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China's Secret Scientific Megaprojects

timothy posted about a year ago | from the that's-nothing-you-should-see-north-korea's dept.

China 142

An anonymous reader writes "The Diplomat reports on the 2006 National Medium to Long-term Plan (MLP) for the Development of Science and Technology, China's most ambitious national science and technology plan to date. The MLP consists of sixteen megaprojects — both civilian and military — that serve as 'S&T vanguard programs designed to transform China's science & technology capabilities in areas such as electronics, semiconductors, [and] telecommunications.' Thirteen of the megaprojects are listed in the MLP, while three are classified for national security reasons. The three classified megaprojects are likely the military components of the Shenguang Laser Project (used for thermonuclear weapons), the Beidou 2 Satellite Navigation System, and the Hypersonic Vehicle Technology Project."

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Shenguang Laser Project (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747665)

is not for thermonuclear weapon but for laser weapon.

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (4, Informative)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year ago | (#44747889)

The article refers to it as Shenguang Laser Project for Inertial Confinement Fusion, which may give a clue about what it's primarily for. It's apparently the Chinese equivalent of USA's National Ignition Facility.

And the part that should scare most of you.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747939)

Is what happens if china funds and develops fusion technology in the next two decades, and using it's plethora of foreign owned companies, patents/trade secrets the technology, thus giving them 30 years of control over cheap ubiquitous energy, while the rest of us fight over the ever dwindling scraps of fossil fuel?

Hell, they might be able to keep it all in-country and just provide energy services from their borders at just cheap enough to bankrupt the competition rates.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748509)

i think, given the amount of technology they've presumably acquired through industrial espionage, that it may be fair to "borrow" some of that fusion technology back if needed

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44750269)

given the amount of technology they've presumably acquired through industrial espionage

Forget about that - it's swamped by the amount of technology our ever patriotic "American" companies have given them by making a quick buck via "joint ventures" that include a technology sharing requirement. I kind of expect the other team to cheat a bit, but I'd hope we wouldn't make shooting ourselves in the foot a national pastime.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44748667)

Is what happens if china funds and develops fusion technology in the next two decades, and using it's plethora of foreign owned companies, patents/trade secrets the technology, thus giving them 30 years of control over cheap ubiquitous energy, while the rest of us fight over the ever dwindling scraps of fossil fuel?

If they keep it all to themselves, then there won't be much impact - the rest of the economy is large enough to keep running on fossil fuels. There is plenty of natural gas around, especially if China's advances spur a competitive race (which would be good).

If they doll out the technology politically, then it could get *very* interesting.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#44748711)

If they develop better technology sooner then..... THEY WIN. This is a good argument that if we don't want to LOSE we should put more effort into developing new technology.

In the 1800's China made the mistake of falling off the technology curve. As a result they were beaten and humiliated by the advanced technology of the western powers. Revenge would be poetic and well deserved, but personally I'd like to not be on the receiving end.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44751505)

That will never happen because their culture does not reward innovation. The rewards of any culture dictate how innovative they can be.

A classic example is, can you name any Japanese *invention*? ie something they made of their own accord and didn't just copy and perfect? Good luck with that, and Chinese people are dumber than that. Mind you they don't mind sacrificing a few hundred lives in their rocket program so who knows where they could end up if they keep flailing blindly in the dark.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44751701)

That will never happen because their culture does not reward innovation.

That explains why they never invented porcelain, the blast furnace, paper, the compass or gunpowder.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44748955)

Is what happens if china funds and develops fusion technology in the next two decades, and using it's plethora of foreign owned companies, patents/trade secrets the technology, thus giving them 30 years of control over cheap ubiquitous energy, while the rest of us fight over the ever dwindling scraps of fossil fuel?

Hell, they might be able to keep it all in-country and just provide energy services from their borders at just cheap enough to bankrupt the competition rates.

WTF are you about, AC?

"Thirty years of cheap, ubiquitous energy" - from fusion? The technology whose demonstrator sites (that don't actually produce power, just consume it) cost tens of billions of dollars? The technology that has yet to create positive amounts of energy in a fashion that doesn't tend to vaporize the surrounding countryside? That 'secret'? Or 'cheap'?

Not to mention the problem of preventing others from borrowing the technology should it ever actually work out. You realize that a Chinese patent isn't the same as an American (or Euopean or African) patent? Should the Chinese actually manage to create contained fusion that is commericially viable their best bet would be to license it and make a bunch of money off of it. Otherwise, somebody will just out and out steal it.

Re: And the part that should scare most of you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749857)

I would just have to assume it would only be a few years before someone defected with all the key information necessary to complete out own system. Think atom bomb and how quickly that data was compromised.

Re:And the part that should scare most of you.... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year ago | (#44749895)

Then Russia copies it and sells it for next to nothing.

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44748045)

It's apparently the Chinese equivalent of USA's National Ignition Facility.

Except that it will probably work sooner...

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about a year ago | (#44751011)

It's apparently the Chinese equivalent of USA's National Ignition Facility.

Except that it will probably work sooner...

Yes, it's 15 years away (and always will be) instead of the usual 20 years away (ditto) for western fusion projects.

It's a thermonuclear weapon design project (2)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#44748577)


The NIF is 95% a weapons project, and likely this is as well.

The complex parts of high-technology nuclear weapons are not nuclear physics, that part is firmly established. The complexity is in the radiative transfer, fluid mechanics and equations of state in extreme conditions.

These kinds of fusion projects (NIF) simulate the multi-stage (indirect drive) radiation driven compression of nuclear fuel. The goal is to get clean calibration data for the simulation software used to make weapons without full nuclear testing, which is banned by treaty.

There isn't much energy generation possibility in these.

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44751043)

It would be nice if the US would co-operate with the Chinese on fusion and on space projects. The ESA was happy to work with them on the ISS and the Chinese were interested, so why the shitty attitude from your side of the pond?

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year ago | (#44751237)

I'm not personally guilty since I'm not in the US or a US citizen or involved in the NIF project, but I suspect that mbkennel's answer contains a clue to why there isn't a lot of cooperation on the laser fusion projects. The results will be useful if and when it is time to build new hydrogen bombs. The main reason why the US and China have nukes is so that they can point them at one another and at Russia, which could be an obstacle when it comes to cooperation.

USA, China, EU and Russia are all partners in the ITER project which is the most ambitious mainstream fusion project aimed at a commercially viable reactor design for the grid. The really sad part is that the US and other leading industrial countries have only spent proverbial pennies on fusion research over the years. The US has spent a mere 30 billion in total according to this source http://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/reframe/wasteful [focusfusion.org] . We're probably not going to find out if fusion is viable in our lifetimes.

I'm afraid we're looking at lots and lots of 'clean' coal, a good deal of fracking and other unconventional natural gas, lots of solar panels, some wind turbines and maybe a tiny bit of fission for the next 50 years or so. (Unless someone comes up with a really good fission reactor design. That could change everything.)

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year ago | (#44749361)

Or a 1970's band.

Re:Shenguang Laser Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44751483)

all your base are belong to us.

Two Weapons, One Satellite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747795)

From the article:
the “Two Weapons, and One Satellite” science and technology development plan

Nothing good came from that project...

Re:Two Weapons, One Satellite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748725)

*Chuckle*

We're safe (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#44747833)

They haven't started on the project framework factory [joelonsoftware.com] project.
When that one completes, the Eschaton shall surely be immanentized.

Lost in translation? (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about a year ago | (#44747837)

Are they sure they translated everything properly, and China isn't actually going to weaponize My Little Pony?

Re:Lost in translation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748005)

You mean the MLP Sterilization Project? Ensuring a whole generation of males is rendered incompatible with females.

I'd say that project has been a rousing success

Re:Lost in translation? (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44748073)

Ensuring a whole generation of males is rendered incompatible with females.

Male Linuxification Project?

Re:Lost in translation? (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about a year ago | (#44749541)

My Little Ponies need no weaponization. They warp in from some chthonic Plane of Evil, sort of like Dark Archons with sparkles, and assimilate the minds of the innocent.

Re:Lost in translation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749641)

My Little Ponies need no weaponization. They warp in from some chthonic Plane of Evil, sort of like Dark Archons with sparkles, and assimilate the minds of the innocent.

My Little Ponies need no weaponization. They warp in from some chthonic Plane of Evil, sort of like Dark Archons with sparkles, and assimilate the minds of the innocent^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H socially inept.

The Civ feeling (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44747851)

You know when you're playing Civ and another player builds a wonder you wanted. Thats what this feels like and I expect more to follow.

Re:The Civ feeling (1)

KingTank (631646) | about a year ago | (#44747909)

They don't seem to be afraid of large projects. I hope they build the first fusion reactor. That would really teach the rest of the world not to underfund that kind of thing and just dick around for 40+ years.

Re:The Civ feeling (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44747979)

They are... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EAST [wikipedia.org]
I'm sure there are better links to other projects too. Mind you, the "West" did build CERN.

Re:The Civ feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748093)

EAST won't be the first break even fusion reactor and is on par with some projects in the west (better at some things, slightly worse at others, all of the projects at that level have some specializations they do better at). China is a member of ITER and will be contributing toward that project. The question is if they will decide and follow through with making their own version of ITER in addition to contributing to ITER, and follow it up with a project on par with DEMO.

Re:The Civ feeling (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44748191)

After having a read, it looks like here in the UK we are actually doing stuff; but crap at showing off about it. No change there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_European_Torus [wikipedia.org]

I hope China crushes the US and the EU (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747873)

I am tired of seeing old white men who have a sense of entitlement acting like
they run the world.

The west has had a good run, but it is time for the next wave.

Bring it on.

And you think it will be China? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747923)

You so funny. Let's jot down a quick list of things that will likely cripple China within the next 20 years.

- Slowing economy
- Massive population
- The food shortage of the century
- Fresh water
- Municipal incompetence
- Gross amounts of industrial pollution

And those are just broad points. China's government is so corrupt that it's highly unlikely it will actually serve the people in any measurable manner.

Re:And you think it will be China? (5, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44748459)

What makes you think they won't just take everyone else's food, money, and water?

Re:And you think it will be China? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749925)

Piss poor military technology engineering.

Re:And you think it will be China? (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | about a year ago | (#44750173)

....and single women, since they're still running about 20% short on those

Re:And you think it will be China? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748809)

Interesting times ahead for China. Their govt will likely collapse within the next decade.
Most experts agree that without at least a 10% on year growth civil unrest will become unsustainable. There just won't be enough jobs and resources and money to cover the gross inefficiency and lack of real governing ability their form of government affords. (A corrupt dictatorship that pays favor to a privileged few) Most Chinese are aware of the problems in their country. They say they put up with it for the "Greater good", but we all know what happens when there are no jobs and no food to feed your family. .. China's economy has already slowed to less than 10% growth. Change is inevitable, but what kind of change is uncertain.

plus aging population (2)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#44748981)

24% of China's population will be over 60 in 20 years while just 17% of the US. The US has both a higher birth rate and immigration rate than most other developed or semi-developed countries. Each "only child" in China may be supporting two living parents and up to four living grandparents.

Re:plus aging population (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749527)

Each "only child" in China may be supporting two living parents and up to four living grandparents.

With massive robotization in the process of being introduced in Chinese factories, is that really an issue? Productivity was bound to increase (slightly) even without robotization.

Re:And you think it will be China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44750011)

In 20 years, global population will reach it's maximum and then begin to decline. We reached an inflection point not too long ago.

Re:And you think it will be China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44751711)

In 20 years, global population will reach it's maximum and then begin to decline. We reached an inflection point not too long ago.

I wish that the amount of people who can't tell its from it's would decline too. But that's asking for perpetual motion or the Philosopher's Stone.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747927)

Mod me down, but the wave is coming, you sorry cocksuckers,
and it will envelop ALL OF YOU.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748071)

Can't tell if sexually frustrated western-educated Chinese kid or just a plain old troll.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748433)

Chinese. You can tell because he is worthless garbage.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44747933)

Is the solution to one group thinking it can "crush" the others having another group "crush" the first, or everybody learning to work with each other, regardless of which plot of land they happened to be born on?

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748583)

work with each other? to what end. The only purpose we have is self defined. Violence and intimidation are tools in writing our history.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (1)

bdwebb (985489) | about a year ago | (#44748587)

Thank you for some logic! From the parent:

I am tired of seeing old white men who have a sense of entitlement acting like they run the world.

While I'm white, I'm not old and I'm not running anything. If China crushes the EU and US, all people in the EU and US are crushed regardless of race. They may get the old white guys, too, but I think the more likely consequence is that the people of the EU and US suffer far far worse.

How about we work towards something together instead of trying to thwart progress by trying to crush one another all the time.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748645)

You mean you expect us to "get along" with people who have a different skin colour than us? Are you insane?

Seriously though, be careful...you'll get modded down for being a Socialist with that kind of talk...

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748829)

This.

Aren't China as a government actually funding a space mining project now?
(or wanting to make an asteroid cannon)

Most countries except the US generally would rather have a peaceful solution to everything.
Even China and Russia. (but that's notttt true, commiessss, dictatorrssss, wdahaduyogds)
USA is too much MURRICA to care for peaceful solutions these days. Starting wars left, right and center.

Another large-scale war will end us. All of us. Nobody will win except those hermits hiding in mountains that will get to play Fallout in real life.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (1)

eleuthero (812560) | about a year ago | (#44750023)

I think the statement that everyone but the USA seeks peace is far too simplistic an assessment (particularly your parenthetical, which ignores a lot of the modern international dynamic in favor of tongue-in-cheek name-calling). There are problems with violence throughout the fabric of humanity. In China, violence tends to be focused on dissidents, the occasional border tiff with India, and the proxy wars in the Middle East and Africa. In Europe, there is a tendency to suggest peace, but right now there is a real push in a number of European countries to fix the Syrian and Egyptian problems (not that there is a real solution for Syria--both "sides" are problematic, and in Egypt it was under the military dictatorship that women could walk alone at dusk in the streets without fear of rape, the Christians and Muslims didn't kill each other, and a return to that government might help restore that peace). Europe is divided on the question, though, and throwing in war hawks from Iran and Russia doesn't help. The USA has its own share of stirring the ants nests of the world, but it is by no means alone. A number of the powers that be see it as beneficial for the individual country to shift problems outside its borders--proxy wars, aiding in "police actions", etc. Should we seek peace where possible? Yes--and that is certainly the goal of many. Should we fail to be realistic about general human self-interest? I hope not.

As J.L. Picard Once Said, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749031)

"The economics of the Future are somewhat different."

A utopian dream, surely.

Re:I hope China crushes the US and the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44750307)

we don't have a sense of entitlement. we think if we kill you for it, it's ours. that's not entitlement. entitlement is if we just sat back and whined that some foreign entity is beating us and that it's just not right.

test for free enterprise (5, Insightful)

duckintheface (710137) | about a year ago | (#44747915)

Since WW2, the US has had a huge lead in science and tech, in part due to the lack of competition from countries that were severely damaged by the war. China is the second largest economy in the world and is the first "command economy" to actually offer competition in innovation to the US. US companies have long argued that the free market was the best way to produce cutting edge innovation. Aside from the defense arena, that is how most tech has been developed.... without an overarching central plan. Now US tech faces a concerted, planned, and nationally funded challenge from China. If the MLP innitiatives are successful in moving China ahead of the US in the targeted areas of research, it will be the end of the hands-off approach of the US government.

Re:test for free enterprise (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44747985)

It's never so simple. The US claims to be a free market, but in reality the government extensively subsidizes some industries and penalizes others, and is the single largest purchaser in the country. China claims to be a communist success story, but in reality the government long ago realized that it isn't practical to command an entire economy and turned to the free market to set prices and determine manufacture of most goods - it is the private sector that forms the mighty Chinese manufacturing base, not the government.

They really aren't as far apart as many want to believe.

Re:test for free enterprise (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44748201)

it is the private sector that forms the mighty Chinese manufacturing base, not the government

Sure, if you consider the PLA part of the private sector. PLA enterprises do largely work within a market system though.

Re:test for free enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749445)

Nooooooo! Don't shatter the narrative that we have so come to love!

Re:test for free enterprise (4, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44748259)

China is the second largest economy in the world and is the first "command economy" to actually offer competition in innovation to the US.

The first? Better check out which country put the first satellite into orbit and the first man into space, and which country had the first ballistic missiles and jet aircraft.

Re:test for free enterprise (1)

duckintheface (710137) | about a year ago | (#44748405)

The Russians offered military competition because (as we discovered after the fall of Communism) they were sacrificing everything else in their country to pay for the military. Russia never offered economic competition or competition in innovation outside of the military arena. The real long term battle is economic and not military.

Re:test for free enterprise (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44748479)

they were sacrificing everything else in their country to pay for the military

Sounds familiar.

Re:test for free enterprise (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44749345)

You're moving the goalposts. Your original post referred to "competition in innovation". If the Soviet space accomplishments as innovation, I don't know what does. It's also a dual-use technology, not strictly military. Moreover, even as far as the purely military technology goes, that doesn't count as innovation?

Re:test for free enterprise (3, Informative)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#44748349)

The Soviets offered some real competition back in the day.

Re:test for free enterprise (5, Interesting)

duckintheface (710137) | about a year ago | (#44748367)

SuricouRaven, you are correct that China has turned to free enterprise at the micro level to set prices and allocate resources. No argument there. But China still has a command economy at the macro level, setting overall goals and choosing winners and losers in the marketplace. A recent example is that the Chinese government has forced all the rare earth mining companies in the country to join a government consortium which controls access at the source. This is part of a plan to make China pre-eminent in high-tech manufacturing using rare earths. I'm saying that China has a plan. The US has no industrial or innovation plan. So we will see which system works better. If US companies focus on short term profit instead of long term innovation, I think this will be the last time they do that. The US government will step in to secure our future.

Re:test for free enterprise (1)

eleuthero (812560) | about a year ago | (#44750057)

It could be that I am missing part of your point, but isn't the indirect stimulation of DARPA projects, green energy investment, etc. a part of the US government's way of responding to the potential threat of a foreign unified macro-economy?

Re:test for free enterprise (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44751755)

The US government will step in to secure our future.

Previous US government steps to secure our future are why the US has so many short term viewpoints in the private sector. If you reward a behavior, such as short term thinking, then it gets worse.

And of course, the obvious solution is for the US government to baby us even more so that we are even less prepared to deal with the future. I'm sure this will turn out well.

Re:test for free enterprise (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44750913)

it will be the end of the hands-off approach of the US government.

What hands-off approach? The US spends gobs of money and directs plenty of research. It just doesn't do that particularly well even for a government.

And what "first 'command economy'"? Both Russia and Japan predate this and they were able to offer such competition (Japan still does).

I'm also a bit amused by the insistence that this time around directed research will show the folly of relying on "hands-off" research. If directed research were that effective, especially when practiced by the US, then it'd have a better track record.

Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the air (4, Insightful)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44747921)

All that great technology and wealth is meaningless if you live in a toxic environment.

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#44748041)

Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the air

Nope, but one of them is a Ringworld [wikipedia.org] . They have figured that at this points its gonna be cheaper to just buy a new one instead of fixing the old one.

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year ago | (#44748239)

China does not really need to invent anything to clean up its air. They need to absorb technology and regulation from the west.

Scrubbing exhaust from all coal fired plants and enforcing that all cars must have functioning catalytic converters would probably solve a lot of the air quality problems that they have.

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#44748371)

which is why China is investing a lot of money in fusion energy

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748375)

All that great technology and wealth is meaningless if you live in a toxic environment.

There are more than a billion cinese, and the PLA is most numerous army in the world.
Vital land can be found up north in russia, to the west in india and to the south.
Who's going to stop them should they decide to grab some land in the future ?

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (1)

simonbp (412489) | about a year ago | (#44748529)

Well probably the Russians.

For its bluster, the PLA is better thought of as a large, poorly manged investment company that happens to also have (poorly trained) soldiers and fighter jets. It hasn't really fought a war since 1949, and has very little anti-missile capability. The Russians would not give two chits about launching all the ICBMs at China if the PLA ever invaded.

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (2)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44748575)

Soneone's been reading his Tom Clancy [amazon.com] , hasn't he....

Re:Hope one of those megaprojects is to clean the (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44748825)

If one of them is fusion energy, as it appears to be...then yes it is. They'll be able to stop polluting, actively clean their atmosphere and then they'll be all gung-ho about environmental initiatives like carbon trading when they're holding the clean and abundant energy.

Fusion race tiem?

Clean energy (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#44750365)

Clean energy might help a bit with the "toxic environment" angle of things. At least it would help reduce further pollution.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747925)

As long as China can keep shipping cheap LiPO batteries, radios, and low cost RC boats and foamy planes, they can imitate the West as much as they like.

As if China's the only 1 who has "secret" projects (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44747993)

Will Sandia lists their secret projects they are working on? WIll Area 51? Yes, it's another day, another CHina bashing article. /. is no better than FAUX news.

Re:As if China's the only 1 who has "secret" proje (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44748285)

it's another day, another China bashing article

Please explain how it's China bashing to point out the large scientific and technological projects in China. Also, if it's China bashing, why does the Chinese government proudly advertise these projects?

Re:As if China's the only 1 who has "secret" proje (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748851)

USA article:
"Boo USA"

[another country] article:
"Well what about USA?"

Please stop being this obsessive.

Re:As if China's the only 1 who has "secret" proje (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748865)

If this is "China bashing" then every day on Slashdot is "USA bashing" by your thin-skinned standard.

The enemy within (2)

Sterculius (1675612) | about a year ago | (#44748053)

The Chinese have already succeeded in their main mega-project: Chinese restaurants. While mostly salt, fat, and MSG, Americans gobble it down and feel they are eating healthy because there is a piece of broccoli in there somewhere.

Re:The enemy within (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44748309)

Bah. For all their popularity, Chinese restaurants have not displaced the mighty hamburger or the ubiquitous pizza. Mexican restaurants are giving them a run for their money too.

Re:The enemy within (1)

Sterculius (1675612) | about a year ago | (#44748463)

Most people don't consider those healthy. Doesn't matter, most people probably know that Chinese food isn't really health food either. It just tastes good. Actually, it sounds pretty good right now. Time for lunch!

How to screw yourself (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44748059)

FTA:

Technology transfers, foreign R&D investment, and training of Chinese scientists and engineers at research institutes and corporations overseas are part of China’s “indigenous innovation” drive to identify, digest, absorb, and reinvent select technological capabilities, both in civil and military domains.

Approaches that the US government happily facilitates. I'm all for competition (in civilian sectors anyway), but I am opposed to us bending over backwards to give our stuff to the other side.

The missed a project (1)

jmcwork (564008) | about a year ago | (#44748167)

Sharktopus!

Wrong Focus (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44748263)

They should focus their energy on the "Lift 900 Million people out of $2/day" megaproject, or the "move away from an export and build a consumer economy" megaproject, although I guess they wanted to go for something that's achievable.

Although to be honest, these projects do fit within China's key areas of concern. Their economy is on shaky ground; they're too reliant on the rest of the world buying their products for cheap; the global recession proved the danger of that. They also have a populace clamoring for more goods and better wages, so they need to move out of cheap manufacturing and instead move to higher quality, more complex goods; thus the advanced CNC and integrated circuit manufacturing technologies. They also have terrible domestic energy resources (their coal is highly sulfuric leading to their terrible air pollution in the cities), hence the nuclear power expansion (they have the world's first AP-1000's online and want to build 70 more) and the expanded natural gas exploration. They have to feed and care for a lot of people and have an aging population, thus the GMO and pharmaceutical research. Basically China grew very quickly without establishing a stable foundation of quality, reliable food sources, energy, and organic natural economic growth; most of these projects are geared towards filling in the gaps they left in their economy and society over the past 30 years.

Re:Wrong Focus (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44748751)

They should focus their energy on the "Lift 900 Million people out of $2/day" megaproject, or the "move away from an export and build a consumer economy" megaproject

Why should China bother with that, if the United States and the rest of the Western world spend their still-considerable energies on those subjects — despite not having any such poor people among their citizenry for decades?

And when we here aren't thinking of that, we work on disciplines like "Wymen's Issues" and "Social Studies"... It is like our rulers — the decision-makers in education, in particular — want to give China the time to catch-up with us...

Re:Wrong Focus (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44748953)

Do you want a world with 2+ billion middle class citizens greedy and wasteful like western culture?

I mean its all grand to sit in your 1/2 million dollar home you can't afford, sipping Starbucks while your Tesla beams its charging status to your iPhone and smack your hand down on a table and demand that the Chinese population earn the same kind of living you do, but China is doing what most other Western countries did to establish their "foundations".

I mean there was a time in US history, not TOO long ago, where the "human rights" violations of a country that needed to grow their industry and economy quickly resulted in a civil war, after which the US entered an era of unprecedented growth and influence on the world stage. You think the US started on a strong foundation of quality and natural economic growth? Or didn't the US start on a foundation of slaves building the infrastructure of the country?

Not defending that China should just go through the motions of a slave economy just because everyone else has, but I mean a country the size of China can't turn on a dime and have every citizen sitting in houses they can't afford, sipping expensive branded coffee and waiting for the Tesla to finish charging so they can drive their kids to soccer practice at a park 1/4 mile away.

Hopefully China might do something better this time then create a state of petulant and lazy citizens.

Re:Wrong Focus (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44749299)

Or didn't the US start on a foundation of slaves building the infrastructure of the country?

No, it didn't. Slaves mostly grew cotton and the like. Railroads, canals, etc. were built by free labor, even if not always under the best of conditions.

Moreover, slavery had little to do with the productive output of the US, and everything to do with the distribution of wealth and income. US cotton production soared after the Civil War (as compared to the antebellum levels). Aside from the obvious immorality of slavery, the economic reality is that free labor is more productive.

Re:Wrong Focus (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44750843)

SkepticalOptimist needs to be more skeptical of the stories and modern myths his teachers taught him. e.g. 1. The 'black man' did not build America, slaves are lousy workers. 2. Smallpox lives 24 hours on a blanket.

Re:Wrong Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44751251)

Original AC here, although with how much I post on slashdot maybe I should finally register.

Thanks for making a blatant and BS stereotype about me. You're right that I'm American, however I rent a small 2 bedroom place with my fiancee, drive a fuel efficient and inexpensive newer Honda Civic, and I brew my own fair trade coffee and avoid Starbucks like the plague (all that and a conservative too). I also happen to have a degree in East Asian studies with a focus on Chinese history and culture, and speak some Mandarin. But, hey, does that matter to you. since judging from your response you clearly didn't read my post? You know, the part about where their technological foci are on areas that are inherently weak in the foundation of their economy?

My point about bringing up the 900 M people out of poverty had absolutely nothing to do with judging China or altruism or some sort of idealistic humanitarian crusade. It's based entirely economics and internal Chinese politics. The Chinese government's legitimacy is based on their economic prosperity; they have used the fact that their economy has grown so much as their reason for a right to rule. Unfortunately they are only partially responsible for that; they took advantage of the Western world's desire for cheap products and produced products with cheap labor. The problem is, the West's appetite for imported products has dried up with the recession, and the Chinese economy has taken a beating, moreso than the rest of the world because it's so export driven. As such, this fundamentally challenges the legitimacy of the government, which inherently creates a internal instability. The problem is, this comes at a time when China has successfully brought about 400 M people out of poverty in the coastal regions who have a good standard of living, and are trying to do the same thing with the interior. The disconnect is that the 400 M people on the coast want the wealth and taxes they pay to go to things they want: more education and better, higher paying jobs, but the 900 M in the interior are still waiting in the wings for China's newfound wealth to come to them.

Thus, you see in the Chinese newspapers open debate (very rare in a Communist society) about where China should focus; there are factions developing in the Party between the old guard Communists who are trying to move money inland and balance out the wealth and the newer wealthy coastal people who want to keep their money in place. Unfortunately the newer coastal group is winning; the new president Li Keqiang is part of the new rich coastal group whereas his primary challenger Bo Xilai was arrested and imprisoned for questionable corruption charges. That's why you see projects like this, advancing science and putting people on the moon (one of the 16 projects on the list), which hits the right notes of the coastal regions. However it does nothing to help the internal 900 M people gain wealth and new opportunities for themselves. Thus I see several of these projects as extremely wasteful and detrimental to Chinese society; I think projects more like roads, railroads, and canals that create transportation options for the interior generate opportunities for business to grow in those areas, which then create jobs and raise the standard of living for the poorer interior.

But i wouldn't expect most people to actually follow the Chinese political structure, the open debates going on, nor understand the mechanisms that drive Chinese economy unless you actually study it like I do.

Re:Wrong Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749389)

They should focus their energy on the "Lift 900 Million people out of $2/day" megaproject,

Or alternatively, "feed, clothe and shelter 900 million people on $2/day."

Say what you will (3, Funny)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44748675)

But while Western governments twiddle their thumbs in their respective senates or congress figuring out how to recover from a devastating decline in the economy with a mounting ecological deficit and can't do anything without gauging public opinion from the largely idiot masses when it comes to any kind of "super-project", China will most likely solve most of the world's problems in energy and climate change.

Surprisingly the country with past human right violations may actually save humanity, while countries that promote the idea they protect human rights sit and let the world rot while their ineffective politicians quibble in their grand ballrooms of democracy.

Of course if China's economy collapses under the weight and pressure of these super-projects, the world is fucked.

Re:Say what you will (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44749499)

"Surprisingly the country with past human right violations"

What a cheap statement. That applies equally well to any first rate country in the world, today. Especially America and China.

Re:Say what you will (1, Insightful)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44749559)

In case anyone on Slashdot isn't already quite aware of this, the history of the United States of America since its foundation is basically one long, continuous freefall deeper into a hole of human rights violations.

Re:Say what you will (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44750367)

can't do anything without gauging public opinion from the largely idiot masses

A group of which you are not a member, of course.

The list (5, Informative)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year ago | (#44749117)

The 13 published Megaprojects.

  Core electronic components, high-end general use chips and basic software products
  Large-scale integrated circuit manufacturing equipment and techniques
  New generation broadband wireless mobile communication networks
  Advanced numeric-controlled machinery and basic manufacturing technology
  Large-scale oil and gas exploration
  Large advanced nuclear reactors
  Water pollution control and treatment
  Breeding new varieties of genetically modified organisms
  Pharmaceutical innovation and development
  Control and treatment of AIDS, hepatitis, and other major diseases
  Large aircraft
  High-definition earth observation system
  Manned spaceflight and lunar probe programs

Re:The list (1)

Jack9 (11421) | about a year ago | (#44750091)

Please add the most important project: The Great Uprooting (massive Urbanization of the Rural population).

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/world/asia/chinas-great-uprooting-moving-250-million-into-cities.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 [nytimes.com]

Mark Sumner mentioned that there are already prebuilt massive silent cities that he has seen, awaiting the future industrial workers of China.

Re:The list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44751105)

Anyone else think this is a list of technologies they are looking to steal next?

Penny wise, yuan foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44749783)

Still think it's a good idea to have so many Chinese nationals as grad students in American science and engineering universities?

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