China vows to speed up military overhauls in bid to build up ‘modern army’

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Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army march during a military parade in Beijing in September. Photo: Reuter

 

Plan sets 2020 goal for progress in building modern armed forces

The ruling Communist Party will speed up overhauls of the military’s hardware and software, state media reported yesterday, adding it aimed to reach its reform target by 2020.

The pledge was contained in a communiqué issued nearly a week after the party’s Central Committee met to decide on the 13th five-year plan.

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The “Fracking” Revolution Comes to China

With some predicting China will import 79% of its oil by 2030, could domestic shale gas extraction help China meet its energy needs?

As shale gas fever sweeps through Beijing, analysts are looking at the costs and benefits of extracting what is increasingly a controversial source of energy. But for China, with its growing middle class, the immediate and long-term demand for energy has the potential to spark a revolution in shale gas before sufficient and safe technological know-how and regulations are developed.

The emergence of shale gas is a game changer. Countries that have traditionally relied on hydrocarbon exports for political clout (the Persian Gulf, Russia, Venezuela) will inevitably lose some of their petro power. Europe could become less energy dependent on Russian supply by importing liquid natural gas (LNG) from North America and by exploiting the potentially significant shale gas deposits in Poland and other countries. Australia, which has significant deposits and much of the pre-existing infrastructure to begin extraction, could see its clout in the energy politics of the region increase– forcing a significant redraft of Canberra’s “Australia in the Asian Century” White Paper. Continue reading