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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘China’

Did Apple Sell Out Its Clients in China and Abroad?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Apple has reportedly given Beijing access to the software used in its iPhones.

Aside from the obvious invasion of privacy the company has authorized with this action, there is a question of whether Apple has also now invited the Chinese government to indulge in further corporate hacking attempts within the United States.

The move was officially meant to allow the Chinese government to conduct “security inspections” allegedly intended to ensure the privacy of its citizens.

A report published in the Beijing News claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook authorized the security checks, which reportedly were also to ensure that foreign governments could not use the iPhones within China for surveillance.

However, the Chinese government is also believed to have performed “man-in-the-middle attacks” on citizens using iCloud and similar tools, Pando.com reported.

Numerous nations have rushed to begin doing business with Beijing in the past several years, including the State of Israel. But as the world hurtles towards the mammoth Asian market that dangles in the East, the apparently forgotten difference in culture and mentality is a chasm equally wide.

“This would mark the first time Apple and China have conspired to compromise the security and privacy of people outside the country,” Nathaniel Mott wrote in his Jan. 23, 2015 article on the website. “But it’s not the first time people inside China have had to worry about Apple’s cozy relationship with the government.”

Mott has written previously about Apple and its iPhones in China, explaining that Beijing expects to receive any data it requests from companies with servers on its territory. Apple revealed in August 2014 that it stores customer data in China through a partnership with China Telecom, a state-owned wireless service provider, Mott wrote.

“Some fear Apple may have provided the source code to the operating system used in its iPhones and iPads. If that’s true, the security of those devices has been severely harmed,” he warned. “Percy Alpha, a member of the GreatFire censorship watchdog, told Quartz that it could allow China to discover vulnerabilities in Apple’s software that it could later exploit.”

Google has struggled with the Beijing government since 2006, when it first launched its search function in China, to maintain a semblance of autonomy for users.

At present the ruling Communist party at various times of the year forces internet users to fully identify themselves to service providers, and periodically blocks international versions of the search engine. Also blocked in China at those times are Picasa, Maps, Translate and Calendar.

“China currently uses every method of censorship in the book,” notes GreatFire, “from bandwidth throttling, keyword filtering and site blocking to the wholesale intimidation of the press.”

Business experts contend, however, that such tight censorship can only be maintained for so long, before the country’s economic needs outweigh its demand for control.

A ‘Wall of Blue’ Bids Farewell to NYPD 1st Detective Wenjian Liu

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Wenjian Liu, the first Chinese-American cop in New York to be killed in the line of duty, was honored in his home 84th precinct Sunday with a sea of blue stretching “as far as the eye could see.”

Among the crowd were representatives from all the Jewish first response and security teams, as well as many Jewish civilian residents of Brooklyn. “Hakaras hatov” – acknowledging and thanking someone for the good they’ve done – was the reason given over and over when asked why they came.

Tearfully, Liu’s young widow Pei Xia Chen thanked the tens of thousands who gathered to grieve with her.

“He is my soul mate… an incredible husband, son, co-worker and friend; my best friend. As the only son, the Number One Son, he was extremely close [to] and respected his parents, of course,” she added. “One his many passions was being a police officer. He took pride in the fact that he was NYPD… I thank you, my extended family, my family of blue.”

The couple had wed only two months prior to Liu’s death. The 32-year-old police officer, promoted posthumously to first detective, had been on the job for seven years. Together with his parents he emigrated from China 20 years ago, with a dream to become a cop.

In addition to Sunday’s funeral, Liu’s family was to hold private ceremonies in the Buddhist and Chinese traditions as well.

“God bless America. God bless NYPD. You are the best!” Liu’s father said in a broken voice after delivering a eulogy in Chinese.

In addition to his wife, his father, cousins and city officials, a police chaplain and FBI Director James Comey spoke.

“These are our most difficult days,” Comey said. “I make far too many calls [like these] … 115 police officers killed this year, a shocking increase over 2013. I do not understand evil, I cannot understand evil. Our obligation is to do good, to honor this good man and do everything to protect those who would protect us. They want to do good for other people.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was to have spoken as well, but his own father passed away on New Year’s Day and arrangements for the wake and funeral, which are to take place Monday and Tuesday, were still being made.

With reddened eyes and a husky voice, Police Commissioner William Bratton expressed the feelings of the “thousands upon thousands” of officers standing outside a Brooklyn funeral home on a “very gray morning.” He commented that Liu was about to join his partner, “his partner for all time,” First Detective Rafael Ramos – also promoted posthumously –to be laid to rest. The two were executed by deranged gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley while eating lunch in their squad car. Brinsley turned the gun on himself right after.

“Liu believed in the possibility of a city free from fear,” Bratton told his family, who had traveled from China to attend the funeral. “The NYPD has done that for millions upon millions of citizens of this city.”

Addressing the tens of thousands of officers, Bratton went on to explain: “He left China at age 12, and his parents worked hard; his father was a garment worker in Queens. Liu called himself Joe and was on the way to becoming an accountant on 9/11, the day Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers.” That event changed his life, and inspired Liu to become a cop instead.

“The NYPD looks like the city it serves,” Bratton noted. “Our heroes are from everywhere too.” He listed the departed and the lands from which they had emigrated to America. Ramos and Liu came last.

China to Send Two Giant Pandas to Israel

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Chinese government has agreed to send two giant pandas to the Haifa Zoo if Chinese panda experts agree that the conditions there will be appropriate for the animals, according to Haaretz.

The conditions include providing the appropriate food, a certain kind of bamboo, and the zoo must also build a special habitat for the pandas.

A delegation from the Haifa Zoo must visit China to observe the rare animal, which is considered an endangered species.

Haifa and the Chinese city of Chengdu signed a sister-city agreement last week, according to Israel HaYom.

China has used “panda diplomacy” for hundreds of years to strengthen ties with other countries.

China and Israel Sharing Market Opportunities

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

One of Israel’s most influential business conferences, the 12th Go4Israel Conference was held this week on Tuesday, October 27th at the Hilton Tel Aviv, and placed particular attention on China. Over 1,000 participants took part in the conference including international and local entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders.

“The conference reflects Israel’s role in bringing the world’s West and East economies together. With an increasing presence of China in Israel’s business scene, we can help enhance global relationships between investors and entrepreneurs, mainly from Europe, China and Israel,” said the French-born Edouard Cukierman, the chairman and founder of Cukierman & Co. Investment House, which organized the conference along with its private equity fund, Catalyst Fund. Cukierman & Co. Investment House Ltd. heads Israel’s largest investment team and has been involved for the past 20 years in raising €4 billion in transactions, much of it for Israeli startups and mature companies.

“Israel has always been the center of attraction for investors and entrepreneurs from around the world,” Cukierman added.

Hong Kong property tycoon Ronnie Chan agrees. Chan, chairman of the Hang Lung Group, received the Go4Israel achievement prize at this year’s Go4Israel conference in honor of his contribution to strengthening the business and political relationship between China and Israel.

“Israel is at the center of the world,” Chan told Tazpit News Agency. “Geographically and historically, this region has always been at the center,” he told Tazpit.

Chan, a devout Christian, has been visiting Israel frequently in the past 36 years and has brought many delegations of major Chinese business leaders and entrepreneurs to introduce to Israeli high-tech companies.

A featured speaker at the conference and one of the participants in the Go4China panel, Chan spoke of what initially sparked China’s interest in Israel. “Chinese businessmen are intrigued by Israel, both Christians and atheists. The book, Start-Up Nation, was read widely throughout China and really did a lot for Israel,” Chan said during a panel discussion about the rise of China in Israel’s business agenda.

According to Cukierman, China has acquired $7 billion in Israeli assets in the past three years.

This year alone, the Chinese equity-investment management and financial-services company, Yongjin Group Inc., has invested between $15 million and $20 million into Israel’s Pitango Venture Capital. In late August, Chinese computer maker, Lenovo Group Ltd. invested $10 million in venture fund Canaan Partner Israel, affiliated with the American-based Canaan Partners. Ping An Venture has made six investments in Israeli startups, following the creation of a $100 million fund dedicated to U.S. and Israel tech venture. Ping An Venture also invested in a new fund set up by Israel’s Carmel Ventures capital firm, as did Chinese Internet search engine, Baidu,

“We are firm believers of combining two market places – China and Israel, together,” said Shengyan Fan, the managing partner of the Catalyst CEL Fund, a joint venture between China Everbright Limited and Cuckierman, during the panel discussion. “I’m really happy to be here – I’ve been to Israel many times in the last two years and look forward to achieving mutual goals together,” she said.

Other panel discussions dealt with the place of Europe in Israel’s business agenda, opportunities and risks in the global and local real estate market, and the image of Israel abroad.

Chan related that during the past summer war, a Chinese delegation of businessmen had visited Israel. “Even with Hamas firing rockets, not one member of the delegation wanted to leave,” said Chan. “They were too intrigued by Israel. These businessmen have become Israel’s friends for life now.”

First Time: Iran, China Begin Joint Naval Drills

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

For the first time ever, Iran and China have begun joint naval drills in the Persian Gulf.

“Discussing and studying the two countries’ naval relief and rescue operations and drills, confronting sea incidents and accidents, and gaining the necessary technical preparedness, are among the actions to be practiced with the Chinese army forces,” Admiral Amir Hossein Azad, commander of Iran’s First Naval Zone said Saturday, according to the FARS news agency.

“The voyage of the Chinese army’s fleet of warships for the first time in the Persian Gulf waters is aimed at joint preparation of Iran and China for establishing peace, stability, tranquility and multilateral and mutual cooperation,” Azad said.

Last year Iranian ships traveled to the Sea of China “to deliver Iran’s message of peace and friendship to the Chinese,” FARS reported.

A few days ago the Iranian Navy stopped pirates from attacking a Chinese vessel in the Gulf of Aden, the news agency reported. The container ship was allegedly en route from Singapore to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) at the time of the attack.

The Iranian Navy has deployed ships in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, since November 2008 “to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.” In 2008, an Iranian chartered cargo ship was attacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Yemen.

Beijing buys oil from Iran and advocates on behalf of Tehran at the United Nations Security Council, as well as during nuclear talks with the P5+1 (five permanent members of the Council plus Germany). China is one of Iran’s most reliable trading partners, according to The Diplomat, allowing Tehran to maintain its currency and evade damage from sanctions.

This year Beijing even increased its import of Iranian oil by 48 percent in the first half of 2014. But the United States is partly to blame: the State Department issued an exemption from sanctions to China, in exchange for reduced purchases of Iranian crude oil. The waivers, renewed in mid-2014, appear to have encouraged the Chinese to increase their import of Iranian ultralight oil, rather than decrease their purchases. The two countries also trade other items, including arms.

Hamas Used Chinese Excavating Machine to Dig Tunnels

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Hamas was able to dig tunnels for terrorists at the rate of several yards a day, thanks to an electric excavation machine made in China.

The IDF previously has said it took Hamas up to five years to build some of the tunnels, but Tuesday’s report by Israel Defense of the excavation machine indicates that it took far less time to dig into Israeli territory.

The more sophisticated tunnels were paved with cement, one of the items that Israel allowed into Gaza for “humanitarian” purposes of building homes and public facilities, which for Hamas means storehouses and factories for rockets and tunnels, paved with cement s that terrorists can run quickly with heavy arms to attack Jews.

It is not known whether the excavation machine arrived in Gaza by way of Egypt or from Gaza, but it obviously could be claimed it was needed by Hamas to expedite excavations for houses, schools and hospitals. Instead, the machine went to work to work to expand Hamas’ terror tunnel system with the Chinese-made machine that has three 40-inch diameter blades.

The exposure of a tunnel near Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha during the war revealed details of the machine and as well as thousands of feet of electrical cables.

The IDF has said it has destroyed all of the tunnels that are known.

The unanswered questions now or not only if there are more tunnels, but also if Hamas is digging more tunnels with the excavation machine during the ceasefire.

Israel, China Ministers Meet, Plan Hi-Tech Collaboration

Friday, July 4th, 2014

As part of ongoing efforts to advance economic ties between Israel and China, an inter-ministerial task force led by Israel’s National Economic Council along with a team from the Israeli Ministry of Economy headed by Chief Scientist Avi Hasson is meeting with Chinese counterparts from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to create opportunities for collaboration between Israeli and Chinese companies.

The Chinese delegation, headed by Mr. Ren Zhiwu – Deputy Director-General of the Hi-Tech Industry Department of the NDRC – arrived in Israel this week for the first working meeting with the Israeli group. It is the first time that the Chinese delegation has come to Israel.

The Chinese delegation is made up of 7 officials from the NDRC along with a business contingent of 33 representatives from leading Chinese firms in such fields as biomed and venture capital, as well as representatives of several Chinese high-tech/industrial parks chosen by the NDRC to engage in joint ventures with Israel.

“The meetings between Israeli and Chinese companies within this framework will bring true commercial results,” said Chief Scientist Hasson. “It is doubtful if these would have been achieved without cooperation between the two countries on an official level.”

At a joint seminar during the meetings, potential models for cooperation with Israel from the viewpoint of the NDRC were presented – models which can assist Israeli companies in need of support and guidance in their effort to penetrate Chinese markets, including incubators and centers of excellence in China.

Representatives from Chinese companies engaged in investing, R&D and technological parks, along with representatives of Israeli companies, presented various models to help Israeli firms enter the Chinese market.

Roey Fisher, Deputy Director of the Foreign Trade Administration in the Ministry of Economy, moderated the discussion about the industrial parks in China, saying, “The basis for good cooperation is better mutual understanding. Thus it is important that both sides present their needs to each other in order to create successful matchmaking and long term mutual projects.”

Following the seminar, Professor Eugene Kandel, Head of the National Economic Council at the Prime Minister’s Office of Israel, hosted a reception in which both the Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce participated.

According to The Foreign Trade Administration, China is Israel’s second largest trade partner, reaching a total of $10.8 billion in trade volume. In 2013, Israel’s exports to China totaled $2.88 billion (an increase of 0.22% compared to 2012); imports from China to Israel in the same year totaled $7.99 billion (an increase of 0.7% compared to 2012). The leading sectors of exports to China include: electronic components (40%), chemicals (17%), diamonds (11%), medical devices (7%), mechanical and electronic equipment (6%), and communication equipment (4%). The leading sectors of imports from China include machines and industrial equipment (36%), textiles (1.9%), metals (9.4%) and chemicals (8.8%).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel-china-ministers-meet-plan-hi-tech-collaboration/2014/07/04/

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