Korea: ‘No one wants to see chaos on his doorstep’

China: Along the Tea Horse Road (PHOTOS)

In Yunnan province, visitors can still step back into the Ming dynasty.

Image

On the dashboard of our van, a solar-powered Tibetan prayer wheel spins continuously as we make our way through the bumpy roads linking Lijiang, Dali and Tengchong.

Continue reading China: Along the Tea Horse Road (PHOTOS)

We can’t stop watching this guy destroy a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei

Coloured Vases (2009) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Maximo Caminero, a well-known painter based in Miami, is facing felony criminal mischief charges after deliberately dropping a vase painted by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei in a local museum on Sunday. Looking at the colorful object, Caminero said, he figured it was “a common clay pot like you would find at Home Depot.”

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Underneath, however, it was a genuine ancient artifact from the Han dynasty—with an estimated value of $1 million (according to the responding police officer, that is).

Now, by way of some amateur footage, you too can experience the shock of standing in the Pérez Art Museum Miami when someone criticizes the gallery’s international focus by smashing a work of foreign provenance.

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“It was a spontaneous protest,” Caminero told the Miami New Times. “I was at PAMM and saw Ai Weiwei’s photos behind the vases where he drops an ancient Chinese vase and breaks it. And I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest.”

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“I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here,” Caminero said of his attack on Ai’s According to What? installation—and some colleagues have happily praised him for it. “They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It’s the same political situation over and over again. I’ve been here for 30 years and it’s always the same.”

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In comments to the BBC, Ai was clear on the difference between his acts of destruction and Caminero’s: “I never tried to destroy a museum piece—those vases belong to me. He can drop whatever he likes to drop, but not other people’s property.” I could almost swear I’ve heard that line of reasoning before?

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Ai also laid claim the moral high ground of creative martyrdom: “I still don’t have a chance to show my work in China or Beijing. I never even think of going to a museum in Beijing to protest—if I [did], I would be punished.” Caminero will suffer his own unpleasant consequences, of course, but you can’t say he wasn’t warned not to touch.

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Recycled steel bars form modular café interior by penda

recycled steel bars form modular café interior by penda

in beijing, architecture and design studio penda has completed the interior of a local café using recycled steel bars to serve as modular dividers.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

commissioned by property developers hongkun, the scheme introduces an area of greenery within the city’s heavily polluted atmosphere

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

intended to serve as a precedent that will encourage other chinese cities to implement similarly green proposals.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

the primary design feature is the repetition of upcycled steel bars, painted black and constructed as a grid.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

this modular system allows the café to be readily reconfigured.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

the latticed structure allows a variety of different elements to be inserted, with plant boxes, books, and lights occupying the design.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

many of the scheme’s wooden pots are filled with air purifying and easy-to-grow vegetation such as spider plants, sword fern and marble queen.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

over time, the plantation will grow across the structural framework, covering the steel with a natural green blanket.

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

penda home cafes beijing china designboom

The Wall Street Journal suggests Snowden gave China an incredibly powerful cyberweapon

Snowden

The Wall Street Journal thinks Edward Snowden may have provided China with a new, powerful cyberweapon.

China is known for its so-called Great Firewall, a nationwide system of web blocks and filters that the government uses to maintain strict online censorship in mainland China.

Now it reportedly has a complementary offensive tool — dubbed the Great Cannon — to go after sites it doesn’t like. And Snowden, the NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower, may be to blame.

“The Great Cannon is not simply an extension of the Great Firewall,” experts at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said, “but a distinct attack tool that hijacks traffic to (or presumably from) individual IP addresses and can arbitrarily replace unencrypted content as a man-in-the-middle.”

China can now reroute innocent traffic coming to Chinese websites and use it for a malicious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to overload the servers of another website. It may also be able to inject malicious code into target computers.

China's "Great Cannon"
CitizensLabThis diagram shows how China’s “Great Cannon” works with its “Great Firewall” to hijack traffic and attack websites.

Citizen’s Lab notes that the only other “known instances of governments tampering with unencrypted internet traffic to control information or launch attacks” involve the use of a program called Quantum that was developed by the US’ National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Snowden revealed the existence of Quantum through slides given to American journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong after he arrived on May 20, 2013. The Journal is now wondering whether the former NSA contractor provided the source code to Beijing before flying to Moscow on June 23.

“Did Snowden give the Chinese the code for the Great Cannon?” the editorial asks. “He denies sharing anything with foreign governments. But then he’s an admitted liar, and we don’t know what the Chinese and Russian spy services have been able to copy from what he stole.”

snowden
REUTERS/Bobby YipA monitor at a shopping mall in Hong Kong in 2013 broadcasting news on the charges against Snowden.

The Journal’s evidence regarding Snowden and the Great Cannon is scant and circumstantial and is based mainly on suspicion of Snowden, the similarities between the Great Cannon and Quantum, and timing.

“A South China Morning Post report that the Great Cannon has been under development for about a year is suggestive,” The Journal asserts. “This means China’s hacking bureaucracy geared up to produce this new product soon after the Snowden leaks.”

In any case, China now has a powerful new cyberweapon to enforce its status as the world’s vastest internet censorship regime.

“The operational deployment of the Great Cannon represents a significant escalation in state-level information control: the normalization of widespread use of an attack tool to enforce censorship by weaponizing users,” CitizenLab notes.

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