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Direct Flights between China & Taiwan Begin

December 16th, 2008 31 comments

It’s about time!

Per Mark McDonald at the International Herald Tribune: Shortly after dawn Monday, a passenger plane took off from Shenzhen, China, bound for Taiwan. The 80-minute flight across the Taiwan Strait marked the first regular cross-strait traffic since the end of the civil war in 1949 and another dramatic step in the improvement of relations between the two countries.

The Shenzhen Airlines flight from China – along with a later TransAsia Airways flight to Shanghai from Taiwan’s capital, Taipei – inaugurated regular direct flights between Taiwan and mainland China. Direct ship traffic and mail service also began Monday, state media reported.

Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, reported that the flight from Shenzhen took off at 7:20 a.m. The TransAsia flight from Taipei left 46 minutes later. A total of 16 direct passenger flights were scheduled Monday. Read more…

Categories: General, News, politics, technology Tags:

The Princess Tai Ping Crosses the Pacific Ocean

December 15th, 2008 29 comments

And now for something completely different!

After sailing across the Pacific Ocean in a 15th century Chinese junk, Captain Nelson Liu and his crew of seven on the Princess Tai Ping spent their last few days at the San Diego Maritime Museum before making their way to Hawaii and eventually back to Japan and Taipei.

The 54 foot, 35 ton Fujian style warship, built and launched from Xiamen using the same materials as their ancestors, is following the conjectured route of 15th century Chinese admiral Zheng He who, according to some theories, may have arrived on the North American West Coast long before Cabrillo.

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Categories: culture, education, Environment, technology Tags:

Time for a More Equal Economic Partnership Between the U.S. and China?

November 16th, 2008 7 comments

Since China opened to the world some 30 years ago, China has witnessed unprecedented economic development and growth.  However, the economic relationship China has with the West has been a decidedly subservient one.

In the global economy, China would specialize in making high volume, low cost products in return for high value technology and services from the West.  The profit that China makes would be recycled back to the West (especially the U.S.) in the form of loans / credits.  Despite the recent global financial crisis, I do not expect this basic pattern to change any time soon.

However, the time for some change may be afoot.  For one thing, many economists in the West now seem to be more willing to acknowledge that the Chinese economic growth may be sustainable for the long term.  Even the Economist has been showing more confidence and optimism for China as of late. Read more…

Shenzhou 7 Spacecraft Blasts Off

September 25th, 2008 39 comments

This morning, the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft carrying Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming, and Jing Haipeng successfully took off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and entered orbit. This is a major event in China, as a space walk (the first for the Chinese space program) is planned on this 3-day mission (on the 27th).

Shenzhou 7 launched by a Long March 2F rocket

Here is a full version.
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