World China's factories, households grapple with power cuts
Advocates fear US weighing climate vs. human rights on China
U.S. envoy John Kerry’s diplomatic quest to stave off the worst scenarios of global warming is meeting resistance from China, the world's biggest climate polluter, which is adamant that the United States ease confrontation over other matters if it wants Beijing to speed up its climate efforts. Rights advocates and Republican lawmakers say they see signs, including softer language and talk of heated internal debate among Biden administration officials, that China’s pressure is leading the United States to back off on criticism of China’s mass detentions, forced sterilization and other abuses of its predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region.
BEIJING (AP) — Global shoppers face possible shortages of smartphones and other goods ahead of Christmas after power cuts to meet government energy use targets forced Chinese factories to shut down and left some households in the dark.
In the northeastern city of Liaoyang, 23 people were hospitalized with gas poisoning after ventilation in a metal casting factory was shut off following a power outage, according to state broadcaster CCTV. No deaths were reported.
China keeps virus at bay at high cost ahead of Olympics
BEIJING (AP) — The Beizhong International Travel Agency in the eastern city of Tianjin has had only one customer since coronavirus outbreaks that began in July prompted Chinese leaders to renew city lockdowns and travel controls. Most of China is virus-free, but the abrupt, severe response to outbreaks has left would-be tourists jittery about traveling to places they might be barred from leaving. That has hit consumer spending, hindering efforts to keep the economic recovery on track.
A components supplier for Apple Inc.'s iPhones said it suspended production at a factory west of Shanghai under orders from local authorities.
The disruption to China's vast manufacturing industries during one of their busiest seasons reflects the ruling Communist Party's struggle to balance economic growth with efforts to rein in pollution and emissions of climate-changing gases.
“Beijing’s unprecedented resolve in enforcing energy consumption limits could result in long-term benefits, but the short-term economic costs are substantial,” Nomura economists Ting Lu, Lisheng Wang and Jing Wang said in a report Monday.
They cut their economic growth forecast for China to 4.7% from 5.1% over a year earlier in the current quarter. They cut their outlook for annual growth to 7.7% from 8.2%.
Great Wall of Lights: China’s sea power on Darwin’s doorstep
ABOARD THE OCEAN WARRIOR in the eastern Pacific Ocean (AP) — It’s 3 a.m., and after five days plying through the high seas, the Ocean Warrior is surrounded by an atoll of blazing lights that overtakes the nighttime sky. “Welcome to the party!" said third officer Filippo Marini as the spectacle floods the ship’s bridge and interrupts his overnight watch. It’s the conservationists’ first glimpse of the world’s largest fishing fleet: an armada of nearly 300 Chinese vessels that have sailed halfway across the globe to lure the elusive Humboldt squid from the Pacific Ocean’s inky depths.
Global financial markets already were on edge about the possible collapse of one of China’s biggest real estate developers, Evergrande Group, which is struggling to avoid a default on billions of dollars of debt.
Manufacturers already are facing shortages of processor chips, disruptions in shipping and other lingering effects of the global shutdown of travel and trade to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Residents of China’s northeast, where autumn temperatures are falling, report power cuts and have appealed on social media for the government to restore supplies.
The crunch comes as global leaders prepare to attend a U.N. environmental conference by video link on Oct. 12-13 in the southwestern city of Kunming. That increases pressure on President Xi Jinping's government to stick to emissions and energy efficiency targets.
The ruling party also is preparing for the Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital, Beijing, and the nearby city of Shijiazhuang in February, a period when it will want clear blue skies.
Let's tone down the rhetoric on China and try genuine dialogue
The rhetoric is ratcheting up popular nationalist reactions in both countries that may close off diplomatic options. There are dangerous implications if dialogue between the world's two most powerful nations is inhibited by domestic politics. Territorial claims by China in the South China Sea could lead to naval conflict. China is fast developing a nuclear arsenal. A peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue may no longer be viable. China has been an ally in the effort to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran and can be helpful in Afghanistan. And the U.S.
Scores of companies have announced power rationing could force them to delay filling orders and might hurt them financially.
Apple components supplier Eson Precision Engineering Co. Ltd. said Sunday it would halt production at its factory in Kunshan, west of Shanghai, through Thursday “in line with the local government’s power restriction policy.”
Eson said the suspension shouldn’t have a “significant impact” on operations.
Apple didn't immediately respond to a question about the possible impact on iPhone supplies.
China's energy consumption and industrial emissions have surged as manufacturers rush to fill foreign demand at a time when competitors elsewhere still are hampered by anti-coronavirus controls.
China’s economy is “more driven by exports than any time in the past decade,” but official energy use targets fail to take that into account, economists Larry Hu and Xinyu Ji of Macquarie Group said in a report.
Some provinces used up most of their official quotas for energy consumption in the first half of the year and are cutting back to stay under their limits, according to Li Shuo, a climate policy expert at Greenpeace in Beijing.
China Unveils Homegrown Warplanes, Combat Drones and Space Tech at Air Show
The highly watched 13th Zhuhai Airshow kicked off on Tuesday with the unveiling of new military drones and a modified strike fighter for electronic warfare.The biennial China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Guangdong province—also known as the Zhuhai Airshow—is the largest of its kind in the country and takes place following an unusual three-year gap due to the pandemic. Remaining public health measures mean the number of foreign visits were also scaled down for the 13th edition, which is taking place between September 28 and October 3.
Utility companies, meanwhile, are being squeezed by soaring coal and gas prices. That discourages them from increasing output because the government constrains their ability to pass on costs to customers, said Li.
Prices have risen “past the range of what China’s electricity industry can bear,” Li said.
China has launched repeated campaigns to make its energy-hungry economy more efficient and clean up smog-choked cities.
City skies are visibly clearer, but the abrupt way the campaigns are carried out disrupts supplies of power, coal and gas, leaving families shivering in unheated homes and forcing factories to shut down.
Shopping malls in the northeastern city of Harbin have announced they will close stores earlier than usual to save power.
In Guangdong province in the south, the government told the public to set thermostats on air conditioners higher even as temperatures rose above 34 degrees C (93 degrees F).
State Grid Corp., the world's biggest power distributor, issued a pledge to ensure adequate supplies.
Meanwhile, state media say local governments have signed long-term coal contracts to ensure adequate suppliers.
Soo reported from Singapore. AP Writer Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed.
Daily on Energy: Moment of truth on climate provisions for Manchin and Sinema .
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Default Image - July 2021 WHAT MAKES THE CUT: This week might finally be the one in which we learn what climate provisions survive Democrats’ reconciliation package. We should get a better sense of the policy demands from centrists Sens.