2019年11月27日 星期三

Discovery of the hull that appears to be the aircraft carrier “Kaga” - sunk in the Battle of Midway


Last month NHK News On-line reported the following:
空母「加賀」とみられる船体発見 ミッドウェー海戦で沈没
20191019 1640
太平洋戦争の転換点とも言われるミッドウェー海戦で沈んだ、旧日本海軍の航空母艦「加賀」とみられる船体が、北太平洋の海底で見つかり、激しい戦闘の実相を知るための貴重な発見として注目されます。

空母「加賀」とみられる船体が見つかったのは、昭和17年にミッドウェー海戦があった、北太平洋の周辺の海域の深さおよそ5400メートルの海底です。

2015年に戦艦「武蔵」を発見したことで知られるアメリカの財団の調査チームが、18日までに確認しました。

潜水艇が撮影した映像では、「加賀」に装備されていた20センチ砲や、いかりとつながっていたとみられる鎖などがとらえられています。


「加賀」は昭和17年6月のミッドウェー海戦で、アメリカ軍の攻撃を受けて沈没しました。ミッドウェー海戦は、旧日本海軍が空母4隻を失う壊滅的な打撃を受けて航空戦力の優位を失い、その後の戦況に影響を与えたことから、太平洋戦争の転換点の1つになったと言われています。

旧日本海軍の歴史に詳しい広島県の大和ミュージアムの戸高一成館長は、「残された資料と実際の船体を比較するなどして、どのような被害を受けて沈んだのかがわかるようになる」と話していて、激しい戦闘の実相を知るための貴重な発見として注目されます。


Translation

A hull which appeared to be the former Japanese Navy aircraft carrier “Kaga”, sank in the Battle of Midway that was said to be the turning point of the Pacific War, was found on the sea floor of the North Pacific Ocean; it attracted attention as a valuable discovery for knowing the reality of this intense battle.

The hull, which appeared to be the aircraft carrier “Kaga”, was found on the seabed at a depth of approximately 5,400 meters in the waters around the North Pacific where the Battle of Midway occurred in 1942.

An American Foundation research team known for discovering the battleship “Musashi” in 2015 confirmed this on the 18th.

In the images taken by the submersibles, a 20-cm cannon that was equipped in “Kaga” together with the chain that seemed to have been connected to anchor were captured.

Kaga” sank in the Midway Battle in June 1942 under the attack of the American army. The Battle of Midway was said to have been one of the turning points of the Pacific War because the former Japanese Navy lost its dominance in air power following the devastating blow of losing four aircraft carriers which influenced the subsequent war situation.

 It becomes possible to see what kind of damage has been done by comparing the on hand materials with the actual ship hull,” said Issei Todaka the director of Yamato Museum in Hiroshima Prefecture who was familiar with the history of the former Japanese Navy ”. This discovery would be seen as valuable in knowing the actual situation of the intense battle.

           So, this discovery will add to our understanding about the Battle of Midway fought between the US and Imperial Japan in 1942.

2019年11月24日 星期日

Chinese patent application was in the first place for 8 consecutive years, accounting for half of the world total


Last month Nihon Keizai Shimbun Electronic Edition reported the following:
中国の特許出願、8年連続首位 世界全体の半分占める
中国・台湾 ヨーロッパ 北米 ビジネス
2019/10/16 7:01
5G技術を強みとするファーウェイも特許出願を増やしている(15日、スイス・チューリヒで同社が開催したイベント)

【チューリヒ=細川倫太郎】世界知的所有権機関(WIPO)は16日、2018年の中国の特許出願件数が前年比12%増の154万件に達したと発表した。世界全体の5割近くを占め、8年連続で首位となった。人工知能(AI)など最先端技術の知財分野では、中国を筆頭にアジアが世界をけん引する構図が鮮明になっている。

世界全体の特許出願件数は5%増の332万件と過去最多を更新した。国・地域別で2位は米国の59万件、3位に日本(31万件)、4位に韓国(20万件)と続いた。上位の順位は前年と変わっていないが、日米は前年比では減少した。

中国の出願はコンピューター技術やデジタル情報通信、電子機器分野が多い。中国通信機器大手、華為技術(ファーウェイ)は次世代通信規格「5G」などで技術開発を加速し、出願を増やしている。日本勢は三菱電機やキヤノン、トヨタ自動車などの出願が目立つ。

WIPOのガリー事務局長は「アジアはイノベーションの世界的なハブに成長し、今後も出願で他の地域を上回る傾向が続くだろう」とみる。デザインの独自性などを保護する「意匠権」の登録出願は6%増の131万件、商品やサービスの名称を守る「商標権」も16%増の1432万件と、いずれも過去最多となった。AIや自動運転などの開発競争が激しくなっており、当面は知的財産権保護のため出願の増加は止まりそうにない。

米中は先端技術の覇権争いを繰り広げている。中国政府はハイテク産業育成策「中国製造2025」を掲げ、巨額の補助金を企業に投じて支援する。これに対し、トランプ米政権は中国の知的財産権の侵害や外資に対する技術移転の強要を批判している。一方、日本の出願は依然高水準だが、件数は減少傾向で科学技術立国としての地位の後退が鮮明になっている。


Translation

Huawei, whose strength was 5G technology, was also increasing patent applications (an event held by this company in Zurich, Switzerland on the 15th)

[Zurich = Ryotaro Hosokawa] The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced on the 16th that the number of Chinese patent applications in 2018 reached 1.54 million, an increase of 12% from the previous year. It accounted for nearly 50% of the world's total and ranked first for 8 consecutive years. In the field of intellectual property on state-of-the-art technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), the composition of Asia was leading the world with China at the top had become clear.

The number of patent applications worldwide increased by 5% to 3.32 million, a record high. By country / region, the US ranked 2nd at 590,000, followed by Japan at third (310,000) and Korea at fourth (200,000). The top-ranking order had not changed from the previous year, but Japan and the US had a decrease year-on-year.

There were many Chinese applications in the fields of computer technology, digital information communication, and electronic equipment. Huawei, a major Chinese communications equipment company, was accelerating technological development with the next-generation communications standard "5G" and was increasing its applications. Japanese companies prominent in applications were such as Mitsubishi Electric, Canon, and Toyota.

Asia will grow into a global hub for innovation, and applications will continue to outpace other regions,” said WIPO Director General Garry. The number of applications for registration of “design rights” to protect design uniqueness increased by 6% to 1.13 million, and the number of “trademark rights” for protecting the names of products and services increased by 16% to 14.32 million, both of which were the highest ever.  As competition for development of AI and autonomous driving was intensifying, for the time being the number of applications to protect intellectual property rights was unlikely to stop.

The US and China were fighting for the supremacy in advanced technology. The Chinese government had set up “China Manufacturing 2025”, a high-tech industry development measure, and supported it by investing huge subsidies into companies. In contrast, the Trump administration had criticized China for the infringing intellectual property rights and forcing foreign capital companies for technology transfer. On the other hand, in Japan while the number of applications was still high but the number of cases was decreasing, its retreat from the status of a science and technology nation had become clear.

              So, the US and China were fighting for supremacy in advanced technology.

2019年11月21日 星期四

從中國内部尋找出真正的增長威脅


Finance yahoo on 9.11.2019 reported the following:
Look Within for China’s True Growth Threat
Bloomberg Christopher Balding, Bloomberg 16 hours ago
Reactions Reblog on Tumblr Share Tweet Email

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund are fretting over the risk of a potential global recession caused by the U.S.-China trade war. Their concern is misplaced. The true danger to global growth is the weakness of China’s domestic economy.

Total U.S. trade isn’t declining. On the contrary, it’s growing at or just beneath its decade-long rate. A decline in shipments to and from China has been offset by increased trade with partners such as Vietnam and Mexico. In a broad global market where goods can easily be substituted, manufacturers will absorb price signals and move to different producers. That’s what is happening, as U.S. tariffs drive up the cost of importing Chinese products. The result is that there has been no net change to global trade levels from the U.S.-China dispute, even if growth has slowed sharply.

The more interesting change is to Chinese trading patterns. Whereas the composition of U.S. purchases remains close to long-term trends, China is showing declines across most product types and geographic partners. Chinese imports from the rest of the world fell 5% this year through September. Why is it showing such a divergence from the U.S.?

There are three specific reasons:

First, the Chinese economy is growing much more slowly than the headline 6% rate would suggest. Sales of consumer products from smartphones and cars to washing machines are falling or flat-lining. There are similar declines in in specialty traded goods such as Japanese and German precision machinery, which are destined for Chinese markets and not merely as inputs for goods that end up in the U.S. Second, there appears to be a conscious plan of import substitution designed to benefit Chinese producers, even when domestic goods cost significantly more. Countries such as Australia produce cheaper iron ore and coal than companies in China. Yet domestic output growth for these commodities has outpaced the increase in imports. Whether in semiconductors or commodities, China is pursuing a plan to move away from imports.  Third, lack of dollar liquidity is restricting China’s ability to engage in international trade. Leakages have undermined the effectiveness of a foreign-exchange rule that has restricted banks to sending only one dollar abroad for every one they bring in. China’s foreign trade can’t afford just to break even; it needs to generate a significant surplus to cover these leakages.

For years, China drove global demand for many raw materials, accounting for more than 50% of annual growth in output. The subsequent downshift has had an enormous spillover impact. The question for businesses around the world is whether this is a temporary or structural phenomenon. With an excessively indebted economy, slowing growth and a rapidly aging population, it’s almost impossible to see China returning to the pre-2015 rate of expansion.


Headlines about the trade war understandably grab attention but the reality is more mundane and worrisome. Irrespective of what happens to the bilateral trading relationship, the world is coming to the end of China’s rapid-growth era.

  
Translation

(彭博社觀點)-國際貨幣基金組織(IMF)等投資者和機構正為中美貿易戰可能導致全球經濟衰退的風險而擔憂。他們的擔心是放錯了地方。全球經濟增長的真正危險是中國國經濟的疲軟。

美國貿易總額並未下降。相反,它的增長速度是等於, 或只略低於十年增長速度。它與越南和墨西哥等合作夥伴的貿易增長抵消了往返中國的貨運量下降的影響。在可以輕鬆替換商品的廣闊的全球市場中,製造商將吸收價格信號,然後轉向其他生商。這就是正在發生的事情,因為美國關提高了進口中國品的成本。結果是,即使增長急劇放緩,中美爭端也沒有使全球貿易水平發生任何實質變化。


更有趣的是中國的貿易模式變化。儘管美國的採購構仍接近長期趨勢,但中​​國在大多數品類型和地理合作夥伴中均呈現下降趨勢。截至今年9月,中國從世界其他地區的進口下降了5%。為什麼顯示出與美國如此的分歧?


有以下三個特定原因:

首先,中國經濟的增長速度遠低於6%的整體預期。從智能手機和汽車到洗衣機的消費品銷售正在下降或趨於喘定。日本和德國的精密機械等特種貿易品也有類似的下降,這些品發往中國市場,而不僅僅是作為最終出口到美國而輸入的商品。第二,似乎有一個有意識的計劃去替代進口, 即使國商品成本高得多,旨在有利於中國生者。澳大利亞等國家生的鐵礦石和煤炭比中國公司便宜。然而,這些商品的國出增長超過了進口的增長。無論是半導體還是大宗商品,中國都在執行一項計劃,以擺進口。第三,美元流動性不足限制了中國從事國際貿易的能力。執行上的漏洞削弱了實施外匯交易規則有效性,該規則限制了銀行只能在每進口一美元才可以匯出一美元至國外。中國的對外貿易只是收支平衡是不。它需要生大量盈餘來彌補這些漏洞。


多年來,中國推動了全球對許多原材料的需求,佔總量年增長率的50%以上。隨後的下降引出了巨大的附帶影響。對世界各地企業來, 問題在於這暫時的還是結構性的現象。由於經濟負債累累,經濟增長放緩以及人口迅速老齡化,幾乎不可能看到中國恢復到2015年前的擴張速度。


可以理解的是,有關貿易戰的頭條新聞吸引了人們的注意,但現實是較平淡而令人擔憂。無論雙邊貿易關係發生了什麼,世界都快到了中國快速增長時代的盡頭。

              So, the economy inside China is slowing down.

2019年11月19日 星期二

Sony invests 100 billion yen in new 5G semiconductor factory


Recently Nihon Keizai Shimbun electronic version reported the following:
ソニー、5Gにらみ半導体新工場 1000億円投資
エレクトロニクス IoT モバイル・5G
2019/10/29 18:00日本経済新聞 電子版

ソニーは国内4拠点で画像センサーを製造している(熊本県菊陽町の子会社工場)

ソニーはスマートフォンのカメラなどに使う半導体画像センサーの新工場を長崎県内に建設する。1000億円規模を投じ、2021年度にも稼働する。ソニーは画像センサーの世界首位で、スマホカメラの高機能化や次世代通信規格「5G」の普及を背景に成長が続くと判断した。あらゆるモノがネットにつながる「IoT」時代の基幹部品で日本企業が攻めの投資に出る。

画像センサーはデジタルカメラや撮影機材、産業用ロボットなど幅広く採用され、「電子の目」とも呼ばれる。5Gや自動運転の普及、工場の自動化で、画像や映像をやりとりする需要が増える中、中核的な役割を果たす画像センサーの市場拡大が見込まれている。

米調査会社ICインサイツによると、国別の半導体全体のシェアで日本は1990年に49%あったが、韓国や台湾などの企業の攻勢を受け、18年に7%まで落ち込んだ。一方、半導体のうち画像センサーは構造が複雑で従来型の製造業のノウハウが生かせるとされる。ソニーは商用化で先駆け、世界シェアの5割を握る。2位の韓国サムスン電子も投資に動く中、新工場建設で25年度までにシェアを6割に高めサムスンを突き放す狙いだ。

ソニーが工場を建設するのは長崎県諫早市の既存工場の隣接地。74800平方メートルの土地に建設し、スマホ向けの「CMOS(相補性金属酸化膜半導体)イメージセンサー」を量産する。

半導体の新工場は16年に東芝から大分県の工場を取得し稼働させて以来、約5年ぶり。ゼロからの工場建設は07年の熊本県の第2工場以来となる。


ソニーは国内4拠点でスマホカメラ用の画像センサーを生産し、生産能力(300ミリウエハー換算)は月10万枚程度。213月までに月13万枚に引き上げる計画を掲げている。これまで既存工場のライン増強や効率化に取り組んできたが、需要拡大に対応し新工場で生産能力を上積みする。能力は今後詰めるが、21年度から順次拡大し、最終的に月産数万枚規模になるとみられる。

新工場建設を決断した背景には、複数のカメラを搭載したスマホが定着し始めたことがある。米アップルの「iPhone」の最新機種では3眼のカメラが搭載されている。画像や動画を共有するインスタグラムなどのSNS(交流サイト)の広がりで5万円前後の中価格帯のスマホでも性能の高いカメラを搭載し始めた。ソニーの画像センサーへの引き合いは高まっている。

米調査会社IDCによると、19年のスマホ出荷台数は前年比2%減の137000万台にとどまるが、20年は4年ぶりの増加に転じる見通し。今後は5G対応スマホの普及に伴い、データ容量の大きい動画撮影の需要が高まると予想される。自動運転や工場のロボット需要の拡大が市場の拡大を後押しする。

ソニーの半導体事業を巡っては、米投資ファンドのサード・ポイントが分離・独立を要求しているが、ソニーは応じていない。同事業の193月期の営業利益は約1439億円で全体(連結調整前)の15%を占める。ソニーは新工場建設で画像センサーを本体の成長を担う事業と改めて位置づけ、サード・ポイントの要求を拒む姿勢が鮮明になる。

景気の先行指標とされる半導体を巡っては、5Gの普及を見据え投資を増やす動きが出ている。台湾積体電路製造(TSMC)は79月期に5四半期ぶりの営業増益となり、19年の設備投資を例年の45割増となる1.5兆~1.6兆円に上方修正した。

Translation

Sony to manufacture image sensors at four locations in Japan (a subsidiary factory in Kikuyo-cho, Kumamoto Prefecture)

Sony would build a new factory in Nagasaki for semi-conductor image sensors used in smartphone cameras. The company would invest 100 billion yen that could be operational in 2021. Sony was the world's top image sensor and had determined that growth might continue against the backdrop of higher-function smartphone cameras and the spread of the next-generation communication standard “5G”. Japanese companies were making aggressive investments in the key components of the IoT era where everything would be connected to the Internet.

Image sensors was widely used in digital cameras, photography equipment, industrial robots, etc., and were also called “electronic eyes”. With the spread of 5G, autonomous driving and the automation of factories, the markets for image sensors that could play a central role was expected to expand as demand for image and video exchange increased.

According to a US research company IC Insights, Japan accounted for 49% of the total semiconductor shared by all countries in 1990, but fell to 7% in 2018 due to the challenges from companies in Korea and Taiwan etc. On the other hand, the image sensor as a kind of semiconductors had a complicated structure, and it was expected that it could make use of conventional manufacturing know-how. Sony pioneered commercialization and held 50% of the world share. While South Korea Samsung Electronics, ranking second, was also investing, and the company aimed to push Samsung up to a 60% height in share by FY2015 by building a new factory.

Sony would build a factory next to an existing factory in Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture. It would be built on a 74,800 square meters of land and would mass-produce "CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensors" for smartphones.

This was the first semiconductor factory in 5 years since the acquisition of a factory in Oita Prefecture from Toshiba in 2016. Construction of the factory from scratch would be the first time since the second factory in Kumamoto Prefecture in 2007.

Sony produced image sensors for smartphone cameras at four locations in Japan, with a production capacity (300 mm wafer equivalent) of about 100,000 pieces per month. The plan was to raise the number to 130,000 per month by March 2021. Up to now, the company would be working on line enhancement and efficiency improvement of the existing plant, but it could increase production capacity at the new plant in response to growing demand. Although its capacity could be crammed from now on, it was expected to expand gradually from FY2021 and finally reach tens of thousands of sheets per month.

Behind the decision to build a new factory was that smartphones with multiple cameras had begun to take root. The latest Apple iPhone model had a three-lens camera. With the spread of social networking sites (SNS) such as Instagram that shared images and videos, high-performance cameras had begun to be installed even on mid-priced smartphones at around 50,000 yen. Inquiries for Sony's image sensors were growing.

According to a US research company IDC, the number of smartphone shipments in 2019 decreased by 2% from the previous year to 1.37 billion units, but in 2020 years it was expected to start to increase for the first time in 4 years. In the future, with the spread of 5G-compatible smartphones, it was expected that demand for moving images with large data capacity might increase. Autonomous driving and increased demand for factory robots could support market expansion.

Regarding Sony's semiconductor business, the Third Point, a US investment fund demanded Sony’s separation and independence, but Sony did not respond. Operating profit for this business in FY March /2019 was approximately 143.9 billion yen, accounting for 15% of the total (before adjustment for consolidation). Sony had re-positioned image sensors as a business responsible for the growth of the main body in the construction of a new factory, and the attitude of rejecting requests from Third Point became clear.

With regard to semiconductors, which were the leading indicators of the economy, there was a movement to increase investment in anticipation of the spread of 5G. Taiwan Mazda Electric Circuit Manufacturing (TSMC) increased its operating profit for the first time in five quarters in the July-September period, and revised upward its capital investment for 2019 to between 1.5 trillion and 1.6 trillion yen, a 40-50% increase over the previous year.

     So, Sony is investing heavily on the production of image sensors.

2019年11月17日 星期日

Two people in China were infected with pulmonary plague - a high-risk fulminant type


Recently CNN.co.jp reported the following:

中国で2人が肺ペストに感染、危険性高い劇症型
2019.11.14 Thu posted at 10:04 JST
 中国で2人が病原菌によって引き起こされるペストに感染した/ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

(CNN) 中国でこのほど2人が肺ペストと診断され、北京の病院で治療を受けている。当局が12日に明らかにした。

この地域でペストの患者が確認されたのは、今年に入ってこれで2度目。5月にはモンゴル人の夫婦が現地で療法食とされるマーモットの腎臓を生で食べ、腺ペストのため死亡していた。

新華社通信によると、今回感染が確認されたのは内モンゴルから来た2人の患者で、北京の病院で肺ペストと診断された。現在は北京の朝陽区にある病院で治療を受けており、当局は感染予防のための対策を講じた。


ペストは病原菌によって引き起こされる感染症で、ノミや動物を通じて感染する。症状は3種類に分類され、腺ペストはリンパ節が腫れ、敗血症型ペストは血液に感染、肺ペストは肺に感染する。

世界保健機関(WHO)によると、今回中国で患者が発生した肺ペストは特に危険性が高く激しい症状を伴い、治療しなければ確実に死に至る。

中世の欧州ではペストの流行で5000万人が死亡した。その後抗生剤が開発され、早期に治療を受ければほとんどは回復が見込めるようになった。それでもペストが消えることはなく、ここ数年は再び台頭する傾向にある。

WHOによると、2010~15年にかけて世界で報告された症例は3248例を超え、うち584人が死亡した。感染報告が多かった国の筆頭はコンゴ民主共和国(旧ザイール)、マダガスカル、ペルーの順だった。

米疾病対策センター(CDC)米国でも年間数人から数十人の症例が報告されている。

Translation

 (CNN) In China, two people had recently been diagnosed with pulmonary plague and were being treated at a hospital in Beijing. The authorities revealed this on the 12th.

This was the second time that a plague patient was confirmed in this region this year. In May, a Mongolian couple died of gland plague after eating an uncooked marmot kidney which was a local therapeutic diet.

According to Xinhua News Agency, infection was confirmed in two patients from Inner Mongolia who were diagnosed with lung plague at a hospital in Beijing. They were currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Chaoyang, Beijing, and authorities had taken steps on infection prevention.

This plague was an infectious disease caused by pathogenic bacteria and was transmitted through fleas and animals. Symptoms were classified into three types: the gland plague swollen lymph nodes, the septic plague infected the blood, and the lung plague infected the lung.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the lung plague that occurred in China this time was particularly dangerous and had severe symptoms that would surely cause death if not treated.

In medieval Europe, 50 million people died in the plague epidemic. Later, antibiotics were developed, and could expect a recovery if treated early. The plague never disappeared, and it was emerging again in recent years.

According to the WHO, there were more than 3,248 reported cases globally between 2010 and 2015, of which 584 people died. The countries with the most reported infection were the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Madagascar and Peru in descending order.

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported several to dozens of cases in the United States annually.

              So, if you are travelling in northern China, be careful of this infectious disease.

2019年11月12日 星期二

融冰重繪世界地圖並引發權力鬥爭


Yahoo News on 12 October 2019 reported the following -

Melting Ice Redraws the World Map and Starts a Power Struggle
Bloomberg Marc Champion, Bloomberg 23 hours ago

(Bloomberg) -- Melting ice is opening access to new energy resources faster than predicted, prompting a nascent great power struggle in the Arctic as the political and economic map of the world is transformed.

That, at least, is one picture that's being sharply drawn at this weekend’s Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland, a kind of Davos for the far north. The seven-year-old event is the largest annual forum for politicians, scientists, environmentalists and others to talk about the Arctic, including climate change, security and the exploitation of new oil and gas discoveries.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry called for “free nations” to resist attempts from those “that seek to dominate the Arctic from the outside,” an apparent reference to China, which calls itself a “near Arctic” power. Speaking at Thursday’s opening session, he also warned against countries trying to do the same through energy sales, an oblique dig at Russia.

Yet the attempt to rally U.S. allies faces an uphill battle as the Arctic emerges as a potential 21st century geopolitical flash-point in the way transportation routes like the Suez Canal were in the 20th.

Perry was followed on stage by Dmitry Artyukhov, the governor of the Yamal-Nenets region in Russia. He spelled out the growing international involvement in his region’s new and planned liquefied natural gas fields.

In the three years from 2016 to 2018, these have quadrupled Russia’s share of the global LNG market to 8%, from 2%, with much more growth to come. Investors so far include Total SA of France, CNOOC Ltd. and China National Petroleum Corp. of China, and Mitsui & Co. and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, of Japan. Further projects are already approved.

South Korea, meanwhile, is building ice-hardened LNG supertankers to ship the gas, at more than $300 million apiece. They can only deliver to Asia when Russia’s Northern Sea Route is relatively ice free. Still, this year it became navigable in August and traffic is still passing in October. The time-frame for when the passage will be consistently ice free is shrinking all the time. [sic]

Artyukhov was followed by a double act of diplomats from China and U.S. treaty ally South Korea, who talked about their tight trilateral cooperation on Arctic affairs with another U.S. treaty ally, Japan.

Asked if China might stop calling itself a near Arctic state in the light of U.S. opposition, Gao Feng, special representative for Arctic affairs in China’s foreign ministry, said simply: “No.”

We see the emergence in front of our eyes of a new economic, business and political map,” said former Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who founded and chairs the Arctic Circle Assembly.

What is happening now is first, the emergence of Asia as the leading source of economic growth in the 21st century, and second, the opening up of the Arctic which, combined with new technologies, is creating access to the oil and gas to supply that growth,” he said in an interview just ahead of the conference in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.

That emerging new world order was mapped out in a slide show on Friday morning by Henry Tillman, who runs Grisons Peak LLP, a London-based investment bank, and its research arm, China Investment Research. Projected onto the conference hall’s giant screen, he called it “Paving the Polar Silk Road.”

The Polar Silk Road is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and aims to reduce its trade logistics costs. Not only is the Northern Sea Route much shorter than current energy shipping lanes to Asia via the Indian Ocean and Suez Canal, there’s also less political risk, Tillman said. There’s nothing like the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, for example, where tension with Iran has escalated.

The U.S. has ambitions of its own to become one of the world’s leading LNG exporters. It’s projected to be producing 100 million tons of LNG by 2024, to Russia’s 63 million tons, but could face higher extraction and transport costs to get to export markets in Asia and Europe, according to Tillman.

That explains the aggressive stance the U.S. has taken against a planned natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe and toward Russia and China’s activities in the Arctic, said Grimsson, Iceland’s president from 1996 to 2016.

Shawn Bennett, deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas at the Department of Energy, said the U.S. was not concerned about competition. Growth projections for natural gas demand in India and other Asian countries are so high, and the need for supply diversification in Europe so acute that there’s little risk of a glut, he told Bloomberg. “Global demand for LNG is just going to grow,” he said.

The U.S. may be pushing back in more concrete ways. On September 30, the Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on units of China’s Cosco Shipping Corp., over alleged breaches of U.S. sanctions against Iran. The move immediately hit the Yamal projects LNG tanker routes because of Cosco’s share in one of the main shipping companies involved.

Still, for those who have been working in the Arctic for a long time, much of the geopolitical discussion sounds a little breathless. Last year, Russia’s Northern Sea Route carried 29 million tons of cargo, with projections rising to 90 million. The Suez Canal carries about 1 billion tons.

Ice floes are unpredictable even when retreating, and insurable risks for shipping through the polar ice can be significantly higher than in warmer seas, according to Janne Valkonen, who specializes in engineering ships and oil rigs for cold weather at DNV GL Group, a provider of maritime risk services.

Disputes, race, scramble – stop using these terms,” said Liv Monica Stubholt, a Norwegian lawyer with the firm Selmer AS, who advises companies on Arctic issues “There is no scramble for the Arctic. The biggest problem my clients have is attracting investment.”


Translation

(彭博)- 融冰正在以比預期更快的速度開放獲取新能源的途徑,隨著世界政治和經濟格局的變化,在北極引發了新生的大國鬥爭。

至少,這是本週末在冰島的北極圈大會上被透彻地製出的一幅写照,這是遙遠北方的達沃斯。這個成立了七年的活動是政治家,科學家,環保主義者和其他人談論北極的最大的年度論壇,包括氣候變化,安全性和新油氣發現的開發。

美國能源部長里克·佩里(Rick Perry)呼籲“自由國家”抵制那些“試圖從外部統治北極”的企圖,這顯然是指中國,中國自稱為“近北極”大國。在周四的開幕式上,他還警告各國不要試圖通過能源銷售來達到同樣效應,這是對俄羅斯的一種間接嘲諷。

然而,北極成為21世紀潛在的地緣政治爆發點,将使試圖集結美國盟國的努力面臨艱鉅的戰鬥。正如在20世紀蘇伊士運河出現成運輸路線。

佩里之後是俄羅斯亞馬爾·涅涅茨地區總督德米特里·阿秋霍夫(Dmitry Artyukhov)上台。他詳細明了國際對該地區新的及在計劃中的液化天然氣田的參與。

2016年到2018年的三年中,俄羅斯在全球液化天然氣市場中的份額從2%增長到了8%,並会有更多的增。迄今為止,投資者包括法國道達爾公司,中海油有限公司和中國石油天然氣集團公司,以及日本的三井物和日本石油天然氣金屬公司。更多的項目已經被批准。

與此同時,韓國正在建造冰硬化的液化天然氣超級油輪,以運送天然氣,每艘造價超過3億美元。它們只能在俄羅斯的北海航線在相對無冰的時候才運送到亞洲。不過,今年八月已通航,十月仍能暢通無阻。通道始終保持無冰狀態的時間框架一直在縮小 [sic]

阿圖霍夫(Artyukhov)之後是來自中國和美國的條約盟國 - 韓國 - 的外交官的雙重行動,他們談到一起與另一美國條約盟國日本在北極事務上的緊密三邊合作。

當被問及中國是否會根據美國的反對而不再自稱是北極國家時,中國外交部北極事務特別代表高峰簡單地:“不。”

創建北極圈議會並擔任主席的冰島前總統奧拉維爾·拉格納·格里姆森“我們看到了新的經濟,商業和政治地圖的出現”

他在會前在冰島首都雷克雅未克接受采訪時 “現在發生的事情是,首先,亞洲成為21世紀經濟增長的主要來源,其次,北極的開放,結合新技術,創造了石油和天然氣的供應渠道的增長”

這個新興的新世界秩序是由Henry Tillman經營的倫敦的投資銀行Grisons Peak LLP及其研究機構 - 中國投資研究部 - 在周五上午用幻燈片放映中呈現。他投影在會議廳的大屏幕上稱其為“鋪設極地絲綢之路”。

極地絲綢之路是中國“一帶一路”倡議的一部分,旨在降低其貿易物流成本。蒂爾曼,北海航線不僅比目前通過印度洋和蘇伊士運河前往亞洲的能源運輸通道短得多,而且政治風險也較小。例如,沒有像在海灣地的區霍爾木茲海峽有與伊朗緊張局勢升級的

美國有雄心壯志,成為世界領先的液化天然氣出口國之一。 Tillman表示,到2024年,該國的LNG量預計將達到1億噸,俄羅斯將達到6300萬噸,但要進入亞洲和歐洲的出口市場,可能面臨更高的開采和運輸成本。

在冰島由1996 2016當總統的格里姆森,這解釋了美國在面對俄羅斯接駁到歐洲的天然氣管道的計劃,以及俄羅斯和中國在北極的活動採取激進立場的理由。

能源部石油與天然氣副部長助理肖恩·本特(Shawn Bennett)表示,美國並不擔心競爭。他對彭博社,印度和其他亞洲國家對天然氣需求的增長預測是如此之高,而歐洲對供應多樣化的需求是如此緊迫,以至於幾乎沒有供過於求的風險。他:“全球對液化天然氣的需求將不斷增長。”

美國可能會以更具體的方式進行反擊。 930日,美國財政部因中國涉嫌違反美國對伊朗的製裁措施,對中國遠洋運輸公司的各部門實施了製裁。此舉立即衝擊了雅瑪律專案的液化天然氣油輪航線,因為中遠所占份額涉及其中一間主要航運公司。

但是,對於那些在北極工作了很長時間的人來,許多地緣政治討論聽起來有些喘不過氣來。去年,俄羅斯的北海航線運載了2900萬噸貨物,預計將增至9000萬噸。蘇伊士運河運載約10億噸。

在從事海風險服務公司的DNV GL Group工作, 而專門開發寒冷天气使用工的程船和石油鑽機的Janne Valkonen認為,浮冰即使在撤退時也是無法預測,況且经过極地冰的運輸的可保風險可能比在溫暖的海域高得多。

 Selmer AS公司的挪威律師Liv Monica Stubholt “停止使用這些術語: 爭端,種族,略奪” 。他職责是在北極問題上向公司提供諮詢意見 -- “北極沒有爭奪。我的客面臨的最大問題是吸引投資。”

       So, North Pole passage could become another flash-point for world powers to fight for resources.