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The Daily Brief for Friday, 10 March 2017

Robots in Fukushima: Engineers at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant recently sent a small scorpion-like robot crawling down a pipe into an area with radiation levels that would kill a human in minutes. The journey killed the robot, too, writes Daniel Hurst. The ill fated machine, named Sasori, is one of several robots sent into highly radioactive zones in reactor buildings by engineers trying to deal with the nuclear disaster.

South Korea impeachment: The corridors of power have been home to South Korea’s Park Geun-hye as a child, de facto first lady and president but she is now leaving them in disgrace, crippled by a corruption scandal that made her the country’s first head of state to be removed by impeachment.
Agence France-Presse reports the president stands accused in a scandal that has allegedly squeezed tens of millions of dollars from South Korean businesses, including many of the country’s biggest companies, in exchange for governmental favors.

Mixed martial arts: The world of MMA will turn its attention to Bangkok on Saturday when the sport’s youngest-ever world champion, Angela Lee of Hawaii, puts her ONE atomweight world championship belt on the line against Taiwan’s Jenny Huang. Pedro Chan writes that the sport is on the rise across the region and Lee has been in the forefront of ONE Championship’s promotions. While Lee says she welcomes all the attention, she says it’s now time to get on with what she does best – fighting in a cage.

Indonesia and Australia: Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s official visit to Australia in late February was trumpeted for the full restoration of defense ties after a brief severance over hurt sensibilities. But, writes Helen Clark, Widodo’s off-hand remark and Canberra’s subsequent denial that the two sides are considering joint naval patrols in the South China Sea show that strategic ties between the two island-nation neighbors are still not well-coordinated.

Posted inChina, Shanghai

China Digest for Friday, 10 March 2017

February new loans stood at US$169.32 billion

The country’s banks extended 1.17 trillion yuan (US$169.32 billion) in new loans in February, beating analysts’ expectation of 950 billion yuan. While broad M2 money supply grew 11.1% from a year earlier, according to the data released by the People’s Bank of China on Thursday afternoon.

Four SOE sectors targeted for reform

State-owned companies in the steel, coal, heavy equipment and thermal power industries must implement restructuring, said Xiao Yaqing, the director of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) at a Thursday press conference. So far 92% of the subsidiaries of SOEs had restructured operations into a corporate style, the report added.

10 projects specified in 2017 draft budget

Identifying talented students, national research and development in technology and reducing pollution are among 10 major projects in the central government’s draft budget for 2017, reported Xinhua state news agency on Thursday. Education, technology and environment are among the 10 ministries involved in the projects. It is the first time the central government has been so detailed in its budget, it said.

Shanghai sets new rules on bike sharing in June

Shanghai plans to issue standards to regulate bike-sharing apps, The Paper said, quoted Xu Daoxing, the chief engineer of the Shanghai Bicycle Industry Association. Rules may include a requirement that refunds should be processed in seven days, a service hotline should be on 24-7 and bikes used for three years should be replaced. The rules are expected to take effect as early as June.

Restructuring of Sinosteel with three companies approved

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has approved Sinosteel Anhui Tianyuan Technology Co Ltd’s buyout of three firms valued 443 million yuan, Caixin reported. The move is part of the government’s SOE retsructuring campaign. Sinosteel Anhui Tianyuan is a subsidiary of the debt-ridden state-owned Sinosteel. Sinosteel Zhengzhou Research Institute of Steel Wire Products Co Ltd, Zhongwei Co and Hunan Special Materials will become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Sinosteel Anhui Tianyuan, but state-owned parent Sinosteel will be the actual owner, Caixin said.

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