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China tech – Interesting bits and pieces

By : Fred Reed

To one watching the advance of Chinese science and technology, or to me anyway, several things stand out. First, the headlong pace. Second, the amount of it that appears aimed at making China independent of the West technologically and getting the United States off Beijing’s back. Third, the apparent calculated focus. It looks like intelligent design, as distinct from America’s competitive scrabbling for profit by special interests, the hope being that this might inadvertently benefit the country as a whole. In short, the Chinese seem to Have Something in Mind. As I have mentioned before, China came out of nowhere to become the world leader in supercomputers. Also in high-speed rail, of strategic importance in its plan to united Europe and Asia economically.

Heavy investment in solar power offers to ameliorate its dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf, vulnerable to blockage by the US Navy. Then there is DF21D terminally guided ballistic missile, specifically intended as a carrier-killer in what China regards as its home waters. The list could go on at length. In much of America, the Chinese are dismissed as being “unable to innovate,” inventiveness being thought of as unique to white men. Thinner ice has perhaps never been trod. The Chinese are smart. They are certainly capable of high-grade engineering and scientific research. (Eg., Beijing Genomics Institute) The line between imaginative engineering and invention is blurry.

Note that on the numbers China can potentially bring to bear five times as many engineers as America can and, while they are well short of this, twice as many would be is? the beginning of a new world. While Beijing works to benefit China, rapidly increasing its techno-industrial clout, Washington spends insanely on weaponry. It is trying to apply a military solution to a commercial problem. America crumbles economically, politically, culturally, but has the very best bombers. Example of non-inventiveness:

Step One, From a while back, “China Activates World’s Longest Ultra Secure Quantum Communication Network.” Beijing to Shanghai. Quantum communications is based on the behavior of entangled photons. Said behavior is obviously impossible, but apparently nobody has told the photons, so they do it anyway. (Unless all the world’s physicists are smoking Drano. This possibility is worth considering. If interested, quantum entanglement. Also Quantum Key Distribution.) The point is that if anyone tries to intercept the transmission, it becomes obvious. A weakness is that you need repeaters every sixty miles, which reduces security.

Unless you do it in space:

Step Two: China launches world’s first quantum satellite. Having done the land line, they move to orbital experimentation. Step Three, Bingo!  “China Just Took the Lead in the Quantum Space Race”

This being a big deal, I clip from Asia Times:

On Thursday, a team of Chinese scientists released findings from a breakthrough study that makes China the indisputable leader in the field of quantum communication, an achievement that could be of immense strategic importance. The study, led by Pan Jianwei and published in Science magazine, successfully demonstrated the ability to distribute entangled photons across unprecedented distances, from space to earth, opening the door for the practical application of cutting-edge, ultra-secure communication. The unprecedented distance was 1200 kilometers. Beijing might be regarded as trying to establish world-wide communications secure against NSA and, eventually, a whole internet proof against Fort Meade. Whether one regards this as engineering development or innovation doesn’t seem to make much difference.

“Chinese Solar-powered plane flies at 65,000 feet”

It apparently could stay aloft for months. The stories dealing with it suggest that the purpose might be long-term surveillance of countries, meaning spying. In any event, it is a neat technological trick, especially from people who can’t innovate.“China launched its most powerful rocket ever on Thursday, state media said, as the country presses on with a program which has seen it become a major space power.” The point here is not that China is ahead of America in space it isn’t but that it is coming on fast. Engineering, engineering, engineering. Dismissive Americans point out that the US was on the Moon in 1969 and that China is piggybacking of American technology. True. And Irrelevant.

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