14:41 19.10.2020

Cyberattacks on Japan coronavirus vaccine projects point to China

This article highlights how numerous research institutions in Japan, currently working to develop a vaccine for Coronavirus, have been hit by cyberattacks believed to be sent from a Chinese hacker group. The attacks have been happening since April this year, fortunately with no reported information leaks as of yet. Japan’s National Centre of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity continues to urge the country’s research organisations to stay alert and be ready for more incoming attacks aiming to steal confidential information. The article crucially points out that state-led espionage is increasing as governments race to develop effective Coronavirus vaccines.
Source: The Japan Times
13:58 12.10.2020

When the U.S. and China Fight, It Is the Environment That Suffers

This article highlights the evidence behind Trump’s recent criticism of China’s contribution to the global environmental crisis. The piece notes that steel production, coal production and coal consumption have increased in China since 2017 with this looking set to continue as the government aims to re-generate the economy following the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite President Xi Jinping’s recent pledge that China will be carbon neutral by 2060, this article suggests there is no indication that any central measures brought in by the government have sufficiently reduced the country’s pollution levels and emission rates. According to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, from June this year the country had greater coal-fuelled capacity planned than the entire current capacity of the USA and India respectively.
Source: The New York Times
18:15 09.10.2020

Coronavirus: air pollution imporived during China’s lockdowns – and it may have reduced hospital visits

It is a fact – the lockdown in China has resulted in a reduction in air pollution and this in turn has kept many thousands of Chinese people out of hospital with other illnesses. The one ‘benefit’ to the pandemic is it gives scientists the chance to look at what happens to the environment and human health when travel and industry grind to a halt and air pollution is reduced. In China, the health burden is steep where air pollution has caused an estimated 1.24m deaths in 2017. Given such high levels, the lockdown would have been substantial and likely to have a beneficial effect on respiratory health.
Source: SCMP
13:34 06.10.2020

China’s Electric Vehicle Promises Are Just That—Promises

China is proposing a 2025 goal, to make 20% of its auto sales plug-in hybrids or battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs). A statement described as an admirable goal—especially since China has the world’s dirtiest air—we should heed the lessons from the recent past. To date, the impact of EVs on the oil market remains relatively small: Bloomberg says 1,000 electric vehicles remove just 15 barrels of oil demand per day.
Source: Forbes
13:31 06.10.2020

Air pollution particles in young brains linked to Alzheimer's damage

Some air pollution particles have been revealed in the brain stems of young people and are intimately associated with molecular damage linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If the discovery is confirmed by future research it would have global implications as currently 90% of the population live with unsafe air. Previous research has shown the nanoparticles in the frontal cortex of brains and in the hearts of young people, while other researchers in China have revealed them in blood.
Source: The Guardian
13:28 06.10.2020

China's global reputation plunges in the wake of coronavirus pandemic

According to the article, in recent months, global perceptions of China have grown more negative, as demonstrated in a survey released by Pew Research today. The survey highlights how, according to the majority of countries polled, Beijing ‘has done a bad job’ in its handling of the virus. In addition, general trust in the Chinese President has also plunged in the last year, with over 77% of people surveyed is the US stating they had no confidence at all that Xi would act in the right way and ‘do the right thing’ in global affairs.
Source: CNN
12:43 03.10.2020

Hold China accountable for Trump contracting coronavirus: Sen. Loeffler

The article highlights how Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler states that ‘China is to blame’ for both President Trump and Melania contracting the Covid-19 virus. Trump has repeatedly blamed China for failing to contain the virus and for subsequently infecting 7.3 million people in the US which has claimed lives of over 208,000 American people.
Source: Fox News
17:24 30.09.2020

Energy security and economic fears drive China's return to coal

The article highlights how, despite President Xi Jinping shocking the world last week by stating that China would aim for carbon neutrality by 2060, a study by research group Global Energy Monitor (GEM) also highlighted how nearly 250 GW of coal-fired plants are under development in the country – this would be enough to power the whole of Germany. According to some experts, they believe that coal is making a comeback in the country, as shown through projects including the Zhengning plant.
Source: Reuters
16:28 30.09.2020

All eyes on China: what to look out for at the UN biodiversity summit

This week, the world will gather to discuss the biodiversity crisis at a virtual summit in New York. The question is, will China step up? Next year for the first time, China will host major international talks on the environment, postponed from this year at Cop15 in Kunming, where the international community will agree a Paris-style climate change agreement for nature. Chinese Governments failed to meet any of the UN targets to slow biodiversity loss for the previous 10 years and the warnings about the state of the world’s health is growing louder. China, now the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, is tasked with using its collaborating 196 countries into agreeing a plan worthy of the crisis. China’s record is poor, development and infrastructure projects have come at huge cost to the environment, destroying precarious ecosystems and leaving many cities with severe air pollution.
Source: The Guardian