STOCKHOLM, June 27(Greenpost)– Nordic Ministers for Transport and Infrastructures have met to discuss financing the infrastructure especially crossing borders recently.
This is a gesture in the right track. I strongly recommend Nordic countries invest in fast train track and operation. Why?
When I came to Sweden in 2006, I thought Swedish train was quite good. But when I went back to China three years later, that was in 2009, China began to operate the fast train in Northeast China, the Concord Train was more than 250 kilometers per hour and I noticed that Swedish journalists were very positive about it too.
But soon people played down this idea to say that it was too expansive, Sweden doesn\t have that amount of people. This was also said in China. We don\t have a lot of money. We have a lot of people, but people were poorer. But after the fast train went into operation, they were full very soon. A lot of young couples took the fast train instead of driving a car or took the slow train.
Traveling time was substantially shortened. People are happy and people are proud. People take the chance to do business.
I think the fast train has three advantages:
First, it shortens the travelling time. It means there will be more travelling and more business chances and more meeting time. More meeting time will give more ideas. It is good for communication.
Second, Sweden has fewer people, but if the transporting time is halved, it means there will be more chance to do business.
Thirdly, people have to think in the long run, the same as you think of the tunnel bana in the 1940s. Man must be forward-looking.
If Nordic countries can make joint efforts to invest in fast train and build it from Oslo to Gothenburg and to Stockholm or from Karlstad and then build it to Malmo and to Copenhagen, then it will substantially shorten the travelling between countries. It will be a project benefiting the future of nordic countries.
Anyway, people are willing to pay a certain amount to improve the railway conditions, but if you pay a little more and build the fast train with Chinese speed between 250 -300 kilometers per hour, it will greatly promote Nordic market.
I encourage the Nordic ministers to talk more about it and take action as soon as possible. I am sure it will promote nordic economy substantially.
STOCKHOLM, June 26(Greenpost) — Infrastructure financing is undergoing a fundamental change, where relying on public budgetary resources alone is not a sustainable option. It is important to find new financial instruments and practices to enable efficient infrastructure development on a long-term basis, according to a statement from Finland.
Such new instruments were explored in the seminar “Rethinking Infrastructure Financing in the Nordics”.
The participants included the Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner, Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications Ketil Solvik-Olsen, Icelandic Minister of Transport and Local Government and Nordic Cooperation Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson, and Director-General Ola Nordlander from the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.
“A well-functioning and up-to-date infrastructure is a prerequisite for competitiveness. Any delays or failures in the projects may cause substantial economic and social costs. It is most natural for us to work together to find the best practices,” says Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland Anne Berner.
“Infrastructures in the Nordic countries have a lot in common. Being able to share our ideas and solutions is important to maximize the possibilities and utility from future projects. Getting the most out of the funds we invest in infrastructure is the key to building a transport system that fits future needs,” says Ketil Solvik-Olsen, Minister of Transport and Communications of Norway.
“It is very important not only to discuss the investment itself but also how to finance operation and maintenance. I am looking forward to learn about the views and experiences of the other Nordic Countries. Communications and transport are merging and the future is interesting,” says Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister of Transport and Local Government and Nordic Cooperation, Iceland.
What next?Discussion about the financial instruments continues among the Nordic countries. There are significant benefits to be gained in infrastructure financing especially from transboundary investments and coordinated transport policies.
STOCKHOLM, June 26(Greenpost)– Vice Executive President of China Association for Science and Technology, CAST, Professor Huai Jinping who is also academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Wednesday made a presentation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences conference center in Stockholm.
He briefed the audience about how his association serve 91 million scientific workers in China.
He said that his association has the mission to popularize scientific knowledge and gave advice to the central or local government on scientific development policies.
He said his association also shoulders the task to help poverty eradication by 2020. They send a lot of doctors to the poor areas to help cure diseases because usually a poor family was a result of someone in the family has serious disease. It was diseases that leads to poverty. Another way is to send scientific personnel to the countryside to teach farmers how to grow crops scientifically and use less pesticides to have a sustainable agriculture.
The third way for poverty eradication is to have partnership with industries.
Huai also said that the purpose of this visit was to establish a good relation with the Swedish counterparts for future cooperation.
He said China also took a lot of measures to attract young people to be interested in science.
Professor Tuula Teeri, President of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA said what Huai said in many ways similar to Swedish way in practice.
One experience from Sweden is to recruit young students from senior high school to be an intern in a science and engineering program for four months before they decide to go to universities. After these four months, those who have had these experiences usually choose to stay with science and engineering and can continue to work in this field. That is an effective way to attract young people who have the potential to be engaged in scientific research or engineering.
Zhang Biao, Charge Daffair from the Chinese Embassy, Dai Gang, Counsular of Sci-tech department at the Chinese Embassy, Cao Yihai, professor at the Karolinska Institutet and about more than 30 scientific workers attended the presentation and asked questions.
STOCKHOLM, June 26(Greenpost) – Chinese Tibetologist Hao Shiyuan has pointed out that Dalai Lama’s so-called `Middle Way` is in essence seeking independence in Tibet.
He made this clear at a seminar in Institute For Security and Development Policy on Tuesday when he led a delegation of Tibetologists from China to visit Sweden.
This was also an answer to the question asked by Oskar Gustafson, editor of ISDP on what problem China is really facing between the central government and the Tibet Autonomous Region or Dalai Lama.
Hao said the Chinese central government had kept contact with Dalai’s private representative for a long time. But after the March 14th incident took place in Lhasa in 2008 and the disturbance of the Beijing Olympic Torch, Dalai Lama issued a MOU. To summarize the content of this MOU, China held that the so-called Middle Way is an idea that took place in colonized countries after the Second World War.
“He also borrowed the idea of Hong Kong SAR to ask the central government to implement one country two systems idea. But this idea is against the Chinese Regional ethnic autonomy system. Tibet Autonomous Region has been a part of China. Due to this different ideas, China held that there is no way to continue the dialogue. Although Dalai Lama said he wanted to have dialogue, his stance left no room for further dialogue. The condition to have dialogue is to admit that Tibet is already a region of China. “ said Hao.
ISDP’s Mats . Engman presided over the seminar and he said Sweden likes to have dialogue with China on Tibetan issue even though Tibetan issue is not a focus for ISDP.
Erik Isaksson from ISDP explained that ISDP is an independent research institute which has two offices, one in Sweden and the other in the US. They mainly research on Asia, Central Asia and Caucus’ areas. Since their establishment in 2007, it has received many Chinese, North Korea and South Korean researchers. Currently they have two researchers from Chinese PLA Academy.
Hao Shiyuan gave a presentation about the History and Reality of Tibet. In his presentation, he gave a sharp contrast picture of the past and the present. He said before the liberation of Tibet, it was a political entity with a combination of politics and religion. Only 5 percent of the chiefs and religious leaders enjoyed the privilege while 95 percent of the total population were serfs and slaves who had no personal freedom at all. Even the British historian Goldstein described Tibet as a primitive medieval place. But Dalai Lama has described Tibet as a heaven in human society. Maybe it was true for his 5 percent of the population, but for majority of the Tibetans, it was suffering.
Hao said in 1951 when Chairman Mao met with Dalai Lama, the latter agreed to 17 provisions of peaceful revolution and reform. Maybe he understood that the Tibetan political system came an end, yet the reform will also end the system. According to the 17 provision agreed by both Dalai Lama and the central government, Dalai Lama position would remain the same. But after he attended a meeting in India in 1959, Dalai Lama changed his stance. After his flee to India, Tibet experience a democratic reform and the serfs and slaves became the master of themselves.
Hao said today Tibetan people enjoy very good education and a complete education system has been established. They also enjoyed the religious freedom. Currently 1700 temples function normally.
Hao said Dalai Lama think of how to get independent while central government is thinking of how to improve the living standards of the Tibetan people. In Tibet, tourism is one of the pillar industries. Pregnant women and baby death rate are very low and the rights level are up to the national average. By 2020, Tibet will also have to eradicate all the poverty as planned.
Zhaluo said in Tibet Autonomous Region, there are mainly the Gelu sect of Buddhists, but there are a few others too. Even some people believe in Christianity and Islam.
Mats. Engman asked “Tibet must fall into the debate of border issues between India and China since there is still disagreements on territory in that region. What is China’s approach to ensuring that all partners are brought to the table to discuss the potential security dilemmas on this issue?”
Hao said Sino-Indian border issue has great to do with the British legacy of irrelevant borderline, but has nothing to do with Tibet.
About Chinese map, Hao said before 1949, Chinese map was decided according to history. For example from Qin Dynasty to Song Dynasty, people often thought land outside the Great Wall did not belong to China. But when the Mongolians united China, Chinese map became larger and larger. Tibet Autonomous Region is a historic assets to China left from Chinese history. Only after 1949, China has entered into a modern country.
Gustafson asked: how can the PRC better engage with the Tibetan Government in Exile (or the Central Tibetan Administration) and what issues could they see arising if effective dialogue is not achieved?”
Hao said if Dalai Lama really changes the Tibetan system, it will definitely cause great contradiction. But according to Chinese regional ethnic autonomy system, Tibetans enjoy autonomous freedom. Meanwhile, the economic and social development in Tibet will resist the violence.
Hao said Dalai Lama announced in 2011 that he would retire and then established a so called exiled government. Chinese government does not recognize this organization, nor will contact it, or treated as representative of Dalai Lama.
Engman said“ISDP strives to anticipate where future conflicts might break out.
Zhang Biao, Charge D\affair at the Chinese Embassy, Chen Jiliang, Director of Political Department of Chinese Embassy, Cirenpingcuo, Gesangyixi,Xiaojie and Wang Lixin from the delegation and Fatoumato Diallo from ISDP attended the seminar. Journalists Jorge Navarro from Mexico, Ulrika Bergsten from Sweden and Xuefei Chen Axelsson from Green Post in Sweden were also present at the seminar.
STOCKHOLM, June 25(Greenpost, Chineseonline)– Chinese Dongfeng Race Team won the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 in the closest pass in race history.
Skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to victory on the final leg of the race, a 970-mile sprint from Gothenburg, Sweden to The Hague.
Incredibly, it marked the first leg win for the team — it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Three teams started Leg 11 of the race on Thursday in a dead heat on the overall leaderboard. The finishing order between MAPFRE, Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team at The Hague would determine their place on the overall race podium.
Each of those three teams led at various points on the leg and had their opportunities to grab the prize.
But it was Caudrelier and his crew who made a bold call on Saturday evening to take a coastal route to the finish, which squeezed them tight against the shoreline and separated from the other leaders by a series of Exclusion Zones.
“We were not in such a good position, but we trusted our choice and we pushed,” Caudrelier said. “The others didn’t follow us, but we believed and we won…”
The decision hurt the team in the short term as they tumbled down the leaderboard. But by Sunday morning, with less than 100 miles left to race, weather routing projections had the top boats finishing within minutes of each other. None had been able to break away overnight, despite the significant splits on the race course.
“We knew that we would fall behind initially and that if it came good it would only be at the end. The last position report (1300 UTC on Sunday) we were 27-miles from the finish and they were 20-miles and we thought it was over. But then I did a small weather routing and it showed we could end up one-mile ahead so I woke everyone up and said, ‘let’s push!’”
As the teams finally converged again on Sunday afternoon, just a few miles from the finish, it was Dongfeng Race Team, flying down the coast from the north sliding in front of the offshore group, to earn their first leg win, propelling Caudrelier’s team to overall victory.
“We always trusted each other. Nobody thought we were going to win this last leg, but I had a good feeling,” an emotional Caudrelier said, after thanking his supporters and team. “I said ‘we can’t lose, we can’t lose, we can’t lose’… and we won!”
The overall results make this the closest finish in the 45-year history of the race and marks the first win for a Chinese-flagged team. It also means Carolijn Brouwer and Marie Riou were on board as the first women sailors to win the Volvo Ocean Race.
Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE was third on the leg, which put the team into second overall.
“It has been tough,” Fernández admitted. “We sailed very well the whole way around the world and on this leg as well, so naturally we’re a bit disappointed. We were very, very close this time, but it was not quite enough. So we have to say congratulations to Dongfeng who sailed a little bit better than us.”
Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking would have liked nothing more than to win the race for the first time in eight tries with a home finish in The Netherlands. But it wasn’t to be. His fourth place leg finish left the team in third place overall.
“Third place, still on the podium, I think we can be pretty proud of that as a team,” he said. “We thought we had made the right choice (to go further offshore) and we expected a windshift. It came 90-minutes too late and that was the race. But that’s yacht racing. And of course we have to congratulate Dongfeng and MAPFRE for their results.”
Second place on the final leg into The Hague was Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont and his team AkzoNobel, who had previously secured fourth place on the overall leaderboard.
“It’s incredible to finish on the podium in our hometown,” Tienpont said. “We would have loved to have been fighting into The Hague for the final podium but to have set the 24-hour speed record and to get six podium finishes in the race is a testament to the job everyone on our team – on the boat and on shore – have done.”
Vestas 11th Hour Racing had already been locked into fifth place on the scoreboard and after a promising start to Leg 11, had a disappointing seventh place finish on the leg.
“We have a great group of folks on this team,” skipper Charlie Enright said. “We’ve been through a lot and I’m not sure any other group could have dealt with the challenges we have faced the way we did. It’s something special and we’re going to continue to work together moving forward. This was a tough way to go out certainly, but we have one more opportunity with the In-Port Race this weekend.”
That In-Port Race, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, will determine the sixth and seventh place positions in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Both SHK/Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Plastic finished the Volvo Ocean Race on equal points.
The tie-break mechanism is the In-Port Race Series, where David Witt’s Scallywag team currently holds the lead. But Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic is just three points behind and a strong finish on Saturday could lift them off the bottom of the leaderboard.
“We can’t help but smile today. We’ve done it,” said Caffari. “This leg was like the longest In-Port Race ever. A lot of corners to go around, and we gave it 100 per cent and left nothing in the tank.”
For David Witt, the finish was bittersweet the loss of John Fisher overboard in the Southern Ocean top of mind.
“I have very mixed emotions right now,” Witt said dockside immediately after finishing. “I’m incredibly proud of our team both on and off the water. We’re very tight and we have gone through a lot… But I’m also sad of course. I didn’t finish it with my best mate (John Fisher) who we started with. So very mixed emotions, but I’m glad we finished it.”
The teams will celebrate their accomplishments and take well-earned rest on Monday. The rest of the week will see activities in The Hague building towards the final In-Port Race and Awards Night on June 30.