No, China is not going to shutdown Bitcoin mining activities

A report published on 4 January on finance.caixin said The People’s Bank of China is planning to shutdown Bitcoin mining activities. The rumor was leaked out to the web by Guo Hong, a celebrity in the cryptocurrency world, who stated with a Wechat screenshot that all mines will close by January 5th. Lately, Guo Hong replied that the screenshot was photo shopped and denied all those claims.

Afterwards, other media reported that The People’s Bank of China held a meeting to demand Bitcoin miners to close all their activities within a limited time period, however officials of the Bank denied the meeting, and told Caixin reporters they just want to phase out preferential policies.

Officials wanted to clarify their stance toward Bitcoin is neutral, and they don’t want to encourage nor hamper mining activities. Bitcoin mining is very prosperous in China and it accounts for nearly 70 percent of the global hash power in bitcoin. The power consumption of mining is very high and it equals on 1 year the power supply to 50 million households, consuming 1.8 tons of carbon dioxide. Pollution in China has become the leading cause of death, and the government is fighting against its environmental issues cementing the global dominance of renewable sector. China has no intention to prohibit mining of cryptocurrency, but in the future is high probable the government will regulate the electricity consumption behind this activity. 

 

China denies to sell oil to North Korea

Chinese ship

Beijing on Friday rejected accusations it had been sell oil to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions, a day after Trump accused China of being caught “red handed” selling oil to Pyongyang. Few hours later, Seoul released information that supports Trump’s claims, but U.S. officials have not confirmed details of this report.

Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, denies all accusations and told to reporters that the reports “did not accord with facts”.

“In reality, the ship in question has, since August, not docked at a Chinese port and there is no record of it entering or leaving a Chinese port”, said Hua.

“China has always implemented U.N. Security Council resolutions pertaining to North Korea in their entirety and fulfils its international obligations. We never allow Chinese companies and citizens to violate the resolutions. If, through investigation, it’s confirmed there are violations of the U.N. Security Council resolutions, China will deal with them seriously in accordance with laws and regulations”, added Hua Chunying.

The Chinese boat is among the 10 ships the United States proposed to blacklist for transporting banned item to North Korea, but both China and Russia have asked more time to consider the proposal.

China will extend tax rebate for new-energy vehicles

China will extend a tax rebate on purchases of so-called new-energy vehicles (NEV) until the end of 2020, said in a statement  on Wednesday the finance ministry. The tax rebate was set to expire at the end of this year, but the government decides to extend the tax refund to incentive automakers to produce more electric vehicles.

“The extension would help increase support for innovation and development in new energy vehicles”, said the Ministry of Finance Xiao Jie. Beijing’s automakers are investing a lot in plug-in electric vehicle and the trend seems unstoppable:  in 2017, the PEV market share of all new car sales crossed 3% for the first time, while the 2017 PEV market share is above 2%, firmly ahead of last year’s average (1.5%), CleanTechnica reported.

China has become the world’s largest automotive market, but local firms still can’t compete worldwide with big brands as General Motors, BMW, Mercedes or Audi, and Beijing’s government  wants to catch up global automaker rivals.

 

China’s Big Brother is here and will grow fast in the next years

Digital technology has become increasingly pervasive in China, with the government planning to cover the entire nation with surveillance cameras capable to gather personal information in real time.

Beijing promised to build the world’s largest surveillance system, and in the next three years 400 million new cameras will be installed, along with the 170 million already in use. These cameras will also contain the most sophisticate technology available: the surveillance system’s AI can read faces,  age, gender and ethnicity.

The BBC’s John Sudworth meet the Guangdong’s police to demonstrate if China’s Big Brother is really effective. The surveillance system took 7 minutes to discover Sudworth in the city centre and to send the alarm to police officers.

“Citizens has nothing to fear”, said a policewomen to Sudworth, explaining they “will only extract their data when they need our help”. Although not everyone is convinced by the surveillance system. Ji Feng, a poet and government critic, thinks the surveillance on dissidents may intensify.

Syria: China’s government will deploy troops to fight along Assad

Azaz, Syria

The mess in Syria is going to increase quite soon. The Chinese government decided to sent its troops in Syria to fight along with Al-Assad’s forces. The move comes as China becomes more concerned about the presence of Islamic militants in the East Turkestan region. The Uyghurs, an ethnic group also known as Chinese Muslim fighters,  are frequently blamed for terrorist activity in their own country.

The Chinese government will send on the territory two special units: the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers”. Those troops will be responsible of killing the Uyghur fighters.

The Chinese militias will also support the Assad regime in the fight against the Islamic terrorist group known as ISIL/ISIS (Islamic State).

This is not the first time that Beijing decided to send its troops on the Syrian front. In 2015 5.000 soldiers entered the Syrian territory and stationed in the Western region of Latakia.

The move has been seen by some analysts as part of an agenda to increase China’s authority on the international scene. In early November, China tested the Dongfeng-41,  Beijing’s next-gen Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

China: unveiled the Dongfeng-41, Beijing’s next-gen Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Chinese military honor guard

China unveiled the Dongfeng-41, Beijing’s next-gen Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The test was broadcast on Sunday over China Central Television.

The Dongfeng-41 is China’s most powerful weapon. With an operational range of 9300 miles, it’s the World’s longest range missile. The Dongfeng-41 can hit every corner of the World and can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads.

‘The missile can hit every corner of the earth, allowing China to counter a nuclear strike on the country,’ Yang said in the programme.

The Dongfeng-41 has been tested eight times: this last test occurred in early November, according to South China Morning Post. The first test occurred on July 2012, as reporter by the Washington Free Bacon. 

The new ICBM should be fully operational during the 2018, while former military officials have said on CCTV that the missile is already operational.

‘Once the Dongfeng-41 goes into service, China’s ability to protect its own safety and to prevent wars would greatly increase. The missile must have matured considerably if it is to be operational in 2018’, told to Global Times Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.