People's Republic of China (PRC) : News & Discussions

Picdelamirand-oil

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I was responsible for supervising the Megajoule Laser and I will explain a little bit about the operation and usefulness of this high-energy physics instrument.

First of all, this instrument does not allow themo nuclear weapons to be tested. Its purpose is to conduct experiments to verify the validity of the simulation codes that will be used to design new thermo nuclear weapons. But it can also be used to validate civil codes for designing reactors that use fusion to produce electricity.

So the aim is to compare theoretical results with real experience in order to make precise measurements that can be compared with the predictions of the theory to validate or invalidate this theory.

In general, the theory is partially confirmed, i. e. it gives values closer to reality than in the last experiment but with progress to be made on this or that parameter and the experiment gives the values to be reached, which facilitates the search for improvements.

When the results are satisfactory, validated codes can be used to design new weapons.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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The Megajoule Laser was initially planned as having 240 lasers that had to concentrate their energy on a deuterium/Tritium pellet to implode it, which increases the temperature and pressure that the deuterium/tritium will undergo. It was reduced to 176 lasers only because we had made a pessimistic assumption in the conversion efficiency between the initial infrared light and the final ultraviolet light (by passing through KDP crystals).

When we measured the actual efficiency we obtained, we reduced the number of lasers in order to reduce the cost while meeting the specifications of the energy deposited on the target.

A megajoule does not represent a lot of energy, but concentrating this energy in a very short time is a very important power.
The energy of the megajoule laser is concentrated over a duration of 20 nano seconds with an accuracy of 15 picoseconds, giving a power of about 0.5 petawatts.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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The aim is to check the validity of the equations under conditions of temperature and pressure close to those that allow thermonuclear fusion. To achieve this goal there is no need to go beyond certain values but neither should it be below what is necessary. The power of the megajoule laser has been calculated to reach the useful area where we can verify the equations that interest us.

This requires that the Lawson criterion be met, i.e. that the product obtained by multiplying the temperature, density and containment time gives a value that exceeds that of the Lawson criterion.

Temperature and density are obtained by increasing the laser power, and we know how to make very powerful lasers, in France we have combined the megajoule laser (176 lasers in reality) with a single laser whose power exceeds the Petawatt!

But these very powerful lasers have even shorter pulses than the megajoule laser so that the Lawson criterion will not be reached because the too short duration of the confinement time will decrease the product of the three parameters of the criterion.

And since a power multiplied by a time is an energy, this explains why we gave this name to the megajoule laser.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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For experiments to be useful, not only power and energy but also precision are needed. However, a Z machine is not as precise as lasers.

So I will explain what the need for precision is.

The megajoule laser is first of all a large installation and the processes we are trying to carry out are extremely concentrated in space-time. From the point of view of space, each laser must aim not at a grain of rice but at a point on the grain of rice so that the radiation pressure is isotropic.

From the time point of view, it is always necessary to fire at the same time to safeguard the isotropy. When we say at the same time it means for a time such that the light advances less than 3 mm (much less if possible) it is short.

On the scales I have just described, nothing is rigid. To make the problems "feel", you have to imagine that the installation is made of chewing gum and that you have to shoot precisely. So you have to model the movements to be able to predict the situation at the time of the shooting.

We take into account the wind, the sun and the waves that hit 40 km away on the coast. To simplify the problem a little bit, the 85,000 m^2 of the installation is thermostat-controlled to an accuracy of 1 degree C.

And an installation like this one is subject to maintenance interventions. But suppose that everything is well synchronized (at 3 mm light eh). For maintenance reasons you change a cable ======> your installation is now out of sync. So there is a system to adjust the synchronization, but there are thousands of kilometres of cable.

All these cables and other components as well as spare parts must be characterized and managed with a computer-aided maintenance system.
 

RISING SUN

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Muslim poet fears for his people as China ‘Sinicizes’ religion
Cui Haoxin is too young to remember the days of his people’s oppression under Mao Zedong. The 39-year-old poet was born after the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, when the Hui _ China’s second-largest Muslim ethnic group _ were among the masses tormented by the Red Guard.

In the years since, the Hui (pronounced HWAY) generally have been supportive of the government and mostly spared the kind of persecution endured by China’s largest Muslim group, the Uighur. There are signs, though, that that is changing. Cui fears both that history may be repeating itself and for his own safety as he tries to hold the ruling Communist Party accountable.

In August, town officials in the Hui region of Ningxia issued a demolition order for the landmark Grand Mosque in Weizhou, though they later backed off in the face of protests.

More recently, authorities in nearby Gansu province ordered closed a school that taught Arabic, the language of the Quran and other Islamic religious texts. The school had employed and served mainly Hui since 1984. And a Communist Party official from Ningxia visited Xinjiang, center of Uighur oppression, to “study and investigate how Xinjiang fights terrorism and legally manages religious affairs.”

China under President Xi Jinping is clamping down on minorities, tightening control over a wide spectrum of religious and political activity. In some places, a campaign to “Sinicize” religion has prompted authorities to seize Bibles, remove the “halal” designation from food products, demolish churches and strip mosques of loudspeakers and Islamic crescents and domes.

Cui has spoken out against government intrusions. He is working on a novel with a nightmarish plot: believers are brutalized by demons in a Cultural Revolution in Hell. “The Muslims resisted and tried to protect the mosque,” he said, describing the work. “They failed.” He worries that violence lies ahead.

“One has dignity. For a person, it is his or her bottom-line.” he said. “If the persecution is too unbearable, if something happens, as I said, there could be a disaster.”

Cui speaks eloquently about his people, who claim descent from Persian and Arab traders who came to China 1,300 years ago.


The 10 million Hui living across China generally speak Mandarin _ Cui is a former teacher of the standard Chinese dialect _ and follow many Chinese cultural practices. They enjoy relative freedom of worship compared to the Uighurs, some of whom call the Hui “tawuz,” which means watermelon in the Uighur’s Turkic language.

“Green or Islamic on the outside, and red or Communist on the inside,” writes University of Toronto professor Isabelle Cote in a study on Uighur attacks on Hui in Xinjiang from 2009 to 2013. Farther back, Hui served Chinese emperors as shock troops repressing Uighur rebellions.

In Beijing, Arabic signs mark Hui bakeries, teahouses, halal restaurants and a thousand-year old mosque bustling with activity in the historically Islamic neighborhood of Niujie.

Ma Changli, who has run a butcher shop in the enclave for the past five years, said police help provide security for Friday prayers at the mosque.

“Our country has always been pretty supportive to our worship,” the 39-year-old butcher said, standing in front of an Islamic inscription and hanging lamb and beef racks.

While the Hui face prejudice from the Han Chinese majority, they are proud to be Chinese and have a “positive outlook for the future,” said David Stroup, a University of Oklahoma professor who met Hui across China in 2016.

Many saw an opportunity in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a $1 trillion trade and infrastructure initiative that runs across several Muslim-majority nations in central Asia and Africa, he said. They aspired to become middlemen on a revived Silk Road linking China with Islamic nations.

“It was going to be an opportunity for the Hui to play an important role as ambassadors to the Islamic world,” Stroup said.

It came as a shock, he said, when new regulations targeted the practices of Hui alongside those of other religious groups earlier this year. Stroup said the shift has dampened optimism in a community that saw language and religion as links to trading partners in the Muslim world.

Tension bubbled up in August in Weizhou, a dusty Muslim-majority town in China’s northwestern “Quran Belt.”

The town’s pride and joy is a gleaming white mosque with four minarets and nine domes tipped with crescent moons that dwarfs a surrounding warren of brick and concrete homes.

Officials issued a demolition order for the Grand Mosque, alleging it had been “illegally expanded” and adding that 1.07 million yuan ($154,765) from foreign sources had been received by four local mosques _ financing that would be illegal under Chinese law.

Hundreds of Hui flocked to the mosque’s courtyard for a rarity in China: a political protest. City authorities detained AP journalists and prevented them from conducting interviews at the mosque.

The protesters’ success was even rarer. The mosque remained unscathed, if draped in a banner reading in Chinese: “Stick to directives of Sinicized religion.”

Weeks later, a top Communist propaganda official in Ningxia blamed the incident on “an oversimplified administrative decision” by local authorities.

“It originally should not have happened,” Bai Shangcheng, director-general of the regional Communist Party department that oversees religious groups, said at a news conference in Beijing.

Dissent simmered quietly in the Hui community after the mosque incident, according to Cui, who circumvented China’s internet censorship to tweet about the protest and feed video to a Turkish television station.

In late November, the Communist Party-run Global Times reported that Ningxia had signed an anti-terrorism cooperation agreement with Xinjiang during a visit by Ningxia Communist Party head Zhang Yunsheng.

China has set up a vast security apparatus in Xinjiang with pervasive police checkpoints and surveillance cameras. By some estimates, more than 1 million Uighurs and Kazakhs have been detained in internment camps in a crackdown on extremism. Two former camp detainees have told the AP that some Hui have been swept up in the clampdown too.

The order to close the Arabic language school came early this month, the Global Times reported. An unnamed expert in Beijing told the newspaper that teaching Arabic sometimes arouses public concern if it crosses over into preaching religious content.

The article quoted China’s education law: “The State separates education from religion.”

Cui is one of the few Chinese citizens disturbed enough _ and brave enough _ to criticize the Communist Party openly. For that, he has experienced censorship, detention, and “home visits” by police.

He spoke to The Associated Press at his home in Jinan, a city in eastern China where his family traces its roots back five centuries. Skyscrapers dwarf old mosques and boisterous halal restaurants with gold domes, Arabic script and crescents.

He doesn’t drink alcohol or eat pork, but neither does he pray five times a day. His bedside table is stacked with poetry and novels, not religious books. Hanging in the living room is a framed red embroidery by his mother of the Islamic profession of faith in yellow Arabic stitching.

It was underneath this tapestry that police entered his home earlier this year to demand he stop criticizing the government online. Cui posts attacks on Beijing’s policies related to Muslims in China and abroad, such as the government’s support of Myanmar despite widespread criticism of its treatment of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority.

A few months later, on Nov. 27, police brought him to the local Public Security Bureau for a few hours of questioning. A recent Human Rights Watch report said that China started in November “targeting Twitter users in China as part of a nationwide crackdown on social media.” Cui refused to stop or delete his tweets.

Sixty years ago, Communist Party cadres descended on the historically Hui city of Linxia to excise “superstitions” in the city in a “struggle against the privileges of feudalism and religion,” according to a 2016 book by Matthew Erie, an Oxford University professor of modern China studies.

Red Guards lit bonfires with wood from demolished mosques and tombs, Erie writes in “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law.” They forced Muslims to wear signs reading “enemies of the state.”


Cui fears the current crackdown on religion will return China to those days of blood. At a teahouse in Jinan, as steam from his jasmine tea mixes with the scent from a tray of sweets, he recites from his poem “Letter from Prison:” “It seems like I can see the bulldozer running wild in the Thousand and One Nights. The angel upon my shoulder urges me: `Tell the truth under the grey sky.”’
Muslim poet fears for his people as China ‘Sinicizes’ religion
 

RISING SUN

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China could put reforms on hold to boost economy: analysts
President Xi Jinping hailed China’s “reconstructive reforms” in a New Year speech, but the sorely needed changes could be put on ice in favor of averting a potentially devastating economic downturn.

The way ahead is further complicated by a volatile trade dispute with the US that — if unresolved — will add to the burden of Beijing’s policymakers as they seek to fuel an economy that is running out of steam.

Beijing has for years come under pressure to introduce much-needed reforms to the country’s infrastructure and lumbering state-owned enterprises as part of a drive to tackle a burdensome debt mountain and transform its growth engine from investment and exports to domestic consumption.

But Gene Fang from ratings agency Moody’s said: “When trade-offs between reforms and growth arise, we expect that the priority will more often be given to supporting growth.”

Ten years ago China unleashed the full power of its financial arsenal by introducing massive stimulus measures, which helped Beijing avert the worst of the financial crisis engulfing the rest of the world.

However, that helped sow the seeds of today’s economic troubles, with debt at alarming levels and necessary economic reforms not addressed as leaders focused on maintaining stable growth and employment.

Now, with the global economy stuttering, a slowdown in key export markets is denting a crucial source of income while the country is also struggling with a plethora of structural problems such as an aging — and now shrinking — population, a dwindling pool of rural workers, overcapacity and air pollution.

And then there is the trade war with the US, which has magnified the problems while sending shudders through global markets.

“The Chinese economy is struggling, the debt mess is unresolved and the impact from the US tariffs has barely begun,” said Bill Bishop, an expert on China, who added the Communist Party will do “everything it can to juice the economy” with “multiple forms of stimuli.”

“Whether or not significant economic reforms will now also be forthcoming, and not just more promises, is the trillion-dollar question,” he said.

Xi and US President Donald Trump may have agreed a temporary truce in their multi-billion-dollar standoff — and Beijing Friday announced face-to-face talks would begin next week — but there is little optimism the row will be brought to an end any time soon.

In the absence of a breakthrough in current negotiations, “the US-China trade conflict will weigh on growth in China and on the wider Asia-Pacific region, via a slowdown in Chinese demand,” according to analysts Oxford Economics.

The impact of the trade row came in to full view this week when Apple announced a shock cut in its revenue forecast for the December quarter blaming the steeper-than-expected “economic deceleration” in China and emerging markets and citing the China-US frictions.

While analysts still believe China — which last month celebrated 40 years since opening up to the world — should still achieve its growth target of 6.5 percent for 2018, that would be the weakest rate in almost three decades.
That after an average growth rate of 9.7 percent a year between 1978 and 2015.

Raymond Deng, an analyst at Singapore-based DBS Bank, said the government must raise domestic consumption and inject “sufficient” cash into the market, while “eliminating state-owned enterprises with backward production capacity.”

But with a debt crisis brewing, authorities have decided against 2008-like stimulus, instead opting for a series of separate measures including making it easier for banks to lend and much-hyped tax cuts.

Some sectors saw a one percent drop in VAT and taxpayers will in 2019 benefit from deductions in education, critical health care and mortgage repayments, while the rate at which tax kicks in has also been raised.

“If the tax reduction plan is implemented well, it cannot only boost corporate profits and household consumption in the short term, but also improve the economic structure in the long run,” said Zhu Chaoping, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Meanwhile, Beijing University economics professor Su Jian believes support for consumption requires a rise and a “better distribution” of household income, as well as increased health, education and social support to steer people away from precautionary saving.

He also points out that China’s GDP per capita is about one-eighth of that of the US. “The development margin is still large... the GDP can still grow seven percent for 20 years,” he said. However, for many economists wealth generation could continue to weaken. Zhu expected “a GDP increase of around five percent across the next 10 to 15 years,” while Capital Economics expected the growth rate to even decline to two percent by 2030.
China could put reforms on hold to boost economy: analysts
 

BMD

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Dec 4, 2017
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Ah, they've started building stuff again. You've have to love their technique. Build your way to conquest.
 

RISING SUN

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6 dead, hundreds of firefighters battle blaze after explosion at Chinese pesticide plant
  • Children among injured as blast at Chenjiagang Tianjiayi chemical plant damages nearby residential buildings, school and vehicles
  • Magnitude 2.2 earthquake detected in the province


Hundreds of firefighters have been mobilised to contain a fire caused by a blast at a pesticide plant in Jiangsu province on Thursday. Photo: Chinanews.com

More than 900 firefighters are battling a blaze that erupted after a powerful explosion ripped through a pesticide plant in eastern China on Thursday, killing at least six people and badly injuring dozens of others, including children.

State-run news agency Xinhua reported that the blast occurred at a plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical at the Chenjiagang Industrial Park in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, just before 3pm.

The explosion was so powerful that the China Earthquake Administration reported that it had detected a magnitude 2.2 earthquake believed to be from the blast.

“Workers were trapped after buildings were knocked down by the shock wave, which also shattered windows of nearby homes,” Xinhua reported. “Witnesses said many workers were seen running out of the factory covered in blood after the blast.”

Dozens of people were injured in an explosion at the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant on Thursday. Photo: China news.com

The Yangtse Evening Post reported that windows of nearby residential buildings and a school were shattered and dozens of cars parked nearby were badly damaged. Many people were injured by the flying debris and residents helped to take the injured to hospital, it said.

Shanghai-based news outlet Thepaper.cn reported that 176 fire trucks and 928 firefighters were at the scene and at least 31 seriously injured people had been rescued.
6 dead after explosion at Chinese pesticide plant