|Asia News Digest
Pacific Nuclear Drive Sweeps into the Philippines
Dec. 10 (EIRNS)A conference promoting nuclear power development was held in Manila today, with international input from the global nuclear industry, and from political advocates promoting a nuclear-driven future in the face of the global financial breakdown. The head of the Philippines LaRouche Society and Atoms for Peace Philippines, Antonio Valdes, was one of the invited panelists, along with experts from Korea, France, the United States, Japan, and other nations.
While the Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to build a nuclear plant, the completed facility was never turned on, as the nationalist leader Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown by George Shultz and his cohorts in 1986, in order to make a "horrible example" of the Philippines to other developing nations which might dare to "go nuclear." Now, with all of Asia rejecting the lunacy of the West's anti-nuclear policies, the Philippines is ready to restore the Bataan nuclear plant, and building othersif the political will can be established within the country to join its neighbors in the nuclear renaissance.
South Korea is playing a critical role in promoting and (potentially) building nuclear power plants in the Philippines, as it is already across Asia and Africa. At the Manila forum, when a representative of the Philippine National Power Company gave a pessimistic projection, arguing that the mothballed 620 megawatt nuclear plant at Bataan is too large for the Philippines, since there is not enough demand, the Korean spokesman from the World Association of Nuclear Operators countered that when South Korea began its nuclear program, it was one of the poorest nations on Earth, but that before the first plant was even finished, foreign and domestic investors were moving in, certain of plentiful and cheap energy, but also of a national commitment to progress.
Other developments demonstrate the optimism and aggressive outlook in Asia. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen this week opened the first nuclear science department at a Cambodian University, with a leading Korean nuclear scientist leading the program. Also, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak visited Malaysia today, where he told 300 business leaders of the two nations that "South Korea's experience in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants will be able to give substantial help to Malaysia's future energy plan."
India, meanwhile, announced that the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation has initiated talks with Indian companies and financial institutions to form a consortium for exporting pressurized heavy-water reactors to emerging economies. The consortium will facilitate export of these reactors to less-developed countries including Myanmar, Cambodia, Kazakstan, Africa, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Nobel Peace Prize Farce Gets a Kick in the Teeth
Dec. 11 (EIRNS)While the Western press glorified the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to an empty chair on Dec. 10, moving George Soros's human rights mafia and the European royals to tears, the Chinese, together with much of Asia and the developing world, are pointing to the farce of the Nobel Committee claiming to represent "universal values." Of the 65 countries invited to the ceremony, 18 boycotted the event, and many sent low-level representatives rather than the usual high-level officials.
The question on the minds of several ambassadors in Washington who spoke to EIR was: "We may not approve of him being jailed for opposing the government, but I still can't figure out what it is that Liu Xiaobo was supposed to have done for peace."
The political dissident, who is in jail for his anti-government activities, is particularly despised in China for his support for the colonization of China by the British Empire, which is remembered in China for its Opium Wars, and for his attacks on everything related to Chinese culture. He is famous for his statement that "It took 100 years of colonial rule for Hong Kong to become what it is today. And it will surely take 300 years of colonial rule for China, which is so big, to be like today's Hong Kong. I even doubt whether 300 years would be enough."
As the head of a Nietzsche cult in China, Liu writes regularly against the Confucian tradition, diatribes which could well be lifted from Bertrand Russell's anti-Christian and anti-Confucian tracts on behalf of the British Empire.
Xinhua reported it this way: "What must also come as a surprise to [the Nobel Committee] is that despite the claim that this year's decision to give the prize to Liu Xiaobo was made on the basis of their standard of 'universal values,' those so-called 'universal values' they preach are in fact not universally recognized," pointing to both the countries that boycotted the event, and to the fact that "over 100 media organizations from more than 50 countries, including some from Norway, have published articles to express different opinions."
Liu now joins such Nobel laureates as President Barack Obama, who got last year's Peace Prize while waging war in Afghanistan in defense of the new British Opium War, and former Vice President Al Gore, who won the prize for promoting the hoax known as Global Warming, to justify forced backwardness and colonial depopulation.
The Chinese also countered with the establishment of a "Confucius Peace Prize," granting the first award to Lien Chan, the Taiwan leader who has done much to bring Taiwan and the Chinese mainland together, truly bringing peace where once war appeared imminent.
Laos Moves Towards Development with Massive Dam, High-Speed Rail
Dec. 9 (EIRNS)Lao President Choumaly Sayasone, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and senior officials of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank celebrated the inauguration of the 920-MW Nam Theun 2 Dam today, a massive achievement for this poor, landlocked country. Since the early 1990s, the dam, located in Khammouane province in central Laos, was the target of multiple environmental and "community" NGOs which, steered from London, tried to "protect" the locals by denying them progress.
Much of the electricity generated by the dam will initially be sold to Thailand.
Also, Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, speaking Dec. 7 at the Beijing High-Speed Rail Conference, announced that China and Laos will begin construction early next year of the first high-speed rail line between the two countries. The bullet-train rail line will be completed around 2014, and will eventually connect the southwest Chinese city of Kunming with Singapore, passing through Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia.
China Working with U.S., France, and Canada To Build Railways
Dec. 8 (EIRNS)China has signed strategic agreements with leading enterprises in the United States, France, Germany, and Canada, for cooperation in developing both high-speed and conventional rail systems, in China and in other nations, China Daily reported. One agreement, with General Electric, will make it possible, for the first time, to manufacture high-speed rail equipment in the United States.
China has built, and operates, the world's longest high-speed rail network7,500 km. It will double that network by 2012. Moreover, China has gone beyond the technologies developed in Europe and Japan, to build the world's fastest trains, which run over unprecedentedly long stretches among its cities. It has also developed technologies which will help in construction of rail lines in extreme conditions, as exemplified by the railway to Tibet, which runs at the highest altitude in the world, over permafrost. China is now beginning to construct high-speed rail in mountainous areas, which has never been done before. These developments will contribute to building transport infrastructure in any terrain, from the Arctic to the world's mountain ranges.
At the ongoing International Congress on High-Speed Rail, sponsored by the International Unions of Railways (UIC), and China's Rail Ministry, General Electric vice chairman John Rice announced yesterday the agreement with CSR Co. Ltd., the biggest high-speed train manufacturer in China. "The joint venture, with an investment of $50 million in the first stage, will be the first US manufacturer to supply high-speed rail passenger trains for the two proposed [high-speed rail] corridors in Florida and California," Rice said. The agreement could lead to U.S.-Chinese cooperation in other nations. "We will also be interested in building high-speed railway lines beyond the US when it makes sense," he said.
Alstom SA, the French rail manufacturer, signed a long-term cooperation agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Railways to jointly develop rail markets in China and abroad. Canada's Bombardier, the world's largest train-builder, also signed an agreement with the Chinese Rail Ministry to expand existing joint ventures to build rail equipment. Now, the two sides will cooperate in developing high-speed and very-high-speed trains. The Chinese side has also signed agreements with both Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways, to expand rail freight transport.
And finally, China has signed agreements with Laos, Thailand, Bulgaria, and Turkey, for high-speed rail projects which will link China with Southeast Asia, and Europe and Asia.