Singapore's anti-narcotics agency has made its biggest seizure of cannabis in 14 years after conducting a series of raids this week in the city-state, which has some of the world's toughest drugs laws including capital punishment. A total of more than 35 kg (77 lb) of narcotics including about 20.5 kg of cannabis, as well as heroin, crystal methamphetamine and other drugs were seized in the raids, Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau ( CNB ) said. 'This operation shows that cannabis remains a clear and present threat to society,' a CNB spokesman told a briefing on Thursday.
AdSehen Sie, wie dies Ihnen Vorteile bringen kannAFP NewsNorth Korea accused the new US administration of adopting "lunatic theory" Thursday, ruling out any engagement with Washington unless it changed course, as President Joe Biden's top envoys held talks in Seoul.
a day agoChinese President Xi Jinping offers more vaccine support to Caribbean countriesChina has promised Caribbean nations more help and vaccines to fight Covid-19 as it seeks to expand its influence in the region. President Xi Jinping spoke to his Guyanese counterpart Irfaan Ali on Tuesday to offer support – a month after the South American country abruptly terminated an agreement allowing Taiwan to open a trade office following a warning by China to “correct their mistake”. Guyana was offered 20,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines from China following the U-turn.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. “China stands ready to strengthen cooperation with Guyana on Covid-19 vaccines and continue to provide assistance and support within its capacity for Guyana‘s economic and social development”, Xi said during the call, according to state media reports. Xi also said both countries should respect each other’s core interests and hoped Guyana would help boost cooperation between Beijing and the wider Caribbean region. Quad counters China’s ‘vaccine diplomacy’ with billion doses pledge China’s offer to supply friendly countries has prompted claims it is engaging in “vaccine diplomacy” – a label Beijing rejects, saying it sees vaccines as a global public good. China has been one of the biggest suppliers of vaccines in South America and the Caribbean and last month it emerged that Paraguay, one of Taiwan’s last major allies in the region, has been in contact with Beijing about securing vaccines. Taiwan has been one of the most successful places in the world in dealing with coronavirus and has never had to go into lockdown. Unlike mainland China, it does not produce its own vaccines but Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said on Tuesday that Taiwan would help Paraguay to obtain vaccines through different channels. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and is fiercely opposed to other countries having any diplomatic relations with the island. Xi also promised similar support to Trinidad and Tobago, one of Beijing’s strongest supporters in the Caribbean, a region where Taiwan still has four official allies. “Trinidad and Tobago was one of the first countries to donate health supplies to China during the pandemic. China has also offered supplies and technological assistance related to the pandemic. China wishes to boost cooperation over vaccines and support Trinidad and Tobago in fighting the pandemic,” Xi said in a phone call with Prime Minister Keith Rowley on Tuesday. Xi added that China would like to strengthen cooperation on energy, the digital economy, telecommunications and infrastructure. Yu Nanping, a professor of international relations with East China Normal University, said developing countries were increasingly looking to China to help secure vaccines. China tilts to Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy as domestic jab programme lags China has become an option for developing countries which are under pressure to secure vaccines. He said countries like Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana were not the priority when it came to supplies from Western countries, but the United States would regard any move by China in the region as a geopolitical strategic choice and “even a deliberate threat to the US interests”. “The US is definitely vigilant about this, as it has always regarded Latin America and the Caribbean as an affiliated place. The economic and trade cooperation and exchanges between China and the region in the past has also aroused the vigilance of the US.”This article Chinese President Xi Jinping offers more vaccine support to Caribbean countries first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
2 days agoSouth China Morning PostC919: China seen certifying passenger jet this year, but can the plane claim market share from Boeing and Airbus?While China expects that its home-grown C919 passenger jet will be officially certified to fly this year, analysts say the nation’s aviation industry is far from capable of filling the void left by Boeing, which remains entangled in a political dispute between Beijing and Washington. China’s rapid economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, strong government support, and the country’s continued ban on Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX jet on safety concerns all provide an opportunity for the C919 to claim a share of the domestic market from Boeing and Airbus. But first, the C919 must prove itself to be reliable and efficient. As one of America’s largest exporters by value before the worldwide flight ban on the 737 MAX in 2019, Boeing is crucial to the outlook for the US economy. As such, the continued ban on the 737 MAX in China may well come up in discussions among top US and Chinese officials at their talks in Alaska on Thursday.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Wu Guanghui, the chief designer of the C919, China’s first medium-haul passenger aircraft, said on March 5 that he expected the C919 to finish flight testing and win airworthiness certification by the end of this year. What is China’s home-grown alternative to Airbus, Boeing duopoly, and why is it important? “The years 2021 and 2022 will be decisive for the C919 program. 2021 will be decisive because of the certification,” said Jean-Francois Dufour, chief analyst at intelligence consultancy DCA Chine-Analyse, adding that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will set stringent requirements for the new plane. At stake is the future of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), which was established in 2008 to design and build the single-aisle C919 to compete with Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320. However, Comac was lambasted in a research note published in December by a Washington-based think tank, which called it “a true dumpster fire of an organisation” and said it posed no threat to Boeing or Airbus. With heavy direct investment from the Chinese government, the success of the C919 is vital to both the nation’s technological development and its own aviation market, which is expected to continue growing rapidly over the next 20 years. “China’s domestic market is certainly recovering faster than other single markets. At the market’s current pace of growth, there will definitely be sufficient demand for the C919, without question,” said Luya You, a transport analyst with Bocom International. “However, it is still too early to say with any kind of certainty if the C919 will be able to capture gains left by Boeing. We do think that the trade war and pandemic have definitely accelerated the C919’s development track and brightened its overall outlook Luya You, Bocom International “Boeing and Airbus will still play extremely outsized roles right now, so it will take years for Comac to catch up, if ever. However, we do think that the trade war and pandemic have definitely accelerated the C919’s development track and brightened its overall outlook.” The CAAC projected on Monday that airline passenger trips would recover to around 90 per cent of their pre-pandemic level in 2021. But there is little indication that Boeing will be able to take advantage of the recovery in China’s aviation market any time soon. The Chicago-based aerospace giant’s China business has taken a hit since the trade war broke out in 2018 as tensions between Beijing and Washington escalated and spilled over into the aviation industry. In October, Beijing said it would sanction Boeing’s defence subsidiary over arms sales to Taiwan, while in January the US Department of Defence added Comac to its list of civil entities that it says has ties with the Chinese military, resulting in a ban on US firms from doing business with Comac without a special licence. And even though the troubled Boeing 737 MAX passenger jet has resumed flying in the US and Europe, it has yet to receive the green light from the CAAC for the huge Chinese market. China, which is among Boeing’s biggest markets, was the first country to ground the 737 MAX in March 2019 following two crashes that killed 346 people, with China’s biggest airlines since cancelling orders for the jet. The Chinese aviation regulator said earlier this month that its major safety concerns with the 737 MAX “have not yet been fully resolved”, and gave no timetable for the narrow-body aircraft to return to service in China. “This [slow return of Boeing’s 737 MAX to China] is clearly a reflection of Sino-US tensions, with Chinese authorities intending to obtain guarantees against sanctions that would target their civilian aerospace actors before releasing the Boeing card,” Dufour said. “This strategy is not motivated by the C919 – it reflects much broader, geopolitical stakes – but benefits the programme, as the later the Boeing 737 MAX comes back to Chinese skies, the later it can expect new Chinese orders.” Lunar New Year air passenger traffic fall offset by 200 per cent increase in international cargo flights Based on data from Comac and Boeing, analysts from Galaxy Securities estimated that China’s demand for narrow-body airliners such as the C919 will average about 300 per year over the next 20 years. Given that forecast, Comac would need to deliver at least 100 C919s a year to be on equal footing with Boeing and Airbus – a duopoly that China aims to break. China’s economic recovery from the pandemic and strong state support improve the C919’s chances of being commercially successful in its domestic market. But Comac still needs to demonstrate that it has strong management and a support infrastructure capable of matching the service records of Boeing and Airbus to make the C919 a viable option for airlines, especially those from overseas. China Eastern Airlines, which counts the Chinese government as its major shareholder, booked an order this month to buy five C919s as is expecting to take the first delivery this year after the plane has been certified. “Assuming this certification is obtained, 2022 will be just as decisive, as airlines will be scrutinising [the C919’s] first operational data,” Dufour said. “Airlines do not want to buy on-paper efficient airliners, they want to buy aircraft with proven economics and reliability. And this is where the C919 is at a major disadvantage to its main competitor, the [Airbus] A320neo.”More from South China Morning Post:C919: China’s home-grown aircraft on course to be certified by end of 2021, designer saysChina’s C919 commercial jet aspirations are overblown and no threat to Boeing or Airbus, Washington think tank findsRoll-out of China’s home-grown passenger jet still up in the air as US tech restrictions expected to persist under Joe BidenWith economic growth and shift in power balance, China brings a new confidence to the table in AlaskaChina debt: State Council says local governments must ‘tighten their belts’ and cut debt to reduce financial risksThis article C919: China seen certifying passenger jet this year, but can the plane claim market share from Boeing and Airbus? first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo Singapore »