Amid protests by Japan's neighbours, China and South Korea, as well as by environmentalists about Japan's impending release of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japanese academic Koji Okamoto explains that the radioactive substance “tritrium” present in the treated water to be released is naturally present in the environment. In fact, the release of the treated water is of negligible impact compared to the originally present tritium or tritium being released in currently operational nuclear power plants around the world.
With just about six months to go to the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai, how is China stepping up its transition to a low-carbon economy and is it on track to achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060?
China’s auto market has been rattled by a brutal price war since late last year amid slowing sales. Sales of electric vehicles have plunged since a government subsidy expired at the end of last year and as consumers remain hesitant about spending.
The Chinese government has set targets for hydrogen-powered vehicles and diverse uses of hydrogen until 2035 as part of its push to get industries to shift to clean energy. However, given the processes and costs involved, it remains to be seen whether the initiative will gather enough momentum.
Until now, China has held a dominant position in the global industrial chain from cathode materials to EV battery manufacturing and vehicle production, supplying nearly half of global core products. But with a major restructuring underway, it will have to tackle rising costs, supply chain shortfalls and the need to tailor resources for different markets.
China lacks sufficient reserves of strategic minerals. The country's strategic mineral reserves, including iron, copper, aluminum, nickel and lithium, equals less than 20% of the world’s total, while the country accounts for more than half of global consumption of cobalt, aluminum and copper. What are China's options?
Energy security and ensuring that oil and gas retain a significant share of the global energy mix for some time to come are strong ties that bind China-Saudi Arabia relations. Coupled with collaborative opportunities in growth areas such as renewable energy and electricity generation, their partnership seems to be going from strength to strength.
This year’s dramatic geopolitical changes have significantly altered the calculus for foreign investment in China as large European enterprises are increasingly taking the lead and Japanese businesses are retreating in manufacturing and advancing in services. American companies, on the other hand, are frozen as the US government imposes tough sanctions on China’s tech sector and as manufacturers weigh strategic moves back to the US.
As energy prices soar in Europe, the continent has been turning to China to get it through the approaching winter, from purchasing electric blankets and thermal stockings to importing natural gas. Zaobao’s China Desk explores the geopolitical factors involved and how Europe is both dependent on China and resistant to this dependence.